Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Digital Welfare Nightmares.

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“Claimants struggle with Universal Credit’s online portal…”

Following the post on Surveillance Welfare and sending out our newshawks to investigate the main thing they found was that for many people it is becoming bloody hard to to get to grips with a “online” benefits system.

The local facthounds confirm that this story, from the start of the year, is well the case in Ipswich and elsewhere.

As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the Universal Credit system

Georgia Grainger is happy to help but wishes library services were not cut so frequently because they do such important work

  • Librarian says some claimants have no idea how computers work
  • Says libraries forced to prop up services not provided by Jobcentres
  • Says benefits claimants feel ’embarrassed’ to ask for help with forms.

The reality of being a librarian at Charleston Community Library in Dundee, Scotland, couldn’t be more different. The 23-year-old, whose job title is library and information assistant, says she spends most of her time helping benefits claimants attempt to navigate the Universal Credit system from the library computers.

Hard pressed library staff across the country help people deal with a system designed to help the DWP and their private providers, not claimants.

Our contributors have unearthed many a merry tale as well but this latest news opens up a worse prospect.

What they could call the “digital divide” exists across the world.

It’s not just access to services online, which are not always available. Not everybody wants to, or can, use computers and the internet.

In French they even have an expression for those unable to use computers, L’illectronisme – illiteracy in electronic devices. 

There may not yet be any systematic studies to translate into figures the rate of “digital illiteracy” (or DI — we will use this term, pending an English equivalent to the French illectronisme) but we already have a feeling of how bad it may be. Again, the social consequences of DI and plain illiteracy are similar.

Digital illiteracy – a real handicap Jean-Claude Elias 

Now we have this report:

Universal Credit: UN report warns of ‘digital welfare dystopia’ around DWP benefits system

Ruchira Sharma The ‘I’.

The report said that many claimants struggle with Universal Credit’s online portal, stopping them from even understanding their own case.

The report, which will be presented to the to the General Assembly on Friday, cited the DWP’s Universal Credit system and how its use of online portals stops many claimants who lack digital skills from understanding their own case and having the ability to appeal.

..

The report highlighted that despite being a wealthy country, in 2019 in the UK there are 11.9 million people (22 per cent of the population) who do not have the essential digital skills needed for day-to-day life.

An additional 19 per cent cannot perform fundamental tasks such as turning on a device or opening an app, while 4.1 million adults (8 per cent) are offline because of fears that the internet is an insecure environment – proportionately almost half of those are from a low income household and more than half are over 60.

Welfare Weekly has the story.

World stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare dystopia’, warns UN report

A UN human rights expert has expressed concerns about the emergence of the “digital welfare state”, saying that all too often the real motives behind such programmes are to slash welfare spending, set up intrusive government surveillance systems and generate profits for private corporate interests.

“As humankind moves, perhaps inexorably, towards the digital welfare future it needs to alter course significantly and rapidly to avoid stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare dystopia,” the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, says in a report to be presented to the General Assembly on Friday.

The digital welfare state is commonly presented as an altruistic and noble enterprise designed to ensure that citizens benefit from new technologies, experience more efficient government, and enjoy higher levels of well-being.

But, Alston said, the digitization of welfare systems has very often been used to promote deep reductions in the overall welfare budget, a narrowing of the beneficiary pool, the elimination of some services, the introduction of demanding and intrusive forms of conditionality, the pursuit of behavioural modification goals, the imposition of stronger sanctions regimes, and a complete reversal of the traditional notion that the state should be accountable to the individual.

“Digital welfare states thereby risk becoming Trojan Horses for neoliberal hostility towards social protection and regulation,” said the UN Special Rapporteur.

“Moreover, empowering governments in countries with significant rule of law deficits by endowing them with the level of control and the potential for abuse provided by these biometric ID systems should send shudders down the spine of anyone even vaguely concerned to ensure that the digital age will be a human rights friendly one”.

It continues,

“Most Governments have stopped short of requiring Big Tech companies to abide by human rights standards, and because the companies themselves have steadfastly resisted any such efforts, the companies often operate in a virtually human rights free-zone,” said Alston.

The human rights community has thus far done a very poor job of persuading industry, government, or seemingly society at large, of the fact that a technologically-driven future will be disastrous if it is not guided by respect for human rights and grounded in hard law.

There is no shortage of analyses warning of the dangers for human rights of various manifestations of digital technology and especially artificial intelligence.

“But none has adequately captured the full array of threats represented by the emergence of the digital welfare state,” the UN expert said.

Here is the summary of the report,

Report of the Special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The digital welfare state is either already a reality or is emerging in many countries across the globe. In these states, systems of social protection and assistance are increasingly driven by digital data and technologies that are used to automate, predict, identify, surveil, detect, target and punish. This report acknowledges the irresistible attractions for governments to move in this direction, but warns that there is a grave risk of stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare dystopia. It argues that Big Tech operates in an almost human rights free-zone, and that this is especially problematic when the private sector is taking a leading role in designing, constructing, and even operating significant parts of the digital welfare state. The report recommends that instead of obsessing about fraud, cost savings, sanctions, and market-driven definitions of efficiency, the starting point should be on how welfare budgets could be transformed through technology to ensure a higher standard of living for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 18, 2019 at 10:46 am

71 Responses

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  1. whats the point when this govt takes not a blind bit of notice? must cost money to do these investigations and reports.i can see they are needed but no good if govts dont act on them

    hugosmum70

    October 18, 2019 at 11:44 am

  2. You can see this now at your local library. Rows and rows of people logged onto Universal Credit trying to understand the system, asking other people. Then getting a librarian to help.
    Universal Credit is not only a cruel system, it has been badly designed. Remember that none of this is necessary. The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the entire world. Part of an elite group of the richest 6 or 7 countries. The vast majority of countries in the world are poorer than we are. And yet we treat people like this. Not because we can’t afford a proper social security system, but because our government is not prepared to pay for it. And would rather spend the money on other things.

    Jeff Smith

    October 18, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    • our local library has only a few computers and there limited to 20 mins per day and are fully booked most weeks.

      i doubt you could do a uc claim in 20mins let alone search for jobs 35hrs per week.

      superted

      October 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      • That’s another aspect, some libraries also charge to use the Internet.

        As you and Jeff show these reports should be based on people’s direct experience.

        Andrew Coates

        October 18, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      • @superted – And so many people are just putting in a comedy claim, with a bullshit 35 hours written up. Because with limited internet access they couldn’t possibly do the 35 Hours.

        Jack Reid

        October 19, 2019 at 11:43 am

    • @Jeff smith, Right on Jeff ! None of this crap is necessary. The austerity or any of it. The Tories soon found money to save the banks and buy off the DUP. It’s not the money – its what you want to spend it on.

      Rob

      October 19, 2019 at 11:51 am

  3. as far as i know this UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, and the female one before him, did base their reports on peoples direct experience. there were requests for people who had been sibject i=o certain questionable acts like sanctions, PIP reviews and loads of other subjects.. Phillip Alston recieved thousands of letters/emails etc from people who were suffering because of the benefit cuts. sanctions, losing PIP/ESA etc.

    hugosmum70

    October 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    • Yes, they came to Essex and took reports at Jaywick. I should have remembered.

      But perhaps setting up something on this is particularly difficult given that that those most affected do not use keyboards.

      Andrew Coates

      October 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      • anyone on benefits has to use a keyboard to access DWP forms etc ..this is one of the problemsd with todays system. . but if they cant, they have to find someone who can do it for them/ a lot of the latter group will have a social worker/ or other helper or carer or family member who can do it for them. admitted there will be some who has no such help and these are the ones most at risk of falling through cracks.i know that where austerity /sanctions/disability benefits etc was concerned , the Rapporteur had thousands of emails/letters sent to him as well as face to face reports. people passed the request for these, on to those who had no computer.

        hugosmum70

        October 18, 2019 at 11:22 pm

  4. ATOS still running the Tories Civil service Computer IT Systems. France running the UK Governments IT.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 18, 2019 at 6:40 pm

  5. Nearly half of DWP staff are dependent on benefits to make ends meet

    At least 40% of DWP staff are claiming benefits to top-up low wages.

    Welfare Weekly – 16th Oct 2019

    Nearly half of the staff working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in helping claimants with their benefit claims are themselves dependent of some form of benefit to make ends meet, it has been revealed.

    The shocking revelation was revealed during a meeting of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee (WPSC), where the new Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was asked how many DWP staff are curently claiming Universal Credit.

    Initially, Therese Coffey claimed she didn’t know how many DWP staff are on Universal Credit, which the Committee Chair Frank Field MP described as a “scandal”.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 18, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    • Mr Field pressed the DWP Secretary to provide the Committee with the figures, but Coffey argued that doing so may infringe on its staff privacy and data protection rights.

      However, SNP Committee member Chris Stephens revealed evidence obtained through third-party Freedom of Information requests, which showed that at least 40% of DWP staff are claiming benefits to top-up low wages.

      “This has already been in the public domain”, said Mr Stephens. “There has already been Freedom of Information requests asking these questions.”

      He continued: “There is actually over 40% of people employed by the department who are claiming some sort of benefit to bring their income up to an acceptable standard.

      “What does that say about a Government department whose purpose is to alleviate poverty, that almost half of the staff – and certainly over 40% of the staff – are living in some sort of poverty themselves?”

      A senior DWP official, sitting beside Therese Coffey, replied that staff wage increases have been higher than for many other public sector workers, while adding that the department provides help for its staff to climb the income ladder.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 18, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      • The links won’t post so full article.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    • Kind of funny really since the government who employ DWP staff have always chanted that: “Work is the best way out of poverty”. Obviously not true as far as a sh1tload of Jobcentre staff are concerned. You have to laugh don’t you?

      Ro

      October 19, 2019 at 8:12 am

      • @Ro – Not if the work is low-paid zero hours it’s not. How can it be anything else but poverty, dressed up as some wonderful success ?

        Carl

        October 19, 2019 at 11:46 am

      • So do Work Coaches have to see other Work Coaches and look for “more hours, a job with more hours, or additional extra jobs”? And what hope is there for the people they advise about securing 35 hours of paid work in order to get out from under the UC taper when can’t get off benefits themselves?

        Yorrick

        October 19, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    • Do the DWP workers give themselves a 3 month sanction for not spending 35 hours searching for more hours or better paid work?
      Who thought up this idiotic system, as if we don’t know.

      Just Thinking

      October 20, 2019 at 7:17 pm

  6. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_journal_and_the_claimant_comm?nocache=incoming-1452565#incoming-1452565

    At the claimant commitment meeting there would be a discussion about the Universal Credit
    journal. It would be discussed and agreed on an individual case by case basis. Claimant may be
    mandated to complete the Universal Credit journal. If they fail to complete it or accept it after a
    discussion with their work coach, then they could be sanctioned.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/605040/response/1452565/attach/html/2/FOI2019%2036568%20Reply.pdf.html

    never a straight answer pmsl.

    now if you make a claim for uc and you do it on line then you will have accepted the tc to use that service and the journal then you could be mandated to use it but we all know we can provide work search and cv ect anyway we like.

    i think the mandatory part of the journal is going to be the cc and accepting it on line in 7 days or it is shut down like what happens to vilot where a coach puts on a cc i must sign providers contracts so instead of a sanction doubt so the hole claim is shut down and left with nothing at all and have to start the hole process from the start let alone trying to appeal there actions at the same time.

    tho if you make a claim for uc over the phone you wont have a online account or a email address so you will not be able to use the journal as you have no online account and thus can not be mandated to use it as it does not exist.

    also foi shows uc has a non digital relationship so there trying to force the online service and the journal for a reason and it will not be to make anything more easy as a coach can change a cc every week if they want and if you dont click yes end of claim in 7 days.

    superted

    October 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    • I think you’re right there, ted.

      But what about the To-do part of the journal. This leaves the journal wide open to abuse from roaches who have their own agenda, i.e. social cleansing of the unemployment register. Most of the coaches at my JC are fairly decent, that is to say, they play game. They don’t go off message, as it were and go off on their own little private mission to rid the streets of the likes of us. But we do have at least two roaches who I can only describe as functioning psychopaths. I can guarantee you that when I’m put on UC they’ll use the journal for all kings of mischief-making.

      jj joop

      October 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

    • Suppose something appears on your digital CC which had been included without your consent. How could you contest it? Anybody know what a claimant can do to challenge something like this if it happens? I mean how could you prove wrongdoing by a Work Coach when a signature is no longer taken in person to show that you have agree to a CC? Basically anybody with the right of access to your data can change your CC to contain or reflect anything that they please and what, if anything, could you do about it?

      T-Bone

      October 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      • ‘balance of probalities’ 😉

        Scales of Justice (tilted to one side ;) )

        October 19, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      • you would have to ask for a mandatory decision first but the problem is the claim will now be closed down after 7 days so even if you try to take it further you would still have to make a new claim and back on the merry go round you go.

        what most dont realise is the cc is not a contract in law so they can put what they like on it like the 35hr job search and sign providers paperwork as that would be expectations and not enforceable buy law so if they did try a sanction the dwp will loose at a tribunal.

        the journal can be used to end claims buy not accepting any changes made to it which can be done buy anyone with access and has been used to force providers contracts getting signed as it is what they done to vilot.

        now you can ask for another coach/manager to look at what has been put on a cc but if they are all in on it your pretty much screwed unless you accept the cc on line.

        now on going claims should not be shut down like this but they are and the journal is being used to force compliance with providers contracts which in its self is fraud as the dwp is using threats of removal of benefits same as sanctions but even worse as the hole claim will now be shut down.

        so if you need to make a uc claim do not do it online! do not give the dwp any email or phone numbers or any personnel data that is not required buy law to make a claim for benefits.

        you give in 1mm they will try to take a mile. 😉

        superted

        October 19, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      • superted

        With hindsight, in Violet’s case, perhaps it might have been better if she had agreed to signing the provider’s paperwork on her CC, and then declined to sign it at the providers on enrolment day. As you’ve said, the CC is not a legal contract.

        jj joop

        October 21, 2019 at 7:28 am

      • Hindsight is an exact science. But as you say the claimant commitment carries no more weight than a politician’s ‘pledge’, a manifesto ‘commitment’, a ‘do-or-die’ statement to ‘get Brexit done by 31st October’.. There can be no comeback , you cannot be held to account. A claimant commitment does not amount to a hill of beans. Claimant commitments are a load of old cobblers.

        Puniajabi

        October 21, 2019 at 8:17 am

      • jj i think i did say to do just that and then fight the sanction doubt and if my case is anything to go buy once you win at tribunal the word provider will never be raised again. 😉

        superted

        October 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

  7. Whoops! Just when we were getting our hopes up Therese Coffey hedges her bets.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-next-year-new-work-pensions-secretary-boris-johnson-news-latest-a9158036.html

    Looks like Therese might be the worse Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ever.

    (And after bitch queen Esther McVey who could have imagined that this could ever possibly be the case?)

    Jim

    October 19, 2019 at 8:30 am

    • On the bright side impoverishing and hammering the poor will give Therese plenty to confess when she goes to church to recite her long, long, long list of her latest sins to her priest in the confessional… who will forgive her, give her a painless penance and tell her to sin no more and will continue to repeat this cycle of cruelty and absolution for as long as she is a politician, quite possibly for as long as she is alive. Horrible old thing.

      Hubert

      October 19, 2019 at 11:53 am

      • As Learning Officer in my trade union I recently organised 2 mini training sessions for the site and midday teams who struggle with English and computing. One of rhem is signing on and only works 10 hours is always being sent on DWP courses. It’s truly scary how clueless they were. One woman even scared to click the mouse. The DWP really are cruel and evil. The woman who signs on is always seeking help from line manager over issues with her online claim…..

        katrehman

        October 21, 2019 at 6:33 am

      • kat, my local college runs a course ‘Computers for the 👿 Terrified 👿 ‘. Maybe something similar runs locally to this woman.

        Kim

        October 21, 2019 at 8:01 am

    • QUOTE from above link: It comes after pensioners in the UK were due to receive a 4 per cent increase in the state pension in October, more than double the rate of inflation.UNQUOTE
      WHICH OCTOBER WAS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE? i have not received any correspondence about this nor extra in my bank and monday will be the 3rd pension day of october. plus, and tell me if i am wrong, what pensioners on state pension only get is apparently under the average pension amount compared to other countries in the EU. (I know i picked on one thing only from it. but i am sure others can pick up on other things she said.

      hugosmum70

      October 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm

  8. Amazing isn’t it, people are prepared to climb on trains for a trendy protest like the ‘environment’. But when it comes to the unemployed, the disabled, and anything to do with benefits, there is no real public outcry at all.

    Jeff Smith

    October 19, 2019 at 11:56 am

    • Extinction Rebellion is nothing to do with the environment. XR want to bring in a communitarian/communist type of society. To envisage what this means for the proles you have to think back to the Middle Ages. This is when the proles really did live ‘off-grid’ and off the land. You live in a small community. You have land to grow vegetables and livestock. You make clothing from animal skin or whatever comes to hand. You sleep on a straw bale in a wooden hut. You never leave your immediate area. You are born, live and die there. Your life expectancy is very low. But so what, this is a perfectly sustainable, zero-carbon emission way of life. Of course a representative of the ‘King’ will turn up on occasion to ‘tax’ some of your vegetables or livestock. Or to round-up and take away your young men to fight in a war.

      And like all communist societies there will be a Politburo, an upper elite who will enjoy a very high carbon emission life-style of unparallelled luxury.

      Extinction Rebellion want regress the standards of living of the lower classes to the Dark Ages. It is austerity on steroids. And all under the guise of ‘saving the planet’.

      R Liddle

      October 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      • They’re protesters seeking to affect public opinion not a political party seeking political power. You’re talking nonsense as usual Mr Liddle you ugly fat b@stard.

        Greta

        October 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      • Greta, you ungrateful so-and-so. You should be grateful that Rod takes the time out from banging out his Spectator column to post on here.

        J Littlejohn

        October 19, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      • And your another sack of sh1te, Littlejohn. What right have you got to use the British media as your psychic latrine, dumping your excretions into the starving minds of so many right-wing c0cksuckers here in Blighty, when you live in a gated community across the pond in America? Drink p1ss and die you vituperative little tw@t!

        P. Toynbee

        October 21, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      • And you P. Toynbee, the privately-educated daughter of a rich aristocrat.are nothing but a hypocrite. What right have you got to preach from your sun-kissed villa in Tuscany? Put down your solid gold pen and save us from your demented rantings you senile old git.

        R Littlejohn

        October 22, 2019 at 7:37 am

    • Extinction Rebellion are the same plummy voiced bastards who used to boss us around and treat us like shit doing workfare for the TCV (The Conservation Volunteers 😀 ) Had to suffer six months of that shit on the CWP.

      CWP Victim

      October 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    • but there have been large protests about austerity for years now, since the tories csme to power. maybe not on the same scale as this last one on climate change but never the less they have happened. if you didnt know about them blame the newspaper industry who didnt report a lot of those things. the various facebook pages reported on them putting up pictures they and others took. but no media papers.magazines tv news progs etc.

      hugosmum70

      October 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      • Yet ‘Extinction Rebellion’ gets wall-to-wall coverage. Tells us everything we need to know 😉

        Rebellion Against Extintion Rebellion

        October 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

  9. Could Extinction Rebellion really be another Tory plot ? To lower living standards for the masses while the wealthy carry on pigging it ?

    Larry D.

    October 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    • Exactly!

      Ruth the Truth

      October 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    • Nah. Extinction Rebellion are too well organised and effective to be government catspaws.

      Todger

      October 19, 2019 at 3:12 pm

  10. Sad to see Captain Picard on the protest line for Extinction Rebellion. But he has never been the same since he was captured by the Borg.

    Matt

    October 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm

  11. The DWP Appeal System is illegal – There is not appeal system just vetting. Boris Johnson breaks the law the floodgates will open for all the Tories crimes against humanity are crimes & not political.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 20, 2019 at 11:42 am

  12. Andrew Coates

    October 20, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    • The new Tory White Paper policy is Universal Credit for Homeless people. Of course there are so many catches like catch 22 that Universal Credit for Homeless people is illegal & a Boris Johnson crime. Is Boris running the country as PM or it Atos getting the blame for running the Tories who happen to be the Government.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      • IDS Vs Atos # Part 460
        Atos Vs IDS # Part 461
        IDS Vs ATOS # Part 462

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 20, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      • Andrew Coates

        October 21, 2019 at 11:30 am

      • And as the article says building more housing will make jackshit difference.

        Penny

        October 21, 2019 at 11:49 am

      • doug said the same thing not so long ago on this very blog and got lambasted and accused of all sorts.

        doug's nan

        October 21, 2019 at 11:53 am

    • Where does Ewan Gurr get these stories from ? He gives no details.

      Harry Carter

      October 21, 2019 at 1:31 pm

  13. So if the DWP staff need a top up, for being on UC, does that mean the staff being put on courses

    My coach is okay at the job centre, she phones me up once every couple of months. I rarely have to go in to the job centre now.

    I got the uc agreement down to what I want

    myfinalusername

    October 20, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    • That makes Work Coaches Illegal because some work & some don’t all scared of sanctions which are also illegal.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm

  14. DWP using ‘welfare robots’ to help assess Universal Credit claims, investigation uncovers

    The department insists it speeds up claim handling, and that all decisions are taken by a human being

    Teesidelive – Oct 2019

    Government “welfare robots” are using artificial intelligence to help assess Universal Credit claims, a new investigation has detailed.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is using 16 ‘bots’ to perform human tasks like sending automated messages about applications and payment.

    And it’s understood the department is testing technology to comb through Universal Credit applications to work out which need further scrutiny.

    It’s thought the artificial intelligence works by comparing claims to thousands of previous applications, to flag up how quickly a claim can be handled, or whether further investigation by a human being is needed.

    Welfare chiefs insist the process speeds up the time it takes to handle claims for childcare and housing costs under Universal Credit – and reduces the amount of evidence needed from claimants.

    And officials stress any final decisions are always made by a human being.

    But the move has raised fresh fears that vulnerable people could fall through the cracks, reports The Mirror.

    Lib Dem MP Heidi Allen branded the findings, uncovered in an investigation by The Guardian newspaper, as “shameful”.

    She added: “Confirms my worst fears – that the Government think it’s okay to treat people as data, not human beings.

    “The DWP needs to be pouring desperately needed compassion into the welfare system, not bots.”

    Many of the DWP’s robotics and AI developments come from a so-called ‘Intelligent Automation Garage’ which was set up in 2017 and has cost more than £7m.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 20, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    • The DWP boasted that such ‘intelligent automation’ saved 42,000 human hours in the processing of fitness-for-work notes, and 22 minutes per bundle on PIP appeals.

      Frank Field, chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, told The Guardian: “We’ve already seen in the gig economy how workers are managed and sacked, not by people, but by algorithms. Now the welfare state looks set to follow suit.”

      Dr Lina Dencik, of the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University, added: “There are concerns that the government is accelerating the automation of the welfare system without a proper evidence-based consultation about its impacts.”

      Statements by some of the DWP’s top staff have suggested automation is set to rise further.

      A 2018 blog by DWP senior product owner Shaun Williamson said officials were “exploring the potential of chatbots” – claiming they could cut calls about sickness benefit by 200,000 per week.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 20, 2019 at 8:27 pm

      • Another Atos IT System.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 20, 2019 at 8:34 pm

  15. Bye bye Work Coaches you are not needed – You have been replaced by automated Chat Bots. Now stop moaning Work Coaches.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 20, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    • DWP State Sponsored Murders not Corporate Manslaughter. Boris Johnson is a criminal breaking the law.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 20, 2019 at 8:32 pm

  16. Here is my speech in full:

    -Lies and inaccuracies
    -Incoherent rambling
    -Bluster and bluff
    -More lies and bollocks

    *rapturous applause*

    Boris Johnson

    October 20, 2019 at 10:05 pm

  17. Time for a Claimant Extinction Rebellion.

    Jack G.

    October 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

  18. DWP accused of ‘chaos’ after overestimating how many will get ESA benefit refund
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-accused-chaos-after-slashing-20659879

    superted

    October 21, 2019 at 3:22 pm

  19. Where have all the heroes gone?

    Hugh Cornwall

    October 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    • If you find out can you let me know? I need one.

      Bonnie Tyler

      October 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm

  20. Computers can get away with murder.

    The one thing most irksome about UC is accountability of the department. The ideology of welfare or more accurately put, the governmental practice to provide the basic needs to its citizens has become near faceless and definitely impersonal.
    One would think the service provides a compassionate helping hand yet all we see now is nothing short of a declaration to the tax authorities be money or time where you are guilty until proven innocent, back footed day one.
    If this is what stands as welfare in the true sense then i must be Moses.

    Doug

    October 21, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    • Very true, Doug. You can program anything, murder literally, into your ‘algorithm’ and resolve yourself from all responsibility and accountability. This is the direction of our new Dystopian society as manifest by the actions of the DWP. Computer says NO!. End of!

      Not OK Computer

      October 22, 2019 at 7:46 am

    • Very true, Doug. You can program anything, murder literally, into your ‘algorithm’ and absolve yourself from all responsibility and accountability. This is the direction of our new Dystopian society as manifest by the actions of the DWP. Computer says NO!. End of!

      Not OK Computer

      October 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

    • Not OK Computer

      Heres the laugh though. When the shoes on the other foot, its a different story and my case in point is one Mr Assange.
      Didnt step foot in the country he stands accused yet somehow qualifies as guilty by association of one Mr/Ms Manning who still i believe to this day has never cited Assange as the master mind.
      If i told you to jump off a cliff just from my keyboard (over the net), how is it i actually forced you to do so. Surely and ultimately its your decision even if i give you the address to do it from.
      The internet is or has should i say become the conveyor belt for the authorities and big business to do with us what they will and we should all suck it up.
      With threats to the world like US authorities and the UKs riding their tail while lambasting the likes of Russia and China to name but 2, now is the time the data subject (thats you) has total autonomy over their electronic personal data.

      Doug

      October 25, 2019 at 5:26 am

      • It is an abomination the way Julian Assange is being treated. We keep hearing about ‘human rights violations’ but where are Julian Assange’s human rights? And then we have the outrageous situation of that American woman, Anne Sacoolas who KILLED the teenager Harry Dunn being let off scot free. Why does Jeremy Corbyn never mention the ill treatment of Julian Assange by the British state going on before our very eyes?

        Free Julain Assange

        October 25, 2019 at 8:09 am

  21. Anybody with a passport or photocard driving license can now be tracked based on face recognition software given access to an image of them in a national database. Big Brother IS watching you! You better believe it!

    Winston

    October 22, 2019 at 8:15 am

    • The eventual aim is for your face to act like a car licence plate is to an ANPR (automatic number plate recognition). Your face effectively becomes a number plate. Every time you pass a CCTV camera it will be recorded on a database. Your movements will be tracked completely.

      We are being trained into it. ‘smart’ phones now use facial recognition. Airports now use facial recognition. Children are using facial recognition to enter their school and pay for their dinners. They always come for the kids to train up the next generation into the coming agenda.

      Boffins, those people with no moral compass or social conscience are beavering away to perfect this invasive technology. The irony is that we help them by uploading pictures to internet sites such as ‘social networking’ and even ‘dating’ sites.

      Imagine the Jobcentre knowing everywhere you have been. How utterly intolerable would that be. And in the not too distant future they will.

      Philip K. Dick

      October 22, 2019 at 10:48 am


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