More Lies, Spin and Smears from Chris Grayling and the DWP

Chris Grayling is lying through his teeth again in the Daily Mail today leading to the ludicrous claim that half of unemployed people are secretly working.

This is based on the claim that 46% of people referred onto the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity scheme (MWA)  – a system of community service for unemployed people –  sign off before starting the scheme or fail to turn up and have benefits sanctioned.

MWA is used should a Jobcentre advisor decide someone isn’t trying hard enough to find work.  It consists of 4 weeks unpaid work, similar to a medium level Community Payback sentence.  Job Seekers are now being treated in the same way as those who may have committed burglary, Actual Bodily Harm, or sexual offences, the only difference being the unemployed don’t get the benefit of a trial.

Claimants are sent to work for charity shops and ‘community organisations’.  Many of these charities are household names, such as the British Heart Foundation (@thebhf), who’s charity shops are fast becoming little more than punishment centres for the unemployed.  Other charities have lied through their teeth about their involvement in forced labour.  Charity SCOPE (@scope) are adamant that not one of the volunteers in their shops are there under threat of benefit sanctions.  Yet in a recent press release on the DWP’s own website, a case study is outlined in which someone was sent on Mandatory Work Activity in a SCOPE charity shop.  Failure to attend MWA can lead to benefits being sanctioned for three months.

The brutal testing regime for sickness benefits, carried out by French IT firm Atos, has led to hundreds of thousands of sick or disabled people being forced onto Job Seekers Allowance where they now face workfare.  Many of these people have mental health conditions.  The Social Service Advisory Committee warned that this group in particular may be vulnerable to sanctions if MWA went ahead.

It is quite possible that many of those who signed off after being sent on MWA, or failed to attend the scheme, represent people who are not well enough to work full time, or were not fully aware of the consequences.  These are not people who have been working on the side, but people who have simply been forced out of the benefits system into poverty and quite possibly homelessness.

Grayling himself appears to admit that some of them signed back on when they thought the coast was clear.  This is not the behaviour of someone committing fraud.  Yet this hasn’t stopped the minister and his friends at the Daily Mail of attempting to smear almost a million unemployed people as criminals.

As ever in amongst Grayling’s slurs and spin he can’t resist an outright lie.  Grayling claims in the Mail today that:

“‘I sat through an interview with a young man in a job centre who was working for a few hours a week, below the benefit threshold, at a local nightclub,’

The benefit threshold is £5 a week.  Either Grayling doesn’t have a clue about the basics of how the benefit system actually works.  Or he is making shit up again to please the braying hounds at the Daily Mail.  Compulsive liar Grayling has moved so far from the truth it is impossible to believe anything that he, or the DWP, tell us anymore.

70,000 claimants are now to face MWA under changes announced yesterday.  It now seems certain that those who refuse to attend workfare on the Work Programme, or Work Experience schemes, will be sent on MWA instead.  When the workfare row blew up earlier in the year Grayling announced that sanctions would no longer be applied to young people who didn’t want to take part in Work Experience and face being sent to sleep under a bridge with no access to food or toilet facilities.

It is now clear that Grayling’s claims were a  deliberate attempt to mislead the business community, charities and the public alike.  Sanctions have been  snuck back into the scheme under another guise as soon as the minister thinks the public have forgotten.  If you refuse ‘voluntary’ workfare, then you will be sent on ‘mandatory’ workfare or face sanctions potentially lasting up three years.

The problem is the public haven’t forgotten.  A week of action against workfare is planned to begin on Saturday 7th July. In Liverpool Solidarity Federation have been carrying out pickets and communication blockades on a weekly basis aimed at fraudulent bastards A4e and fake ethical company Holland & Barrett who plan to use workfare to recruit up to a quarter of their staff.  Solidarity Federation will be continuing to target the company throughout the week of action.  A recent national conference aimed at ending workfare has co-ordinated groups around the UK determined to stamp out the exploitative practice of unpaid work.  Anger on the internet has swelled again with hundreds of people now threatening boycotts of workfare exploiters Argos and the British Heart Foundation.

The pressure needs to be maintained.  There is little point directing protests at the DWP or Chris Grayling who can’t even be trusted to tell us the truth about what is going on in the benefits system.  Workfare exploiters should be confronted directly.  It matters little what crazy schemes Grayling comes up with next if companies and charities realise involvement in forced labour is far from profitable.  If they exploit us, we will shut them down.

40 responses to “More Lies, Spin and Smears from Chris Grayling and the DWP

  1. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    So #graylings recent claim that a 3,000 drop in unemployment figures was an encouraging start to recovery has been blown away by his claims that many thousands are coming off benefits to avoid #workfare. He cant have it both ways and this proves what we new all along unemployment is rocketing, not despite #workfare but because of it. God only knows what the true unemployment figures are given that the official figures are appalling even though the government are in control of correlating and manipulating anything they release.

  2. People are not signing off or not attending Community Payback (MWA) because they are working on the side. It’s because they don’t want to be slaves for charities, which these days are big business, or any other capitalist market.

    DWP heads IDS, Greyling, Miller and Fraud are all Nazi bastards of the highest order.

  3. Am I reading this right? If you are on the WP the job centre can still send you for MWA?

  4. Hard-working tax-payer

    Abuse of the system is/will be a problem, as is forcing those incapable of working for whatever reason. However, the scheme itself has merit. If you can’t get a job, experience and showing willingness could help you land a job. If not, why should people get a free ride whilst the rest of us work and pay tax? Potential for abuse aside, ‘should’ be win-win-win

    • Eric Greenwood

      Hard Working Tax Payer Perhaps you should try these schemes. Or even tell your employer you will work for nothing.. if its good enough according to you, then shouldnt all people work for nothing…You state those incapable, blaming all the unemployed. Create proper training schemes, that gives value, create jobs that gives value.. These schemes actually are reducing the amount of jobs, because overtime is being taken by free workers, As argos said they just took work experience people just for christmas, what about all those people who could have worked and earned a little. Working for nothing tells you that you are worthless, You are doing the job of a full time worker, and then some..Now add to this the extra food, the extra bills, the showers the baths, the washing clothes they all cost money. money that you dont have.. These placements DO NOT lead to jobs, they lead to the possibility of an interview..

    • Hard- working taxpayer – all the willingness and experience in the world’s no use if there ain’t the jobs:

      The most badly affected areas in the North include:
      · Middlesbrough has 17 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Hartlepool has 16 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Redcar and Cleveland has 16 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Kingston upon Hull has 14 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Knowsley has 13 job seeker to every vacancy
      · North East Lincolnshire has 12 job seekers to every vacancy
      · South Tyneside has 11 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Tameside has 11 job seekers to every vacancy
      · Wirral has 10 job seekers to every vacancy

    • No wonder so many billions go unclaimed a year when there’s so much deliberate propaganda stigmatising claimants and benefits.

      Welfare is part of the system. Unemployment is part of the system. People out of work are no less vital to the machinery than the taxes you ‘hard work’ to pay. Do you think that the government wants an end to unemployment? It’s a billion pound industry.

      You need to look at the reality of capitalism and industrial society and not just read the headlines my friend. But i have no doubt you will perceive that as a ‘loony liberal socialist commie pinko’ statement.

  5. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    HaHaHa the authorities must be getting pretty worried by your blog Johnny if grayling stooges are spreading the BS here too now, or perhaps its just another easily led, hard working Daily Heil reader…lol keep up the good work you’re rattling cages and asking the questions the ‘independent’ press should be asking if only their puppet masters would allow them.

  6. Eric Greenwood

    So Hard Working Tax payer, You agree to give these private companies an extra £13 Billion, as well as paying the benefits. More money is being spent on schemes that dont work, that the DWP has stated Doesnt work.

    So who is getting a free ride A4e who gets ALL their money from the state run contracts, for doing worse than if they never existed. These schemes do Nothing to help get people jobs as has been told to me by the staff there they are not there to get you a job they are there to get you job ready.

    This £13 Billion, could be spent to create sustainable jobs rather than padding the wallets of private companies.

    You can have all the experience in the world, but if an employer wont hire you it isnt your fault.. In addition if everyone has the same experience then doesnt that devalue it. There are many skilled and trained people who cannot get a job not through lack of trying but because employers dont want them. In my area there is ZERO jobs growth for everyone hired there is one fired. So no matter how much money is shoved into the hands of private companies they cannot create jobs.

    Use the money to create jobs, that would solve it, i guess they dont want to create jobs . They want to blame the unemployed for everything thats wrong.

    • Hear hear, well said Eric.

      • Eric Greenwood

        Ok, Hard Working tax payer, How do you explain this..Why dont you complain about the money going onto pensioners or children or do you think the unemployed are easy targets.. Ministers have been know to refer to a £200bn benefits bill, arguing that it accounts for somewhere between a third and a half of all public spending If you analyse the £188bn of welfare spending, based on Institute for Fiscal Studies figures relating to 2009-10, the first thing that is immediately striking is that over two-fifths (42%) of welfare spending goes on pensioners: a whooping £77bn in total. And more than 15% – £31bn – goes on children, via child benefit and the child tax credit. That’s almost £6 out of every £10 of welfare spending accounted for and, so far, not a “scrounger” in sight. It might surprise people to find out that only a shade over a 10th of the benefits bill – and a far smaller share of total public spending – is actually spent on directly replacing the incomes of those not in work, through jobseeker’s allowance, income support and ESA (£21bn in total). This proportion will almost certainly have risen in the last couple of years, owing to rising unemployment, and it’s the part most sensitive to the economic cycle.

        But then again i can see that you have fallen for the blame the unemployed

      • Eric Greenwood

        Some More info Even in a year of high unemployment, HMRC estimates that just £56 of Mr Smith’s £5,702 in tax went to pay unemployment benefits – about the same as he was charged for court services, and just a third of the cost of paying for the police. So hard working tax payer you are only worse off by £56.

    • I agree entirely, except to say that investing in job creation isn’t really going to do much. The private sector doesn’t want more jobs, it wants more income/turnover…profit. Demand creates jobs. People that have money to spend in the economy create jobs. Better off just increasing benefits and giving the money wasted on the unemployment gravy train to the unemployed to spend to increase the need for more staff.

  7. Voice of the Work Programme

    Nobody is “forced” to sign-on, are they? Simple solution: sign-off all you work-shy, lazy, scroungers!

  8. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    lol ‘voice of the work programme’ that really is pathetic HaHaHa

  9. Eric Greenwood

    so Sign off, Become homeless, destitute, So they will commit crimes to live, Stealing bread to live.. then getting arrested and sent to prison where you are forced to work , then when you leave you get put on to the work scheme where you are forced to work for nothing. so you commit more crimes just to live..

    Welcome to the future..

  10. The building is on fire, people are trapped inside and the Tories are outside frantically padlocking all the doors to make sure they can’t escape.

  11. Universal Credit was advertised as being a better system precisely because it was supposed to help people that found themselves worse off in work. Now the floor has been removed entirely and being in work means workfare.
    Grayling sat through an interview with someone that admitted to him he was working while claiming? Either they duped someone who was gullible to the point of being simple minded, or this is a setup and a load of shit. Working a ‘few hours’ is hardly the crime of the century mr Grayling – unlike your expenses claims of course.
    This guy is such a piece of utter foetid shit.

    • Eric Greenwood

      “‘No one just shrugs if they lose a week’s money, and they’ve got no other means of support. But proving it is easier said than done.” It says … Perhaps he shrugs because there is no point in arguing as he will be sanctioned anyway.. and it will take months to get it overturned.. So on the basis of One persons shrug that means 50% of the unemployed are benefit cheats..


  12. Kayliegh james

    keep up the good work johnny obviously your making an impact when theyve sent the propaganda puppets over.

  13. Those like ‘Hard working tax payer’ ought to realise by now that MWA (aka Workfare) is a taxpayer funded subsidy in all but name. I wonder if they were for or against the bank bailouts? If the latter, then they should be against workfare which effectively rewards large businesses such as Tesco, Poundland and Holland & Barrett with a subsidy towards their wages bills.

    Cameron has appointed retail guru Mary Portas to examine and report on the state of the British high street. I doubt she will, but she ought to look at how many small business are being further undercut by larger rivals with regards to them being able to employ a large and increasing percentage of their staff for FREE!

    Judging by their adopted moniker, I really do hope that ‘Hard working taxpayer’ will want his / her monies spend on something not just less punitive but also more flexible AND effective!

    As for ‘voice of the work programme’, I hope you’re merely a spoof. However, if your are genuine, I also hope (for your sake) that you’re not the same ‘voice of the work programme’ who regularly appears on the pro W2W site, Indus Delta and makes sweeping statements about jobseekers? Who also insists the WP is doing well, when the evidence plainly points to the contrary? Who defends shoddy practices within her chosen industry? And who claims she helps so many jobseekers find employment, YET spends EVERY working day, (even when she claims she have time off) posting comments on the afore mentioned site?

  14. attempt to sanction again hoping they wont appeal or know their rights,this has now been extended to the disabled.

    those that stay soon find that the work programme is nothing but a hollow failure,little more then cv preparation and job search,at this point it becomes all to apparent these companies are impotent.

    the problem is that people are low they will either be driven to commit crime ,sleep homeless or worse.the government does not care.grayling will try and spin anything out of this failure he can for media/electoral purposes

  15. the only thing that remotely ! tallies with that story from Goebbels Grayling is someone helping the DJ out , humping his gear about etc , or being involved in promotions …and been given his taxi money home etc which he’s declaring as he’s absolutely terrified of being dragged into a DWP Office for a IUC ( Interview under Caution ) for suspected fraud if he got reported via the Fraud Hotline , or worse still in front of the beaks on a count of not declaring earnings / failure to inform of change etc .

    … for glass collecting , working behind a bar in a club , bussing ( changing barrels , stocking up bars etc ) ….you’d have to be absolutely stark raving mad to do it for free ….as it is very hard work full stop ……..

    .I worked in a Hooray Henry pub The Turf Tavern in Oxford …everything was by the Whitbread code ….the most obnoxious people were the US East Coast WASP’s ( White Anglo Saxon Protestant ) ……….also worked at the Park End Club Oxford

    …………………………………………………….there was a very competitative pecking order amongst the Hooray Henrietta’s …………and a totally different value system amongst the upper middles – upper classes , and most of the trouble was bitch fights amongst the Melissa’s and Tabithas ………we had to be the bouncers eyes and ears ………they’re murder to separate

    ……………we’d a couple of big West Indian girls as bouncers to to put them out without them claiming they’d been touched up ……..they were excellent …a natural no nonsense authority

    To be perfectly honest Grayling sounds he’s been fed with a fishing ” the one that got away ” type story that has took on a life of it’s own , by sycophantic DWP management looking for Brownie points …the kindest thing you can say he / she is terrified of privatisation and the sack ….concentration camp management i.e. as long as someone else is in trouble …not me

  16. if ? ! and it’s a big if , Grayling sat in on that interview ….the lad would have been scared witless , probably a bit naive and wet behind the ears …someone older would be a lot more cynical and possibly refused to cooperate …I think the lad has been ” threatened “

  17. I’ll keep sayin’ it : this shower of un-mandated shit passing themselves off as a government are a gang of Nazis intent on turning this country into a slave nation to serve their whims. Cunts,the lot of them.
    We need shot of them….sooner rather than later. This country won’t take another 3 fuckin’ years of this nonsense.

  18. Michael Banks

    The latest sick joke? A DWP (yes, that’s right, the DWP, the dept responsible for the Work Programme ) report issued today now admits that Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) does absolutely nothing to help unemployed people back into work. They even conclude that it actually worsens unemployment and the costs far outweigh the benefits. And Grayling’s response as the DWP minister for employment? Let’s have more MWA and let’s do it now! The only conclusion that one can draw is that MWA is purely a punishment for being unemployed. Like we didn’t know that already.

    • Eric Greenwood

      If i didnt know better i would think i have gone into bizarro land..If you punish people enough they will fight back..

  19. The system is broken

    My brother who has severe learning disabilities since birth, has recently had to attend 3 doctors appiontments and the was out sourced to a recruitment company in order to find suitable empolyment. This is an adult who has the mental age of between 2 and 5. All tests indicate he is fuctioning higher than this age purley due to his upbringing. This person who can’t be trusted to bath, eat regular meals, has almost no understanding of emotions is expected to work full time?! and attend these appointments on his own. What people don’t understand is if asked ANYTHING he will say yes! its his default answer, essentually he is a child who does not want to get in trouble!

    Are you able to work? YES would you like to workin a factory where you have no understanding of health and safety? YES. The only reason he is not in that situation is because his family support him (Not his social worker)

    How many people don’t have that support structure? it is criminal that this is happening. I have experienced such injustice dealing with the benefits system, but feel powerless to make any difference. Complaining gets you no where. It is like walking into a brick wall over and over again, It wears you down and you give up. I am not educated enough to make any difference, but I am really glad someone is, I hope you continue to blog and get the truth out there.

    • Eric Greenwood

      We do our best System, and Places like this lets us have a group support. You have made a difference.. You have focused my mind a little more.. Because of your passion because of the truth of your statements.. You have and do far more by just telling people telling us. You are not alone System. Know that i will do my bit to fight for you. We the unemployed the sick and disabled ARE really in this together. Don’t give up, keep telling your story and we will get a change..

  20. What’s interesting on the DWP report on line page – there is a question ” Do you know if their employer knows ? ” ….and someone could shop someone to the social with only half the picture , the monkey and the organ grinder one

    if the LA or DWP get someone in the office on a IUC , their game plan is to get a good case for prosecution …Did you wilfully , knowingly etc ? …once that’s on the tape …it’d be a bit silly pleading not guilty and if the case was proven the punishment is increased by a third …usually more for messing people about .

    I’ve seen court reports for benefit fraud …and you can’t tell me the employer didn’t know …also the defendants are often pretty middle aged or very near state pension age

    Employers will cut corners with austerity ….if the Revenue knew , they’re like a bulldog …once they get their teeth into something they don’t let go

  21. Pingback: More Lies, Spin and Smears from Chris Grayling and the DWP | WeAreSpartacus News |

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