Universal Credit Begins With A Fraudster’s Free For All

universal-credit-shamblesToday marks the launch of Universal Credit, the all encompassing change to the welfare system that was furiously scribbled down on the back on an envelope after Iain Duncan Smith watched an episode of Shameless.

The changes, which will prove devastating for many of the lowest income families, are as inept as they are callous and likely to lead to unprecedented chaos.  The decision to restrict the roll out of Universal Credit to just a handful of claimants from one Manchester Jobcentre shows how even DWP Ministers are running scared of the new digital by default system.

A gushing press release from the DWP already reveals one major flaw even in this small trial.  Addressing concerns that many, if not most, claimants do not have internet access at home, the DWP boast:  “Eight computers will be available at Ashton-Under-Lyne Jobcentre Plus to help people who do not have access to the internet, and over 130 computers will also be available at certain libraries and council offices in Tameside.”

Making a claim for Universal Credit will involve providing huge amounts of personal information to the DWP via the internet.  Many claimants will have never used a computer before and have little understanding of online security.

It is unlikely Iain Duncan Smith, or Lord Fraud, have ever used an internet cafe or library to access the web.  If they did, they might have noticed that it is not uncommon to visit a site such as facebook or yahoo and find the person who used the computer before you is still logged in.

This is one of the reasons that banks warn“As you cannot be certain about the security of public wireless networks or computers in public places (like a library or internet café) you should be cautious about using internet banking services in these situations. Never change your security details while using a public wireless network or a public computer.”

Far from just changing your security details, such as your password, the DWP seem to be actively encouraging people to make their entire initial claim from public computers.  In some cases this could mean the next person to sit down at that machine could have complete access to a previous user’s Universal Credit account.  Even if the library or internet cafe uses software to clear caches and remove passwords after each session (and not all do), anyone looking over someone’s shoulder will be able to steal their log in details and gain access to their account.

This is not the first time Iain Duncan Smith has played fast and loose with claimant’s online safety.  The government job search website Universal Jobmatch has already been plagued by spam, scams and spoof vacancies.  This hasn’t stopped IDS throwing caution to the wind and not just recommending people use libraries to access Universal Credit, but leaving many claimants no other choice.

For all the DWP’s talk about getting tough on benefit fraud, they don’t appear to have a clue about protection from online fraud.  Whilst there is no secure way for people to access their Universal Credit accounts then Iain Duncan Smith has created an identity fraudster’s free for all that could turn into a living nightmare for some of the most marginalised people in the UK.

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171 responses to “Universal Credit Begins With A Fraudster’s Free For All

  1. It is clear IDS has no interest in the welfare of the benefit claimants. WHO ON EARTH CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR INTERNET CONNECTIONS AT HOME WHEN BENEFITS DON’T EVEN ALLOW PEOPLE TO FEED AND CLOTHE THEIR KIDS.
    The only thing he cares about is his system designed to bring even more misery to the most vulnerable members of our society.

    • Yes, especially if claimants are expected to apply for jobs for 35 hours a week now.

      • @michael fowke for anyone who dont know avg fee per hour in internet cafe is £1 in some places in central london its £2 per hour..i’ve done 6 or 7 hours per day in them places..so £6-7 a day then theres printing, refreshments..and wotnot else..

      • Landless Peasant

        I bet it’s only a matter of time before someone invents an App that does it for you, just leave it running and apply for jobs in your sleep! (no comfort to those without internet access though)

  2. For any My Little Pony fans here-IDS reminds me of Discord, the spirit of chaos. It’s a pity he can’t be turned to stone for a thousand years like Discord was.

    • thomas m….you’re sharp…so that is where he was radicalized…it fits like a clove…
      all i can see is 0hr contacts…a few hours work a month…and more sanctions…if one is not called to do more work..by ones new master..i mean employer…wedge thin end…

  3. this could be interesting ” About DWP
    Department for Work and Pensions
    A central Government department dealing with those citizens of working age and beyond.
    Providing claims and financial assistance to those are working or are unable to work.
    Securing and ensuring the ageing population are catered for financially as they end the working life.

    Supporting those who are incapable of working due to long term illness and those who are out of work through**** no fault of their own.****
    Ensuring that those out of work have all the tools and assistance they need to upskill or change their skillsets to be more attractive to the current labour markets.”

    Remember that phrase kiddies, NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN” got it?
    that will mean all those lying cheating benefit scroungers that we send through Atos WCA to weedle them out all those who are ”out of work through no fault of their own’..now i call that fucking two faced..

    • something survived...

      IDS says the end of your working life has now been cancelled. You will have to work indefinitely until you drop dead.
      If you refuse, then we shall promptly arrange the cessation of your natural life and the deletion of your physical body.

      Caring Compassionate Conservatives.

  4. Landless Peasant

    I had to cancel my internet and land-line in order to pay my Bedroom Tax and Council Tax. I’m currently using my neighbour’s internet. As for the hopeless Universal Jobmatch website, it won’t let me log-on, and in any case does not match any jobs to my criteria. The whole thing is a shambles and will cause absolute chaos.

    But, according to IDS, it isn’t about improving the system or even saving money, it is about “changing people”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22299580

    • something survived...

      Ministry of Alteration (Red Dwarf): We change people – from being alive people into being dead people.

  5. This is more heavy duty misery for many who cannot use computers let alone get out to public computers as bed bound. In Stockport just a month in another food bank had opened to cope with skint folk unable to afford food. I have little confidence this computer system will work properly and many won’t receive much needed benefits including rent on time or at the correct amount leaving threats of evictions no food or means off getting to poorly paid work.
    Banks won’t help the poor in such circumstances. Payday loans and sharks will profit. Tool up. The times are a coming.

  6. You can be the most clued up I.T. person in the multiverse but you’re still only as good as the system underpinning the site you’re using. I do often do my shopping online and at Christmas the Sainsbury’s site imploded under the sheer weight of everyone trying to use it simultaneously. Multiply that by millions and its obvious the UC site is going to collapse. Anyone remember the great CSA and Tax Credit I.T. disasters? The only person who believes this train is still on the track is Iain Duncan Numpty.

    • something survived...

      He’s the announcer who tells you the 11:09 is on time and running smoothly, when in fact it has derailed and is rapidly approaching platforms five through 12.

  7. ”the DWP seem to be actively encouraging people to make their entire initial claim from public computers.” – actually, (over in Leeds here) when we tried to restart our claim we were basically told we could do via the internet or nothing. They refused to let us do it over the phone or via appointment etc.

    • @kittie ramage did you know that the whole ‘digital by default program was based on ONE consultation exercise just ONE, produced by an ex dotcom entreneneur..thats before the bubble went pop.

  8. There is a job vacancy for company called Marstons. they want kitchen porter in Glasgow area, also a cleaner. This vacancy can still be seen on INDEED.CO, if anyone cares to look…..iThe description of duties is all in Greek. I mean REAL LIVE GREEK that is. Well could be Russian, but I’m sure it is modern Greek ! I have brought it to notice of DWP ppl, but still it is there. In between seeing ads for jobs dated 5/7/2015. I have also raised that with DWP. If they can’t sort that out………..

  9. Smith is a complete fool.

  10. Jonathan Wilson

    The thing is… is it even going to scale even if people do manage to get the info into the system. At a rough guestimate if it takes .5 seconds to read various files from differing disks and subsystems, do some checks and calculations and spit out a bank transfer record for 5,000,000 people then it would take 694hours/24hours = 28days to batch process… just in time to start again for the next months payment round… not to mention making sure that an employer has sent the data and piped it into the system where appropiate and make the assumption that that part of the data is correct… now take into account that some people have varying pay that moves them in and out of various bracket each week and the potential to find a large shortfall in HB in the week when the lowest pay is earnt and its a disaster waiting to happen… not to mention that if it takes weeks to sort out you could be facing eviction by the time its sorted… and what about contact, some premium rate phone number with a voice that sounds suspiciously like it based in India, doesn’t have a clue how to resolve the problem because its not on the approved cockup resolution questions.

    Although something similar is done at the moment with HB and CT, with it being done at a local level in a place you can walk in to if there is a problem and talk to a real person who can update the system while you are there and then explain what happened and its resolved in the time it takes to talk to the entry clerk/claimant response person, the overall processing is done by 40+ computers only dealing with local data… so much safer, simpler, and faster overall.

    The other great thing about being able to talk face to face is they can explain exactly how the calculation is done in easy to understand terms, this means that when my lads earnings jump a boundary I can calculate what he needs to pay as a non-dependent deduction so even if it takes the council a week to do the re-calculation of HB & CTS I have already paid the correct amount. (although that is now considerably harder with the hugely complex method used in the localized council tax support… CT amount – non-dep =result – 8.5% = payment, or at least I think thats how it works as no one at the council seems to know exactly how it works, only that that is how it seems to work after back calculating what the computer says needs paying… so as far as I know, by the end of the year I could owe hundreds)

    At worst 5 million people are going to wake up one month and find no money for 4 weeks and at best if it fails to work and fails to scale to anyone that is not single unemployed it will be quietly shelved and never spoken of again…. like 99% of every major UK government IT contracted computer systems, eg. nirs2, nhs v1, nhs v2, nhs v3 and so on. The only one that ever worked was the gov bills and courts ones, and that is because it is static data that is added to and rarely edited and never has to show/use some form of real time or batch processing.

    • j w…and that’s on a good day…..!

    • Anybody who has had experience with even small systems of this nature, i.e. where data is frequently edited and processed, (e.g. Sprint and e-roof used by housing agencies) will know that they are a pain in the proverbial to use from a human point of view, and would probably be better suited to a paper system that is locally maintained/administered. That used to be the system that operated in the 1980s, the local offices then submitted the authorisation so that you received your Girocheque. (During the 80s I made my claims by post every fortnight, and I don’t remember once the system failing to pay me, though at that time there was always an initial delay, but you always received any backpay automatically) The system worked, was relatively transparent and problems were soon ironed out as you could go and see someone in your local dole office. True, it involved employing a lot of civil servants, and in different offices, as the functions of UB office, Jobcentre and DHSS were seperate.

      UC will create an IT nightmare that many staff will hate to use as it will be, due to the nature of the beast, extremely labour intensive. It also relies heavily on employer inputs so that the amounts of UC to be paid will vary, and whilst larger employers may well be able to cope with the IT workload, it will still involve considerable investment in the human resources to deal with the huge amounts of data involved

    • 5 million people with no food would equal widespread riots all over the place.Is that really want the government wants?

  11. Recently, I helped a friend do a ‘rapid reclaim’ for JSA on the DWP website via my internet connection. It took me 1 hour 30 minutes.
    Our local library allows only one hour internet use!!!! So how are people going to cope?

  12. just wait til the REALLY clever hackers start on this “system”.. like millions of us sick people with degrees in IT who can’t get jobs because of our illnesses or age.. hahahaha.. they have never even heard of “brute force” leveraging of passwords no doubt, or those lovely ways to “generate” system valid NI numbers.. did I mention SQL injection via manual form completion?

    • @pandora did I mention SQL injection via manual form completion? no but if you hum it , i’ll play it…(old joke-bit like me then)

      • something survived...

        In that case get IDS’ social security number and force him to felch bears
        (not the men, the ANIMALS!). Of course if he’d rather live in a skip that’s perfectly fine by us.

  13. They tell us to shred all documents but then they ask you to provide all sensitive information in one place over insecure connection. I bet that the resulting identity fault will be our own fault.

    As for own internet access – it does pay off in my case. It allows me to stay in touch with my family and friends, have cheap phone calls to 0845 with no line rental, read the papers, watch catch up telly with no licence, do my research when complaining to the dwp, look up offers to ensure my shopping is as cheap as possible, talk to like-minded people online, find recipes and learn a lot (how to fix a halogen oven, distinguishing wild garlic from other poisonous plants – saves money again). The four quid a week it costs is definitely worth it. However, I don’t have children and I already had pc and internet before I became disabled. I guess that makes it much easier.

  14. it is so relieving that the whole thing has been so thoroughly considered…but this scheme also has all the hall marks.of a universal data scrape…to ring out every bit of personal data from a person…it won’t be long before online courts become the norm…

    • something survived...

      if your name’s john or jane smith you will either: be accused of fraud
      OR arrested/fined for offences by a different person of the same name.

  15. Pingback: Universal Credit Begins With A Fraudster’s Free For All | Launchpad: By and for mental health service users

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  17. Plusnet is only £6.49 per month, plus another £2 if you want McAfee security. There is a limit on useage (10 GB per month) but free download time between midnight and 8 am. Also very helpful free helpline.

    • @effjay for £15 pm i get unlimited

    • Does that include line rental? I would like the internet but don’t have a telephone line so I’d have to get BT to connect me and then pay a line fee, about £11.00 a month I think, plus internet cost £6.49 say, which is nearly £18.00 a month out of Jobseeker’s Allowance. This isn’t possible.

  18. Ever thought that the lack of security regarding Internet fraud and ID theft is possibly deliberate? Or is that a conspiracy theory too far?…:/

    • Your system very secure, most of us are a bit lax when it comes to security issues, but there are a lot of things you can do. Sadly, most of us use Windows, which can be made secure, but has so many backdoors that security is seriously compromised. It’s true that you can get ‘bolt-on’ security packages like McAffee, but these cost. If you can, I’d suggest changing your operating system over to a Linux distribution. True, it would involve a bit of a learning curve, but it would offer several advantages. It’s basically far more secure in that you would have to actively give your permission to install a virus/trojan/worm or other nasty. There are a few viruses for Linux, but as far as I know these were basically created in a laboratory in order to test Linux security. They don’t survive a reboot. Also, Linux has far fewer exploitable vulnerabilities, most ports are closed by default,(effectively no backdoors, unless you create them) and there are frequent security updates when a potential vulnerability is spotted.

      The best thing about most Linux distributions though, from the point of view of most of us, is that they are free of cost, are updated regularly, and there are literally thousands of software packages for every conceivable purpose available, mostly free of cost. You don’t even have to get rid of Windows, as you can install Windows and Linux as a ‘dual-boot’. Just make sure that you read up on the installation process properly or you could risk data loss – basically this means ensuring that you defragment Windows before you attempt to install Linux. If you choose one of the more popular Linux distros, (Ubuntu, for example) installation is a fairly straightforward and simple guided process. If you hit problems, as with any computer operating system you may hit a few, there is an extensive and responsive community to get help from in the many forums that exist.

      It’s always advisable to install one of the free anti-virus programmes that are available to the Linux community, not that you as Linux user will really need them, but your Windows using friends may appreciate it if your anti-virus prevents you from inadvertantly spreading a virus or other nasty that could spoil their day.

      • Avira Antivir is one of the best free anti-viruses. If you want a really good free firewall for Windows I would suggest Comodo, which is better than many a paid application.

      • something survived...

        and if you’re one of multiple users on a shared public terminal????

    • Definately deliberate for those commiting said fraud and theft!!!

  19. Ian Jd Andrews

    it IS all about changing people ..live claimants into unclaiming corpses, that should get the jobless total down a bit

    • I wish I could upvote this. *thumbs up to the computer screen*

    • Landless Peasant

      I think the Pope should excommunicate IDS for enforcing the P.W.E.
      I know JV doesn’t believe in conspiracy “theories”, but when they’re blatantly admitting and publicly declaring their agenda it is hard to deny. “Changing people” indeed. Thatcher once said “economics is the method, the goal is to change the Soul”. One only has to research the true origins of the P.W.E. to understand what is happening, it was first publicly announced in 1614 in the Fama Fraternitatis.

      • Landless Peasant

        i.e. The “Universal Reformation”

      • something survived...

        Liberation theology guys talk about equality and social justice (Americas) so maybe it’d work. Pax Christi probably have something to say about IDS too.

  20. THERES ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO THESE BASTARDS AND THATS THE SOLUTION THAT IS IMAGINED ON THE PIC AT THE TOP OF THIS BLOG/PAGE ETC ! MORE ACTION LESS WORDS !

  21. read somewhere that at the dwp, more
    than a 1000 private investigators got caught
    selling personal data..access to private info
    ,health,benefit+crime records,bank account
    details,mobile phone bills etc..of claimants…
    a data theft feeding frenzy.
    just hope the dwp doesnt start on
    chip implants for claimants like with
    obama’care’… chips got gps,bank+health
    details etc…guess they dont need to go to
    the chip if claimants are loading all the
    info online and ready to nick.

  22. http://money-news.money.aol.co.uk/article/2013/04/29/pensioners_paying_back_benefits

    pensioners are already paying back benefits they do not need, Iain Duncan Smith has claimed.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary defended his remarks over the weekend when he said he would “encourage” people to forego perks such as free TV licences and winter fuel payments.
    Coalition ministers traded blows over the comments but Mr Duncan Smith described himself as “relaxed”.
    He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “It was in answer to a question which was ‘what if they don’t need it or don’t want it?’ My answer is if they don’t want it or don’t need it there has always been on the website a helpline. If they want to go and ring that and make arrangements to pay back we have already been taking money from people who want to do that anyway.”
    On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg responded by attacking the Tories for blocking means-testing of the benefits. And Mr Duncan Smith’s Conservative Cabinet colleague Ken Clarke said he did not believe it was even possible to return money to the Government.
    But the Work and Pensions Secretary said that his comments had been “twisted”.
    “I think that it’s right for them to keep whatever they want to keep, it’s up to them, I am absolutely proud of what we have done,” Mr Duncan Smith said

  23. Prison is looking an attractive option by the day. Never been but if benefits stop it means lack of subsistence – no food! Wonder what the prison bills will be in future as a result of these rocket scientists in power?

  24. Universal credit WARFARE that works!

  25. I would hate to be forced to commit crime to eat but I won’t shrivel up and die quietly in a corner as they’d wish I’m sure. Be even less employable with a criminal record. They’re not gifted in the brain cell department our leaders!

  26. FROM TORYGRAPH FEW DAYS AGO
    To ensure that work always pays more, Universal Credit payments will be adjusted regularly depending on how much claimants are earning in work. HM Revenue and Customs’ current Paye system only tracks workers’ earnings on an annual basis.
    Under the new RTI rules, employers should report wage payments to staff as soon as they are made – information that will then be used to adjust weekly welfare payments.
    However, pilot schemes for the new tax information system have revealed that thousands of employers are not ready to comply
    Business groups say that reporting payments “on or before” the date they are made would put a huge burden on many smaller employers, especially those whose staffing requirements are flexible and change quickly.
    HMRC chiefs had repeatedly rejected those criticisms, but have now backed down and told firms they can miss the April deadline for complying with RTI rules. They have also admitted that the project is costing more than initially estimated.
    Until October, employers with fewer than 50 employers – which between them have around 12 million staff – will be able to report their wage payments on their monthly payroll day.
    The Forum of Private Business claimed that the change indicated that the Government was now “panicking” over its reforms.
    “Nobody likes last minute changes, and this development perhaps hints at something of a panic at HMRC that many, many small firms still aren’t fully prepared for RTI,” the FPB said.
    “However, this does seem the sensible course of action, because a tax system in meltdown come April is in nobody’s best interest, and no doubt many firms will now be breathing a sigh of relief.
    PLUS:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/9969574/PAYE-changes-Real-Time-Information-may-be-a-reform-too-far.html

    PAYE PROBLEMS

  27. We only have to get lucky once, one crash and its digital game over – hundreds of thousands of hungry welfare claimants taking to the streets demanding their welfare payments.

  28. 35 hours a week jobsearching? How utterly ridiculous! Can you imagine the kind of crap job search effort that you’d produce through being bored out of your skull? There’s a saying “quality not quantity” they never heard it obviously.

  29. Hold on kids, we have the current Universal Credit program director at DWP in his background has owned his own recruitment agency and been involved in recruitment then shifts into DWP and is connected to targetting fraud ok?
    also in his background hes been consultant to / for tech/defence bods…
    ‘minimise threat stuff’ how does that sound to anyone???
    ANYONE?? does that creep you out? i dunno..

  30. this country is turning into the usa…

  31. Speaking on BBC Breakfast News this morning. IDS stated that, 85% of claimants have internet at home or on their phones. He knows this how? And anyone on benefits, who can squeeze enough cash to pay for an internet connection, will soon find with all the cuts being dealt out that the luxury of internet, will soon be replaced by the need for food or heat.

    • @LISAP its because his pet policy exchange wonk tank tell him that stuff..if they came up with the fact that 60% of unemployed eat sandwiches with no crusts he will spout that shit during an interview to make himself look clever.

    • It’s true though, that ‘insisting’ on the viability of this at the exact time that it’s more-than certain there really is no way for it to happen, as people’s incomes are about as low (?) as they can go. Their priorities are to feed themselves/their families etc. (knowing that jobs are in short supply) in a way that’s much more energy-draining than it has been before and this alone can swallow up 80% of the (productive) hours in any one day.

      & at the same time, D Smith’s DWP want to say to people “Would you just focus on paying your internet connection/costs for a day out in at the library?” and “You need to show us that you are doing this 35 hours in the week so that we know you understand the ‘world of work’ “. (The misMatch here is so mind-bogglingly staggering It would (almost) be funny if it weren’t so serious).

      This ‘world of work’ shtick on the information sheets regarding the ‘New Universal Credit’ reads as both sickeningly cynical/patronising and at best ignorant. People know what ‘world of work’ is (even if they haven’t been there recently) …. it’s being used to justify telling people to ‘commit’ to a promise to do 30-whatever hours/week exclusively job searching (“like a full-time job”) – at at time when there are fewer and fewer full-time jobs for many people and they’re being told to “Take any job”. Or have nothing to live on.

      Can no-one in government see the irony in all of this? (No – it seems somehow ‘rational’ to them) – they clearly can’t see that turning the thumb-screws in this way isn’t going to enable their plans to come to fruition one way or another.

      • Also another nonsense that gets traipsed out in support of Universal Credit’s “digital by default” implementation is that it gives the unemployed the computer skills needed in the modern world to secure a position.

        I must remember to put that bit of training down on my CV: “IT skills gained by 35 hours jobsearch on Universal Jobmatch coupled with the vast amount of experience I have gained claiming and maintaining my claim for Universal Credit while unemployed.”

        It’s all kind of crazy isn’t it?

    • something survived...

      or a house. If we need to pay for rent then the repo men take the TV/phone/computer. Then we still owe rent so get evicted. Then are homeless so how do we get home landline and internet on the street?

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  33. 3/4s of career minimum wage earners have Never owned a P.C. I kno this for a fact, because I refurb old computers, soup them up with whatever is available (the hi end chips,extra ram etc now worthless) and give em to people who never had one. I can tell you most of these people wouldnt kno how to turn a pc on. I have to make a tuff call when I have a box to give, because I dont have the time to teach (most) older beginners.
    How the guvernment expects untrained people to successfully apply for jobs online, I havent a clue,
    One might assume it is some sort of
    ‘modern cleansing’.
    I am talking about dinner ladies,posties, traffic wardens,(stop it!) all sorts of trades people, anybody who may or may not have qualifications and experience based in the english language for decades, but who has never used a mouse. There written off! The stress shows. These people are core voters.
    . . .

  34. Where's the Death knell for Duncan Smith?

    Iain Ducan Smith seems to be a very incompetent man.

    • I sort of got the impression that its the whole country that thinks I.D.S. is incompetent, but only I.D.S. who thinks he’s a Man.

      • And here is a warrenty on that statement as to what wont happen;
        He wont invite me to ‘come and have a go’ etc.

  35. thisragingcentury

    IDS is about to crash with his crap universal dimwit system. Just give it 2 or 3 months.

  36. Iain Duncan Smith
    Evil Drunken Spiv
    Idle Dimwit Sloth
    In Da Shit
    Evil Devil Smidt
    I Dig Suffering
    Irritable Dole Syndrome
    I Delight in Slavery
    I Do Sod All
    I Do Spite

  37. Obi Wan Kenobi

    It now seem abundantly clear to anyone with an ounce of intelligence that IDS and his cronies at the DWP really don’t have a clue what their doing, they actively want people to lose their benefits or make it that hard for people to claim this ‘doomed to fail’ Universal Credit, that they won’t bother.

    The current benefits system is quite adequate and people know where they are with it, UC will be a nightmare for anyone who is not online.

  38. shirleynott/Murray

    Oh! lets call the whole thing off!

  39. John McCarry admits Galashiels Health Centre stand-off charge
    A court has heard how a 50-year-old man threatened to set both himself and a Borders health centre on fire after having his benefits cut.

    John McCarry of Galashiels doused himself in petrol and held the rest of a half-full plastic bottle in one hand and a lighter in the other.

    It prompted the evacuation of his home town’s health centre on 28 February.

    He admitted a charge of breach of the peace at Selkirk Sheriff Court and his sentence was deferred.

    The court was told he was angry that he had been declared fit to work.

    Trained negotiators

    He entered a doctor’s consulting room at Galashiels Health Centre and threatened to set himself and the building on fire.

    However, Dr Robert Soutter managed to get word to a colleague to contact the police which resulted in about 30 staff and patients being shepherded out of the building.

    A three-hour stand-off then followed before specially-trained police negotiators finally convinced McCarry to give up the bottle containing petrol and throw the lighter to the ground.

    McCarry, of Gorse Lane, Galashiels, appeared from custody and pleaded guilty on indictment to a breach of the peace charge.

    He admitted conducting himself in a disorderly manner and, while in possession of a bottle of petrol and a lighter, pouring the fuel over his head and body and over the floor.

    Sheriff Kevin Drummond deferred sentence for reports and remanded McCarry in custody.

    John McCarry admits Galashiels Health Centre stand-off charge

  40. Now if you’re working & go on strike for higher wages you lose your UC – http://welfarenewsservice.com/coalition-rolls-out-crackpot-benefits-scheme/?fb_source=pubv1#.UX-HmsosB3o

    • “Striking is a choice and in future benefit claimants will have to pay the price for making that choice – as under universal credit, we no longer will …”.

      ~ sounds a lot like the (definitive) statement that Cait Reilly had a “choice” to decline Poundland’s invitation to (“not” work there for her benefits).

      (Dodgy logic, twisted meanings, closed-off options, thinly-veiled threats).

      • something survived...

        That’s illegal. Everybody in EU has the right to strike (in UDHR too). Also we have the right to unemployment benefits. Only (UK) police, military etc. are not allowed to strike.

  41. It is disgraceful that people are being asked to apply for benefits via the internet especially as their system can lock you out or disallow you to submit or by not even letting you in via your password constantly quoting e.mail or password error, as can happen on any website. Just another way to steal benefits from those that are entitled to them.

    • According to IDS this system was put togeather by claimants, who are these claimants,and why wasnt I asked about it?

    • Yeah, just who does the jumped-up fat twat think he is? The manner in which he talks gets my hackles up, talking down to claimaints like they’re naughty children who must be put in their place& shown the errors of their scrounging, workshy ways. Must think we all have the mental capcity of an ameboa, unlike himself who has the intelligence of a plankton, hope that’s not an insult to plankton!

  42. i think it is very important to reconsider….especially in light of the proposed UC roll out (also, who will be blamed for it’s failure, i wonder?)..the basic reasons RELIEF benefits are paid in the first place, that is where i believe the most powerful argument against the conditionality of UC (or any type of scheme past, present, future), lies..what are the relief benefits supposed to achieve, has been overlooked, by many commentators. perhaps also this whole scheme, also casts doubt on the future roles of DWP staff and staffing levels…has this been considered by their unions.. ie automatic sanctions etc…. electronic personal advisers? just thinking out loud!

    • @obd, I seem to think that relief benefits were originally introduced as a means of relieving rampant poverty [want] and to prevent (for eg.) ragged, shoeless children from begging in the streets. (Or is it just me?).

      • sn
        therefore benefits must be spent in this direction…and only what is left over can be used to meet the needs of any scheme that they dream up to cause the frustration that ids et al are obviously trying to achieve!

        so cost it out in a way that meets those basic needs for vitals first..not last..

        there is no retrospective…one cannot owe oneself vitals…they have to be met before anything else happens….that is the flaw in their present scheme….although they try to distract one from that…

        one cannot live on a sniff of an oil rag…they try to reverse engineer human needs…as you confirm benefits obviously do their work if properly applied….all benefits were designed to provide relief to those in need…and it worked, the proof was plain to see…got to put food in gut before anything happens….no one can buck physiology..

      • something survived...

        This is a great policy. So long as the first group of children to trial this policy and benefit from the outdoor life of begging in the street in nothing but rags, are the children of the upper classes and government.

  43. And here’s something else as stupid as UC and UJM:

    Jobseekers made to carry out bogus psychometric tests

    Unemployed people are told they risk losing benefits if they fail to carry out meaningless questionnaire.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2013/apr/30/dwp-jobseekers-sham-psychometric-tests-video

  44. Pingback: Universal Credit Begins With A Fraudster’...

  45. Why are comments being distributed all over instead of at the end of the chain?

  46. UC is not about benefits.
    It’s about the destruction of social security.
    George Smith (IDS) is the anti-matter equvalent of Winston Smith in ‘1984’.
    He married into money in order to have the freedom and the cash to buy himself a constituency, then set about taking revenge for his teenage bed-wetting days by attacking the mist vulnerable in society.
    I would bet my last social security payment that this sociopath has a history of abuse in his background and is acting out in the most grossly offensive way he can devise.
    There is no other explanation for his addiction to cruelty.
    And of course he’s found the perfect partner in crime in Lord Fraud.
    Their antics are known as a ‘folie à deux’ in psychiatry. Their crimes could not have been perpetrated without them acting in tandem to bring about their fantasies into actuality.
    This is mental illness of the highest and most dangerous levels in the heart of the governance of The UKplc.
    And I wouldn’t dare say any of this except that I have terminal lung cancer and will be beyond their reach before you can say, ” Computer says : NO! “

    • @miki…..Make yourself an appointment with ATOS,Im sure your cancer will miraculously clear up,and you will be available for prosecution!!!

      • something survived...

        ATOS cure AIDS. Let’s say you’re a healthcare professional but somehow you get, or find you have, HIV/AIDS. Luckily you infected nobody. You are banned from your job as a risk to patients. You try getting a teaching job but can’t, as you can’t lecture/research in medicine either. Or they don’t hire you. You end up on the dole and in this climate others don’t hire you either. Then you get sick…
        Then Atos gets hold of you and hey presto, you no longer have Aids.
        Go and be a doctor again. (um I still have AIDS and am still banned) Go and be a builder. (I have no skill in that and I’m too ill)

  47. Iain Duncan Smith and the Coalition have been getting by for three years by bullshitting. Universal Credit has been touted as the Messiah that will arrive one day to save everyone’s bacon and redeem all sinners. Except it won’t. As with all Messiahs in two thousand years time Universal Credit will still be keeping everyone waiting.

    Universal Credit will never work in a “digital by default” form.

    IDS and his cronies are simply playing for time and trying to keep the shit from hitting the fan until after the next general election.

  48. J Jonah Jameson

    we’re all doomed mr mainwaring …doomed!

  49. There are loads of allotments quite near me,big veriety to choose from, just be careful not to get caught…

  50. The Job Crap – Aired on ITV yesterday

    What did you all think?

  51. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Here is a screenshot of the Universal Credit portal.

    Universal Credit online portal – working on a browser that’s not Internet Explorer 6.

    http://recombu.com/digital/news/universal-credit-online-claim-chrome-firefox-safari_M11491.html

  52. Landless peasant

    Are you advocating we all forage for food instead of receiving benefits?

    • Landless Peasant

      not instead of but as well as. If you’re short of food it makes sense to do so, and to grow your own veg.

  53. Landless

    My reply to you has appeared about 20 places back up the chain , I don’t know where this will end up but I wish jv would have this Glitch sorted out.

  54. Deja vu – there’s been heated debate on this recently @Grauniad (it went on for pages & pages & pages & ….) – following research into medicinal uses of haloumi mushrooms. The picture with the article caused some controversy several people commenting were convinced they weren’t the ones they were claiming to be with others equally convinced they were …
    Hope they’re all still ok.

  55. Looking at the article 24 dash article about housing benefit arrears (via twitter-linked comment above), in logo form, the two letters U.C. slightly overlapping each other, seem to say ‘You See’ …

    If they do say that, it’s not an original idea (American poet, e.e cummings, uses sounds in his poems that take on meaning when read ‘as they look’).
    He’s also been credited with saying,
    “I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart” (he was openly poetic & so probably couldn’t claim benefits).

  56. Housing benefit is income based so if you have no income through sanctions you are entitled to housing benefit, that is when the fun and games start when local councils start giving you the runaround to claim your housing benefit and housing associations and landlords start threatening you with eviction..

  57. Pat

    speye’s blog said you can appeal against bedroom tax to council, even minister on tv said there was a form to do so, yet phoned council and they say you can’t appeal.

    Speye’s blog said you can have your rent reassessed by housing association if bedroom size below a certain size, thus reducing your bedroom tax by the said small bedroom – housing association say no such thing, your charged for what is on you tenancy agreement about number of bedrooms.

  58. How come other posts are posted on the end of chain and mine end up anywhere?

  59. Pingback: Universal Credit (??) | clivelord

  60. chewie ….can you please post the link only…coz it plays havoc with my disabilities if you don’t….

  61. @DONKEY ROGER THAT WILCO….reason i sometimes post gobs is from another blogger i know who got complaints from his subscribers because they kept losing the links and commenters couldnt follow it..they ”got lost” ontop of which ppl would read link then forget what was in the link and then find ppl who had not read the link had no idea what the commenter was on about.
    in the end he said he had to compromise and post link and body text..
    damned if you do doo dah day..
    okey doakley link only….

  62. chewie…sounds like nudge unit embryonic…progression…

  63. @donkey listen we’ve got this computer monstrosity system that wants to know every thing about you ok? and the bod in charge has a background that maybe connected to spooks dept defence an all that..

  64. chewie….they need to bar code their….STOCK… so when they swipe one, they know that they have hit the right stock item so that they can reorder when that one breaks…need to keep the right stock on the shelves at all times to meat future demands….welcome to the matrix….

  65. he isn’t in charge of UC and he’s not a public figure. please dont post up details from peoples linkedin profiles.

  66. @bobchewie.
    Welcome to the spooky culture wars ….

  67. pat ato….it’s alright don’t panic….this is a secret meeting of the worshipful company.of dinner ladies…and guess what no dinner for you..

  68. @Pat Ato….is that the correct spelling,?Pot Atoe?

  69. has there ever been a time,apart from the wars, when living in this country has been worse, for workin class ppl?…are the tories and their supporters aware of or even know what they do? This country is going to hell in a hand cart and they dont seem to realize this brutal fact!!!!!

  70. murray…from what i hear the 2 ww war time years were, better than this….people perhaps are to shocked and numb to take it all in….sleep well..

  71. @murray … you say potato …

  72. @shirleynott….and I say potato….

  73. Landless Peasant

    And I plan to grow potatoes.

  74. @Landless…where exactly will you be able to undertake such a venture,as your name implies…but good luck anyway…youll have to watch out for blight,as you wouldnt want to be transported to the USA!!!!

  75. Landless Peasant

    I live in Social Housing and am lucky enough to have access to a communal garden where we have a small veg patch, and/or can grow spuds in tubs either. I’ll also be foraging for free food from Nature’s pantry as the year goes on; mushrooms (Ceps/Boletes), Bilberries, Raspberries, Blackberries can all be found within the semi-rural outskirts of my city. Only pick mushrooms if you know what to look for though.

  76. Aye you wouldnt want to pick any mushrooms that may alter your thought prosseses!!!

  77. Landless Peasant, I dread the thought of being sanctioned once in receipt of universal credit, no housing benefit, no home, where at the moment, the housing benefit element is still paid, if sanctioned.
    Mind you I may not have a home by that time, because of the fucking bedroom tax, carnt pay, wont pay

  78. Landless Peasant

    Quite. Or more importantly that shutdown your kidneys. Ceps are easy enough to identify (as are Liberty Caps!).

  79. something survived...

    people wouldn’t want to end up accidentally voting tory

  80. @landless…replied to your mushroom post but reply came up 20 posts previous.

  81. @Murray, I see what you mean (confusing mushrooms in wrong place).

  82. @shirley…….Why confused?

  83. Posted the previous comment before your reply came up.Shirlynott.

  84. Landless Peasant

    @ pat
    Is that true? I didn’t think they could sanction the Housing Benefit part of Universal Credit, that would lead to a ‘Mad Max’ type scenario, the complete breakdown of civilized society, and they don’t even have enough prisons to put us all in ! And they would still have to give you the equivalent of Hardship Allowance by EU law so far as I am aware.

  85. Surely HB will be ring fenced if sanctions imposed,I universally hope that to be the case, at the very least!!!

  86. Landless, i hope that your right, i did read it on an forum couple of months ago, i will post a comment on speye’s blog he is the housing expert,
    will find out for sure and let you know,

  87. Landless, I did read it on an forum a couple of months ago, I just pray that the info was wrong, I am going to post an comment on Speyes blog if anyone can confirm it will be him, (housing expert) will let you know the answer

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