Demand Action On Benefit Sanctions at the PCS Conference

action-pcs-welfareThe Civil Service Rank and File Network have called a rally outside the PCS conference this week to demand action from the union on the vicious benefit sanctioning regime.

Benefit sanctions are set to become a huge issue for public sector workers when Universal Credit is fully introduced. Under the new rules even part-time workers will be expected to continually look for ‘more or better paid work’ or face in-work benefits being stopped. This will lead to Jobcentre workers being expected to police and sanction their colleagues, along with other low paid DWP workers.

It is clear how this toxic regime will not just place intolerable pressure on working relations at the DWP, but also could be used to undermine future industrial action.  DWP management will be given unprecedented power over the lives of part-time public sector workers, including the option to send people on workfare during the hours they are not in paid employment.

This is not scare-mongering. 85,000 benefit sanctions were imposed on claimants in just January of this year. Jobcentre workers who do not sanction enough claims are placed under Performance Improvement Plans. PCS members right now are being disciplined for not meeting targets to sanction benefit claims – yet DWP ministers have denied that these targets even exist.

When Universal Credit is launched PCS members at the DWP will not just have the power to sanction their lowest paid colleagues, they will face disciplinary action if they don’t do it often enough.

Astonishingly the PCS leadership have said that this sanctioning regime is not a workplace issue. Two motions calling for urgent  debate on how to take meaningful action against these measures  – and Universal Credit will begin to be rolled out nationally from October this year – have been removed from the PCS Conference agenda.

Claimants have long called for action not words from the PCS to help bring about an end to benefit sanctions. There is no doubting the sincerity of the PCS in their support of claimants and low paid workers, but leaflets and strongly worded statements are no longer enough, if they ever were.

Benefit sanctions mean child poverty, ill health and even in some cases homelessness. Lives can be shattered by decisions Jobcentre workers are forced to take under threat of losing their jobs if they refuse. Very soon some of those having their lives ripped apart by DWP created poverty will be low paid public sector workers. Only collective action from the PCS, along with active support from claimants and low paid members of other unions, will bring this regime to an end.

If the PCS leadership will not let a discussion take place inside the conference on how to fight these devastating attacks on those both in and out of work, then that conversation will have to take place in the street.  Join the lobby, supported by claimant groups including Boycott Workfare and Disabled People Against Cuts, outside the PCS Conference in Brighton on Tuesday 21st May.

Tuesday 21 May, 12.30-14.00
The Brighton Centre, King’s Rd, Brighton, BN1 2GR
Bring flags and banners

Facebook event page:

Universal Credit and Benefit Sanctions, What Every PCS Member Urgently Needs To Know

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117 responses to “Demand Action On Benefit Sanctions at the PCS Conference

  1. The only thing that matters to the PCS “management” are pensions. That’s why we see these pay cheque prostitutes only demonstrating & campaigning about that, not things which matter to the general population.

    I was at the NHS demo in Whitehall yesterday; saw no-one from the PCS there, although it it could have been a lack of banners which got noticed.

    Remember, these PCS workers are the ones who send the thug knocking on your door if they think you have no TV licence; administer parking fines, and of course, apply great ZEAL to applying the DWP rules to those less fortunate than themselves.
    Looking at the NHS anti-privatisation demo., I pondered just how much impression will be registered on the minds of this Tory-led government by that, or any other banner waving demo. Not much is all that I can say..
    Only a fully-fledged all out general strike will make ANY impression on them, I cannot see any of the “I’m all right Jacks” working at the local Job Centres joining the rest of the trade union movement in a strike at all.
    Thatcher neutered the Trade unions, and now there are about 6m members, down from 12m. 30 years ago.
    The union leaders have lost their bottle and are even scared to mention the foul word “Strike”.
    A real strike would men defying Thatcher’s anti-union laws, and the union leaders taking the risk of jail or confiscation of union funds, but if the same spirit that got rid of the poll-tax prevailed now, a condition of resumption of work and a few changes to the regime “governing” this country, would be NO fines or jail for the union leaders.
    If the working person really wanted to rid our country of these fascists, a general strike could do that,
    I don’t write well, but I’m sure that someone more able than I can re-write this with a few more points of interest included..

    • Yosserian Hughes


    • mike
      …as far as i can tell the pcs has no official position in this yet, which is the point of it’s members lobby group….jsa/esa et al, sanctions are a completely different issue to where one happens to park a car or whatever…

    • I think I agree.

      Serwotka talks a good game, but for two years at least now they’ve bottled it.

      The unions need to put up or shut up. We can’t have another Autumn of protests followed by not very much. It’s patently clear that the government is not listening. Demos and marches are ignored, the media isn’t representing things and the unions just continue to sit on their hands.

      One of three things is going to happen:

      1. the unions strike.
      2. the unions don’t strike and nothing changes and the government continues as it has thus far, possibly worse.
      3. sporadic civil unrest – more people kicking off in jobcentres, jumping in front of trucks or self immolating.

    • catherine cantwell

      my husband has had his benefit stopped for 4 weeks because he only applied for 5 jobs instead of 6 I’m looking for some kind of way to protest about benefit sanctions or a petition to sign . this evil has to be stopped

  2. “There is no doubting the sincerity of the PCS in their support of claimants and low paid workers…”

    Really? Even if you’re talking about rank and file members rather than the PCS leadership, there are many rank and file members who think JCP claimants are scum.

  3. “Lives can be shattered by decisions Jobcentre workers are forced to take under threat of losing their jobs if they refuse.”

    Jobcentre workers aren’t small children. They must accept some responsibility for their actions.

    • Eric Greenwood

      They are only following orders.. where have i heard that before

    • Trouble is, they see what could happen to them if they don’t. Not enough job vacancies to run to….

      • @alexaoon no wonder the DWP are looking for a spin doctor liar..after the leaked mails about sanction targets and the Target list and Ian drunken Shit going to congratulate that jcp for hitting or exceeding their Target they still try and tell us there are no targets..bloody hello they are so bloody lame and obvious…

  4. I thnk you’re being too soft on Jobcentre workers. They’re not saints, you know.

  5. “There is no doubting the sincerity of the PCS in their support of claimants and low paid workers, but leaflets and strongly worded statements are no longer enough, if they ever were.”

    Are you sure?

    What support have they offered in light of any of these reforms? Claimants are being forced to sign up to UJM and hand details over to advisers and the threat of sanctions is at an all time high. They have done nothing to combat any of this.

    • Yosserian Hughes

      Ah but that’s a bit unfair Ghost Whistler – they were prepared to rip up their £25 M&S vouchers (that they get for sanctionin’ people) in front of dummkopf-schmidt in Birmingham you know?

      Such is their ‘anger’.

      Fuck ’em. There’s us & them. It’ll be us & them forever, so they can shove their faux-solidarity up their collective hoops because once they get theirs, the rest of us can get tae fook.

  6. It’s hilarious that they are now expected to sanction each other.

  7. I know its off topic but I just read that the MP’s are trying to give themselves a 10 000 pounds raise, disgusting bunch of sadists.

  8. Funny that they are being forced to sanction or undergo “performance improvement plans”, another acronym for PIP which is being threatened with removal by dwp.

    Perhaps if dwp workers excel at their PIP there may be awarded with the stole proceeds of the disabled’s PIP. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  9. Allen, thank you for . In fact the ‘potential’ has been realised into actuality, all in the name of “privatisation”.
    A good friend lost her job recently, in the Wells, Somerset JC.
    She told me that several others had lost their jobs too.
    She pointed out to me that it took weeks and thousands of pounds to train her, and her colleagues, to do the work, though she was just a “new claims” advisor, now given over to telephone enquiries to DWP offices many miles away; the personal touch has now gone..
    She is of the opinion that this government’s aim is the complete privatisation of the DWP., if not just the Job-Centre part of it.
    Walk into any JC now, while you have the chance, and try to spot the civil-servant as opposed to the privateer employed in there, to “get people back to work”.
    When I worked for the old DSS., our union was the CPSA, not the PCS., but it had teeth then, and there was no messing with us if we saw the sort of things that we see today, whether of claimants or staff.
    I did assessments for Supplementary benefit, and the later Income support.
    I interviewed & calculated assessments for the unemployed, single parent families etc., if some rule or other had been broken by the claimant, we had the option to NOT to take away too much of the person’s money, on the grounds that it might cause hardship; we were allowed discretion then, not as now, where they seemingly try to force people into begging, or make them homeless. A wide system of grants and loans existed to catch those who might fall. Again that had now gone, and all help has disappeared..
    Now it seems that more DWP staff shall go, to be by replaced by computers: Universal Credit, claimed on-line.
    The humanitarian purpose of Beverage’s Social Security has been changed to a penalising regime now called “Welfare” not Social Security; a copy no doubt of the name of the American system along with their lack of any consideration or compassion for those in receipt of it, or trying to claim it.
    Privatisation is also the government’s weapon to neuter further, the Trade Unions.

    • I don’t disagree with most of your analysis, but trades unions have as much power as their membership decide. The PCS leadership isn’t unique in being complicit with the ruling regime, and in some respects they are directly responsible for the regime being in place, no matter what it’s political make-up. The trades unions by and large support the Labour Party who are nothing more than a slightly more attractive option than the present incumbents, and who are by some accounts now considering trying to outdo even the Nasty Party in how they would treat the unemployed, the sick and disabled, all in a cynical ploy to form a government.

      There is a need for solidarity amongst the unemployed and those who work in Jobcentres, as well as in all other workplaces. However, it has to be considered that most mainstream trades union leaderships are complicit, and most rank and file workers are first and foremost scared of losing their jobs, and secondly, of fearing that they will not have the support of their unions if they do take a stand and speak out.

      In this kind of toxic environment many workers will toe the line and do the government’s bidding. It’s not a very attractive human trait, but then no-one should be placed in that kind of dilemma in the first place. It is only if and when an effective,strong and well organised movement of opposition exits on the outside that those JCP workers with a conscience and a sense of what is right will be empowered to act on that conscience – this will in turn expose the real nasty pieces of work, for we will have created the conditions that empowers workers to speak out.

      The government does indeed have a lot of power, but together we have even more power, if we stand together and say ‘Enough!’ Though we have also to be prepared to follow through and not accept half-measures as we did in the case of the Poll Tax. We need to have a clear idea of what we want, and a willingness to only accept just that. We need to play to our strengths, not our weaknesses. If the 2.5 or 3.5 million (whatever the true figure is?) unemployed stood together on a few simple demands no political entity could afford to ignore it – and only having a few simple demands would reduce the potential for disagreement, which we don’t need at this time, (the I’s and the T’s can be dotted and crossed later). It would also reduce the potential for our opponents to cause splits in any movement.

      Of course, we would need to decide on what those simple demands were, but I don’t think it’s beyond the wit of any of us to come up with a set of demands that make sense, such as a decent level of unemployment payment, plus an insistence that there is money for investment in proper training, and also investment in real jobs that enrich local economies and not feed globalised capital. It’s not rocket science, so don’t let anyone tell you that it is. Most of our needs are pretty simple and basic, such as food in our bellies, and a roof over our heads, both of which are a right, not a privelige, which is what those in power seem to be trying to convince us is the case.

      Unemployment Benefit used to be a right. It was left up to individual conscience when making the declaration every fortnight, and no evidence was sought in order to support the claim. JSA brought in conditionality where at first all that was required was to fill in the jobsearch log. Over the years this has become more and more insidious demanding ever more from us in order to be eligible until we have now reached the point where things have become really bad.

      Maybe now that the DWP has to reveal the poverty pimp companies involved in Workfare we are beginning to see victory, but let’s not kid ourselves that we will have won if and when Workfare and this government are history. We will no doubt have yet another government to take it’s place, which will also no doubt try and impose it’s odious ideas on the ordinary workers and the unemployed. It’s the notion of government itself that needs doing away with, along with the rich.

  10. *Parts of that last post of mine has parts missing! I thanked Allen for his link.. and more.

  11. shenaniganspcs

    Hello there, 

    I wanted to respond to your recent blog posts about the PCS position on sanctions (in a personal capacity, not on behalf of the union) which seem to spring from the Civil Service Rank and File organisation. 

    I’m not sure why on your blog why you repeatedly state that the ‘leadership’ of the union refuse to allow the issue to be debated. The decision was taken by the Standing Orders Committee following legal advice on the way the motion is worded that the industrial action being demanded was not ICFTD and therefore illegal, in rule motions are then not printed. This is relevant because the NEC, I.e. the leadership have no ability to change the SOCs position. Most NEC members would prefer the issue to be debated. 

    There are emergency motions which don’t fall foul of the law which may well be heard. Most PCS reps of any knowledge or experience are aware that there is a difference between the NEC and the SOC and that assertions made within your blog are untrue. The commentary (from blog viewers) on the postings that then follows is usually very hostile towards DWP staff and trade unions.   I’m not sure how this is helping us move forward on the issue. Finally, I understand that no organisation has contacted PCS about this issue (social media aside) which again isn’t helpful in genuinely moving the issues forward. 

    In Solidarity


    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    • Eric Greenwood

      Just more excuses..I dont trust the union, i dont trust their leaders, How much money do they get, Thats all that matters, its a case of Sod you all i’m all right jack. The PCS union doesnt care about people who are not union members, so long as the leaders get money thats all they care about. Only when it affects them will they fight but even then the rank and file are sacrifices so long as the leaders are safe

    • Helen

      At least one member of the NEC was well aware of these motions long before the decision was taken by the SOC. If the PCS leadership were in support of any discussion taking place at the conference over sanctions then they could, I feel pretty confident, have ensured that happened. In fact the PCS leadership have said they will not take action over sanctions, although there was some concession that DWP staff sanctioning each other may be a workplace issue – but even that was kicked into the long grass when the time to fight is now, before universal credit is too entrenched. I hope the emergency motions are successful, but either way claimants, and those PCS members who do support acting now, will be outside.

      The comments on here reflect all kinds of views, although I am sure it is the most hostile which leap out. But that is how many claimants feel, and there is a reason for that. People who are repeatedly abused will bite back, and sadly many, many people have experienced abuse at the hands of DWP staff (who may or may not have been PCS),

      I think everyone would like to see us standing together, but the PCS are the only ones in a position to launch a practical challenge to the current regime, which as the post explains, will also soon affect the lowest paid PCS members. This should be a priority for the PCS now, not something to be avoided, postponed or swept under the carpet.

      • Eric Greenwood

        I used to work for the DWP but just because i was “temporary” 5 months and 7 months after that.. i was not allowed to join the union, I couldnt have a voice by their rules. I am hostile because i have been on the inside and on the outside i see both sides, and i have seen the pcs union silent on things that are important and i doubt that will ever change. Unions dont care for non union members

    • then do something about it!

      force the issue!

      I’m sure it’s not easy, but people are dying for god’s sake!

    • “The commentary (from blog viewers) on the postings that then follows is usually very hostile towards DWP staff and trade unions.”

      Because you will do anything to protect your salaries and pensions, even if that results in starvation, homelessness or suicide.

  12. Yosserian Hughes

    ” The commentary (from blog viewers) on the postings that then follows is usually very hostile towards DWP staff and trade unions.”

    My comments aren’t anything to do with the protocol. I just don’t trust your union, it’s members, nor it’s motives whatsoever. Your own Mr Lloyd from Smethwick PCS gave the game away when he complained of the M&S voucher being: “A small carrot”

    “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.”

    Say n’more.

    • Eric Greenwood

      When i used to work for them they could win a car or a holiday, now its a £25 M&S voucher. I think thats why they are complaining. its not enough money for them. How much is sending a person into destitution PCS union members?

      • Win a car or a holiday? What had to done to win one of those? Now a £25 M&S voucher. So what? How many other jobs hand out rewards for causing misery to other human beings, certainly none that I know of.
        Karma is just around the corner for JCP staff when they have to start sanctioning each other, just hoping the fat, lazy cow(sat at her desk, stuffing chocolate into her fat ugly face, in front of claimants) who wanted to sanction me in the short time I had to claim JSA, is among them


        • Eric Greenwood

          this was a few years ago and it was get a person off the dole, now normally that could be seen as getting them a job.. in reality they didnt care how they got them was the precursor to this round of sanction targets…

          • @eric even a braindead hamster knows that ”off benefits” is not the same as ‘getting a job”…

            • Eric Greenwood

              yes, but they used the gray words to give them an excuse. It was easier for them to kick people off than do any work thats why they used those particular words

              • @eric greenwood yeah i know DWP have a way with ‘the public interest’…

              • from

                Our message is getting through!

                Over 93,000 people — including you — have signed the petition calling on Iain Duncan Smith to be held accountable for his misuse of official statistics. We’ve now been told that the Work and Pensions Committee are giving serious consideration to what action they should take.

                We need to make sure they stand firm and call Iain Duncan Smith to explain himself. So please take a moment to send the petition to your friends and family by forwarding the email below.

                Even the Government’s own statistics watchdog agrees that IDS has been misusing figures to promote the effectiveness of his changes to the welfare system. But his own department is trying to make excuses for him. It tweeted “re Stats Authority letter: Sec of State has long held position that benefit cap would have impact on behaviour of claimants.”

                Iain Duncan Smith needs to realise that what he says affects people. We live everyday with the reality of the benefit changes and it’s awful to keep hearing people like us portrayed as scroungers.

                The Government says it gives special consideration to petitions that reach 100,000 signers. So let’s get this petition to 100,000 to give the Work and Pensions Committee every possible reason to act.

                Please help us reach 100,000 by forwarding this email to friends and family urging them to sign.

                Thank you,
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  13. the power of trade unions has been systematically destroyed…actions speak louder than words…some of us only have words left…..

    • something survived...

      If you fall under a lorry one day that is a job created – amazing huh – and you are one less unemployed person. Many people leaving the statistics for JSA and ESA and DLA, um, died and that is how they left.

  14. “There is no doubting the sincerity of the PCS in their support of claimants and low paid workers”


    Jobcentre workers are all too happy to refer claimants to the sanctions Decision Makers, whether on their own or because of reports from the likes of A4E/Seetec

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve applied for loads of jobs over the last few months, a couple of days where you did not apply for any jobs deserves a sanction

  15. Pingback: Beating bosses in Birmingham, bothering blacklisters: mid-May round-up | Cautiously pessimistic

  16. To all those in part time work ..good luck to you..
    To be told “its not good enough” is about as stupid as I’ve ever heard ever. What gives anyone the right to dictate where or how someone works.
    The dictatorial stance of this regime gets even more noticeable day by day.

  17. IDS said there were no sanctions targets yet he was due to go to smethwick to congragulate jcp staff for hitting or exceeding their sanction Target.
    Let me guess ..IDS is a liar right?
    And if so should not be in his job..

    • Bob, but doesn’t being a good liar go with the territory of being a politician? It’s easier, sadly, to just assume that when a politician says anything that it’s either a complete lie, or a very convoluted version of the truth that bears little resemblance to any truth you or I would recognise.

      I know that’s very cynical, but I claim that saying ‘It is the cynic who sees things as they truly are’ as my support. I may be cynical, but that doesn’t mean I’m without hope that a decent politician will come along and say, (and also actually mean) and prepare to do things that will make a real change for the better… (he says, hands behind his back, fingers crossed).

  18. I have a convaluted question but its all related. It’s about the localism act. In which its being used to discriminate against people relocating to other areas. NIMBYism in fact.
    They use the issue of someone not having a local connection to where you want to relocate to. One of the requirements is having had a job in that area even if you were trying to find one in that area.
    It’s a catch 22 situation . You can’t relocate unless you have job and you can’t have job until you relocate .
    Added to which is another aspect which is the freedom to travel.
    We like to think we can travel anywhere .
    But what if the reason to travel was removed because the re location was removed .
    Eg you are trying to re locate and that’s why you travel to that location but once your re location is rejected then your reason for travelling to there has gone.
    Ironic since I have a freedom travel pass which I’ve used to travel to the area I thought I might relocate to . Now that freedom to travel seems ironic.

    • May I ask this question which is surely there is a contract of employment with JCP staff where one has to treat claimants with respect. And if they do not do so and it can be proved that they are not.doing so it can be challenged and dealt with if proof can be provided. Now if they sanction you just for proving they have broken their own rules. O guess using the ECHR might be another route but i guess Nigel Barrage is against all that foreign stuff.

      • Like the idiots who think that we’re all scroungers Bob, those who are opposed to the principal of Europe will rue the day when it comes to their turn at being in the position of the disposessed.

        Most seem to forget that a large number of the human rights we as UK Citizens enjoy are solely down to European wide legislation – including the title ‘UK Citizen’ which was a change dreamed up by Blair in an ‘Oh Heck!’ moment when he realised that everyone else in Europe was a citizen whilst us bunch of villeins were regarded as ‘subjects’. We’re still really only subjects, but only now we have a nicer label… the reality is that Citizens have rights. We don’t have any rights under English Law, (I don’t know about Scottish Law) except those rights conferred on us, (which, if you think about it, is a privelige, not a right). Only as Europeans do we have any significant rights.

        That, in my opinion, is one big reason that parties like UKIP and parts of the Tories are so opposed to the very idea of a Europe that has human rights as part of the foundations of European Civilisation. The ECHR is disliked as it stops them engaging in further human rights abuses than they already indulge in, and I’m sure that complicity in Extraordinary Rendition is only the tip of the iceberg.

        • Yeah and everyone thonks its about straight bananas or the same if jcp staff have duty to show respect to claimants as terms of emplyment then we can call them out on that if they don’t comply.

          • something survived...

            yum would love a banana right now, straight or bendy or tied in knots.
            not eaten in days. saturday night last ‘meal’.

            other thing the jcp staff do is act fairly polite-ish for a while till people leave, then as soon as they go, loudly slag them off to their colleagues and then sanction them. Often they say and do the opposite of what they promised moments before they would do. That’s not respect.
            They make personal comments like ‘she’s fat’ or ‘single mothers’ or ‘obviously lying’ (about disability), etc. They laugh.
            Solidarity of sadists? Not the sort of people that are to do with the ideals of unions.

  19. DWP benefits and sanctions data postponed .
    Also items at polticus where ten things that Duncan smith didn’t tell us about universal credit .

  20. BBC news on benefit changes and universal credit where we are told that the changes will only save 110 million and not 272 million as DWP stated before. This is due to ‘more ppl finding jobs’ which is weird since CDG UK the work program ‘commercial charity’ tells us the work program is being extended meaning more ppl being dumped on it or should that be ‘more ppl are keen to volunteer to work for their benefits’ thus making it impossible to find time to look for work ..shurely shome mishtake there.

    • 🙂 .

    • Landless Peasant

      IDS has stated that Universal Credit is “all about changing people”, so nothing to do with saving money. What can I change about myself that would create 4 million more jobs I wonder?

      • something survived...

        how much do those trident subs cost?; and: can they give people near the shipyards jobs smashing the deadly dildoes of doom to pieces?

  21. Westminster Council sets precedence over ‘duty of care and provide accomadation’ over vulnerable people. Landmark case it vulnerable people no longer get help or accomadation due to this ‘victory’

    • Re localism ,
      “Presently some applicants view a homeless application as route to permanent social housing . This change will strengthen the view that a homeless application shall be last resort and will not automatically lead to a permanent offer. The change will lead to a reduction in the use of council leased temporary accomadation and increased use of private sector placements although there may still be a problem with securing accomadation within London LBS rates.”

      Landlord Newsletter June 2012 Hounslow.

      • LBS =LHA I hate text editors that take over and presume what you want to write.

        • chewie….to sum it all up one is free to exist, but there will be/is no place left to be free to exist in, unless one has a job and one’s own house, or has a council house to use as a transfer bargaining chip, right!

          • ps…a behavioural apex, is devised, and then they build spiel and laws around this, to ensure what they want happens!

          • @donkey the duty of care and housing homeless is being eroded ..
            In favour of ppl with well paid jobs playing the property market game…

            Legislation that doesn’t fit together ..welfare reform and localism act..

            You are told to travel further away to find work.. maybe you will get lucky or not. Then you are told you are selfish cos you have an extra cupboard and told you should that some property wallah or landlord can own you decide to uprooted and move away to get.closer to the intended job . That’s when you run into the brick wall of localism when you are told they don’t want your sort in their back yard. Cos you don’t have connections there despite the fact that’s what you are trying to do in first place …you got to have contacts there and work already ….only idiots could have thunk up this shit…

          • ps
            did you see what i did there…one is only free if one enslaves, ones self in approved activities….free from what?

    • 8 things that IDS didn’t tell you about Universal Credit…

      8? or 10 far too many anyway like all of it.

      • something survived...

        Point he doesn’t make;
        UC paid only to one member, generally the man. Lovely if he is an abuser, wife beater, alcoholic, druggie or just controlling bastard. And even if not, it takes autonomy and separateness from the woman and sends a message of women as chattels, property. Terrible in custody disputes because who gets the money during separation? He can follow and kill her, or stalk her. If she goes to a refuge he’ll find her. If she leaves she is penniless. Welldone, great for empowering women. The reverse of course the case for a decent father trying to wrest control of the kids from a dodgy mother. If she has the custody and the UC.
        Known several cases of each side.

  22. South Lanarkshire are quick out of the blocks, & this is a Labour-run council –

    • And they are training council staff to watch out for suicide victims following the bedroom tax..meanwhile in another world foodbanks will be in trouble as Tesco who advise the DWP are tackling food waste…

      • Smaller sizes,same price, ripoff Tesco. Meanwhile supermarkets bin more perfectly edible food than any one household ever could, “as it’s reached it’s sell-by date”. Had plenty of experience of this in the local co-op,once they wouldn’t even sell me a 50p pack of ham, which I wanted to buy as a treat for my cats as it had the previous days date on it , was told that it’s illegal to sell it even to feed to cats,Why, who’s going to know? So the supermarkets haven’t a leg to stand on as regards waste

        • @kittycat the local shell.service station take away stacks of food. The guy.collects it told me it all gets incinerated of which even he was disgusted about. It’s done on a sale or return basis..the store gets its money even when food is dumped. And to think Tesco advises the DWP. So what’s gonna happen to. Foodbanks if there’d no.spare.grub…

          • Sell by dates are basically insurance, and have a large margin, so even a few days after the ‘sell by’ date has passed, the products will be fine. ‘Use by’ dates are a bit more serious, and I wouldn’t recommend ignoring these too much. What incenses me however are tins with ‘best before’ dates. If it is in a tin that hasn’t rusted through or isn’t blown then it’s likely that the product inside will still be as good as the day it was canned. That doesn’t hold for really old tins that were soldered with lead solder, as that does leach into the product, but modern tins are welded.

            • something survived...

              “Dear Jobseekers; Your local foodbank is Corpse Canyon, Greenland. Dig through 7m of snow to find a cache of frozen food. Some has been here decades! Not only rotten seal and puffin, here are piles of lead cans of bully beef!”

            • something survived...

              Re video: What an absolute ‘Cnut’ (spelling changed) Though King Cnut was sensible and trying to point out that he could NOT command the sea, humans even kings are limited in their power, only God could stop the sea. Probably fed up of yesmen and being put on a pedestal.

              That jobcentre tw-t, he was blurred: why? THEY can film or record US. He should be named and shamed, the useless git. (Or possibly it’d identify the jobseeker?) He’s like the man in Life of Brian: Pick up your cross and go and get crucified. Perhaps like the admin people at gas chambers that went and counted all the pieces of hair and false teeth etc ‘salvaged’ from the murdered people. To call this guy a ‘toerag’ does disservice to actual toerags, which were tied around the feet of people too poor for shoes. In fact you can’t even call him an arse, because an arse has a practical purpose.

              Is it part of their script to say, ‘what if you get run over by a bus tonight’? I bet it isn’t. It can’t be. Can he be disciplined or sacked for deviating from the DWP script? It sounds like his own script and he is projecting wishes that a bus DOES run over the jobseeker and kill them. Of course if it happened but the jobseeker was still alive; he’s the sort of deadly bastard that would turn up at the foot of their hospital bed, yanking out tubes and exhorting the jobseeker to ‘get a job’ or ‘go to the jobcentre NOW!’. A complete wanker, who dismisses the jobseeker as not even human. Not even worth a second of his valuable time, what is a jobseeker doing in a jobcentre, and what is he paid for????? It’s the jobseeker being there that is why the prat has a job, and why he gets paid. So you could at least be CIVIL, even if you are (as he is) totally incompetent at your job. He’s been cloned though, they are all across the country. Probably every jobcentre has at least one. One total, downright bastard. And several carbon copies of Pauline from the League of Gentlemen. Pauline is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a blueprint!

              Have run into any number of his sort. It’s quite easy from watching him to tell what his sort is. At the same time, as the jobseeker rightly says, he is the one making assumptions about all jobseekers based on the fact they are unemployed. He also talks down; like the jobseeker is extremely retarded, and aged seven and a half years old, and been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. You can hear the jobseeker promising to be at the jobcentre on time but the guy just dismisses that, like the claimant is lying. Not clear what he forces the jobseeker to sign, but it sounds like blackmail to get the jobseeker ‘excused’ from possibly missing signing the next day. Which is also crap. If you ARE sick or are in an accident, it doesn’t matter what you have signed, they will stop your money anyway as they are lowdown dirty sadistic bastards. Good questions like how does the creep sleep at night?

              If anyone could be improved by a bus driving over them, then it’s not the jobseeker. (But it’d be a pity about the bus tyres.) He couldn’t get rid of the jobseeker fast enough. He looks like he thinks he’s working with sheep in an abattoir, pushing them through one by one, and kicking and swearing at them for going to their deaths in a less than compliant way. So if you have a job and lose it, and have to sign on, then suddenly you lose your status as a human being? It is how they talk to prisoners, immigrants in detention centres, etc. and people in mental health facilities. As in, aggressive, patronising, paternalistic, proprietorial, bullying, blackmailing, lying…. and a whole lot of other negative things.

              • @something survived yeah that video freaked me out that’s why i posted seems to me they are looking for any excuses to sanction anyone..whats that story about them? A sign on the wall about saving tax payers pissing it away on useless workfare spivs…

            • something survived...

              watched others of those videos and saw some pretty gross things in them. The man whose dole got stopped because his baby was in intensive care ‘and you can’t look for work’. The man with a stroke told to get a job. The mother ordered to pick litter for no money. Etc.
              Stopped watching as I was feeling sick enough already. And that’s without watching any of the IDS videos or Emma Harrison or Eric Pickles.

    • “It’s not our fault, the Tories made us do it!”

      “Vote Labour!”

      • Benefit scroungers get on my nerves they want to blame others. When its all their fault not having wealthy parents and not going to Eton and not wanting to be a freemason and paedo protector…

  23. On the tesco,s comment smaller portions = more cost to customer. I personally am getting pretty sick and tired of being told how to live by governments/businesses. I was given like everyone else freedom to choose the direction/path we want to take in life. Little by little it is being taken away from us. When it has all been taken from us it will be too late to do anything. We are human beings with feeling/dignity/legal rights. Not cattle to be herded from field to field constantly fed a load of bullshit being pitted against different groups. This is not what we are this is what the government and big business want so that we eventually kill each other over a few scraps from their elite dinner tables. We are better than that and we derserve better than what they are dishing out. Do not let them take your dignity in our humanity once they do that then we are lost

  24. The ppl that throw food away can afford to do so ppl on benefits etc know how to make food go further we cant afford to just simply chuck food out cos it passed its sell by date

    • MADRID — “On a recent evening, a hip-looking young woman was sorting through a stack of crates outside a fruit and vegetable store here in the working-class neighborhood of Vallecas as it shut down for the night.

      At first glance, she looked as if she might be a store employee. But no. The young woman was looking through the day’s trash for her next meal. Already, she had found a dozen aging potatoes she deemed edible and loaded them onto a luggage cart parked nearby.

      “When you don’t have enough money,” she said, declining to give her name, “this is what there is.”

      The woman, 33, said that she had once worked at the post office but that her unemployment benefits had run out and she was living now on 400 euros a month, about $520. She was squatting with some friends in a building that still had water and electricity, while collecting “a little of everything” from the garbage after stores closed and the streets were dark and quiet.

      Such survival tactics are becoming increasingly commonplace here, with an unemployment rate over 50 percent among young people and more and more households having adults without jobs. So pervasive is the problem of scavenging that one Spanish city has resorted to installing locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution.

      It’s against the dignity of these people to have to look for food in this manner,” said Eduardo Berloso, an official in Girona, the city that padlocked its supermarket trash bins.”

      The Tories won’t rest until the British people are reduced to rummaging through bins for food too.

      • @R33 ..too late. In guardian an unemployed social worker admitted to raiding the bins at supermarkets because of his situation as well as him going begging which he admits he is ashamed of..and that is in UK in london.

        • It will soon be commonplace here.

          • Landless Peasant

            I was doing that 20+ years ago, and many people I know have done it more recently on a regular basis, but most of the supermarkets in this region keep food skips locked or behind gates, and I recall them paying staff to damage the goods & pour blue dye on the food at some stores.

        • This is already a commonplace in Britain, it’s just not reported. It’s not yet as bad here as in Spain, (the article did point out that she’d exhausted her benefits. I think benefits dry up after 24 months in Spain, but don’t tell IDS…) but surely our time will come where more and more of us are forced to source our food in this way.

          • Yeah, I meant more widespread.

            • @R33 to add to the tragedy the unemployed social worker had been sanctioned too…thats why he was raiding bins..he was skint..

            • @all…..i hope you dont mid me reposting this comment from ‘the slog’ re the comment about ”welfarism”….maybe you like to tell this chap what you think….

              “As to the parents of today, too many are feckless, too many are so ill-educated as to almost completely lack common sense, too many see children more as desirable/necessary accessories than anything else, too many have been suborned into abdicating personal responsibility by 60 years of cradle to grave Welfarism and too many are more concerned with personal gratification, be it in career, relationships or whatever than the needs of their children.

              The post war social democratic consensus may have made the average person far richer than ever before, few folk then had more than a minuscule disposable income, if that, but I personally do not think the cost was worth it.”

              its from here if you want to know..


            • hey did anyone see this article in the daily mirage.. about how this woman was able to feed herself and child on only £10 a week then got a book deal out of it…well im pretty sure IDS will love this wont he give him an axcuse to slash benefits even more no doubt ”proving we can all live out of a tin of beans and slice of bread’…


            • something survived...

              From the first paragraph on ‘welfarism’: it could be describing the aspirations of parents in the UPPER, UPPER-MIDDLE and LOWER-MIDDLE classes! They often have kids as a status symbol or accessory, and have lots irresponsibly, and plan the child’s life before it’s conceived.

    • Landless Peasant

      Some of my friends have been eating Nettles added to food to make spinach go further (or instead of). Wear gloves, pick tender young shoots, rinse, cut with scissors…don’t pick in urban areas.

  25. Someone got burgled across the road poor little old lady it was…

  26. Who wants to eat clapped out chickens or chick peas as a substitute for meat? This idea is nothing new, Bernadine Lawence wrote a book called how to feed your family on £4 a day in the 80’s which told us basically that rice, pasta and beans are cheap food to be used in cheap recipies.

    I noticed one of Jack Munroes recipies was Cacka, I’m sure her child will be doing plenty of that on a diet of beans, pulses and lentils.

    • Landless Peasant

      “Who wants to eat clapped out chickens or chick peas as a substitute for meat?”

      I’ll pass on the chickens but chickpeas are ok. I haven’t eaten meat for 40 years!

  27. Jacks recipie my cakey not cacka – same difference.

  28. Landless peasant

    I congratulate you, I wish I did not like meat so much, but for those of us who do eat meat, we too should be able to afford decent cuts not cast offs.

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