Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Iain Duncan Smith

Campaign to Get Rid of Ex-DWP Minister Iain Duncan Smith.

with 94 comments

It was my privilege over the weekend to meet some Labour Party members from the constituency of our old friend, Iain Duncan Smith.

They told me of this (in reality rather more vividly),

THE CONSERVATIVES are calling for “help” as over 500 Labour supporters prepare to launch their campaign to ‘Unseat Iain Duncan Smith’.

According to a letter, believed to be from the local Tory association, the Conservative MP is preparing himself for a fight from the “hordes of Momentum”.

While the Chingford and Woodford Green MP increased his vote share by 1.2 per cent at last month’s general election, his 2015 majority fell from 8,386 to 2,438.

For 47 years the area has remained Tory, but Labour now has its sights set on turning the whole of Waltham Forest red.

The campaign will see left-wing columnist Owen Jones and Labour’s losing candidate Bilal Mahmood head to Hatch Lane, in Chingford, this Sunday – and 500 people are set to join them.

Another 2,400 people said they are ‘interested’ in attending the event called ‘Unseat Iain Duncan Smith – Campaign for Labour’.

I informed them of how we lot feel about our former Boss.

His crimes are too numerous to list, though his legacy, for the disabled, and for anybody caught up in Universal Credit, ensures they are far from forgotten.

Our Ace Reporters have covered Duncy’s attempts to wriggle out of his past,and call to “revisit the whole idea of work and sickness benefit”.

Though this has been in the news not too long ago, still banging on about ‘low value people’.

This time it’s European migrant workers,


Meanwhile Doug points out that “50 new areas are marked for UC to begin in October.”


Written by Andrew Coates

July 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Universal Credit: Iain Duncan Smith’s Love Child.

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Image result for universal credit l cartoon

This is important to bear in mind:

If you make a new claim for Universal Credit you will not be paid for the first seven days. These days are known as waiting days. Don’t let this stop you making your claim and apply as soon as you are entitled to do so as it can take up to six weeks after you claim for your first payment to reach your account.

During those 6 weeks (increasingly the norm), people can take out loans.

The loans are taken from the first payment.

You could be left – a real case – with around £70 a month to live on…

The latest on Iain Duncan Smith’s Love Child:

House of Commons Debate on Universal Credit

 On Tuesday 27th June 2017 there was a debate in the House of Commons on Universal Credit, Damian Hinds Minister for Employment informed the audience that DWP recognised the concerns raised and are working to resolve them.

To date over a million people have made a Universal Credit Claim with £530,000 currently on the new benefit, more people are now on Universal Credit than on JSA.

Under the full service 99% of claims are made online DWP have conducted a survey on those on the scheme, apparently 82% of claimants have said they are satisfied with the new system.

Landlords were a key topic in the debate and it appears that DWP are aware of the issues faced with Housing, because of this they have introduced a Housing Confidence Scheme whereby work coaches now speak with claimants about Housing and look at their budgeting and any difficulties that they may face making it easier to facilitate direct payments to Landlords.

The UC 47 has been redesigned with improvements making it easier for the landlord to complete and apply for direct payments and receive payments faster.

Currently, DWP are working on ways to make it easier for Landlords to find out the status of APA’s and will announce the details in the near future.

You can watch the debate by following the below link:


Alternatively you can follow the below link to read the transcript:


After watching the debate are you confident in the proposed changes and would you house someone on Universal Credit?

Today in the Mirror,

Families could be left penniless over Christmas as the online roll-out of Universal Credit causes a “Scrooge effect”, a former minister has claimed.

Labour MP Frank Field has written to Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke to express fears that expanding online applications for operation to 27 more local authority areas at that time of year could add to hardship already caused by delays in payments.

He wrote: “Such a revolutionary transition to the full service shortly before Christmas risks leaving large numbers of families without money, and facing misery, over the festive period.

“There is, of course, the six-week wait which new claimants must endure even if their claim for Universal Credit is processed on time.

“It is not inconceivable that a family with children making a new claim in mid-November could be left without money on Christmas Day, even if the system processes their claim as planned.

Given, though, that the current system struggles in some cases to cope with its existing caseload, the new system being rolled out just before Christmas could trigger all sorts of chaos.”



Written by Andrew Coates

July 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

Iain Duncan Smith: “I was a Cruel and Heartless Bastard as Work and Pensions Minister.”

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Iain Duncan Smith 

Iain Duncan Smith: Covering Himself Against Regime Collapse.

This caught my eye, and doubtless plenty of others, this morning when I bought my copy of the claimants’ favourite daily, The ‘I’.

After a recent  flop as a Radio 2 Presenter Iain Duncan Smith is flaying around looking for a new role and purpose in life.

Iain Duncan Smith says work capability assessments don’t work and are ‘too harsh’

Former minister for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has admitted that work capability assessments given to sick people are “too harsh” and offer a “cliff edge” choice between work and no work.

He added that this “cliff edge” view of work and illness adds stress to the process and encourages people to misrepresent their conditions to assessors.

Speaking at an event held by the Spectator magazine and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on The Conservative Route to Fighting Poverty, Duncan Smith said that these issues prompted the DWP to review the Work Capability Assessments (WCA) system of assessments a total of five times.

It was quite obvious to us that the system was far too narrow, was acting in a far too harsh manner and was making judgements about people,” he said. He added that despite these reviews, which helped “soften” these effects slightly, the system remains flawed: “The whole process of having a benefit that says you are either too sick to work or you can work, actually works against the nature of how people think of themselves,” he said.

Mr Duncan Smith, like Secret Police Chief  Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, after the death of Stalin, now claims that he was secretly planning to change the whole system all along:

Towards the end of his time as minister, before his departure from the department in May 2016, Duncan Smith had started to formulate plans to totally reshape the way these assessments were done.

“I came to the conclusion that it was time to review the whole way we do this and remove the cliff edge,” he said. “The cliff edge tempts people to make wrong declarations. And it means that whatever assessment you’re making becomes very critical, which adds extra stress.” He argued a system where someone could be deemed fit for some work, or a certain number of hours a week, would remove much of this strain. The current system, he added, works “directly against” getting people into work: “If you’re in work you’re likely to be healthier. Given all of that, the benefit we have works directly against that. It forces people out of the work environment rather than keeping them in.”

On a roll ‘Beria’ Duncan Smith is now going all out for radical reform in a last-ditch bid to save the ‘system’.

Speaking to a newspaper close to the crumbling ruling regime, The Sun, he said yesterday:


Iain Duncan Smith calls for an end to tower blocks in Britain and demands higher taxes on empty luxury homes

The ex-minister said that tower blocks should be replaced by ‘low-rise buildings’ in the wake of Grenfell Tower disaster


Written by Andrew Coates

June 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Universal Credit: The Epic Failure Continues.

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Image result for universal credit critics

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

I have heard from people who have done temporary jobs over Christmas and into the New Year that it is all too easy to get in difficulties with Universal Credit when you sign back on – the money you have earned in one part of a month means that you lose out in reduced  benefits for the rest of the month.

So, the government  advice seems to be, don’t do the right thing and sign off for a short while to work.

Oh, and don’t, really don’t get involved in trying to sort things out, that only bothers the people running the system who have far more important things to do.

As we can see, as the epic disaster that is Universal Credit continues to chunder along,

Universal Credit: from benefits panacea to government blunder, Dan Finn

Problems piling up

Critics, however, quickly pointed to design flaws and the erroneous assumptions made about the circumstances, employment capacity and budgeting skills of vulnerable individuals, poor families and low-paid workers. Incremental reforms have been made to administrative processes but mounting evidence, gathered by MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, illustrates the problems experienced in the transition to the new system.

Local authorities, welfare agencies and landlords highlight slow and inaccurate payments, administrative complexity and poor communications, increased rent arrears and risks of eviction. Claimants have been subject to inappropriate job search requirements and sanctions. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) acknowledges some problems but anticipates that most will be resolved through ameliorative measures, such as the provision of “money advice” and “alternative payment arrangements”. The select committee is unconvinced and, in February, submitted 20 detailed concerns and questions to the minister. And these problems have occurred before the DWP even starts to migrate millions of existing benefit households into the new system.

A series of reports from the Public Accounts Committee have catalogued problems that have beset the implementation of Universal Credit. These include over-optimistic and untested assumptions, weak management, ineffective project control and poor governance. In his valedictory evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee in February, Lord Freud, who for five years was responsible for implementation of Universal Credit, acknowledged it had been “harder than anticipated”, blaming the high turnover of senior civil servants and the loss of in-house expertise to design the IT system.

The practical result was a major “reset” of the project in 2013 with the DWP utilising a “twin track” approach. This presently comprises the national expansion of a more limited live service, where Universal Credit claims are made online, with other transactions managed by phone and post. Over time, there will be a gradual roll out of the more complex, full digital service, which has now been developed in-house. Freud asserted that this will allow for a more considered implementation. He also claimed that reported problems currently experienced by Universal Credit claimants are exaggerated, not directly caused by the new system (as with some rent arrears), and will be offset as minor adjustments are made, people settle in the system and increase their earned income.

More people will lose out

Whatever the merits of the original Universal Credit design, its capacity to deliver the outcomes promised has been further compromised by a plethora of other welfare reforms eroding the living standards of claimants. Universal Credit payment rates have been frozen for four years, and the full roll out will now be associated with benefit cuts and delayed tax credit related reductions. New claimants on Universal Credit have already been hit by some of these reductions, which have been incorporated into the design of the new system. Existing benefit claimants – not yet on Universal Credit – enjoy some transitional protection but will lose this if their circumstances change.

Note: see above….

The cumulative impact is that Universal Credit has become a tool for delivering welfare cuts rather than improving living standards. The new benefit now creates more losers than gainers and, when combined with the reduced value of work allowances, there are now fewer incentives for lone parents and second earners to work. Equally concerning, much of the increased employment secured by those who do gain will be in “mini-jobs” where families will combine work and welfare rather than move from welfare to work.

Early findings show that although, within nine months, the first wave of largely childless, single Universal Credit recipients worked 12 days more than comparable claimants, the primary change had simply been to make “it more worthwhile and easier for them to do small amounts of work”.

Note:  See above.

Always attentive to our needs this has been announced.

Universal credit recipients to get money advice James Richards 15 Feb 17

Universal credit claimants can now receive free support for their personal finances through an online money management tool.

The money manager has been launched by the Money Advice Service in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions.

It is an interactive tool that offers personalised advice for Universal Credit claimants on a range of money topics, such as opening a bank account, paying bills and dealing with debt.

The service has been designed to help people make the transition from Universal Credit to the world of work.

Damian Hinds, employment minister at DWP, said: “Universal Credit gives people back control of their own lives and finances, and makes the transition into work much smoother.

“Our work coaches offer budgeting support to all new claimants and this tool will help more people get all the skills they need to manage their money.”

Claimants will be able to find personalised information about bank accounts, help with setting up direct payments to landlords, budgeting, and saving money on regular bills.

 While we’re living to dream in this world of alternative facts….on which Benefit rates are frozen.

UK inflation hits two-year high of 1.6%

Air fares, imported raw materials, food and petrol price rises plus Brexit-fuelled fall in pound will squeeze family finances in 2017


Written by Andrew Coates

February 18, 2017 at 11:08 am

Damian Green lavishes praise on Iain Duncan Smith for ‘pouring his heart’ into job.

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Image result for iran duncan smith cartoons

Iain Duncan Smith: Very fond of hearts, preferably with a nice Chianti. 

Ipswich Unemployed Action posts this breaking news in the knowledge that us lot, here, do not exactly share this “appreciation”.

New Tory welfare chief Damian Green lavishes praise on Iain Duncan Smith for ‘pouring his heart’ into job

Says the Mirror,

The new Tory welfare chief has lavished praise on Bedroom Tax architect and sanctions defender Iain Duncan Smith.

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said Mr Duncan Smith “poured his heart” into changing the welfare system and should be honoured.

Mr Green said: “We’ve already started this journey. We are building on the record of Iain Duncan Smith, who over six years poured his heart into welfare reform – as did his successor Stephen Crabb.”We should thank both of them for the work they did.

“Our approach of reforming welfare, making work pay and supporting those who need the most help has transformed this country.”

He said a million more people were in work than in 2010, adding: “We should be proud of that record.”

And despite studies showing it will leave many thousands of pounds worse off, he said: “Universal Credit which sits at the heart of our welfare reforms ensures you will always be better off in work.”

Mr Green used the example of people with genetic conditions including Down’s Syndrome who he met doing jobs.

“Work is better for their self esteem, their sense of worth and their physical or mental health,” he said.


Just a minor point, the grammatically challenged Mr Green should note that the correct preposition is “Our approach to reforming Welfare”, the use of ‘of’ (as in his malapropism, ‘Our approach of reforming welfare’) which appears  the result of a distant memory of lessons on the objective genitive, is incorrect. 



Written by Andrew Coates

October 4, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Universal Credit: Saga of Failure to Continue.

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The Loud Man who Brought us this System.

Universal Credit Flaws Causing ‘Serious Detriment’ To Claimants

reports Welfare Weekly

Flaws in the UK Government’s flagship Universal Credit scheme are causing “serious detriment” to vulnerable people in Scotland, a damning new report from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) concludes.

An analysis by CAS found the new system contains “inherent flaws” which the charity says must be fixed before Universal Credit is rolled-out across Scotland, including delays in payments, technology glitches and unfair benefit sanctions.

The actual report is worth looking at:  certain aspects stand out.

Design challenges include:

  • A six-week wait to receive a first payment of Universal Credit
  • Challenges caused to claimants by a single monthly payment
  • The effect of Universal Credit sanctions
  • Challenges of a primarily online system when around 20% of future users struggle to use the internet

Comment by Ipswich Unemployed Action:

6 weeks is a long time anybody with bills to pay.

Sanctions as we know a wider category than for JSA – which people have noted include money withdrawals for *people in work*.

This Internet obsession seems designed to make the system fail for this large category – 2o% ‘future users’, could be a lot higher for existing people without proper access to the Web, or indeed the kind of Home access (another Bill for the less well-off)  the  Government seems to take for granted.

The Report also indicates:

 Administrative and transitional challenges include:

  • Confusion caused by running Universal Credit in parallel with an existing legacy benefits system
  • Early administrative issues causing delays in claims being processed
  • Issues with the Universal Credit Helpline
  • Teething problems with the Real Time Information system from employers

BLOG | Universal Credit faces testing times, but can be fixed

 Is the hopeful Blog post by  – Rob Gowans, CAS Policy Officer states,

It’s been a long wait for Universal Credit to arrive. Much has been written about its delayed arrival, IT gremlins and various projections about winners and losers from the new system. Finally, with Universal Credit now live across Scotland, we’re able to see how it works for people who claim it – and there’s a number of practical challenges that need to be addressed.

Our report ‘Learning from Testing Times’ takes a first look at how Universal Credit works in action for people who need support. From what CABs have seen so far, there’s been a long list of teething problems, ranging from people running out of money because of a six-week wait for any payment, being ping-ponged between different benefit claim websites, and running out of phone credit because of an expensive helpline before problems are resolved.

Why is this important? Well, to put this in some context, of the top ten most common issues that people came for advice at their local CAB about last year, five of them related to benefits that will eventually be replaced by Universal Credit, including all of the top three. In Scotland, around 830,000 people claim one of the six ‘legacy benefits’ that will be taken over by Universal Credit, compared to around 25,000 people who currently receive UC. It seems like it’s a matter of when, rather than if, Universal Credit becomes the most common issue that people seek advice on at their CAB.

Most importantly it can mean that people face real hardship. Amongst all the talk of making efficiency savings, it should be remembered that the social security system exists to be a safety net for people who find themselves in a situation where they need some basic financial support. CABs seeing clients who face the choice between eating, heating or paying rent because their benefit payment has not arrived is always a concern, and is where we look to any new system or process to improve.

It’s not all bad news for Universal Credit, though. The principles behind it remain worthy – particularly simplifying the complex benefits system that means many people who are entitled to support don’t claim it. And none of these challenges on their own should completely derail Universal Credit – they can all be fixed, given a bit of attention and political will.


Written by Andrew Coates

June 10, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Iain Duncan Smith – Tipped, in case of Brexit – as work and pensions secretary

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Just when you thought Iain Duncan Smith had left the DWP for ever. 

Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit cabinet: the possible lineup

If the UK votes to leave the EU and Boris Johnson replaces David Cameron, who would be the key figures around him in Downing Street?

The Guardian Speculates  (Today).

Our eyes fall immediately on this name and post.

Iain Duncan Smith – work and pensions secretary

The former cabinet minister could return to his old role driving through his universal credit project to shake up welfare if Osborne and Cameron were gone from Downing Street. Having resigned with unfinished business, he may have ambitions to carry on his mission.

Interviewed on his Mobile, Mr Nostfertau, Graf Orlok, aka, Iain Duncan Smith,  the “Bird of Death”  says.

“I shall return!”


Written by Andrew Coates

June 3, 2016 at 4:27 pm