Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Archive for the ‘Thérèse Coffey’ Category

ID Issues Hit Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Claimants Locked Out Online Due To 'Consistent' Digital  Verification Failings | HuffPost UK

ID seems an obsession with the crew of chancers who lead this government.

Those who follow politics know that the Tories want everybody who wishes to vote to present photo ID for elections. The fact that a few million people do not have Driving Licences or Passports is a bonus for the Conservatives. It will exclude many of the poor and marginalised from the ballot box, and make local councils (a majority in Labour areas) fork out to pay for some special scheme to allow us to have the privilege to vote. Lots of people will not bother and just give up.

It has crept down to the DWP.

There was this in October,

People are being forced to submit photos of themselves holding a local daily paper outside their home in order to claim universal credit.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) verification process contains a detailed list of bizarre requests potential claimants must follow. It also includes requiring people to send in a photo taken by someone else of them holding their street sign in their right hand.

The instructions were posted in at least one person’s universal credit journal – the online platform used to manage benefit claims – by a DWP employee, according to the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC). 

The Mirror reports,

Universal Credit claimants told to pay back thousands in Covid support due to ID issues

Benefit claimants who received Covid support at the height of the pandemic are being told to repay every penny back – with some claimants describing the emergency support as a ‘loan’ not a ‘benefit’.

The Mirror has spoken to dozens of people who have received sudden bills from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the past six months, asking for all the Covid support they received back.

It follows our investigation into dad Gary Blake who had been sent a bill for an overpayment because of missing ID.

In the vast majority of cases we spoke to, claimants were told to submit ID – despite already sharing it, while others were told to repay their Covid benefits because they did not have a tenancy agreement. In many cases, shortly after providing these documents, the claimants were sent a shock bill.

The Mirror continues with first hand stories, beginning with this one:

Mirror reader Sheila Richards said she received an unexpected bill for £6,000 earlier this year after receiving help during the pandemic.

The DWP allegedly told the claimant it was because she had not submitted a photo of herself.

“I had provided photo ID at my local Job Centre Plus on the many occasions that I had been asked to visit, so I didn’t consider it to be that crucial,” Sheila, who is self-employed, told The Mirror.

She is now disputing the charges with the DWP. Sheila wrote to her constituent MP but never heard back.

Still, somebody is happy at the way things are going:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 5, 2021 at 9:03 am

New Threats to Claimants and Public Services.

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The reality of the recent cut to benefits – that is for those who got the Top Up, which did not include Legacy Claimants – is sinking in.

One thing that strikes you, and it is a long time since this writer was under 25, is the pitance single young people have to live on: £321.84 a month. You can easily pay £70 a month in gas and electricity alone (Flat). In fact that’s around what I pay. It’s a hefty chunk of any low income. My Bill, like everybody else’s, is set to rise.

Then here is this:

What is now worrying local councils is this:

Budget 2021: Local services face cuts as Sunak’s Spending Review delivers real-terms fall in council funding.

The ‘I’.

Council services such as social carebin collection, sport centres and road repairs are likely to be cut following real-term reductions in funding to councils in Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) will warn.

Analysis by the IFS shows that despite sharp rises in household council tax bills and £4.8bn of new grant funding for local authorities up until 2025, any additional revenue will be wiped out by rising costs, and councils will be forced to slash at least some essential services.

The IFS found that the expected average rise in council tax bills across all councils equates to 2.8 per cent increase each year until 2025. With the average council tax bill currently about £1,428, three consecutive years of rises would mean the average household would pay £39.92 more from next April, and £123.13 more from April 2024 than they paid this year.

These are the kind of things that do not register with people, until they are affected. Things at risk include very visible services libraries and the Citizen’s Advice bureau (in Suffolk a couple of years ago the Health Trust had to step in when the Tory Council Council halved their funding for them, except that kind of thing to happen again).

For all the claims to back public transport a look at the reality shows the reality:

Councils reacted with anger, warning that unless local authorities increase council tax bills by 3 per cent – thereby forcing a referendum in which local residents will vote on the rise – then services are likely to be cut.

Sam Chapman-Allen, chairman of the District Councils Network and Conservative leader of Breckland District Council in Norfolk said: “The Spending Review does not deliver the firm financial foundation district councils need to continue delivering essential frontline services and supporting local economies to grow. 

“We cannot see how the £4.8bn new grant funding announced by the Chancellor will come close to addressing the financial pressures district councils and the rest of local government are under.   

“Councils face a triple whammy of rising inflation, higher wage costs from the lifting of the public sector pay freeze, and continuing pressures from the impact of Covid. This leaves councils with an unpalatable choice between increasing council tax for hard-pressed local residents or cutting services that every local resident and business relies on.”

Don’t forget that people on benefits will begin again to pay Council Tax Relief/Reduction next year, which in some parts of the country is already unfairly high.

Still somebody’s happy:

Halloween Day FINAL.jpg

Written by Andrew Coates

October 31, 2021 at 6:15 pm

Thérèse ‘Karaoke’ Coffey Hits the Headlines.

Thérèse Coffey Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions Celebrating a Few Hours After Universal Credit Cut.

In an unusual move the East Anglian Daily Times (a fine local paper but one which will rarely criticise Suffolk MPs) carries this story about the MP for Suffolk Coastal. This Blog could add that while Coffey is known for a love of a good lunch, fine eating and dining, as well as cigars, her dancing and singing act has yet to be seen – correct me if I am wrong – in Suffolk pubs and restaurants.

Therese Coffey criticised for karaoke video after benefits cut

A Suffolk MP has been criticised for singing a karaoke version of (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life as a controversial cut to Universal Credit came into place.

Therese Coffey, the Suffolk Coastal MP and work and pensions secretary, performed a rendition of the power ballad with fellow Tory minister and Colchester MP Will Quince at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has been criticised for singing (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life as she cuts universal credit payments. Ms Coffey belted out a rendition of the power ballad with fellow Tory minister Will Quince at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester in the early hours of Wednesday. Labour called the timing of her karaoke performance of (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, as she removes the £20 uplift to universal credit for millions of people, “an insult and a disgrace

Today the paper has this story, one that our contributors know all too well.

I’m being made to feel like I shouldn’t have had a child’: Suffolk residents share impact of Universal Credit cut.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 7, 2021 at 9:33 am

It’s Universal Credit Cut Day!

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To Celebrate the Conservative Party Conference today is Universal Credit Cut Day!

The Tories can barely conceal their glee.

Here is what is happening:

This is what this kind of money means to Tories:

Doug mentions that Johnson is due to announce a rise in the Minimum Wage.

Some might say that this increase is a cheap stunt to distract people’s attention from the fact that millions will be worse off from this Wednesday.

As if making employers pay a bit more to some people is going to help those the government is taking payments from.

Here is Thérèse Coffey retweeting:

Written by Andrew Coates

October 6, 2021 at 7:10 am

Rishi Sunak: New (and Old) Schemes and Measures for the Unemployed.

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Agenda for the Out-of-Work.

The news this Morning.

“In a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday, Mr Sunak will promise new funding to help people leaving the scheme and support for over-50s looking for work, while his ‘kickstart’ scheme will also be extended.”

Metro: Rishi Sunak to announce £500,000,000 extension to ‘plan for jobs’

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak has not ruled out unemployment rising now the furlough scheme has ended, but told Sky News the government is “throwing the kitchen sink” at helping people find new roles and learn new skills. “

“In a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today, Mr Sunak will outline fresh funding for schemes designed to increase the chances of employment for those looking for work.

Sky gives some sketchy details ahead of of today’s speech.

Within the chancellor’s new £500m package of support is an extension of the Kickstart scheme – which provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment – until the end of March.

Mr Sunak is also extending a Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme – for those who have been unemployed for more than three months – by another year; and he is extending a Youth Offer of guaranteed support for all young people on Universal Credit until the end of 2025.

In addition, the chancellor is extending the £3,000 incentive for firms to take on apprentices until the end of January; he will expand support from work coaches for those on Universal Credit; and he will prioritise those who have left furlough and are looking for work on Universal Credit through the Job Finding Support service u

Within the chancellor’s new £500m package of support is an extension of the Kickstart scheme – which provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment – until the end of March.

Mr Sunak is also extending a Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme – for those who have been unemployed for more than three months – by another year; and he is extending a Youth Offer of guaranteed support for all young people on Universal Credit until the end of 2025.

In addition, the chancellor is extending the £3,000 incentive for firms to take on apprentices until the end of January; he will expand support from work coaches for those on Universal Credit; and he will prioritise those who have left furlough and are looking for work on Universal Credit through the Job Finding Support service until the end of December.

(Job Finding Support

Job Finding Support (JFS) is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs initiative. Job Finding Support offers tailored one-to-one support to help you back into work. It’s aimed at people who have been unemployed for up to 13 weeks, and it will help you develop the skills and confidence to find and secure new employment. Your work coach will be able to advise whether JFS is right for you and if you are eligible.

If you take part you will be offered at least 4 hours of one-to-one online support focused on what will help you find work, and at least one online group session. You will receive advice and practical support to help with your job search. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • help to identify your transferable skills
  • advice about growth industries and jobs
  • job matching to suitable vacancies and advice/links to suitable employers
  • a mock interview with feedback and guidance )

And….

The package will also include a new offer for those aged over 50, with better access to information and guidance on planning for later life for those in work, and more intensive, tailored support for those who have lost their jobs.

Thérèse Coffey has got the message.

She has plans for those on disability benefits.

…she wants to focus on “what people can do, rather than the benefit system being driven currently by what you cannot do”.

Ms Coffey’s comments appear to mark a new push towards pushing people who claim disability or sickness payments towards work.

She said far more people than she expected are in the ‘support group’ – where work is not necessary – of Employment and Support Allowance, which for many is part of Universal Credit.

She also warned more young people than she expected were claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – which is paid regardless of whether people work – due to mental health issues.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 4, 2021 at 7:57 am