A Deadly Warning From Across the Ocean for Universal Jobmatch

kleneze-jobsA tragic case in the US has highlighted how unemployed and disabled people forced to use the Government’s Universal Jobmatch website may literally be risking their lives.

Richard Beasley faces the death penalty in Ohio after luring three men to their deaths by posting fake job advertisements on the craigslist website.  Beasley, a self-styled street preacher, shot three men who have been described as ‘down and outs’ by the US media.  He sounds like Iain Duncan Smith’s kinda guy.

No blame has been attached to craigslist, who like the similar UK website gumtree, post extensive safety information for people looking for work online.

There is no such information on the Universal Jobmatch website. Even worse, because this is a government run website, many users may be lulled into a false sense of security.  Claimants might assume that surely someone somewhere is checking whether the jobs posted are genuine and not scams, spam or the work of a deranged serial killer.

Sadly this is far from the case.  Several scam vacancies have appeared on Universal Jobmatch, along with advertisements for sex workers – in breach of government policy and despite the website being available to under 18s – as well as a succession of spoof vacancies. 

Whilst some vacancies can be applied for via the website, many just ask applicants to ring a mobile phone number or send them an email.  Even worse bogus employers can use the CV search function to target marginalised claimants.  Astonishingly if a man like Beasley exists in the UK, unemployed people could be forced to contact him by the Jobcentre or face benefits being stopped.

Universal Jobmatch seems to have become largely a goldmine for flaky sales companies offering self-employed jobs on a commission only basis.  Most of the rest of the jobs available are simply reposts of jobs advertised with other recruitment sites such as CV Warehouse.

At the time of writing this piece, of the last 100 vacancies posted to Universal Jobmatch an astonishing 48 were spammy advertisements for Kleeneze and Infocus catalogue distributors.  These are self-employed positions which require people to pay up front for the opportunity to possibly earn a pittance attempting to flog over-priced household products to friends and relatives.

There were also five positions advertised for company called Solar King.  These were commission only jobs advertised as full time.  According to Solar King the average commission earned for these full time positions is £160-320 a week – meaning some people are earning considerably less than minimum wage.  To apply claimants are offered simply a mobile phone number or an email address to contact.

Whether one day that mobile phone number belongs a man like Richard Beasley does not appear to trouble Iain Duncan Smith in the slightest.

Get Safe Online is a government backed website promoting internet safety.  If you have concerns about the safety of  Universal Jobmatch they can be contacted at: https://www.getsafeonline.org/share-your-story/

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89 responses to “A Deadly Warning From Across the Ocean for Universal Jobmatch

  1. Pingback: A Deadly Warning From Across the Ocean for Universal Jobmatch | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  2. but if they are killed by a serial killer, then they wont be claimed the dole..so figures go down

    • Yay, murder victim, sounds like a great job. I can just imagine it now, sitting in the dole office and being told “here you are, it says ‘murder victim required, usual terms and conditions apply, send your CV to S. Todd.’”

      There’s definitely a movie in this. The dole office that fulfils its targets – 100% of jobseekers off the books again within weeks.

      • That gives a whole new meaning to “Stricter Benefit Regime”. Careful now!. We’ll be giving Iain Bunkum Smith ideas.

  3. and that does not include the risk to women. bad enough as it is.

    • One of the biggest risks to the health (& safety) of women, and men is being involved with the job centre – full stop. Just by walking through their doors there’s a high risk of stress levels increasing; self-esteem lowering; doubts arising over ability to think rationally/make reasonable judgements and an increasing sense of powerlessness and unreality.

      Alongside everyday challenges vis. making tiny amounts of money stretch over 14 long days; attempting to somehow remain upbeat and confident (at least some of that time) – so that an employer will eventually think you are worth their time and effort and the nightmare might start to end. Being so-called ‘job ready’, whilst unable to make even basic purchases needed for the ‘world of work’ (clothes/shoes suitable for interview(s)/work) – there was a grant for this before which no doubt no longer exists. Trying to retain the belief that unemployment is not an offence and you are therefore not an offender – that may in fact be both honest and even employable – despite regular threatening letters stating that even this holey safety-net could be summarily removed at the stroke of a pen.

      All this is well-known – but violent and unforeseen death-by-serial-killer – as against what’s currently being carried out in JCPs up and down the country (and called ‘support’) …when looked at side-by-side both include elements of extreme mental as well as possible physical cruelty. Both have the potential to result in death – whether this is actual, in the first case or ‘just’ metaphorical in the second – as in a slow, gradual quashing of the spirit, in one least-worst case scenario.

      The most striking difference that jumps out for me (pun not intentional) is that one of these two acts of violence is recognised as being criminal and inhumane – and the perpetrators, if apprehended, are incarcerated -

      • Many of the jobs available seem to be low-paid part-time jobs which still leaves you depending on benefits, foodbanks and subject to Duncan Smith’s crazed and cruel ‘conditionality’ which includes workfare, or low-paid zero hour contract jobs – a life of constant insecurity and uncertainty that leaves you unable to make any plans because you need to be available to work at any time. So it’s starting to look like beating the odds and getting a job may not be the end of this nightmare.

        • For years Tories and many right leaning economists have been saying poor people – particularly those on benefits – are too “comfortable” and “secure” on benefits. Exploitative capitalist systems such as hours need insecurity, for that undermines workers’ solidarity and undermines people’s willingness to campaign for better wages and conditions. The cultivation of a sense of insecurity – and the implementation of it – is a key aim of all of these reforms.

          Expect even more of this theme of insecurity in subsequent Tory led reforms, especially if they get in in 2015…

          • Yeah and my understanding is Labour are also big believers in a “flexible labour market”, so whichever neoliberal party gets in, it’s going to continue. My tutor told me the other day, that he is on a zero hour contract and that it is becoming the new norm in employment, so we can expect the same conditions if we get a job. Whole days spent sitting by the phone in limbo, having to be ready to drop whatever you might be doing at a moments notice, so you can rush to your job for the day. You can’t have a decent quality of life under those conditions. What do you do when they don’t have any work for you? How do you pay your bills? Do you have to go to Wonga to make ends meet? Can you sign on temporarily?

        • That’s true, but on the other hand, “a change is as good as a rest …”

  4. do u people have to show the jobcentre your ujm account ? im going on tuesday please help

    • Yosserian Hughes

      @joe. No you don’t. Don’t let them kid you otherwise.

      On the subject of kleensleeze and the like; There were a few vacancies in my area about 2months back for a ‘company’ called Dee Set Logistics who wanted £15 up front for a polo shirt & fleece (Fleece bein’ the key word in this instance) for a zero-hour contract, stackin’ shelves.

      I brought it to the attention of JCP staff who simply shrugged their shoulders and said ‘meh’.

      • something survived...

        Yes they are a scam. Dee Set Logistics wanted me to buy a uniform not even available in my size, and pay startup costs. Without the guarantee of an actual job. When they know I can’t stack shelves: top ones are impossible, high ones are too high, lifting is a problem. They also wanted people with a car to get to the work. I don’t even drive. Duhhhh!

    • Landless Peasant

      I wouldn’t even worry about it. The minions in my Jobcentre have never even mentioned it. I did create an account, but have not ticked the box to allow them permission to view it, and anyway it won’t even let me log on now. It’s unworkable, and they know it.

      • I think you’re right. I’ve admitted to having an made an account but then wasn’t asked for any proof, or about whether I’d allowed permission. They might push things more if they don’t see enough other evidence of job search or if they haven’t slept well the night before or if there’s an ‘R’ in the month…

    • They cant mandate you to open a Government Gateway account as you need to consent to open one. If you close your GG account or just not open one. How can you open a UJ account? I think their screwed. Warning: not tested. I would like to know though.

  5. The standards of this country are in freefall thanks to this government who seem to make the rules as they go along. We’ve gone from Health & Safety gone mad to the other extreme.

    I fully agree this UJ site is regurgitated agency – vacancies…? and commision based rubbish promising the world. After showing an interest they attempt to ensnare you into watching some mind-numbing videos of how rich you will become very soon finally asking for a fee to cover stock and leaflets. If it was so good they’d surely not need to charge a fee. John.

  6. Pingback: A Deadly Warning From Across the Ocean for Universal Jobmatch | Crash Space | Scoop.it

  7. JULIE DUNN- BROWN

    I enjoy reading the void there are some very interesting issues i dont agree with some of them but most of them deserve some consideration x

    ________________________________

  8. is it true that if you dont give them access they are allowed to force you onto the jobcentre pc and look over your shoulder at what you have been doing thats what they said to me please help again and thanx mate

    • please help

    • Joe. Things are a bit sketchy on this at the moment. The first thing is do not tick the box giving them access. Now because this makes the site pretty useless they (JCP) are now saying they want screen shots off people. In your case they want to look over your shoulder. As far as i am concerned not giving them access is NOT giving them access. Therefore they have no right to ask or do these things. At the moment there are Freedom of Information requests pending in relation to this. The DWP are slippery bastards and it could take some time to winkle an answer out of them. It is not my arse on the line. It may be better in your case to keep them happy. I would put a complaint in though. Basically I think that they are acting illeagally and bullying you but as I say, it is not my arse that is on the line.

  9. I have never applied for a job that states “company confidential”. Why can’t you give me the company name? It seems dodgy from the outset. I’d rather be able to research the company before I apply, even if its a employment agency.

    • I have noticed that an increasing number of jobs advertised on there are marked as ‘company confidential’.

    • UniversalPovertyPimp

      Use the odd company confidential add too beef up your job searching activites because you will never here from these people or get a job through them most of the time they are jobs that the DWP have recycled to beef up UJM and make it look like theres lots of jobs.

      • So, you’re suggesting it’s just a game that we/they are now playing – they get to keep their job and we (if we are lucky) get to keep a roof over our heads for the next two weeks anyway …. when do we get to change ends?

  10. please help ^

    • Last time I was at the jobcentre, it was dog eat dog for use of a computer, so I doubt if they have enough computers to do this or suffcient staff to watch everyone. You could perhaps tick the box to allow the advisor to look at your account before you sign on and untick it when you get home. I would advise keeping the status of any uploaded cv to private, so only a legitimate employer can see it if you apply through the site. You can use the activity section to record all jobseeking actvity, sites visited etc. Ticking that box is voluntary at the moment.

  11. Being forced/”mandated” to use universal jobmatch is like being forced/”mandated” to use Scumtree. It is horrific that jobseekers are being forced to use this atrocious site, because, mark my words, as happened with Scumtree and Craiglist a jobseeker is going to lose their life!

  12. “and he warns:

    ‘We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilizations will blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity. The elites, who successfully convinced us that we no longer possessed the capacity to understand the revealed truths presented before us or to fight back against the chaos caused by economic and environmental catastrophe, will use their resources to create privileged little islands where they will have access to security and goods denied to the rest of us.’ (p. 197)”

    http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2012/713-the-illusion-of-democracy.html

    • There is just one little problem with that scenario.

      The privileged seem to think they can insulate themselves from the world and their money will protect them. This is an illusion.

      First, without workers to comply,they can not make any money. Their wealth depends on people a) making goods or providing services and
      b) other pepole being able to afford to buy these goods and services.
      c) people depositing their money in banks so it can be lent out to others at interest.
      d) The kinds of goods and services they wish to purchase or use being available to them – this also requires the little people.

      Second, the wealthy rely on a host of other people in order to ennable them to live their privileged lifestyles. People who have close, daily contact with them – whether it be chauffeurs, nannies, cooks, cleaners, secretaries, even pilots for their private jets.

      They cannot ever insulate themselves or be protected by their wealth or live the kind of life they wish unless he rest of the population helps provide these circumstances for them.

      I am reminded of a scene from Fight Club:

      “Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. DO NOT FUCK WITH US”

      They need us more than we need them. They are vastly outnumbered. The people need to stop being victims and realise where the true balance of power lies. We, the people. We elect them to serve us. We pay them. We buy their goods. If they are not good employees, we need to take responsibility and sack them, refuse their products, bank elsewhere.

      I recall another old saying: “If you do not let us dream, we will not let you sleep.”

      It seems to me, the wrong people are living in fear. Think not what your country can do to you, but what you can do to your country.

      • Once the “volatility” of money reduces to zero and it all ends up sitting in a few “elites” bank accounts it is effectively worthless. Nobody is going to “recognise” it.

      • “c) people depositing their money in banks so it can be lent out to others at interest.”

        That is commonly believed to be the case, however most people are astonished to find that it doesn’t work like that at all.

        The government has in effect privatised the creation of money. When you get a loan from a bank, the bank does not need to have the money to lend to you, the loan officer creates it electronically from nothing. 97% of money is created this way. It used to be the case that banks had to have a certain amount in reserve, (typically 5% so with £5 they could loan £100), however reserve requirement were abolished in 80s. Even in countries where reserve requirements are still in place, they can still lend without having the money, this is because reserve requirements are calculated on a lagged basis of months or more – meaning that after lending they can look around for the 5%. Since people don’t usually put the money under the mattress it will turn up somewhere in the banking system.

        Reserve Requirement Systems in OECD Countries

        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1038201

        As a result banks only like to lend against assets which already exist – they don’t lend to industry to finance growth for example. (Most new fixed capital investment by corporations is financed out of retained earnings, not bank credit). A consequence of this is that banks drive asset price inflation in all areas where they lend. Some 80% of their loans were mortgages against real estate. Banks lend against collateral in place, and the economy’s largest assets are land and buildings. Most of the remaining banks loans are used to finance leveraged buyouts, corporate takeovers and speculating on asset prices via the derivatives market etc – none of which creates anything tangible. All of which creates an asset price bubble.

        Here’s how it works. When real estate investors, want to buy a commercial property, they calculate how much rent it will yield, then they bid against each other. The winning bidder is whoever is willing to pay the most rent to the banks to get the mortgage to buy the property. That mortgage isn’t other people’s savings. It’s freshly created money the banks create on their own computer keyboards. If anyone else did it, it would be fraud, but a banking license makes it legal. The banks say that this is not inflationary; only government money creation is inflationary. Yet, there’s no reason why the government can’t go to its own computers in exactly the same way that commercial banks create credit. The question is: Why should the government be called inflationary by creating money and commercial banks not be called inflationary? They make their money by getting people to pay all of the rent or all of the corporate profits hoping to come out with a capital gain.

        This financialization has extended into every sector of the economy, student loans, pensions, privatisation of infrastructure etc. All require banks to raise the initial capital (which they do electronically with a few mouse clicks) and the money is given to whichever entrepreneur will give the highest return to the bank. In the event of default the bank takes the asset. When your real estate and your public enterprises have risen in price, this is not because they’ve actually grown. It is because a house and a property is worth whatever a bank will lend. As the lending terms have been loosened, you’ve had this huge inflation in asset prices that is way beyond the ability of the economy to pay. So financial capitalism turns into a bubble economy because the only way that banks can avoid default and a break in the chain of payments is to lend more money. So, almost without the textbooks or anyone noticing, what used to be analysed as industrial capitalism has turned into finance capitalism – but this finance capitalism is not the kind of finance that was imagined a hundred years ago. It is not financing of industry, it’s financing of economic parasitism and its overhead. Banks are essentially parasitic and just as any good parasite will take over the brain of the host, so banks have gained control of the government and convinced it that they are an essential part of the economy. What is happening today is the equivalent of warfare but against the power of government and the people. It is above all a financial mode of warfare and the aims of this financial appropriation are the same as those of military conquest: first, the land and subsoil riches on which to charge rents as tribute; second, public infrastructure to extract rent as access fees; and third, any other enterprises or assets in the public domain.

        In this new financialized warfare, governments are being directed to act as enforcement agents on behalf of the financial conquerors against their own domestic populations. This is not new, we have seen the IMF and World Bank impose austerity on Latin American dictatorships, African military chiefdoms and other client oligarchies from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ireland and Greece, Spain and Portugal are now to be subjected to similar asset stripping as public policy making is shifted into the hands of supra-governmental financial agencies acting on behalf of bankers and thereby for the top 1% of the population.

        • True, say you go into a bank and ask for a loan as you have this great idea for a new business. The first thing the bank will ask you is: “do you have any collateral? i.e a property (bought and paid for :-) Your loan is guaranteed, the bank couldn’t care less what your “great business idea” is. Even if it is doomed to failure the bank will still lend because they are guaranteed to take your property of you. If you had went into the bank a few years ago and said: “I have this great idea for a bagless vacuum cleaner”. “Do you have any collateral?” “No I am on the dole and live in a council house”. “Well, piss off”. That is the way banking in this country operates. Fact!

          • something survived...

            Unless your loan is to buy guns and your project is to rob the bank. Well the government does it to the taxpayer and the people on the dole, that’s where the idea is from.

        • “Here’s how it works. When real estate investors, want to buy a commercial property, they calculate how much rent it will yield, then they bid against each other. The winning bidder is whoever is willing to pay the most rent to the banks to get the mortgage to buy the property.” – but the banks rig this so that the rent just covers the mortgage for say 10 years at least, so you can be a landlord with 0% “yield”, the only winner is the bank.

        • Federal Reserve

          Benjamin R. Barber made an excellent point in Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole when he said that the biggest mistake we made was taking “Title” of our assets. This was based on the observation that ranchers had been living in and passing down the family “homestead” for centuries without hindrance. But as soon as the took “Title”, this allowed the banks to steal their land and properties, because that is what banks are all about they want to steal you assets. They will let you toil and slave for them, but at the end of the day they are coming for your assets, and one way or the other they are going to get them. Banks are nothing but thieves and scum!

      • Well said Jan.

        Their little fantasy libertardian scenario, as envisaged eg in Ian Angell’s “New Barbarian Manifesto”, where the rich all live in “smart zones” Brave New World style just isn’t going to work, because there’s too few of Them and They are too needy for servicing and protecting from anyone from cleaners to prostitutes to security guards.

        Maybe if They could perfect robots/cyborgs they could survive without us plebs. But we’re a long way from having the tech for that yet.

        Wake up folks, we’ve got Them by the nads if only people would realise it together.

      • You’re right-you can’t eat gold or drink jewels. If the people withdrew their labour, the rich,once their stocks of food and wine ran out, would be begging for the people to come back. Of course,we can’t do that as we have no labour to withdraw.

  13. UniversalPovertyPimp

    Ive noticed the large number of jobs on UJM that are recycled or 2-3 months old for my area if you take away The company confidential the recycled and the 2-3 month old jobs you realize theres probably about 10 jobs a week or less been advertised for my area most are proffesional positions im a minimum wage worker ie factory etc so sometimes there arnt any suitable jobs for me to apply for.

    • Have you looked at the “hidden jobs” market, love. Have your tried looking in shop windows? There ARE jobs out there, you just got to keep looking. And while you’re looking it is a good time to brush-up your CV. Good luck and a great big hug! Hayley

      • Kittycat58to speak

        What are you, a JCP “adviser”?.Cos this “hidden jobs market” is the type of bollocks they like to come out with. There are NO jobs, hidden or otherwise to speak of, none that pay a wage that anyone can possibly live on. Maybe you can point us all in the direction of the hiding place of these mystery jobs otherwise shut up & go away back to your fantasy land.

        • Dammit, stupid laptop, scrolls down the page when I’m trying to type so words end up inthe wrong place

          • LOL ‘Haley Taylor’ is just doing a pee-take of the Fairy Jobmother (whose real name that is). The Chavvy Slobmother used to work for Arse over Elbow, and her way of ‘motivating’ people on her show to get jobs was to go on and on about how they were ‘taking other people’s money’. Fairy Jobmother’s not been on the telly for a long time- perhaps even Channel 4 realises it would be pushing things a bit too far in the current climate to have her going on about all these marvellous job opportunities that supposedly exist in Fairy Jobmother’s la-la land!

          • Kittycat – Ms Taylor is a tv job adviser (she was on tv, not she’s a transvestite). In fact, she was the first celebrity job adviser! Her shtick was actually that she was a ‘Fairy Job Mother’. (Watched it twice too often, through half-screwed up eyes – which was more than enough). Each week she rounded up several ‘lucky’ job seekers, drugged them, gave them a pep talk and a big hug sometimes (it made her seem more ‘real’, then sent off to a pre-arranged interview. They nearly always got the job & it was nearly always their ‘dream job’, hmm. This could be the ‘real’ Hayley, she sounds identical. I think she was somehow connected to Ms Harrison and her ‘big plans’ for world domination.

            Three years on, I’ve just realised what the carrots/sticks used to persuade victims on to the programme probably were. They must have been told if they didn’t come to have their meltdown/redemption filmed, their benefits would stop immediately – must have been mandated (I didn’t know about the jcp sanctioning regimen then, but now it seems obvious). I was naive & thought they were being paid for filming/with maybe extra if cried/were hugged.

            Ps. Hidden job market may be a bit like Narnia? I’ve recently been told in detail about it by a ‘proper’ careers adviser who said that the job centre never tell anyone this, but …. there are many and various jobs in the HJM, which are not advertised, due to cost. Apparently, when someone (an even vaguely suitable person) turns up/rings up/writes to ask about [unknown] job, the business or company are happy not to pay to advertise/recruit so they very often make a job/offer (?). Would you want to work for them? – I’m not sure it sounds quite right…. I did find 2 jobs this way but in a different time & place – they were Saturday jobs. I’m sure if the fairy job mother says it’s right though …

  14. Fuck buy to let

    I thought we were all supposed to compete in a “free market”, so what the fuck is Gideon Osborne doing interfering in his beloved “free market” by doling out free loans off the back of hard-working taxpayers (many toiling on minimum wage who can only dream off “owning their own home”) to middle-class cunts, toff “property developers” and “buy-to-let” scumlords in order to prop up the property market.

    • This is exactly how the financial crisis was triggered in the first place. Government interfering with mortgages (Fannie May/Freddie Mac) resulting in huge negative equity/junk bonds/defaults.
      Do we never learn?
      Maybe the new scam should be called Maggie May in memory of the bitch that sold off the public housing stock and didn’t replace it.

      • something survived...

        But it’s still alive. Unless you mean we should arange the naming to be posthumous, and soon.

  15. Oh, look…you don’t think…surely not…

    https://twitter.com/Jamesmcorbett

  16. Disastrous, disgusting, disgraceful, discredited … you can’t spell these words without using the letters I, D and S.

  17. what the fuck is with these payroll companies, got work with an agency who made me register with a payroll company who now are taking £20 out of my wage for the privilege of paying me.what a fucking liberty! that’s money i could do with, and the agency are already getting a fat wodge from the main employer? also ive been trying to call the job center to tell them ive started work and have used all my credit trying to contact them i have signing on tomorrow so might get time off work to go to my appointment, any suggestions people would be much appreciated.cheers

  18. I think the Terms and Conditions: part 5 for Universal Jobmatch, the DWP claim no responsibility if you get hacked up and sold to Findus, anyway.

  19. Salvation Army Employment plus used threats to try and coerce me to give my CV over to them so their ‘Employment Engagement Coordinators’ (iirc) can spam them far and wide without your permission or knowledge of where they will end up.

    Privacy and even security (though of course Employment Plus claim they are responsible) mean nothing to people.

    My friend is now signing on after failing his WCA. He told me that they wanted him to attend a group computer seminar/induction thing. I presume this is related to UJM but the JC has no computers, only those silly job points and the ones the advisers use.

  20. The good news is, you don’t have to go to the job centre anymore, the bad news is, it’s because you have been eaten by a cannibal posing as an employer.

  21. Pingback: A Deadly Warning From Across the Ocean for Universal Jobmatch | welfare cuts | Scoop.it

  22. I have always wondered about the type of jobs that are posted on UJ. Many of the jobs referred to are jobs that any shyster could offer. “Here is a ladder, a rag and a bucket – go clean some windows and you get 30 per cent of everything you make.” Or maybe I am just not the risk-taking entrepreneurial type that the country so desperately needs.

    • There was one on there on Friday that said ‘Funfair’ – the details were something along the lines of “Must be able to travel extensively throughout the south east. No previous experience required. Need to be able to interact with the public and many other tasks. Caravan provided” …

  23. Contact looked like a mobile number.

  24. Herald Scotland

    On Wednesday, our Secretary of State for Welfare will sneak across the Border.

    He has agreed to meet with some MSPs behind closed doors before addressing a private sector conference in the capital. His many victims will be absent from both events.

    Once viewed as patrician but with well-meaning intent to address poverty and inequality, it’s clear now this was just a masquerade, as Iain Duncan Smith is the architect of the biggest assault on the poor in living memory. Whatever credibility he received from his visits to Easterhouse is forgotten. He fronts the Bedroom Tax and the Work Programme – two central parts of a plan to make life tough for people who need the support of welfare.

    On April 1, at least 80,000 Scots will either have to move house by downsizing to a non-existent alternative or find up to 25% of their rent from their poverty-level income. Most have no real choice and many will stop paying up at all, with disastrous social consequences for the families involved and big financial consequences for our much-stretched public services. Housing associations and their tenants will not make the guest list to meet the Secretary of State for Welfare, but I expect the private sector Work Programme contractors might be there to receive encouragement and further lashings of public money despite their abject failure to help unemployed people.

    The real Work Programme plan is to harass unemployed people with a spike in the number of people receiving no benefits. It’s on the back of such misery that savings are made.

    We’re in the midst of austerity so the poor have to pay just like everyone else. Only that’s not true. The top rate of income tax is being cut on April Fool’s Day and the new childcare vouchers plan will support families earning up to £249,000. Cutting taxes for the rich and reducing benefits for the poor seems part of the plan.

    Meanwhile, a perfect storm is brewing in our most deprived communities. The 1% cap on benefit uprating is really a cut in what is meant to be a minimum income. It will remove £2.5 billion from the pockets of the poorest in Scotland. This translates into stagnant economies, collapsing local businesses and reduced demand. You don’t have to be a Nobel Laureate in economics to denounce such a plan – but at least two of them think it’s the wrong way to go.

    But Iain Duncan Smith is sticking to his guns. All that matters is that people get the message that this Government is tough on welfare. All the myths about scroungers and layabouts are central to this strategy.

    Being told you are useless and a drain on the state diminishes your self-esteem and reduces someone’s chances of getting out of the system.

    IDS really ought to take time out to meet Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer and learn about the success of asset-based approaches, building on the skills and competences that people have in order to progress.

    There ought to be a law against all this. Actually there is. A recent Appeal Court ruling upheld a claim that making unemployed people work (in Poundland) to receive benefits was unlawful. The Government’s response was typically arrogant – an immediate change in the law and much media bluster about how the state was paying people’s wages. There was no mention of the free labour, the minimum wage or the shelf-stacking jobs forgone.

    Margaret Thatcher would surely be proud of IDS. Or would she? Much alarmed by the Brixton riots, she spent billions on what was called the Community Programme whereby unemployed people got paid to do useful work in the community. At its peak, more than 40,000 jobs were created in Scotland. Now, in similar circumstances, the UK Government has decided to blame people without work, allow private companies to make millions and help wealthy individuals to pay less tax.

    In an ideal world, IDS would not be allowed to escape without being called to account by those he parodies and makes impoverished.

    An honourable politician would meet the people affected. Failing that, he should go home and think again because it’s a miserable and defeatist future that he is pedalling.

    My charity colleagues south of the Border think the welfare state is in terminal decline, that political change won’t make one iota of difference. We shall see whether such gloomy predictions ring true in Scotland, but until he faces up to the suffering caused by these policies we should make it clear that IDS is most unwelcome here.

    Herald Scotland

  25. Jobcentre sanctions: ‘Your money is stopped, you go into freefall’ – video

    Record numbers of jobseekers are being ‘sanctioned’ – losing all of their benefit for weeks or months if they are deemed to be not trying hard enough to find work. Here we find out what happens to claimants when this happens, and reveal the pressure on jobcentre staff to cut off people’s money

  26. On Rip Off Britain this evening at 8:30pm – “meet a woman who’s ended up losing her identity thanks to a mix-up over her name that’s been impossible to put right”. Quite pertinent since UJM is a scammers paradise.

  27. I would honestly not be surprised if the DWP bulked up the vancacy count on UJ by posting fake vacancies themselves.
    Not only could it falsify the labour market’s strength, but it could check whether people are using the service and it’s one extra trap for a gullible person to fall into when using that notorious “why don’t you want to apply” box.
    In any case, I’m seeing the same old crap week in, week out, that I’m actually remembering the email addresses of the employers. And I dont mean things like jobs@bignationalbussiness.co.uk, I mean things like betty.swallocks@localnobodycompany.com….

  28. “I would honestly not be surprised if the DWP bulked up the vacancy count on UJ by posting fake vacancies themselves.”

    What could possibly make you so cynical! http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/131781238

    • That link is quite relevant today actually.
      I see that JSA count fell this quarter by 1,500 (0.1% to you and me) but unemployment is up by 7,000. So there must be some extra desperation to pad out the vacancy count to justify offering people ‘support’ into work.

  29. Hannibal Lecter

    Jobseekers eaten with a nice chianti and fava beans :-)

    • On Pests & Pest Control –

      (while it’s still there, unnoticed, with the ‘Funfair’ ad) this is a really clever piece of satire and can be used to shine a light into some of the darkest recesses of what we sometimes label ‘human nature’.

      Firstly – that the UJ site, the sole/overall purpose couldn’t ‘simply’ be to help anyone who is out of work with finding a job – just have a quick glance at it – is seriously vulnerable to all-and-sundry posting anything, however outlandish. With the possible result, explained above, that sooner or later, someone who’s either new to job sites, unsuspecting or in some way naive/unlikely to expect scam/spoof ads, is likely to be at risk of anything from wasting their own time through to sudden death.

      2. Secondly, it’s also works extremely well to point up the comparison between advice routinely given to people who don’t want to live side-by-side with vermin (often rats) to ensure the unwanted pests either leave their homes (nests) or are otherwise ‘got rid of’. The only difference here is that the job advertised working for I.D.S. Pest Control, states that ‘humane dispatch’ is the method used. In fact, many pest control companies do not offer this, and it may be just a ‘sweetener’ to attract business/employees. It’s not offered in general, both because Pest Control is a for profit concern (largely, now that councils have begun to wash their hands of it) and is paid by results. It’s fairly likely that I.D.S. Pest Control (for eg.) do NOT use humane methods (whatever it might say on the side of their van) – there would have to be checks and balances if anyone was interested.

      In money terms, it’s clear that humane methods for eradicating unwanted neighbours are not always the most immediately effective – they tend to take longer/cost more and as the main desire/intention is to get rid of the pests, using less-humane methods is ‘the norm’. Humane methods for getting rid of/encouraging unwanted pests to move elsewhere aren’t in great demand, perhaps surprisingly (?), as those affected by them are simply wanting to cleanse (their) area. They tend not to see living, breathing families first of all – they just want ‘the vermin’ to go somewhere else and won’t necessarily even look too closely at the methods to be used. Other than to ask “What’s your best price and can it be done without attracting much attention?”

    • something survived...

      I.D.S. Pest Control Services
      Pest Control Trainee
      Job description
      Pest control trainee responsible for dealing with pests and vermin and driving them out of properties in London and south east England. Working closely with local authority departments to resolve problem pests.

      You will need to become proficient in the use of baits, traps and snares and other techniques for evicting and excluding pests from properties including restricting access to food supply, blocking access to properties and humane dispatch.

      Full training will be provided and you will receive benefits cap and uniform.

      You will need to deal with a wide variety of pests and vermin.
      Jobseekers, School Leavers, Apprentices etc – Apply today using the Apply Now button.

  30. Hi, i get the same sort of email as the one posted above every sunday night at 12 and i closed my universal job match account, but in these emails there seems to be no opt out option, i was wondering if this is legal?

  31. hello all,

    I was just advised by an additional advisor to ”tick the box” however its been two days and im unsure whether to do so after reading so much above. I was going to go to the CAB but after reading this excellent website I was hoping someone could advise me on my next course of action. Can they sanction me for not allowing them access? the advisor in question was rather defensive after i questioned him about my issue regarding the practicality of this whole farce of a system.

  32. something survived...

    Universal Plop-Closet caused somebody to apparently apply for hundreds of loans in my name. I spend all the time deleting info about them so it takes up most of the time of my jobsearch, preventing me jobseeking. Also the person is saying I am a year younger and born on a different day. I’m also being spammed, scammed and phished. UJM’s fault!

  33. Pingback: Welfare Reform Is Costing A Fortune IDS Admits – And It’s Barely Even Begun | the void

  34. This is how i deal with the jobcentre staff and/or jobmatch site…firstly, you must now (since march) show them you have an account as not having an account is limiting your job options which they can issue a direction. You dont need to give access or even give a reason why. Just say E.U Privacy law and data protection act if you are asked. I do use the site logged in from home as its easier for me to click apply for the jobs i find. i then have a list of about 10 which i print-out. It shows the advisor you’ve used the site and applied and satisfied the job seeker conditions that week. I never will upload my word.doc CV to it as i’ve read about the insecurity of the site but i did need some CV to apply for jobs so i used the CV builder with very basic information and set it to private. i will never use the “why you didnt apply for the job” button. that sounds dodgy as i think this is linked to the cookies part of the site. I do think its better to click for jobs than to fill in that bloody booklet every fortnight!!!

  35. Can it be that you can no longer apply for a job on Universal Jobmatch WITHOUT logging on? I clicked a couple of Apply buttons and was directed to a page saying I had to register or log on…which means you can’t access contact details for a job as these are never on the job summary page.

  36. Pingback: Universal Credit Begins With A Fraudsters Free For All | the void

  37. Pingback: Details of Claimant Commitments Emerge And Show the Biggest DWP Farce Yet | the void

  38. Pingback: Details of Claimant Commitments Emerge And Show the Biggest DWP Farce Yet

  39. Pingback: Universal Jobmatch Shows This Government’s True Attitude To Online Safety | the void

  40. Pingback: Yet More Government Enforced Sex Work On Mandatory Job Seeking Website | the void

  41. Pingback: Hundreds of Illegal Sexist Job Advertisements On Government Job Seeking Website | the void

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