There Is No Such Thing As A Fair Benefit Sanction And They Are Not A Tory Invention

sanction-deaths

A pregnant women who was sanctioned in disguise at a recent protest so Jobcentre staff don’t recognise her. From The Poor Side Of Life

Iain Duncan Smith’s mass use of benefit sanctions is driving people to their deaths.  But it began under Labour, and was not opposed by most trade unions or charities established to support people living in poverty.

In 2008 the Labour government published a green paper entitled ‘No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility’ (PDF).  Gordon Brown himself wrote the forward to the document pledging “tough responsibilities that respect tax payers” for all of those on some form of out of work benefit.

Even for a Government which had already introduced workfare and the despised Work Capability Assessment, some of the measures proposed were shocking.  These included mandatory work related activity – a vague term that often means workfare – for both sick and disabled claimants and lone parents with children over 5.  Other proposals included a policy that long term unemployed people should be sent on workfare for “as long as needed”.  Those with a drug problem would be required to undertake mandatory treatment regimes and possibly even drug testing.  Benefit sanctions would be strengthened. A new and privatised ‘Fit For Work’ service would be introduced to encourage people to go back to work quickly if they became ill.  And all those currently claiming sickness or disability benefits would be ‘frequently’ re-assessed at the notorious Work Capability Assessments which were being run by French IT company Atos.

Atos were far from the only private company set to rake in huge sums from Labour’s savage attack on the poor.  The green paper proposed that private providers would be able to bid for any welfare-to-work service.  This was based on a recommendation from David Freud, now better known as Lord Fraud, the current Tory Minister for Welfare Reform.

Except for mandatory treatment for drug users, all of these measure were eventually introduced, some by Labour and some by the Tories.  Many of Iain Duncan Smith’s most vicious policies were actually first proposed by Labour.

The consequences of Labour’s welfare reforms were devastating. 52,399 benefit sanctions were inflicted on Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in March 2010.  This was twice the number from just two years earlier and more than the 51,142 sanctions handed out by the Tories in September 2014, the most recent month for which figures are available. 

In March 2010 the number of people on sickness benefits who had their benefits stopped for failure to carry out ‘work related activity’ hit a high of 3,673.  This is just slightly below the 3,828 sanctions handed out to this group in September 2014.

To hear the current rhetoric from the TUC, you would think that mass benefit sanctions were a Tory invention.  TUC General Secretary Frances O-Grady recently released a statement saying “Under this government the sanctions system has become a cruel maze in which it is all too easy for claimants to lose cash for minor breaches of rules and random decisions.”  This was in response to a report showing the desperate toll that sanctions were taking on lone parents and most importantly their children,  As far back as 2008 the government’s own experts, the Social Security Advisory Committee, recommended that lone parents should not face sanctions.  The Labour government rejected this advice (PDF).

The TUC’s position is that some sanctions are acceptable.  Most charities share the same view.  The Labour Party have merely said there will be no targets for sanctions should they win the election.  Iain Duncan Smith already claims there are no benefit sanction targets.

Yet again this week coroners found that benefit stoppages had been a factor in two tragic suicides.  Leaving someone with no income at all, in one of the richest countries in the world, is inexcusable and inhumane.  To do this to people who can’t find a job, when we know there are not enough jobs to go round, is dystopian.  In the UK today, if you are poor, then you live under a regime of state inflicted terror.

Jobcentres have no idea what is going on in people’s lives when these sanctions are handed out.  They often do not know if someone has a mental health condition, or if they are homeless, a victim of domestic violence, or even just in the midst of a personal crisis.  Perhaps they are already desperately trying to avoid eviction by paying off rent arrears out of meagre benefits.   Perhaps they are about to have their gas or electricity disconnected.  Benefit claimants are already desperately poor.  No matter how ‘fair’ or ‘proportionate’ sanctions are claimed to be, no matter how many so-called safeguards are introduced (and ignored), benefit sanctions will always destroy lives.  For a small few they will be the tipping point that turns this so-called ‘help’ from the Jobcentre into a potential death sentence.

This is what the TUC and some charities support and it is fucking vile.  Benefit sanctions need to be stopped without exceptions.  It is way beyond time that those leading the trade union movement, and those in charities that claim to care about people in poverty, were brave enough to take a meaningful stand against the horrifying regime inflicted on those unable to find work.  Their current whining from the sidelines is both incoherent and ineffective.  Their cowardice makes them complicit in killing people.

On the 19th March the community section of UNITE Union will be holding a day of action against sanctions.  This will include protests outside Jobcentres across the UK.  Many have been organised by unemployed people themselves and they deserve support.  But even UNITE have doggedly refused to answer the question of whether they are opposed to all sanctions.

The PCS Union, who represent Jobcentre workers, have  commited to this position, although they refuse to do anything much about it.  Both UNITE and the PCS should be ferociously lobbying the TUC leadership to take an urgent stand against all benefit sanctions.  It is the very least they can do after all.  Now these sanctions can also be inflicted on low paid part time workers.  A trade union movement that doesn’t just tolerate this cruelty, but endorses it in some circumstances is worse than negligent.  It is a trade union movement that is actively attacking the very poorest working class people.  And for that the TUC leadership should hang their fucking heads in shame.

For a list of the protests called so far as part of UNITE’s day of action against sanctions visit their website.  Please help spread the word.

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131 responses to “There Is No Such Thing As A Fair Benefit Sanction And They Are Not A Tory Invention

  1. I find your Blogs very unique & often if not always very illuminating. You think outside the box which I personally find very stimulating.

  2. “Meanwhile a BBC Wales opinion poll suggests that almost half of Welsh voters believe that the UK government is not being tough enough towards people on benefits and more should be done to force them into work.
    The annual St David’s Day poll, carried out by ICM, found that 45% of those questioned thought that the Westminster coalition government was not being tough enough towards people on benefits.”

    Wtf is going on there?

    • year old poll that shows more people actually thought the system was ‘about right’ or too tough

      • @Johnny void so who wrote that crap.? Can we guess?
        Ah yes that arbiter of neutrality in news reporting the good ole Aunty beeb

        • You also have to remember that Wales is, by and large mainstream Labour, and quite happy to regurgitate the standard Labour crap, i.e, that sanctions are neccessary. In some areas, most notably the North Wales coast and some areas of West Wales, large numbers of Daily Mail reading types have migrated there, a significant proportion of whom as part of a ‘white flight’ from areas with significant numbers of people with a different skin colour. Amazingly, these people often seem blissfully unaware of the irony apparent when they talk about how terrible immigration is! They often have some pretty obnoxious attitudes to local people, particularly if they have the audacity to speak their own language (Welsh) within earshot.

          However, generally you will find that attitudes towards the unemployed and benefit claimants in general reflects UK wide trends, despite the existence of Plaid Cymru, whose tendency to buck the trend on this largely falls on deaf ears.

  3. Gordon Brown was the nail in Labours coffin. Left wing to what ring wing to what all getting their wings clipped so they can`t understand real life. Stand up tell it like it is all trying to control the main mass media in a social networking election campaign with £50,000 a year jobs working on Twitter spreading the propaganda to the masses. Not a long term job then !!! Who ever wins still have the Maximus contract until 2018 & will have to buy out the contract from Maximus. That also includes ATOS & Capita & many others. They can`t afford it. Corporate business not poll a tricks runs the future. The recession is only going to get worse & will be still in it in 2040. Denial Factories in business. Confidence Tricksters in politics.

  4. Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs and commented:
    if the government wants 100% employment including the ill, disabled and dying, mothers with young children, the elderly who have had their retirement ages put back, every migrant, the young and homeless – fine. When an applicant goes to a Job Centre and the Job Centre can’t find a job to match the applicant – they should pay up and that should be the end of it. It is the government’s actions that have contributed to the shortage in jobs, undermining our industries, loading small and medium sized businesses with red tape, complicit in off- shoring jobs, and simultaneously increasing the population. The job shortage is completely the government’s responsibility. The only people we should vote for are anyone who will guarantee the provision of good, secure conditions, living wage jobs for 100% of the population, and with virtually open borders everyone else who arrives here. It is not the fault of the elderly, sick, disabled, young, mothers and other unemployed that there aren’t enough jobs. It is the governments fault, their responsibility, and scapegoating everyone else is a disgusting political tactic to mask their enormous failure.

    • That Red Tape that businesses are weighed down with is there for us, not them, it theoretically stops us being forced on 18 hour days and protects us from unsafe practices…

      • The key word is “theory”. There is no protection from zero hours contracts. Besides we were protected from 18 hour working days decades ago. Now people are doing two or more jobs just to make ends meet. in my last job a co-worker was doing two full-time jobs just to pay his living expenses (London) – an eighty hour week, and both employers working him to the minute.

  5. The Labour Party and the Trade Union movement in the UK, has been a complete failure for ordinary people, since Labour was first elected to Government. Even the introduction of the Welfare State and the NHS, there were Labour MPs, like Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn fighting against its establishment. They did not introduce worker committees to the workplace, or rid themselves of the poor managers, who were part of the problems in the UK. We had some of the poorest quality housing in the UK, poor working practices, poor quality food and poor education. Though, cosmetically, things have been improved, it is all ‘The Emperor’s Clothe’s’, we are really a Third World Country.

  6. The DWP have set Maximus Targets. The DWP don`t have targets Maximus do. Yet the responsibility lies with the DWP. Maximus still get paid £580 Million for the 3 year contract. So DWP`s targets have now been passed over to Maximus. The politics involved means no blame on the DWP. Yet the Welfare System wants everyone working which is a target in itself. The DWP Target Mal-Practice

  7. Policy
    Creating a fairer and more equal society
    Gov.uk
    First published: 4 November 2010
    Last updated:18 August 2014

    The social model of disability

    We encourage the use of the social model as a way of understanding disability. It says that disability is created by barriers in society.

    The barriers generally fall into 3 categories:
    •the environment – including inaccessible buildings and services
    •people’s attitudes – stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice
    •organisations – inflexible policies, practices and procedures

    What is the medical model of disability?

    Many people think that disability is caused by an individual’s health condition or impairment. This approach is called the medical model of disability.

    The medical model says that by fixing their body, disabled people will be able to participate in society like everyone else. This is an outdated model that is not supported by disabled people or their organisations

    Why use the social model of disability?

    Using the social model helps identify solutions to the barriers disabled people experience. It encourages the removal of these barriers within society, or the reduction of their effects, rather than trying to fix an individual’s impairment or health condition.

    The social model is the preferred model for disabled people and encourages society to be more inclusive.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/creating-a-fairer-and-more-equal-society/supporting-pages/the-social-model-of-disability

  8. STOP SANCTIONS!. Via 38 Degrees. Please sign and Share.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk#
    This petition was originally posted by JV, see here:
    https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/benefit-sanctions-are-state-terrorism-and-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions/
    A long running petition that is still gaining signatures.
    Thank You.

  9. Found this abstract from University of Salford dating 2004. it refers to growing welfare conditionality: notably the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

    http://usir.salford.ac.uk/12778/2/CREEPING_CONDTIONALITY.pdf

  10. Meanwhile, a bit of “light entertainment”.
    The following links were from 5 years ago. Nothing has changed really.


    Enjoy!.

  11. Does it matter who started this whole “Sanctioning Regime?”.
    The big question has to be, WHO WILL STOP IT, which Party?.
    Any answers??????

    • Quite right. The duping of government(s) by the Unum / Atos crap about work being good for everyone, and so everyone can work must be dumped. The potential for good, assistance when unable to work, and when able to be helped with tailored training, active support in the work place (which I benefited from when I could work), enforcement of disability and other discrimination in society and the workplace, has been completely corrupted by what can only be described as the legions of hell (and I’m not religious).

      We must hold our election candidates to account. We must make it a major issue in the coming weeks. The problem is that there are so many different routes created by this government for enforcing financial hardship and servitude that a single issue – such as sanctions – has difficulty being heard. The question is also – is the issue of sanctions separate from this war on the vulnerable and the poor, or it is just the end game for those determined to harass us to death?

    • Ah there is a cunning plan B, with the basic information coming from the excellent Benefits and Work website.

      There is a way to put together a way that utterly changes Labour and shuts the Tories and UKIP out of ruling government, in the lowest voter turnout in UK history (best for small parties to make good gains).

      The poor now outnumber all other voters in many years, of all ages, in or out of work.

      See how the poor have never had so much power to effect change:
      http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    • I think it does matter because when you look at the Labour party and what they used to represent and then look at them when Blair took them on the road to ruin, then you see them for the frauds that they truly are.

      There were already warning signs before when spineless Neil Kinnock refused to align the party shoulder to shoulder with the N.U.M and Arthur Scargill. We could have broken Thatcher and her government, but because the leadership were total wimps they sold out on us all.

      That was the true beginning of the end. Once the miners union was broken then the other unions were easy pickings. Which brings us to the sorry excuses for unions we have today; like the PCS for example.

      So the groundwork was laid for the party being taken in the wrong direction and then Blair totally killed it.

  12. Reblogged this on L8in.

  13. Atos Healthcare | PIP Consultation | What To Bring With You
    Published on 8 Jan 2015

    This video tells you what to bring with you, if you are having a consultation as part of an assessment for your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim,

    ATOS are still around doing the PIP. Turn off the fucking music I can`t hear a word.

  14. Pimp My Atos – Pimp My Maximus – Pimp My Election – It`s the social model of confidence tricksters.

  15. The present ferocity of sanctions is a tory invention. Just as the present, not fit for purpose, WCA is. That Labour started it is meaningless w/out context. Its lazy and disingenuous. Foodbanks existed under Labour too, 30,000 ppl were using them. One million use them now. Not even remotely the same thing

    • Sanctions under Labour were also much shorter e.g. half a day’s money, not the present 4 weeks minimum. It is redundant now to rake over the Bliar years, we all know his Nu Labour was just neo-con. But there were some good things done under Labour too, like funding the NHS, but it’s overshadowed by so much of the bad stuff, which hurt Labour supporters at the time, too. Unum and ATos were slithering around the UK before (nu) Labour’s election. IDS has re-engineered the WCA until he got what he wanted – an indiscriminate, punitive and damaging system of oppression and culling of the vulnerable. That is nowhere near what happened under Labour. We have to face up to past mistakes, but Labour are not responsible for what IDS has done. And Labour now is not NuLabour, despite the occasional slither from the Bliar faithful.

    • It was Labour under Gordon Brown who introdced the present system, which allowed the tories to make use of it as they have done, tories being tories. Things such as ATOS, Bedroom Tax, etc, all began life under Labour. Folks who found themselves going off on the sick from work, and then sending in sick note, etc to DWP found they had to pay for their prescriptions, even though they were only getting the same amount as anyone on JSA.
      After a certain number of weeks, the JSA levels would rise, at first by a few pounds then by as much as 10 or 20 or even 50….but, they then had to pay extra towards their Council Tax and rent payments, as they were deemed to be getting above JSA levels. That affected anyone who had to sign for sickness benefits after July 2006. That proved quire a devastating system for those finding out the owed hundreds to the housing costs, as it would take the local councils several months to work out how much was due.
      That is what Labour done for the peasants!
      Labour MPs were made well aware of these difficulties and done nothing to redress the problems. Their answer to all this?….Promise to be tougher than the tories on the unemployed…and take ALL BENEFITS from everyone under 21.
      That is why Labour are in freefall at the moment.
      I never cease to point out that it was Labouor that created this system. The tories have simply expanded on it.
      Any wonder then, this has been the most inept and useless Opposition’s ever!

  16. Labour got voted out before the impact of their welfare reforms was really felt. Iain Duncan Smith carried on where they left off.

    • Same boss over Liam Byrne, as IDS, dont forget –
      Turncoat and conveniently bought for cash & peerage David Fraud.
      If anything i’d say Byrne was worse than IDS. And Freud was and always will be a useless oxygen thieving cumstain

    • Yes Labour was being manipulated by Unum etc (just as every government has been since Maggie employed them), nobody is denying that. However it was the Tories that originally gave them the foot in the door.

      It was the Tories that allowed them to be influential policy advisor’s to Civil Servants, thus outside the process of who is in parliament.

      I will remind you that the WCA has not actually been implemented as intended by Labour. The current process as of the Social Security Act 2010, is a complete bastardisation of the original legislation.

      Labour took in to account existing legislation, in which the only way an existing award of benefit can be amended/terminated is via a supersession (Social Security Act 1998). This is why the Social Security Act 2008 reads (to paraphrase) that an existing award of qualifiying benefit, is proof of limited capability for work.

      In this manner, although technically still unlawful (just like all other changes in like for like benefits since 1998), a supersession could be carried out on the basis of as near like for like swap in benefit awards.

      The SSA 2010 however illegally removes this, requiring claimants to apply for a new benefit, and terminating the existing award without supersession.

      A £50Billion+ fraud by the DWP, in which existing claimants have remained entitled for all this time to their pre-existing award of benefit.

      An issue that IDS, DWP and the Government are fighting tooth an nail to keep out of the courtroom.

      They have even resorted to falsifying evidence and manipulating the outcomes of 2 tribunals as well as preventing any investigation in to the matter by the HMRC. http://r-force.org/blog/?p=224

      The original (listed) appeal was:

      1. The Data Protection Act 1998, and the associated issues of the Department of Work and Pensions allegedly wrongfully declaring ATOS Healthcare as a Data Processor, when prior rulings by the Information Commissioner would clearly define them as a Data Controller in the Capacity of conducting the WCA.

      2. The Right of Supersession (Social Security Act 1998). In which the state has not been showing sufficient or obtaining for the purpose of, evidence to Supersede an existing award of benefit. No supersession has been applied, which is in contravention of Social Security Act 1998, on existing awards, by the department of work and pension. (Those subject to the migration process).

      3. That Declarations 4, 5, 6 of the ESA50 questionnaire, are allegedly in contravention of Article 7(1) ‘forced submittal to retrospective laws’ and Article 8 ‘forced termination of right of privacy’ of the European Convention of Human Rights. As well as being enforced with no right of Refusal in sharing of Private Personal information with other Data Controllers in contravention of The Data Protection Act 1998 and that ATOS Healthcare has not been correctly declaring themselves as a Data Controller in respect of the WCA in direct contravention of The Data Protection Act 1998.

      4. That the existing award of Benefit Made under the Social Security Act 1998 (Incapacity Benefit Paid as Income Support), be reinstated as per regulation until the outcome of said Upper Tribunal.”

      ..and you are really trying to blame Labour for that? As a previous life long Tory voter I can categorically state that this Government is rotten to the core and the Tories will never get my vote again.

      In respect of your article, you can do the whole blame game. However it’s a bit like going back and blaming Samuel Colt, because he produce such an efficient revolver that has been used to kill peeps.

      Or maybe Japan should prosecute the families of the Manhattan Project concerning all the peeps affected by the Atomic bomb?

      illogically response? well that is exactly what you are doing, when you try to compare the brutal actions of this Government with those who tried to reform the Benefits System.

      Yes the reforms were flawed, but that will never justify why the Tories went ahead with them.

      • Labour announced plans in the 2008 budget to re-assess all IB claimants. This was due to begin in April 2010. All Iain Duncan Smith did was carry out Labour’s plans. Both the WCA and sanctions were already causing desperate suffering before the Tories were elected. Labour have not said they will reverse anything except the bedroom tax and I bet they wriggle out of that. It is not like prosecuting the families of people in the Manhatten project, it is like blaming the people who bombed Hiroshima and have announced plans to bomb Tokyo. Just cos the Tories bombed Nagasaki in the meantime does not get them off the hook (if you see what I mean, but it’s better than your metaphore)

        • I do get that your intention was to show that no party is better than the other in this situation and in some respects that is entirely correct.

          However as you are fully aware the WCA and the first stage reforms are not the Labour Parties. It is Prof Sir Mansel Aylward (Unum’s) baby, and yes Gordon Brown was gullible enough to repeat the bile that is Unums bastardisation of the Biopsychosocial model as this is what was being presented as the way forward by Lord (Baron) Freud and the DWP.

          In other words they are Guilty of trusting a public department to do the right thing.

          The Tories however where under no illusion as to the purpose of this bastardisation of the Biopsychosocial model’s policies as it was their Hierarchy that had given Unum such an exclusive advisory position to the Civil Servants in the first place. They had known from the outset that it was a money grabbing free for all for the private sector to skim off vast amounts from the tax payer. Which just happens to have the bi-product ideology of reducing the public sector.

          To state that IDS just carried out Labours plans, is a gross misinterpretation.

          You need to look at Labours Social Security Act 2008 and Compare it to The Tories amendments that is the Social Security Act 2010.

          To reiterate what I have stated elsewhere.

          Labour SSA 2008. (Too paraphrase).
          An existing award of qualifying benefit for the purposes of migration to ESA, is proof of ‘limited capability for work’, Supersession carried out on a like for like migration of benefits.

          Tory SSA 2010.
          This completely ignores the earlier Act (does not repeal it, which has render it impossible to administer) however extra is added which requires the claimant to be invited to claim the new benefit, Absolutely no provision is put in place in relation to legal termination of the existing award of benefit.

          Thus forcing the DWP, to be in breach of Supersession rules as set out in the Social Security Act 1998.

          To reiterate: (Paraphrased) Right of Supersession;
          ‘Where an existing award is in place the onus is upon the state to prove that the claimant is no longer entitled’

          The WCA process, shifts the onus on to the claimant to prove entitlement, in fact the same supersession issue arises upon the yearly renewal of ESA. As in the current WCA legislation as of 2010 does not take in to account that the earlier award can only be terminated via a supersession. Thus the actual figures for the fraud could be in the £100Billion+ range by now.

          The DWP openly admits that is has not been superseding in either instance.

          As I explained before this means that all claimant, migrated, (even if forced on to JSA or off benefit entirely) have legally remained entitled to their previous award of Incapacity Benefit (Or the more common Incapacity paid as income support) for all this time. Which means that claimants have been defrauded by the DWP/IDS to the tune of £50Billion+ and rising.

          This supersession issue has been used successfully in over 50 Tribunals to overturn the decision. As I previously said I am battling with the HMCTS to get this matter to a Judicial review (the DWP, Government and the HMCTS are doing everything they can to prevent it). Then Joe Public will become aware of this £50Billion+ scandal/fraud endorsed by the Tory/Lib Dem Government.

          It really is impossible, to compare Labours blindness to what the WCA process represented, to that of the Tory led coalition actively introducing unlawful procedures and closing the entire departments that could have handled this legally.

          As to how IDS tried to get around the Legalities of what he has done?
          I suggest you read the forced declarations 4,5 & 6 on page 18 of the ESA50 questionnaire : Which reads:

          I agree that
          – the Department for Work and Pensions
          – any Healthcare Professional advising the
          Department
          – any organisation with which the Department has a contract for the provision of assessment
          services
          may ask any of the people or organisations I have
          mentioned on this form for any information which is needed to deal with
          – this claim for benefit
          – any request for this claim to be looked at again and that the information may be given to that
          Healthcare Professional or organisation or to the Department or any other government body as
          permitted by law.

          I also understand that the Department may use the information which it has now or may get in the
          future to decide whether I am entitled to
          – the benefit I am claiming
          – any other benefit I have claimed
          – any other benefit I may claim in the future.

          I agree to my doctor or any doctor treating me, being informed about the Secretary of State’s
          determination on
          – limited capability for work
          – limited capability for work-related activity, or
          – both.

          These were introduced by the Tories,

          The first one relates to trying to circumvent the Data Protection Act, as in Contractors like ATOS/Maximus had been/are declared as Data Processors in the capacity of the WCA, however a previous ICO ruling concerning work related medical assessments, is that if they offer an ‘opinion’ they are deemed as Data Processors. Which means they are not exempted from the DPA under previous SSA regulations. (Under the DPA all claimants have a right to refuse this without penalty, I personally tested this to the highest levels by redacting said declaration, the DWP chose to unlawfully continue as if I had not completed the form)

          The second one (Declaration 5) is the most alarming of all, it allows the DWP to retrospectively (up to 5 years) to disallow that award of benefit and or any associated pass ported benefits, based upon outdated or even previously proven to be incorrect evidence. Effectively overruling Tribunal findings, court findings, findings by medical professionals or the Police.
          The out come of this is a £100k+ bill and false accusations of fraud which gets the claimant a 3 year sanction.

          There have already been a number of cases before tribunals concerning this miss use of evidence for other benefits, and attempts to claw back the previous 5 years of awards.

          The latter Declaration 6:
          Allows the DWP to write rather nasty letters to the claimants GP, trying to intimidate them in to not issuing fit notes, it also allows for non medical DWP decisions to be added to a claimant medical records.

          Now are you really going to say, that this was a Labour thing?

      • overburdenddonkey

        gen
        lab manipulated leave it out…also the wca was designed to find claimants fit for work, that’s the corral/pen default position, all descriptors point to being fit for work putting the energy sapped claimant in the position of having to prove otherwise… dr lucy reynolds on 2012 health and social care act… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkTnCtg_Omk

        • Do people really think that welfare reform would have been possible without the Labour Party laying the foundations and supporting the actions of IDS in principle.

          The foundation was and is an ideological contempt for welfare, the principle that the dismantling of the post-war welfare state will bring a utopian revolution in that aim IDS&co are useful idiots.

        • Thanks for that, however I am fully aware of the nature of the WCA, this is what happened when I spoke out too loudly about the proposed tick box system and the involvement of Unum & Schlumberger SEMA (now known as ATOS), back in 2000-2002

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2387909.stm

          They tried to have me assassinated and yes Johnny it was a Labour Government in Power on the mainland at that time.

          This along with other issues saw the Arrest of Denis Donaldson, on trumped up spying charges,

          “4 October 2002: Sinn Fein’s offices at Stormont are raided as part of a major police investigation into alleged intelligence gathering by republicans” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2952997.stm

          The collapse of the then Northern Ireland Assembly, the release of Denis, his outing as a double agent and his subsequent assassination.

          Denis had made the mistake of mentioning to his handler about the whole Unum & Schlumberger SEMA situation, as well as the redirecting of DLA to Paramilitaries on both sides of the divide to keep the troubles going. It was cheaper than paying for the failing infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

    • Hi, Johnny, What I want to know is, what happened before 2008? Was the benefit system/ incapacity/ Social Security Act a much fairer method?
      Only asking/

      • Prior to 1995 it was largely down to your GP if you were able to claim sickness benefits. Then they brought in Personal Capacity Assessments which involved an independent medical assessment and then Labour introduced the WCA in 2008

    • True, and maybe the Tories get voted out before the impact of Universal Credit is really felt too, and whoever forms the next government will carry on where IDS left off. Swings and roundabouts really.

  17. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    EAT THE RICH!!

  18. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    DOUBLE DOLE & PENSION

    • Emeritus Professor of Social & Economic Policy

      In real terms the dole in only worth a quarter of what it was way back in the 80s when Thatcher was on the Throne. Never mind doubling the dole – the dole needs to be quadrupled at least to restore it to income parity.

      • The Greens did indeed had two policies that would have given The Greens a landslide SYRIZA like victory, but chickened out.

        – Citizen Income, universal and automatic, to the basic tax allowance level, but later brought down to JSA level of only £72 per week (in line with UKIP’s basic income idea). Now lost during an interview on BBC Radio 4 with MP Caroline Lucas, the 1 Greens MP.

        – Citizen State Pension, irregardless of National Insurance contributions and credit history, up to basic tax allowance level.

        Supplements for disability for each of the above.

        These would have replaced all the hundreds of billions wasted on welfare admin more and more each year since 2010, whilst the money to the starving has reduced by billions year on year.

        All the welfare admin, both state and private contract, could have turned into an opportunity of putting money into people’s hands and the poor spend on the high street, of all ages, so generating business, creating youth jobs and granting business rates to cash strapped councils.

        But Class War’s double dole and state pension will save lives right now, not the pie in the sky of some future time.

        The poor cannot wait. They are starving and being left in that penniless starvation even to babes in wombs of mothers being sanctioned before and after birth to nil food money.

        Put Class War and other small parties getting nil media coverage on my website and they could seriously change and save lives in 2015:
        http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

  19. Hmmm you have been a little creative with the facts there.

    1. The migration process as per the 2008 regs, replaced Incapacity Benefit on a like for like basis (negating the need for a Supersession, SSA 1998), the 2010 regs, brought in by the Tories unlawfully just terminates the existing award after inviting claimants to apply for a new benefit. (ESA). To date the DWP/IDS have defrauded claimants to the tune of £50 Billion+, due to this supersession issue.

    2. Sanctions have been around for decades and according to the House of Commons records it was introduced by a Tory Government. However previously they where limited to a percentage of award of the main benefit, less amounts paid for partners or children. The Tories however increased this to a 100% sanction, nothing for partners or children. Then applied a progressive scale, in the duration of such sanctions. Then most recently, they have started sanctioning pass ported benefits such as local housing allowance (Housing Benefit) at the same time. Previously claimants could still claim as nill income during sanction period. Thus they are ensuring homelessness and destitution.

    3. The WCA although highly flawed, was introduced as a work in progress. The Tories however ignored that this was work in progress and continued to roll it out as is. Without resolving any of the problems.

    4. Now we get back the contractors, try checking who Maggies Government employed, then checking the names of this companies over time. ATOS is in fact Schlumberger Sema. Exactly the same contractors as employed by Maggie to oversee Disability Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. The same contractors who have held the contract since the 90’s.

    5. Current policy has been driven by Unum since the 90’s (Uder a Tory Government) and is still be driven by there Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, headed up by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/64606

    The list goes on and on, in respect of how misinformed this article is. To be honest I am pretty surprised to see such a propaganda piece here.

    • overburdenddonkey

      gen
      sanctions have been around since before the pyramids were built, but we weren’t on that contract…it is more the worsening of such as the levels of work and consequently employment opps have dropped dramatically…the process is far less believing the claimant ie ‘have you done any work in the last fortnight, no, sign here’…to become ingrained and engaged in a bewildering array of hoops, hops, skips, and jumps to negotiate the JS allowance system so therefore it is of current significance..formalization of sanctions….

      • Yep, I am ashamed to say this, but back in my day I was one of the pioneers of the whole Social Engineering (Yes it had been around for centuries), but I figured out that you could literally hack how peeps respond by giving them key disinformation.

        It was only ever intended to be a bit of fun, to gain access to places and systems. However policy makers around the world decided to start using very crude versions of these techniques to manipulate entire sections of the populous, here we have what is known as the ‘nudge unit’ which push forward pointless tasks, disinformation etc. (Any claimant knows the full effect of this).

        All designed to break down the usual barriers and hit the populous with a saturation of misery and pointless tasks. One of the key things in this is to ensure that the rest of the populous sees them as less than human. In so doing you can break the community spirit that always threatens any restrictive policies.

        When peeps are left destitute and without anywhere to turn, they become easier to manipulate and exploit.

        • overburdenddonkey

          gen
          all designed to crack nut and get inside head…ie the nazi’s used this as a prime mind gumming/numbing technique…behaviourism is highly toxic…comply or no vitals of life…let alone our entitlement vitality giving vitals of life…. we need some kind of citizens income…. see also http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/socialcharter/Conclusions/State/UKXX2_en.pdf article 12; the minimum levels of short-term and long-term incapacity benefit is manifestly inadequate; the minimum level of state pension is manifestly inadequate; the minimum level of job seeker’s allowance is manifestly inadequate.

          • I know talk about it, I am one of the uncounted statistics, I do not qualify for JSA due to disability however they will not process my claim for ESA as I refuse to accept unlawful declarations 4,5& 6, page 18 ESA50 questionnaire. (If claimant redacts these unlawful declarations, the DWP unlawfully declares that the claimant has not completed the ESA50).

            In respect of payment levels I was aware of the EU standing on this before it went public, the levels should actually be twice what they currently are. However other than international sanctions (which technically cannot be applied in respect of this situation. The Government is just thumbing their nose at it, declaring it as soft law.

    • You are wrong about sanctions. LHA cannot be sanctioned, neither can child or partner benefits. You can still make a nil income claim. Labour sanctions were also 100%, I have no idea where you’re getting your information from but you really need to check your facts.

      • As I have explained on the thread in facebook, it is an effective sanction.
        As in they are.

        1. Disallowing the first 2 weeks of LHA on nil income grounds if somebody has been sanctioned.
        2. Child tax credits as a sort of pass ported benefit, are being suspended at time of main benefit sanction, it can take months to get them reinstated.

        Leaving an entire family unit with an effective 100% sanction, although legally they can argue, we pay the back money when it’s sorted out. However that does not give that family unit any money to live on in between and should they not have been evicted in between, a large part of the arrears of Child Tax credit is more often than not paid out again to clear the two weeks rental arrears.

        I would like to state that there has been a number of instances in which JCP have been threatening claimants that they will have their LHA terminated for two weeks.

        How can they do this?
        1. The SSA2010 allows the Secretary of State to alter the legislation literally on demand, without any scrutiny of the house.

        2. Declaration 5 page 18 of the ESA50, which is exactly the same declaration as forced on claimant of any a broad range of benefits now.

        “also understand that the Department may use
        the information which it has now or may get in
        the future to decide whether I am entitled to
        – the benefit I am claiming
        – any other benefit I have claimed
        – any other benefit I may claim in the future.”

        Notice the last three lines, it let’s them sanction any benefit, without any change in legislation.

        LHA although administered by Local Authorities, it is still under the control of the DWP. Thus subject to that declaration of authorisation by a claimant.

  20. Good, again, to see it being told exactly how it is, instead of what too often happens in the media – blaming one party and not realising it’s all main parties in it together, for themselves and for corporations. It is extremely important that this false opposition between the parties is recognised, otherwise there is literally no way anything will change… because a vote for the ‘opposition’ is NOT a vote for any opposition to the vindictive and self-serving policies of neo-liberalism.

  21. Well where is the cash from the tax payer and NI contributions going to – if not claimants. I pay tax and ni contributions to assist the welfare state – not to be saved up in some bank account or used for other purposes as the Government see fit.

    • Taxpayers include the 75 per cent of all tax that comes from all of us, in or out of work, poor, and however young adult or old, that comes from stealth indirect taxes embedded in our daily lives, even food, and VAT.

      The poor therefore have an effective 90 per cent tax rate.

      The NI contributions are now looked after by the Inland Revenue not Social Security Department, and gone to pay off the mythical deficit / national debt, when major world authorities say UK’s national debt is only a world average. It is a loan and some little interest is put back into the NI Fund.

      Most of the unemployment benefit third of the National Insurance Fund is being gobbled up by the hundred of billions of IT projects and welfare admin management, rising each year, whilst the money to the starving is reducing by the billions each year.

      The so-called surplus in the NI Fund of £30 billion since 2013 is the
      non paid out state pension to women for 6 years from 2013, and to men for 1 year from 65.

      Universal Credit rules will mean mean over the years that Pension Credit is hit to current pensioners, and those already on UC are being told they cannot get state pension payout as men until age 73 or even 76 because their lady wife is younger than them.

      97 per cent of those on benefit are in work or poor pensioners.

      Only 3 per cent is the unemployed, that include the disabled and chronic sick dumped off disability / sick benefits onto Jobseekers Allowance or the work part of Employment and Support Allowance and sanctioned for many months to nil food money.

      It is people in work who are the bulk of those going to foodbanks, from loss of benefit, as well as babes in wombs in sanctioned mothers, who continue to be sancitoned even after birth.

      And there is a lot worse to come to those in or out of work and however young or old, even pensioners, from the Universal Credit from 2016-2017, with indefinite or even permanent sanctions.

      And then there is the poorest men and women who will get hit for the first time with nil state pension for life for those retiring on and from 6 April 2016, next year and then onwards to the men and women denied state pension payout since 2013 who cannot retire til from 2019-2020 onwards.

      See why under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section at:
      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  22. If this government wants everyone to have jobs, they need a partial command economy. Letting in immigrants from everywhere, allowing too much red tape, strangling small businesses with the dreadful Universal Credit, letting jobs go overseas, and allowing workfare that will just remove paid jobs, all leads to unemployment.

    Starving people won’t get them into work, it’ll either kill them or make them steal things.

  23. UK’s “Nudge Unit” altering bureaucracy

    Published on 3 Jun 2014

  24. Behavioural Insights Team is now independent of the UK government
    Gov.uk – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/behavioural-insights-team

    The Behavioural Insights Team – also known as the Nudge Unit – is now a social purpose company. It is partly owned by the Cabinet Office, employees and Nesta.
    http://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/

  25. Sir Mansel Aylward ????

    • On searching for Mansel Aylward, I came across this post: https://downwithallthat.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/professor-wessely-knocking-the-docs-overstepping-the-mark/.
      And this about Mansel Aylward: https://downwithallthat.wordpress.com/category/dubious-academics-universities/professor-mansel-aylward/.
      Vested interests influencing benefit payments and it has been going on for sometime!

      • dirt_under_their_feet

        From above (for those who don’t know):

        “ In November 2001 a conference assembled at Woodstock, near Oxford. Its subject was ‘Malingering and Illness Deception’. Amongst the 39 academics and experts was Malcolm Wicks, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work, and Mansel Aylward, his Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). What linked many of the participants together, including Aylward, was their association with the giant US income protection company UnumProvident.

        New Labour was looking to transform the welfare system.

        In 1994 Peter Lilley, (Conservative) Secretary of State for Social Security, hired John LoCascio to advise on ‘claims management’. Lo Cascio was second vice president of Unum. He joined the ‘medical evaluation group’. Another key figure in the group was Mansel Aylward. They devised a stringent All Work Test. Approved doctors were trained in Unum’s approach to claims management…

        In the UK, two Woodstock participants, Professor Simon Wessely and Professor Michael Sharpe, were working on reclassifying ME/CFS as a psychiatric disorder. A change in classification would save the industry millions of dollars ”…

        Prof Wessley has led the campaign, amongst other conditions, to deny the reality of ME/CFS as a physical illness, and has actively manipulated its denial in the media. So ignoring the WHO definition of it as a neurological condition. Due to this campaign led by Prof Wessley, in association with Aylward et al, ME/CFS sufferers have been treated as having psyhological problems that need to be cured (as in going to the SanctionsCentre), and some have subsequently been subjected to inappropriate graded exercise and talking therapies, causing many further to deteriorate.

        Also of course many have been found fit for work, so that some very sick people have had their benefits removed, on the grounds that really it’s all in the mind. This even while evidence has grown that it is in fact a real physical illness. If only all the effort that has been put into denying it had been put into more positive research about it.

        Neuroimaging study identifies brain abnormalities in chronic fatugue syndrome patients :
        http://health-innovations.org/2014/10/29/neuroimaging-study-identifies-brain-abnormalities-in-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-patients/

  26. Professor Sir Mansel Aylward CB MD FRCP FFOM FFPM (Chairman)

    • @merhusala aylward the disability denier gets a fucking title. Sir Murderer in Chief

    • Can we do a Rolf on MA and complain and have his title taken from him?

      • No I am fucking serious a petition to have that title stripped from him it comes,to something that arch murderer like him should get a title

        • overburdenddonkey

          chewie
          why are you giving value to titles?

          • No Mr donkey none at all. What I am suggesting is that these bastards in some sort of power give value to titles
            And since they don’t give a fuck about us poor plebs the only way to Clobber them is via their reward system

            It’s strategic.

            • overburdenddonkey

              well mr chewie
              but as you have implied you have no power over what they do…

              • Mr donkey it’s not what we think of value it’s what those in power value. It’s an achilles heel. For them. After all old Rolf had his reward taken from him
                Because of his cruel acts

                I see this in the same light

                • overburdenddonkey

                  chewie
                  but you’re supporting the state value system, you’re giving their system, their system of oppression value…which is punishment or reward, good or evil, deserving, undeserving….that’s behaviourism….

                • No I am trying to kick them where it Hurts ie money and privilege and status

                • overburdenddonkey

                  chewie
                  yeah i know you are…
                  one should rage against/confront the abuse, (unbottle one’s trapped emotions), not the abusers, you don’t need to unbottle their trapped emotions, nor save them, nor need them, that’s their loss/look out…
                  eventually feel nothing of/for the abusers, that way the power/affects of the abuse and so of the abusers will evapourate..subtle i know, but this eventually heals one….

            • Donkey consider this. In secret documents it revealed so much hoohah about Cyril.smith getting a reward thing and the consternation if found out he had been an abuser in which they would be concerned it would tarnish their reward system.

              And by putting this in the same light
              Ie rewarding total utter bastards who cause harm to others

      • dirt_under_their_feet

        There should indeed seriously be a big protest about it.

        This is illustrative of the country in which we now live. Where mass murders are honoured, and decent people are demonised and driven to despair.

  27. Reblogged this on Wessex Solidarity and commented:
    Politicians want to kill you, don’t vote for them.

  28. Lot of these organisations and individuals have a Common Purpose…..breaking the spirit of the indigenous population of these Islands being the goal….

  29. OT:

    Spleen Vent:

    we have a problamatic neighbour downstaris. So called boy freind is a jailbird.

    at 7 had fire brigade round. Wire to fuse box IS shorting, constantly casusing lights to flicker. they left after disconnecting fuse – if left would possibly cause fire – we are in flat above. Before Engine was at top of road fuse back in, power back on and flickering lights due to shorting. Called electical people. Can’t do anything. Them downstairs won’t let engineer in to remove fuse and chuck them out. called police at 12 Now finally at 1 police turn up to say cannot do anything! Fumiing Big Time.

    Will not be able to sleep now in case fire breaks out and need to flee.

    Just a taster about Dariu$ – late last year was stacking bricks in street – police came and arrested Bricks. Then him. Allowed him to return to flat and get coat. an hour later he was back along with the bricks!!!

    WTF

  30. Welfare reform fraud – the law breaking is jaw dropping for a democracy that claims to be governed under the rule of law are the politicians in too deep to put their hands up.

  31. they all fucking lie

    dont let the fuckers back in again! so who do you want to elect to fuck it up again for us? ukip? the greens yeah right! monster raving loony partry? ya know what they just might be able to get things in order but you can bet your last £1 of your dole payment that the torys will be back in power! we are fucked and there is not anything we can do about it.

  32. DWP’s new ‘fitness for work’ provider faces fresh allegations

    DNS – 6th March 2015

    New allegations have emerged about the US multi-national that has secured several major contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), just as it begins to deliver the controversial “fitness for work” test on behalf of the UK government.

    DWP has been dismissing concerns about the troubled history of Maximus – which has a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud in the US – since Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last year that the outsourcing giant was in line to win the contract to deliver the work capability assessment (WCA).

    But a new documentary has now been aired in Australia by the state broadcaster ABC, which claims widespread exploitation and manipulation of government contracts within the Australian welfare-to-work industry, similar to concerns raised in the UK.

    One of the providers highlighted in the programme is MAX Employment, which is owned by Maximus.

    Read More:
    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwps-new-fitness-for-work-provider-faces-fresh-allegations/

  33. Working Links Are SCUM!!

    [video src="http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/fourcorners/video/4CNs_Tx_2302_288p.mp4" /]

    • Friend of mine is still getting hassled by ‘WORKING LINKS’ vermin two years after he refused their slave WP. They phone him at home and send letters and plead with him to tell them if he’s got a job and all the details so as they can close the file ie. claim their government blood money for inflicting stress, anxiety, depression and misery on to someone for years.

      What i want to know is the legal position of a third party like that holding someone’s personal details for that length of time when the person indicated he was having nothing to do with their slave system. The only reason for them holding his details would be if he was agreeing to attend and take part in a WP. He said no so that should have meant his personal details should have been erased from their system.

      I want to know if they’ve committed a crime as regards breaching the ‘Data Protection Act’ by holding private details of a person that they had no need to be holding.

      • I think the way the system goes is that the Work Program is s’posed to keep track of ppl a full 2 years after they are mandated to it, even if they have a job in that time. It may still operate that way even if a person refuses to go on it, but not sure there. Wouldn’t person who refuses be sanctioned?
        After that 2 year period however, I see no reason for any Work Program group to contact any one. They are certainly not legally entitled to do so as far as I know.

        • Yeah i think he got sanctioned for it. But i wonder if there are any lawyers who frequent this site who could advise us on where a person stands legally as far as possibly taking action against this company for violating the data protection act and holding private details of individuals and using them to hound and harass them at home via phone calls and letters. With really no proper justification for holding and storing those personal details on a computer system.

  34. Ingeus Are SCUM!!

    “finding jobs, changing lives” – same bullshit strap-line as Working Links!

    • ” in recent years Government checks have forced some companies to pay back millions of dollars, but few are

      ***sanctioned***

      Former job agency employees say crucial internal records are adjusted in preparation for government audits”

      Corruption in the welfare to work business.

      The irony of seeing that word ” sanction” in that context

  35. Reblogged this on chunkyfunkymunky and commented:
    Excellent piece

  36. Sanction Greedy MPS

    Get the Tories Out

  37. Pingback: Inverclyde Debate, 8th April: Opening Statements | A Wilderness of Peace

  38. Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank capability work questionnaire form to fill out?

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