DWP Reveals The Real Agenda Behind Universal Credit And Welfare Reform

greedy-bossFor over two years now Iain Duncan Smith has been pretending that his brutal and bodged welfare reforms have been about encouraging people back to work and making that work pay.

Throughout this period it has often been suggested that a more brutal social security system is really intended to increase competition for jobs and allow employers to force down wages and working conditions for everyone.  Vastly increased benefit conditionality has led to hundreds of thousands of benefit claims being stopped or sanctioned.  With workfare or destitution the only option left for those unable to find a job, exploitative employers have free reign to treat workers like shit, knowing full well if they leave, or are sacked, they will face increasingly desperate poverty.

Few have been cynical enough to suggest that Universal Credit will also make it easier for employers to casualise their existing workforce and make it easier to cut worker’s hours in times of ‘business troughs’.  Yet just released DWP guidance for employers explaining Universal Credit suggests that this – along with increasing competition for jobs – is the real thinking behind the new benefit regime.

From the DWP’s own website (PDF):

How does it affect my business?
Universal Credit will have a positive effect on your business as you will:
  • find it easier to fill any job as more jobseekers will be willing to consider short term or irregular work
  • be able to identify opportunities for flexible working using your existing part time employees to meet business peaks and troughs, without the overheads associated with recruiting and training new staff
  • have access to a wider pool of applicants for your jobs, many of whom are registered on our Universal Jobmatch service, to help you fill your job vacancies quicker

At least the DWP are telling the truth for once.

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150 responses to “DWP Reveals The Real Agenda Behind Universal Credit And Welfare Reform

  1. Bloody typical of the DWP. Says it all really.

  2. No they aren’t. Claimants won’t be able to take up irregular work or work for short periods as every time they make a fresh claim they’ll have to go seven days with no money at all before their new claim can start. That’s a major disincentive to short-term working. I’m aghast that the DWP can write such rubbish and I’m more aghast at being taxed to pay for it.

    • Another Fine Mess

      “Claimants won’t be able to take up irregular work or work for short periods as every time they make a fresh claim they’ll have to go seven days with no money at all”

      Correct! But in practice it will turn out to be more like a 5 weeks wait before recieving 4 weeks money.
      With the claimant commitment part-timers will be of no use to employers – they’ll be too frustrated and knackered to do any work.

      • another fine mess..
        good point, so now many people will find themselves in utter despair, confusion, and desperation, desperately trying to pull themselves together to cope with it all…with the inevitable mass exclusion to any form of benefits, because they are unable to meet the imposed constitutionalities of the benefits system…

    • something survived...

      and that’s the only jobs being advertised at the jobcentre!

  3. This proves that Cameron is running a two tier programme in appealing to business and international affairs and not home affairs indeed we are seeing agressive Capitalism

  4. As the Tories/LibDems/NuLab call it…”The good old days”

    http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/redclyde/redcly088.htm

  5. looks like a slave owners bill of rights, to me…

  6. Reblogged this on The Pua Melia Clinic and commented:
    For once we have the truth!!

  7. Reblogged this on The Thoughts of a Ginge.

  8. i rather think we suspected this all along-hence their insistence on claimant being used to use that shitty website…ive met people who have used other ways to find work and jcp+ have dismissed them all saying that the UJM must be the ONLY method of finding work..even though we know its crap, plus the fact that if you use it on your own pc at home you will be monitored by jcp/dwp which opens up a whole heap of trouble..

  9. For me this raises ore questions than answers. Sorry to write an essay, but here are my thoughts and fears.

    It seems to me that the combined insecurity of work and the major difficulties in obtaining benefits between short term work, with zero hours contracts, are basically designed to just remove the welfare state benefits. Hence “always better off” in work. The UJM is central to this vision of hell.

    Those with the temerity to actually be unemployed and to claim benefits will be harassed until they stop claiming or be sanctioned for years. Those with the lack of personal responsibility to be in work and poor will have to submit to the degrading DWP interviews about “more work” on top of existing work to obtain meagre benefits, or be allowed the 3 x yearly luxury of a food bank ticket. Hence the employers’ ability to get workers at a moments notice, for a couple of hours, becomes possible through UJM text to mobile phone.

    Those with the apparent life-style choice of disability, but not in a persistent vegetative state coma, will be doubly harassed and told by “medical” ATOS interviews that they are malingering, and sanctioned. Those who repeatedly fail to get better will be put into residential training. Those who don’t will be living penniless off relatives or charity. The return of the modern workhouse and alms houses represents a major business opportunity for “charities”.

    BigBill – I suspect that the DWP have actually written about how they designed it to work. Any differences with the current DWP regime will be ironed out soon to the advantage of the employer. The reason the system being built is so devilishly complex – not simplified – is because to implement the full horror so passively described in the DWP document it will need integration with the tax systems. The complexity comes with making all the required systems of PAYE, Tax credits and benefits for working and non-working online, real-time and require daily-level time sheets for workers, so that the IR/DWP can calculate benefits and deductions. They can also be used to push working poor to “get more hours”. We all know the phrase, but very few have actually understood what this will mean for the poor insecure workers. This is the full UJM vision, It doesn’t look triumphal or a glorious realisation of the plan of the rich to exploit us all, and the removal of the welfare state, but it is a neat encapsulation of this chilling near-future, written in the most evil of civil service-speak “at your service”. They want our poor to be so poor they will relocate to Bulgaria and Romania for the simple good life of being dirt poor without the harassment.

    Easterhouse was a moment of epiphany for IDS, but not as it has been told. He saw the people and poverty and decided to obliterate those places by simply removing the welfare state. Job done.

  10. It looks like the old dockers set up. You , you and you. that’s it for today. The rest of you can starve!!!!

    • eunice..
      aye, tally discs, jobs fight club, a days, a weeks, an hours work, the rest form a queue, out side the gates, same shit different day…unions what are they dad?

    • Yes, back in the day we used to have to wait outside factory gate (in all weathers) at 5am to get the gaffer to ‘stamp our card’ for yon Labour Exchange (what the Jobcentre used to be called) so see if any hands were needed that day; if you weren’t needed you starved! It was a lot tougher if you had a wife and kids because the single guys could always undercut your wages. This is what IDS and Co. are trying to turn the clock back to.

  11. Reblogged this on Same Difference.

  12. A good financial background is something that I lack
    But if a Tory gives you a penny
    You can bet he wants Tuppence back

  13. “have access to a wider pool of applicants for your jobs, many of whom are registered on our Universal Jobmatch service…”

    Yes but, though many are registered on the Universal Jobshat, they do not have to allow their details to be visible to employers!

  14. The country these Tory slags want to create won’t be as nice for them as they imagine.

  15. a workhouse economy which lacks both work and houses !

  16. ‘£885,000 charity tax fraud wife denies knowledge’, Liz Keen, Wales Online, 16 Sep 2013
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/885000-charity-tax-fraud-wife-6036795

    ‘DWP fraud investigator denies tax scam claim’ Liz Keen, Wales Online, 18 Sep 2013
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/incoming/department-work-pensions-fraud-investigator-6054781

    ** http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/cym/fetch-recipe.php?rid=cawl-uwd

  17. The way to get rid of UJM is to swamp employers with thousands of applications whenever an advert appears. When a similar system was used in Denmark employers complained at having to spend so long going through applications.

  18. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    I came to this through Mike’s reblog, over at Vox Political. The excellent Mr Void shows that the DWP this time has effectively admitted that universal credit and welfare reform is all about lowering wages and exploiting the working class, rather than actually providing financial support to those who need it, or helping people into properly paid work.

  19. Reminds me of a slave auction, where landowners used to inspect and pick out stock – a term which David Freud actually uses to describe the unemployed – to purchase and put to work for their benefit. Honestly. You couldn’t make this up. No wonder that Labour’s Liam Byrne is so keen to see Universal Credit implemented that he offered cross party talks to Iain Duncan Smith to help save the project from cancellation.

    Twats one and all of them!

    • NOW THAT WHAT WE HAVE SUSPECTED HAS COME TO PASS MAYBE THE ‘SAFE’ COMFORTABLY OFF MIDDLE CLASSES WILL REALISE THAT THEY TOO WILL BE AT RISK…TIME TO SPREAD THE WORD..

      • The safe middle classes if in dire straits can remortgage their homes or even borrow money, as Nick Clegg said in his closing conference speech, only the credit worthy will be able to borrow from the banks to avoid another housing bubble or bank crash, the poor will starve.

  20. Leggy Mountbatten

    I don’t know why all of you are getting angry since Universal Credit in its digital form won’t ever happen and since a non-digital, clerical, form of the programme would be far too expensive to implement the who shebang is effectively stillborn and dead on arrival

      • Here is a stupid situation i was in today…my bank natwest has decided to change my account into a saver account.it now means that i cannot do transactions using my card ..ie buy food..however i can draw funds from atm machine..the result of this is that i am going to the atm more than i did and drawing out more than i would eg some machines only off er £20 notes as minimum thus normally using my card i pay £25 on avg my food bill in sainsburys now im drawing out £40 as the machine only delivers £20 notes..
        thus making the whole ‘saver’ thing absurd..the get out of this i was told was to open yet another account , have another debit card and wait another week for PIN number (just had a new card) so i will end up with two accounts one with funds one without..it will mean transferring funds from my saver to the new current account just to use the new card if i agree to this..of course they will charge me to transfer the funds..on top of that no doubt the DWP will be confused which accounts to pay benefits in and maybe get suspicious..
        the twat in the bank told me the reason they have done this to me is
        ‘to stop you spending money” oh great so i will starve and because its happening to others no doubt shops will go bust and sack people as they will have much less customers..

        IDIOCY RULES IN BANK LAND…

    • Another Fine Mess

      Problem is although Ultimate Chaos will never work, the’re carrying on rolling out the worst parts anyway, Useless Job Mess, Claimant Commitment, massive sanctions – for not doing pointless time and money wasting tasks.
      With supposedly 2,000 to 2,500 on UC now, – and they have to be on-line/computer literate, I still think it’s odd that not even 0.05% of them have turned up on any of the usual blogs.

      • @AFM why the fuck are they using Accenture considering their abysmal track record eg NHS IT fuck up..oh yeah the rolling contract deal and the govt thinks that us claimants are the big problem affecting tax payers money..

      • Perhaps they’ve been sworn to secrecy via a voluntary mandatory directive … ?

      • Leggy Mountbatten

        IDS is a fucking idiot. He claims that 85% of benefit claimants are online even though only 17% of benefit claimants claim their entitlements over the internet. IDS is an absolute idiot and fantasist although in my opinion it is the unelected minister for welfare reform, David Freud, who is the real malignant cancer, from whose mind sprang such horrors as the Bedroom Tax et al.

        • Freud is behind a lot of this shit, and was also behind New Deal. Unelected Bureaucrats like him undermine any notion that we live in a Democracy.

        • Thats because he believes his own rhetoric… that people on benefits all have sky, 50″ plazmars (why is 50″ the magic number?), internet, ipads, and iphones.

          The real facts are that few do have such things, and the very limited test group “single, unemployed, no dependents or non-deps'” are the least likely to have such things unless acquired during previous employment.. and the first things to go for this group are “paying” the TV license and the phone/internet costs as 71.70 is fuck all in real terms once you factor in food/utilities and sod all else.

  21. What the DWP missed out on saying is Any employee working for you, of course due to their working conditions and pay structure, will not be able to afford to shop with you and the likelihood is they will be more inclined to pilfer from you to make ends meet. Employers themselves are greedily creating a a have not society, it doesn’t matter where people work, none of them will be able to circulate money to keep businesses afloat, a double edged sword I fear.

  22. Pingback: DWP Reveals The Real Agenda Behind Universal Credit And Welfare Reform | the void | Launchpad: By and for mental health service users

  23. Pingback: DWP Reveals The Real Agenda Behind Universal Cr...

  24. the nazti party are pure fucking evil , who else could dream up something so nasty as universal credit,,,

  25. re garding the NHS IT fiasco i read up what companies involved.

    fujitsu were on it then got kicked off..

    then i am reading this
    “The costs of the venture should have been lessened by the contracts signed by the IT providers making them liable for huge sums of money if they withdrew from the project; however, when ***Accenture*** withdrew in September 2006, then Director-General for NPfIT Richard Granger charged them not £1bn, as the contract permitted, but just £63m.Granger’s first job was with Andersen Consulting, which later became Accenture.

    funny that because they sound familiar ..why is that?
    oh yeah its this:

    http://www.information-age.com/it-management/outsourcing-and-supplier-management/1666348/dwp-awards-accenture-%C2%A3500m-universal-credit-it-deal

    DWP awards Accenture £500m Universal Credit IT deal

    Seven year deal will see Accenture manage subcontractors building customer facing systems for the UK’s new benefits regime

  26. Political… aren`t they supposed to be impartial?

  27. @WIBBLYWOBBLY ETC this so far along with letter sent to me from natwest is what i read re: my debit card problem

    NatWest Visa Debit Cards
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4419715&page=1

  28. If Ian DUNG CAN Schmidt thinks that RTI (real time information) is going to be the panacea for all the ills of Universal Credit, I can tell you he is VERY VERY wrong!

  29. This is, unfortunately, no surprise.

    Another term with these ammoral pimps in charge will see remaining human rights consigned to the bucket.

    We’ve got to stop them now. And that will mean voting for Ed Miliband. Cos if we don’t, any non-voting, any ukip voting or any other whatever party voting, will result in toryhell for as long as they choose.

    They’ll kill off the benefit support system and, by Cameron’s “big society” claiming of foodbanks, construct workhouses for social housing…..the future is Oliver Twist in the 21st century, without a Charles Dickens to highlight social injustices.

    • I don’t trust Labour, but they seem to be the only option. The Lib Dems are Tory bootlickers, UKIP are fascist , and TUSC has only 0.5% to 3% of the vote and even with pure PR would get very few seats.

      • Labour know that the electorate really have no choice who to vote for to get these out and that is one of the reason they are as bad as them.
        If these media sites could reach and convince people to vote for a new party like TUSC we may be in with a chance.

        • Leggy Mountbatten

          This is true. Blair, Brown, and Mandelson all knew that desperate working people had no one else to vote for other than the Labour Party and took their votes for granted, as they pandered to and sucked up to “Middle England”, and treated their core vote like shit, e.g., selling off 75% of council houses sold while breaking every promise they made to build many more.

          But if you want Cameron and Company gone before they can cause even more suffering, hardship, homelessness, harm, and death, what option is there but to vote Labour?

        • Can TUSC field a candidate for each and every seat? No? Then any vote for them will be a vote for condemns.

          I am appalled at the centrist policies chased by the infamous Liam Byrne. I’d like nothing better than to see him get the order of the boot BUT, this election is too close to split working class votes. We have to vote Labour this time around, otherwise we hand the country to tories on a plate. We will have to let labour know that the left is watching….and waiting, and preparing for local elections and the next national national election. Which, if tories get in, may never happen.

    • Then the lampposts will greet them sooner. Bring it on, I say.

    • Another Fine Mess

      If only we could spend £billions on a Waste Programme, train 10,000s more in customer service, and introduce tough jsa sanctions… then all 5560 applicants would have got one of the 80 jobs. You just know it makes sense – well it does if you’re an economically illiterate gov. that is.

      Lucky they’re not in a claimant commitment area, else they’d have got 40,000 applications for the 80 jobs.

  30. Sanctions, universal credit and low wages have all been brought about since they introduced laws to limit and control union power. It is time these cowardly unions broke these unjust laws and started industrial action.

  31. UKIP are not whipped and represent local people who voted them in. Take a look at Ramsey to see what they are doing. Crime rate has gone down and the leader of the council cleans locks and unlocks the toilets during his working day. Well that is what I have been told. Not checked it out myself, so perhaps before people condemn UKIP out of hand, look with an open heart and mind at what they are doing. Then take a look at the Lib/Lab/Con Leadership. Three cheeks of the same bum. There are good people in all political groups and I am not a member of any. Personally I would like to see a “Republic” headed by Brian Gerrish editor of the UK Column. Again for those who are not aware of BG and the UK Column. They are easy to find on the net.

  32. Reblogged this on SyesWorldView and commented:
    More undeniable proof that our illustrious leaders no longer represent the people and are leading many to the kleptocracy abattoir. Bring on the revolution, its time to reset the system.

  33. see j r f report rise in “in work poverty” in wales….

  34. I’ve hated the banks since the late 70’s. I never trusted my husband with my money,(and was in love with him!). So why should I trust a Bank? Complain to them in writing ( even handwriting will do ) to their head office…don’t forget to include an invoice for your time, writing the letter (just match their charges for computer generated crap you get) also the postage use recorded delivery on to your invoice. Add up what they owe you as a total and demand they pay you within 7 days of the date of the letter you send. Or you will take them to court. Then if they don’t pay up, or send you an adversarial letter instead. Then reply with a copy of your first letter and a covering letter, update your invoice, with your time for having to do another letter plus 10p for a photocopy, add some interest ( tell them it is rolling interest) and more postage and send it back to them with another 7 days for them to pay up. If no cheque appears. then take out a court action against them in the small claims court your local one, or you can do it online now. No civil court fees if you are on income based benefit. It is dead easy honestly. I won against Nat West in 1984 but I didn’t get the settle out court cheque till a few weeks later, when I called in at the court offices, They did apologise cos the court staff could find anything on my file under the case number. Then someone in the offices remembered…It was on the court staff notice board !!!

    • @CAROL CASSIDY I did some freelance work for a software company years ago…designing loading screens and demo screens for a software project..the company thought they didnt have to pay me…so i took them to court but it dragged on for over a year with me having to pay the court to by writing letters -they even lost most of them..anyway i had my day in court and won- trouble is the company didnt even turn up and i was told to pay up even more to enforce the judgement..bollocks to that i saw a legal aid lawyer who went and lost my judgement document..so i am not a fan of courts…

    • The real problem with the banks is they only pretend to make loans, what they actually do is create new money. The money supply used to come both from the Treasury and the banks but it’s all from the banks now bar coins and notes. The privately-owned and unaccountable banks control the money supply and of course they do what suits them and not what we need. People talk about renationalising the railways and energy but it’s money that needs to be taken back into public control first.

  35. On a completely separate note, I have always wondered why a voting slip doesn’t include a box for ‘ None of the above’ ……Now that would be real democracy!

    • Because over 50% would chose that option in England. The three main parties are the same, UKIP and the BNP are evil, and the Greens and the TUSC and other parties can’t get any seats.

  36. http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/public-sector/3468430/dwp-may-still-write-off-over-140-million-of-universal-credit-it/

    Already wasted 140 million, Parliament was told 161 million wasted. but what is 21 million amongst those lining their pockets introducing universal credit.

  37. Carol Cassidy

    Exactly what I said OR if all of the non-voters exceed any of the other parties then they should be allowed to form their own party and appoint leaders from its ranks to govern for them.

  38. “As Universal Credit rolls out nationally, some of your employees may start to receive it, or you
    may recruit someone who is receiving it.
    Universal Credit payments are linked to how much money an employed Universal Credit
    claimant has earned. This is captured through the new way of reporting PAYE information
    to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in real time. You may have seen this referred to as Real
    Time Information or RTI.
    What will I have to do?
    If you have already started to report your PAYE information to HMRC in real time, this will
    automatically provide DWP with the information to adjust the amount of Universal Credit
    payment an employed claimant receives. It also shows DWP how much income tax and
    National Insurance has been paid to HMRC via a PAYE scheme.
    It is important that you report your employees’ PAYE information on time; on or before the
    time you pay them so that we can make the correct Universal Credit payments on time too.
    Claimants will have to contact DWP for any queries they have about their Universal Credit payment

    What will employees claiming Universal Credit have to do?
    With Universal Credit, claimants will be set achievable work goals based on their personal
    circumstances. These will help them to prepare for work and, once in work, to become
    financially independent over time. We are therefore working with employers and employer
    organisations to understand the most effective methods to support people to stay and
    progress in work. We have started to test and pilot new approaches to determine the best
    way to do this before we introduce it nationally.
    When will the Universal Credit changes happen?
    Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually, starting in areas of Greater Manchester and
    Cheshire. This careful and controlled approach will ensure that all aspects of Universal Credit
    are tested – starting small and refining, before we start the progressive national roll out from
    October 2013.
    Between April 2013 and 2017, Universal Credit will replace Income-based Jobseeker’s
    Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working
    Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. By 2017 it will be paid to everyone who has a right to receive it.

  39. bit puzzled about what this means “As Universal Credit rolls out nationally, some of your employees may start to receive it, or you
    may recruit someone who is receiving it.”

    do they mean UC as replacement for housing benefit or tax credit?

    or mean ‘look you have this free labour (workfare) so you dont have to pay your employee anything…which is weird as does it mean someone on workfare technically makes them an ‘employee’ then?

    • Sadly no, you don’t get any of the benefits of being an employee, but you do count as someone in employment, when it comes to counting the numbers in work and have found a job, How did you think they have fiddled the employment statistics released every quarter? (about 12 weeks). Does 12 weeks sound familiar to you on a work placement? Or work assessment ?……… Universal Credit is when ALL benefits are paid in one lump sum every month…..but don’t hold your breath on U.C. trouble is…… Politian’s can make Laws, Mandates whatever you want to call them. But and this is the biggy they cant get into the computers operating system and fix things, patch underlying code, etc And sadly neither can the Indian graduates who will meddle with a live system, because they have never worked on a live system running 24/7, only the static universities systems, but they are cheap, and so will make the contracting company lots of profits. It’s all waiting for the big crash! Sadly this government or any other hasn’t yet realised that the computer operating system, of multi-layered, mathematical code, which runs behind all the little screens in all the offices, one slip up, and everyone gets a blue screen. Shame. see NHS and other ‘big slip ups’. Oh dear you can only apply so many sticking plasters to a bleeding wound. Hope that makes you feel better about U.C. Bob xxx

      • @CAROL CASSIDY actually i dod wonder if a company could ‘sack’ you whilst you are doing workfare for them ..imagine being sacked from workfare for taking time off to look for work then being sanctioned because of it..no wait i bet thats already happened..

        btw classic idiot think
        1: employ Accenture on NHS IT system – they cant cope so bail out-person in charge ;fines’ then less than contract amount.
        2: re employ Accenture on Universal Credit contract and pay them a shed load of dosh..yep it all makes sense in tory land.

        • Yup, and despite the billions these hooray henrys are throwing away-to their chums, not NHS, education, benefits etc etc-the tories still manage to convince eejits that they can be trusted with the economy!!!!

      • @Carol Cassidy i did post about UC being programmed using java so yeah patching is very apt ..oracle who own java was called in to patch the US homeland security system as that too was falling apart..and oracle are on the treasury procurement list..

  40. The importance of fixing universal credit
    The National Audit Office’s report Universal Credit: early progress concludes that the DWP has not achieved value for money in its early implementation of universal credit. The DWP has delayed rolling out the new system and has had “weak control” of the programme, raising concerns about its ability to exercise effective management and set realistic expectations.

    The NAO said the department will revise its business case and seek Treasury and Cabinet Office approval for the next stage of the programme. The DWP will need to show that it has produced a realistic plan; used a management approach allowing experts and operational teams to work together; established effective governance processes; tightened financial management; and re-assessed its existing programmes and capabilities in the light of its early experience on universal credit.

    http://andrewgoodall.typepad.com/blog/2013/09/the-importance-of-fixing-universal-credit.html

  41. NAO expresses serious concerns about new benefits system as costs continue to rise

    The National Audit Office (NAO) has published its report, Universal Credit: early progress

    This report considers Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP’s):

    Aims for Universal Credit (Part One);
    Progress against plans (Part Two); and
    Programme management (Part Three).
    Having had five senior officials in change of the Universal Credit (UC) programme since it started, it is hardly surprising DWP is struggling. NAO has said that it will draw a metaphorical line in the sand and so focuses for now on setting a base line, against which future successes, or lack of, will be measured. So far most of the spending has been on IT.

    The limited UC trials (pathfinder) which began in April 2013, have been narrower than originally planned, and cover only the simplest new claims. The IT functionality is limited, with some processes requiring intervention by staff, limiting the scalability of the pathfinder model without further IT investment. NAO comments:

    ‘Over 70 per cent of the £425 million spent to date has been on IT systems. The Department, however, has already written off £34 million of its new IT systems and does not yet know if they will support national roll-out. The existing systems offer limited functionality. For instance, the current IT system lacks a component to identify potentially fraudulent claims so that the Department has to rely on multiple manual checks on claims and payments. Such checks will not be feasible or adequate once the system is running nationally. Problems with the IT system have delayed national roll-out of the programme.’

    Not good then, but in our view, the report is actually rather kind to the programme.

    In the summary, we note that at point 5, the NAO states:

    ‘The Department will run the Universal Credit service and has a programme to build and roll-out the service. HM Revenue & Customs provides the real time information system, which gives the Department information about claimant earnings.’

    Real time information (RTI) for the employed is all very well, but what about the self employed of whom there is no mention? In our view there are serious practical problems for any small business wanting to claim benefit under UC. These are not mentioned.

    Reforming the welfare and tax credit system has been a key long-term objective of the government and Universal Credit is an important part of this. While we are supportive of the drive to simplify the benefits system, we are concerned about how the reform is progressing and about some of the burdens, financial as well as administrative, this will impose on small businesses.

    So what next? Section 13 explains how DWP intends to delay the roll-out. The pathfinder trials will be extended in October 2013 to six areas and will aim to apply the new ‘claimant commitment’ to all Jobseekers Allowance claimants by April 2014. Each individual claiming benefit is asked to go to an interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser and accept a claimant commitment, a document setting out what they have to do to prepare for work, or find work, or more work.

    The new claimant commitment process will proceed regardless of whether UC payments are introduced. We must wait and see what else happens next.

    http://www.ion.icaew.com/taxfaculty/27535

    • Poor. Old. Tired. Horse

      IDS says that Universal Credit is about “cultural change”. How about changing a culture in which government punts large amounts of public money to private contractors for goods and services that are not fit for purpose, yet no-one is held to proper account and the money spent is written-off?

  42. regarding that headline in the daily heil about free school meals and how begrudging they are and moaning about it being nick cleggs £600 million waste of money.idea and can ‘we’ afford it…well i came across this just now..do you think then that Universal Credit and this free school meal stuff is related?

    “Whilst the SSAC acknowledged that it is not possible to create a
    hierarchy of passported benefits, they noted that some are considered
    by recipients to be particularly important, and focussed in particular on
    the provision of free school meals. They noted that, in the longer term,
    there may be scope for a radical new approach for free school meals to
    forge much closer links with Universal Credit, perhaps including a
    component for school meals in the overall Universal Credit award. This
    would need to be consistent with the Government’s aim to provide
    healthy school meals. The SSAC also proposed possible options for
    eligibility criteria in the short term. These include the potential to
    provide a ‘run-on’ whereby entitlement continues for a set period even
    where earnings or income increases above the entitlement threshold
    and a tapered approach where support is withdrawn gradually as income rises.”

    so let me guess this free school meal stuff is just another attempt to sell the shitty Universal Credit crap yes??

  43. The DWP is sending out conflicting messages- on the one hand they intend for Universal Credit to make it easier for employers to reduce employees’ hours at times when there is less productivity, yet on the other the Universal Credit system is going to require that employees who are judged not to be working enough hours constantly seek more, including asking their existing employers! Which one is it then, DWP?!

    • @A4E SUCKS ask IDS only he can come up with conflicting shit like that thats what miserable failures like him often do..its psychopathic thinking..

  44. The Red Queen – ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’

    “[The Red Queen] behaves like the quintessential Victorian governess. [S]he is overbearing, meticulously obsessive about manners, and civil in a self-righteous and supercilious way. Like the vast majority of the characters in Through the Looking-Glass, the Red Queen makes definitive statements with little regard for an abiding logic that would support them. Her assertions are often arbitrary recitations of strict behavioural advice, such as, “Speak when you’re spoken to!” When Alice reveals the inadequacy of the logic behind the Red Queen’s statements, the Red Queen asserts her arbitrary position of authority as a justification. The Red Queen’s constant badgering of and competition with [Alice] indicates profound feelings of antagonism.”

  45. I am post work programme and my advisor at the jobcentre put me forward for an interview with the Royal Mail for a christmas job. I went to the appointment being held in a different jobcentre to the one I sign at and when I asked how many weeks work would I get I was told it could be three or four weeks but it was full time hours.
    I then asked if my benefits would be reinstated immediately after my work had finished so the guy from the Royal Mail asked an advisor at the jobcentre. She couldn’t say and suggested that I contact my advisor at the jobcentre that I normally attend. No one at the jobcentre would give me any general information regarding the situation. I later phoned my advisor who wasn’t in work and another advisor gave me some information on the phone suggesting that it would be like a rapid reclaim and it would all be continuous except that I would have to wait three days after my work ended. He said that housing benefit was up to the council but thought it would be straightforward. The truth should be freely available and not kept secret. The guy from the Royal Mail said he couldn’t wait as he did have quite a few people waiting to be seen and suggested that I could apply again as they are doing more recruiting sessions and the earliest start date for these temporary jobs is November 18th. If someone at that jobcentre had given me the information then I could have signed the forms as it looked like it was all a rubber stamp job and whoever turned up with the documents required, identification and no criminal record would have got the jobs. I don’t know what is going to happen when my advisor eventually asks about the interview but I think it’s important to know the situation before you sign up to something.

  46. Pingback: Johnny void on IDS & Employers; Kiwi & Lime | clivelord

  47. Johnny, I’m afraid you’re not half as-cynical about welfare reforms as you should be! Opening my comment like that might-well suggest I’m going to roll-out some massive conspiracy theory; but, I’m not. The only conspiracy here is greed, selfishness, ineptitude, hatred and ignorance.

    In the Thatcher era, when The Right to Buy was jammed through as a vote-buying exercise, nobody was planning the current attacks on the working public (public, not poor!).

    The worst policies are always trialled on those least-able to defend themselves, and those most-readily demonised. That would be a nice little scam started under New Labour; not giving asylum-seekers money, but a dodgy debit card that can only be used at ‘select high-street stores’. No booze; no fags; nothing that can readily be turned into cash. Quite the little omnishambles there, courtesy of the French Society Anonyme IT giant that’s running that mess.

    The ill-defined ideological goal here is: “Poor people can’t be trusted with money. The state, in cooperation with big business, gets to decide what they’re allowed to buy.”

    Once that nasty little fascist scheme works a little better, I’d wager it will be applied to all benefits claimants who get into financial difficulty.

    But, the Tories, and – to much the same extent – the Liberals, have to help their ‘poor friends’. Those being what we’d refer to as the middle class; the middle-class, with mortgages, who’ve fallen on hard times and may-well lose their homes.

    There’s no social housing available for them; most of these people have families; so, those out of work long-term, and staying in a property with spare bedrooms, have to be penalised – driven out of their homes to make way for these people. That brings us to the Bedroom Tax. Drive these ‘layabouts’ into rent arrears, evict them (damn the cost to the state!), and free up those social housing properties for the Tories ‘poor friends’.

    I’ve a question on that, and seen no answer: Who is fighting this as an illegal piece of legislation? In the UK you cannot retroactively apply legislation that penalises people for something that was legal in the past. Yet, that is exactly what the bedroom tax does.

    Someone should be pursuing that through the courts – a ‘class action suit’ if you will – the law should be repealed, and those impacted by it compensated. Instead, whether planned or not, those impacted by this are being driven into debt where the rule “poor people can’t be trusted with money” can be applied to them.

    Then there’s workfare, sanctions, zero hours contracts, and what have you. Just like the Bedroom tax, those drive people into debt and Ka-Ching! Yet more “poor people [who] can’t be trusted with money”.

    It’s not a conspiracy theory, simply an observation of the various threads strangling the social fabric of our society.

    Westminster’s cronies in The City have long-wished to abolish freely-circulated currency. They’re not plotting to bring that about, merely taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

    When you look at the revolving doors between big business and government – at politicians referring to the country as “UK plc.” – the real truth is revealed.

    We’ve been led, half-asleep, into a Fascist state. Benito Mussolini would be oh-so proud.

  48. Good point, as usual.

    Small point, off-topic, apologies if it’s already been said:
    *free rein*, not “free reign”.

  49. I suspect actually the REAL reason for the universal credit is that the housing benefit is now combined in with jsp and esa etc. is to make sanctions bite harder.
    At the moment if the jsa is stopped or lessened it doesn’t affect the housing benefit as that is run by the council LA. However if and when they combine the two as in universal credit then they will have more power to blackmail people to take low paid menial work.

  50. The job centre bods are a mercenary lot, just doing their jobs and once I have signed on I never give them another thought. have to increase sanctions they will just sanction anyone. I like these forums because those on benefits are in it together here. e do need to organise ourselves though. .Bring the government to account for the lack of jobs. And as for A4E we should take control of this shambles ourselves. Team building and networking services for the unemployed to set up their own business. We are all on our own, when small groups with every role covered could set up fantastic business. Get rid of the A4E staff we don,t need them they do not earn their pay and it is a bit of a scam. We need each other far more inspiring. As for universal credit lets remember that politicians give the job centre bods their lines which are the unemployed are lazy ,scroungers, liars. It is their fault they are unemployed we need austerity to get them to work. I suspect that the austerity measures are a drive to save money. And not to deal with unemployment
    A

  51. Interesting Read

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