Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Benefit Cuts

Accept help to lose weight, or lose your benefits. Official.


Dole to Tell you to Cut down on Visits to Chippie.

Cameron: Accept help to lose weight, or lose your benefits

Posts Conservative Home, apparently the Home of Conservatism.

‘Obese people who refuse medical treatment to help them lose weight could have their benefits cut, the Prime Minister will announce today. David Cameron will launch a review to work out the cost to taxpayers and the economy of ‘preventable’ conditions such as obesity and drug and alcohol addiction. He has asked a government health adviser to examine plans to force people with health problems to undertake treatment when claiming benefits.’ – Daily Mail

  • This is about protecting taxpayers – The Sun Says (you have to pay to read this)
  • Britain is the fat man of Europe – The Times Leader (you have to pay to read this as well).

The Telegraph registers some of the changes about to be introduced.

‘Fat taxes’ and benefit cuts

David Cameron is expected to announce shortly that overweight people could have benefits worth around £100 a week reduced or ended altogether if they refuse to lose weight.

This has led to speculation that extra taxes could be levied on overweight working people too. Another option on the table is to tax food to make unhealthy items more expensive and to subsidise healthy food.

Experts have previously said that “fat taxes” would have to increase the price of unhealthy food and drinks by as much as 20pc in order to cut consumption by enough to reduce obesity and other diet-related diseases. For a family spending £100 a week on food, £50 of which is spent on “unhealthy food”, this would add £520 a year, or £10 a week, to their shopping bill.

But, standing up for differently weighted people (for reasons which coast near the bleedin’ obvious), they state,

Fat taxes? Overweight people already pay more

Obesity is a growing financial burden for Britain. But being overweight could also affect your personal finances.

We can all guess the kind of person who talks about “personal finances” without screwing their lips together, hard.

The Guardian takes a different angle on these latest proposals to tell people how to live their lives:

Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut

David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems.

So it’s not just those visits to Iceland for a stack of cheap burgers and a tub of ice-cream (breakfast), it’s our two litres of White Cider (lunch), and a spliff of skunk (tea) that they’re after.

The lives of those who like a drink, a bag of chips and some blow, are to be reformed.

One wonders what kind of record of our eating, drinking, and ingesting habits we’ll have to present to Coachey when we sign on,

This comment seems appropriate, “A Newfangled Nanny State? U.K. Government to Force Fat People to Lose Weight by .

Except that I, like just about everybody here, has never had a nanny and am not clear what they do.

Iain Duncan Smith: No ” Scaring and Frightening People” by Publishing Statistics on Deaths from Benefit Cuts

Iain Duncan Smith: “Scaring and Frightening People”.

Compare and Contrast.


Iain Duncan Smith claims 200,000-strong campaign to reveal Tory benefits deaths is ‘disgraceful’.

He’s fighting a legal battle to keep the figures secret – yet the Work and Pensions Secretary claims Labour MPs are just ‘frightening people’

The Work and Pensions Secretary lashed out after coming under fire over the figures – which his department is waging a legal battle to keep secret.

More than 200,000 people have signed an online petition by ex-welfare advisor Maggie Zolobajluk, 63, calling for the figures to be made public.

But instead of addressing it he’s replied with a furious attack on Labour, two of whose MPs rounded on him in the Commons yesterday.

He accused the opposition of ‘going out every day scaring and frightening people’ and ‘deliberately misrepresenting’ the government’s fit-for-work schemes.

And he attacked Labour because the party introduced the work capability assessment in 2007, before the Coalition expanded it.

MP Marie Rimmer asked him: “May I ask again why the Government are refusing to publish – even though the Information Commissioner has instructed them to do so – the up-to-date statistics relating to the number of people who have died, having been found fit for work at their face-to-face assessment?”

Mr Duncan Smith replied: “I find it absurd that Opposition Members deliberately try to misrepresent what happens under such schemes.

“I remind the honourable lady it was her Government who introduced the employment support allowance and the work capability assessment, and at no stage did they say that that led to people committing suicide.

“People in that situation are often in a very delicate and difficult position, and I find it disgraceful that she is going round making such allegations.”

That made MP Debbie Abrahams thunder: “Does the Secretary of State think that he and his Department are above the law?

“Why does he refuse to publish the details of the number of people who have died within six weeks of their claims for incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance, including those who have been found fit for work?”

But Mr Duncan Smith said: “I find it unbelievable that she, the honourable lady and others have spent all their time trying to make allegations about people going about their work.

“It is a crying shame that Labour members want to go out every day scaring and frightening people. It is no wonder they lost the election.”

He also claimed his department ‘doesn’t collate the numbers’ at all – appearing to fly in the face of his own officials’ advice.

Petition founder Ms Zolobajluk said: “I could see what was happening in the community. It was so predictable. These cuts came in and left people feeling helpless.”

The request to release the figures was made under the Freedom of Information Act by campaigner Mike Sivier.

He asked how many people who died between November 2011 and May 2014 had been found ‘fit for work’, or told they could move towards getting work.

DWP chiefs said they were preparing to publish the information in their own time, and it’d be unfair to rush them – but Information Commissioner Christopher Graham ruled they’d acted unreasonably.

Click here for the full petition.


Daily Mail.

You can hardly blame Iain Duncan Smith for occasionally exploding. The Left are extremely irritating when it comes to welfare cuts.

We will therefore forgive him becoming so batey yesterday during his departmental questions that he started sounding like the Mr Angry character who used to pop up on Steve Wright’s BBC radio shows.

Work and Pensions Secretary IDS has spent the last five years trying to wrestle with our nation’s vast and baffling welfare system, trying to reduce its costs and push more welfare claimants into jobs. He has achieved great things yet still the leviathan exists, pumping cash, de-energising, de-incentivising, de-moralising.

This is not just a British madness. Much of the European Union is in the grip of socialist welfarism, often wrecking the chances of the people it affects to help.

Mr Duncan Smith finds himself taking on a continental statist consensus, constructed over decades by pipe-sucking Jean-Paul Sartre intellectuals – and used by Left-wing politicians to create client voters from the millions whose bank accounts are injected with public money.

“….still the leviathan exists….”

I stop there to consult my copy of Sartre’s La Nausée (Nausea) and smoke my pipe.

I see the publisher has been kind enough to put a drawing of my good self on the front.

Iain Duncan Smith “Does not Know Where Welfare Cuts will Come from”. Vote Him Out!

Iain Duncan Smith admits the Tories have not worked out where their £12bn welfare cuts will come from.


The Conservatives have not worked out where their planned £12bn welfare cuts will come from, Iain Duncan Smith has admitted.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the Tories had not “done the work” and were not in a position to say which benefits would be curtailed.

Asked why he could not disclose the cuts, he said: “We would have to have done the work on it. That’s why. We would have had to reach agreement as to exactly where those are… as soon as we’ve done the work and had it modelled we’ll let everybody know what that is.”

In March of this year the Institute for Fiscal Studies challenges the Conservatives over their planned cuts and said the Chancellor should spell out exactly which benefits would suffer.

“But it is now almost two years since he announced his intention of cutting welfare spending by £12bn. Since then the main announcement has been the plan not to cut anything from the main pensioner benefits,” Paul Johnson, the Institute’s Director, said.

“We have been told about no more than £2bn of the planned cuts to working-age benefits. And, remember, apparently the ‘plan’ is to have those £12bn of cuts in place by 2017-18. It is time we knew more about what they might actually involve.”

The New Statesman provides the detailed transcript of what he said,

N: Let me come – speaking of a benefits and welfare, let me come back to you  IDS. Now in March you said that you are – I quote you: ‘May or may not decide that it’s relevant to reveal to the British electorate where the £12bn of welfare cuts are going to come from in the next government’  if you win. Why don’t think it’s relevant that we should know?

IDS: Because we’d have to have done the work on it, that’s why and we’d have had to reached agreement as to exactly where those are. We’ve let know – the public know exactly one area which was that we’re going to freeze those benefits. That’s going to save between 2 and 3 three billion pounds and also –

AN: About £2bn now with low inflation.

IDS:  – and we’re going to lower the cap to £23,000 which is average earnings. But as I said on the Marr programme more recently I said, you know, as soon as we have done the work and had it properly modelled then we will let everybody know what that is.

AN: Shouldn’t you have done the work before you come to the British people to ask for re-election?

IDS: Yes, but the key area here of course –

RR: Yes.

IDS: no, well okay, but the key area here is that everyone is very clear that after the next election, if you get a Conservative government we have already said that we will save £12bn from essentially working age benefits and we’ve said that. That’s very clear. But I have locked out –

SW:  What I don’t understand is … what you won’t cut.  If you’re clear  you won’t cut pensions, child benefit, disablement benefit.

IDS: Yes.

RR: Well he hasn’t completely about child benefit.

SW: Then why can’t you be clear about what you will cut?

IDS: Well because, as I said, the work that we do on this will be done in the spending room, we will announce that out at the time.

Now we already have

  • The Benefit Cap.
  • The Bedroom Tax.
  • No rise in many benefits to meet growing cost of living.
  • Obligation to pay Council Tax percentage by all claimants.
  • Massive sanctions.

In the offing are (Guardian): “abolishing statutory maternity pay and barring under-25s from claiming incapacity benefit or housing benefit. ”

Getting employers to contribute more to the cost of statutory maternity pay – or as an alternative abolishing it entirely.

Freezing benefit payments at current levels across the board.

Limiting welfare payments by family size.

Forcing single parents on income support to seek work when their youngest child reaches the age of three (currently five).

Making it harder for sick people to claim state aid when they are out of work by introducing “stricter” fit-for-work tests and/or tighter limits on eligibility.

Increasing the bedroom tax on certain categories of renters.

Barring under-25s from claiming incapacity benefit or housing benefit.


They could simply cut JSA…..

I bet they’d like to.

So we’d all be begging charity from Foodbanks and the ‘Big Society’.

Vote to get rid of this crew!

David Cameron’s Government to be reported to United Nations over bedroom tax and benefit cuts

Is this a turning point to reverse the bedroom tax and benefit cuts? Liverpool Council is reportedly referring the Tory Government’s controversial welfare reform policies to the United Nations for what it says is a breach of the UN economic and social rights convention.

It is to be seen whether other local authorities or government departments will follow suit – and how this action could effect Ipswich and the local area – in addition to the country as a whole.

Liverpool Council says the PM’s government could be breaking international laws on ensuring people are kept out of poverty

Liverpool Council is reporting David Cameron to the United Nations, claiming that his government could be breaking international rules on keeping people out of poverty.

Authority bosses believe the coalition – through its controversial policies such as the hated bedroom tax and welfare reform – could be in breach of the UN economic and social rights convention that sets out minimum standards for access to food, clothing and housing.

Labour members from all parts of the city have spoken of the evidence they have gathered of people who were being forced into degrading poverty because they were being denied access to benefits they desperately needed.

Many are ending up having to resort to what they said was effectively “begging” for food at food banks, the Liverpool Echo reports.

At a meeting this week, councillors heard stories of people stripped of their dole money for up to 16 weeks because they had been late for interviews or had failed to meet the criteria of the government’s Welfare to Work programme.

And they heard claims that in some job centres in the city, suspensions of benefits and other sanctions had risen by up to 500% since 2012.

But the government has hailed the removal of benefits from people who “aren’t pulling their weight” as evidence that the “something for nothing” culture was being tackled.

Cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool Cllr Jane Corbett, who brought forward a motion along with Croxteth Cllr Barry Kushner, said: “We were elected to represent the people of Liverpool and speak up for them, fight for justice for them to make sure their voices are heard.”

In a rare moment of cross-party unity, Lib Dem Cllr Pat Moloney said: “It is the moral purpose of government to protect its citizens … and to keep them out of hunger and worse.”
by Mark Waddington in the Mirror, Jan 17th 2014: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/liverpool-council-report-david-cameron-3031436

Thanks to Benefit Tales

Benefits Chaos in Store for Us, Does Labour Offer a Solution?

The Guardian reports on a major speech to be given today by Liam Byrne, their Shadow Minister  ,

“The coalition’s benefit cuts have descended into “chaos” that will cost an extra £1.4bn because of delays, extra claimants, waste and complaints,Labour claims.”

This is the bit that concerns us lot most,

Labour said the biggest cost would come from the government’s probable failure to meet its targets on the youth contract, which pays employers to hire young people. The government is projected to miss its aim of subsidising jobs by 92%, meaning 147,940 more young people on the dole at a cost of £9m a week in 2014.

The party said another large extra cost was caused by universal credit, a scheme to make sure people get all their benefits in one lump sum. Labour said this would need £300m in 2015 as the project had been hit by delays and IT problems.

“Universal credit was once a flagship, now a sinking ship,” Byrne will say. “If we don’t fix this mess, millions of families’ tax credits will be put at risk – along with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”

Labour also pointed to fraud and error costing £140m, the £119m cost of extra benefits caused by an under-performing welfare-to-work programme, and an additional £102m to implement the bedroom tax – cuts to housing benefit for households with spare rooms. It said tribunals related to people challenging cuts to their disability benefit would cost £290m.

Byrne will also call on ministers to impose a deadline on the healthcare company Atos to “turn things around or lose its contract” …

The BBC has just reported the speech Liam Bryne actually made,

He said Labour backed Universal Credit, which is due to replace the majority of out-of-work benefits by 2017, “in principle” but “the implementation is a disaster,” with extra costs likely to add up to £300m to implement by 2016-17. Mr Byrne says he has written to the DWP to call for cross-party talks “to see exactly how bad things are” with universal credit and “what’s needed to fix them”.

Labour would bring “social security spending” under control and “tackle these delivery problems head on”, he said.

The BBC’s Political Correspondent,  Vicki Young comments,

A closer look at Mr Byrne’s speech reveals that his criticism is directed at the delivery of the programme rather than the principle.

He actually backs work capability tests for the disabled but believes another company should get the contract.

On Universal Credit, he says it’s a good idea, but needs to be implemented more efficiently – even the DWP admits it hasn’t been a smooth path.

As the Guardian noted,

” Miliband has said the coalition’s welfare cuts will be a “starting point” that cannot be reversed without savings elsewhere, but promised an approach to benefits that will restore the “dignity of work”.”

Need we be reminded that it James Purnell, as Work and Pensions Secretary under Gordon Brown, who first put forward the idea of cutting welfare?

The final nail in social security’s coffin came with the demise of the Department of Social Security in 2001 and its replacement by the Department for Work and Pensions. The significance was underlined by James Purnell when he became secretary of state seven years later. He called it “an ideological break with the past” and dismissed the very notion of social security: “Security as something handed down; welfare as bureaucratic transfer; people as recipients of funds.”

Liam Byrne also has form on this kind of thing,

Extracts from Liam Byrne’s speeches of the past.

1. In 2011, Byrne told Labour conference: “Many people on the doorstep at the last election felt that too often we were for shirkers not workers.”

2. He told LSE a year ago: “Labour is the party of hard workers not free-riders. The clue is in the name. We are the Labour party. The party that said that idleness is an evil. The party of workers, not shirkers.”

3. An ally of Liam Byrne told the Mail on Sunday in Dec 2011: “Decent Labour voters see their neighbours lie about all day and get benefits while they are working their socks off, and say, ‘Why should I vote Labour when they let this happen?’”