Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Iain Duncan Smith, the man who created universal credit, trying “Commons coup on Monday by forcing a vote on the cut.” 

with 132 comments

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit Making 'Very Little Progress', Say MPs  | HuffPost UK

Ian Duncan Smith the new friend of the Claimant.

Today sees more articles and tweets on the Universal Credit cut.

The Observer carries this:

Boris Johnson is warned today that more than 800,000 people risk being plunged into poverty as a result of an imminent cut to universal credit, amid a plot by senior Tories to force the government into a last-minute U-turn.

With Conservatives from across the party pressing for a compromise deal this weekend as ministers face a potential Commons revolt, the Observer has seen new analysis that suggests the impact of the £20-a-week cut could be severe with energy costs and food prices rising.

It finds that the extra support protected some 840,000 people from poverty in the second quarter of this year. The research from the Legatum Institute thinktank includes 290,000 children – a figure that is causing particular concerns among Tories, who fear a significant increase in child poverty after the cut. The figure includes extra universal credit help given to the self-employed.

This is the bit I found interesting, as an old scallywag and foe of this Blog has turned himself into a White Hatter and friend of the claimant.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of universal credit, is attempting to spearhead a Commons coup on Monday by forcing a vote on the cut. The vote could embarrass the government should it go ahead, with another former welfare minister, Damian Green, also backing a cross-party amendment.

Duncan Smith said that the Treasury risked repeating the mistakes of austerity by trying to bring down pandemic spending too quickly. “Universal credit levels-up because it gets people back into work, back into the sense of work,” he said. “We’ve got ourselves caught, with the Treasury now demanding that we start getting the money back from Covid. We should treat this like war debt. We can’t go back into a massive cutting exercise. Ultimately, that will affect the worst-off in society.”

Senior Tories make last-gasp bid to block £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit with Commons vote

Independent.

Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green table amendment to Monday vote on annual pensions uprating.

Senior Tories are making a last-gasp bid to block the £20-a-week cut to universal credit, by staging a Commons showdown on Monday.

They have tabled an amendment to the annual uprating of pensions, which would block the increase unless funds are diverted to stop the benefit reduction.

A defeat would not bind the government to abandon the cut – but Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green, who are behind the move, hope it would nevertheless force ministers to act.

In the meantime this case, flagged up by our contributors, rumbles on:

High Court challenge the denial of benefit increases for nearly 2m people with disabilities

The High Court is to decide whether it was lawful of the Government not to give nearly 2million people on disability benefits the same £1040 a-year increase that it has given Universal Credit recipients.

In a decision dated 27 April the High Court granted claimants of Employment Support Allowance permission to challenge the DWP’s decision not to increase their benefit in line with Universal Credit.

At the beginning of the pandemic the Chancellor announced a £20 per week increase to the standard allowance of Universal Credit, but this vital increase to support was not extended to those on so called ‘legacy benefits’, the majority of whom are disabled, sick or carers.

The final hearing will be held 28-29 September 2021. Further updates will be posted on the website .
High Court challenge the denial of benefit increases for nearly 2m people with disabilities

“In summary the legal challenge is based on the proposition that it is clear that because of the pandemic those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs. This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as very many disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally. Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances. ”

Written by Andrew Coates

September 19, 2021 at 10:43 am

132 Responses

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  1. Either he’s power mad and wants HIS system to be a success for all the world to see, and takes it personally when anything is done to undermine Universal Credit, or he’s got a touch of the Rees-Moggs and is terrified that the Benefits cut will be remembered by an angry and disillusioned electorate, tarnishing the Tories’ public image. After all, he was spitting feathers when the Council of Europe ruled that UK Benefits were grossly inadequate back in 2014 !

    trev

    September 19, 2021 at 11:01 am

  2. IDS hasn’t expressed any sympathy for ‘legacy’ claimants in respect of the £20 “Uplift”, so far as I am aware.

    trev

    September 19, 2021 at 11:04 am

    • Smith is a empathy deleted psychopath you won’t get any sympathy from him.

      Cloverleaf

      September 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm

  3. Does that means Iain Doppy Shit is coming back to take charge of Universal Credit !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 19, 2021 at 11:10 am

    • Iain knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Universal Credit.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 19, 2021 at 11:11 am

  4. I always thought it was Lord Fraud who was the architect of universal credit not IDS hmmmmm 🤔.

    Cloverleaf

    September 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    • They are saving the big wig guns for more choppy waters. Universal Credit is using the Merlin System aka Tick Box System.. Lord Fraudelent Slip.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 19, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    • @ Cloverleaf

      It was designed by Freud and IDS, and people in various Rightwing Think-tanks such as Smith’s CSJ, but it was IDS’s baby, his vision, his dream project. Some Labour politicians also liked the idea of merging Benefits but thought it was an impossibly over-ambitious idea:

      “Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly. A few years ago, Duncan Smith met Douglas Alexander, Rachel Reeves and Stephen Timms. He enthused about his belief in a universal credit that would merge taxes and benefits. He would free 6 million people from the poverty traps of welfare dependency and show them that work made them better off.

      The Labour politicians admitted that universal credit was a fine idea. They had thought about implementing it many times. But you had to merge incompatible IT systems and find a way of updating the information on millions of people so that Whitehall knew almost instantaneously how much they were earning, what taxes they should pay and what benefits they should receive. Reforming a complex system would take years. If Duncan Smith rushed it he would be engaging in the vast and self-defeating social engineering the right accused the utopian left of forcing on the human race.

      Duncan Smith would have none of it. The technicalities were trifles. All that was needed was the political will. And he, Iain Duncan Smith, the man of destiny, had the will to make it work. “We looked at him as if he was mad,” one of the participants told me. ”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/28/iain-duncan-smith-stubborn-fool-not-statesman

      trev

      September 19, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      • @trev: And Ed Miliband, who sat there and watched Universal Credit be developed. And the TUC who did nothing either. Now they’ve built the prison and put the fucking barbed wire round it.

        George M

        September 19, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      • @ George

        Yes it was disgraceful that Miliband’s Blue Labour abstained from voting against the Tory Welfare Reforms, except for a few more principles Socialist MPs such as Corbyn.

        trev

        September 19, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      • Lord Freud, who as welfare reform minister was the architect of the controversial universal credit system, is stepping down from government after six years, Downing Street has said.

        David Freud, 66, is a former banker who was brought in by Tony Blair’s Labour government to advise on streamlining the benefits system.

        He subsequently took a Conservative peerage, and David Cameron appointed him as the coalition government’s welfare reform minister in the Lords. He was the only minister who had held the same post since 2010.

        The introduction of universal credit has been beset with delays and technical glitches, and a series of deep budget cuts by the previous chancellor, George Osborne, means that for many recipients it will be significantly less generous than the plethora of benefits it replaces.
        Freud could also be gaffe-prone: he was forced to issue an apology in 2014 after appearing to suggest at a Conservative party fringe meeting that disabled workers were not worth the minimum wage.

        But, announcing his retirement, Freud, said he was proud of his achievement in simplifying the welfare system. “At the heart of our reforms is desire to give people independence to improve their lives. For too long people have been trapped by a byzantine benefits system, leaving them powerless.

        “This has always been my driving force: to give people back control over their own lives, to give support in times of need, but also to give a clear route out of the benefits system and into independence.”

        Iain Duncan Smith, who worked closely alongside Freud before resigning in March, said the peer’s departure from government had been planned since before Theresa May took over as prime minister. “He said he would see it through to Christmas,” Duncan Smith said.

        He added that Freud, the great grandson of Sigmund, the legendary psychoanalyst, had a formidable grasp of the benefits system.

        “We were together all the way through,” Duncan Smith said. “He likes to get right into the detail. That’s his method of working, so he was a very good deputy to me.”

        Damian Green, the work and pensions secretary, said Freud “combines vision with an impressive attention to detail”.

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/01/architect-of-universal-credit-lord-freud-retires-from-government

        Andrew Coates

        September 19, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      • David Freud: His Lordship on Getting People into Work.
        with 52 comments

        https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/david-freud-his-lordship-on-getting-people-into-work/

        Andrew Coates

        September 19, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      • The Mirror also describes Baroness Stroud as “Universal Credit Architect”, so there must have been a few of them involved who contributed to ensuring that the Working Class had a heavy boot on their necks for generations to come.

        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/universal-credit-architect-demands-20-25020568

        trev

        September 19, 2021 at 5:08 pm

  5. trev

    September 19, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    • Universal Credit architect demands £20 cut is axed to stop 840,000 plunging into poverty.

      CONTRADICTION

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 19, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      • TORY CONTRADICTION

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        September 19, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    • @trev- You could say she is guilty over her part in the damnable creation of Universal Credit. But as with some of the more aware Tories, she realises that this is a significant policy mistake. A clear return to the days of the Nasty Party. Plus they are punishing their own. There are so many working-class Tory voters on Universal Credit, unemployed simply due to the pandemic, and in no way their own doing.

      Jeff Smith

      September 19, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      • It could be some of that, otherwise I’m not sure what’s behind the Tory turncoats doing a unexpected U-turn, unless it’s internal politics against Johnson and Sunak? They can’t all have suddenly developed a Conscience surely, unless Higher Powers are at work, bringing about a joint-Tory Damascus moment!

        trev

        September 19, 2021 at 3:17 pm

  6. DWP Universal Credit cut triggers eviction warning for thousands of tenants
    “With cuts to Universal Credit and the end of furlough imminent, there is a real danger of thousands losing their homes”

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/universal-credit-cut-eviction-warning-21614507

    superted

    September 19, 2021 at 5:28 pm

  7. Lone MP puts his head above the parapet for vaccine victims.

    https://tapnewswire.com/2021/09/lone-mp-puts-his-head-above-the-parapet-for-vaccine-victims/

    Cloverleaf

    September 19, 2021 at 5:38 pm

  8. Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

    A6er

    September 20, 2021 at 8:35 am

  9. Andrew Coates

    September 20, 2021 at 8:47 am

  10. A touch of Pontius Pilate washing of hands here as if those responsible for the horror of Universal Credit are trying to offload responsibility for the coming catastrophe when that benefit gets cut, massively, onto Boris Johnson and his confederates rather than shoulder any of the blame themselves. Thing is Universal Credit was ruining the lives of multitudes since 2013 when it was first introduced. Everybody involved with it is guilty and I hope will, one day, be held to account for this absolute disaster of a social policy.

    Aleister

    September 20, 2021 at 9:02 am

  11. My bet is a three line whip from Boris Johnson to “his” MPs to abstain from the UC vote same as last time. MPs are a cowardly lot most of whom secretly believe they might one day be promoted into government and so don’t want any black marks against their names by appearing “disloyal” to the government even when the government is doing wrong and that its decisions will end up making their own constituents suffer.

    Steve

    September 20, 2021 at 10:42 am

  12. i got in early so over heard 2 other ppls interviews and both have been dumped on the seetec on line portal via prospect training and both said they only speak to them over the phone so no idea if the signed there action plans or induction packs at the providers office.

    spoke to the cleaner out side and said i was the only one since he been there that has not been sent to the whp or restart so everyone is getting dumped on provision and online courses atm.

    both of them said they had handed over there cvs so the provider can then use them to apply for jobs for them and i doubt they realize this is what is going to happen and if they refuse a interview sanction time.

    half of the desks are still not in use either so running at 50% capacity no one has a face mask anymore not even the g4s staff or the cleaner i seen did not have one.

    the front door is now closed and will only open when the staff member pushes a button and you must have a appointment to enter so you cant just go and use the computers anymore.

    with these providers like reed and seetec with there digital on line portals there is no space limit so could dump everyone on to them and will even give you a tablet to use said portal via the provider yet dont realise every move will be tracked via this device! 247.

    so the plan is carry on as normal dump as many as they can on provision and use the good old stick for those that refuse with sanction threats if they wont comply.

    problem is they cant do that with me because i got it in weighting there full of shit and they know it so wont even bother to try it on with me anymore because if they want to go there ill take them down again!

    so you got 2 choices you either fight for you rights and personnel data or you hand it all over to these 3rd party corporations for profit to dump you in to any job they can get for you to start there job outcome payments rolling in.

    superted

    September 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

    • Claimant Refusal Of Signature For Restart Action Plan & Documents
      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/claimant_refusal_of_signature_fo#incoming-1879415

      jj joop

      September 20, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      • was just going to post that lol but just confirms what i have said all along 😉

        superted

        September 20, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      • @jj joop – Thanks for posting this JJ. It does seem to confirm that there is no real legal basis for signing any of the training provider’s papers. So no legitimate basis for sanction if you don’t do it ? But typical DWP dirty work, they are using the ‘raising-a-doubt’ system ( which acts as a second-line sanction system ). It’s a useful catch-all for the Jobcentre, and your money will stop while it is being considered. But it does raise an interesting point, as Superted has been saying. What if you don’t sign, ride out the doubt-raising, will you then avoid having to take part in the Work & Health Programme ? So it’s a month of hardship, versus a whole year of misery ?

        Jeff Smith

        September 20, 2021 at 3:03 pm

  13. Universal Credit: Top Tories lose bid to stage last-ditch Commons showdown
    Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green were going to give one last roll of the dice in their bid to make Boris Johnson think again about the £20-a-week cut to the poorest Brits

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/iain-duncan-smith-universal-credit-25022389

    superted

    September 20, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    • Many people who lose the 20 quid might be tempted to shoplift or commit other crimes to survive, and who can blame them, drug dealing, growing weed, shoplifting, prostitution, begging, will all increase as a result of the Government’s mean and shortsighted decision. £80 per month is a lot to suddenly lose. Homelessness will increase too. All courtesy of The Nasty Party.

      trev

      September 20, 2021 at 1:15 pm

      • @trev- They truly are lower than vermin.

        Jeff Smith

        September 20, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      • There will be an increased strain placed upon charitable organizations and agencies such as the CAB, Shelter, Simon on the Streets, foodbanks, shelters, refuges, day centres. An increase in debt and arrears leading to increased suicides, evictions, D.R.O. applications and Insolvency. Possibly an increase in people doing cash-in-hand work too to make ends meet. Tories are unbelievably short sighted, it doesn’t affect me so it’s not a problem or it’s not happening, why should I care? The ‘I’m Alright Jack’ attitude.

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      • Yep and there’s a name for this, survival crime

        kattyrehman

        September 24, 2021 at 11:39 am

  14. Don’t sign Form Esf 1420,
    It isn’t good for you,
    Its just another piece of crap,
    That the Jobcentre want you to do.

    It’s just to get you off the lists,
    To cut the numbers down,
    And sell you like a product,
    To the training providers in town.

    They’ll be the ones who are laughing,
    As they take a massive fee,
    And you won’t really get a job,
    You know how useless they can be.

    The Work Programme was pointless,
    And all the others too,
    But then that doesn’t matter,
    It’s what training providers do.

    They get the money anyway,
    So they don’t give a shit,
    If you hate the Work & Health Programme,
    And get nothing out of it.

    The same goes for the Restart Programme,
    Another stupid name,
    They can call them whatever they like,
    It’s always just the same.

    So don’t give in to your Work Coach,
    Or sign it in despair,
    For once they’ve got your signature,
    You’ll be too miserable to care.

    Random Poet

    September 20, 2021 at 2:22 pm

  15. Andrew Coates

    September 20, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    • Well that’s that then. Stand back and watch as the brown stuff hits the fan this winter with soaring energy prices, food prices and a general inflationary increase in the costs of living, as the pandemic returns and Society falls apart at the seams. Well done all those who voted for Boris.

      trev

      September 20, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      • @trev

        Don’t forgrt the looming Co2 shortage, which could potentially mean us going without meat, amongst other things!

        jj joop

        September 20, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      • Co2 shortage? You’ve got to be kidding. I don’t eat meat myself but I don’t get the connection, I’ll have to look that up.

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      • @ jj joop

        Oh right, now I know about the Co2 shortage…

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-58626935

        We should have Re-Nationalized the power companies, just as Mssrs. Corbyn and McDonnell said.

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      • Can anybody explain *why* gas has gone up *so much*?

        This hardly goes far in saying why they have increased just as much as they have: “As countries recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and reopen their economies, the demand for global gas has risen. Coupled with a cold winter, this has resulted in a gas market with reduced capacity.”

        “Energy firms buy gas and electricity wholesale and with higher demand and limited supply, prices have shot up to record levels. Prices for wholesale gas are up ****250**** per cent since January, according to industry group Oil & Gas UK.”

        “Scheduled maintenance projects rescheduled from 2020 to 2021 because of the pandemic, lower than usual gas supply from Russia and less liquified natural gas reaching Europe because of increased deliveries to Asia have also contributed to spikes in wholesale energy prices and uncharacteristically low supply.”

        https://inews.co.uk/news/gas-prices-why-so-high-uk-shortage-rising-wholesale-costs-suppliers-explained-1207506

        I got a notice about a price rise from my supplier, Octopus, I think it was at the end of August (which did not at all please me), so why has this *suddenly* become such as issue?

        Andrew Coates

        September 20, 2021 at 8:54 pm

      • “Natural gas prices have been steadily rising across the globe this year for a number of reasons…”

        https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-gas-supply-explainer

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      • A combination of reasons it seems;

        “Natural gas prices have been steadily rising across the globe this year for a number of reasons…”

        https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-gas-supply-explainer

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 9:39 pm

  16. So let me get this straight about not signing the providers forms. If you agree to do the Work & Health or whatever. Go along to the provider on the day etc. but refuse to sign any of the forms. Then the Jobcentre will raise a doubt. Stop your money for a month or so. You claim hardship benefit I suppose to cover yourself ? Then you don’t have to do the year long Work & Health, and the Jobcentre are fucked ?

    George M

    September 20, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    • if they raise a sanction doubt all you need to do is send the dm the foi above from jeff there is no law to mandate you sign anything and this is your good reason for not doing so.

      now they can mandate you attend the providers office on said date and time but thats about it.

      they need there contracts and action plans signed or they cant register a start so wont let you precipitate and is the key to all of it.

      you are using there own rules and regs against them and i have done it for years but if you want to kick ur wc ass then do the mr over the phone and use the foi at tribunal and they will loose every single time as this has already been ruled on ie my case and the dwp lost but you will take a sanction hit but could take over a year to get to a tribunal.

      so tell your wc you wont be entering in to any contracts with these company’s and furnish them with the foi above and with any luck you wont even be sent to induction.

      and if they still say you going make it clear you will give out copy’s of that foi to all the customers there.

      superted

      September 20, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      • I just love that screaming sheep. It has me laughing like a loon every time!!!

        As for making an MR, how do you go about this as it’s something I’ve never had to do? Is there a form and where do you get it from? Or is there a number you call? Thanks.

        jj joop

        September 20, 2021 at 9:30 pm

      • if a wc raises a sanction doubt you will be asked to give a good reason for what you did and this will be sent to a dm that will say ok or no, make sure you do this in writing and have any foi request to back up the good reason ie you dont have to sign anything and it is the dwp own rules and regulations that support this fact and you have a choice or not to share your data with these company’s and you can say no.

        you can then ask for a mandatory reconsideration and if you loose that then the sanction will then be applied.

        DSC_0693_01

        that is the only mr i have ever done because you need this to go to a tribunal and must be sent with the sscs1 form that all gets sent to the courts and tribunal service.

        as i never gave a good reason to the dm this time round and done the mr over the phone as had a 95% chance of loosing i played my hand and got a budgeting loan to cover the sanction deficit as got um buy the balls.

        and the rest is history the dwp never even sent there presenting officer to defend the case as did not have a leg to stand on and it was over in 9 mins and my wc and line manager vanished never to be seen again.

        yet no one on here believed me when i said i never even done the first wp let alone the rest of the crap they tried to send me to over the years but i do turn up on time for induction and every single time i said i wont sign anything and i am told to leave.

        DSC_0596

        DSC_0008

        and since that date i have not been sent to any providers office for induction a foi is one thing a tribunal ruling from a judge is game over!

        this is about your data and your right not to share it with these private company’s for profit they could not do it with ujm so in comes the providers with there online portals and the dwp wording that states its mandatory when it is not.

        but if you do sign that contract they own ur ass will demand cvs to be sent to them to apply for jobs for you and if you dont turn up to interviews offered the job and dont take it it will be sanction time well you did sign up for this treatment.

        superted

        September 20, 2021 at 10:15 pm

      • Thanks for that, ted.

        jj joop

        September 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    • George M

      Step back a little to “agree to do the Work & Health or whatever”.

      Be careful what it is your agreeing to as DWP are no strangers to obscuring what it is your actually agreeing to. Always ask them to either show you on the screen or printout exactly what it is they are trying to get you to agree on. Always also ask is this in full or is there other material (ie subject to, non exhaustive,etc).

      After that its exactly what superted says.

      Doug

      September 21, 2021 at 7:49 am

      • @Doug: Yeah, thanks for that. I will watch out for exactly what it is they want me to do. Best to be careful, as you say.

        George M

        September 21, 2021 at 3:33 pm

  17. Andrew Coates

    September 20, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    • His useless lack of opposition caused Universal Credit to be put through in the first place. It was 50/50 to be scrapped at one point, even with the Tories, because of the enormous cost.

      Jeff Smith

      September 20, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      • Some of the post-Blairites and Blue Labour types , eg Rachel “tougher than the Tories on Welfare” Reeves, thought UC was a good idea. Jeremy Corbyn was one of the few who voted against the Tory Welfare reforms.

        trev

        September 20, 2021 at 8:19 pm

  18. So the £20 a week cut is happening. Might as well make another £20 a week cut because they can to save the economy. That’s a £40 a week cut off on Universal Credit. Because they can !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 20, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    • WORK PAYS

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 20, 2021 at 5:27 pm

  19. I was checking out the electricity tariffs on the cheap energy club on the moneysavingexpert.com website:

    https://clubs.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub

    (Good independent site to check out prices.)

    And shocked to see how much they had increased. When my current tariff runs out in December it looks as if I might well have to pay something like £150.00 more next year for the same amount of electricity as I used this year, i.e., an extra £12.50 a month on a cheap fixed tariff. With unavoidable expenses like food, rent and council tax going up (and universal credit going down massively) this is going to be really tough to deal with because there’s next to no economies left that can be made in order to meet the increase in expenditure. The only thing I can think of to do is to do without heating and hope for a mild winter unless my circumstance improve fairly soon in other ways. I can tough it out and expect to survive to tell the tale but how older people, vulnerable people, and people with children and/or elderly dependants to care for will be able to cope with what is coming is anybody’s guess.

    Aleister

    September 21, 2021 at 2:10 pm

  20. Amusing sign-on today at the Jobcentre. All the floor has been covered with hazard tape, and notices up about Covid-19 and infection control. Masks everwhere, all the Work Coaches, G4S, everybody. They’ve got a (masked ) female staff member with a clipboard standing near the inside entrance. She takes your name and conducts you to a raised area, (where the phones used to be, but now long gone ). They have made a kind of seating area here, all taped off like the police do, in a crime scene. There is handgel for you to use, on a nearby table, and a supply of paper masks if you don’t have one. Here you have to sit and wait for your Work Coach. Very polite staff, even the (masked) G4S guy offered me a cheery good morning !
    And as for the lady with the clipboard, it was as if you’d just come in to a high-end department store. she was delighted to see me. And I playing along, was equally delighted to see her ! Some sort of DWP charm offensive being run here I think ? Anyway, I sat down in the waiting area for 5 mins, and then my Work Coach (masked), arrived from his desk to ‘collect’ me. It was strangely like being in Junior School again. They’ve put more desks in action now, so there are 6 desks running, two empty and four Work Coaches. The floor is all covered with yellow tape, which is the safe route you have to follow. My Work coach took me along to his desk, at the end of the line. I had to follow him at a safe distance, keeping to the marked route. You have to be careful now not to follow the wrong line, as it branches off the main track to each of the separate desks. Like the London Undergound map.
    They have put up plastic screens around every desk. So my Work Coach got back behind the screen, and I sat down in the chair in front. The claimant’s chair is now surrounded by a square of red tape on the floor.
    The actual signing-on didn’t take long. The Work Coach isn’t allowed to touch anything the claimant has handled. So I held up my jobsearch, and he examined it through the glass screen. And then that was it.
    He had to personally escort me back up the yellow line to the waiting area. But this time I was in front, and he followed at a safe distance. All done for another fortnight.

    Jeff Smith

    September 21, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    • Different to my Jobcentre where hardly anyone was wearing a facemask last week, only me and one of the G4s. I actually passed my phone to the Dole Coach for him to view my job application confirmation emails. Did you actually have to sign anything though? In my Jobcentre they’ve dispensed with signing and just confirm your ID with a couple of questions instead. It’s time they dispensed with Jobcentres although in my opinion, introduce Unconditional Basic Income instead or just annual signing online or by postal declaration form. Save a fortune and everyone’s happy.

      trev

      September 21, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      • @trev- Yes that’s suprising Trev. Maybe it’s just a local thing with our particular Jobcentre manager ? Everyone was fully masked today at my JC, not a bare face in sight.
        I suppose if someone had a proveable medical exception, they would let them in without one. But I certainly didn’t see anyone at the time I went in.
        As for handing my jobsearch to the Work Coach for him to touch, no way !
        I didn’t have to sign anything, the Work Coach just typed something up on the system to put the sign-on through, from behind the screen. They’ve got rid of the electronic pens, because obviously they can’t be shared between claimants. It’s extra hassle for the Work Coaches, because now they have to collect and take back each and every claimant.

        Jeff Smith

        September 21, 2021 at 3:17 pm

  21. Three day working week?

    Cloverleaf

    September 21, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    • @Cloverleaf – And therefore a Three Day Claiming Week for the unemployed ? With a new 24 Hour expected jobsearch on Universal Credit, to replace the 35 hours .

      Jeff Smith

      September 21, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      • I very recently applied for a job that consisted of working four days but when I reckoned it up I would only be about £25 per week better off than I am now, and that’s walking to work not including bus fares. I might be better off with WTC for a while but wouldn’t want to claim that if it means going via UC to get it. The job is one of those whereby the overtime makes it a decent wage, fine if you’re in your 20s/30s but I’m certainly not looking for any overtime at my age.

        trev

        September 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm

  22. Reed Restart data request

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/reed_restart_data_request#incoming-1875153

    3. We cannot provide the screenshots you have requested for Reed’s Career Centre or Work
    Place Wellness Portal, as information contained in the document fal s within the exemptions
    allowed by Section 43 of the FoI Act. Where information is exempt under Section 43 this is
    because it is commercial y sensitive and release of the information would prejudice the
    interests of our providers, and the department’s future dealings with them or other service
    providers.

    so we are not allowed to see screen shots of there online slavery programme because of data protection!

    well that works both ways 😉

    superted

    September 21, 2021 at 3:31 pm

  23. Supermarket boss warns of empty shelves in another 10 days:

    https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/supermarket-boss-warns-about-10-21631908

    trev

    September 21, 2021 at 4:35 pm

  24. I rarely have the heating on in winter can’t bloody afford it, what I do is wrap myself in a big fluffy thermal blanket with a hot water bottle, it’s a very good way to keep warm 🥶.

    Cloverleaf

    September 21, 2021 at 5:24 pm

  25. Brits will suffer ‘difficult winter’ with benefit cut and gas bill hike, top Tory admits

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/brits-suffer-difficult-winter-benefit-25033832

    xclausx

    September 21, 2021 at 7:12 pm

  26. New flexible and home working rights explained – how change will affect your life

    The legal changes will be open to all Brits but are particularly aimed at women, disabled people, parents and carers.

    Tory ministers are expected to unveil long-awaited plans to let workers request flexible working from day one in a job – rather than the current six months in.

    But this is not a blanket legal right to work from home if you want to – because firms will still be allowed to reject requests. Workers can fight at a tribunal if they’ve been treated unfairly

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/new-flexible-home-working-rights-25037394

    xclausx

    September 21, 2021 at 7:21 pm

  27. Boris Johnson keeps saying that the energy price hike is “temporary” and things will revert to what they were. Experts say that energy prices are going to be hiked this year, again next April, and likely to stay hiked for the foreseeable future. Kind of reminds me of Nigel Lawson calling a sharp rise in inflation a “temporary blip”… two years later UK inflation was above 10% and interest rates hit 15% in the effort to combat it! I call bullshit on Johnson! This man doesn’t know what he’s doing, has no idea where the country should be heading, and talks crap 99% of the time. The man is clueless, absolutely 100% clueless.

    Steve

    September 21, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    • I agree. There wasn’t anything on the side of his bus about inflation, energy costs, hgv drivers or food shortages of course. Just lies about NHS funding. Thing is, who’s going to replace him?

      trev

      September 21, 2021 at 9:50 pm

  28. There needs to be an official list produced of what you have to do in order to have to resign as an MP or minister. So there is no further confusion. I don’t mean minor stuff like lying, or having a stupid hairstyle. Or dressing in old fashioned suits, as if it was still 1940. Or having sex with an American and then denying it.
    No, I mean the real stuff. Spying for the Russians, or taking campaign money off them. Taking a whole country out of the EU under false pretences. Signing international agreements, and then immediately disowning them. This kind of thing.

    Jeff Smith

    September 21, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    • If Johnson was ousted by his own party he would only be replaced by another of his ilk, Rees-Mogg or some other Tory twat. But can you think of anyone in British Politics today of any party who would be a viable option for PM ? Someone who could do the job and represent the Working Class and the needs of the poor, but who stands a chance of getting the votes? I can’t think of anyone.

      trev

      September 21, 2021 at 11:28 pm

      • so Trev i will ask you again are you going to sign these 3rd party company’s contracts if you are sent to the whp or the restart programme ?

        superted

        September 22, 2021 at 12:14 am

      • No, I’ll refuse to do it come what may, then look for some work, possibly agency, possibly part-time, perhaps cash-in my private pension, and end my JSA claim. Obviously I will delay all of that for as long as possible, hopefully for another few years until I get ‘migrated’ to UC. But rest assured I have a few back up plans, another one being going on the sick with sleep apnea. I’m saving all of these options for when I need them, the important thing is to keep my head down and make it to State Pension age.

        trev

        September 22, 2021 at 8:01 am

      • This FOI is to do with “participation” not actual signing of contracts.

        Can claimants be legally compelled to participate in provider-led diagnostic assessments?
        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/can_claimants_be_legally_compell#incoming-1881451

        jj joop

        September 22, 2021 at 10:54 am

      • the providers need the induction packs/contract and diagnostic reports are signed for because without this they can not register a start with the dwp or esf via the prap system.

        this is also to get round the gdpr and once signed it is then mandatory.

        all they can mandate you to do is turn up for induction that is mandatory you attend but if you wont sign anything then they wont let you participate and be asked to leave.

        this is not like the first wp where you just turned up and applied for jobs on there computers as this time round they want full control of your data and cvs to apply for the jobs for you and for you to use there online portals for job search and training ect.

        so as the diagnostic reports consists of mostly personnel data and as there a 3rd party private company for profit you can refuse to share this data with them as can not be forced and why it must be signed buy you and the provider and with out it they cant register a start.

        so these company’s want all of your data and permission to process such data and they need your permission and you can say no!

        superted

        September 22, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      • @trev- Our own Andrew Coates ? You could be Chancellor, and perhaps Superted as Foreign Secretary ?

        Jeff Smith

        September 22, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      • No, I’d be no good as Chancellor, it would have to be Doug, he’s good with figures.

        trev

        September 22, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      • the induction packs have the terms and conditions of the contract and also there data sharing policy this is why they will ask you to sign this first and then comes the diagnostic report as now in contract with the provider.

        superted

        September 22, 2021 at 12:58 pm

  29. Thing is, who’s going to replace him?

    😉

    superted

    September 21, 2021 at 10:17 pm

  30. I think a lot of people, especially those who went through two crap years on the Work Programme. Are going to say No Fucking Way !! about the Work & Health Programme. Or any other of these stupid workfare schemes. Fucking hell there’s no end to these bloody things.

    George M

    September 22, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    • They are indeed crap, the worst bit being the ‘job search’ sessions….

      Andrew Coates

      September 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      • And the ‘talks’ or should I say lectures, about how to get a job.. Set apparently at a level suitable for a primary school. And having to listen to the anguished moans from unemployed professionals, and pencils snap from sheer frustration. As they realise there are hours more to go.
        And the ‘self-criticism’ sessions, where in true Mao-style, the unemployed are turned against themselves.
        ” Now we’ve heard John’s story…….can anyone tell me why they think John can’t get a job ?”

        Jeff Smith

        September 22, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    • @ George

      You’re right, there is no end to their shit courses and schemes. Right after New Deal I was put on the Work Programme, after that I did Mandatory Work Activity, and since then have done Skills Conditionality (inc. 4 weeks unpaid work placement at Pets At Home) after failing to complete the Induction for the Community Work Programme, followed by Work Experience at Oxfam depot for 6 weeks, followed by Computer Training at Learn Direct, then a One day Manual Handling certificate course at St.John Ambulance, then Right Steps To Work for 12 months at Standguide, then another Employability course inc. Retail at Interserve for 6 weeks from which I am still waiting for certificates in Retail and Customer Service, that was in Winter of 2019 just prior to pandemic.

      trev

      September 22, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      • @trev- Or the Active Plus Team Exercise (with marbles ). They get two pieces of white plastic drainpipe, about a metre length each. Two people stand on each side of of a drainpipe, and hold it up at about 45% angle. Then another two people get on each side of the other piece of drainpipe, and they join the two pieces together. Now you have a long piece, with four people holding it up like a kind of slide.
        They get a plastic bucket, and put it under one end of the drainpipe. There is a table nearby with a bag of marbles on it. Everyone else in the team who is not holding the drainpipe, has to get a marble from the bag on the table. Take it to the drainpipe, and carefully place it in position. So that the marble runs down the drainpipe, and into the bucket. This carries on until all the marbles are in the bucket.
        The Active Plus trainers point out that it is not as easy as it looks. The drainpipe holders have to hold steady, so that the marble can go straight down the pipe. And the marbles that are being rolled have to be carefully put in position, so that they roll down without falling out of the drainpipe.
        It is a pathetic sight to watch grown adults being forced to do this. People whose only crime is that they are unemployed.

        Jeff Smith

        September 22, 2021 at 6:06 pm

      • Oh yes, the so-called “team building” exercises. I did one where three teams had to compete to construct a tower out of cocktail sticks and marshmallows. Another one consisted of cellotaping eggs to balloons. And then the mock interviews, in front of the whole class, with one person pretending to be the boss and the other the applicant. Employability skills. What a load of bollocks.

        .

        trev

        September 22, 2021 at 6:33 pm

  31. @George M- That’s the half the point George really, to make claiming benefits difficult. So you work for your benefits, as it were. Like riding a bicycle, you have to keep pedalling and balancing it, or you fall off.

    Jeff Smith

    September 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm

  32. DSC_0695

    since going back to sign on i am now on my 4th different person and been dumped back on to the first floor next time i go and every single time they do this it will be to have another go at sending me on provision.

    and every single time it is a woman they all ready had a pop at the whp that i shot down in seconds then ran away 2 weeks later and got another woman to do a dea interview tag team setup and the dea ran away as was on holiday pmsl.

    all i do is go up and down and round and round like a fkn pinball so everyone can have a go at braking me and complying ,not going to happen ill give up when im dead.

    so imo it will be change tactic and try the restart programme as in the same place but i have got all the foi for that as well and the induction pack and diagnostic report questions for seetec so there fucked on that one 2 😉

    superted

    September 22, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    • I thought Restart was for UC claimants, not Legacy.

      jj joop

      September 23, 2021 at 6:05 am

      • I thought JETS was for newly unemployed folks but I was still put on it and I’ve been unemployed for years.

        Cloverleaf

        September 23, 2021 at 10:51 am

      • I guess it’s all down to what kind of coach you have.

        jj joop

        September 23, 2021 at 3:09 pm

  33. superted

    September 22, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    • I thought Kickstart was for 18-24 year-olds. This guy looks to be in his thirties. Was he an employer or an interviewee? I noticed yesterday on findajob that a lot of the vacancies now start with Kickstart. Example: Kickstart Kitchen Team Member or Kickstart Mcdonalds Crew Member, etc.

      jj joop

      September 23, 2021 at 6:03 am

      • No kickstarter HGV drivers then ?

        DWP really need to stop fronting the min wage job sector as it makes them look like nothing short of being a cheap labour market supporter and supplier.
        This government never it seems goes much further than ensuring a claimant/person who wishes to better themselves has to take out an advanced learners loan and get into debt. This is a world away from the old system of concessions afforded to the unemployed and low earning that didn’t end in debt and still low earnings.

        Another major issue in this country is the min wage age tariff. What an 18 year old pays in this world is no different to over 24s and you can believe in work they get treated no different to others on higher wages including disciplinaries and dismissals.

        A person on £8.91 an hour is by the minute worth just shy of 15p. So when they say arrive 15 min late more than once (lets say 3 times), does the employer before calling them in to the office about it thinking well it is only £6.75 im moaning about which is to them in real terms after deductions £4.17. Of course not, they are thinking loss of business revenue of what could have been achieved if this person was on time but prospectively over a period if it was they did less hours a week, a month, a year.

        To make matters worse if we all have suffered financially because of covid, now we are witnessing hikes in contributions,cuts to benefits for the lowest earners and rising prices of energy and food.

        Juggling heat or eat, struggling to keep a roof, get a place to live and while working is not how i pictured the future but here we are.

        Doug

        September 23, 2021 at 8:54 am

  34. Apparently managed mass migration of claimants from legacy benefits onto universal credit, supposed to begin in July 2020 and postponed because of coronavirus, might resume with a vengeance next April.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/money/universal-credit-managed-migration-24498818

    I’m kind of hoping that this will turn out to be an April Fool’s joke in the worst possible taste.

    Aleister

    September 23, 2021 at 8:05 am

    • @ Aleister

      No doubt they will resume managed migration at some point (unless there’s a change of government first) but anything could happen between now and April, another Covid variant? , UFO Disclosure, the collapse of Capitalism…we are living in interesting times.

      trev

      September 23, 2021 at 9:57 am

      • @ trev

        Well, based on the number of times they’ve moved the goalposts more than likely the roll out will end up delayed indefinitely. It’s pretty obvious that the DWP doesn’t know what it’s doing and what is and isn’t possible but, based on the continuous failure in the past, I really can’t see Coffey and her minions finally getting a grip on things, drop the right-wing Orwellian fantasy about surveiling and controlling people from a distance, and settle for something simpler and more humane. How the heck so obviously faulty and badly thought out an idea could have steamrolled ahead for so many years, wasting so much money, to absolutely no good effect is anybody’s guess. Shite is as shite does.

        Aleister

        September 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm

  35. DWP legal case over £20 uplift back pay for claimants on legacy benefits delayed
    The case was scheduled to be heard at the High Court next week.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/money/dwp-legal-case-over-20-25042566

    superted

    September 23, 2021 at 11:08 am

    • Unbelievable. That’s bloody outrageous. We’re living in a Tory Dictatorship.

      trev

      September 23, 2021 at 11:56 am

  36. Cloverleaf

    September 23, 2021 at 11:11 am

  37. It’s crazy.The high court case isn’t going ahead because they don’t have a judge available. They also stated it might be held this year. Surely it’s a stitch up.

    Rob

    September 23, 2021 at 11:46 am

    • Rob, that’s got to be a stitch-up, it absolutely stinks. They can’t be allowed to get away with that. Let’s see what the Opposition have to say..

      trev

      September 23, 2021 at 11:52 am

      • maybe they might do a u turn esp with the furlough scam ending and the gas price sky rocketing ppl just cant afford to live on jsa level benefits anymore.

        superted

        September 23, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      • UK Benefits have always been too low but yeah 70 quid doesn’t cover it. Single persons’ JSA needs to be more like £90 – £100 p/w realistically, and obviously that’s not quite enough.

        trev

        September 23, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      • We are a one party state split into two factions Labour and Tory, there’s no bloody opposition.

        Cloverleaf

        September 23, 2021 at 12:58 pm

  38. trev

    September 23, 2021 at 11:48 am

  39. Universal Credit cut defended by Gloucester MP Richard Graham on BBC’s Newsnight
    One of MP Richard Graham’s caseworkers is on Universal Credit, he said

    https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/universal-credit-cut-defended-gloucester-5957493

    superted

    September 23, 2021 at 11:49 am

  40. superted

    September 23, 2021 at 11:59 am

  41. @trev.
    The case had been set months ago for next week. A high profile case, I would expect a top judge would have been nominated well ahead of next week.
    I have yet to see the story on the BBC news but hopefully they will mention it.

    Rob

    September 23, 2021 at 12:02 pm

  42. This is not the time!’ – Universal Credit cuts ‘will clobber working families’
    UNIVERSAL CREDIT and the cut of the £20 uplift is set to end in October despite opposition from many MPs and charities. Business minister Paul Scully explained today that the only way for this uplift to continue is if Income Tax were to rise ‘by a penny’.

    https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1495533/universal-credit-cuts-income-tax-working-families

    superted

    September 23, 2021 at 12:35 pm

  43. Petrol and diesel deliveries to be rationed in a bid to protect supply
    BP is cutting back deliveries to ensure it doesn’t run out of supply

    https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/petrol-diesel-deliveries-rationed-bid-5958669

    superted

    September 23, 2021 at 2:48 pm

  44. A third of people voted for Brexit, a third of people voted to Remain, a third of the people did not vote.

    Two thirds of the people did not vote for Brexit the minority.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2021 at 3:55 pm

  45. Boris Johnson really likes being insulted by his voters

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2021 at 3:56 pm

  46. Andrew Coates

    September 23, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    • No toilet paper then !!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 23, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      • The JobCentre carpet is closer !!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        September 23, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      • Another JobCentre with no public toilets.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        September 23, 2021 at 7:06 pm

  47. Tories in secret talks to raise Universal Credit for 2.3million Brits – weeks after cut

    There are ‘live discussions’ ahead of the October 27 Budget about cutting the taper rate – which could hand back around £9 a week to a worker on minimum wage

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-secret-talks-raise-universal-25052074

    xclausx

    September 23, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    • Presumably those on JSA/ESA can starve.

      trev

      September 23, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    • but there are only just over 1 million jobs advertised, what about the other 5 million and the rest to come when furlough ends.

      superted

      September 23, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      • Labour shortages seem to be mainly in or connected with the food industry, so the Government are considering extending visas for seasonal workers. LoL it’s like Brexit never happened! They need to encourage, attract and enable foreign workers to return to UK otherwise the country is going to collapse. And it’s all the fault of Brexit and those who wanted it.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58670790

        trev

        September 23, 2021 at 10:21 pm

  48. We may be moving towards a breaking point. Rents, energy, food, council tax – everything that everybody considers essential are going up, some hugely in unprecedented ways. Benefits are not only not going up to help meet these costs but actually going down, massively in the case of universal credit with the £80.00+ per month cut. I mean seriously folks, poverty and homelessness look set to balloon like never before unless action is taken to support the poor, vulnerable and the needy. The situation is untenable and spinning the line about wages rising and getting people into well paid jobs as a fix absolutely isn’t going to cut it and will soon be seen as the lie it is.

    The situation is one we have never faced before in peace time as far as I know and our current prime minister seems to have no idea how to deal with it other than muddled bullshit about how bright the future will be. All the really great trade deals with non EU countries that he boasted about being able to negotiate easily and immediately remain unrealised fantasies. No treaty with the USA or China or likely to be in the foreseeable future with the UK a small over-populated island alone in the world, separate now from the European Union, i.e., greatest single market the world has ever seen, formerly the largest and most proximate trading partner the United Kingdom with better trade deals internationally than the UK is ever likely to get separately because our market is tiny compared to that of the EU, a bloc large and powerful enough to stand up to and challenge larger economies like the United States and China, which is why villains like Donald Trump hate the EU to its core.

    The question is will the Tories be able to get away with throwing the poor under the bus or not?

    If they think they can the will, no doubt about it, and that is absolutely terrifying.

    Aleister

    September 24, 2021 at 6:57 am

    • Capitalism + Tories + Brexit + Covid = Chaos

      trev

      September 24, 2021 at 7:03 am


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