Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

“I need Loans for Basics” – Universal Credit in Action.

with 107 comments

Image

Thérèse Coffey Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The Eastern Daily Press reports (23rd of February),

‘I need loans for basics’ – number of people claiming Universal Credit nearly doubles

Universal Credit is ‘plunging people into debt’, campaign groups say, as figures show the number of claimants in the east has risen to 214,000.

Just 12 months ago 24,933 people in the region were claiming UC, showing an increase of 178pc year-on-year.

Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery, said this shows the scheme “is helping to support thousands of people across the east of England as they look for work”.

“The number of claimants has doubled, and food banks in the region have also seen twice as many people this year,” said Mark Harrison, chairman of Norfolk Against Universal Credit.

“UC plunges you into debt which you are forced to repay back at an unreasonable rate further compounding the debt.”

Launched in 2016, UC merged six benefits in a rework of the benefits system that sees payments reduced as you earn more.

The scheme was criticised after former chancellor George Osborne made it so those on the scheme and working would pay the government 63p of every £1 earned.

Mr Harrison said: “It’s indicative that we live in a region where wages are below the national average, people can’t live on slave wages.

“People have less to live on, and this has a knock on effect on the NHS and mental health services.”

The Mirror reports, (22nd of February),

Sheila Shepherd has been told by social housing provider Plymouth Community Homes she must pay more than £12,000 towards the renovation of her home in Plymouth

Shrinking value of Universal Credit payments

New figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveal the shrinking value of social security benefits in the UK, as a leading charity calls for urgent improvements to the widely condemned Universal Credit system.

Figures published today (Tuesday) show that the value of Universal Credit payments have reduced in real-terms since the new benefit was introduced in 2013.

Data shows that the monthly payment for a single person in April 2019 was worth 88% of what it was in April 2013, according to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

In April 2013 the Universal Credit rate was £246.81 for under 25s and £311.55 for those aged 25 or over. By April 2019 the Universal Credit rate was £251.77 for under 25s and £317.82 for those aged 25 or over.

However, when considering RPI, the real value of Universal Credit has dropped since April 2013 from £285.09 for under 25s and from £359.87 for those aged 25.

Lords daily allowance more than monthly Universal Credit payment

The new daily allowance for the “unelected and unaccountable” House of Lords is set to rise to £323. The monthly allowance for a single person over 25 on Universal Credit is £317.82.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 23, 2020 at 10:39 am

107 Responses

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  1. Universal Credit is a disaster. Benefit levels are way too low for such a system to function without being a recipe for destitution. Scrap it and introduce Unconditional Basic Income. And scrap this Tory government!

    I see Keir Starmer has now said that he will scrap Universal Credit:

    “My promise is that I will maintain our radical values and work tirelessly to get Labour in to power – so that we can advance the interests of the people our party was created to serve. Based on the moral case for socialism, here is where I stand.”

    His pledges are as follows
    1.Economic Justice.

    Increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations. No stepping back from our core principles.

    2. Social Justice.

    Abolish Universal Credit and end the Tories’ cruel sanctions regime. Set a national goal for wellbeing to make health as important as GDP; invest in services that help shift to a preventive approach. Stand up for universal services and defend our NHS. Support the abolition of tuition fees and invest in lifelong learning.

    3. Climate Justice

    Put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do. There is no issue more important to our future than the climate emergency. A Clean Air Act to tackle pollution locally. Demand international action on climate rights.

    4. Promote Peace and Human Rights.

    No more illegal wars. Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.

    5. Common Ownership.

    Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system.

    6. Defend Migrant’s Rights.

    Full voting rights for EU nationals. Defend free movement as we leave the EU. An immigration system based on compassion and dignity. End indefinite detention and call for the closure of centres such as Yarl’s Wood.

    7. Strengthen Workers’ Rights and Trade Unions.

    Work shoulder to should with trade unions to stand up for working people, tackle insecure work and low pay. Repeal the Trade Union Act. Oppose Tory attacks on the right to take industrial action and the weakening of workplace rights.

    8. Radical Devolution of Power, Wealth and Opportunity.

    Push power, wealth and opportunity away from Whitehall. A federal system to devolve powers – including through regional investment banks and control over regional industrial strategy. Abolish the House of Lords – replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations.

    9. Equality.

    Pull down obstacles that limit opportunities and talent. we are the party of the Equal Pay Act, Sure Start, BAME representation and the abolition of Section 28 – we must build on that for a new decade.

    10. Effective Opposition to the Tories.

    Forensic, effective opposition to the Tories in Parliament – linked up to our mass membership and a professional election operation. Never lose sight of the votes ‘leant’ to the Tories in 2019. Unite our party, promote pluralism and improve our culture. Robust action to eradicate the scourge of antisemitism. Maintain our collective link with the unions.

    trev

    February 23, 2020 at 11:10 am

    • @trev – Keir Starmer has got no real chance of being Prime Minister. So it doesn’t matter what he says, or what Labour says. They will be out of power certainly for the next five years, probably for the ten years. Part of the disaster of Universal Credit has been the useless, dithering way in which Labour failed to oppose it.

      Tom Sutton

      February 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      • I and everyone I know, struggled to get what they proposing in its place as well. Fair point.

        Andrew Coates

        February 23, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      • I agree Labour are far from perfect but at least Universal Credit and Sanctions are getting a mention in their “to do” list, and voting Labour is the only way to get rid of the Tories. I just wish Labour hadn’t allowed the Tory welfare reform bill to go through in the first place.

        trev

        February 23, 2020 at 1:31 pm

  2. This might be flippant but this phot of Ms Coffin isn’t a pretty sight.

    katrehman

    February 23, 2020 at 11:54 am

    • She’s a disgrace, squanders the public money she receives on cigars and booze instead of fresh fruit & veg. She set’s a bad example for children.

      trev

      February 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm

  3. Get everyone on Universal Credit elected to the House of Lords. So when you make a new claim you get a set of ermine robes, and a guide to fine wines.

    Farley Brougham

    February 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    • Excellent idea!

      Then we can investigate this:

      Andrew Coates

      February 23, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      • That would be good! Unfortunately, all the documents relating to Rendlesham (probably the most important UFO incident in the UK)are mysteriously missing, presumed to have been shredded, and so weren’t included in the disclosure of Government UFO files a few years ago, surprise, surprise.

        trev

        February 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    • @farley Or you could start an online version ‘ House of Lords Online’. Free membership for everyone, £324 a day just for logging on to the site. You wouldn’t have to do anything. And they could make a simulated debating chamber where everyone could have a little avatar ‘Lord’ in ermine robes. take part in debates. Stuff themselves in a simulated restaurant. Drink themselves senseless. Have sex with a buxom maid in a broom cupboard. And then drive home afterwards in a simulated Bentley.

      Grayson Manderville

      February 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

  4. Universal Credit is the Jobcentre acting more and more like an employment agency, sending out its clients on short-term temporary work. Rather than the traditional model of unemployment, where claimants turn up once a fortnight. Show their jobsearch, sign-on and leave.

    Jeff Smith

    February 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm

  5. No such thing as ufo’s it’s all conspiracy theory nonsense.

    Cloverleaf

    February 23, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    • Lol, I suppose you believe in all that “Project Blue Beam” crap.

      trev

      February 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      • You suppose wrong, but I do believe in haarp, geo-engineering and chemtrails have you never heard of Operation Cloverleaf??? 😁

        Cloverleaf

        February 23, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      • Two Cloverleafs (leaves?) in one thread, one more would be lucky.

        trev

        February 23, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      • Make that two more…

        trev

        February 23, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    • @cloverleaf, You are wrong earthling. My people were exploring the stars when yours were still living in caves.

      D'Lath Karr of the Galactic Alliance

      February 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      • @D’lath Karr – I thought the Galactic Alliance was destroyed in the war on Arcturus Prime ?

        Skywatcher

        February 24, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      • @skywatcher: No, we were able to use our Time Distortion Shield as an energy barrier. Even so our losses were heavy. But the Galactic Alliance remains undefeated. We shall prevail.

        D'Lath Karr of the Galactic Alliance

        February 24, 2020 at 9:55 pm

  6. We are just pulling your leg Trev lighten up 🍀

    Cloverleaf

    February 23, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    • I think I got confused between a lucky Shamrock and a four-leaved Clover, besides, UFOs must be real or the MIB would just be wasting their time 😎

      trev

      February 23, 2020 at 6:38 pm

      • @ And if UFOs are not real, why won’t the Americans let people see what’s in Area 51 ?

        Garry Seven

        February 23, 2020 at 9:19 pm

  7. You are very witty.

    Cloverleaf

    February 23, 2020 at 6:41 pm

  8. ‘ Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ‘ – Sigmund Freud

    Robusto

    February 23, 2020 at 9:27 pm

  9. A disabled grandfather in Dewsbury was fired from his job at Asda last year for posting a clip on Facebook of Billy Connolly mocking religion. No one objected to the comedian’s rude remarks about Catholicism but because he’d referred to suicide bombers, the clip was deemed ‘Is**la****mophobic’ and 54-year-old Brian Leach had to go

    Last March, actress Seyi Omooba (pictured above) was fired from the lead role in a West End production of The Color Purple after someone dug up a four-year-old Facebook post which said that, as a Christian, she disapproved of homosexuality

    Abdul Fairy

    February 24, 2020 at 10:30 am

    • I was fired from Asda for eating a grape But this is bad, real bad.

      Roll Back

      February 24, 2020 at 10:48 am

      • I was sacked and the also called the cops for eating what was left, like half a pot of yoghurt that had burst open in the reduced section.

        Ex-Asda

        February 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm


  10. The gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been ‘no-platformed’ by a group of students at Canterbury Christ Church University because he signed a letter to a newspaper opposing the policy of… ‘no-platforming’ 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Meg

    February 24, 2020 at 12:12 pm

  11. 1 out of 8 Americans live in California. Now a proposed California law “would provide most adults in the state with a universal basic income of $1,000 per month, similar to the proposed plan of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang,” reports Newsweek: The California Universal Basic Income (UBI) Program was Funding the program with a value-added tax has been blasted by some who believe such a tax would disproportionately burden the poor. Concerns have also been raised over potentially forcing people to choose between UBI and other existing public assistance programs… Proponents of UBI argue that the Yang plan and others could counter the anticipated problem of increasing automation inevitably leading to widespread unemployment. Experts warn that a large percentage of the workforce is likely to be decimated by automation, with some studies estimating as many as 73 million jobs eliminated by 2030.

    Newshounds

    February 24, 2020 at 12:33 pm

  12. seen some one today that was on uc and the coach was adding any old jobs to the journal for the person to apply for and made it clear every one has to have proof it was applied for or else.

    seems there using the journal like ujm where they could add endless amounts of jobs to apply for each week.

    so do not use the journal for supplying job search because if you start doing that the coach will just start adding jobs to apply for and we all know what there like and will put jobs to apply for for 4hrs per week over ten different jobs.

    superted

    February 24, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    • @superted – Yeah, it’s a minefield on Universal Credit. And once you start giving them full access to your Journal etc. it’s just a short path to misery. But that’s what UC was designed for. To keep the unemployed on their toes, by constantly feeding them bits and pieces of zero-hour and part-time work to do.

      Jeff Smith

      February 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      • @Jeff Smith – The DWP have full access to a claimant’s journal, anyway. But it’s up to you how you present evidence of your job search and the format, not them. But the way they carry on, telling people it’s mandatory to use the journal to provide evidence – that’s how they get you. Don’t use the journal for providing evidence of your job search or a CV, either.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/using_paper_print_offs_as_eviden#incoming-1075951

        jj joop

        February 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      • i just cant see the point as they cant ring round all the employers to police the system per gdpr rules and regs.

        and even if they did ring up 99.9% it will be via a work agency that the employer is using so will say nothing anyway esp how the employer was.

        so you could up load a blank cv to total jobs and just apply for jobs to get the email receipt that showed you did apply and nothing they could do about it.

        superted

        February 24, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      • @jj joop; That’s what I meant, giving them access to your jobsearch. You both still have to use the Journal to send / receive messages to each other etc. To send you jobs to apply for, and courses to attend. But as for paper jobsearch evidence, it’s getting harder and harder to set this up. I know from a couple of people, that they had to put up with long lectures as to why they wanted to do this. The Jobcentre don’t like this DIY jobsearch evidence stuff, and they will pull every trick they can to prevent it. And of course, if you let them slip it into your Claimant Commitment, that you will put all your jobsearch details down on the Journal you are stuffed.

        Jeff Smith

        February 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      • Alternative work search evidence types for people unable to use the universal credit online journal

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/alternative_work_search_evidence#incoming-1320694

        you can make a claim for uc over the phone the only way you get a journal is with a online account and a email address.

        you can not be forced to claim any benefits on line only foi shows they have options for this and no online account.

        imo they will hound you to near death to open a uc account online or a email address to set one up for you just say no thanks.

        remember if you get a 3 month sanction say so no money at all you wont have any internet to log on in the first place.

        superted

        February 24, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      • Click to access draft-universal-credit-managed-migration-regulations-2018-report.pdf

        We have also improved the telephony claim service so that claimants who are not
        able to digitally access Universal Credit can make a claim and our agents can
        continue to support them. We have increased the detail of SMS messages so
        claimants are better informed about what we are asking them to do. Enhancements
        have been made for claimants with no bank account, withexception payment
        methods available, for example, Post Office card accounts and payments can also
        be made in to third party accounts.
        We are taking a slow, measured approach to managed migration and this will allow
        for on-going evaluation of the process to ensure that it is working successfully and this
        will allow us to refine our methods to support claimants.
        2e) Accepted
        The draft regulations that cover the process of managed migration are designed to be
        flexible enough to allow changes to the managed migration process without the need
        to make further legislative changes and also to cater for the diverse needs of the
        different claimant groups that will be moved to Universal Credit. The revised draft
        regulations now provide that we must give claimants a minimum of three months in
        which to make a claim for Universal Credit and sets no maximum period in which a
        claim must be made. With unlimited flexibility to extend claim periods we will work with
        representative groups to produce guidance that will ensure adequate support for each
        individual claimant’s needs.

        they are not getting my Mobil number either if they dont need any new legislation for managed migration then nothing has changed personnel data wise.

        if they want to contact me they can post a letter same as it is now 😉

        DSC_0004

        and if you do get hate mail just read the last line pmsl.

        DSC_0597

        superted

        February 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      • @superted – There is no point; that’s the point. It’s all about pulverising people and doing everything possible to drive them off the unemployment register. And as for ringing around employers to see if they applied for a job, I have yet to hear of that happening.

        jj joop

        February 25, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      • they have even tried to say that employers have made complaints against me in the past yet when i ask who it was point blank refuse to say and quote data protection.

        well that works both ways then.

        if you think about it there is very little they can really do to police the system bar lie about everything.

        superted

        February 25, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      • I have been asked to provide evidence in respect to jobs I have applied for, which I was able to do because most Job Boards, like Indeed.co.uk, send confirmatory emails when you apply for jobs with them online. As nobody writes letters these days I don’t know how I could have proved that I had applied for anything otherwise. This request came out of the blue. The DWP are also carrying out “reviews” of Universal Credit claimant details where they email you and ask you to go to the UC website, trawl down through everything you’ve told them, check that it is accurate and report changes: as my saving had decreased I reported this, which I had to do by phone, and then had to get my bank to print out a statement of account to present to my Work Coach at the Jobcentre, who then passed it on from there to the DWP somewhere else for scrutiny.

        I think part of the exercise was to check my email and also see how long I took to respond.

        If I had now dealt with the request promptly my feeling is that something punitive would have happened.

        Universal Credit is like a minefield in which one misstep or trip can blow you to kingdom come.

        Uskglass

        February 25, 2020 at 2:31 pm

  13. Waste management firm reports over 100 near misses involving homeless in containers, where the Tory filth now leave many UK citizens.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/24/the-blade-was-coming-towards-him-how-bins-pose-lethal-risk-to-homeless

    Violet

    February 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    • It’s not just the homeless who decide to crash out in these containers, either. What about Corey Jefferies – the RAF guy in Bury St Edmunds.

      Digger

      February 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm

  14. What are these supposed homeless charities doing for the homeless exactly, coining the taxpayers money in no doubt!

    Tigerlily

    February 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm

  15. Andrew Coates

    February 24, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    • One of the worst aspects of Universal Credit.
      Forced debt, and repayment rates that would shame a loan shark.

      Jeff Smith

      February 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

  16. Coffey. Jesus. What a sight and only 47. (Is she really only 47?) No wonder she’s got a chip on her shoulder and enjoys hurting people. If I was a woman and looked like that at 47 I’d likely want to lash out at people too.

    Glasbey (originally from South Africa)

    February 24, 2020 at 7:29 pm

  17. So, new workcoach time once again… recovering from a bad leg injury (ongoing for half a decade now). Was declared fit for work by ESA, been on JSA since.

    New Workcoach is trying to pull the whole 35 hour a week searching requirement, wants screenshots, has asked me whether I’m on the right benefit and why I’m considering myself fit for work with my injury (Um, cos you lot said so and if I can sit at home all day in front of a computer jobsearching, I can sit all day at a computer in an office…) Also been told I’m apparently not searching enough jobs despite the fact they’ve been signing off on this amount of jobsearch for months now with one person complaining and then still authorizing payment.

    What FOI info can I use to dispute any of these imposed requirements and cover myself?

    AeonThePhoenix

    February 24, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    • Work search expectations will differ for each claimant depending on their individual
      circumstances and job goals and advisers will tailor requirements for each claimant, which
      means that not all claimants will automatically be subject to the 35 hour work search
      requirement. Our regulations allow that where a claimant has done all that could reasonably be
      expected of them – for example they have applied for all suitable jobs and undertaken all the
      activities set out in their work search and work preparation plan – this may be considered
      sufficient even where the time taken was less than the hours expected.

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/thirty_five_35_hours_work_search

      The job search requirement in Universal Credit is prescribed within the
      Universal Credit Regulations (2013), specifically regulations 88 and 95(1).
      Copies of this legislation are freely available on the internet and can be
      accessed via the following address:
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/376/pdfs/uksi_20130376_290216_en.
      pdf

      I can confirm that there is no set format for claimants to provide evidence of
      their job search. The following paragraph is an extract from the Work Search
      Reviews chapter of the Universal Credit Knowledge Management:

      All available Work Search evidence should be considered, including:
       the claimant’s Universal Jobmatch account
       any Claimant Commitment Pack ‘My work plan’ stencils, diary or
      record the claimant has kept of their activities
       print-outs of jobs they have applied for
       letters from employers
       updated CVs

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_and_the_35hr_pe

      now how far you get showing that to a work coach may vary as there not very bright but it is the law as there is no legislation/ law to support the 35hr job search.

      it is classed as a expectation and can not be enforced with sanctions regarding the time taken.

      the dwp has lost over this at upper tribunal yet still carry on with it.

      buy law you have to actively seek employment this means applying for jobs and 3 actions per week is enough buy law so 3 job applications or more per week and a record of it that it has taken place to cover your ass is enough to show you are looking for work, well at a tribunal it is a work coach may be programmed otherwise.

      i apply for 5 jobs a day if i can and not 1 interview with 10.000+ applications half the time they dont even bother to look at my work search anymore.

      not that they can check up of any of it anyway gdpr 🙂

      superted

      February 24, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    • @ AeonThePhoenix

      There is NO 35 hour jobsearch requirement for JSA. They tried that one with me about 4 years ago, I emailed my MP and got nowhere with him, but also contacted a reporter on the local newspaper who in turn contacted the Regional Director of Jobcentres for my area who confirmed that no such rule exists for JSA. The Work Coach in question got moved to the ground floor dealing with reception enquiries.
      So long as you do some job search and apply for a few jobs each week (no specified amount) and provide evidence of the jobs you’ve applied for (e.g. Confirmation emails saying your application has been received) then there is nothing they can do.

      trev

      February 24, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      • the 35hr job search even on uc is a expectation im on jsa and it is on my cc now but it is nothing new.

        DSC_0689

        the cc with the pen on it is from 2010 i think they could not enforce it even then it is just used as a fear tactic and nothing new at all.

        the sole purpose of this is to get you to give up and sign off it has no other use at all.

        superted

        February 24, 2020 at 9:52 pm

  18. The Jobcentre carry on as if claimants are applying for jobs on their own. But there can be 200 applicants fror a job. Local council near me had over 300 for a clerical job. It only takes a few knock out points, long-term unemployed, age, wrong experience etc. and in reality you are just making a token application.

    Tom Sutton

    February 24, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    • Very true Tom. the DWP /Jobcentre know this all too well, but they just can’t or won’t face it.

      Alan Turner

      February 25, 2020 at 11:22 am

    • Wow! In 2010 I was signing on and my JSA agreement just said looking for work will be a major part of my day spending several hours doing it. Mind you I was a single parent one of the 1st cohot of us required to seek work when our child turned 12

      katrehman

      February 25, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    • the cc is not a legal contract it is made to look like one the only part that can be enforced is actively seeking employment. basically showing you have applied for jobs, and not sat on the bog looking for jobs for 7 hrs a day.

      anything else is a expectation like the 35hr job search or must jump of a cliff or must have signed providers paper work for profit.

      when you get right in the shit is when you sign providers contracts as there the same as taking on a job under contract law.

      you brake the providers rules terms and conditions and then they can sanction the crap out of you if you signed there contract.

      superted

      February 24, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    • https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/claimant_commitment_is_not_a_con

      I can confirm that the Department deliberately did not refer to a legal contract in the previous
      Freedom of Information response. Rather, we referred to a contractual concept because the
      Claimant Commitment is intended to be about a very specific two-way bargain: claimants are
      provided with financial support; and in return for that financial support we expect them to do
      everything that they can to prepare for and find work.

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/are_the_jobseekers_agreement_and

      Please provide any legislation or legal advice which answers this
      question.’

      “No – they are not contracts. The Jobseeker’s Agreement, the JSA Claimant
      Commitment (a Jobseeker’s Agreement for the purposes of the relevant
      legislation) and the Universal Credit Claimant Commitment record actions
      claimants must take in return for benefit payments. Agreement / acceptance
      of these documents is a condition of benefit entitlement.

      superted

      February 24, 2020 at 11:20 pm

  19. Cardiff woman wins £400k in DWP race discrimination row

    The Department for Work and Pensions has been ordered to pay out nearly £400,000 after a Cardiff woman won her claim for race and age discrimination.

    Anne Giwa-Amu told the BBC the department was “promoting a culture of racism”.

    The judge in her tribunal case said she had been a victim of deliberate and intended harassment by DWP staff.

    The department said racism is unacceptable and it takes the judgment “very seriously”.

    Warning: This report includes racist and offensive language

    Anne Giwa-Amu, 59, who is mixed Nigerian and Welsh, joined the DWP branch in Caerphilly as a full-time administrative officer in 2017, after trying without success to start a small business.

    She was the only non-white recruit and only trainee over the age of 50 in her cohort, according to documents from Cardiff Magistrates’ Court seen by BBC News.

    Judge Howden-Evans said DWP staff had deliberately created a “hostile environment” for Ms Giwa-Amu and has ordered the department to pay out more than £386,000 in compensation.

    This includes £42,800 for injury to feelings, which is awarded in the “most serious” cases where there has been a lengthy campaign of harassment.

    “It comes as a relief after what has been a harrowing experience for three years,” Ms Giwa-Amu told the BBC.

    “I’ve had to experience real financial hardship and the perpetrators were promoted despite how they had treated me.”

    A DWP official had violated her dignity by using racist language such as “Paki-lover” in her presence, the court found.

    Another had further humiliated and discriminated against Ms Giwa-Amu by loudly laughing and telling her cohort he had “touched her bum”.

    Officials had also repeatedly accused Ms Giwa-Amu of stealing ice-cream, sprayed body-spray on themselves while next to her, and breached her confidence after she reported feeling “bullied”.

    Ms Giwa-Amu went on sick leave in March 2017 and was unlawfully dismissed in October that year for being unable to return to work, the court found.

    She had been living off £55 a week and later had no money for food after her final pay cheque was withheld.

    ‘Appalling’

    Ms Giwa-Amu told the BBC she has since been living with “immense stress and anxiety”.

    “Management at the DWP are paying lip service to the equality legislation,” she said. “By protecting offenders, they are promoting a culture of racism.”

    The DWP has been ordered to contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission for diversity awareness training and its permanent secretary, Peter Schofield, must directly review her case.

    Ms Giwa-Amu’s solicitor, Lawrence Davies from Equal Justice, said DWP staff had “set out to destroy the confidence and wellbeing of a black employee with their appalling conduct”.

    “None of the white DWP staff have been disciplined and some have been promoted,” he said.

    “Given that the DWP serves a high level of ethnic minority claimants, the presence of prejudice in the state benefits system is of grave concern.”

    In a statement, the DWP said: “Racism is totally unacceptable and action will be taken against any staff found to be expressing such views.

    “We take the judgment and the circumstances of this case very seriously.”

    Cardiff woman wins £400k in DWP race discrimination row

    BBC

    February 25, 2020 at 1:12 am

    • Victims of Jobcentre and provider bullying and harassing should do the same thing.

      Amelia

      February 25, 2020 at 9:27 am

  20. ‘Cruel Universal Credit problems made me go on hunger strike for 47 days’

    Former teacher Angus Silverstone, from Melton in Leicestershire believes people are dying because of the way benefits are assessed.

    He took on fluids but no food for more than a month.

    A former teacher went on a 47 day hunger strike to highlight problems with Universal Credit payments – and accused the government of killing people.

    Angus Silverstone, 58, took the dramatic action for more than a month because he believes people are dying due to the way the benefits are assessed and decided.

    Angus, who suffers problems with his heart, lungs and limbs, which left him struggling to climb two flights of stairs to his former flat, took on fluids but no food during the 47 day hunger strike, which came to an end this week.

    He told Leicestershire Live: “The DWP is killing people, this welfare system is killing people, our government is not listening and not acting. Where is the humanity in that?”

    During the protest, he said: “The very real fact is, Universal Credit is killing people.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cruel-universal-credit-problems-made-21570883

    Andrew Coates

    February 25, 2020 at 11:59 am

    • He could easily have killed himself doing this ! Totally wrong that people are made this desperate.

      Dave

      February 25, 2020 at 4:04 pm

  21. Universal Credit is heading to the point where the government will have to act to improve it or face a backlash. How the heck Boris Johnson and his crew think that they can keep hold of the votes from working people in the North and elsewhere as the Universal Credit scandal heads from crises to crises towards crescendo is anybody’s guess but my bet is that eventually the whole thing will have to be “re-engineered” in order to dilute its biggest failure. Getting rid of the five-week “assessment” period to get rid of the need for “advances”, i.e., loans, will be one of the first things to happen as UC becomes featured more and more in the news.

    Ro

    February 25, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    • Logically speaking you might be right Ro, IF the Tories actually cared, but I think it’s obvious by now that they surely don’t, not one little bit. I think UC will implode because it is over-ambitious, is costing a fortune to implement, and is unworkable. It will have to morph into some form of UBI, but that probably won’t happen until the Tories are booted out and Labour take over, with the tattered remnants of our Social Security system at their feet. So basically another 4 years of hell before it collapses.

      trev

      February 25, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      • @trev – Trouble is Trev, when is Universal Credit going to implode ? I don’t believe the Tories are going to make any great alterations to it. Let’s face it, with 73% employment there isn’t the public support for it to be scrapped. It’s going to end up with maybe 80% ’employment’ ! Zero-hours and short-term contracts, not real jobs. But like dodgy accountancy, on the face of it, it’s going to look great.

        John Taylor

        February 25, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      • @ John Taylor

        I reckon it will implode when sufficient numbers of people have been transferred on to it, along with the majority of low-income working people, part-timers etc. The system won’t be able to handle the complexity and sheer volume of people. Foodbanks are already near breaking point, so eventually it’s all going to come crashing down as thousands of desperate starving people end up on the streets and inundating emergency services, Councils, Hospitals, Police, Charities, homeless hostels etc. will all bear the brunt, as they are are doing, but there has to be breaking point. It will be like the Bread Riots of the 19th Century, but more widespread and involving millions of people.

        trev

        February 26, 2020 at 1:02 pm

  22. Well I saw on the 1pm news that life expectancy is now falling so their policies of killing us before we hit retirement age are obviously working lol….

    katrehman

    February 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    • A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.`- Tom Paine, 1737-1809. And this is exactly the real danger of Universal Credit.

      Andy

      February 25, 2020 at 4:56 pm

  23. Listening to a Work Coach telling some guy he’d be better off on Universal Credit. Telling him all about the loan you can get. He seemed to be paying £25 to his landlord out of his JSA for rent ? So basically living on just under £50 a week. When he asked about repaying the loan, the Work Coach said it would be £100 per month. Single bloke, so he’ll get about £200 a month left. But this won’t include the £25 he’s paying to his landlord ? So now hes got to pay £25 out of the £50. This only leaves him with £25 a week ! So how is he better off ?

    Pete

    February 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    • @pete, I suppose they think if he gets some work he will be better off ? But as you say if he doesn’t get anything then he is worse off. And he’s got to do all the extra stuff of Universal Credit.

      Graham

      February 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

  24. Andrew Coates

    February 25, 2020 at 4:06 pm

  25. UC Journal and the Claimant Commitment

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_journal_and_the_claimant_comm#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.

    there is that word again COULD!

    there is no legal way to mandate you to create a uc journal account a email is personnel data and you can not be forced under threats of sanctions to give it to anyone same as a phone number it is not required to claim any benefits.

    this is just the same as ujm and giving coach access to it ,it was not compatible with the gdpr why it was shut down.

    superted

    February 25, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    • @superted

      You may want to bookmark this FoI request, so as to monitor its outcome.

      Wording of Universal Credit Migration Notice
      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wording_of_universal_credit_migr#incoming-1534532

      jj joop

      February 26, 2020 at 10:51 am

      • this foi says nothing about the online part of it. tho i bet it will be along the lines of we MAY or COULD sanction you if you dont make a online uc account.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_coach_a.mending_a_claimants#incoming-1531493

        superted

        February 26, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      • Changing from phone to online claim
        Phone claims should be regularly reviewed with the claimant by both work coaches and case managers. They should ensure this i s still the most
        appropriate channel for them to manage their claim.
        If a claimant attains the skills and support to manage a claim online take the following action:
         access the ‘Change from phone claim to online’ ALP which is held in the resources area of Universal Learning. Complete the fi rst two sections of
        this ALP
         generate a ‘Change from phone claim to online’ to-do. This is only available to cases flagged as phone claims and only when the claimant’s identity
        has been verified
         this sends a link to the claimant’s email address for them to set a password. The service sets a user name
        The claimant will then be able to manage their claim online, and see any journal entries previously made.
        This process should be completed face to face and only exceptionally over the phone.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/new_enhancements_uc_non_digital#incoming-1413104

        there you go no email address and they can not set up a online journal or account.

        this is going to be a battle of wills between you and the work coach and they will bluff bluster and lie to get it done.

        they can not sanction you for not giving them a email address or be mandated to make a claim online only.

        superted

        February 26, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      • I notice the DWP have not said exactly how they are going to implement the Managed Migration. Are they just going to start sending random notices to claimants from all areas ? Or will it be rolled-out like Universal Credit, in groups of 4 or 5 jobcentres at a time ? With a set schedule for the migration ?

        Jeff Smith

        February 26, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      • @superted, Trouble is, with the DWP ‘could’ usually means sanction !

        Martin S.

        February 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      • as far as i can tell when the time comes your jsa claim will end in 3 months from the date of the letter and for you to set up a uc claim in that time.

        if you fail to set up a uc claim in that time after 3 months it will close and any jsa will be stopped.

        tho this can change at any time but it is clear you can make a uc claim over the phone and then complete the claim at the jcp.

        if you dont give them a email address they can not set up a online account if they want to sanction ppl for this ill see them at tribunal and they will loose again because it is my personnel data and is not required under law to claim or receive benefits.

        they can give you a direction to prove that you have one like a cv but they can not keep it on record without your permission per gdpr rules.

        DSC_0030_02

        superted

        February 26, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      • How could this just do this behind your back, ted? Say you never check the email/forgotten the password/just a dummy you made up? I change my email address more often than I change my knickers 😀

        Dirty Sally

        February 26, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      • I think that “migration” from legacy benefits to Universal Credit basically means that people on legacy benefits will be told by letter to apply for Universal Credit, online if at all possible, within a fixed period (month) at the end of which their legacy benefits stop and they begin receiving Universal Credit or nothing because their legacy benefits terminate at that point whether they have applied for and are on UC or not.

        That’s what I was told is the plan.

        Professor Plum

        February 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    • if a email address is linked to a live uc account changing it could be a change in circumstances if you can no longer access it like you got no money to pay for the internet because of a sanction.

      so changing the email address would mean a new claim for uc with that email address linked to the new uc account.

      tho i have no idea if the uc account will let you change email addresses once it has been set up as i dont use it but i bet you cant.

      superted

      February 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm

  26. ‘I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, someone else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands’

    — Eugene Debs

    Thought for the Day

    February 26, 2020 at 9:11 am

  27. There should be loans available for every long-term claimant. How do the DWP expect people who have been unemployed for years to afford interview clothing etc ? But they just don’t want to listen, and they just ignore the whole thing instead.

    Larry N.

    February 26, 2020 at 4:09 pm

  28. A former North Lanarkshire councillor has revealed he was forced to turn to foodbanks after the benefits system plunged him into poverty.

    Paul Delaney got stuck in minimum wage jobs where employers failed to pay on time and, after ending up on Universal Credit, debts and stresses began to pile up.

    The 51-year-old turned to Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows for support, who helped resolve issues regarding failed payment from previous employers.

    However, Paul revealed that he ended up in a crisis situation from last October until January this year because of the benefits system, and had to rely on foodbanks during that period to survive.

    The benefits system exists to accelerate people into poverty,” said Paul. “It’s the only thing it excels at.

    “It’s a bare minimum, life supporting system – and it doesn’t even do that properly.

    “When on Universal Credit, you pay your bills and are forced to use a foodbank in order to have any sustenance.

    “It’s a completely broken system that doesn’t work as well as the one it replaced.

    “Marion Fellows has been a breath of fresh air as an MP. Her and her staff have been top notch, and work very hard in tackling this issue.”

    Paul was an SNP councillor for Mossend and Holytown from 2007-2012, but left the role amid controversy over leaking personal information.

    He has strong social media skills and applied for jobs in this area, trying hard to avoid ending up on benefits.

    I kept taking on temporary jobs where I was promised full-time work at the end of it, but was being messed about. In one call centre job with a mobile phone company I worked six weeks and all I got was a £200 advance payment.

    “As well as day-to-day costs of living, there were also costs for travelling by bus or train to that job.

    “Each time I was forced to leave these jobs I would end up back in the Universal Credit initial six-week period without any money until they process your application.

    “I had no other option than to use their advance loan to get by.

    You work for years and pay your taxes and national insurance, but then when you end up unemployed you have to borrow money just to pay the government back.

    When you take out this advance loan for Universal Credit you have to pay back £40 every week, which is a lot when you receive very little in benefits.

    “The whole situation was a complete mess.

    The Tories are going to destroy society. They are making people desperate as possible so that they have to take crappy minimum wage jobs, many of which aren’t reliable.

    “People are going to be forced into such a desperate situation that they will turn to crime and drug dealing.”

    Paul explained that he had to rely on a foodbank every couple of weeks for four months, but is now in a more stable position after sorting his finances and resolving benefits issues.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/ex-snp-councillor-knows-what-21582850

    J Krankie

    February 26, 2020 at 5:16 pm

  29. Tory scumbag James Grundy apologises for exposing himself in a pub.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-51629950

    Violet

    February 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    • And once again, it’s Mr.Willy. Don’t you men ever think of anything else ?

      Prudence Harlington

      February 26, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    • A pity Therese Coffey wasn’t there when it happened. It would have been the first time, I bet, that any man had ever shown her his genitals before.

      Whitehouse

      February 27, 2020 at 5:07 pm

  30. One of the credentials needed to become a councillor or MP is being a degenerate!

    Tigerlily

    February 26, 2020 at 6:28 pm

  31. Good point Jeff on the Managed Migration. I notice the DWP are keeping very quiet on the real details of this.
    With them this is never a good thing. When they won’t talk about something it usually means trouble ahead.
    How are they going to it ? All together in one great mass of people trying to claim Universal Credit ? That’s going to cause absolute chaos. Or are they going to select individual people or what ?

    Alan Turner

    February 26, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    • But why would the DWP need until 2024 to transfer all the people onto Universal Credit, if everyone is just going to get a letter in November. Telling them that they have got 3 months to do it ? On that basis, all the claimants will be on it by February 2021 . I did hear somewhere that they were going to re-run the original Universal Credit roll-out. Putting all the claimants from selected Jobcentres on UC. Then moving on to the next group. Now that might take 3 or 4 years. One thing is for sure, this all needs to be made plain before the DWP start.

      Tom Sutton

      February 26, 2020 at 8:46 pm

  32. You know how the protection for Harry and Meghan is going to cost £20 Million pounds per year ? And they are set to make hundreds of millions of pounds ? Well, why don’t they pay for their own protection ?
    Just a thought really.

    Thrifty Citizen

    February 26, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    • It must be a right royal pain in the butt being under 24/7 protection. Think about it – you can’t go anywhere without a squad of coppers in tow. It must feel like being a prisoner. You, Harry, Meghan… can’t even take a dump without half a dozen screws being in the can with you.

      Charles Bronson - Britain's Most Violent Prisoner

      February 26, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    • They won’t, the parasites want to keep their ill gotten gains & sponge off the tax payers & keep their billions stashed away in offshore accounts.

      Violet

      February 26, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    • A Royal is for life not just for Christmas.

      Barbara Woodhouse

      February 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    • @thrifty – It’s unbelievable that they are not intending to pay a penny towards this !

      Colonel Mustard

      February 26, 2020 at 8:34 pm

  33. Looks like Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are set to be the new leader and deputy leader of the Labour party. I don’t know if that means that Labour will win the next election if five years time but think that it is a step in the right direction and a good combination of brains (Starmer) and heart (Rayner) which could unite Labour. One thing is for sure and that is that Labour will do better next time around with Brexit out of the way. (And hopefully Jezza’s leadership or conspicuous lack thereof forgotten.) Richard Burgon’s suggestion that Jeremy Corbyn be appointed Shadow Foreign Secretary whoever leads Labour next made me sit up and gasp. I thought Burgon had a bit more more sense than that but there you go. There’s always one isn’t there?

    Good luck for Keir and Angela.

    With you holding the reins I think Labour will improve its chances in leaps and bounds.

    Hoskins

    February 26, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    • “Further details of the case – including the woman’s name or details of why she only ended up with £111 – were not immediately available.” As always we are not being told the full story. The fat slob in the universal credit programme took out and advance of over £1500 and another loan of £500 and promptly pissed it all up against the wall. And then she bleats “This is all you get on universal credit”. Like we are expected to believe that £111 is the standard universal credit for an adult and one child. It would be something around the £600 mark.

      Rose

      February 26, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    • Oh, and that odious Scotchwoman Mhari Blackballs could well mean it is totally made up. Something fishy.

      Rose

      February 26, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      • There’s nothing wrong with a clever and well educated lesbian speaking her mind as far as I’m concerned.

        Sue Perkins

        February 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    • Universal Credit

      Single and under 25 £251.77
      Single and 25 or over £317.82

      For your first child £277.08 (born before 6 April 2017)
      £231.67 (born on or after 6 April 2017)

      So, £594.90 a month is what you get on universal credit to feed and take care of an adult and one child NOT £111!

      Rose

      February 26, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      • I believe that the woman in question was pregnant and her child not yet born. As far as I know you cannot claim benefits for children still attached to their mothers by an umbilical cord. As a country we are not that advaced.

        Dr Zeuss

        February 27, 2020 at 5:02 pm

  34. DWP in ‘cover-up’ storm after destroying dozens of secret benefit death reports
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-cover-up-storm-after-21578870

    superted

    February 26, 2020 at 8:35 pm

  35. Don’t know why we are still talking about the “5-week delay to uc”. It was explained clearly in a tweet a few days ago. Basically, employers send their payroll details to the HMRC/DWP at the end of the month. Forget all that “real time” bollocks that was used to sell uc. The DWP are then giving themselves a week to process the payment including delays in receipt of data. And like all benefit uc is paid in arrears. If uc to accommodate variable earnings on a monthly basis, one of design principles of this crock of shit, there is simply no way to reduce the delay further. Only by upending uc can it be got rid of.

    Jenni

    February 26, 2020 at 8:45 pm

  36. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

    Reverend Green

    February 26, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    • A rich man will not suffer under the vagaries of universal credit. A rich man not have to set foot in the jobcentre. A rich man will not cast a glance on a work coach. A rich man know not of a foodbank. A rich man know not of poverty, hunger or homelessness.

      — Genesis 1:!

      The Holy Bible

      February 27, 2020 at 1:44 am


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