The Benefit Sanction Debt Trap: Is this Iain Duncan Smith’s Nastiest Move So Far?

sanction-sabsUnemployed and disabled people could find themselves owing the Government hundreds, or even thousands of pounds, if they fail to attend workfare or miss a meeting with the Jobcentre.

Details are emerging (thanks to @refuted) of a horrifying regime planned when Universal Credit is introduced which will see emergency Hardship Payments converted into repayable loans.

These payments will be all that is available to people who have had benefits sanctioned for not meet the draconian and ever-changing conditions for claiming benefits.  Claimants can face benefit sanctions for being late to an appointment, missing a meeting or failing to turn up for unpaid workfare placements.  In some cases sanctions can last up to three years.  Hundreds of thousands of benefit sanctions each year are now inflicted on some of the poorest people in the country by Jobcentres.

Hardship Payments, currently set at just over £40 a week for unemployed people, are not available to everyone.  Claimants must show what the DWP considers to be genuine ‘hardship’, have no savings and will be quizzed about whether they can borrow money from family or friends instead.

Changes to the benefits system mean that most claimants now will have to pay Council Tax out of these meagre payments, with many also subject to the Bedroom Tax.  This means that someone who doesn’t apply for Hardship Payments will not only go hungry, but may face eviction and even prosecution for non-payment of Council Tax.

Under Universal Credit all Hardship Payments will be converted into loans.  An unemployed person, who is sanctioned for six months, will face a bill of over a thousand pounds at the end of it.  Someone who is sanctioned for the full three years will face owing the Government over £6000.

This vicious debt trap will be virtually inescapable for many claimants.  Jobcentre staff work to unofficial targets to sanctions as many claims as possible.  Under this toxic regime it is often the most marginalised claimants, who find it hardest to obtain work, who are vulnerable to benefit sanctions.  Most claimants on sickness and disability benefits can also face sanctions, even though their own doctors – along with the despised Atos – agree that they may not be well enough to work at present.

A Citizens Advice report warned recently that benefit sanctions have led to people attempting suicide, begging and going through bins to find food.  It is hard to imagine how people in poverty this desperate can even consider looking for work – and afford the expenses which come with it such as internet access, smart clothes, stamps, newspapers and phone calls.  Instead everyday becomes a desperate struggle for survival, the next meal more important than the next job application.

Benefit sanctions are the ultimate poverty trap and are causing horrific suffering.  Not content with this, Iain Duncan Smith now wants to plunge this group into huge debts when the sanction is over.  A near life sentence in some cases of poverty and debt.  This is beyond nasty, even for the Tory Party, this is a Government out of control.  And the victims, who are being kicked and kicked again, are some of the poorest people in the UK today.

Join the fight back against the war on the poor at the Welfare Reform Gathering this Saturday February 15th.

Sign the petition to scrap all benefit sanctions without exemptions: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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208 responses to “The Benefit Sanction Debt Trap: Is this Iain Duncan Smith’s Nastiest Move So Far?

  1. Pingback: The Benefit Sanction Debt Trap: Is this Iain Du...

  2. The citizen advice people and fight the bluntness this is and will cause.
    Why don’t this Gourment help these people, how can they attend interviews, without any money, they want people to travel any where but they can’t without money, DWP must know the people who would give their right arm to work, so support them to obtain a job, nobody in their right mind would want to live like they are faced to do.

    • josephine
      briefly, coz we live in a state of denial or denial state, that the capitalist system has stripped our country of work for the masses…and they are trying to deny that this is the case and dump the blame on the victims of capitalism, us…they deny capitalism is insane, and insanely believe that it is not….

      • something survived...

        Trouble is, you GIVE your right arm to work, then they take your left arm. Then they tell you to go and get a job! And as we’ve now proven, most of the jobs on their system are fake/bogus/scams, and most of the rest are duplicates of eachother, and the remainder are the other side of the country or are already gone before being posted.

  3. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  4. Is there anyway of finding out when they intend to introduce universal credit to one’s particular area?

    • There’s a good question we’re not likely to receive an official answer for

    • All previous schedules for the roll-out of UC seem to have been temporarily shelved since Lord Freud had a bit of a wobble on 10/12/13 over the IT issues and the likes of John Major started backstabbing IDS in the meejah; however, as of 22/01/14 Fraud was referring people back to this document: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/December%202013/5%20December/6-DWP-UniversalCredit.pdf

      Written by IDS on 05/12/13 it shows the Cabinet are again consolidating themselves behind a national 2017 roll-out. There is common acceptance that this national roll-out will be limited to which of the six rolled-up UC benefits is being claimed. So far the 3000-odd UC claimants – nationwide- are all single new signers as JV points out elsewhere.
      Hansard/Theyworkforyou.com already indicates that ESA affected claimants aren’t included in the 2017 dream. James Wolfe, Deputy Director of UC Policy for the DWP -presumably in a major suck-up to the evangelical nonsense spouted by IDS and his Centre for Social Justice- admitted eight days ago that UC is such a huge project it will have to happen as it is too big to fail… so there’s a tacit admission of the usual government-funded IT wastage, the cross-bench agreement for reform of the Welfare State benefit system, and the political ideology from gonks like Matt Oakley, ex-Treasury Advisor on the Welfare State, despite his status as an ex-Policy Exchange balloon-brain who determined the fabricated “On Fairness” poll they drag out every six months or so. He’s also a current member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, – which has apparently given him access to chair that organisation’s ” non-partisan” committee on sanctions and will still make him chair of the executive committee member of “Which” magazine.

      Got so angry there I almost forgot the good post:

      http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2014-02-12a.187122.h&s=speaker%3A24882#g187122.r0

      Geographical sanctions… Esther McVey will presumably place them in the Commons Library between “appointments”. (It isn’t there yet but is a guaranteed FoI)

      Look at the evidence.

      N.

      .

  5. “Is this Iain Duncan Smith’s Nastiest Move So Far?”

    NO!, FAR from it, his “nastiest” move is yet to come, that will be when he say’s the welfare state has come to end, if you need ANYKIND of help…..You are on your own…..

  6. Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR and commented:
    Are we now getting to the point where the ConDems realise they’re unlikely to get re-elected next time, so are wrecking as much of society as they can, in the belief that Labour probably won’t rescind half of it anyway ?

  7. id like know how he plans to collect any of these debts hes and idiot.

    • He will you put in prison for years, and make you do chain gang work for 16hrs a day, just to get something to eat!, same as what he’s doing now when you think about!.

      • Imagine, in the not so far future, people in debt to the government being placed in a new type of privately operated debtors’ prison, in which they will be forced to undertake work of various types for the private sector.

        This would mean the government deliberately forcing people into debt to sling them in jail so they can be forced to provide unpaid work for private sector companies…

        But that would amount to the government deliberately harming its own people for the benefit of private profit, but that would never happen.

        Wouldn’t it??

      • well at least you will get your benefits in prison, like the £41 million that was paid to inmates not so long ago,,,and by the way, it seems that prisoners have more rights, than law abiding citizens.

      • The Greek government has just changed the law so that people who owe money to the government can be gaoled.

    • Presumably the debt repayments will be automatically deducted from future benefit payments. Unless the person drops out of the benefits system or becomes employmed in which case they will probably sell the debt to a recovery agency at the first sign of any issues with collection.

  8. After listening to a BBC Radio 4 programme on Oakwood prison where cells were described as having en-suite showers, telephones, plasma screen TVs and underfloor heating, and where inmates rioted because (I kid you not) they didn’t get a dumpling with their meal on that particular day, It would appear incarceration is a more attractive alternative to abject poverty IDS-style.

    It says much about our perverse society that murderers, paedophiles and terrorists are deemed worthy of better treatment by the state than claimants who are to be left destitute for the “crime” of being unemployed.

    • trevor
      no human being needs to earn human rights we are all born with them…human rights violations have profound and dire consequences on humanity…

    • I’ll commit crime and go to prison then. I might as well if this happens we are being treated like criminals anyway.

    • The detention centres are hell on earth, where at Oakham the Howard Reform League found that “In all four main tests – safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement – the prison was recorded as either insufficient or poor, the lowest rating.” They found it was easier to get drugs than soap, and 1 in 7 actually BECAME drug users while in there. Prisoners describe food shortages, and prisoners were actually training the staff on the job In how to be prison officers.

      There is a valid point that people are left outside, as unemployed, treated worse than inmates (unless you happen to be a G4$ inmate). The soon to be opened Titan prison in Wrexham is going to be like sending people to the gulags, as there will just be massive warehousing of people at the lowest possible cost for the highest possible profit.

      It all stinks. But hunger will drive people to commit crime, Some will do it expressly to get food while in custody. I’d rather not play the Daily Hate blame game though, page 1, inmates have plasma Sky TV, page 2, the unemployed have TV and mobile phones and Sky, page 3 the disabled are all con artists, etc. Many prisoners are just like us, and are not the most heinous you describe. We need to fight for all our rights, including people locked in prison. because soon under the Condem regime, just writing this could put anyone of us behind bars.

    • Piss of with this ‘better of in prison’ shite. ……………………

    • Well if the BBC said it, then it must be true! All those prisoners living in the lap of luxury. Clearly it’s all true!

    • Mass murder Anders Breivik gets £300 kroner ( £30 ) weekly allowance, but he wants it doubling. —£30 ? that’s just over £10 more than Britain’s hardship allowance.

      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/anders-breivik-threatens-hunger-strike-playstation-3-adult-games-1436492

  9. I suspect that, once “unsanctioned,” victims will find that loan repayments are deducted from their benefits – and wages should they ever get work – the only way the DWP can be sure of being repaid.

    Earlier this week I posed a question on my own blog, “Is the DWP institutionally insane, or purely evil?” It was rhetorical, intended only to attract attention – and it did that very well – but reading this post I have to say that, in both cases, the answer has to be a resounding Yes!

  10. Reblogged this on Ron's Rants… and commented:
    Comment already posted, above.

  11. What next, concentration camps for the unemployed? or will they just re-open the workhouses.

    • They have MWA instead of workhouses and prisoners now get better stuff them some unemployed it seems, you also get to add more days to your punishment if you are ill

    • The physically disabled, the unemployable, and even former prisoners should build the £42.6bn High Speed 2 railway, according to a powerful new industry lobbying group.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/let-disabled-workers-build-the-43bn-hs2-9069578.html

      • yes, the new Burma railway, a dead body for every sleeper laid

        • You don’t even have to go abroad for a template. The Labour government introduced work camps for the unemployed in Britain in the 1920s and 30s – part of our glorious history they dont tell you about.

          You could almost wonder if it was us who gave the Nazis the idea…

        • That’s why Cameron’s making such a fuss about that damaged railway in Devon. It’ll lead directly to the Gas Chambers, which will be fueled by ‘Fracking’ of course.

      • something survived...

        If you apply for a paid job that’s anything to do with driving trains or working on a railway, you need to be free of a whole range of conditions AND pass a very stringent medical. I was not sent to that stage as I had a load of the conditions on their list, so can’t even get a job picking litter off the tracks (JCP had made me apply to work on railways).

        Most unemployed (especially longterm) people are likely to be sick/disabled or have caring responsibilities. Many are outside the age limit for these physical jobs. And most ex-prisoners have bad health, from before or acquired in jail (or possibly during homelessness before/after). FORMER prisoners? As in ones the law SAID had PAID their debt to society? Cake and eating it?!
        And all disabled people are,… disabled. Clue’s in the title.

        Bridge over the river Kwai, and similar schemes; people died at work, starved, were killed by the guards, died in swamps trying to run away, got diseases, shat/bled to death, fought over rations, went crazy, got beaten and died of infected wounds or gangrene; got blown up/buried alive; survived with PTSD and sick/scarred for life; or starvation later killed them with multiple organ failure; or people killed themselves; or got in accidents and were maimed for life. Often guards left sick/injured people to die, or killed them. Against all EXISTING treaties on treatment of POW’s and interned civilians in wartime.

        Well, discounting the ‘perpetual war’ we are supposed to be in (2001-ongoing), and the countless other wars around the world, this is PEACETIME and we are CIVILIANS. Not convicted criminals in a court of law. Not ASBO yobs sentenced to community punishment. Not kids at boot camp or rehab. Not asylum inmates. NOT SLAVES.
        So *how the fuck* can anyone think it’s even slightly lawful to force us to do these jobs for no money? Jobs that, if we’re disabled and unemployed, and apply for as a paid job through the proper channels, we are automatically prohibited from doing. By ‘Health and Safety’. Even if we were forced to apply. Even if we WANTED the job. (And if forced to apply, jobs we can be sanctioned for not getting!)

        I bet the twat who wrote this idea has never attempted to pick up a single railway sleeper. Because actually I have attempted it, and could not do it. He probably has nothing heavier to lift than a pen.

        IDS, twinned with Goering, are you human? No. Why not avoid the issue of payment altogether? The UK has oversubscribed schools and overfull classes. Let’s just take all the surplus five year olds and stick them outdoors, year-round, to build railways till they die. Replace them by sending more five year olds. Goebbels, Himmler, Speer, Mengele….IDS. Bedblocking in hospitals and care homes? Chuck out all the patients and old people, and make them dig ditches.
        Or force heavily pregnant girls and women to build railways. (Nazi overseer-bitch: “Oi, chav slag! Stop giving birth, and pick up that sleeper!”) (Baby to be used for testing rat poison)

        If you have any understanding of British industrial history, you will know that the Navvies (Navigation Engineers), who built roads and canals and railways, had to be extra-strong, extra-big, extra-tough. (And many still died, or died later, or got crippled for life). They had to consume thousands of calories per day so had extra, high-protein rations. Way more than the 2500kcal prescribed today for most males in physical/manual jobs. (A lot of Cantonese Chinese men who built American railways could be smaller and weaker, but many more of them died and less was done to ensure their safety, they were seen as expendable/replaceable).

        Here’s an even nicer idea from the brain/microdot of Hitler-IDS (it’s getting increasingly hard to tell them apart, except Hitler currently has more functioning brain matter): round up all the Jews and make them build a giant flaming swastika in honour of IDS. Or find anyone Muslim on the dole and stick them in a pork factory. Or make all Hindus earning under 50K, be beefburger testers.

        Perhaps a way around the problem, is to say that all health and safety legislation is suspended for anyone on workfare. Bring back wifebeating, marital rape, flogging people in the streets. Those interesting scientific experiments conducted out of doors to vivisect prisoners. Witchfinders, perving over shaved and stripped old ladies.
        Executioners, raping any virgin before execution to get round the ban on executing virgins. Trial by ordeal. If you claim you didn’t nick this bike, pick up a red-hot iron bar, then if you have not healed in three days we’ll hang you. Or if we’re tired of the past, how about a bit of the future? Either a) A Judge Dredd system, where cops are also judge and jury and executioner. Or b) A system of dangerous games, races or combat for convicts/suspects/slaves (too many films to list). Or c) Minority report, jail people for precrimes! Your DNA or a psychic/cyborg or a machine or a computer, thinks you’ll do a crime so we punish you now. Or d) Starship Troopers: we think you’ll do a crime so we’ll execute you. Or e) Logan’s Run/Soylent Green: All people of a certain age executed.

        I realise I must stop. IDS had been reading this and getting so excited his pants were filling up with cum, and his housekeeper muttered something about having to clean the carpet again (as happened the other week, when he borrowed Gove’s copy of Mein Kampf). She made a mental note to write to her family back in Belarus to ask them to put a hit out on him. It wasn’t just the fact that he was IDS, it was that she couldn’t stand the sight of him. It’d be doing the UK a favour really… she had always worked in pest control. (As Reginald D. Hunter said, ‘Do what you do best’.)

        • Of course IDS is a world class evil twat. But remember, he doesn’t exist in a vacuum. He has the full support of Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and the rest of the Government I haven’t seen a single one of these morons resign in protest; have you?

      • Navigator, Navigator! Rise up and be strong.

        Will the “imaginary wheelchairs” sp beloved of ATOS, not come unstuck on the tracks?

  12. ………EXTRACT FROM FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST TO THE DWP

    Just hours after DWP lost a Court of Appeal hearing about the work
    capability assessment, they sent out a memo to all staff pouring
    scorn on the decision by declaring that nothing would change and
    that it was ‘Business as usual’ as far as they were concerned.

    The Court of Appeal case concerned an interim finding by the Upper
    Tribunal in May 2013 that failure by the DWP to gather further
    medical evidence for claimants with mental health conditions caused
    them a substantial disadvantage. The case had been brought by two
    anonymous individuals – MM and DM – with the support of major
    mental health charities including Mind, Rethink and the National
    Autistic Society.

    The Upper Tribunal ruled that the DWP would need to make changes to
    the way they dealt with employment and support allowance claimants
    with mental health conditions and gave them time to go away and
    come up with reasonable adjustments. The DWP appealed to the Court
    of appeal before the case was completed, but in December 2013 they
    lost on three of the four grounds on which they appealed.

    Immediately after the Court of Appeal hearing, the claimants’
    solicitor, Ravi Low-Beer of the Public Law Project, stated:

    “It is regrettable that the Government chose to appeal against the
    tribunal’s finding that people with mental health problems are
    disadvantaged by the current system, rather than take the steps
    necessary to improve it. Now that the Court of Appeal has upheld
    the tribunal’s finding, we sincerely hope that the Government will
    take immediate steps to improve the system. Disabled people,
    charities and many others are only asking the Government to
    implement the recommendation of the independent expert the
    Government itself appointed. This has been delayed since May 2013
    while the Government appealed. It should not be delayed further.”

    However, just hours after they lost their appeal, the DWP sent out
    a memo to all ESA staff telling them, effectively, to ignore the
    court’s findings.

    Under the heading ‘What does this mean for the Department?’, senior
    DWP staff told them:

    “It will be business as usual for DWP Operations. Individuals will
    apply for ESA and undergo the WCA in the normal way. Those
    currently on Incapacity Benefit will be reassessed as planned.”

    In fact, the memo repeats the phrase ‘Business as usual’ no fewer
    than six times, to reinforce the message that staff should continue
    to treat claimants with mental health conditions in the same unfair
    way.

    Under the heading ‘Does the WCA put people with mental health
    conditions at a disadvantage?’, staff were told – in complete
    contradiction to the court decisions:

    “We do not believe so and this was one of the reasons we appealed
    the interim judgment. But we do recognise the challenges in
    accurately assessing people with mental health conditions, and the
    potential vulnerability of such claimants.”

    However, the DWP are clearly aware that not everyone may agree with
    their view of the importance of the court decisions.

    Under the heading ‘What if I receive a letter from a customer or
    their advocate that is claiming for damages / threatening a
    judicial review / requesting us to obtain medical evidence “in
    accordance with MM & DM”? ‘ the memo states:

    “We do not expect individuals will be able to claim for damages on
    the basis of this judgment. However if you receive such a letter,
    you must send it immediately to the Treasury Solicitors
    Department.”

    It now remains to be seen what view the courts will take of the
    DWP’s continued determination to treat claimants with mental health
    conditions unfairly.

    You can download the DWP memo from this link:

    http://freepdfhosting.com/6a172603ed.pdf

    • You can supply ATOS with an inch thick set of evidence that CAB considered exceptional, yet still, the physiotherapist, assessing your claim won’t bother to read any of it.

      The biggest discriminations for those with MH issues 1) the impossibility of getting any effective help or treatment, closely followed by 2) Every bugger and its dog assumes that MH is the same as Learning Disability. That one works the other way around too and finally 3) The whole assessment/claim process adds terrible levels of distress to individuals who are already dealing with epic levels of distress (whether they are visible or not)

  13. Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    As you are aware, many parts of the UK have been experiencing
    severe weather conditions, and have been flooded for many weeks.
    What i would like to know is, how many Jobseeker’s Allowance
    claimants between 01 December 2014 to todays date 12 February 2014
    have had their benefits sanctioned for not attending the Job Centre
    to sign on due to not being able to physically get to the Jobcentre
    because the area in which they live is experiencing floods?

    Yours faithfully,

    Karyn Adams

    Link to this https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/how_many_sanctioned_in_flooded_a#incoming-481856

    • Don’t forget to ask how many JSA/ESA claimants have been sanctioned for not being able to attend Work Programme appointments and MWA’s because of the flooding.

      • @Obi wan probbly using the ” excuse ” of floods to avoid getting out of bed .they will say ..or using the floods to commit crimes such as looting
        Hence the army called in to setup ” check points ” which I find rather creepy …it means monitoring everyone .

      • something survived...

        Our JCP was closed due to the floods. Apparently if you are ordered to attend a JCP to sign on or for another appointment, and you go there and it’s closed…. they can now STILL SANCTION YOU!!!!

        Another Government Wank-Rag Bill:

        Petition to abolish ‘the people’ (sic) and redesignate them as ‘compliance units’. All aberrant units will be referred to as ‘malfunctioning’, and will be scheduled for termination and disassembly.

        Signed:
        Ian Duncan Smith
        Ian (Rhodesia) Smith (deceased)
        Adolf Duncan Smith
        Ian Hitler
        Duncan Ian Schmidt (Gulags ‘R’ Us)
        A’hole Dungcam Smith
        Ian Duncan Schicklgruber
        Ade Hilter
        Floda Reltih
        Grant Multiple Entity Shapps
        George Smith (Ian Duncan Smith)
        Grant Shapeshifter
        Grant Sheepshafter
        Michael ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Michael Howard’ Gove
        Ken ‘Barrage Balloon’ Clarke (Department of Blimps and Dirigibles)
        Eric ‘Piehole’ Pickles
        Oswald Mosley (very deceased, thrice-staked, Vampire of the Fleet)
        Margaret Zombie Hilda Thatcher (fairly deceased)
        Adolf Hitler (cloned from his bogies)
        Hayley ‘Aryan Maiden’ Valkyrie Taylor (Unfair Gobshite)
        Emma Harrison (Arbeite Fur Emma!)
        Eva Braun (also deceased)
        Unity Mitford (somewhat deceased, but we can’t quite tell)
        Alf Garnett
        Enoch ‘Undead’ Powell
        Nick Griffin
        Steven Yaxley-Lennon/Tommy Robinson
        Nigel ‘Clueless’ Farrage
        —————————————–
        POSTSCRIPT: Bill was abandoned (on a train seat) due to too many submerged nazis, as the result of some gay weather.

  14. Reblogged this on glynismillward189 and commented:
    Just when you thought it could not possibly get any worse …

  15. What are the consequences of all this? Debt. So, even if you haven’t got a student loan(soon to be privatised), a mortgage or any other loan you will be forced into one via the benefits system (which is also on the Tory wishlist for privatisation), which will make the DWP into a very nice hedge fund, with a guaranteed regular income.
    There’s only one answer to all of this, a proper heads rolling revolution, to wipe these vile sociopaths out of the gene pool.

  16. I have reproduced below the definition of a “sanctionable benefit” as now defined:
    “sanctionable benefit” means (subject to subsection (2) and to any regulations under section
    10(1)) any disqualifying benefit other than–
    (a) joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance;
    (b) any retirement pension;
    (c) graduated retirement benefit;
    (ca) personal independence payment;
    (d) disability living allowance;
    (e) attendance allowance;
    (f) child benefit;
    (fa) child tax credit; (fb) working tax credit;
    (g) guardian’s allowance;
    (h) a payment out of the social fund in accordance with Part 8 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
    (i) a payment under Part 10 of that Act (Christmas bonuses).
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the reference number
    above.
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

    • Ach, they spew forth such guff!
      When one of the “sanctionable” benefits is er, sanctioned, ALL of the non sanctionable benefits stop by default, because the minute a DM agrees with a sanction, the DWP automatically alert the LA and other parts of the system to a claimants instant “change of circumstances”

      As usual, the guff from the DWP does not match reality.

  17. Dear G Millward,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 9th December 2013.

    You asked:

    “It appears that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) class people on unpaid
    workfare-style programmes, as being employed for the purpose of the government
    statistics that show the number of people in work.

    Can you,

    1) Confirm that this is correct and if it is,

    2) Explain why people on unpaid workfare-style programmes are not paid National
    Minimum wage.”

    In response to your query, the Department for Work and Pensions does not operate any
    workfare-style schemes therefore this information is not held.

    You may find this previous Freedom of Information Request helpful:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ilo_conventions_and_work_fare_ty

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the reference number
    above.

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

  18. You’re an idiot. Crisis Loans, which the hardship payment is going to replace, have always been repayable.

    Do you actually have even the remotest clue about anything at all you write an article about?

  19. IF, AFTER THE DEATH OF A PARTYGOER, KETAMINE IS TO BE RE- CLASSIFIED AS A CLASS B, WHAT DOES THAT MAKE IAIN DUNCAN SMITH?

    ………IN A NUTSHELL, “A FIRST CLASS CUNT”

    THIS EVIL BASTARD, ALONG WITH HIS TOFFEE NOSED ENTOURAGE, HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COUNTLESS SLAUGHTER OF THOUSANDS……………..

    THEY DON’T PULL THE TRIGGER BUT ENACT MONSTROUS LAWS WITH THE BACKING OF THE WRINKLED OLD SHITHOUSE IN BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

    WE ARE BEING TERRORISED BY A SMALL MINORITY IN POWER WHO WERE NOT EVEN ELECTED………

    WE ARE PART OF A GAME, A GAME FIRMLY AIMED AT HOW FAR THEY ARE ABLE TO GO WITHOUT EVOKING A RESPONSE…………

    THEY HAVE NO IDEA OF HOW THE REST OF THE COUNTRY FEEL, REPRESENTING THE POWERHOUSES OF THEIR INNER SANCTUM, THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ONLY.

    ARE WE AFRAID OF THEM?

    I AM NOT………….

    WE MUST DIRECTLY CHALLENGE THE SHIT THAT THEY THROW AT US DAY AFTER DAY.

    FUCK THE RENTS, FUCK THE RATES AND FUCK THE JUDICIARY.

    IT’S TIME TO POOL OUR ANGER AND REGAIN OUR PRIDE.

    THE BATTLE LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN…………..

  20. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us all benefits will have to be repaid when the claimant gains employment.

    • So fucking funny… When you stop launching your lager glasses over the balcony, you might recognise that when you get a short-term contract you’ll still be back on the Work Programme if you’ve not done your two years. Not the height of irony you suggest.

      HMRC can also claim back WTC “overpayments”.JV has indicated another future – putative – recouperation. You might want to look at the “Mandatory Intervention Regime” as part of the Post-Work Programme Scheme which predicates the forthcoming Community Activity Programme.

      Frank Begbie, the tragic Marxist: “Um, I try to negate my anger through my on-line anger… then I realised that praxis was like an internet meme. I was a criminal already because I denied the status quo in prime-time TV.”

      Lord Longford says: “We can recouperate Frank Begbie. He needs some Jane Austen in his life.

      Nic says: “Nahhr”. (pokes his tongue out, and does the Bronx Cheer).

      • nic
        or he needs railway sleeper laying/tunnel digging recuperation…many more exciting recuperation opportunities available soon…”help us build hs2, pay of your debts, sleeping bag pick and shovel provided at small extra cost “….

      • @Nic i wish I understood what you wrote there…

        Glossary of terms would have helped .
        Ps do you post on guardian CIF a lot
        If so you left out medieval history and references to mid west American authors..

  21. CAMERON IS CROWING ABOUT THE BILL FOR FLOODING……………..

    £15 BILLION IS PEANUTS COMPARED TO WHAT HE GAVE TO THE BANKERS…….

    HE HAS PROBABLY STOLEN THAT MUCH IN SANCTIONS AGAINST THE POOREST AND DISABLED.
    YOU ARE WITNESSING A CLASS WAR PERPETRATED BY THE RICH TO STEAL MORE FROM THE POOR…….

    WE ARE FINANCING THEIR LIFESTYLES WHILST THEY LOOK DOWN IN CONTEMPT AS WE SUFFER………..

    IF EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY SAID, ENOUGHS ENOUGH, THEY WOULD HAVE TO LISTEN.

    THOSE BASTARDS IN PARLIAMENT ARE NOT REPRESENTING THE VIEWS OF THE PEOPLE, I DON’T THINK THEY EVER HAVE!

    I AM SICK OF ALL THE FORCE FED BULLSHIT FROM THE LIKES OF THE BBC.

    TOGETHER WE CAN DISMANTLE THIS FETID PILE OF CRAP FROM OUR SOCIETY….

  22. Lord Kitchener the Knitter

    Universal Credit will be stillborn and Iain Duncan Smith gone within eighteen months. You realise of course that a lot of this crap comes from David Freud, not Iain Duncan Smith?

  23. “Tenant evictions reach their highest level ever recorded”

    “Those belongings they could not pack were then left on the driveway in the rain.

    They and their two young children subsequently spent several weeks sleeping in their car.

    “There’d be the two boys in the back, under a couple of quilts. My wife would be up front here. And we’d eat in here,” he told the BBC.

    “The following morning, we’d go to McDonald’s, so the boys could brush their teeth and then go off to school.”

    Three months after the eviction, they have managed to get a single hotel room, but only have enough money for two more nights.

    They cook pasta in an electric kettle and warm up tinned food with hot water in the washbasin.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26160569

    • I was just reading the same thing.

      The truth behind the ‘recovery’ figures.

    • @Annos that would be those people on “over generous” benefits would it ? The ones living in luxury in ” free mansions ”
      Driving about in ” free BMWs ” and affording flat screen TV sets breeding like flies doing drugs whilst drunk committing terrorist crimes killing children and animals in ghettoes..

      Or just very hard hit families becoming homeless being shunted about like unwanted objects …because councils just want to support wealthy home owners
      Hence the panic on flood victims property
      But fuck the renting poor sods.
      Never mind just dump them onto BTL landlords who don’t want them either

      Kicked kicked kicked all the time ..kicked about kicked down till we are kicked into touch..

  24. It is more than obvious that this government and the other governments to come hate and despise anyone they deem as being below them and want nothing less then to have people on benefits wiped off the face of the earth. It greatly pleases this monstrous government when claimants take their own life or the next best option is to have claimants evicted from their homes. When will we as citizens of the UK realise that if you are poor then you are expendable and at best an asset to be sold to debt collection agencies.

  25. Universal Credit won’t happen!
    I just wish that people would do something about this so called government instead of letting all the sh!t fall on us. The coalition know that they are not going to get in at the next GE so they are ruining what we have left and making sure that everything is destroyed so that no matter which party comes into power, they will be unable to fix it!
    Get off your erses and DO SOMETHING – it’s time to march, it’s time to stop anything else happening and it’s time to let this government know that we are not scared of them! The way I see it is that 75% of the population are running scared of the other 25% – bloody cowards, that’s all we are!

    • Lord Kitchener the Knitter

      I think you’re 100% correct. The coalition – particularly the Tories – know that they will be out at the next election and are trying to snooker Labour by getting it to sign up to an impossible set of cuts and reforms which nobody could ever realistically implement. It’s a razed earth agenda: poison the wells, kill the livestock, burn the crops in the fields so that the enemy cannot benefit from it. True wickedness. True black-hearted evil.

  26. @Johnny V are we in smart card land ?
    Remember all that stuff when it came up
    And I found the Demos think tank proposal of it..then saw mastercard had been funding them..

    Then go back to that spat with the landlords
    we had…iI looked on their forums where it was said they had been to Tory conference where mastercard were there promoting the smart card idea ..and claiming they were up and running and the tech was already in place to do the smart card and just waiting for the nod from DWP to get it going ..
    Ok so if you have smartcard with that control then deduction repayments would be automated..
    That is fucking awful
    Auto poverty auto eviction

  27. No doubt there’s some bastard in the Job centre telling all his staff not to blame themselves if some claimant commits suicide.
    “Fill those targets and keep your jobs, you don’t want to end up on the other side of the desk”.

  28. ids can fuck himself I'm glad he's lost he's mental health.

    can see it going off me soon..sad to say but i can, what a mess, that bald twat ids as lost the plot! and why the recent purchase of water cannons ? hmm.

  29. something survived...

    IDS can gladly fuck himself – if he uses a CAR.

  30. I had a nightmare last night (seriously) where IDS forced all the disabled people on workfare to crawl about on our knees removing dog turds from the pavement (with our bare hands).

    We were then ordered to EAT them as our food rations, not bin them, and we were all so weak and so starved we were glad to be allowed to do so.

    I woke up retching.

    • Ids is a narcissist and he has made sure everyone is in a state of flight or fight mode. Basically we are constantly feeling stressed, totally controlled, totally on guard. We can not let our guards down for one minute or else we face attack!!! He has stolen our lives right now. We can not relax for one minute. Destitution can mean death.
      I knew the scheming, calculating stealth abuser was doing this to people on jsa. I met a poor bastard last week at seetec, he had been sanctioned for 3 months for not applying for a disgusting minimal wage job, that was not at all to do with his trade. He was on hardship, struggling to eat and live. The man was no spring chicken either. He also told me he was looking after a schizophrenic lady, who was in a real bad way mentally, she had her esa stolen from her, lost her flat, could not cope. This guy took her in, saved her life and is looking after her. They are living off his hardship money that will have to be paid back. I was shocked and livid hearing this.
      This government is making the poor destitute , leaving them in total danger. The inequalities and social divisions in this country are out of control, and sadly brushed under the carpet. What they do not see does not bother them. Remember what people do when they pass homeless people in the street begging. They walk pass not making eye contact. Everyone including disabled people are all fighting a battle now, not to end up like this. It would appear that this is what ids is trying to do to us.
      It really concerns me now about people who do not have reliable good family to save them, if they fall into the gaps. Vulnerable people left to survive alone with nothing.
      Many have got huge debts too due to council and bedroom tax, it really is a piss take. I myself will have well over a grand in council tax debt by fucking April. Its made me so ill. I need to point out the abuse I have suffered from the local council in the last year, iv’e had court charges of 100 quid and bailiffs threats constantly. I do not have a fucking penny left, they want my blood, I am sure of it. I’ve wrote too much here, but I’m fucking livid.

  31. Just saw the post so have to reply. Yes now hardship payments are the latest avenue of escape being closed off. Now they have become repayable loans after your sanction ends. So if you’ve been sanctioned for 3 years you could owe £6,000. It’s official Britain is now a Nazi state. More and more the people on benefits are getting it in the neck from the Tories and, let’s not forget, the Labour party who heartily agree with all these Nazi policies. Lifelong Labour voter but never again will i vote for a party of career politicians who clearly don’t give a toss.

    This once again, i’m sure it doesn’t need reaffirming, is all being done to drum up a massive slave drone workforce to be exploited doing the most menial work available either for nothing via workfare or at an unliveable pittance. Now the choice is take a hardship loan that you can never pay back or rake through the bins behind Iceland looking for food. Oh! i forgot then the state SS will arrest you and take you to court for the crime of trying to scavenge for food.

    Sometimes i feel at a really low ebb and realise that i see no future in this country. That’s a terrible way to feel about your home land.

    But that’s what these evil b******* have done. This is far worse, much worse than i even remember the Thatcher years being.

  32. My name is [my] name.

    They, have no OWNERSHIP to the EQUITY “in our LIVES “!
    There is only ONE TRUE-TRUST: DIVINE TRUST;
    a TRUST that gave to the NATURAL PERSON: INALIENABLE Rights.

  33. Son sanctioned again today…..was fucking hoping to get by this next fortnight. Rang the jobcentre and spoke to a advisor. Took great delight in ending conversation with…..”well we all know there are targets to meet and your unions are coming out with it all” ……couldn’t help is she pushed the button …..she replied “that’s something I don’t want to discuss”….I hope the bitch told her workmates someone else has fronted them.

    We filled in hardship form after last sanction. Letter came said yes he can have hardship from 27 jan to 14 april. The advisor had next to no knowledgeo how it works……we have no idea. If hardship is set up …and still attending jcp and doing their bollox……will it be paid straight away….

    For fucksake the ACTUAL facts of hardship are not easy to find as it is……. sounds like most don’t even qualify. There’s a vulnerable group but letter did not state wether he is or not. Well bad plans to make hardship repayable.

    Let’s face it the country is fucked. With the floods there’s no chance of this being sorted now.

    How do we fight back?

  34. Reblogged this on Social Action.

  35. UPON ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT FOOD VOCHERS, THE DWP GAVE ME THIS REPLY;

    Dear Geoffrey Reynolds,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received 23 April. You asked;

    You state that your department does not issue food vouchers and yet, in another of my FOIs
    you state that there are no plans to introduce them. State clearly if the food voucher idea has
    been terminated or not?

    DWP does not issue food vouchers, and has no plans to do so.
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    above.
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team
    ———————————————————————————————–

    …………STATING DWP DOES NOT ISSUE FOOD VOUCHERS AND HAS NO PLANS TO DO SO, IS AN EASY GET OUT……..

    I WOULD NOT TRUST THESE BASTARDS ONE INCH!

    IF IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED ONCE, DON’T THINK IT WILL DISAPPEAR. THESE HEARTLESS BASTARDS WOULD BRING BACK SLAVERY, IN FACT THEY ALREADY HAVE…………

    TALK OF USING DISABLED TO CONSTRUCT RAILWAY LINES ONLY TO BE USED BY THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD IT, IS NO LAUGHING MATTER.
    IT IS THE TALK OF MADMEN, THE MADMEN WHO CONTROL PARLIAMENT BY LOBBYING WHILST DISTORTING THE MEDIA………..

    TAKE TO THE STREETS

  36. Hardly any of the £billions given to the bankers has in the wake of the financial crisis been recovered, yet people who get a few hundred pounds’ worth of hardship payments will presumably be chased for every penny by the government.

    This government is evil.

  37. Just when you thought it impossible, the Nasty Party just got a whole lot Nastier. The search for the ‘Philosophers’ Stone’ became ‘Get Blood Out Of A Stone’.

  38. “Joel Hay: What’s wrong with American hospitals?”

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/hospital-600886-care-year.html

  39. Landless Peasant

    I have a feeling that before this becomes widely and fully implemented the tide may change, quite literally. We may be saved by Mother Nature if recent events are any indication. As Southern/Western England becomes permanently submerged, and the East coast falls into the sea, millions will have to be evacuated/housed/re-settled/compensated, and the sheer logistics, never mind sensation/shock/discussion, of the ensuing State of Emergency, and no-doubt utter chaos/shambles, will render any such plans inoperable, one can hope.

    Those of a Spiritual bent may appreciate the Deluge both as a Cleansing and a Coming of The Goddess, the Divine Feminine aka Age of Aquarius. The Sword replaced by the Cup? Something as to give, sooner or later.

    • @Landless naaah. The home owners will get govt compensation after the insurance companies will claim ” act of god ”
      And businesses compensated too
      The evicted poor will be forgotten about
      The homes they are forced to leave will be offered to the home owners in the floods
      Ie more govt money spent on wealthier
      Maybe they will migrate to poorer areas as result and push out the poor who will be shunted about till they get forgotten about and die…I bet someone will claim ” natural selection ” next.

      • Landless Peasant

        and “looters” will be shot. You’re right, of course. Ignore me, I got a little weed on the slate…

        • @Landless on BBC they said the army was called in to setup ” check points ” in flooded areas to prevent looting of deserted properties
          Hang on how they manage that
          Road blocks ..files and photos kept on people ..will the soldiers be armed ..do they know who lives there and those who don’t
          How do you make a get away in a flood with police also in flood
          Does anyone find this odd

        • @Landless Drugs ? Just Say No..

  40. http://www.qcha.org.uk/tenants/financial_inclusion/welfare_reform/benefit_sanctions_and_claimant_commitment

    BENEFIT SANCTIONS and CLAIMANT COMMITMENT. Those rules in brief …
    Just in case you didnt know about the changes etc etc

  41. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wandsworth_council_benefit_claim

    WANDSWORTH COUNCIL BENEFIT RELATED DEATH…

    No can’t tell you..and not our problem

    How nice ..

  42. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-business-plan-transparency-measures/dwp-business-plan-transparency-measures

    DWP BUSINESS PLAN TRANSPARENCY MEASURES. !!!!

    Oh look the DWP are now going to be honest and tell us stuff. Apart from those pesky benefit related deaths of course ..

  43. “The government is committed to setting new standards for transparency so the public can more easily see how and where taxpayers’ money is being spent and hold politicians, government departments and public bodies to account.

    The Prime Minister has asked all government departments to publish a wide range of information about how it meets and measures its objectives and uses its resources to better deliver value for money and reduce the deficit.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publishes a range of data and supports greater transparency of public information. The department publishes data on its business plan indicators on this page as soon as new data become available. The indicators will be reported on formally in the department’s annual report and accounts.

    Business plan indicator data before October 2012 is published in the Quarterly Data Summary.

    The transparency measures include input indicator measures (DWP productivity) and impact indicator measures (such as ‘rates of people moving from key out of work benefits’ and ‘rate of disability poverty’,”

    • This is new as of FEB 13 2014.

      “Rate of Disability poverty ”

      Whaat ? Is the DWP now accepting that poverty ACTUALLY EXISTS. and not some left wing scare mongering nonsense ?

      • @JOHNNY VOID wtf is now going on at DWP ? With them claiming to be open and honest …so that they can be ” held to account ” as they say.
        What is next ? Admitting they have fucked up with UJM UC sanctions targets and death toll…anf advisors treating claimants like shit and Atos WCA shit and Crapita shit and A4e corruption ….etc etc
        Ok everyone let’s bombard the fuckers with lots of FOI requests and REMIND them about this new pledge of transparency ..
        Let’s see how that goes.

        Have fun everyone ..

  44. Latest data: published 13 February 2014
    The third pan-departmental score is now available and the department has achieved an overall customer satisfaction rating of 81%.

      Overall customer satisfaction
    2013 81%
    2012 83%
    2011 89%

    Customer satisfaction with DWP services up to Feb 2014.

    No please they are making this shit up surely. Who created this bollocks let me guess Iain Dickhead Sniff ..no doubt he will spout this crap at media ..this is DWP phoney statistics dept again

  45. We need to do something about it before they bring back slavery. But what? Demonstrations of fifty or so will just be ignored or get the demonstrators arrested. Maybe we need our own union, the Union of the Unemployed to do go slows and strikes. But how to fund it?

  46. Latest data (published December 2013)
    The latest data shows that for the June 2011 to June 2012 monthly intakes (cohorts) of referrals there were:

    June 2011, 8.5% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    July 2011, 8.0% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    August 2011, 8.1% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    September 2011, 9.6% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    October 2011, 9.5% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    November 2011, 9.9% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    December 2011, 9.9% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    Jaunary 2012, 11.5% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    February 2012, 12.9% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    March 2012, 13.3% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    April 2012, 14.0% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    May 2012, 13.4% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    June 2012, 13.0% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    July 2012, 12.5% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    August 2012, 12.3% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    September 2012, 11.7% achieved a job outcome within 12 months
    For the most recent monthly intakes of referrals to complete twelve months on the Programme – those referred in July 2012, August 2012 and September 2012 – 12.5%, 12.3% and 11.7% had achieved a job outcome payment during their first 12 months on the programme.

    This compares to 8.4% for those referred in June 2011 – the first monthly intake of people to join the Work Programme .

    The full historical statistical series is refreshed with each release. The equivalent figure in the previous release was 8.6%, please see Work Programme Official Statistics Background Information Note for more information.

    Proportion of customers for whom providers have achieved a job outcome payment at 12 months on the Work Programme
    Cohort Percentage Number of referrals Number of outcomes
    June 2011 8.5% 74,630 6,310
    July 2011 8.0% 99,220 7,920
    August 2011 8.1% 73,680 5,950
    September 2011 9.6% 63,290 6,050
    October 2011 9.5% 58,270 5,520
    November 2011 9.2% 68,780 6,300
    December 2011 9.9% 58,090 5,770
    January 2012 11.5% 65,890 7,610
    February 2012 12.9% 64,580 8,300
    March 2012 13.3% 60,950 8,080
    April 2012 14.0% 46,380 6,480
    May 2012 13.4% 50500 6,780
    June 2012 13.0% 43,550 5,680
    July 2012 12.5% 47,950 6,000
    August 2012 12.3% 41,970 5,160
    September 2012 11.7% 39,680 4,660
    Proportion of customers for whom providers have achieved a job outcome payment at 12 months on the Work Programme

    Further monthly cohort information is available which tracks the proportion of each cohort achieving a job outcome in the months following referral to the Work Programme. This cohort analysis is available via the data visualisation tool which can be viewed on the Work Programme Official Statistics homepage.

    The full suite of Work Programme Official Statistics can be viewed via the tabulation tool which can be accessed via the Work Programme Official Statistics homepage – link provided above.

    • Yeah and how much was due to fraudulent claims by WPP that they ” helped ” a customer eh ?

    • Hey guys on WP you are all ” cohorts” not slaves after all…hooray you are free..

    • What is a “job outcome”? A full or part-time job, presumably, but for how long? And suppose the same person had two or three short-term jobs during their time on the Work Programme. Would each of these “job outcomes” be counted separately, inflating the success rate?

    • “WHAT THEY FORGOT TO PUT BOB, WAS THAT THERE WAS A MARKED IMPROVEMENT IN SUICIDE RATES, THEY WENT UP FASTER THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY”

  47. Ex-M&S boss to advise NHS managers http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26175151

    Ex Marks and Spencer boss advising on the NHS…fucking unreal. Pile them high sell them cheap..

    What with NHS privatisation he will suggest have a sale..

    • REPORT ON THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF SUICIDES AMONG BENEFIT CLAIMANTS

      People claiming benefits are up to six times more likely to commit suicide than men and women in work, according to new research published on Wednesday.

      The research was carried out by The Hague health board, national statistics office CBS and Leiden University’s medical centre. The researchers analysed the backgrounds of the 15,178 people who committed suicide in the Netherlands in the 10 years between 2002 and 2011.

      ‘We expected to see more suicides under benefit claimants but the differences were very notable,’ researcher Renske Gilissen told the Volkskrant. ‘Single men are considered more likely to commit suicide but being on benefits would also appear to be an important factor.’

      Women

      The research showed men on benefits were 4.5 times more likely to kill themselves, while women on benefits were six times as likely.

      The number of suicides in the Netherlands has risen steadily since 2007, when there were 1,345 deaths. Last year, there were 1,753 suicides. International studies have shown a link between rising unemployment and a rising suicide rate, the Volkskrant said.

      The researchers said more must be done to train social security officials, debt councillors and the police to spot signs of depression.

    • SIR STUART ROSE, EX M&S BOSS WILL PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE…………..

      CANCER PATIENTS WILL BE PLACED BETWEEN TOILETRIES AND WOMEN’S LINGERIE, HIP REPLACEMENTS WILL BE NEAR THE ENTRANCE AND DISABILITIES WILL BE DENIED…………….

      HE WILL, HOWEVER, BE ABLE TO SECURE A DEAL TO PROVIDE CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS OR GIFT VOUCHERS TO PROMINENT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITEE, SIMILAR TO THE ONES ALLOCATED TO STAFF AT SMETHWICK JOB CENTRE FOR ACHIEVING SANCTION TARGETS.

      “Mr Lloyd said Jobcentre workers had threatened to tear up £25
      Marks and Spencer vouchers received for getting claimants off
      benefits as part of a DWP ‘carrot and stick’ approach.

      He said: “The carrot is a small one and a number of PCS members
      from Smethwick were considering tearing up their vouchers in front
      of IDS to show their feelings over the matter.”

  48. 14th February 2014
    I find it interesting that the Tories have done this.
    Why convert emergency hardship payments into loans at all?
    Why not just leave people to starve as I thought they would, whether this lasted for 3 months or 1 year or 3 years? Has something happened?
    Surely this isn’t compassionate Conservatism in action?

    Could this be just a cynical political ploy so as to not fall foul perhaps of leaving people so destitute that they may successfully appeal say to the European Court of Human Rights?

    It is not so harsh for they will continue to receive the same as the current hardship payment even if converted to a loan. The sanctioned person will receive £40pw hardship equivalent, £32pw less than the current £72pw JSA equivalent. One might treat this money as a Basic Income? What would prevent the claimant running-up yet another £6000 loan for another 3 year sanction as soon as the current one ends? Who, I wonder, backs these loans which may very well not be repaid?

    I’ve not yet received a clear answer myself in regard to the Housing Benenfit component of Universal Credit which will be administered by the DWP. Those in receipt of JSA have their HB entitlement dealt with by their Council; and HB is paid on the basis of one’s income, not whether one is in paid work or not. Therefore someone sanctioned under JSA should still get their rent paid in full and not be evicted. In this case rather than simply starve they can visit food banks to survive and keep a roof over their head.

    But under UC will the sanctioned person still get their rent paid even if they receive no other monies? And yet UC is paid directly into the claimants bank account, and thus if they still get their rent paid they may very well use this instead to eat and fall into rent arrears and get evicted. A roof over one’s head and foodbanks will keep one alive even if the gas and electric are cut-off. No need to pay the Water bill. It may be a pretty meagre and harsh existence but better than simple homelessness.

    So again I wonder why the Tories are proposing a loan system replacement. Maybe they think that otherwise they will have little choice but to resort to a life of crime? And that becomes a cost burden if they are sent to prison.

    Further, I’d be interested to know more about the nature of this loan. One could simply run-up a 3-year debt of £6000 (ie £40pw for 3 years) and immediately take-out a Debt Relief Order to cancel the whole of the debt. This can be done immediately or later at an appropriate moment. It will cancel many other debts too. And the destitute will almost certainly meet the poverty criteria for getting a DRO! And will their rent be paid in addition to this £40pw loan?

    It strikes me that a sanctioned claimant may still get their UC rent and also a loan of £40pw. And as this debt rises it becomes a work disincentive acting as the equivalent of a high marginal tax rate as currently experienced under JSA, thereby completely undermining IDS’s luxurious keeping of 35 pence from every pound earned. After all those on a low income will still be in receipt of UC and still be expected to look for more work or better paid work or face a sanction.

    But the sting would apear to be taken out of the tail somewhat by this loan proposition. Not that I don’t consider this proposal and regime completely onerous and inhumane in the extreme. It’s just that I thought a sanctioned claimant would get nothing and here it seems they will still get something, even if less than the minimum the Government consider one needs to live on.

    Just some thoughts.

    Love, Light & Laughter
    Starlord

  49. I am in between ESA tribunal hearings as the first one was adjourned for medical reports………….
    What i find strange, is the fact my doctor has written on my report,

    Was on DLA BENEFITS which was stopped on Nov 2012, currently receives Industrial Accident Benefit £32 weekly, says its not enough.

    Admittedly, i gave this information to my doctor but i did not expect to see it on my medical report.

    ………….Is he doing me a favour or are they all part of the conspiracy to deny benefits?

    • Most GP’s have been gotten to by the DWP.

    • That mention about your IIB and saying it’s not enough would make me seek out another GP immediately. It’s a statement that ATOS and the DWP DMs would swoop on as evidence of malingering. I know it’s for a tribunal, but the docs at Tribunals have a habit of being unpredictable in how they view such statements.

      If the rest of the report is good, maybe ask the doc to redo the report and omit the statement about “not enough”

      I think anyone who might provide a letter as evidence for a claim or a Tribunal is being nobbled, not only by the sheer number of requests for letters and evidence.

      • That’s all i get each week Lucy, they stole my incapacity and then my dla and i am deemed disabled for life. Been living on that since last july……..

  50. Has anyone any idea as to the whereabouts of Lord Billy Bragg? Or has he and his West Dorset cliff-top mansion been blown into the sea :-)

  51. ………….WHAT HAPPENED TO WANKER MATTHEW OAKLEY’S REPORT ON THE EFFECTS OF BENEFIT SANCTIONS?

    IT SEEMS TO BE TAKING A LONG TIME FOR HIM TO COME UP WITH THE REPORT THAT THEY HAVE WRITTEN FOR HIM!

  52. “The history of the privatization of the water system in Britain 25 years ago under the regime of Margaret Thatcher exposes the claims that “free enterprise” can improv e the functioning of a publicly owned and operated water system.”

    “Twenty-five years ago, the most vital resource on the planet—water—was privatised in England and Wales. It is instructive to examine the impact of privatising the water and sewerage industry in 1989, since the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, the banks, and financial consultants the world over are pressing governments and municipalities to follow suit.”

    The whole privatisation process was itself replete with myths if not downright lies.

    “Privatisation has played a key role in the rising inequality, not just in Britain but all over the world, redistributing wealth not from the rich to the poor but from the mass of the population to the elite few. As such, it has increased the social, economic and political conflicts that were to some extent at least assuaged under public ownership.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/02/14/watr-f14.html

    Let us take it ALL back. Nationalise EVEYTHING, take away the greed element. The powers that be will do ANYTHING to stop us the people from knowing the truth of what really goes on!.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/the-mcrae-mystery-960817

    • annos
      ah, yes, clause something or another..
      as we all now know privatisation, has stripped our economy bare,we were even told that this very mechanism would create more jobs and replace the jobs lost by privatisation hmmmm! this is/was the equivalent of parking on a long steep hill and letting the handbrake off….we are the car crash at the bottom….giving the minority total control over the assets of the majority, is as clearly demonstrated, madness…enough voters benefited from this to ensure that privatisation remains..unless of course these voters can be persuaded, against this error of judgement…imv renationalisation is the key argument, and what tories/nulabour/condems, brief against at ever opportunity..

      • overburdenddonkey

        And remember…..”Give all the money to the rich and it will trickle down”, they never told us the rich had an anti gravity machine!!!.

        • annos
          they grab a grain of possibility and just as sci-fi, spin, as if, it is truth..the laws of nature turned on it’s head, now i see why anarchist shelley, penned frankenstein, to illustrate the construct monster that is capitalism…their works including godwin’s, mary’s father, and mary’s husband percy, inspired none other than gandhi..

  53. “DEATH IS JUST NATURES WAY OF TELLING YOU DISABILITY DENIAL IS ALIVE AND KICKING IN THE UK”

  54. “The entire social contract is collapsing.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-13/martin-armstrong-exclaims-entire-social-contract-collapsing

    One more step into the abyss!.

  55. Pingback: Universal Credit – Benefits to Loans | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

  56. “But wait, there is a source of wealth left. People have savings in bank accounts, and those are all registered digitally, so we know exactly what everyone has. We’ll take that, give them some sort of guarantee they will think is valid, and hand it to the banks. Who can then lend it out to the same people whose savings these are in the first place, and charge interest for the privilege. That’ll boost the economy!”

    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-feb-13-2014-are-your-savings-safe-from-bail-ins/

    Bye, bye, your pension, bye, bye, any savings you may have.

    • annos
      somehow i think that there will be notable exceptions/exemptions to the government/banks savings credit scheme and/or we’ll have to do fiscal responsibility training and get a cert to state that we are responsible spenders, all for a large set up/credit fee of course…we’ll go to the shops with our savings credit vouchers, and have a daily limit on what we are allowed to spend, so the banks can maximise their lending and investing…spose they could reintroduce ration cards/national service/poor house/work house, for the dispossessed masses, while their at it….but this just me/you being cheerful…but hey my motto is, always look on the bright side of life… :-)

  57. I’ve signed the petition, but unfortunately the consequences of the measure, which the petition warns against, are exactly what the government wants.

  58. “Take back the streets”
    Repression and criminalization of protest around the world
    October 2013″

    https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/global_protest_suppression_report_inclo.pdf

  59. What do you guys think? This current government, more ideologically driven and evil than Thatcher’s?

  60. Mrs Thatcher started the ball rolling. She sold off houses built for people who couldn’t afford to buy and should still be owned by the local councils providing low cost housing. If they had not privatised everything then the water charges would have been part of the rent and not a separate bill for the people. In fact in South Wales where I am my water rates are over £540 a year so I pay over £10 a week from my jsa just for water. I’m getting the feeling that people are beginning to believe that UC will come into effect because they have spent so much money on it they have to get some kind of outcome from it. It wouldn’t surprise me if the tories and ukip manage a coalition after the next election. That may sound unlikely but the libdems are going to get hammered and labour are not carrying that much public support to get a majority. The one thing that stands out is the high number of public schoolboys in the cabinet and that is something the majority of people in the Uk I’m sure can’t stand. Maybe hatred of these well to do’s who don’t show any understanding or consideration for the poor will eventually lead to the downfall of this government. We can only hope so.

    • ” It wouldn’t surprise me if the tories and ukip manage a coalition after the next election. That may sound unlikely …”

      Unfortunately, no it doesn’t sound at all unlikely.

      • BILL GUNNYEON, THE CLOWN AT THE HELM OF THE DWP WHICH OVERSEES ANYTHING MEDICAL, MUST BE SHITTING HIMSELF OVER BEING SUED FOR THE SPIRALING DEATH COUNT UNDER HIS WATCH….

        APPARENTLY, THIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST ASKS FOR CLARIFICATION OF HIS JOBE ROLE…………..

        “YOU WILL NEVER GUESS”……………………

        IT HAS BEEN DESTROYED………….

        HOW CONVENIENT………….

        Dear Mr Wood,

        Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received 21January 2014. You asked;

        Please supply the job description of the DWP’s Chief Medical Adviser.

        A job description for the Chief Medical Adviser was produced as part of the recruitment
        exercise when the position was advertised in 2004 but the five year retention period for
        recruitment papers has now lapsed and the documents deleted/destroyed.

        As a member of the Senior Civil Service (SCS), the Chief Medical Adviser is subject to Civil
        Service wide performance management policies and procedures within a Cabinet Office
        framework. A member of the SCS will agree key work objectives with his/her line manager in
        line with these procedures and work objectives will be regularly reviewed to ensure alignment
        with Departmental priorities. There is no requirement to maintain a job description as part of
        this process.
        If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
        above.
        Yours sincerely,

        DWP Strategy FoI Team

      • It is VERY UNLIKELY. UKIP being ultra-Thatcherite Tory morons only get any level of real support in Tory heartland seats. Hardly anybody who has ever voted Labour or Lib Dem votes for them as the recent by-election showed.

        They will STRUGGLE to gain a SINGLE MP thanks to our joke of an electoral system. The Tories can’t form a coalition with a party that has NO MPs!

        If the Tories had a brain, they would remove IDS, Osbourne and Cameron, get a normal person to be their leader, ignore UKIP and try and gain votes from Labour and Lib Dem voters. It is TO THEIR LEFT that the Tories have problems attracting votes!

    • The Ghost of Maggie Thatcher

      :-)

  61. Pingback: The Benefit Sanction Debt Trap: Is this Iain Duncan Smith’s Nastiest Move So Far? « this 'n that

  62. Fingers crossed these fuckers get booted out next year. I know Even Newer Labour are awful but they don’t have the same level of sheer malice of IBS and co.

    Is there any chance, any chance at all, of a private prosecution of the DWP…?

    • Can, somebody please help me ???
      I have received a letter from dwp about a compliance visit. What is the visit about ?? will I lose my jsa ??
      cheers

      • Now it seems that nobody’s house or privacy matters anymore. If anyone from the DWP tries to enter your property (compliance visit) you can sue them for illegal trespassing by invoking your implied rights of access denial to them

    • It’s almost a 100% certainty the EVIL CUNTS of the Tories will be booted out next year. This website: http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk is currently predicting a Labour victory. That site was the most accurate on the eve of the last election and was one of the few that correctly predicted a hung parliament.

  63. Iain Duncan-Smith should be charged with Corporate Manslaughter

    http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/5097971-iain-duncan-smith-should-be-charged-with-corporate

    The freedom of Information act should be used to calculate the number of victims of Iain Duncan-Smith and ATOS.

    Iain Duncan-Smith should be put on Trial charged with Corporate Manslaughter, face the consequences, and be banned from Public Office for Life.

    http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/5097971-iain-duncan-smith-should-be-charged-with-corporate

  64. http://welfarenewsservice.com/atos-wants-quit-controversial-fit-work-tests-early/

    Private contractors Atos Healthcare have revealed that it wants out of controversial ‘fit for work’ tests, otherwise known as the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), BEFORE its contract with the government expires in 2015.

  65. Pingback: What The Fuck Does David Cameron Know About Poverty? | the void

  66. Pingback: What The Fuck Does David Cameron Know About Poverty? | glynismillward189

  67. Robin The Boy Wonder

    Iain Duncan Smith should indeed be put on trial,and then be condemned to live like the poor and sick people he has persecuted for the rest of his life (that’s only because we can’t kill him, mind).

    And Billy Bragg is a wanker! That tone deaf prick is more interested in appearing on that crappy Jools Holland show, than he is with any issues concerning the poor, ill, or working class.

  68. My petition on 38 Degrees includes the working poor who have already lost the welfare state, as only now realised that working less than 14 hours / earning less than £109 per week, gain no NI credits.

    Half women aged 60-66 are within the working poor and those in-work benefits being lost and frozen for next 3 years.

    Majority reason women aged 60-66 not in work is due to being disabled / chronic sick and those benefits being lost or never gained.

    Sign petition today, tomorrow is too late.
    Gagging law coming into force soon, ends petitions and charitable campaigns.

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  69. Take a look at The Definition of Pathocracy

  70. Pingback: Stuff and nonsense. | Social Action

  71. And here are the tory supporters, shouting “mien fuhrer” at the top of their lungs. It’s a disgrace.

  72. LibertyHumanity

    No to Nazi Britain Yes to Social Justice

    Help the Poor Not Harm the Poor

    No Forced Slave Labour or Torment masquaerading as ” Therapy “

  73. Just sign yourself off. The welfare state is ending.

  74. we are amazed that DWP offices are still standing , AND NOT GUTTED BY FIRE TO CLEANSE THEM

  75. i go to a work club everytwo weeks but still no luck they are a good waste of money, i don;t know how they keep going because many times i have been and there is only been afew people there.they should close them down.

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