Government Abandons Flagship Workfare Scheme

workfare-stick-upIn a major victory for campaigners, the DWP seem to be confirming that they have scrapped the Community Action Programme (CAP), the rolling workfare scheme which had been planned for those leaving the Work Programme.

The Government had planned to force all those who have been unemployed over two years onto near permanent workfare.  This scheme was recently trialled with disastrous results as participants were found to be no more likely to find work than those who had not attended the programme.

Then the Community Action Programme was dragged through the courts in the case brought by Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson.  Along with other workfare measures the CAP was found to be unlawful, but unlike the other schemes, there was no retroactive legislation introduced to bring it in line with the law.

It now seems it has been abandoned altogether, with an announcement from the DWP today of a new scheme involving ‘a hit squad of specialist advisers’ based in Jobcentres.  It seems that the floundering welfare-to-work companies in charge of the Work Programme are no longer to be trusted with those who have been unemployed for over two years.

Workfare is still likely to be involved in the scheme, with threats of Mandatory Work Activity for participants – four weeks workfare as opposed to six months.  This scaling back is almost certainly down to the huge resistance to workfare which has forced most of the UK’s best known charities to withdraw and refuse to provide further placements.

According to the skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban, claimants on the latest scheme will also be forced to sign up for Universal Jobmatch – the bodged government job-seeking website riddled with spam and scam vacancies.  The DWP warn that these claimants will also be required to tick the box allowing Jobcentre staff to spy on their accounts – a move of dubious legality under data protection laws.

Hoban is threatening that the new scheme will be tough, intensive and uncompromising.  Yet with Jobcentres already creaking under the strain of the DWP’s ever more hare-brained schemes, it seems hard to imagine how Jobcentre staff will find the time to provide daily intensive support to over half a million people.

One thing that can be guaranteed is that whatever they do won’t work.  From Tony Blair’s New Deal to Iain Duncan Smith’s bungled Work Programme, not one of these measures has come even close to the aim of ending long term unemployment.  Despite the toughest ever welfare reforms, unemployment has risen over the last three months and long term unemployment continues to soar.

And whilst government ministers insist that unemployment is caused by unemployed people, then billions more will be poured down the drain to do little more than harass, impoverish and stigmatise those unable to find a job.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

247 responses to “Government Abandons Flagship Workfare Scheme

  1. The only one’s it’s worked for is those companies getting rich from it at the poor old taxpayers expense. Politicians implementing these schemes are as thick as bricks or just corrupt Both I fear.

  2. Eric Greenwood 4727

    UJM is a sanction machine, it is there to sanction people it isnt there to get anyone a job. Work programme isnt there to get people jobs its to hide the unemployed under another name. They dont want to blame the employers who would rather hire a so called “apprentice” for less money over someone who needs the job. They will blame the people with least voice the unemployed. Soon this country will be more restricted than china and korea, this is the plan for us as devised by mp’s During a time of cuts, and IDS threatening more cuts, when charities are finding they are being over run by people in need, when food banks will become normal, it will push the most marginalised away from society, as has been seen recently in a study that more people are socially isolated, and the majority of those are unemployed/sick/disabled. This will create a underclass of humans, which will cause crime to rocket when people have to steal to eat, and to end in prison where its better than out here, this will create more problems, and add to the underclass of uk society. I fear for the future, I do not fear dying because this country will become a hell.

    • Spot on. Foodbanks are appearing all over. On speaking to church vicar, we were told many folk still can’t be helped as no coolers, pots or pans just how diabetics are to survive this nefarious lifestyle I’m unsure but dread getting old. Citizens vigilante patrols will be the norm, food shops broken into and a reversion to wartime black market. My grandsons face a nightmare based on last 5. Years economics.my best wishes to all others who try to help those less fortunate. I have neighbours at door in tears, over 40.00 a week worse off due to bedroom tax and council tax, yet not able to afford to move although no one bedroom places available.massive rouse in demand for one bedroom places. None avail to under 60’s

      • Eric Greenwood (4727)

        I try to help but i am at a stretch myself i help a friend down south, over the winter she couldnt afford heating or food i had some xmas money and bought her some” xmas presents..” Wish i could help more but i am finding i harder to find anything spare

        • I’m struggling to feed myself properly since ATOS declared me fit for work last October.My money went from £110 a week to £71 a week. I’m diabetic and since the change in circumstances my blood sugar has been steadily rising to very unhealthy level due to having to stop eating fresh fruit and vegetables and move to an almost completely processed food diet (because Iceland food is cheaper!).
          Luckily I won my appeal against ATOS’s decision on 17th April but I’m still waiting for the DWP processing my new benefit amount and backdated benefits owed me……odd that it took around a week from them making the decision that I no longer qualified for ESA to reducing my money BUT when I phone the DWP now they say it’ll be at least 17th June or later before they can make any change in my favour.
          Add on the bedroom tax (£14) and the change to council tax (extra £10 a week) and I’m expected to live on £43 a week before bills .Could someone please explain to me how a single diabetic person is supposed to control their diabetes on approx £20 a week shopping budget?

          • Eric Greenwood (4727)

            while you are waiting you are not classed as unemployed so the longer you wait the better the figures look

          • ian
            yeah, i have to live on little…they stopped mine aug12…still on £71/wk
            i have more blood supply problems than dracula…havs…neuropathy, i have to keep my bg low and i do….i aim to eat foods that keep weight steady and liver out of the loop, very “slow” release foods, nuts…eggs…never fruit or i go hyper ketoacidosis… (which is actually a cell hypo!)… my hba1c reading is 36….(5.6 in old money), i do eat for less than £20..but i also run a freezer, so i can keep travel costs as low as possible…..but i would need a better long term diet than that provides! the whole diabetes treatment thing in the uk needs urgent open and free debate..as 3m + people now suffer it….

            tell me did you win your e and sa tribunal based on diabetes diagnosis?

            • I have a litany of medical problems ….diabetes (type 1),Cervical and lumbar spondylitis,Crohn’s disease,clinical depression (ATOS really helps with this,not),hyper tension ….the list goes on but they are my main problems atm. I used to get 50+ points on my medicals until ATOS took over and the last 2 “medicals” I’ve recieved ZERO points…..this is now the 2nd appeal I’ve made and won.After my appeal they gave me a form which says I have to be tested again within 24 months…..as if my long term health problems might just go away if I wish hard enough.
              Oh and I always worked since leaving school and served for 18 years in the fire service so I resent being called a “scrounger” by Iain Duncan Smith!

          • ian..
            i steam all my cooking foods, chicken, mixed veg..and eat tin of sardines drained…no stuff with sauces..nuts and that’s all i eat..same here 61..long hard working life…i get “don’t bother us, you’re on your own, help yourself!”, it is more or less what they say..and a revolving door of atos…tribunal..won 1…waiting for next….last one set aside…then adjourned…still waiting for the little cherrie envelope..DIABETES SUCKS…….

          • My very best wishes to you Ian. This is all disgraceful and as diabetics we know how terrible it all is. Numerous court cases are queueing at the high court under human rights matters. A good solicitor is Rosa Curling, she’s on internet. Meantime I hope the del pay up urgently. Can your mp help?.

          • Ian – unfortunately your dates of 17 April to 17 June sound about right. DWP are taking two months to pay the money they owe after people win their appeal. Shocking. I am sorry I cannot answer your last question. But maybe keep telling your doctors and nurses, and write to your MP. We all need to shout loudly about how this is affecting us. In the long run, this stupid ‘saving money’ by slashing benefits will cost the country more money in other ways e.g.healthcare, but meanwhile individuals suffer. Good luck.

            • I almost forgot something else important….. Whilst waiting for my appeal against ATOS’s decision I applied for DLA (disability living allowance). I filled in all the forms with help from Welfare Rights and recieved a rejection letter stating that “as I had failed my ATOS medical I couldn’t get DLA.
              I assumed they knew what they were talking about so I just left it.
              When I later mentioned this to my Welfare Rights worker she said it was wrong and they’re not allowed to make a decision based on my ATOS medical…..sadly this was too late to appeal by then.
              I just wanted to let anyone else in my position who gets the same notification know that the DWP will and do lie (although they’ll obfuscate and say it was just human error but how many other people just give up their rights because they assume that the DWP aren’t going to lie to them?

            • ian…if one has good reason one can still appeal for up to 12 mths after, the original decision..i think…the local courts and tribunal services will be able to tell you…it might be written on the gl 24….

      • Wisetothem
        I posted a comment yesterday on Grant Shapps Is A Lying Bastard – Now That’s Official Too! Stating that my tenants community centre had added my name to receive food parcels, I received the parcel last night, what a blessing, as this week I had to pay £40 of my bedroom tax arrears, I got a phone call today from my pancreatic nurse, to inform me that I need further investigative tests before I am admitted into hospital to have the tumour removed, she was very shocked when I informed her that I am having to receive food parcels, and to hear about my impending eviction proceedings from my HA.

  3. This latest scheme they propose may well be unworkable; it’s certainly illegal if they plan to compel people to “tick the box”. When will this bunch of clowns ever learn? They got the message that workfare doesn’t work – hence the scrapping of the CAP – yet they still plough on with more “tough on the unemployed” rhetoric and another unworkable scheme.

    The problem in this country isn’t a lack of any “work ethic” but a chronic lack of jobs, and that isn’t going to change. What can change is the government’s attitude to the unemployed and a realisation that bashing the poor isn’t going to change a thing- although I don’t hold out much for that…

  4. The upper class twits that comprise the Cabinet don’t care about unemployment. Their disdain and propaganda is a tool to spread hate, so that they can cut, cut and cut money for the poor, without massive public opposition. Luckily there HAS been public opposition and growing!
    The gov are amoral greedsters.who don’t know about limits.

  5. Teesside Solidarity Movement

    Reblogged this on Teesside Solidarity Movement.

  6. Landless Peasant

    HAHA good news! 🙂 Of course it won’t work, no back-to-work scams can possibly work, and they fucking know it. Unemployment is here to stay, Capitalism cannot function without it, and those in work must pay for it, but which politician is ever going to be honest enough to say that?

  7. I’m sure government and business if they could bring in robots to perform every job in society, would see the whole population starve rather than admit that capitalism is an unworkable system for those that did not have an investment in the robotic workforce.

    • I’m sure you are right. As they replace more and more workers with robots and computer software, at some point they are probably going to come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with the surplus workers, is to eradicate us.

    • Technology is not the problem poverty is.

    • Been in a supermarket recently ? Seen the tills being replaced by self-service checkouts ? Wondered about surplus checkout operators who, if not sacked, certainly wont be replaced ?

      How long before other stores start investing in this kind of technology ?

      • Two choices here- either refuse to use them, or make such a balls-up of it they need the staff to put it right! Easy done- ‘accidentally’ scan the same thing twice, then call for help; always buy some alcohol- even just a £1 bottle of beer- they have to verify and authorise the sale; screw up a barcode so it won’t be read- assistance needed! – I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas!

        • I’ve done all these. really pisses off the staff overseeing the self-service tills!

        • I just refuse to use them, until I get a discount for doing someone’s job for them.

          The point I was trying to make, though, is that this is a very good example of technology replacing jobs, however mundane. Our local Tesco have replaced 5 or 6 checkouts with self-service machines. All supermarkets seem to be following this trend – how manny jobs for real people will this account for across the country ?

      • Won’t be long before we get drones patrolling the skies of the shanty towns and ED-209s patrolling the streets of the slums.

  8. Landless Peasant

    Just had a read of the details on DWP site, and spotted this:

    “Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching and to allow their adviser to check their work search activity online. ”

    Can they mandate you to allow online monitoring?

    • If it’s illegal for “non-returners” to be forced to be monitored by the DWP on Universal Jobmatch, how can it be legal for “returners” to be mandated to be monitored in this way?

    • This can’t work, and after a while the DWP will be forced into a climbdown. I only wonder how many people will be sanctioned before the bastards in the government are forced into a U-turn.

      • They can only access your UJ via their own IAD Internet access device situated in the jobcentre. So you would just print out their searches in the jobcentre on signing day.

        • Pointless though isn’t it? Most of the jobs I’ve applied for with Universal Jobmatch just take you to a company site where you make application and the referral from Universal Jobmatch to the other site isn’t recorded. It looks as if you’ve applied for no jobs. Really dumb and pointless really.

          • Eric Greenwood (4727)

            UJM is a SANCTION machine, they want to find any excuse to get rid of you, so you go to 3rd party sites no evidence, so sanction time..

    • Somewhere in the conditions of use of the UJ site is a get-out clause that says basically “you use this site at your own risk”, ie: if you get hacked or your identity hijacked through using this site, tough shit.

      Seems to me that using the site at my own risk entails ME having to make a personal decision about whether I use it, and thus would be quite within my rights to choose not to.

      I’ve not been got for UJ yet, so haven’t tried this defence, but its worth bearing in mind. Its not difficult to put together a list of reasons why using it might put you at risk – a risk YOU have the right to evaluate and act on.

      Or has anyone actually tried this avenue and found it doesn’t work ?

  9. Conditionality is all these fuckers have left. Look like they intend to keep tightening the screws until everybody loses their benefits.

    • That’s because the government know – deep down maybe – there are no jobs out there. But they’d rather carry on with the “tough on shirkers” rhetoric than admit to it, because they’re scared people will blame the government for the lack of jobs. They are punishing the poor just to protect their chances of re-election. Evil, that’s all they are.

  10. Although online monitoring would be illegal,how could you get access to legal aid to prevent it?

  11. Well paid, secure jobs with decent working hours and conditions ends long-term unemployment. It also boosts the economy with us all out there spending money that currently idles in off-shore accounts.

    • smiling carcass…wot find their souls, and give up “their” cream, to the moral poor…they just want to get at, as many of us “useless eaters”, as they can, and keep us wrapped up in pointless exercise, begging for our vitals…etc etc etc! 2 lies are told..they lie to themselves and to us…and in “match” we are forced to agree with them, and lie to ourselves…or else…!

      • The sense of my argument is they could reap benefits in increased sales too. If they got their heads around that little nugget people like me wouldn’t become marginalised, radicalised Marxists.

        • smiling carcass..
          i get that…but they are in terror of another overheating crashing burning, economy…that will slash the value of their holdings..this is their preferred option…containment of assets…for those who can responsibly mange them…ie them..the poor can’t be trusted with money dyn!

          • But, the ‘crashing, burning’ economy is proof that capitalism doesn’t work and frankly only happens when they get (more) greedy and start taking more than their fair share. That leaves less for the worker and less spending; they get worried and dive in with austerity measyres that make matters worse.

            • smiling carcass..
              they continue to pour water on to cool the local economy down ..in the hope it will recover.. and focus on the global economy….they have not cottoned on to the facts like, me and you…that we live in a finite space…and capitalism/corporatism, can no longer grow, the plant is dead or dying…they hold onto belief relics…and have no idea what can be achieved within a socially co-operative society..and feverishly hold onto the means that prevent this from happening…preferring to believe that they can simply lift a carpet and sweep the problems under it, to make them go away..

            • smiling carcass…let those with smoten eyes awaken their senses…let light shine in the darken crevices of the mind…yea verily, i say unto thee, let there be light..and there was light…and i could see for fcuking miles!

    • Yes that’s the truth of matters. I believe many decent people are having the piss taken.royally. loss of dignity and self respect over having the price of a new outfit, a beer with mates and not constantly worrying where bills money to come from. Evil creeps are set up for life whatever happens…special branch protection and gold pensions.

      • wisetothem, I remember when I first started work, many, many years ago when unions were strong; managers quaked at the mere mention of ‘shop steward’ and times, despite what’s often said and believed, were good. An old fella gave me a pearl of wisdom I have never forgotten. Those words of wisdom have been the basis of my working life and political philosophy, albeit the absolute refusal of successive governments to grant these few pleasures have pushed me from a mere leftist, socialist being to a dyed in the wool Marxist . Here they are, as best I remember them-

        “The government should realise the working man don’t care about the price of potatoes. As long as he can have a fag, a pint and a laugh with the lads at the end of a hard working day, take the wife out on Friday or Saturday night, he’ll never care.”

        The essence of the argument is, allow us our simple pleasures and we’ll work ‘til we drop. Of course, time has moved us on; our expectations are greater; many of us were convinced in the 1980’s that our high wages, courtesy of the unions and the real Labour Party in the 1970’s, made us middle class and therefore Tory. We are paying the price for that misconception.

  12. Someone must have told them we abandoned SLAVERY in the 19th century. lol

    • This is a myth it was legal to own a slave in this country UK up until 6th April 2010 when it was made illegal with upto 14yrs imprisonment for breaking the law.
      Doesn’t seem to make any difference to this bunch of evil b@st@rds in government though.

  13. My two year ‘programme’ of shite is due to end soon. I am dreading the
    jobcentre staff, Cruel and heartless B……..
    ‘Hit squad of specialist advisers’ says it all.
    Here comes the tears (again).

    • I, too, am about to end my 2 years. In order that we don’t give in to despondency about what JCP will do with/to us next, we should play it by ear and not freak out, cos this press release is a load of bluster. Implementing it is quite another matter and you can bet they have not yet worked out whether or not they can actually put it into practice.
      Interesting choice of words, though. The Freudian slip of “Hit Squad” is quite revealing about what they’d really like to do with/to us, doncha think?

    • I’ve not found the actual Jobcentre staff too bad…obviously I’ve been extremely lucky so far! It’s the bastards at the BDC you’ve got too watch!…..that they are vindictive is bad enough, but the fact that they are a fucking useless load of faceless scheisters makes it even worse!

      • @Max, sorry for being ignorant, but who s the BDC?

        • Bernadette H, sorry for the delay. The BDC is the ‘Benefits Delivery Centre’. The place full of incompetent wankers where your claims are sent to and processed, and where they will attempt to at least delay but more likely screw up your claim completely. You can never speak to them directly (someone has to phone you back) and a face to face meeeting is out of the question…..even if you wanted one!

    • Hit squad Death squad

  14. Yup I’m petrified of going back to the job centre…. managed to escape the WP for nigh on 8 months in total (due to a job I obtained by myself).

  15. Universal Credit, the thing that was supposed to make work pay and redress some of the awfulness resulting from the cuts, which it wouldn’t of course, is well and truly fucked. Thankfully the whole abortive nonsense is dead in the water and eventually the government will HAVE to admit it.

    Fuck only knows what happens then!

    Anybody think for a moment that things will be much better under Labour or some kind of Lib-Lab Coalition?

    • The Greens would be a good alternative,but they dont have enough candidates

    • At one time I may have believed the Liberals would stand up for the little man but that horse bolted after they got into bed with the conservatives.I even thought they might reign in some of the excesses of the Tories but sadly that hasn’t happened.
      Nowadays I’m resigned to the old saying “It doesn’t matter who you vote for,it’s always the Government that wins”. They’ve proved that they’re all as bad as each other if you’re poor and powerless.

    • It makes me piss with laughter, all the pitiful whining on Social media… “roll on 2015” why? What the Fuck d’ya thinks gonna happen? The magic happy fairy is gonna come down and sweep all this shit away?

    • Old habits die hard combined with nostalgia/wishful thinking might allow some people to think ‘roll on 2015’, if they half-close their eyes at the same time … Some might be hoping for a magic fairy (‘too much reality…’ after all). Most of us wouldn’t want to admit not being well-enough informed, before things got to the desperate, awful stage we have reached & it’s not big, or clever – but ‘some of my best friends’ were similarly wishful in May 1997. ‘New’ Labour were clearly a huge mistake/con, but at least some ‘old(er) labour’ voters were taken in, or just determined to believe that ‘Labour’ still must mean ‘for us’. I wore (red) rose-tinted spectacles and crossed my fingers behind my back, voted for them. Even though it must have been clear to everyone that Tory Bliar wasn’t going to morph into Tony Benn at any point. Even today, it might be easier for some people to make this schoolgirl type of error than it should be – they want to think ‘things can only get better’ and reach for their rose-tinted glasses.

      100 years ago, Emily Davison died after falling beneath the hooves of the king’s race horse during the fight for votes for women. Now, with food banks on every corner, increasing homeless etc. & etc, and both sides of the political ‘divide’ openly the same, I wonder whether her death (& the struggle fought by the suffragettes) has been devalued along with our (‘democratic’) reasons to vote.

      • It’s getting more and more like the old joke “Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner”…..only no one’s laughing anymore!
        Sad to say it but maybe we need to start taking a leaf out of the Buddhist monks of the 60’s and have people roll up to every Jobcentre in the country and self-immolate themselves in the entrance….would it work,would the “democratically elected” take notice? Would it be seen as a last desperate cry for sanity and reason in a system that has lost its heart,soul and conscience? Would the Tories spin it to their own benefit? Would they care or see it as a public spirited thing to do ,reducing the number of “benefit scroungers”?
        Is there anything, as a Nation,we can do to say “NO More”? I doubt it will happen until it’s the majority who suffer instead of just the “unimportant,voiceless and invisible” minority.
        Sorry for my polemic rant but I’m beginning to hate my country and the people who allegedly represent us.

        • Someone did set themselves alight outside a JCP recently. It was not reported as being a religious act (or as a protest), or in any wider context – political or social. Reports were made in the same way they are for anything ‘out of the ordinary’ (disconnectedly): “An inexplicable event has occurred”; “possibly the person involved had some (mental) health difficulties”. Almost completely detached from the wider as well as the specific story surrounding the act, as far as I know. Not recognised in any cause/effect way – but seen as an ‘isolated incident’. – What could it possibly have to do with those nice people 15ft away who are only trying to help everyone on benefits? – or the government who surely wouldn’t leave its citizens with nothing but fresh air to live on for weeks/months at a time?

          When Stephanie Bottrill committed suicide, though, the press were less able to act in this way as close family members said in the immediate aftermath of her death that they were certain the Bedroom Tax was a factor. Also her own, handwritten explanation of why she had felt desperate enough to end her life was made available, and published. Even with this direct link to the Bedroom Tax being reported, alongside accounts that Ms Bottrill had stated shortly before her death that she no longer felt she could afford to live, the cause/effect links weren’t as easily drawn/maintained as might be supposed. (The government are not below stating, after all, (& not long after Ms Bottrill’s death) – that there isn’t a direct link (necessarily) between their benefit ‘reforms’ and the increase in people going hungry/rise in food banks). No link between people having their money stopped and then becoming hungry/homeless, in other words). They also continue to encourage ‘ordinary/unaffected’ people in the belief that ‘sanctions’ are a form of reprimand, only used in extreme cases (after everything else has been tried with particularly recalcitrant job seekers who refuse to look for work/are making a ‘lifestyle choice’). They talk about ‘mistake’ and ‘benefit delays’ instead.

          Ms Bottrill was/is not alone even though she acted alone. We know this but the government (somehow) don’t need to. Several of those sending messages of condolence for her family in the book of condolence/website that had been set up, voiced their own direct understanding of being in the same, or a very similar situation, and of feeling or having felt suicidal/desperate. As yet (four or so weeks later?) I haven’t heard from my (Labour) MP in response to questions in the letter sent to him the day after Ms Bottrill’s widely reported death. He acknowledges receipt of emails usually and responds to specific questions, so initially perhaps it looked as though he might have received a large volume of other letters and might be take longer to reply. But, in relation to the issue of benefit ‘reform’-related deaths, his reply so far has been – nothing. Being realistic, how could he respond? He may wish to say that it was an individual case and so he can’t comment’ (but hasn’t said that yet). The questions many of us are waiting to hear answers to, though, are far-reaching as well as specific. They have a direct bearing on the economic/political policies in which this man’s day job has and continues to play a significant part.

          My understanding of both of these acts is that were acts of violence against the person (expressions of internalised anger) as well as acts of desperation. With so many people now dying needlessly with others being made to suffer in large numbers, our only feasible reaction is to stick up/speak up for ourselves, our friends, families & communities however we can best do this, so your suggestion of ‘people power’ is the only possible way to go (won’t be ‘as a nation’ though). Someone recently has advocated staging peaceful vigils, and I am thinking that before long we might be seeing a mix of these alongside other more lamppost-related style ‘incidents’. Everyone has their own ideas on how best to respond to bullies/fascists/power-mad loons.

          • I know it may be stretching the point here but I’m reminded of the quote about Nazi Germany:
            First they came for the communists,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

            Then they came for the socialists,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

            Then they came for the trade unionists,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

            Then they came for the Jews,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

            Then they came for the Catholics,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

            Then they came for me,
            and there was no one left to speak for me.

            How long before the Tories go after their next social group/class?
            Once they’ve got as much mileage out of the attacking of “benefit scoungers” who will they have to demonize next? The only certainty is that they won’t attack the retired or the wealthy because the retired vote in huge numbers and ,well,they’re hardly likely to attack their own.

            One question I would be interested in is : How much is it costing the country to implement all the benefit reforms and how much is it actually saving ,if at all,which I’m starting to doubt. I know several people on ESA who’ve fought their case and won (twice now for myself) and it can’t be cheap to have to defend their decisions and deal with all the paperwork involved. If anyone has access to the figures I’d love to see them but I fear the figures “aren’t available” until this Con/Lib alliance is out of power.

            • ian..well i know the banks were bailed out to the tune of £500bn…and what they spend on crushing the poor is chicken fed compared to that..i know that most if not all mhp’s are caused by external pressures, that frozen rage, causes mental pain, proof of this is in the work of esteemed friend… dr bob johnson, who’s work cures mental pain ,….that they have power over our vitals keeps us compliant…they effectively employ us..and squeeze us into one position…to actively seek work..and pay for the misery that they have caused and continue to cause…and that any right minded person would be shocked and distressed by their unnatural approach to blaming the victim of their persecutions..of the working classes,…do or what or else?…i know that they lie to themselves and to us…and force us to lie to ourselves in universal lie match….or else..and that they keep us wrapped up in pointless exercise proving we are sick (many like ourselves with incurable illness) and those in futile jobs search, when their are no real jobs…and in search of better pay so that they can stop paying our entitlement….in their attempts to abdicate their responsibilities of their duties to serve the electorate…clem attlees principle of dignity is swept away…and as tony benn..rightly states, they keep us in compliant terror to controls us while their personal fortunes swell in globe markets and asset sell offs….the poor will soon have no assets nor political capital…therefore in the eyes of our rulers no rights to exist…i know that political power rest in the clutching greedy claws of the rich therefore powerful, who orchestrate thing only in one direction theirs…that their barbaric policies continue to push people into deeper and deeper poverty

              http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/model-resolution/
              have some ideas of interest…

              http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/ + lucy reynolds on nhs et al..health and social care bill….i also know that diabetics are lied to, through the teeth and treated appallingly…and expected to act and perform as if not suffering this terrible disease…both t1 and t2 and that insulin resistance..can happen to anyone…chronic IR is diabetes t2

            • obd, if I hear back from his son at any point, it would be interesting to hear his own views on the terrorising and control of the masses explained. Trying to not give up on “the thing with feathers” is a losing battle.

            • sn
              spirit in the sky is one thing, spirit in the heart quite another…in hope of prevailing common sense, from outwith nil…we must push for change…a radical introduction of common sense and truth..i would say reintroduction but that would require a known, historical perspective, which alas, is lacking…perhaps a sudden and spontaneous awaking, is required…it is certain humanity cannot thrive like this!

            • Hi again, Ian. No, your not stretching a point here at all. Pastor Martin Neimoller’s famous poem has, appropriately, been much quoted lately, including on this site. Just replace “communists” with “the unemployed”, “socialists” with “the sick”, “Trade Unionists” with “the disabled”, “the Jews” with “the NHS”, “Catholics” with “legal aid” and “Me” can stay as it is, if you’re not already covered by the previous 5! Who will they go after next? They don’t need to plan that far ahead cos they know they’re toast at the next election. They’ll just stick (it) to us lot till then. And, of course, all these “reforms” will end up costing far more in the long run but that’s not the point. The point isn’t “saving money” or “cutting the deficit”; in the long run it’s “population reduction”. Woooooooo!

        • God, don’t apologise. You’re among friends here! Meek MOR consensus politics is what got this country into this mess. The more polemic, the better. It’s one of the things the void is here for: a support network. Anyone not agreeing with your sentiments has no business even being on this site!

  16. Of course government ministers insist that unemployment is caused by unemployed people; they’re hardly going to tell braindead tabloid readers that it’s the economic system that requires a reserve army of labour (a.k.a., us) for capitalism to function profitably.

    What is depressing is that so many of the working class, many trapped in shite dead-end jobs, struggling to survive on the minimum wage or, even worse, on iniquitous zero hours contracts, are prepared to swallow this deceitful propaganda wholesale and join in the scapegoating of their own class. And, yes, some of the worst exponents of this shameful behaviour are to be found sitting behind desks at your local jobcentre plus.

    • The British Working Class, eh? What a bunch of saps! If turbo-consumerism and endless credit to indulge in it hadn’t come along about 15 years ago, they might not have taken their eye off the political ball. If they’d stood up for themselves and their shrinking wages (the money they actually had in real life), instead of withdrawing into a fantasy world of bogus self-gratification, they wouldn’t be looking at the unemployed with envy cos the incomes of the two wouldn’t be in the same ballpark as they are now. (To paraphrase US comedian George Carlin, “That’s why they call it Living The Dream – you have to be asleep to enjoy it!”) If they hadn’t been suckered into getting up to the eyeballs in debt they could never repay, they wouldn’t feel like the resentful wage-slaves they are now. If the Tory/tabloid propaganda hadn’t done such a bang-up job on such a punchdrunk people, those people wouldn’t now be mimicking their masters’ hatred. If they weren’t such a lot of Stockholm Syndrome victims, they’d be turning their anger and self-hatred back whence it came, instead of doing the state’s Divide & Conquer dirty work for them. They’d be storming the gates of Downing St., rather than having to be DWP collaborators (against their own kind) and taking a job at Jobcentre Plus. But they sold out each step of the way. Really, they only have themselves to blame…

      • timfrom, why all the faffing around & word-mincing? Just say what you feel. (The ghost of) George Carlin might want to quote you someday.

        This synopsis of the situation seems unarguable-with, if … just ever so slightly … harsh (?). But on the other hand … then again … oy vey.

      • overburdenddonkey

        timfrom…your snap shot may seem right, but in context it is rubbish..credit offered fake money, for sure..but the voice of the working class was removed by that time….1979> spelt the end of union power..and the rise of the power of the markets, and money became god!

      • Was just thinking about what got us into the financial trouble and a thought occurred to me : Bankers in the 1920’s and 30’s threw themselves out of windows when they screwed up but these days they throw the rest of us out the window instead.

  17. Ticking the box to allow access to your Universal Jobmatch is virtually mandatory anyway. If you don’t allow it then you have to take a written record of your job search and copies of any applications which you have made etc. I do both just to shut the bastards up! I also take copies of any replies I get. Needless to say there’s not much paperwork involved in the latter!!

    • You can show them your phone. They can’t dictate how you show them evidence it says so in their own rule book.

      If that box is made mandatory (i.e removed) I shall demand to use their IAD’s and only theirs so they’d better get spending lots of money on buying and installing plenty of them.

      If it was mandatory btw there would be no box to tick so call their bluff and challenge them in court if necessary.

    • Ticking the box is not mandatory yet as their own regulations confirm.
      They are doing their hardest to fool people regarding privacy and data protection principles.Ids and his merry men will have to change the law on this to be able to allow people to allow cookies to be placed on their personal computers,as yet Eu law says they cant.So their stuffed here.That do-sent stop them insisting on this though.These are their own regs below regarding universal job crap .Hope this helps someone.
      DWP access to account. This is required so we do not keep asking the
      claimant each time they attend at the office.
      50. When the claimant has created a profile and public CV, you must also
      agree with them and record within the What I will do to identify and apply
      for jobs part of the Jobseeker’s Agreement how often the claimant will
      check their UJ account for jobs. In doing so, for those claimants using the
      DWP IAD, take into account all of their circumstances including:
       the availability of IADs;
       the ability of the claimant to get into the Jobcentre on a regular basis
      (for example their childcare/caring responsibilities or other restrictions
      agreed on their Jobseeker’s Agreement. If the claimant has childcare
      responsibilities, you must make clear to the claimant that they do not
      need to make any extra childcare arrangements, i.e. they will only be
      required to use a DWP IAD during periods covered by existing
      childcare arrangements); and
       claimants are entitled to travel cost reimbursement for appointments
      outside their normal signing arrangements.
      Issuing a Jobseeker’s Direction to mandate JSA claimants to
      create a profile and public CV in Universal Jobmatch
      51. Where you have explained the benefits to claimants of creating a profile
      and public CV in Universal Jobmatch and they will not do so willingly, they
      can be mandated to create a profile and public CV.
      52. However, for legal reasons, you cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to
      mandate a claimant to create a profile and public CV unless a DWP IAD
      service is reasonably available to them should they need to use one – for
      example, because they do not want to accept cookies and therefore need
      to have access to a device on which cookies have already been accepted.
      53. You also cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to mandate a claimant to
      give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.
      What to consider before issuing a Direction .

  18. Hoban spouts shite. People can’t get jobs that just aren’t there. Also, instead of sending people on a ‘Work Programme’ which largely consists of them being babysat while they search for jobs on the internet, the money should be spent on enabling them to improve their prospects (ie by gaining qualifications and doing vocational training). Message to the Government: stop throwing millions of pounds of public money at A4e, Seetec, G4S and co for doing SFA!

  19. Hoban…yer a wank.

  20. Pingback: Government Announces New Unemployment Hit Squads

  21. Andrew Coates

    Good news, but as a number of us have been blogging (Ipswich Unemployed Action), the government intends now to make anyone ‘graduating’ from the Work Programme suffer a living hell.
    http://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/work-programme-leavers-face-more-misery-bullying-and-sanctions-new-government-press-release/

  22. This government really need to wake up and smell the coffee, blair and the Tories have destroyed manufacturing years back, and now this country is floating on a pile of debt, a wing and a prayer.The best is yet to come watch this space. Euro figures out today on the current state of unemployment confirm this.

  23. About six weeks ago I went to routinely sign on and the guy behind the desk who I see every two weeks said to me “You’ve got until the end of August.” and that’s all he said. I went home thinking whats he on about, then realised the work programme la la I’m on ends after two years this September. Get’s me thinking the guy was giving me a hint – hassle is heading my way. Reading about the ‘Hit Squad’ looks like their gonna be on your back saying “Why have you not taken this shit job?”
    People fought two worlds was for freedom and look where we are heading with ‘Hit Squads’. I’m convinced the Tories are evil.

    • If you can find a job great, if you can’t you can’t. Instilling fear into people is their dirty horrible grubby tactic which you shouldn’t succumb to. Be confident take each step as it comes and be prepared to fight them all the way ie challenge them. This country’s laws are after all based on fairness. This shower will pay the price at the next election I’m sure.

      • I am right with you. They are taking the piss out of people left right and center. Don’t let them if you can help it. The only reason people dont seriously drag them to court is because of the sanction fear,if this was lifted,people would have a field day wit the dwp and jc.

  24. Rosemarie Harris

    Well whatever they do,Bring it on! No point in being shit scared lets enprace it! I for one will do what ever needs to be done as we can’t say no there are more ways to skin a cat. We need to wait and see what this is all about and work from there ,we have got this far and with each of us we have the answers we just need to keep each each other informed on this site.So we can fiquire the best way forward. They are doing this because we are winning the fight,one after the other. Don’t anyone out there lose hope keep fighting(quietly)! We are many, they are few bastards.

    • Yep. To hell with them. I’ll just jump through as many hoops as they ask me to and be as uncooperative as possible without getting myself into trouble. Let them do their worst. I mean how many times can they demand to see me every week with so many people to deal with? How many times can they make me do one month’s mandated work activity in a year? To hell with them! Never say die!

    • Well said! although id say their are a lot of bastards.lol

  25. good news. now we need the 4week
    mandatory work activity scrapped.
    am soon coming off the two year
    work program so was wary of having
    to do the 4 week mwa.
    saw in the independant two days ago
    an article on councils and housing
    associations across the uk reclassifying
    peoples spare rooms as studies,box rooms,
    etc to avoid the bedroom tax..this has
    happened in places like leeds,liverpool,
    edinburgh,birmingham etc. wish our
    housing association here in manchester
    would follow suit.

    • Labas, i wish my HA in the Wirral would reclassify as well, bastards wont though, they said it would affect their income, how stupid is that, their income is affected, because people cannot afford to pay the fucking bedroom tax, myself included

  26. simple give the company’s taking on those unemployed more then 2 years a 50% tax break on that person if that person is employed over a year.
    then give the person 100% tax break for 3 months, 75% for 6 month and 50% for 1 year. you don’t need company’s too manage it. make it pay for company’s to give long term unemployed chances, and incentives too the unemployed, you will save tax payers money and find more people moving into work.

    • That would involve tax payers money going to people not sessessarily approved of by this government,and that would never do.

    • Another Fine Mess

      spepper
      I agree with the ideas to make long term more attractive to employers, but it doesn’t save any taxpayers money, it just leaves ‘a different person’ on unemployment benefits somewhere else.
      The only way to save tax payers money would be to (coming soon!) cancel the Waste Programme – preferably yesterday.

  27. “We’ll be stepping up the pressure on claimants, who will be expected to attend the Jobcentre more frequently, with rigorous monitoring to ensure they are doing everything they can to find work.”

    this is a bloody cheek.A4e turning their back on disabled claimants,rude staff”what are you doing here have you got an appointment”,given a hostile atmosphere,missed appointments that weren’t to start,turning point turning their back because they made no money,leaving people without any support and the job centre are/now taking out on them not A4e.

    mark hoban should be held fully accountable for this shambles,he isn’t.the talk of “trip wires” and now “hit squads” are an attempt to bully and intimidate.certainly ian duncan smith has tripped over a few of his own on the former.the numbers coming off the work programme in the next few weeks must be huge as everyone was thrown on to this at the time.

  28. My friend is on the work program with working links> He recently got a work trial off his own back and managed to get them to buy him some interview clothes and pay for his travel fares to get to work and back.

    Unfortunately he wasn’t successful with the work trial as there was over 350 people in the trial for 5 jobs. Working links were fully aware this was a trial. However he went back on the work program and they have been really shitty and rude to him.

    They have said they have spent such a lot of money on him and he should have kept the job. They have told him they are mandating him to the jobsearch scheme and he will have to apply for 9 jobs a week and they want him to show them everything he applies for.

    Only problem he has is he is now homeless and has never used a pc in his life. When he told the advisor she laughed and said they didn’t believe him as everyone can use a computer nowadays. The adviser then said she would put him on a course which he thought would be a basic computer course but no it was a basic gardening and keeping chickens course.

    I wonder if anyone could tell me if she can legally mandate him to do this jobsearch thing if he cannot use a computer and has no access to one as the local library was shut down last year.

  29. I have a pal who ends his two years work programme in early June. I am informed by him, that he will have to go to the jobcenter once a week now, instead of every two weeks. As far as “ticking the box” is concerned, I was told that only relates to them being able to check how often you have logged into their website only. It does not allow them to check your e-mail system or general computer use, etc. Regards “public online C.V,s” they ask you to do that so ….get this.potential employers can check it out. Tell me folks…how many employers are into trawling through ppl’s onlne CVs to look for staff? they threaten ppl with sanctions if they don’t comply.

    • I’m fairly sure I read (from their rulebook) that ticking the box allows them to see your account as you see it i.e everything. Ticking that box you are simply making it easy for them to create problems for you so don’t do it!

    • My adviser said the same thing to me too. It must be the script they have been given.

      • DO NOT tick the box – it’s not a requirement, and it’s unlikely to ever be, as changing the Data Protection Act to allow them to make this madatory would cause huge privacy issues that wouldn’t go down well with their friends and supporters. It would also fal foul of European Human Rights legisaltion about the protection of privacy etc.

        This is not to say that they won’t try bluster and all sorts of other intimidatory tactics, they most assuredly will. Best defence is to get as informed as you can, and if they raise a sanction doubt, appeal it.

        Evidently, and this applies to Workfare providers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it referred to JCP advisors as well, but many of the MANs and JSDs are badly worded, and unclear, which goes against the DWPs own guidelines. All these kinds of mandation are required to be written in a way that is clear to everyone, i.e. there can be no question what it means – and they also have to be reasonable according to individual circumstances. Since JCP and Workfare providers are dealing with peopel who may have learning difficulties, they would be obliged to write all their mandations in a way that is unambiguous, however most seem to have difficulty in even doing this. Another factor in the favour of JCP and Workfare providers, unfortunately, is the low numbers of appeals – in other words we are letting them get away with sanctioning us. Even if we don’t win, we are still clogging up the system, and more importantly, costing them huge sums of money. You may not feel that you have much power, and that voting is a waste of time and effort, but hitting them where it really hurts is going to have a huge effect on their policies. We can make it cost them a lot of money as we do have the numbers. If all those people presently being sanctioned made an appeal I think the situation would be a lot different.

        • I wholeheartedly agree with you. Everyone sanctioned should appeal first to the DWP decision maker and then, if unsuccessful, to the independent tribunal. The tribunal can take up to a year but it is the principle here. If they are going to leave us penniless and starving the very least they are going to do is go before a tribunal and earn it! I have three times been sanctioned (stitched up I might add) and i have taken it to the extreme – the tribunal and won. They can’t be bothered (or don’t want the expense) of a legally qualified representative turning up so they send a hastily written representation. So long as you turn up with a good argument (you can see their ‘case’ beforehand) they in most instances lose. They operate this inhumane sanction regime on the basis that most claimants are ignorant or can’t be bothered. You need to abide by time limits so need to get all this information from them straight away re. how to appeal. They will not offer it to you, you have to ask. If everyone appealed they might think twice for the sake of cost if nothing else. Certainly they are not so quick to sanction me anymore.

          • You’re right – appeal every sanction attempt. I believe that at a tribunal you are entitled to request that suitable witnesses from the “other side” attend so that you can have the opportunity to cross examine them. This being the case everyone should ask that the named individual who raised the sanction doubt AND the person who signed the WP08 (may be two different people) attend.
            You may not end up questioning them (that’s up to you) but the expense of having 2 people travel to the tribunal and miss work is some recompense for the inconvenience they cause you.

        • yes..clear to all….which is the feed back of subsidiarity..and do appeal..it is your right and they must then also justify their decision in some way shape or form…they then know what one thinks, they also have minds…do nothing they think that they are right..it makes them think twice,if one uses the system and appeals, it is also a worthwhile learning curve..for many reasons!

        • Where’s the best place to register for UJM? I don’t want to do it at home becuase of all the tracking cookies and the I.P logging, a library or an internet cafe seems risky and at the sanction centre I’ll have my adviser looking over my shoulder, breathing down my neck and trying to browbeat me into ticking the box, uploading my CV and all the other stuff I do not want to do.

    • Their using this as a way of tracking cookies hence they will say you haven’t used the crap site regularly enough so here is a sanction.The whole thing stinks to hell.

      • They’ll have a job with me, should I be unfortunate enough to find myself unemployed again. I do not allow tracking cookies or third party cookies; I won’t change those privacy settings for anybody, come hell or high water and should they try to force me I’ll have it all over social media and anywhere that’ll listen.

      • My browser and a third party application also automatically deletes all cookies on close- even LSOs, better known as flash cookies. track me if you can!

  30. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Jobcentre advisers have been only too happy to get everyone signed up for the Work Programme, now all the first lot of starters from 2 years ago are about to come back to the Jobcentre and floods more after that, day after day, week after week, month after month and so on.

    For the Jobcentre – the perfect storm is about to hit them and continue hitting them for the next 5 years at least!

  31. Pingback: Government Abandons Flagship Workfare Scheme | ...

  32. A case of ramping up the rhetoric to distract from a massive policy failure, methinks. I thought they might bring in a “Work Programme Plus” but it seems they are confident that DWP “hit teams” can do the necessary. Those leaving the WP are entitled to receive a copy of the Exit Report prepared for the DWP – can they choose how to go!

  33. As i posted earlier HMRC fined several companies for scrapping miminum wage . So much for all this striver crap

  34. Sick of the whole bloody lot of this, the last 100 years or so has just been a playground for the psychopaths who really run the world. Set nation against nation, bloodshed on a horrendous scale, nuclear weapons used as an experiment killing thousands of civilians, it’s just sick. Humans really are a plague on this planet why should any of us be surprised that our so-called goverment are behaving as they are, they’re just puppets of the NWO..

  35. The Work Programme has failed. Universal Credit is doomed and will fail big time. Universal Jobmatch is useless. Workfare has failed. Every welfare reform made by the current government is failing, or has failed, with huge suffering being inflicted on millions of the innocent.

    Every one of these programmes is based on the belief that unemployed citizens are like broken toys and if they can be fixed up a little, given a coat of paint or varnish, whatever, they’ll just troop off into jobs that don’t actually exist working for employers that have no need of them or do not want them.

    But I believe much worse is to come.

    Iain Duncan Smith, David Freud, Mark Hoban et al are bare-faced liars who will never, or can never, admit to their incompetence and multiple failures. These people are vain careerists who would put legions to the sword, if they could, rather than own up to their patent inadequacies. So I expect an intensification of demonisation of benefit claimants by the government and right-wing media designed to soften the public up for even nastier treatment of claimants by the powers that be. These men will never admit to making mistakes and so will press on with the same agenda of punishing innocent, helpless people for finding themselves in terrible circumstances because of economic factors beyond their control. Rather than admit they were wrong and are wrong IDS and his crew of villains will almost certainly try to drive people into work that isn’t there by force of nastiness and threat. As we move towards the next election, desperate for some kind of measurable success, the DWP are likely to inflict even greater cruelties, to no good purpose, on legions of completely innocent people, desperate to be seen to be having some effect on something measurable like the head count of the unemployed.

    These are really bad, dishonest, and unscrupulous people.

    All we can do is to try to survive, look after each other, and wait for the world to turn, hoping that sanity and decency will one day be restored.

  36. Pingback: Government Abandons Flagship Workfare Scheme | ...

  37. Meanwhile in ireland someone wants to use anti terrorist software to monitor benefit claimants to detect fraud.

    http://ie.indymedia.org/article/101773?comment_order=desc&userlanguage=ga&save_prefs=true

    • Won’t be long till that’s happening here, if it does we should all overuse the buzzwords that’ll be highlighted, that should screw the bastards up

  38. As an utterly FED UP jobseeker, I am glad that this scheme has been scrapped. We unemployed want PROPER jobs, not useless, shallow schemes or courses that offer no real prospect of employment at the end. And I think it is disgusting the way so many employers now don’t even bother acknowledging your job application.

  39. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  40. Niece’s bf was told his JC+ advisor’s meeting was cancelled due to staff shortages because of unfilled JC vacancies. He immediately asked to be taken on saying he could start immediately. They did.

    So, give all the long term unemployed training to provide one to one advice for long term unemployed. Simples! There’ll be a flaw somewhere in my cunning plan, I’m sure.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      The flaw is that he may have to sanction you one day!

    • That sounds a great result. Unfortuantely extremely rare though I think as usually you have to go through the typical drawn out, multi-stage, application process to apply for those jobs. I am surprised they couldn’t fill those positions frankly. Cushy little number for sure.

      • Indeed, and with respect to the above poster, I don’t believe this at all.

        No way can or would the JC just hire you over the counter like you were applying to work in the Coffee Shop in Neighbours! This sort of nonsense belongs in the dustbin along with ‘get on yer bike’ and compelling people to spam their CV to everyone.

  41. Recently I was turned down for a job because I have suffered credit problems from a recent redundancy along with a utility CCJ that wasn’t my fault. I find that I am now unemployable for most jobs due to the alarming trend of employers conducting pre employment checks on jobseekers.

    Where I live, the majority of the vacancies are for customer service call centre work and 90% of these employers conduct these checks which include CRB and credit checks along with medical screening.

    It is funny that these vacancies always seem to be advertised day in and day out. I was more or less told by the HR department of a certain government company that provides loans to students that because they handle confidential data such as bank details I would have problems. And this was for a basic lowly administration assistant job merely scanning things onto a computer and opening the post. No access to money or cash involved.

    So they are implying that I am a thief and a fraudster and would be tempted to empty someones bank account just because I was made redundant and defaulted on my credit card and hp commitments due to being unemployed. You can’t pay your bills because you don’t have a job, and now you can’t get a job because you can’t pay your bills.

    The excuse that most companies use for job application credit checking is that they are governed by the FSA (now FCA) regulations. I contacted the FCA and was informed that there are no regulations to prove financial fitness for the low level positions such as customer service and admin work. The financial fitness requirements only apply to high level positions of responsibility and those qualified to give financial advice, these are known as controlled functions. Call centre and administration jobs are not classified as controlled functions. They are using the FCA as a smoke screen to their advantage by “cherry picking” prospective employees. Unfortunately, at the moment this is indirect discrimination, and they are getting away with it. Any employer who says they are bound by FCA regulations to credit check all applicants is lying.

    The odious Credit Reference Agencies are to blame for this, they peddled horror stories to employers that all jobseekers with debt problems are thieves and fraudsters to sell their grubby information to a wider audience and the employers took it hook, line and sinker.

    No wonder there are 2.5 million unemployed at the moment and I can only see it getting worse as more and more employers are starting to do these discriminatory pre employment checks. It is creating a tier of second class job applicants and it won’t be long until all jobs will be subject to this. We need to get this stopped now before it reaches that far.

    Sorry for the length of my post, but this is real and is happening on a daily basis.

  42. Bullying the helpless is all the DWP have got left.

    • I don’t agree with people bashing the DWP staff here.They have a job to do and rules to follow.
      I’ve had very few problems with Jobcentre staff in my dealings with them and on the whole they have been sympathetic and helpful …..people at work have good and bad days though in every job and a lot depends on how many obnoxious people they’ve had to deal with before you arrive.
      It’s not the people at the sharp end who deserve our attacks….it’s the people who make the laws and rules who deserve our contempt.

      • I agree, the staff and the security guards at the Jobcentre where I sign have always been courteous and polite to me. It is a case of treating people how you wish to be treated yourself. I have been told by advisors ‘off the record’ that they are as frustrated by the system as anyone else and most do go out of their way to help.

        However, I have noticed that some of my fellow job seekers have the (to coin a phrase from the previous poster) most obnoxious and appalling attitudes towards the staff and it is certainly not a job I would consider for all the tea in China with some of the abuse they get.

        The front line staff at the Jobcentre aren’t on much more than minimum wage themselves and are only following orders from the crazed nazi Duncan Smith.

        Whilst I can appreciate that some staff have problems with their attitude, it isn’t fair to tar them all with the same brush.

      • That is true and my experience also. I have experienced the odd one or two complete and utter ?#e*r’s that seem to be out to cause problems and actively enjoy it but they are the minority fortunately. It is them however (the rotten apples) that cause the distrust on the whole and create the problems for the decent staff that really do want to help….and not hinder!

        They do themselves no favours employing nasty, uncaring staff and one can always tell which are which from the vibes they give out.

      • I’m talking about DWP policy rather than Jobcentre staff. I’m talking about a policy that pretends that the unemployed are unemployed because they “choose a lifestyle” to live parasitically within society and, if they wanted to, they could be members of the “striving classes” who are “trying to get on” by “playing the game” and “doing the right thing” and that the way to “encourage” such people into the workforce is by creating a climate of fear by means of sanctions and intimidation. I’m talking about a policy that sees benefit claimants put under permanent threat of destitution by enabling the powers that be to take away their money for trivial mistakes, e.g. not applying for enough jobs one week or missing an appointment for an interview whether accidentally or not. I’m talking about a useless Work Programme that provides no real training or upskilling and that, if it works at all, only works because it is so awful people will make extra special efforts to secure paid work simply to escape for it. I’m talking about a policy which demands that unemployed people apply for at least a certain fixed number of jobs a week, even though the Jobcentre doesn’t have enough suitable notified vacancies to provide that number of referrals, whether the jobs are extant or not. I’m talking about a policy that is all stick and no carrot – bullying and punishment rather than incentives and rewards – not about Jobcentre staff forced to implement it.

      • Come on this is just not good enough.
        Ok, they aren’t all scumbags – but enough of them are to cause a problem. Those that aren’t do not speak out.
        Noone pretends that it’s easy and everyone’s afraid for the consequences, however something has got to be done. The PCS don’t seem too bothered: why are they not saying to their members ‘no more sanctions’. Surely the line in the sand has to be drawn when people are excommunicated from society and left to starve!

      • Some of the politicians are probably ‘lovely people’ (in ‘real’ life) but that’s not what’s causing the ‘difficulties’ for their fellow women/men/children. The few who are speaking out are exemplary and the rest are a huge disappointment (some more than others depending on where they have come from/what their supposed political background has been).

        • I’m sorry if I misspoke . When I said the DWP what I was really meaning was the policy makers, not ,as I assumed would be taken as read, the workers in the job centres who are forced to implement the policies enforced upon them.

      • Then they should start to do their job and follow the bloody rules for once.Obnoxious people are also on the other side of the desk.I see one every 2 wks.lol

  43. Doesn’t sound to me like they’ve abandoned workfare at all.

  44. The job centre staff are polite when they hand out sanctions , or phoning the police if you kick up a fuss about being sanctioned., so it doesn’t stop them following heir schmitz orders so are therefore as guilty.

    • They don’t hand out sanctions though, the faceless people at the DWP do. If you act reasonably they won’t phone the police so it’s really down to how well you communicate. If you fly off the handle they will call the police so tact is needed.

  45. Should IDS be sanctioned for LYING on his cv ?

    • Not really as a large part of an MP’s job description is lying to the people who elect them.

      • What about fiddling expenses ?

        • What about his, and his cronies, constant fiddling of statistics? What about the large pay rise they’re about to award themselves while everyone else suffers on none or a paltry 1%?

          It’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us. So much for the “we’re all in it together” bollocks!

          • lucozade

            they treat us as if we are caste farm labourers, who till the fields, live by the sweat of our brows, and they the wealthy medieval land owners, and it is our job to create wealth and furnish their scrumptious kindergarten..”the’re all it together”.
            that they have the divine right to rule over us…and they fiddle the stats, for our own good, coz we like it this way, the shock of knowing truth would be too much for us peasants, who are a simple people…which is machiavellian….better not to alarm the peasants with truth.. and/or treat us like like mushrooms! they do not like to be challenged….spoke back at it is all one way valve, and know your place….

    • Landless Peasant

      Sanctioned? He should be hung from the nearest lamp post.

  46. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    I have a funny feeling i will be sanctioned next signing on day for not having the government gateway account. They find a mistake on my claim from 2010, so i had to go and resign my jobseekers agreement. I think they are going to say i agreed even though the person i saw said there was no change. And other people were being asked for their gateway Been worried since friday. I stated i will only sign up under a direction, i will not be putting my cv on the site as i worry about date protection. She asked did i have my cv stored on any other site (meaning if i had it on those it would be on for the government one).

    • A friend was telling me that the JC were asking for people’s access details. I was under the impression that this was optional and you had to tick a box to allow it, that doing so was not mandatory and couldn’t be compelled. Of course that’s naivete i suppose.

      • Tell them you’ll give them your log in details when they give you their private bank account log in details They’re trying it on just as they did with me or are just ignorant of the rules.Printing off the relevant page and showing them when they start getting dictatorial stops them dead in their tracks I find.

    • You can use other sites without storing your CV publicly. As if employers are going to be trawling through these CV’s anyway. Headhunting long-term unemployed people on UJM absolute joke. Total waste of time.

    • You can not be mandated to open a Government Gateway account.
      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/jsa_government_gateway#incoming-387659
      With thanks to whatdotheyknow.com.

  47. Two bits of good news then:
    1. The scrapping of the CAP which the trailblazer showed to be ineffectual.
    and
    2. The non involvement of the pimps and therefore the removal of the profit motive.
    Of course the philosophy of “blame the unemployed” continues along with a strong punitive element but then this was to be expected. Common humanity is not one of this government’s strong points.
    I wonder what will happen if the day/week/month after being freed from the Work Pogrom a person starts a job. Will pimpo still try to claim an outcome payment?

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      You can bet they will bloody well try, however when you are due to finish the Work Programme print of a letter and address it to your Private Provider adviser or manager, requesting that they remove any and all information about you on their computer systems including all back up files.

      Include in the letter that you require them to send you a confomation letter that this has been done.

      This is your lawful right and as you won’t be with them anymore they must comply.

      • Sorry Obi – you’re wrong. They will cite their contract with the ESF which requires them to keep their records (including everything they have on you) for 10 years.

  48. about this ujm ticking box can theymake you or what im a bit worried

  49. JD

    why should the unemployed be tactful when they have had their only means of support taken away from them? people like you make me laugh, you’ve probably never been sanctioned, or if you had probably had other means of support, perhaps you work in the job centre and don’t want anyone challenging the fact you carried out dwp orders and sanctioned someone?
    Tact is the last thing you are thinking about when your facing starvation and homelessness, and don’t tell me there are food banks. There is enough money to pay the unemployed too without resorting to utter daylight robbery and cruelty towards the sick and unemployed.

  50. what if they say that i have to when i come of work programme ?? do i go to citizens advice or something

  51. ok cheers

  52. Off subject a little Nadine Dorries on tv this morning. Cringeworthy! Detest the woman absolute air-head!.

    • Nadine Dorries, being outside the cabinet, has got to be a prime candidate for being part of the love tryst reported in the Mail On Sunday that’s got Cameron so worried…

  53. More crap from yet another snotty tory wanker, where in the name of sanity do they find these arseholes? – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-richest-mp-richard-benyon-1855405

    • kittycat 58….i’d consider myself rich if i had food to throw away…they speak from the completely opposite spectrum of truth…we count beans to survive, knowing how vital food is to ones health…food waste is definitely a feature of his class…so he projects his attitude to food waste onto those who cannot afford to waste food, as if we are like him…still if we run out of food, we can always eat cake!

      • The peasants are revolting!

        • Iain Duncan Smith

          I agree, the peasants are quite revolting. The way they look, the way they talk, the hovels they live in, the food they eat, ugh, makes one feel nauseous just thinking about them. My revolutionary new Universal Credit system will change their behaviours and turn them into hardworking, responsible, respectable members of society.

    • Is he suggesting ALL families taken as a whole waste on average £50 of food per month or that that’s the average among poor families? This is mealy-mouthed stuff and sounds like their next step will be abolishing food banks, as they’d be unnecessary if the poor managed their fridges better

      • I’d love to know how these chinless wonders can just pull figures out of their arses and tout them as facts!
        If you’re on £71 a week / approx £282 a month then how exactly do we manage to throw away £50 a month in wasted food?
        This may be,and probably is, the fact for well off families but anyone on such low income learn early that we can’t afford to be careless with food or heating.I for one buy big packs of meat and make enough to eat and freeze 5 or 6 meals worth to help eke out our budgets.
        On top of everything else they never comment about how infrequently the likes of myself buy clothes,bedding etc etc because we just can’t afford or justify buying things like this unless they are worn out.
        I notice that IDS hasn’t decided to prove his claim that he could live on benefits comfortably and the media and social groups seem to have let him off the hook on that whole bullshit lie.What I wanted was for him to live on that with NO help from family and friends for at least a year and see if he still sings the same tune…..obviously he’d lie and cheat to maintain his same lifestyle or he’d be unable to maintain that boast. More BS from Tories,anyone remember Douglas (I drank 15 pints every night as a teenager) Hague?
        I know I’m preaching to the choir but at least I feel better for venting my spleen, especially as I feel I’m venting it at the people who deserve it rather than those least able to defend themselves.

  54. Murray – sadly we’re not

  55. sal…….but we should be.

  56. Even worse than Nadine Dorris was the Times’ Isabel Oakshott the relative of you know who in the policy unit, wants politicians to have a substantial pay rise if they forfeit their outside interests, what’s wrong is their outside interests drying up now this government has given the rich as much as possible from the public purse?

    The fact that they have outside interests should bar them from standing for parliament in the first place, especially as they are sitting out of any parliamentary debates because of their financial interests elsewhere which doesn’t make for a proficient parliamentarian.

    • I dont think there are any MPs that dont have any outside interests,so it would make a very bleak house of commons if they were all to be barred because of it.

    • Apparently she thinks disabled people should be barred from using twitter.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/01/twitter-benefit-cheat-nadine-dorries

      Whats even worse to me (if that’s possible) than the usual out of touch tory toffs is someone like her who doesn’t belong there (apparently from a council estate – or even wanted there for that matter) no brain, no class, nothing. Just there because she’s a woman with blonde hair. Rant over!

    • I wonder why people in most jobs have to clock in and out and get paid by the hours they work and penalised for hours they miss but MP’s don’t?
      I know many will say they’re always being an MP even when they’re not sitting in parliament or surgery etc but if this was true then surely they wouldn’t be able to have 2 or 3 other jobs as board members as there just wouldn’t be enough hours in the week.
      Pay them £100k a year and lose anything extra they earn above that…..same as the unemployed,if you earn anything above that amount then have it deducted from “benefit” payments.

  57. Pingback: Media and Policy News: 31 May 2013

  58. Murray

    Your right about most having vested interests outside of parliament but it would be much preferable to have politicians that are interested more in the people and politics than in business and feathering their nests. It is possible to see being a politician as enough of a career and the pay is adequate to sustain a decent lifestyle too, to say otherwise is an insult to those who slave away for minimum wages.

  59. Sorry to leapfrog back in the discussion, but I agree that although the rhetoric is very toxic, and I’m sure we’re going to get a lot of harrassment, this still looks like a lot of waffle. Is 30 million really going to pay for 5 hit squad advisors for every jobcentre in the country? And checking up on who we apply to is easier said than done. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what they do with us when the Community Action Programme has finished and we’re still all unemployed.

    • The above comment is not mine the original(no leapfrogging back in) . Check the coloured tag on the right – rather stupid!

  60. The word airhead springs back to mind for some reason!!!

    • Sorry, that was my mistake. First time I’ve ever commented on a blog and didn’t realise you could reply to each comment. Should have read the instructions a bit more closely. Still, always nice to get a bit of abuse and be called an airhead for a simple mistake.

  61. Where I live our local MP said he had two people approach him who had been sanctioned for being 5 minutes late for an appointment. Reason for being late – they had just been for job interviews that had been set up by Jobcentre staff! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Anyway, I’m armed & ready should sanctions ever hit me. I know of two places where I can get food/and or meal from so far. By the end of the year there will probably be a dozen such places in operation.

    • Sam this is so sad that we have become almost a third world nation (at least as far as the poor are concerned) and the news seems pre-occupied with our supposed representatives concern with sending aid to far distant nations that we have really no obligation at all. I am not saying we should not help those people but it cannot be right that we are treated as la ower priority to them surely.

  62. The DWP have now amended this news release. It now reads:

    “Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching. This will allow their adviser to check their work search activity online should the claimant give permission.”

    • Thanks for drawing attention to the amendment. I will be a WP returner in October and the previous statement about having to give them access to your account had me worried. I have a UJM account but don’t bother to log on as it can take anything between 5 – 20 minutes to load athe page. So I just end up doing an anonymous search instead. And when I am able to log on, it sends me alerts for jobs that are over a hundred miles away – it would be hilarious if the consequences weren’t so damn serious.

  63. Could anyone let me know why my comment from yesterday wasn’t published please?

  64. Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching. This will allow their adviser to check their work search activity online SHOULD THE CLAIMENT GIVE PERMISSION.

    • also my freedom of information says the same thing SHOULD THE CLAIMENT GIVE PERMISSION.

      Access to a claimant’s Universal Jobmatch account is only available to DWP staff once they have given their consent; this is on a voluntary basis.

      that’s there responce to the release about the programme returners

      So nothing will change bar advisors perhaps putting pressure on claimants to tick the box

  65. Is English your first language, Mr. Bags, or are you on drugs?

    • Or maybe dyslexic, poorly educated or many other reasons other than your suggestions.

      • Unlikely. Well, can YOU make head or tail of it? From your comment of June 14 below, you take it to be advertising. Now you say they could be dyslexic or poorly educated. Which is it? It reads like spam and the fact it’s not listed here in this thread even though we got comment bulletin about it would support that angle. Maybe the void’s spam filters need fortifying against DWP hacks…

        • Oh, I see from another thread (Don’t ask me about benefits, I don’t understand them, admits Hoban) that you were aware of the hacks last Friday (14th). Fair play…

  66. Pingback: The Work Programme: Is It The End? | the void

  67. Pingback: The Work Programme: Is It The End?

  68. Pingback: The Spirit Of The Workhouse Is Alive And Well In Tory Britain | the void

  69. Pingback: Tax Payer’s Alliance Workfare Plans Are Swivel-Eyed Pie in the Sky | the void

  70. Are we serious;y suggesting that two years unemployed is even possible without turning down available job or retaining? In two years you can qualify for endless trades and set-up your own business. My grandparents got up every morning at 4am, bought fruit and veg from the wholesalers and sold it around their village. I do not accept that anybody can be unemployed for ywo years without it being their own choice.

  71. Pingback: Hate on the Dole: George Osborne to Make Unemployed “pick up littter.” | Tendance Coatesy

  72. I the one person that A4e does not like me because
    I applyed for a job on their recuitment website on the terms of my employable status which they refused to give me a paid job in being a Work Programme Advicer as this was a partime position
    within this sector, this A4e Corporate is Sambles from day one by providing no real services for adults born with long-term medical conditions within the uk ,this Evil Nazi Regime will drive the uk
    into 25 years of debt with no recovery at the end of
    barbric road to hell.

  73. Pingback: Media & Policy News: 31 May 2013

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