Tag Archives: Matthew Oakley

How The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Tory Party

war-on-the-poorYesterday the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, who claim to be an anti-poverty think tank, held their annual lecture.  Coming at a time of soaring homelessness, brutal benefit sanctions and more cuts on the way you might have expected this event to discuss how to best resist, or at least mitigate the impact of what is to come.

You might have expected that.  What happened instead was a speech by the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Ruth Davidson during which she set her stall out as a Tory who pretends to care about the poor in advance of the Scottish parliament elections in May.  She was warmly received by the small gathering of poverty professionals who bothered to turn out for the lecture.  She should have been fucking lynched.

Davidson began her speech with a frank description of how most in the Conservative Party view the poor – in essence that as long as markets are free and state support kept to a minimum then people only have themselves to blame if they fail to thrive and end up in poverty.  But she is different she claimed.  She understands that not everyone is born equal, that the free market is actually rigged in favour of the rich from the day they are born and that some people might struggle to prosper under cut-throat capitalism.  The conclusion to be drawn from this is clear – poverty does not happen because poor people are somehow deficient human beings but because disadvantage and inequality are structural consequences of the current economic system.

Of course then she launched into a gushing rant about all the wonderful charities she has visited and what wonderful work they are doing fixing poor people.  She wants to see lots more of this she declared as her concerns about structural poverty vanished into thin air.  She wants more funding for do-gooders, not more money for the poor.  No wonder the assembled voluntary sector managers gave her such a welcoming reception.

One of her big ideas is more mentoring schemes, echoing David Cameron’s pledge to create a new generation of mentors as part of an “all out assault on poverty”.  Mentors have long been seen as the magical fix for the alienated youth ever since The Karate Kid was first released in 1984.  It is an idea that chimes perfectly with the assumption amongst the wealthy that all poor people need is to meet someone rich who will teach them not to be poor anymore.  They imagine sharp suited business people high-fiving inner city urchins over a Mcdonalds Happy Meal and dazzling them with tales of aspiration and entrepreunership.  The reality is some golf club nonce sleazing round the local youth club for a while and then getting bored and giving up when they don’t get either a blow job or an MBE in the first fortnight.  No mentoring scheme has ever worked and everyone in the anti-poverty industry knows it, but hey, it’s a funding stream, the gravy train must stay on track.

Davidson barely received a word of criticism for her views when questioned by the assembled delegates and JRF’s head toff Julia Unwin.  But sadly this is of little surprise.  These are the kind of modern, dynamic wankers who can drop long held principles at the drop of a hat.  Fighting against the Bedroom Tax, workfare or benefit sanctions is so last year.  Now it’s all about in-work progression and better targeted ‘support’ for the so-called hardest to help. Benefit sanctions in other words, for everybody.  That’s why the JRF recently invited Tory stooge Matthew Oakley to write a report discussing the best way to introduce in-work sanctions to encourage people with jobs to strive harder.  That’s the same Matthew Oakley who once worked at the Treasury helping to design Universal Credit, before moving to the right wing Policy Exchange think tank.  Now he’s being paid by an anti-poverty organisation to come up with new ways to make people poorer.  To help teach them not to be poor.  It’s a fucking joke, and not a very funny one.

The benefit sanctioning regime which forms part of Universal Credit is horrifying.  Those in and out of work alike will soon be condemned to survive on just a few pounds a week if they fail to meet endless Jobcentre demands to constantly look for more or better paid work.  Those with jobs could see benefits intended to help with housing costs sanctioned for the first time.  These sanctions can last a punishing three years and are not just aimed at the single unemployed but many on sickness benefits as well as those with young children.  For some they will be a death sentence.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation are intensely relaxed about all of this though.  They have a whole section on their website where grinning latte slurpers warn that Universal Credit must come with ’employment support’ – the latest euphemism for workfare, benefit sanctions and Jobcentre harassment.  Not one of these clowns will ever face the nightmare they have now decided to enthusiastically embrace on our behalf.  Quite the opposite in fact.  They are currently advising for a position that pays £75,000 a year, and that’s not even to be the boss.  There’s good money to be made out of poverty for everybody except the poor.

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The Official Whitewash Into Benefit Sanctions Begins: This Is Why Labour Sold Out The Poor

sanction-sabsChinless clown Matthew Oakley has issued a call for evidence for the so-called independent review into the use of benefit sanctions.

Predictably this review will not look into whether sanctions are being misused, the impact of sanctions or whether targets are really being set for Jobcentre staff to sanction benefit claims.  Instead the review will merely examine whether the information presented to claimants about sanctions is easily understandable.

The recent huge increase in the use of sanctions will not be considered and neither will the suffering that these brutal measures inflict.  Citizens Advice recently warned that sanctions were driving some claimants to beg in the streets, go through bins to find food and even attempt suicide.  Homelessness charities have said that benefit sanctions are causing people lose their homes and end up on the streets.  This desperate poverty will be outside of the scope of Oakley’s report, as will any discussion into whether sanctions really ‘incentivise’ people to find work or whether they just drive people into the ground.

Matthew Oakley claims to be an expert on welfare but is actually just a wanker.  His only expertise comes from his time in the right ring Policy Exchange think-tank where he wrote a string of swivel-eyed proposals calling for more benefit sanctions.  Prior to this he worked in a government non-job where he helped to design the farce that became known as Universal Credit.  Now he is being given yet more tax payers cash to do little more than look over a few letters.

This review was called for by Labour – the party that introduced mass sanctioning of benefit claims.  This was their scabby justification for helping Iain Duncan Smith rush back-dated legislation through Parliament to deny compensation to tens of thousands of unemployed people who had been illegally sanctioned.  This is why they “took difficult decisions on the Jobseekers’ Bill to secure an independent review of sanctions”  Liam Byrne claimed at the time.

Labour helped the DWP deny compensation legally due due to some of the poorest people in the country.  And all so some posh little prick like Oakley could make a few quid on the side writing a report that will not even come close to addressing the problems with benefit sanctions.  Remember that.

At the very least we should try make sure Oakley has to do some work for  a change.  Evidence on the use of sanctions can be sent to: sanctions.review2013@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Oakley has also said he would like to meet some claimants who have had benefit sanctioned.  Just drop him an email or contact him on twitter  @MJ_Oakley

Oakley has now left the Policy Exchange and is now working in a new non-job at consumer organisation WHICH.  You can give him a call at work on: 020 7770 7000

For more details of the review visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions-independent-review

Join the Week of Action Against Workfare and Sanctions beginning on December 3rd and please sign, share and tweet the petition to scrap all benefit sanctions without exceptions.

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Policy Exchange Clown Placed In Charge of Benefit Sanctions Review

matthew-oakleyAn upcoming review into benefit sanctions is to be overseen by Britain’s biggest scrounger Matthew Oakley the DWP have revealed today.  Oakley is the Head of Economics & Social Policy at the right wing think tank the Policy Exchange, whose proposals have been behind many of Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal and bungled welfare reforms.

The scope of the upcoming review will largely focus on the information about sanctions given to claimants who face ever more draconian and farcical conditions for claiming benefits.  It is unlikely to discuss the hundreds of thousands of people forced into absolute destitution by the current regime which is expected to sanction around a million claims this year.

Matthew Oakley has previously authored a paper on welfare reform which includes not only a demand for a greater use of sanctions for part workers, but astonishingly even pre-emptive benefit sanctions for people on fixed term contracts.  Oakley believes that these workers should be stripped of any entitlement to benefits at all if Jobcentre staff decide that they weren’t doing enough to find work even before they lost their job.

So impressed was Iain Duncan Smith with this swivel-eyed nonsense that he gave Oakley a non-job on the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) – the body whose job it is to scrutinise social security reforms..  This means he is now paid  £256.80 a day of tax payer’s cash to provide so-called expert opinions on policies he helped create.

Prior to working at the Policy Exchange, Oakley was in another  tax payer funded non-job at the Treasury where he worked on a white paper outlining proposals for Universal Credit.  Now Iain Duncan Smith is to shovel yet more of our money into his grubby pockets by asking him to carry out what is laughingly called an ‘independent review’ of benefit sanctions.

Whilst over two million people are desperate for any job, Oakley now has three – and two of them at our expense.  It’s jobs for the boys all round at the DWP for anyone prepared to throw away their dignity and cheer along Iain Duncan Smith’s endless crazy schemes.  Oakley is on twitter @PXEconomics if you fancy asking for your money back.

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Boycott Workfare Target Policy Exchange Gimps

Meet your class enemy, Matthew Oakley.

Meet your class enemy, Matthew Oakley.

With protests against workfare set to take place across the UK today, Boycott Workfare have also called for a day of online action against the Policy Exchange.

This Tory think-tank has been behind many of this Government’s bodged social security reforms.  A sneering cabal of failed public schoolboys – too stupid for business and too lazy to get proper jobs – they are paid real money to spout uninformed garbage about poverty.

One of their members, chinless gimp Matthew Oakley, even scrounges £256.80 a day from the tax payer as a so called expert on social security.  Iain Duncan Smith recently handed Oakley a position on the Social Security Advisory Committee where he is now paid with our money to scrutinise welfare reforms he was first paid by the Policy Exchange to promote.  Yet all he did prior to joining the Policy Exchange was some tax payer funded non-job in the Treasury.  It would be hard for Iain Duncan Smith to find someone who knows less about social security and welfare – which is probably why he’s there.

Oakley is on twitter @PXEconomics  Why not ask him how he feels about being the UK’s biggest benefit cheat?

Policy Exchange are on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/PolicyExchange

Boycott Workfare also call on people to email the Policy Exchange, perhaps with some light reading material.  Oakley’s email address is: matthew.oakley@policyexchange.org.uk.

The DWP are also begging for new ideas to harass unemployed and disabled claimants, so take some time to submit ideas to: uc.newapproaches@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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Matthew Oakley: Tory Stooge Appointed to Independent Welfare Scrutiny Commitee

matthew-oakleyA Tory stooge who works for the Policy Exchange think tank has been appointed to the so called independent Social Security Advisory Committee by Iain Duncan Smith.

Matthew Oakley appears to one of those chinless failures who’s bummed about doing non-jobs at the government and whose only experience of social security is writing sub Daily Mail rants about benefit scroungers and the urgent need for more welfare cuts.

Despite this he’s now being paid a tidy £256.80 a day of tax payer’s cash to provide ‘expert’ advice on welfare reform.

The SSAC are a body whose job it is to scrutinise any changes to laws which may affect social security.  Whilst they have no formal power, the government must legally consult them on new legislation.  Shortly after this Government weren’t elected, the committee issued a scathing report on the plans for mass workfare.

Not long after this the head of the Committee was replaced by DWP stooge, Paul Gray.  Then last year Manpower stooge, Keith Faulkner was appointed to the committee.  Faulkner is the former head of workfare company Working Links –  a front for the global recruitment firm Manpower who have long been trousering huge sums of cash as part of the welfare reform racket.

Manpower also fund the Centre for Social Justice, Iain Duncan Smith’s weird Christian think tank who have generated much of the misinformation and outright garbage that is currently spouted about welfare by DWP Ministers.

The rest of the crap has come from the Policy Exchange, a kind of corporate subsidised employment scheme for rich kids who are too lazy to get a real job and too stupid to be proper academics.   Matthew Oakley is their Head of Economics & Social Policy.  He was recently behind the Welfare Reform 2.0 document which calls for even more state harassment of people in part time work or on low wages.

Before working at the Policy Exchange Oakley was an advisor at the Treasury and also worked on the white paper outlining Universal Credit – the sweeping and botched changes to welfare currently being mismanaged by Iain Duncan Smith.

It appears that Oakley will not leave his lucrative job at the Policy Exchange, meaning he will now be paid by a right wing think tank to propose changes to welfare and then be paid by the tax payer to ‘independently’ scrutinise those changes.

Much of welfare reform is already unravelling largely because of hare-brained schemes dreamed up by think tanks who couldn’t even be bothered to learn about the very system they were proposing to reform.

That clueless idiots like Oakley are now being rewarded with tax payer funded jobs for their role in the shambles suggests it’s full steam ahead for yet more crazy schemes at the DWP.

Oakley is on twitter @PXEconomics

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