Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith Announces Plans for more Misery for Claimants as Mental Health Targeted.

IDS: Having as a Laugh at Claimants’ Expense. 

Iain Duncan Smith is planning a shake-up of the rules on sickness benefit to encourage more people into work.

Announces the BBC.

The work and pensions secretary will argue in a speech that the current system is too “binary” – with claimants deemed either fit or unfit for work.

Instead, claimants should be made to take up any work they can, even if it is just a few hours, he will say.

Labour says cutting benefits for people who are not able to work is punishing the disabled for government failures.

But Mr Duncan Smith insists that the “most vulnerable people in our society” will be protected under his latest reforms.

‘Mental Health’. 

His speech, in London, will not contain any policy announcements but aims instead to start a “conversation” about the next phase of welfare reform, according to DWP officials.

Mr Duncan Smith will be focusing on the Employment Support Allowance, which is paid to those unable to work on health grounds. Those who receive the payment have their fitness to work tested under the Work Capability Assessment.

He believes those assessments should be more personalised, so if someone is able to work for a few hours they are helped to do so.

“It is right that we look at how the system supports people who are sick,” he will say.

Mr Duncan Smith argues that instead of an “either or” assessment, what is needed is “a system focused on what a claimant can do and the support they’ll need, and not just on what they can’t.”

He will add: “Nearly 11 million adults in the UK have a common mental health condition and people are much more likely to fall out of work if they do.

“We also know that being out of work for four weeks or more can actually effect people’s mental health, even if the original reason for ill health was a physical one.”

These, the Independent observes, are 7 ways Iain Duncan Smith has “helped” the disabled so far.

  • Closing Remploy factories
  • Scrapping the Independent Living Fund
  • Cut payments for the disabled Access To Work scheme
  • Cut Employment and Support Allowance
  • Risk homelessness with a sharp increase disability benefit sanctions
  • Sending sick people to work because of broken fitness to work tests
  • The bedroom tax

Community Work Placements: the Final Bow of Iain ‘Limpet’ Duncan Smith.

 

Close Relatives of Iain Duncan Smith in Welfare-to-Work Industry.

Cabinet Reshuffle, “once again welfare reforms minister Iain Duncan Smith has been left in situ, despite widespread claims his controversial universal credit scheme is in crisis. He previously refused a move and it is not known whether Cameron even attempted to shuffle him this time around.” International Business Times.

As Iain ‘Limpet’ Duncan Smith clings to his Cabinet post he will have to look at the unemployment figures.

The Independent today reports the TUC saying that,

The jobless rate stood at 5.2 per cent in the first three months of 2008 and the TUC will point to an analysis it has conducted of official figures showing that half a million fewer people were unemployed then than in January-March 2014.

It is, as Boycott Workfare states, of public notoriety that,

People on workfare placements are counted as “employed” in government statistics.

The Office of National Statistics confirmed this in response to a parliamentary question.

These are the main schemes,

  • Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) – The scheme mandates four weeks’ unpaid work for up to 30 hours a week. Although the government claims it is “community work”, its definition of this includes working “for the profit of the host organisation.”. Claimants can face losing benefits for 3 months the first time they do not take part, and this can go up to 3 years for the third time. Claimant’s can, and are, referred to MWA at any point in their claim.
  • The Work Programme – This is essentially a for profit Job Centre you are forced to attend normally after 9-12 months on JSA where you can be forced to carry out workfare at the whim of the private provider. Figures are not available for the number of mandatory work placements under this programme, but Ingeus (owned by city financiers Deloitte) force people to do six month long workfare placements. The Work Programme, is expected to cost  the taxpayer £5 billion pounds.
  • Steps to Work – The equivalent of the Work Programme in Northern Ireland.
  • Community Work Placements (Help to Work).

The last on the list has yet to get really going.

But we note that Iain Duncan Smith’s fellow rock pool life are busy organising it.

The attractions – ‘reducing’ unemployment – are too obvious to underline.

Plus there’s a pretty penny to be made replacing properly paid workers for essential jobs (see below – we are not joking!).

Community Work Placements

Seetec wins Community Work Placements contracts in five areas.

The DWP have recently announced the winners of the Community Work Placement contracts.

Seetec is delighted to have been successful in the following Contract Package Areas:
CPA 1: East of England: Beds & Herts; Cambridge and Suffolk; Essex; Norfolk
CPA 7: North West 2:  Greater Manchester Central, Greater Manchester East and West, Cheshire and Warrington
CPA 10: South East 2: Kent; Surrey and Sussex
CPA 12: South West 2: Gloucester, Wiltshire and Swindon; West of England
CPA 14: West Midlands 1:  Birmingham and Solihull; Black Country

This two year contract part of the government’s Help to Work scheme designed to reach out to the ‘hardest to help’ jobseekers to help them find employment and break the cycle of benefit dependency. Beneficiaries of this programme will undertake work placement opportunities of up to 30 hours a week lasting up to 26 weeks and will be further supported with up to ten hours of job search activity per week.

We are keen to identify opportunities for local projects or work placements which currently exist or could be created in order to improve the local community as well as the confidence and employability prospects of individuals who take part. Placements could be within group projects or in the form of single placements and must all be of community benefit.

We are interested in approaches from all organisations which feel may be able to offer project or placement opportunities. We have expert supervisors in place to manage and run projects but we are also happy to discuss existing projects which have supervisors already in place.

Of particular interest are opportunities which exist within Local councils and Housing Providers to increase numbers on existing projects or to create new projects of benefit to their residents and the local area they serve.

Examples of such projects include estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services. The list of potential projects is almost endless.
If you are interested in working with Seetec to develop innovative and engaging ideas for the delivery of CWP please e-mail in the first instance to: bizdev@seeetec.co.uk or call Peter Walkerley, Business Development and Partnership Manager on: 01702 201070 Ext. 8262.

Alternatively, if you would like to offer support in the form of venues, projects or placements please call Seetec on freephone: 0800 65 25 414.

Why not contact SEETEC and tell them what you think of their plans to get unpaid workers to do the jobs of

” estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services.” ?

The Void today publishes a case study in how one money-grubbing workfare scheme operates.

Food Banks not just for Christmas but for Life?

Charity by our Betters.

The Sunday papers continued to carry stories about Food Banks.

In the Observer we heard of,

…a growing row over food poverty, as church leaders and the Labour party accuse ministers of failing to recognise the growing crisis hitting hundreds of thousands of families whose incomes are being squeezed, while food prices soar.

Responding to requests for a meeting from Chris Mould, chairman of theTrussell Trust, which has provided food supplies to more than 500,000 people since April, Duncan Smith has dismissed claims that the problems are linked to welfare reforms and attacked the charity for publicity-seeking. In his most recent response on 22 November, Duncan Smith made clear that he had received enough letters from the trust and referred Mould to his previous answers. His deputy, Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform, also explicitly rejected an invitation for talks on 30 August, telling the trust’s chairman that he was “unable to take up your offer of a meeting”.

Mould, whose organisation is struggling to keep up with ever-increasing demand for its services, said that he and his army of volunteers could not understand why ministers were refusing to listen to their suggestions for easing the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need.

In the Sunday Times the bishop of London showed a worrying trend: Christians and other believers proclaiming their superiority because they help set up Food Banks.

Richard Chartres said,

It takes God’s love to open a food bank.

In the full article (which I read in the library, you can only get an extract on the Net, and, no doubt if you cannot afford food then you’d have difficulty buying the Sunday Times), he ended by asserting that secularists and atheists, in the National Secular Society, had not, to his knowledge, opened a Food Bank.

No doubt as they had not followed the ways of Christ and could not feel, the “particular blessing at Christmas”.

Perhaps distributing food to the poor and hungry, and no doubt washing their feet, is something only the Church can do.

In the absence of a welfare system, where benefits are a right, not something we have to depend on the charity of the faithful to provide.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am