Monday, 31 December 2012

“Think Of The Press As A Great Keyboard On Which The Government Can Play.”

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually
come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can
shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences
of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to
repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension,
 the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Monday, 31 December 2012 11:00 AM

Labour 'squandered £10bn' on tax credit blunders
IDS: Tax Credit System 'Haemorrhaging Money'
£10bn lost to fraud in tax credits system ‘not fit for purpose’ says IDS
Iain Duncan Smith: we’ve brought back fairness to welfare
Iain Duncan Smith launches scathing attack on tax credit abuse
Iain Duncan Smith: universally challenged
UK Minister Iain Duncan Smith condemns tax credits
Number of foreigners claiming tax credits 'unknown', ministers admit
Tax credits and a fairer system
David Cameron: we’ll help the strivers, not welfare claimants
Keeping up the attack

"Labour's tax credit system resulted in £10 billion being wasted on fraud and error, Iain Duncan Smith has claimed.

The work and pensions secretary used an article in the Telegraph paper to mount a sustained attack on the New Labour government's "sorry story of dependency, wasted taxpayers' money and fraud""

Monday 31 Dec 2012

FactCheck: is Britain a tax credit haven?

"It’s also worth pointing out that of the £11.16bn lost to fraud and error under Labour, just £1.27bn of that was actually down to fraud. Or 0.7 per cent of the total amount spent on tax credits."

December 31, 2012

IDS on welfare reform -how do I lie to thee let me count the ways

"How do I LIE to thee? Let me count the ways. I LIE thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach….

That sums up Iain Duncan Smith’s latest attempt at spin about welfare reforms. Perhaps this is just to deflect that the word ‘reform’ means to improve and his reforms will cost everyone more but his latest diatribe is simply plagiarizing the most loved poem of Elizabeth Barratt Browning and should be seen for what it is."

31 Monday Dec 2012 

Iain Duncan Smith: Monster of the Year 2012

"It seems Iain Duncan Smith, the creature whose Department for Work and Pensions launched an ethnic cleansing programme (in all but name) against the sick and disabled in 2011 and 2012, has now turned his baleful glare on the working poor."

31 Dec 2012

Duncan Smith's attack on working poor a 'smokescreen', say critics

"For many, it may be additionally shocking that a punitive approach which seems to lack both compassion and understanding towards the most vulnerable in society is being pursued by a government minister who uses the cloak of 'Christian values' for such policies and appears to have no regard for his own church's social teaching," said the Ekklesia co-director."

Tuesday 1 January 2013

IDS’s rebirth is one of the wonders of the age

"So far at least, this false distinction between workers and shirkers – those who trudge off to the office or factory, in Osborne’s malevolent fantasy, while the feckless neighbours drowsily prepare for another day in front of Jeremy Kyle – is working as planned. The popularity of this wicked misrepresentation and the dilemma that poses for Ed Miliband is the one visible oasis on an otherwise arid Conservative trek towards the 2015 election.

More than morally repugnant, it is unbelievably dangerous for the country and the Tories themselves. Some 30 years after Thatcher opened the divide, the party has no councillors, let alone MPs, in Liverpool, Newcastle and other Northern cities. Messrs Osborne and Cameron, clad in tails and throwing bread rolls at the time, have either learned nothing from the residual damage inflicted on their electoral chances, or are too preoccupied with short-term survival to care about the consequences of this thuggish reawakening of the monied South’s contempt for the destitute North. A year ushered in by the strains of “We pay your benefits, we pay your benefits” from the mouths of beery London arrows fans does not sound, to these ears, like one that can possibly end well."

Welfare Whoppers

A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 1

2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2
Monster of 2012 starts the New Year as he means to go on


Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Sun: Recruiting Freud's Youth

Published: 16 hrs ago

£100 benefits perk claim

"Much needed extra help' ... Lord Freud

YOUNG workers will be up to £100 per month better off under radical benefit reforms to be announced this week.

Most single people under 25 cannot currently claim working tax credits — while over 25s earning up to around £13,000 per year can.

But from October up to 300,000 young people with no kids will be eligible for the new Universal Credit, Government experts claim."


Universal Credit Personal Planner
Universal Credit App available for Android and iPhone

"This planner will show you what you need to do to be ready for Universal Credit

The Department for Work & Pensions have provided a Personal Planner which will show you what you need to do to be ready for Universal Credit.

It will help you to find out if you’ll need to do anything differently to manage a Universal Credit claim.

For example, some people may need to set up a bank account or budget for a monthly payment instead of a weekly payment."


Universal Credit Software Delay
Benefit Cap Delay as Computer Software Runs – Again – into Problems


Recruiting new Soldaten ...

20 December

Employment Advisor - Work Programme

"The Role Advisors manage a caseload of clients who are unemployed. Through assessments and ongoing engagement with your clients you will come to understand their abilities, ambitions and barriers and you will work with them to provide the support needed to progress them towards their employment goals. You will be targeted to build relationships with local employers, championing the work of your organisation and highlighting the benefits of using your organisation to recruit from. In this way you will seek to secure sustainable work for the clients on your caseload that matches their aims and ability."

Employability Tutor / Advisor (Work Programme)

"Experience in working towards targets in regards to placing clients into sustainable employment."


Transparency ...

All Written Answers on 20 Dec 2012

Work Programme: Yorkshire and the Humber: Work and Pensions

"David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden, Conservative).

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have come off benefits after joining the Work programme in (a) Haltemprice and Howden constituency and (b) Yorkshire and Humber to date.

Mark Hoban (Fareham, Conservative)

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost."



Saturday, 29 December 2012

If The Establishment Breaks The Social Contract ...


Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates applicable from April 2013

"The April 2013 LHA rates are set out below.

Please note, the LHA rates currently published on LHA-Direct will continue to be effective until 31st March 2013.

Any policy enquiries should be directed to the Department for Work and Pensions."

December 27, 2012

LHA in 2013/14 – the final straw for the benefit claimant and homelessness through the roof!
"LHA is going up by 2.2% we were told and after 2012/13 when it has been frozen it attracted little if any attention. Yet the official figures show the actual increase is 0.59% and not 2.2% and in some areas it is being cut by over 7%!!"

No change, here ... will still need to top-up, from my JSA (as I do CT).

Wednesday 5 December 2012 15.32 GMT

Housing benefit to rise less than rate of inflation  

"Payment increases to landlords to be capped at 1% from 2014, while plan to end housing benefits for under-25s is dropped."

Wednesday 5 December 2012 22.12 GMT

Cap on benefits to target 'shirkers, not workers' will worsen poverty, say critics

"Allowing only a 1% rise for the next three years will save the government billions in the face of fierce opposition."


Universal Credit Service Charges – guidance for landlords (DWP)

Private Landlords and Universal Credit

Olympic borough fights the Tories’ new Rackmanism



Friday, 28 December 2012

Mac Beschäftigung

Thu, Oct, 11 2012

Partnership helps hundreds Leap into work

"So far, more than 40 previously unemployed people have found work at McDonald’s restaurants across the North East, with new recruit Elaine Hall being the 300th success of the Leap project."

26 Feb 2012 00:00 

McDonald's spends £10m of taxpayer's cash from employment scheme without creating a single job

"McDonald's has ­pocketed £10million of public money for an ­apprenticeship scheme ...but has not created a single new job with it.

Instead, the multi-national fast-food giant has spent the whole sum on ­“career progression” for 18,000 existing staff.

A Sunday Mirror investigation has found that among nine other major firms which take the most money from the scheme, ­£20million has been spent to create just 2,559 new jobs."

Thursday 2 August 2012 19.29 BST

The unemployed young academic: facing life on the outside (Guardian)

"I'm called complacent for failing to respond to listed vacancies for checkout operators at Asda."

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

I'm Nearly Spent

December 2012

Is it spent now?

1. Introduction

"This guide explains the changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) which the Government has made through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). It does not explain how the current ROA works (that is covered on our Information Hub and will be updated once the changes come into force)."

'Is it spent now?' - New brief guide on changes to the ROA (Unlock Forum)


Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 - Explanatory Notes - Chapter 8: Rehabilitation of offenders

"48. Chapter 8 contains a package of changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (“the ROA”) to amend the scope of the Act and its rehabilitation periods. The amendments extend the scope of the ROA so that custodial sentences of up to and including 4 years in length can become ‘spent’. The times at which different convictions become ‘spent’ are also amended, and in most cases the rehabilitation periods are reduced. Where a caution or conviction has become spent, the offender is treated as rehabilitated in respect of that offence and is not obliged to declare it for most purposes, for example, when applying for employment or insurance."

CHAPTER 8: Rehabilitation of offenders



Additions coming.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 4 and Saving Provisions) Order 2012  (2906)

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Consequential and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2012  (2824)

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Children Act 1989) (Children Remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation) Regulations 2012 (2813)

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 3 and Saving Provision) Order 2012 (2770)

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 2 and Specification of Commencement Date) Order 2012 -18th September 2012 (2412)

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2012 - 24th July 2012 (1956)


Regarding 'drag through'/further convictions ...

'Then' (pre-LASPO 2012) ...

Further Convictions 

"Further convictions

 If a rehabilitation period is still running and the offender commits a ‘summary’ offence, a minor offence that can only be tried in a magistrates’ court, the minor offence will not affect the rehabilitation period for the other offence; each offence will expire separately."

What is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974?

"What happens if I get another caution or conviction before my first conviction becomes spent?

If you already have an unspent conviction (not including unspent conditional cautions), and you get a further caution or conviction before the earlier conviction has become spent, one of the following will apply:

1. If your later outcome is a caution (either a simple caution or a conditional caution), reprimand or warning, neither rehabilitation period will be affected. The caution or conviction for the earlier offence will become spent at the time originally fixed, and the caution for the later offence will become spent after the normal period (immediately for a simple caution or three months for a conditional caution).

2. If your later outcome is a conviction for a summary offence, (one that can only be tried in a magistrates’ court), neither rehabilitation period will be affected. The caution or conviction for the earlier offence will become spent at the time originally fixed, and the conviction for the later offence will become spent after the normal period.

3. If your later outcome is a conviction for an either way or an indictable offence (one which could be tried in the Crown Court) then neither conviction will become spent until the rehabilitation period for both offences are over.

4. If your later outcome is a conviction that results in a prison sentence of more than 2 ½ years then neither the second nor the first conviction will ever become spent.

Once a conviction becomes spent, it remains spent, even if a person is convicted of other offences later."

'Now' (post-LASPO 2012) ...

3.4 Increasing Some Rehabilitation Periods

"a) Further convictions 

Currently, the rehabilitation periods for further convictions for summary offences run separately from other unspent convictions. However, further triable either-way and indictable offences ‘drag through’ existing unspent convictions, extending their rehabilitation period until the last one is spent. Following the changes, all offences will create this ‘drag through’ effect, including summary."


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The Problem Is Particularly Stark

Published on 12 December 2012 03:30 PM

Over 55s let down by Government’s Work Programme

"New analysis of the Government’s Work Programme by Age UK shows that participants in the scheme aged 55 and over are finding it harder than any other age group to move back into work.

The problem is particularly stark for people aged over 60. The figures show that of the 9,500 people aged over 60 referred by Job Centre Plus to the Work Programme in the first 14 months of the scheme, only 140 people (1.48%) managed to find a job through the scheme.

For people aged 55-59 the rate was 2.79 %. These figures compare to a success rate for 18-24 year olds of 3.78% and (3.75%) for those aged 25-34. The overall rate is 3.56%."


Not Casino Dice

Universal Credit Pilot from April 2013

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 at 2.30 pm

UC Pathfinders - who’s included ...

"Here is my latest analysis:

From 29th April 2013 universal credit is due to start in Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington. The actual areas will be a number of postcodes within those council areas, not necessary corresponding to the council borders.

Not all claimants in these areas will claim universal credit. To be able to claim people must meet the following conditions:

• They must be single
• They must be aged between 18 and 60 years and six months
• They must be a British citizen who has lived in the country for the last two years and has not left for more than four continuous weeks;
• They must not be already on means tested JSA, means tested employment and support allowance, income support, housing benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit:
• They must not now be entitled any of those benefits or to contributory JSA or contributory ESA or waiting for a claim to be decided for any of the benefits in these two paragraphs or still have a live appeal about any of these benefits.
• They must not be pregnant,
• They must accept that they are fit for work;
• They must not have had a claim for JSA or which finished in the previous 2 weeks;
• They must not have had a claim for ESA which finished in the last two weeks unless it was decided that they were fit for work;
• They must not be likely to earn more than £330 in the next month if they are aged 25 or over( £270 if under)
• They must not have savings of more than £6,000`
• They must not be homeless within the meaning of section 175 of the Housing Act 1996;
• They must not be in exempt accommodation;
• They must not be an owner occupier or shared owner;
• They must not be responsible for a child
• They must not be responsible for providing care to someone who needs it (unless this is for a part time job or volunteering activity)
• They must not be about to take up self-employment;
• They must not be in education or training and must be unlikely to take up this in the next month;
• They must not have a formal appointee;
• They must have a national insurance number
• They must have a bank, building society or post office account.

However if they form a couple later after claiming they can claim universal credit together.

So who does that leave?

It looks like “standard” single people who become unemployed and are looking for a job, but are not entitled to contributory job seekers allowance."


24 May 2012

Government names universal credit pathfinder

18th October, 2012

Universal Credit Pathfinder and national rollout

"Welfare reforms that will see a range of benefits lumped together into a single payment are to be introduced in Greater Manchester and Cheshire six months ahead of national roll out.

The Department for Work and Pensions has today announced 1,500 claimants will move onto universal credit across Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington each month from April 2013."

Tuesday 1 January 2013 18.48 GMT

Universal credit welfare pilot beset by IT failures

"Real-time system required to match employers' payments to employees' bank accounts has 25% failure rate."


A Little Preparation - WP05 (Start Notification Letter), Sanctions And Law

Versions and release dates for Work Program WP05 (FOIR)

"I hope you share my concerns about the effect unsatisfactory replies and dubious reviews such as these may have on the reputation of the DWP. I also hope that with a view to minimising any tendency to increased cynicism and mistrust you can clarify what occurred on this occasion."

The Most Recent (09/11 v 3)? - published on 30 September for use in Jobcentres from 3 October 2011

"You must complete any activities that [insert name of Provider], or one of their partners, tells you to do"


Part 1 DWP

"Please Note: The below information is provided "as is" freely on the internet expressing an idea.There is no warranty that it is correct or the extent of its effectiveness. There is no guarantee that it will work or that such persons will be exempt from benefit sanctions for such refusal. It might help you, it might not. It could inspire you into a better letter. It is expected that a person wanting to Refuse the Work Programme has a genuine objection that is sincere."


WP05 : Work Programme notification letter, SEETEC

"Below we have a copy of the notification letter to an unemployed person already in receipt of the Jobseekers Allowance. The manner of the letter is the first point of contention, it is a clear document of orders, the second comes in the offer of contract and its rules, specifically the terms by which the receiver of the offer of contract must obey all commands coming from the outsource provider, Seetec, quote :

You must complete any activities that SEETEC tells you to do”"

"Your Terms

First you must understand that for contract law to support your actions you need to ensure your terms are of a reasonable nature, example: keeping terms in accordance with your employment history and your abilities, as such you need to consider your position in these terms:

your human rights

So let us say you, in general, worked in an office, that this should be seen as your career choice as a whole, that after your consideration of the offer you will present your terms in relation to acceptance in accordance that should you accept the offer, (subject to consideration) the offers of employment would fall within your skill base, and that you would expect a similar rate of pay as that deserving of your qualities. (you would have to present an acceptable rate of pay acceptable to you as part of your terms)

You would then want to clarify the term; “You must complete any activities that SEETEC tells you to do”, because it is so open ended, you would in theory lose benefit payments should you refuse to kill your next door neighbour if a member of SEETEC demanded such of you. Such clarification even in law, would not be seen as an unreasonable request, so you would open negotiation in order the boundaries of such a term, especially as consent is being sought under contractual obligation for which sanctions would have been consented to be used as a tool of enforcement, to be set and then accepted to the agreement of both parties."

WP Start letter 23 Oct 2012 21:35

"People mandated to the WP have to be issued with a letter which cites the correct regulations enabling the mandation. The letter that should be used is coded WP05. The original version of this letter dod not cite the regulations. The DWP altered the WP05 without giving it a new version number (sneaky!). Some people were also incorrectly mandated by use of other letters (e.g. WP02 which also does not contain the required wording). There have already been instances - some documented on this site! - of successful challenges to the WP mandation (see posts from Bryan). In these instances the person has checked which letter they received and whether it was the correct version. This can be done by a Subject Access Request if original not available. WHERE the original mandation has been done incorrectly complaints have been made - and upheld. The result being withdrawal from the WP and reinstatement of normal signing on procedures at JCP."


[2012] EWHC 2292 (Admin) and revised standard letters (FOIR)

"In The Queen (on the application of) Caitlin Reilly and Jamieson Wilson -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ruling it highlighted DWP letters warning of potential sanctions are unlawful. Today you said "We do not believe there is anything wrong with the original letters and we will appeal this aspect of the judgement, but in the meantime we have revised our standard letters.""

The Queen (on the application of) Caitlin Reilly and Jamieson Wilson -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Reilly - CO/260/2012 and Wilson - CO/1087/2012

Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWHC 2292 (Admin)


The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011

JSA SANCTIONS FROM 22.10.12 - Memo DMG 37/12 (DWP)

Changes to Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions from 22 October 2012 (DWP)

DMG Chapter 34 - Sanctions (DWP)

DMG Chapter 35 - Hardship (DWP)

Work Programme Provider Guidance (DWP)


Friday 1 April 2011 19.46 BST

Jobcentres 'tricking' people out of benefits to cut costs, says whistleblower

"Soaring number of sanctions against unemployed amid claims that DWP staff are being told to trip people up with paperwork."

Posted on February 19, 2012

Chris Grayling is a Lying Bastard
Critics of Government work experience programme are 'jobs snobs', says minister
Stalin Would Blush at this Government’s Workfare Tantrum
DWP Rewrite History – Mandatory Work Disappears from the Work Programme Provider’s Guidance

"That an over-privileged Oxbridge twat like Chris Grayling can accuse benefit claimants of being snobs for objecting to forced labour shows how pitifully out of touch this government are.

Grayling, clearly rattled about the ongoing disintegration of the government’s welfare policy, has unleashed a torrent of lies in the Telegraph this morning.

Perhaps the most brazen is the quote: “We won’t and don’t force anyone to take a work experience placement. Where we use mandation in our welfare policies, it will be to do useful work on community projects. We will never mandate anyone to work for a big company. They wouldn’t take them if we did.“

Just one of several new workfare schemes is called the ‘Mandatory Work Programme’ (the clue’s in the name). Under this scheme, which Job Centre advisors can re-refer people onto indefinitely, claimants will be expected to work 30 hours a week, for four weeks per referral, or face benefit sanctions of three months. If they leave and then return to the placement the sanction will still remain in force. Where claimants end up working will be down to providers, almost all of whom are private sector poverty pimps. Claimants could be referred to private companies or charities alike. Whilst it is true that on this scheme the DWP has stipulated that placements should have some community benefit, one of those benefits is astonishingly ‘working towards the profit of the host organisation’."


Prison (2003)

Never have I witnessed such a clan of impersonal, rude, intimidating and blinkered individuals.

A collection of ill-informed, mechanistic liars, apparently content to indulge in their own needs and desires, so as to get their way, by any measures available.

A conglomeration of fear-driven hypocrites, such that those good and noble, within the game, could barely gasp their last breaths of integrity within the hatesmoke-filled space.

I wonder what prison will bring? 



Mental Health Is Rooted In The Context Of People’s Lives


Mental health in context: the national study of work-search and wellbeing (DWP)

Full report


The findings indicate that CMDs contribute to poorer employment outcomes, because by their nature, they erode beliefs about abilities and optimism about the future. But entering employment can support recovery.

More broadly, the study has shown that mental health is rooted in the context of people’s lives. Poor physical health, low levels of social support, neighbourhood context and adverse life events all play a role in whether or not someone will experience a decline in mental health during a period of unemployment.

However, there is an important distinction for policy-makers to consider between people who arrive on JSA with relatively stable employment histories having developed symptoms of distress as a result of recent life events, and those for whom a mental health condition is one issue among an array of longstanding life adversities."


Monday, 24 December 2012

On The Move

24 December 2012

Young claimants shut out of private rented sector

"Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: ‘This snapshot of a typical rental search for a single person builds a picture of desperate shortage, particularly for those restricted to lower housing benefit levels, and shows that landlords are reluctant to take on benefits claimants.’"

No room available: study of the availability of shared accommodation (Crisis)

"Ben Sanders and Lígia Teixeira."

Saturday 22 December 2012

UK needs more houses not higher benefits, thinktank says

"Raising housing benefit is an expensive fix that fails to tackle the problem of high house prices and rents, says Institute of Economic Affairs."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 09:37 GMT  

Expensive transport costs hit job seekers

"Transport costs are becoming a big hindrance to young people trying to get a job, according to new research from the Work Foundation. The research concluded that 20% of young people are finding transport costs a big hindrance to find employment or continue with education or training. This is especially true for those living in rural areas, the report said."

Tuesday 25 December 2012 

Landlords fear introduction of Universal Credit

"Of the 500 landlords surveyed in the National Landlords Association’s latest Quarterly Landlords Panel, 96 per cent are concerned over problems with the introduction of Universal Credit.

This is clearly linked to the two leading priorities cited for 2013, arrears avoidance (64%) and minimising voids (56%).

Universal Credit will replace the current benefit system in April 2013. Under the new system, most benefits, including Local Housing Allowance (LHA), will be rolled into one monthly payment. In addition, direct payments of LHA to the landlord will cease."


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Die Groß Gesellschaft

The Big Society, Berlin, Germany, 1930

22 Saturday Dec 2012

The rise of food banks and the fall of the Big Society

"Isn’t it a shame that in the season of goodwill, the Prime Minister cannot extend any to those who are worst-off in his bold Big Society?

Instead, all they’ve been given are bad statistics and platitudes.

I’m referring, of course, to his performance in the last Prime Minister’s Questions of 2012, when he was asked to explain why there has been a sixfold increase in the number of food banks in the UK during the last three years – the time since Mr Cameron’s Coalition government took over."

LAST UPDATED AT 09:56 ON Tue 18 Dec 2012

Mothers 'steal to feed children' as poor rely on food banks

"Shoplifters in deprived areas target essential items, say police, amid growing economic hardship

YOUNG MOTHERS in South Yorkshire are being forced to steal to feed their children as the economic downturn continues to bite, according to police.

In deprived areas like Rotherham, where crime has increased by 28 per cent in the last 12 months, the poor have been reduced to stealing groceries and other essential items just to survive."

15 August 2011 

The well-trousered philanthropists: Tory party chums and food parcels for the poor

"Active citizen Mel Kelly discovers how private companies with Conservative connections are benefiting from 'reform' of the British welfare state."

Saturday 22 December 2012 20.34 GMT

Christmas food handouts double as millions face 'financial precipice'

"Debt-ridden households could kill off economic recovery when interest rate rises, says Resolution Foundation."


2012 review – are we looking at a decade of destitution? (JRF)

Autumn statement and the Office for Budget Responsibility (Inclusion) 

Councillor in attack on food bank

How does the Coalition score on food poverty and living standards?


Saturday, 22 December 2012

A New Battle Begins


Subject: FAO Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP
Date: 22/12/12

Dear Sir,

Since your organisation (DWP) does not offer 24 hours support (outrageous, in this day and age), and it is not operational (Jobcentre) until 27/12/12, if falls upon you, as the responsible person, to deal with this issue, particularly in the spirit and operation of 'Digital by Default'.

I carried out all the legal requirements, required of me (and more), under my JSAg (12/5/11 - JSA 1995), over the last cycle, and you have failed to pay me my benefit entitlement (on 19/12/12).

No warnings. No communications. No indications of issues raised. Confirmation of the latter, at interview (A4e - 13/12/12).

Please note this official complaint and ensure that my entitlement is paid, directly (with interest and punitive consideration).

I am sure your Christmas will be merry.


Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield


Copy sent to local Jobcentre Plus (24/12/12 - post collection, 28/12/12), for information and action.


Outcome (27/12/12, by telephone, to local JCP)

Not a sanction issue, simply SNAFU - emergency money transfer, within 3 hours.


And He Is Not Even Directly-Affected

Published on Dec 20, 2012

Benefit cards, Universal Jobmatch


Friday, 21 December 2012

Modern-Day Tattoo

11:33AM GMT 20 Dec 2012

Jobless to be remotely monitored by Government

"Benefit claimants will have their online job applications remotely monitored by the Government to see whether they are making serious attempts to find work.

Mr Duncan Smith said the website will mean Job Centre advisers are able to target their help at jobseekers with problems

From the beginning of next year, the unemployed will have to look for work through the Coalition's new Universal Jobmatch website or potentially risk losing their benefits.
The website will scan the CVs of benefit claimants and automatically match them up with job openings that suit their skills.

It will also allow employers to search for new workers among the unemployed and send messages inviting them to interviews.

However, the activities of benefit claimants can also be tracked using devices known as "cookies", so their Job Centre advisers can know how many searches they have been doing, suggest potential jobs and see whether they are turning down viable opportunities.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the scheme would "revolutionise" the process of looking for work."

Monday 10 December 2012 UK

Universal Jobmatch: the key questions

"The new Universal Jobmatch website has left many jobseekers worried about the safety of their personal information - and claimants uncertain about whether they are obliged to register."

In 2013 Universal Jobmatch to be mandatory?

20 December 2012 Last updated at 15:13

Iain Duncan Smith's 'tough' site for jobseekers

"Jobseekers in England, Scotland and Wales will have to use a new government website that can automatically tell jobcentres about their applications - or risk losing their benefit payments."

Friday 21 December 2012 

Unemployed to be forced to sign up to Universal Jobmatch website at the centre of security concerns 

"Jobseekers complain that they don’t want to upload sensitive information, such as a CV"

December 20, 2012

Universal Job Search IS to be Made Compulsory

"Jobseekers in England, Scotland and Wales will have to use a new government website that can automatically tell jobcentres about their applications – or risk losing their benefit payments."

Last updated: December 20th, 2012

Internet snooping on job seekers: not just creepy but a shocking waste of money

"The system simply won't work. The tech-savvy will simply switch off the cookies and carry on supplying paper evidence; professionals will struggle to find realistic jobs on the government mandated site; the non-tech-savvy but corrupt will apply for the minimum quota of jobs per week and stay on their sofas (just as they do now); the only people who will suffer will be those genuinely in need of work who are forced to choose between being "internet babes" or being forced to stack shelves or lose benefits, or those completely lacking IT skills, who will not apply for things online, and suffer the consequence of losing benefits or being sent into the work programme."

"The Government shouldn't be making a system designed to distrust citizens and make those who don't check the boxes suffer. If ministers want to check people are applying for jobs, they might consider sorting out the massive flaws in the Job Centre online site first; and then do it by simpler methods – for example, BCCs of emails sent to specific mailboxes would serve the same purpose, but without the creepy 1984 aspect, or insisting that jobs must go through the Government's web portal. Iain Duncan Smith would do well to remember that the state is supposed to be the servant of the people, not the master."

Saturday 22 December 2012 20.45 GMT

Iain Duncan Smith's advisers warn of consequence of benefits crackdown 

"Committee says withdrawing benefits for those judged unwilling to seek work risks driving claimants into 'crime or prostitution'

Iain Duncan Smith's own advisers have urged a softening of his benefits crackdown after hearing evidence that it risked pushing the poorest in society into "crime or prostitution".

Thursday 20 December 2012 16.20 GMT

Unemployed to be forced to use government job website

"Duncan Smith said it would be mandatory for jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants to use the site from early in the new year, but no JSA claimant would be required to allow their jobcentre adviser to see any of their activity on the site."

Thursday 20 Dec 2012 10:33 pm

Log on or stop signing on, Iain Duncan Smith says in warning to job seekers

"Benefit claimants will be hauled before job advisers every day if their online activity shows they are not looking for work, Iain Duncan Smith has warned.

Launching the government’s new Jobmatch website, the work and pensions secretary said people would be expected to apply for at least three jobs a week.

He said that signing up to the website, which matches job seekers with employers, would become mandatory for claimants from next year.

Under European law, people have to give permission to allow job centre staff to remotely look at what vacancies they have applied for. But Mr Duncan Smith told Metro doing so would be a ‘trip wire’ which would flag up to a job centre that they may not be looking hard enough for work."

Unemployed to be forced to use Universal Jobmatch

Web-only universal credit 'will leave thousands in crisis'

Empty Threats and Tantrums Are All Iain Duncan Smith Has Left In Universal Jobmatch Fiasco

So many coalition successes so far, but few match the brilliance of the Universal Jobmatch website


Universal Jobmatch: Seeker home page and actions for advisers (DWP) 


2 December 2012

Universal Jobmatch (FOIR)


20 December 2012

Universal Jobmatch re-clarification is required after the statement made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (FOIR)


24 December 2012

Information returned from cookies on universal jobmatch (FOIR)


Cookies - New EU cookie law (e-Privacy Directive) (ICO)



You Are Undone If You Once Forget That The Fruits Of The Earth Belong To Us All, And The Earth Itself To Nobody

Goodbye welfare, hello workfare

"The social contract between state and individual is being rewritten. Aided by media rhetoric of ‘dole queens’ and ‘benefit scroungers’, workfare is part of a wider narrative arguing that countries can no longer guarantee the welfare of their citizens.

This narrative exposes the real thinking behind workfare: to deter people from claiming welfare and reduce welfare expenditure.

Unemployment is no longer a consequence of competition for jobs in a globalized market, or the failure of governments’ economic policies. Instead, it is the personal failure of the individual to gain employment, regardless of financial crisis or recession.

Yet blaming the individual looks increasingly weak. The International Labour Organization recently issued a report which concluded that the global economy needs to create 600 million jobs in response to the employment crisis.

As workfare decreases paid employment, it also undermines economic recovery.

This creates a paradox: while the concept of welfare is eroded and those who receive it are expected to get less for doing more, companies involved in workfare benefit from higher profits without employing more people.

Tesco has acknowledged that it has profited from approximately 300,000 hours of unpaid work from 1,400 placements in ‘recent months’.

Neoliberal governments and the workfare industry are actively intervening to restructure the labour market by suppressing wages and increasing the pressure on people to accept low-paid work.

The labour market is becoming a workfare market."



Work Programme: the experience of different user groups (video)

Meeting started on Wednesday 19 December at 9.40am. Ended at 11.36am

HoC Work and Pensions Committee Wednesday 19 December 2012: Wilson Room


Mr Dave Simmonds, Director, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Inclusion), Ian Mulheirn, Director, Social Market Foundation (SMF), and Professor Roy Sainsbury, Research Director and Professor of Social Policy, University of York


Work Programme: the experience of different user groups (documents)

Visit the Committee's homepage.

13 December 2012

Statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts

Margaret Hodge is "astonished" at the ineffectiveness of the Work Programme

"This first analysis of the Work Programme performance figures shows the extent to which the scheme is failing participants, and particularly the young and the harder-to-help. Against a contractual target of 5.5 per cent, the lowest performing provider did not manage to place a single person in the under 25 category into a job lasting six months. The Work Programme was specifically designed to incentivise providers to assist those furthest from the work place, but the appalling performance for ESA ex-incapacity claimants demonstrates how this experiment simply is not working. Between June 2011 and July 2012, of the some 9,500 ex-incapacity claimants referred to providers, I am astonished that only 20 people have been placed in a job that has lasted three months.

My committee will be taking evidence from the department next week when we shall expect a clear explanation for what action is underway to turn performance around and get the Work Programme working for participants and the taxpayer."

2:43PM GMT 27 Nov 2012

Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme 'worse than doing nothing'

"Iain Duncan Smith’s £5 billion scheme for tackling long-term unemployment is worse at helping the jobless find work than doing nothing at all, official results suggest.

Figures for the first year of the Work Programme showed that just two in every 100 people who enrolled in the scheme have been employed for six months or more."

The Work Programme isn’t working (LFF)

Work Programme figures prove Emma Harrison wrong

'Abysmal' A4e awarded another handout

Exclusive: A4e and a £200m back-to-work scandal

A4e CEO Andrew Dutton gives a Year in Review

NAO highlights Work Programme failings

Work Programme charities warn of imminent contract failures

Prime providers starving Work Programme subcontractors of referrals

Charities claim 'better than welfare-to-work industry

A strange kind of success: Work programme pushes ahead despite 3.5% success rate

To what extent are charities involved in the Work Programme?

BIG UK Charities caught feeding at the trough of Government Workfare

The year in management: 2012

Navca calls for review of the Work Programme to stop large contractors 'abusing local charities'

Durham Work Programme

Addaction scheme outdoes the Work Programme by focusing on self-esteem

Work Programme needs to focus on the right skills

Work Programme Increases Hardship and Makes Little Difference to Compliance

MP in blast at job programme

‘Jobs crisis’ wake up call


December 2012

RR 823 Evaluation of Mandatory Work Activity (DWP)

December 2012

RR 824 Evaluation of Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed Trailblazer (DWP)


Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 533 (DWP)

"A comparative review of workfare programmes in the United States, Canada and Australia: Richard Crisp and Del Roy Fletcher, (2008)"


Disregarded: The True Story of the Failure of the UK's Work Programme

Which providers have left the Work Programme?



Thursday, 20 December 2012


Rich, From A Tory

7:05PM GMT 18 Dec 2012

'Ban benefits claimants from spending on drink and cigarettes'

"Benefits claimants should be banned from spending welfare payments on “luxury” items like alcohol, cigarettes and satellite television, a Government aide has said.

Strain: the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is masterminding welfare reforms

Alec Shelbrooke said that claimants should be paid welfare via electronic cash cards that could only be used to buy essentials like food, clothing, energy, travel and housing.

Mr Shelbrooke, a Conservative MP, is a parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office,

He made the suggestion as a backbencher in the House of Commons, but ministers are understood to be looking at similar ideas.

Mr Shelbrooke has drafted a Bill that would change the law to allow welfare payments to be made on a new “welfare cash card” whose use could be restricted by the Government."

MP: Ban benefit claimants from buying alcohol

No beer on benefits: Tory MP wants those on benefits banned from buying "unnecessary items"

We won't dish out benefits: Tories declares war on claimants by studying plans for welfare card

Alec introduces the Welfare Cash Card

Welfare cash card 


I contacted Mr Shelbrooke ...

Subject: Your Dangerous Madness

Dear Sir,

I will try to be brief, as I do not believe your offensive ideas warrant much effort.

JSA is deemed "the minimum amount one can live on".

Living is more than survival.

Many of us are likely to be on JSA (or equivalent), for the remainder of our 'working' lives.

Imagine a life, with no hope for anything other than state-sanctioned commodities.

Can you imagine that?

Does it ring a bell?

Is that the kind of country you believe in?


(and, no, I do not 'drink' or smoke)


Friday 21 December 2012 12.57 GMT

Welfare cash cards and spying: the Tory approach to unemployment

"An MP's proposal to stop claimants buying 'luxury goods' would fit with a new website that tracks job search activities."

January 14, 2013

Alec Shelbrooke: The need to reverse Labour’s destruction of the Welfare State is greater than ever

"This is a plea to the reader – it is not in my character, nor ever the intention of my Bill to play one section of society off against another. To suggest otherwise is not only false but damaging and disrespectful to the 5.8m recipients of DWP benefits who believe in the integral importance of the Welfare State."


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Letter To The Home Office (Part 2)

Not yet sent, being proof-read. Recent additions in sand.


To: The Rt Hon Theresa May MP


Dear Ms May,

I wish to survey your thoughts, and the official position and intention of the Ministry/Government, on the following issues:


Issue 1

R v Wiles (2004): Ramifications For Police Forces And Those Who Are Required To Register, Under The Sexual Offences Act 2003

I am sure that you are aware of this document (

The main thrust, of the implications of Wiles, is understood, if not agreed upon..

I request clarification, of the following passage, and how it should impact, consistently, on all police forces, in regards to them relinquishing people from (or maintaining them within), notification requirements:

"... to make sure that they have applied the effects of this judgement from at least 1 April 2005."

Please provide a more extended explanation, of what this passage is meant to convey, and, in particular, the nature of the phrase 'at least' and:

e.g. does it mean, that Wiles is retrospective, based on sentencing, prior to Wiles and/or 1/4/2005?

e.g. does it mean, that the requirement to notify, is retrospective, based on sentencing, before 1/4/2005, in light of Wiles?

If the answer to either of these question is "yes", what does the government intend to do, so as to rectify this situation, by legislation (I am sure that you are aware, that the whole construct, of the 'Extended Sentence'; was different, prior to that date and, in fact, earlier to it, than to what it is now).

If your answer, in terms of intention, is "nothing", why not?

On R v Wiles

A Letter To The Home Office (Part 1)

What Is 'Imprisonment'? 

Sexual Offences Act 2003


Issue 2:

Re-Balancing The Notification Periods: In Light Of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

I am sure, that any reasonable person would agree with me, that the excellent work carried out by Lord Dholakia, and his colleagues (leading to the amendments of the ROA 1974 (via LASPOA 2012)), is one small, but, very important, step, in enabling those who have served their debt to society (and more), towards integration as good-standing and productive members of that society. I do have to say, in these days, it is relatively brave and rare, for a government to support such amendments.

Prejudice and persecution, against people, such as myself, are rife, within our communities; that can never be 'a good thing'.

It is now illuminating, to consider the intention of Parliament, when the original Sex Offenders Bill (1996) and Act (1997), were being created:

"The Bill

The Government published its Sex Offenders Bill on 18 December 1996 ... For present purposes, we will focus on Part 1 ... which in turn constituted five clauses, specifying the offenders who will have to register and for how long they will be required to register; describing what information must be supplied and how; making failure to comply with the requirements an offence; outlining the position of young offenders (i.e. under 18 years); and empowering courts to issue certificates stating details of the court hearing. How did the Bill compare to the Consultation Document? First we should note that, although putting forward options, the Consultation Document did contain what might be called the Government's 'preferred options'. These included, firstly, that we did actually have registration requirements, and that their duration should match that of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. (my emphasis). Failure to register was to be an absolute offence and the provisions should not be retrospective; the offence of failing to register would be a summary one. Registration was to be in the locality where the offender lived. The Government wanted access to the information on record to be given to those engaged in child protection activities.

The Bill reflected all of these 'preferred options' (my emphasis), although again had nothing directly to say on the subject of allowing access to registered information. It is true to say that the Government continually held the line on all its preferred options, although some were held more easily than others."

(Thomas, T. (2000), Sex Crime: Sex Offending and Society, pg. 108-109, Willan).

The arguments, which the present government supported, towards the LASPOA 2012 amendments, are parallel in nature to those considered, during their creation, and are on record, in the usual places.

I need not comment, here, about the continuing, draconian, populist, mission creep, within the notification requirements, which a person in my position suffers. I have stated such, here, and no doubt, will do so again, in the future:

The Creation of Fresh Pariahs

This is particularly irritating, in a personal sense, as it rests only.on Wiles,  which I (amongst others) see as per incuriam, in itself. It is galling and offensive, to one such as myself, who presents no more a risk to society, than any man in the street (and never has - quite the opposite, in fact).

So, the question is this; does the government intend to re-balance the notification periods, with those in the LASPOA 2012 amendments and with the original intention of Parliament?

If that answer is "no", why not?

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (requires correction, at the time of writing, via Commencement)

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill [HL]: Second Reading

Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill

Get Adobe Flash player

Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders


Issue 3:

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 - Commencement

Do you have any further guidance on (or dates applying to) when the periods, described in Issue 2, are likely to be 'Commenced'?


Issue 4:


Regarding the ICPC, I received this email, from your representative:


19 Oct
to me
Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield,
Reference : T14916/12
Date: 19-Oct-2012


Thank you for your e-mail of 18/10/2012 8:11:07 PM.

The matters you have raised are the responsibility of Department for Education.

We have therefore transferred your e-mail to DfE, who will arrange for a reply to be sent to you.

Transfer Desk"

Please provide, in as much detail as possible, to whom my request was redirected.

For the record, I do not believe, for one moment, it is the responsibility of the DfE; Do you?


If you believe that any of my requests relate better to The Ministry of Justice, please redirect my email to them, informing me that you have done so and to whom. You may treat this as a request, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, if you so desire.

For the record, it is very likely, that these communications will be shared with my local Member of Parliament and, possibly, in later legal action(s). They may, also, be posted online.

A copy of this email is posted at:

... with active hyperlinks, where appropriate.

A copy of this email has been sent to the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, and my PPU, by Royal Mail.

I look forward to your reply, which is preferred, by email.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield




Addendum (2/8/13)

"The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is an important piece of legislation. It is designed to help people with a criminal record get back into work by allowing their record to become ‘spent’ after a period of time, provided they have not reoffended.

Once a record is spent, this means that the person is no longer required to declare their offence to a prospective employer. At this point, as the Act says, they are ‘entitled to be treated for all purposes in law as a person who has not been convicted or sentenced’.",1346,NAP.html



Friday, 14 December 2012

The UK Nightmare

The American Dream, USA Inc. George Carlin

The American Dream Film-Full Length


Contemporary Slavery In The UK

"What is forced labour?

What is the problem?

Forced labour is any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form [of] punishment. Almost all slavery practices, including trafficking in people and bonded labour, contain some element of forced labour."

Home \ English \ Slavery Today \ Forced Labour
Forced labour: contemporary slavery in the UK

"Influencing the development of policy and practice to reduce forced labour in the UK.

Our overall goal is to contribute to a reduction in forced labour in the UK by highlighting the issue with new, strong evidence on the extent of forced labour and interventions that might help eradicate it; and identifying practical solutions and sharing best practice in supporting victims of forced labour."

Home / Our work / Forced labour: contemporary slavery in the UK


The Queen (on the application of) Caitlin Reilly and Jamieson Wilson -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWHC 2292 (Admin)

Reilly - CO/260/2012 and Wilson - CO/1087/2012

"174 ... it does have to be said that the sbwa scheme, and indeed the CAP, are a very long way removed from the kind of colonial exploitation of labour that led to the formulation of Article 4. The Convention is, of course, a living instrument, capable of development to meet modern conditions, and views may reasonably differ about the merits of a scheme that requires individuals to “work for their benefits” as a means of assisting them back into the workplace. However, characterising such a scheme as involving or being analogous to “slavery” or “forced labour” seems to me to be a long way from contemporary thinking.

Mr Walsh’s first witness statement refers to details of research which it is suggested shows that schemes like the CAP can and do have a beneficial effect in relation to the obtaining of work by the long-term unemployed. It is no part of the court’s function to evaluate that evidence or to comment on its Judgment Approved by the court for handing down. Reilly & Wilson v DWP validity. However, if valid, its existence would reinforce the view that a scheme like the CAP does not offend Article 4.

175. Whilst the argument in Nikiforova concerned different Regulations (see paragraph 52 above), the approach of Bean J and the Court of Appeal in that case supports this conclusion.

176. For these reasons, briefly stated, I do not consider that either scheme is contrary to Article 4, nor do I consider that there has been any breach in Miss Reilly’s case."


Welfare Reform Act 2012

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Mandatory Work Activity Scheme) Regulations 2011

March 2011


"The Purpose of the Mandatory Work Activity Scheme

15. The Committee, along with some respondents, set out a concern regarding the intention of the scheme, likening it to a punishment, rather than a supportive employment programme.

16. The Government does not accept this position. The Mandatory Work Activity Scheme is targeted at those customers who have demonstrated that they require support to gain work related disciplines and re-engage with their search for work, as well as failing to voluntarily engage in the support that is offered by Jobcentre Plus. The Mandatory Work Activity Scheme is not a sanction, or a punishment, but has been developed in recognition that some customers require additional support."

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011 

Jobseekers Act 1995


Posted on December 14, 2012

Could Mandatory Work Activity be on the Brink of Collapse?

"An evaluation of the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) scheme, commissioned and published by the DWP, reveals that welfare-to-work companies are struggling to find enough placements for all those forced into unpaid work. In a further blow to the DWP’s plans for mass workfare, this report was released before several major charities, including Scope, British Heart Foundation, Age UK and Cancer Research announced they were pulling out of the scheme."

RR 823 Evaluation of Mandatory Work Activity - December 2012

Read summary
Read full report

Mandatory Programmes Official Statistics - November 2012
Mandatory Programme Statistics August 2012


November 11, 2012

Government So Ashamed of Workfare it Blocks Information about it

"The Department of Work and Pensions is refusing to publish the names of charities and businesses where tens of thousands of unemployed people are being made to work without pay for four weeks at a time."

Is the Work Programme really Forced Labour/Slavery in the UK?

Between decent work and forced labour: examining the continuum of exploitation
Between decent work and forced labour: examining the continuum of exploitation