Posts tagged ‘flawed’

Psychological Wellbeing and Work-Mo Stewart


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Guest Blog by Mo Stewart

Dear Christian van Stolk

Re: Psychological Wellbeing and Work

Please excuse this unsolicited contact by an independent researcher in Cambridge.

I have read with interest the Psychological Wellbeing and Work report, as conducted by RAND Europe and funded by the Contestable Policy Fund and, FYI, please be advised that I am a former healthcare professional in my previous career.

I shall copy in the Secretary of State for Health, who now leads on mental health, and his Shadow together with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and his Shadow.

Now in my 8th year of independent research into the ongoing welfare reforms in the UK, as guided by neoliberal politics and strongly influenced by American social security policies which have had a detrimental impact on claimants, may I please draw your attention to the book ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’, which has achieved critical acclaim since its publication in September 2016.

To that end, may I suggest you invite access to the research by contacting my publisher and inviting a review copy of the book.

 This recent book review may be helpful: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disabled-researchers-book-exposes-corporate-demolition-of-welfare-state/

It is cause for continued concern that major DWP policies, often negatively impacting on the wellbeing of some very ill and vulnerable people, are invariably introduced using research commissioned by the DWP, whilst disregarding the vast catalogue of distinguished research evidence as provided by a variety of academic experts when not commissioned by the DWP and whose funding is not linked to political ideology.  Please see attached examples of academic excellence.

It is noted that your report refers to ‘work’, which exclusively identifies with paid employment and disregards the beneficial nature enjoyed by an army of volunteers in the UK, many of whom are chronically ill or profoundly disabled and for whom a return to paid employment is neither practical nor inducive to their wellbeing. As a volunteer, it is possible to benefit from a working environment with colleagues and a purpose when well enough and enjoying a ‘good day’.  There is no-one to make accusations when too ill to leave the house, with a diagnosed condition that will never improve regardless of DWP intimidation and threats.

In keeping with reported comments by David Freud, all DWP commissioned research seems to presume that anyone in receipt of out-of-work disability benefits should have access to the benefits for the short-term, with no acknowledgement at all that many, many health conditions are permanent, cannot improve  especially with endless intimidation and coercion by the DWP, and that there is no evidence whatsoever other than totally discredited DWP commissioned research of the claimed one million people on out-of-work disability benefit who should or could return to work.

It is also noted that a report identified as ‘Psychological Wellbeing and Work’ disregards the ongoing identified preventable harm created by the DWP, the relentless political manipulation of the public with claims for which there is no foundation, suggesting that 75% of claimants of out-of-work disability benefits are ‘inactive’,  ‘bogus’, ‘idle’, ‘skiving’, ‘workshy’ and ‘scrounging’.  This has created a situation where chronically ill people, who are not capable of paid employment, now live in fear of the DWP following relentless coercion and intimidation, aided by the national press, which led to a 213% increase in disability hate crimes in the UK during the Coalition government’s term in office, and genuine claimants now living in fear of applying for welfare funding to which they are entitled, to this nation’s everlasting shame.

There are now claimants who have starved to death in the UK, quite literally, as the unreserved and savage use of sanctions has been imposed by the DWP in an effort to force compliance of the unprecedented DWP welfare ‘reforms’ on those least able to protest.

The most vulnerable in society are paying a high price for the political ideology of neoliberalism, some with their lives.

Suicides and deaths are the tip of the iceberg of misery and suffering on an unimaginable scale experienced by those who

are physically or mentally unfit to work, as the government implements an increasingly punitive and authoritarian regime

against benefit claimants. Vulnerable people are left destitute by sanctions that suspend or end their benefits if they fail

to comply with orders to attend ‘assessments’, ‘training courses’, or submit the required number of job applications.

Psycho politics, neoliberal governmentality and austerity

Philip Thomas

Self & Society Journal

Volume 44, 2016 – Issue 4

Perhaps, when considering future interventions for mental health, Consultant Psychologists and Psychiatrists who are not politically motivated could be consulted as they actually have clinical experience of working with ‘common mental health’ problems, which should not imply that they are not serious problems, and they are less inclined to have the welfare budget as their top priority as opposed to the wellbeing of often very ill patients.

It seems unlikely that more coercion by Jobcentre Plus and the DWP, when masquerading as psychological support, is likely to benefit sufferers of mental ill health, who are not known to respond well to relentless intimidation with endless threats of sanctions and the possibility of starvation close to their lived experience.

The travesty of this ongoing government imposed human suffering, where chronically ill people in receipt of welfare benefits are presumed to be bogus, was adopted due to the introduction of neoliberal politics, the outsourcing to private companies very lucrative DWP contracts and the failure to audit the contracts.  Chronically ill people have suffered and died due to political ideology that is unrelated to the health or the welfare of the claimants, and was motivated by the desire to reduce welfare costs regardless of human consequences. The fact that the DWP have refused to publish updated mortality totals of those who have died following the totally discredited Work Capability Assessment may alert you to the ongoing problems, as faced by those least able to defend themselves against this ideological assault.

See: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/green-party-calls-on-government-to-launch-benefit-deaths-inquiry/

I would alert you to the fact that a great deal of the identified increased mental health problems are due entirely to the DWP policies of recent years, where all chronically ill and disabled people in need of welfare benefits are presumed to be bogus unless proven otherwise, the constant savage rhetoric in the national press, the increases in disability hate crimes and the fact that the British public have been successfully misdirected on route to the UK eventually adopting private healthcare insurance to replace the welfare state.

Your research will no doubt benefit administrators in the DWP and the DoH, but will not benefit anyone suffering from a common mental health problem as enforced ‘therapy’ may well now be added to their many burdens for the enormous crime of being too ill to work. The fact that what was once guaranteed and vital financial support has been removed actually guaranteed an increase in the onset of mental health problems, for those who are physically disabled as well as for those with a mental health diagnosis as their primary health problem.

I trust this information may be helpful.

Best

Mo Stewart

Disabled veteran (WRAF)

Disability studies researcher

Retired healthcare professional

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mo_Stewart/publications

http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/library/author/stewart.mo

www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosveterans.html#documents

Academic confirmation we have all been waiting 7 years for- AYLWARD’S REPUTATION DESTROYED BY ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE


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 Courtesy of Mo Stewart July29th 2016

Re: Blaming the victim, all over again: Waddell and Aylward’s biopsychosocial (BPS) model of disability.

by Tom Shakespeare, Nicholas Watson and Ola Abu Alghaib

 

Critical Social Policy, May 25,2016: 0261018316649120

http://csp.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/05/25/0261018316649120.abstract

AS you all know, I have been exposing the dangerous WCA in my research since 2009.  Eventually, I was able to expose the use of the totally discredited biopsychosocial (BPS) model of assessment, used for the WCA and adopting a ‘non-medical’ assessment model to resist funding benefit.  Waddell and Aylward’s ‘research’ was based on the modified version of Engel’s BPS model as identified in the 1970s. They are responsible for the BPS model used for the WCA, which has destroyed countless lives.

 

Finally, the very long awaited academic support has arrived in the form of a blistering attack against Mansel Aylward and Gordon Waddell’s research ‘evidence’ who, historically, have written DWP ‘commissioned’ research that has influenced government policy, which led to the introduction of the WCA.

 

Originally published in Critical Social Policy Journal, Tom’s scathing attack against the BPS duo is now attached and is available via Tom’s website at UEA: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/58235/1/1351_Shakespeare.pdf

 

The Waddell-Aylward BPS has remained largely unexamined within academic literature, although it has not escaped critique by disability activists (e.g. Jolly 2012, Berger n.d., Lostheskold 2012, Stewart 2013). In this paper we build on these political challenges with an academic analysis of the model and the evidence used to justify it. We outline the chief features of the Waddell-Aylward BPS and argue that, contrary to Lord Freud’s comments above, there is no coherent theory or evidence behind this model. We have carefully reviewed claims in Waddell and Aylward’s publications; compared these with the accepted scientific literature; and checked their original sources, revealing a cavalier approach to scientific evidence. In conclusion, we will briefly outline the influence of the Waddell-Aylward BPS on contemporary British social policy, and the consequent effects on disabled people.” (p4) (My emphasis MS)

 

Waddell and Aylward slide between general statements that are scientifically valid, and specific statements that are matters of opinion or political prejudice. They also tend to cite their own, non-peer reviewed papers extensively. For example they claim ‘We have the knowledge to reduce sickness absence and long-term incapacity associated with common health problems by 30–50%, and in principle by even more’ (2010, 45). They underpin this claim by reference to one of their earlier publications, Concepts of Rehabilitation for the Management of Common Health Problems (Waddell & Burton 2004). However, there is no evidence cited in this 2004 work to support such a claim, in fact this publication even acknowledges the paucity of evidence in this area (Waddell and Burton 2004; 50).” (p20)

 

“In conclusion, the relationship of the advocates of the Waddell Aylward BPS to the UK government’s ‘welfare reform’ does not represent evidence-based policy. Rather, it offers a chilling example of policy-based evidence.” (p24)

 

The research ‘evidence’ used by the DWP to justify the dangerous WCA, using the discredited BPS model, is finally exposed as having ‘no coherent theory or evidence behind this model’, which is academic speak for being totally bogus.

 

 

Is DRUK Trying To Silence Disability Researcher?


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Disability Rights UK (DRUK) have been around a long time, helping disabled people navigate the benefits system with their informative fact sheets available to download from their website.

Like many other charities, gradually, DRUK have been sitting at the table with government officials in the designing of the WCA since 2010, offering both critique and praise alike.

Many will know that DRUK have recently been afforded Government contracts to supply Disability Equality Training to the new contractor, Maximus, for the WCA assessments to ensure disabled people get better treated  within the process. I am sure that DRUK think they are trying to ease the stress these flawed assessments cause many disabled claimants. However, how can you offer help to disabled people then, with the same breath, support the oppressive regime the WCA has become?  This smacks of conflict of interest.

As many disability campaigners know one of their own, Sue Marsh (Spartacus Network), was co-opted by IDS to work for Maximus. This caused much outrage amongst the disability movement dividing many campaigners into two camps, with some calling Marsh a traitor who they deemed was bought to silence her, and others, as Spartacus members gave personal stories etc to the network. Members felt betrayed and concerned as to where their data was, and how it could be used against them come reassessment, with Marsh now working for the government contracted oppressor of disabled people who are dying in their thousands.

 

Benefits and Work  website reported in January 2015

Following its signing of disability campaigner Sue Marsh earlier this month, Maximus – the company taking over the work capability assessment contract from Atos in March – have now signed up a leading disability charity as well.

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) have announced that they have agreed a contract to deliver training in disability equality to Maximus health professionals.

DRUK has over 300 member organisations, including many national charities, and aims to ‘Break the link between disability and poverty’. Maximus, which is being paid more than double the amount that Atos was being paid to carry out WCA’s seems keen to prevent potential opponents from slipping into poverty by sharing some of its taxpayer funded profits with them.

DRUK are also advertising for people to take part in what looks very much like a promotional campaign for income protection insurance – the sort of thing that Unum provide as an alternative to state support – though there is no suggestion that Unum are involved on this occasion.

Members of the public who have had a serious illness and are trying to return to work are offered the amounts of money and support they would have had if they had been wealthy enough to afford to take out income protection insurance cover. They are filmed as they make the return to work and these films can then be used to encourage people to take out income protection insurance.

Of course, the worse the level of state benefits and state support, the more easily people can be persuaded to take out such insurance, giving insurance companies a vested interest in maintaining the link between disability and poverty.

 

The Black Triangle Campaign and Disabled People Against the Cuts  have also  highlighted on their respective websites many of the shortcomings of this government’s failure to ‘Help the most vulnerable in society and protect them,’ with DPAC going to the UN which recently found that disabled people’s human rights were breached under the convention. (Links below)

Make no bones about it, private disability insurance is on its way under Tory rule as we follow the examples of USA, Canada, Australia etc of welfare provision, which is soon to be highlighted in a new book by independent disability studies researcher, Mo Stewart, called Cash Not Care- the planned demolition of the UK welfare state, due to be published later this year. Former healthcare professional and disabled veteran Mo Stewart has spent 6 long years gathering information, which has assisted many disabled campaigners in their fight against these ideological reforms, which caused preventable harm to disabled people and saved very little money for the government; a pledge they used to sell this lie to the public who bought it hook, line and sinker. Mo’s very detailed research reports are available online.

 

You may wonder that I have wandered off topic but you need to understand the background before I lay the cards on the table.

It seems that DRUK would like to now garner the services of researcher Mo Stewart on the new APPG Inquiry regarding ‘Welfare to Work’ which they administer, and which is the next step of this government’s ongoing psycho- coercion to force claimants into work, regardless of the harm it will cause. They fail miserably to understand that many chronically sick and disabled people cannot work, and that their health problems are permanent, as they built the welfare reform policies based on so called ‘academic research’ which has been subsequently demonstrated to be fatally flawed, in the case of the Freud Report, and based on totally bogus research in the case of the DWP evidence used to justify the WCA. http://csp.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/05/25/0261018316649120.abstract

The aim is to go beyond a critique to a template or blueprint for co-ordinated Government action to halve the ‘disability employment gap’.  Even those who want to work (and many disabled people do work), due to the barriers they face regarding access, together with employers who are unwilling to take disabled people on in the workplace, or to make the necessary adjustments needed, they can’t.  For example, most buildings, transport etc are not disability friendly.

Many disabled people are now being put through the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments and are actually losing both their Motability cars, and their jobs, as many disabled people are unable to use public transport.  So, the removal of access to a Motability car also means the loss of paid work. Yet another consequence of welfare reforms the government failed to consider.

What bit of this do the DWP fail to grasp is mind boggling, and clearly lacks any common sense.  Without addressing the barriers, and accepting that many cannot work, is the sole reason the government has failed to halve the disability employment gap as they claimed they wanted to do.  That claim always was little more than propaganda and Tory party rhetoric used in the ongoing psycho-coercion of the British people via the right-wing press.

Thankfully, Mo Stewart declined the offer to join the APPG government inquiry. She challenges the theory behind the planned report, does not wish to be the ‘token’ disabled person on the research team, and there would be a risk that any negative reaction to the eventual report by the disability support groups could be justified by the DWP when highlighting Mo’s contribution. She totally refuses to become another government ‘patsy.’

So, Mo declined the invitation to join the APPG Inquiry research team and is waiting for her book to be published, which is a strong indictment of all those involved in the WCA process. This is the research the government attempted to stop, and the book the government do not want people to read.

She’s also writing further research to support disabled people, and the DWP have discovered that Mo is not easily silenced in her condemnation of these American influenced welfare reforms that she has spent over 6 years of her life researching and reporting.

 

Lynne Friedli’s powerful talk regarding the psycho-coercion used by the state is well worth 45 minutes of your time, demonstrating the realities of the state using psychosocial rhetoric to enforce work that may be unpaid and certainly, for many, will be harmful.(You Tube link)

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mo_Stewart/publications

http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosveterans.html

http://guerillawire.org/welfare/disability-charity-signs-maximus-contract/

Leading WCA campaigner swaps sides to join Maximus

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/20/un-inquiry-uk-disability-rights-violations-cprd-welfare-cuts

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/news/uk-in-breachhuman-rights/00287.html

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/scottish-police-assessing-possible-investigation-into-ids-and-grayling/

 

 

 

 

Telling It Straight-Disabled People Lives at Risk from Further Ideology on Welfare Reform


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Yesterday The Reform Think Tank published its second report with a further one to come before the white paper is published later this year, recommendations in this report will fuel the fear project inflicted by the Tories on those who are considered the most vulnerable whom they promised to protect. Its proposals call for a Single Working Age Benefit (SWAB) while claiming it is not a cost cutting exercise. These folks are so detached from the real lives of those  suffering disability or chronic sickness  it is an indictment of the discourse between policy and real life experience written by non other than IDS lackey Charlotte Pickles. She spent two years as Expert Adviser to Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, helping to design and deliver the Government’s welfare agenda. Before that she was Policy Director at the Centre for Social Justice . So this is hardly impartial and often a pre-curser for Tory policies in the pipeline.

What does this mean for you as a person with a disability or a chronically sick person, ‘hell in a cart’ where they slash benefits and support  needed to live independently. I apologise if this blog is long but you need to know the implications this will have, I cannot sugar coat it or contain my disgust at the disdain shown to those on the receiving end of this frankly disgusting ideology which smacks of 1930 nazism reinforcing the Deserving /Undeserving Poor Rhetoric . We saw recently the Lords reject the cut to ESA of £30 week which will punish cancer patients and others while they need financial support which will go back to the Commons to be further debated,while Cameron stated those with cancer should be in Support Group we know in reality  many are misplaced in Wrag Group and subjected to conditionality of either looking for a job or bullied until they return to work before they are fully recovered if that is indeed a reality for them.The employment rate for disabled people in
the UK is just 48 per cent.

So lets look at just a few of the proposals by this report ;

Shortly after becoming Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 2010, Iain Duncan
Smith announced his ambition to create “[a] welfare system that is fit for the 21st
Century.”9 In 2015 he argued that Universal Credit (UC) “opens the way for us to re-think
the relationship between sickness benefits and work.”10 This paper outlines the structural
reforms that would maximise UC’s impact for people with health conditions. The package
of reforms cover the benefit rate, gateway and conditionality. They are not about costsaving,
but building a more coherent, effective and personalised benefit system.
The difference in the benefit level for unemployed people compared to that for people with
significant health conditions is sizeable – and under UC the gap will widen.The Government should
therefore set a single rate for out-of-work benefit.

The savings from this rate reduction should be reinvested into Personal Independence Payment which contributes to the
additional costs incurred by someone with a long-term condition and into support
services.

1A single out-of-work allowance should be established, removing all out-of-work
disability-related premiums.
>> Time-limited transitional protection should be provided for current Employment
and Support Allowance support group claimants.
>> The single out-of-work allowance should be uprated by a more generous
mechanism that better reflects the inflation experience of beneficiaries.
2. The savings from moving to a single out-of-work allowance should be reinvested
into increased rates for Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence
Payment and increased provision of support programmes to help claimants move
back into work.

The current requirement to provide a ‘fit note’ from a GP should be scrapped

6. As part of the Occupational Health Assessment, where appropriate claimants should
co-produce an occupational health plan with their health adviser. This should be
accompanied by a personal budget that is unlocked by a ‘dual key’ of claimant and
specialist employment adviser. This should facilitate implementation of the plan to
assist the claimant in moving closer to the labour market by treating or managing
their condition.

The latter will most likely be be through IAPT/CBT  and work choice programmes currently planned pilot in Islington GP practices and Work Coaches.

Link ;  http://www.islington.gov.uk/advice/employment/employment-commission/Pages/default.aspx

Although the introduction of a WRAG was intended to tackle this by recognising an
individual’s remaining work capacity, in the quarter up to May 2015, only around one per
cent of WRAG claimants left the benefit. In addition, the majority (almost 75 per cent) of
post-assessment ESA claimants are assigned to the support group where the absence of
any work expectation reinforces the negative messaging that they cannot work.

The report looks at both the New Zealand ,Sweden,Danish Models and ways they think UK can follow suit. The Chancellor George Osbourne  said in his summer budget;

In the 2015 Summer Budget, the Chancellor acknowledged the unintended
consequences of the system:
The Employment and Support Allowance was supposed to end some of the perverse
incentives in the old Incapacity Benefit. Instead it has introduced new ones. One of
these is that those who are placed in the work-related activity group receive more
money a week than those on Job Seekers [sic] Allowance, but get nothing like the help
to find suitable employment.
He announced that, from April 2017 and for new claimants, the ESA WRAG component
and the UC equivalent Limited Capability for Work (LCW) element would be aligned to that
of JSA. This contrasts with the support group which retains the relevant ESA component,
and in UC the LCWRA element. Once UC is rolled out, this means that those on the UC
standard allowance (around £73 a week) will receive half the payment that those on the
standard allowance plus the LCWRA element will get (around £146 a week). As well as
this, from April 2016, a four-year freeze is being applied to all out-of-work benefits
excluding ESA support group, which continues to be uprated by the Consumer Price
Index, further expanding the differential.

This represents a growing incentive for people to be assigned to the support group. Dr
Paul Litchfield raised concerns about making the support group more attractive in relation
to time-limiting contributory ESA WRAG. In his year five independent review of the WCA
he argued:
Time limiting applies only to those placed in the WRAG and therefore increases the
existing financial incentive for individuals to be placed in the support group, if they need
to remain on the benefit beyond 12 months.
With limited access to employment support and no work-related conditionality, people in
the support group are completely detached from the labour market. This is particularly
concerning given that, according to one survey of ESA recipients, 52 per cent of support
group claimants said they “currently want to work.”

All out-of-work disability-related premiums should be removed from the current system,
along with the LCWRA component in UC. This would leave a single out-of-work
allowance. The level at which this allowance is set must balance multiple and often
competing objectives. These include poverty alleviation, fairness, sustainability and
incentivising work. Ultimately, the precise rate will be a political judgement, but
maintaining work incentives will likely mean a rate that is not that dissimilar to the current
JSA/UC standard allowance rate.

1.2.1 The vision:

Absent any transitional protection or reinvestment in other benefits, this would mean
sizeable loses for those currently in receipt of the premiums, and ‘notional losses’ for
future claimants. The average weekly payment for those in the ESA support group, which
includes the ESA component and disability-related premiums, is around £131.105 Under
UC, anyone in the support group will receive the LCWRA element in addition to standard
allowance, taking their weekly payment to around £146. This means a loss, on average,
of around £58 per week under the current system and a loss of around £73 under UC. For
those receiving the maximum possible amount of disability-related premiums under the
current system, the loss will be higher.
1.2.1.2 Transitional protection
Implementing a single out-of-work rate would require some form of transitional protection
to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ effect. One option would be to create a time-limited support group
cash payment – replacing the existing component and disability premiums – to be
withdrawn over that set time period. For example, over three years a £60 a week payment
(roughly the average loss) could be reduced by £20 each year. . £131 is the average
weekly amount paid to single people in the ESA support group.

1 Working welfare / The rate therefore less attractive option would be to replicate, in part, the approach taken in UC:
the actual amount lost by each individual claimant as a result of the reform could be
frozen in cash terms (as per UC losers), but unlike UC also reduced over time (i.e. not just
left to erode naturally with inflation). That time period could vary according to the size of
the loss, for example by a set amount, say £20 a week, each year until it was fully
removed. This would not only add complication, but also take longer to reach the new
system, and thus longer to release the savings for reinvestment. The former is therefore
the preferred option.1.2.1.3 Maintaining benefit value
Successive uprating decisions that have applied below inflation increases to many
working-age benefits have eroded their value. Without the caps of the last Parliament and
the freeze which will be applied in April 2016 for four years, JSA and the UC standard
allowance would have been almost £80 a week in 2019-20 – 8.5 per cent a week higher
than they will actually be.106 In Updating uprating: towards a fairer system, Reform argued
that the Government should scrap the benefits freeze and look to implement a fairer
uprating mechanism for income-replacement benefits that better reflects their inflation
experience.107 This, in short, would mean a more generous uprating policy: one that would
track more closely rises in beneficiary living costs.
Recommendation 1
A single out-of-work allowance should be established, removing all out-of-work
disability-related premiums.
>> Time-limited transitional protection should be provided for current Employment
and Support Allowance support group claimants.
>> The single out-of-work allowance should be uprated by a more generous
mechanism that better reflects the inflation experience of beneficiaries.
1.2.2 Reinvesting the savings
The move to a single out-of-work benefit is not about saving money but about creating a
simpler, more coherent system. As such, the savings resulting from removing the
disability-related additions to the standard allowance should be reinvested into extra
costs benefits (PIP) and support services. Determining how best to split the savings
between these areas is also a political decision.
1.2.2.1 Investing in extra cost benefits
DLA and its working-age replacement benefit, PIP, are designed to contribute to extra
costs incurred by someone with a long-term health condition. Eligibility is not based on a
specific condition or disability, but the impact it has on the individual. It is paid both in and
out of work and is not means-tested or taxed. PIP has two components, daily living and
mobility, and each has two rates, standard and enhanced. In replacing DLA, the then
Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, argued that PIP would “create a new, more
active and enabling benefit.”The Coalition Government argued that PIP would be
“easier to understand, more efficient and will support disabled people who face the
greatest challenges to remaining independent and leading full and active lives.” By
introducing an objective assessment, and removing the lower rates of DLA, the Coalition
expected to reduce the caseload – focusing the new benefit on those with the greatest
need.Existing policy will see this spend reduced further. From April 2017, the Work Programme,
along with Work Choice, a voluntary employment programme for disabled people costing
around £80 million a year,125 will be merged into a new Health and Work Programme. This
will cater for claimants with health conditions or disabilities and those who have been
unemployed for over two years, with estimated funding of just £130 million a year.126 This
represents a cut in the main components of employment support spend of around 80 per
cent.

So is this the death knell for those placed in Support Group,  given many are being invited into a work focused interview to see if they would like to work, under a guise yet again by this slimy bastard Government.are they planning to make everyone a Jobseeker you bet your arse they are!

Along with PIP being sucked into the factoring of this report proposing higher PIP premiums to compensate for  any losses  under SWAB ,does this mean PIP will  become means tested in the future?

Many on PIP are losing their vehicles which allow those who can to work. It seems to me a bit of an own goal to remove their means to get to work when Public transport is an issue for disabled people and not fit for purpose.

Best get some Work Clothes/Boots while you still have little money left before they come snatch it all away and drag you out your sick bed  and into your wheelchair at 6am to force you onto public transport which is unusable for the majority, let alone those with Mental Health conditions who never leave their homes and the damage this will cause,  in cost to the human beings within this bloody experiment this government is dogmatically pushing forward even if the reality of evidence  does not support this position.

Now is the time to make a stand  otherwise they will cause untold harm to thousands, don’t leave it to someone else there are many ways you can stand up and be counted,Get involved !

 

 

Link to Reform report ;   http://www.reform.uk/publication/working-welfare-a-radically-new-approach-to-sickness-and-disability-benefits/

Bernadette Meaden viewpoint ;   http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22694

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/disability-benefits-incapacity-benefit-iain-duncan-smith-welfare-perverse-incentives?utm_content=buffercdcb9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disabled Man attacked by G4S Security at Newcastle Jobcentre


g4s guard newcastle

The culprit!

 

 

A sick & disabled man attends Newcastle JCP to use the phones to make an enquiry when he was attacked by G4S guard for using his mobile when they refused his request. How is that acceptable?  The JCP’s are now removing telephones which is another obstruction claimants now face, not every person has a mobile or a landline. It is now policy that you are intimidated BY G4S security to turn off your mobiles after many used them to film maladministration of JCP staff. So how are they supposed to get the information they require, when JCP staff are too busy to deal with a basic inquiry?  They are supposed to be there to assist claimants with their enquiries and help them seek work. This should outrage most people and this man should apologise to the complainant and the claimant should be compensated. At the time of writing this blog a complaint has gone in to the manager of this JCP and the police have been informed and we will update you of the outcome. We cannot allow claimants to be continually bullied just because they happen to have fallen onto hard times in life. His story of being made homeless due to a error in bedroom tax has already hit press and now he is no longer homeless thanks to generosity of other claimants donating to a fund managed to find a flat to ensure his health is stabilised. The stress this man has endured in recent weeks with two hospital admissions for what they think is a heart condition due to him being homeless, on top of all the stress of being on the streets since last October, only to be subjected to this also is totally wrong on a humanitarian basis alone. Britain should hang its head in shame !

 

His story in the press : http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/06/life-limbo-what-it-s-be-one-britain-s-hidden-homeless

 

Here is the claimants  video https://vimeo.com/103182251

The ‘Condition’ of Britain-We are Screwed100% by the Elite


I have been reading the IPPR  Condition of Britain report (see link at bottom) which was plastered all over the press with Ed Miliband’s speech saying what Britain  needed. Well I can tell you Ed a fair system for all , which is no easy task for anyone and no one would disagree this country is a mess, but who bloody caused it yes your Bankers, who dropped the ball, those in power while the rest of the peasants worked their fingers to bone.

I wont pull no punches as there will be upset and hardship for most of the peasants while those at the top drink the cream.Its not all bad news to be honest there are some good points  in it and that means you only need one hand to add them up. I will focus on welfare provision as this is what my blogs are generally about and this one is long but relevant.

We come to our the  future of our young;

For 18–21-year-olds, existing out-of-work benefits should be replaced by a youth allowance that provides financial support conditional on looking for work or completing education, targeted at those from low-income families.

8. A youth guarantee for 18–21-year-olds should be established that offers access to education or training plus intensive support to find work or an apprenticeship, with compulsory paid work experience for those not earning or learning within six months.

9. The National Citizen Service programme should be expanded so that half of young people aged 16 and 17 are taking part by 2020, using money saved from holding down cash benefits to families with older children.

10 The remit of youth offending teams should be extended to those aged up to 20, in order to provide locally-led, integrated support to help keep young adult offenders out of prison, cut reoffending and prevent them from entering a life of crime.

 

Again our young people who have been ignored for a very long time will have a chance of gaining some experience via the youth allowance, however I would prefer that the government promised to pay our young people a wage with real hands on experience via old fashioned apprenticeships with a job  guarantee at the end of it with the employer. It is not only beneficial to our young people but to the company too, by allowing growth of both company and market ,while allowing those coming to end of work life retiring as before, so these trained young people can take their place in job market.

Next we come to working life which relates to benefit clamiants ;

  • The National Insurance Fund should be given institutional and financial independence from government, with a responsibility for ensuring that national insurance contributions are sufficient to finance contributory benefit entitlements over the long term.
  • As a step towards reviving the contributory principle, the rate of contributory JSA should be increased by £30 a week, and those entitled to it should also gain access to help with mortgage interest payments if they become unemployed.
  • The next phase of the Work Programme should focus on supporting long-term jobseekers and those recovering from temporary health conditions, with contracts based on meaningful economic geographies and a job guarantee to prevent long-term unemployment.
  • Those with a long-term health condition or disability that reduces their capacity to work should participate in ‘New Start’, a new, locally-led supported employment programme for ESA claimants, with integrated budgets and incentives for success.
  • Small firms should be able to recover sick pay costs for employees hired from ESA. In addition, there should be greater back-to-work engagement between individuals and employers during sickness absence, matched by a longer period of employment protection.
  • An independent, non-state Affordable Credit Trust should be established to capitalise and mobilise local, non-profit lenders capable of providing low-cost loans, while also supporting low-income households to build up savings of their own.

The vast majority of people in Britain want to work, for their own self-esteem, to support their families, and to make a contribution to society.

One of the biggest tasks for the next government will be to enable as many people as possible to contribute to society through paid employment, including those who need to balance work with vital caring responsibilities. A further priority should be to improve the financial protections available to those who have made a contribution through work and care.These moves will be essential to help families secure rising standards of living, finance public services and social protections, and rebuild public trust in the social security system.Our priorities are a more focused Work Programme; a separate, qualitatively different ‘New Start’ programme for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities; a job guarantee to prevent long-term unemployment; and steps to increase the retention of sick and disabled people in the workplace and improve the incentives for employers to hire them in the first place.As well as supporting people to find employment, the contributions that people make through working or caring also need to be better recognised and rewarded.Our goal should be a social security system that offers more generous temporary benefits for people who have contributed, alongside better employment support so that fewer people claim out-of-work benefits for long periods.Our priority is an act of institutional reform that would directly connect contributions and entitlements, through a reconstituted National Insurance Fund.Finally, among the most pernicious and damaging trends of recent years has been the rise of personal debt (Lawrence and Cooke 2014). Many families, faced with falls in income and rises in the costs of basic essentials, have been forced into the arms of payday lenders who often charge extremely high fees and interest rates. Rather than helping to protect families from such dependency, the welfare system has often contributed to the problem.By the establishment of a new non-state, non-market institution – an Affordable Credit Trust – to mobilise and capitalise alternative providers of affordable credit. These local providers should also support low-income households to build up savings of their own. Such an institution would give many more people a realistic chance of building greater financial resilience and independence, and reduce their reliance on the social security system.

This institutional reform would also tap into the national insurance ‘brand’, and start to restore the sense that citizens have a stake in a social security system that offers ‘something for something’

Now where have we heard those buzz words before..oh yes the ‘something for nothing’ culture spouted by Coalition! It gets better though get this they are going to reinvent the wheel

To achieve this goal, we argue that the National Insurance Fund (NIF) should be rebuilt as an independent institution for financing the national insurance system.The government introduce a National Insurance Act that would reconstitute the NIF as an independent, ringfenced account, separate from government receipts and expenditures

In the first instance this would include: the single-tier state pension; contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA); contribution-based employment and support allowance (ESA);statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay;maternity allowance; and bereavement benefits.This would make explicit the fact that NICs finance contributory benefits and determine eligibility for them, and that they are not just an additional income tax in disguise.

A reconstituted NIF should be governed by a board of trustees representing the interests of those who have a stake in the national insurance system: employees, employers, the self-employed, pensioners and carers. The trustees should be responsible for ensuring that the fund operates in the interests of all members and maintains financial sustainability over time. The NIF should have the capacity to conduct and publish analysis and projections of its revenues and expenditure, and be required to provide regular updates on its financial position in order to improve transparency and public engagement.The board of trustees should also be responsible for making annual recommendations to parliament about future contribution rates and entitlements, setting out the implications for the NIF’s balance sheet. These recommendations should include any reforms needed to respond to economic or demographic shifts, such as further increases to the state pension age. Recommendations should represent the consensus view among the trustees, following widespread consultation and engagement.

Final decisions about contribution rates and entitlements should remain with parliament, but the government should not be able to ignore the trustees’ recommendations. If it disagreed with them, the government should have to make alternative proposals that are consistent with hitting the same target balance for the NIF as the board had sought to achieve (as well as explaining why they chose not to implement the consensus recommendations of the trustees).

Now forgive me if I misread this but trustees should make decisions  but the final decision is in parliament? Isn’t that  a contradiction in terms or are they just fobbing us off with another Quango without any teeth, where they get final say anyway?

Second, the structure of SMIcould be changed to reduce its cost. For instance, after a two-year period, further SMI payments could be recouped through a charge on the property, redeemed when the claimant is back in work or when the property is sold.This would give people time to get back to work, adjust their finances, or move to a more affordable property. Support would not be cut off after this point, but it should be reclaimed at a later date. It is not appropriate for the state to permanently subsidise families or individuals to live in a home they cannot afford – especially when they, rather than the state, benefit from any uplift in its capital value.

The Work Programme currently provides back-to-work support for those who have been claiming JSA for a year and those in the ‘work related activity group’ of ESA. It is delivered by ‘prime providers’, largely from the private sector, operating across 18 large contract areas across England, Scotland and Wales. After a rocky start, the performance of the Work Programme is now broadly in line with expectations and previous, similar employment programmes for JSA claimants. However, it is not proving effective at boosting employment among ESA claimants.

The core activity of Work Programme providers consists of tried and tested back-to-work strategies like supported jobsearch, help with maintaining a CV, and interview preparation, plus some extra help with skills or confidence-building. Participants are also required to demonstrate that they are taking steps to get back into work. This combination of support and obligation tends to be sufficient for the majority of jobseekers, but it is rarely effective for people with long-term or chronic health conditions that reduce their capacity to work, or for those with little or no record of employment.Often, the biggest challenge for such groups is finding an employer willing to take them on.

As such, the next phase of the Work Programme should continue to cater for JSA claimants who have not found work during a year with Jobcentre Plus. However, only ESA claimants close to recovering from a temporary health condition should continue to participate in it.The Work Programme’s activation strategies are likely to be appropriate for this group. This segmentation should be determined by a reformed work capability assessment (WCA), which should aim to better distinguish between temporary and chronic limitations to work capacity ESA claimants with a chronic health condition or disability that is likely to reduce their capacity to work for a long time should instead participate in a qualitatively different ‘New Start’ supported employment programme.

Contracts for the next Work Programme should be let on the basis of local enterprise partnership (LEP) geographies, matching the boundaries of combined authorities wherever possible.The next Work Programme should continue to reward providers when participants secure a job and then stay in work for a certain period. This would retain the current strong focus on employment outcomes and minimise the need for central prescription. However, providers should also receive an amount of funding for every participant (the ‘attachment fee’) throughout the whole contract period; this should not be progressively withdrawn, as it is now.

To prevent long-term unemployment, if someone has not found work after a year on the Work Programme they should be guaranteed paid work experience and be required to take it up. This would mean that no one could spend more than two years unemployed (one year on the Work Programme rather than two, plus an initial year with Jobcentre Plus). This ‘job guarantee’ should involve 25 hours a week of meaningful work for up to six months, paid at least the minimum wage, with another 10 hours a week of training and help with looking for work on the open labour market. People should not be able to continue receiving JSA if they refuse this offer. In time, a similar offer and obligation could be extended to ESA claimants on the Work Programme, consistent with their capacity to work.

Like the Work Programme, this job guarantee for the long-term unemployed should be organised on the basis of LEP geographies, with its delivery led by either a combined authority, a consortia of local authorities within an LEP, a contracted provider, or the local Jobcentre Plus. Public, private and voluntary sector organisations should be able to bid for funding to offer paid work placements that are of value to both the individual and the community.To pay for this policy, we propose scrapping the government’s Help to Work scheme for those who leave the Work Programme without a job.However, it is not certain how much this would raise – and the aim would be as little as possible, due to effective provider performance.Therefore, to complete the funding of a job guarantee, we propose raising the higher rate of capital gains tax (CGT) from 28 to 35 per cent, and devoting £220 million of the £400 million a year it would raise (based on estimates in HMRC 2014) to prevent long-term unemployment.

Despite an improving labour market, disabled people continue to face a substantial employment penalty.This suggests that worklessness among disabled people is largely structural, and not strongly linked to the economic cycle.

However, there are a significant number of people who have a long-term health condition that will affect their capacity to work for a long time, possibly permanently (in terms of the hours or the type of paid employment they can undertake), but which need not prevent them from working altogether.The notion of ‘distance from the labour market’ sets up a binary distinction between whether someone can or cannot work, rather than asking what kind of employment might be possible and what it would take for that to be enabled.Despite contrary intentions, the WCA remains a gateway to benefits, rather than to support with securing work.

We suggest that such a supported employment programme for ESA claimants with a long-term health condition should be named ‘New Start’, to indicate a fresh, positive approach that is rooted in disabled people’s own potential and capacities. New Start should also replace the specialist disability employment programme, Work Choice, when its contracts expire. To be effective, the introduction of New Start would need to be combined with reforms to the WCA that orientate it towards identifying the kinds of work that an individual could undertake, and the support they are likely to need to be able to do so, rather than simply operating as a gateway to benefits.Unlike traditional back-to-work programmes, this approach seeks to directly confront the so-called ‘demand-side’ problem, by working with specific employers to make a successful job match possible.Moreover, it would treat employment as often being an essential part of treatment or condition-management, rather than this being something that must precede entry into work.

By charting a course between traditional ‘activation’ strategies and ‘no support, no conditionality’ tracks, the aim would be for more ESA claimants to engage in back-to-work activity, and for fewer to enter the support group.

The fundamental principle of New Start should be that anyone who wants to work can do so. It should have a positive and empowering culture designed to nurture and unlock individuals’ talents and capacities. For this reason, participants should not be mandated to participate in particular activities. However, there should be an obligation on ESA claimants to engage with New Start, and to take responsibility for their own situation. This should involve regular meetings with an employment adviser, and the agreement of a personal employment plan. If a claimant persistently fails to engage with their adviser, there should be a backstop of benefit sanctions. However, this should only be triggered after a face-to-face meeting with a personal adviser to review activity, assess personal circumstances and better understand any underlying problems that are getting in the way of employment.

We therefore recommend that the New Start programme be led by local areas, tapping into local leadership and relationships. It should form part of wider strategies to integrate local services, rather than attempting to drive this process from Whitehall, which has rarely proved effective. Local councils often have far more established relationships with ESA claimants, such as through social housing or social services, than Jobcentre Plus, which has limited contact with this group.

The connection between health and employment services would be particularly important – and has been made more possible by the recent devolution of public health funding to local government, alongside the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) structure. Better employment outcomes would in turn help to improve local health outcomes and potentially reduce local health spending. The role of housing, adult social services, further education and, in some cases, probation or drug and alcohol treatment services in New Start could also be crucial.In addition, local councils should aim to draw in further capacity and resources from primary and secondary health services in their area. This could involve mobilising the active involvement of GPs, and securing agreement for the local CCG to commission occupational health and mental health services consistent with the local New Start plan. Making employment a more prominent focus within the NHS Mandate would further boost such efforts.

If this funding could be further matched by CCGs and LEPs across the country, New Start would have an annual budget of £800 million. With funding at this level, the programme could work with 400,000 ESA claimants – more than three times the number participating in the Work Programme each year.

At this scale, New Start would have the potential to make a substantial impact on the employment rate of people with long-term health conditions or disabilities, while significantly reducing expenditure on ESA and related benefits. Local areas should be free to give participants the right to take New Start support as a personal budget, and to provide a version of a job guarantee backstop to limit the amount of time for which local ESA participants were without work.Therefore, to support the New Start programme, we recommend that small firms are allowed to recover virtually all of the SSP costs they incur for individuals hired directly from ESA. This would reduce the risk of taking on someone who is more likely to take periods of sick leave.

Requiring employers to bear a small portion of the cost would retain an incentive for them to help people on sick leave return to work quickly.This change should be accompanied by ongoing efforts to confront disability discrimination, improve employers’ understanding of disability in the workplace, and increase opportunities for flexible working.Therefore, keeping more people healthy and in work could make a big difference to the number of people who enter the benefit system.With this in mind, the government is currently in the process of introducing a ‘health and work service’ to provide voluntary advice and support to employers and employees, available from the fourth week of sickness absence.

To overcome these challenges, we propose that it be made mandatory for an occupational health plan to be agreed between an employer and employee after 13 weeks of sickness absence, with the input of an occupational health expert. Employees should be obliged to engage with this plan, consistent with their health, and employers should also have obligations to consider reasonable changes that would facilitate a return to work. These could include the offer of an alternative position with the same employer, though with no obligation for the employee to accept a reduction in their terms or conditions at this stage. The aim of these plans should be to promote more active engagement between employer and employee. However, in some cases it might become necessary for an employment tribunal to test whether both parties have done enough to fulfil their obligations.At present, employees are entitled to statutory sick leave for up to 28 weeks if they fall ill or acquire a health condition or disability while in work. If people exhaust their SSP entitlement, they may then have their employment contract terminated.

Therefore, as part of the implementation of universal credit, we recommend that the ESA assessment phase be scrapped, as it automatically delays the point at which people switch their focus from claiming benefit to returning to work. For those who have exhausted employer-funded sick pay, there should instead be an equivalent period of conditional, state-funded sick pay. In such circumstances, the employment contract should be protected during this period, in order to give employees a little longer to recover and return to work, matched by obligations on them to take steps to do so. The employee should have to agree an updated back-to-work plan with their employer, an occupational health expert and a Jobcentre Plus adviser. The goal would be to exhaust absolutely every opportunity for rehabilitation and a return to work, including a requirement to accept alternative job offers from their employer.

For those making a claim for ESA that does not follow a period of sickness-related absence from work, the consequence of scrapping the ESA assessment phase would be to remove the inbuilt three-month wait before a WCA is carried out. This wait is actively damaging for those without a recent job, as it delays the point at which a person’s focus switches from benefit entitlement to a return to work.

 

I know this is long winded but  it is important to those who need to understand the thinking behind the neoliberal fuckup they face in a future government. It isn’t about you the individual its about them getting as many into work as possible (not that is bad thing if you can) and reducing the welfare bill, while handing out more contracts for others to make a mint ,in my opinion they are no better than people traffickers to make a fast buck in this case for for the 1%.

 

http://www.ippr.org/publications/the-condition-of-britain-strategies-for-social-renewal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit Fraud Does it Stand Up to Scrutiny? Part Two


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My blog yesterday covered one part of Universal Credit  but this one is where Lord David Freud was present on 7th April. This also means another long Blog.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, and Mike Driver, Finance Director General, Department for Work and Pensions, Mr David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury, and Nick Lodge, Director General, Benefits and Credits, HM Revenue and Customs

Watch the meeting.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15278

 

There was twice as much error was discovered in the system and when the Chair Dame Anne Begg pointed this out, they seemed unperturbed by this but attempted to explain the process in ways to address this matter.

The Latest figures for fraud and error  given by minister David Freud were as follows;

Fraud and Error Monetary Costs 1.2 billion

Claimant 1.6 billion

Official 8.0 billion

Yet daily we hear of all this fraud but little about error which is being used to demonise claimants as ‘all on the make’.  The committee chair did point out why was the emphasis on fraud when 2/3rds was error. Is the 1.2 billion monetary costs caused by an  anomaly or is that overall? One thing Lord Freud explains is ways in which they plan to address it by introducing  4 main points across UC & PIP, They are as follows to help you understand processes being put in place;

UC Error

  • Simplification of process of UC & PIP
  • IT/Data Sharing using (RTI  (real time information) and Atlas (http://thefedexperts.com/post/22124968271/government-consulting-services)
  • A New Quality Framework (making sure information is consistant and accurate)
  • Case Cleansing (this means they take caseloads and cleanse it of fraud and error ) ie: overpayements for example

 

Secondly they are looking at Claimant Error

  • Claimant Error  (Making sure  Government information is in plain english and communicating what is required)
  • Centralising (Communication Products)
  • Awareness Messages
  • Introduction of Civil Penalties £50 fine

When the committee  asked why so much emphasis was on fraud when the committee felt the department should be focussing on top priority of  error of 8  billion as it was highest  cost, the treasury minister went on to explain  figures of tax credit overall expenditure 2011/12 was 3.0% error overall.

Claimant Error 4.2 %

Official Error 0.1%

At the moment this only affects Carers and JSA groups but will affect others when it comes to the roll out.

The breakdown figures for both groups;

JSA  2.9%

Carers 3.9%

 

Anne Begg challenged the perception of public view on fraud which they admitted across depts is 0.7%  being lumped together  is deceptive, yet public perception is that fraud is rife in system,  yet error which looms large 34 times higher than fraud is in actual fact not being fairly reported. She suggested that maybe they should be separated which they denied should happen, maybe that doesn’t fit government rhetoric  to indoctrinate the general public into backing their reforms if they knew the truth. Minister Glenda Jackson MP also asked why particular the DWP presented the argument to public  using ‘Black Propaganda’ that fraud was running amok while in actual fact error is worse, not only did she dare say this but called Lord Freud , Lord Fraud (Freudian slip) much to the raised eyebrows in the room of the committee but to the amusement of the nickname given him by activists. Social media was alight with this faux pas. She also brought up his conjucture that the complication of forms and the departments system on delivery to claimants was erroneous, causing misery to many and surely it should be changed, he responded by saying many drift into fraud. She argued that he didn’t answer her question , in that it is the responsibility of the department to make sure the greatest misuse of public money which is in error, not fraud and therefore the department is as culpable as the claimant itself in falsely claiming  statistically they were misleading the public into believing that fraud was the greater misuse of public money. on this Glenda has my vote for ‘getting it’, but Lord Freud said he would have to beg to differ on that point. The sheer arrogance of the minister in his dismissal to her fair and valid question. The chair did not force him to answer the question which is what he is there for, which was disappointing to say the least.

The public view against claimants  is appalling and perpetuated by the rhetoric being spun by ministers & celebrities who  misuse the fact to suit the agenda, the latter depending which party they follow and donate too. Most claimaint’s would work if they could, but  sadly the painful truth is most of them even with support  cannot, which is down to the fact they are too sick or disabled to do so, the mind is willing in most cases the body isn’t. Claimants & Campaigners and the public are waking up to realise they are being hoodwinked by politicians and the media when the realities on ground are plain to see. While the backlash of those in power caught with their hands in the overflowing cookie jar of capitalism is gaining some momentum. The public are treated as if they are stupid  when the reverse is true. When they can’t get care for an elderly relative at home or hospital, or they are treated like criminals for making a mistake  on a claim form being classed and labelled as a fraudster then the reality of it is,  the word is spreading like a bush fire and it can only come to discord on the streets which I believe will be worse than previously seen around UK a few years ago. Politicians need to realise this will come to the fore, and to be frank I think this is what a driving factor behind it is, they know if they push people enough it will cause untold misery and give the government an excuse to crackdown on Joe Public further stripping away their human rights  and say I told you so, while those  barricading themselves in their homes from the riotous behaviour going on outside. Fraud to me is a deliberate attempt to gain from something, not a mistake which they call low level fraud., which is classed to error.

Lord Freud went on to say that the government has an elaborate measurement of fraud and error and one the best systems  in the world. Nick then went on to say in his dept  tax credit expenditure is higher than they would like it to be but at 7.3%   it had actually come down in real terms. This is individual fraud  statistic rather than organised fraud by large groups of people.

The methodology measures used were

  • Earnings
  • Capital
  • Under declared occupational pension
  • Living together
  • Fraud Abroad

Joint strategy budget for new measures of 425million in 2015

  • Actual Money 286 million
  • Savings to be made 1.93 million

Measures to get people to use the fraud line  of DWP, have got financial incentives to those whose give information which result in a claimant being caught and removed from the system and monies reclaimed are still in place in the strategy report  as the chair queried if they had been dropped ,which she was told they had not. Work is also being done with Crimestoppers to address this and is on going.

Incentives to combat fraud in place is by means of making information of what is required plain and clear to declare. the HMRC targets 5.1/2 % reductions of fraud and error is what they are  looking at. DWP targets are x2 hopes 1.7% reduction in 2014/15 the business case on targets are on delivery with the hope it will plateau at 2.1% MFE of which data will be published in June. The Single Fraud and Error Service is investigations into fraud being brought under one roof and funded accordingly as  a single unit, and at present no benchmarking is done between depts in public sector & private sector.

The next question raised by Glenda Jackson was on the excessive data  sent to LHA  using Atlas and that they had reported that they had to wade through loads of data to find what was needed  in case of Housing Benefit when assessing a claim Glenda asked if it was going to be streamlined , Mike Driver stated he wasn’t aware of this but would tell his team  so they also went on to talk about automated systems and the emphasis on consistency and data matching across  the systems involved ie Atlas. She asked Mr Driver why it was  that overpayments of Housing Benefit (HB) was twice as much as it should be and therefore is resource intensive both monetarily and labour wise using Atlas and could they not incentivise to reduce Fraud and Error the subsidy is reduced to 40% by LHA’s,   if they identifiy fraud or error  and recover the amounts they are given up to 140% subsidy the rest goes to treasury rather than LHA’s. Under Universal Credit the responsibility for HB will go to DWP and LHA’s have raised concerns about  the cross matching of data they share between other authorities and how that will impact on those claiming HB. The Intergrated Risk Intelligence Service (IRIS) which is used  by Government  she asked if that had been removed, redesigned or still in place? Lord Freud stated it  had a data matching service which was in place for live service (although it wasn’t in UC pilots) and they are developing IRIS in where they are splitting it up into 4 ways

  • Information confidence
  • Analytical Hub (RTI)
  • Design
  • Session in Confidence (Security Division Risk Assessment)

Only JSA  are at present been involved in pathfinders for UC. Anne Begg interjected to ask  how DWP was going to intergrate  LHA info on property and local information to UC. Anne Begg highlighted a issue of how if you have 4 flats on left all with same number 26 on a floor compared to 4 flats on right having same number 27 , how would the DWP data match those  to make sure a claim wasn’t fraudulent? Freud waffled his way through facts that the DWP ‘look to get’ not the will have local knowledge and housing data to cross match like LHA’s do at present, under the UC system if and when it rolls out. He said that at the moment those housing officers  will continue to be in HB dept’s for some time while the rollout continues. The question by Graham  Evans MP   asked  with the cross party support  of a Single Investigation Unit (SIU)  and asked how the concerns of LHA’s were worried they would lose some experienced fraud investigators especially in corporate area which Freud stated they wouldn’t lose those in corporate teams, and that funding was made available to them to enhance that team to deal with corporate fraud. Most Investigators in large authorities will be absorbed into the SIU and smaller ones will not lose any staff who may cover a wide range of fraud investigations across all fields. Stats on investigators to transfer are around 800.

 

When Mr Evans asked about UC rollout the next batch is June 2014  and then they take a break until October 2014  which they then expect will take 18mths and by 2016  the rollout should have completely ironed out any glitches in the system by March 2016.

 

Sheila Gilmore MP then went on to ask who is verifying tenancy agreements and leases in regards to UC & HB And Freud said they are talking to LHA’s which is on going, and that so when a claimant applies for UC that info is sent to UC and then verified by the LHA ,as where what is level of checking that’s needed . The HB system has been stripped down to cover all the needs according to Lord Freud, he also said the concerns she raised were not in the social rented sector so one can assume it is in private rented sector where the level of fraud and verification is needed the most.

Identity Assurance for UC  is being implemented under UC and that this will ensure who is on the end of phone or in office is who they state they are. Freud stated that a Cabinet Office led program being developed around the IT system in regards to face to face and telephone systems to create a process across all government departments and beta sites are in place. when Gilmore brought up biometric such as voice recognition will not be persued at this stage. The information as it comes in will be monitored by a security service type application where risk and threat  of fraud will be monitored 24/7  that will be adapted into UC. Red Flags trigger visits within the system, whereas green flags will be simple straight through process through a automatic system. Conditionality groups (Jsa,Wrag) can be seen or monitored by attending JCP for instance and they can be called in more often if need be. the analytics hub will stop this abuse  and before it gets into the system. 400 million savings are expected  from this approach across the departments, earning checks will be done across all benefits as this rolls out. RTI is already showing benefits  in flagging up potential problems. she asked how those not on monthly payments how would the adjust for that and the ministers said that could be achieved. self employed will have to self report along with a few others monthly. he said he didn’t want debt and fraud building up. they have also ramped up civil penalties to 50,000 per year.

No doubt this will become clearer as time rolls on as to whether or not this actually works or indeed gets off the ground given the train crash it appears to be with database matching and RTI systems that thye put in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit Fraud Does It Really Stand up to Scrutiny? Part1


?????

The talk is all about benefit fraud both in media and press about how ‘scroungers’ are taking the ‘hardworking’ taxpayers money . Well the truth is after listening carefully to DWP Committee chaired by Dame Anne Begg seems most of it the 0.7% is Error. Now some of that error is claimant error through not reporting changes, but most of it seems to be departmental error. In this another very long Blog I will discussing that and the way they plan to tackle the issue by various means but still insisting on lumping fraud and error in same basket with no intention of separating the two, as it clearly isn’t beneficial when it comes to media demonization of  claimants  and their awful clumsy drunken approach to welfare reform rhetoric and the lies being spun. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE BACKGROUND BEHIND IT!

In March 31st the DWP Select Committee heard evidence from;

Jan Smith, External Affairs Director, Call Credit Information Group,

Simon Dukes, Chief Executive, fraud prevention service CIFAS

Sean Duffield, Partner and Public Sector Director,Nuance Communications

This was indeed a interesting take on the ways they were looking at tackling Fraud & Error within the benefit system overall. Simon Dukes kicked it off with saying he felt it was fair to separate Fraud and Error in his view as 80% was within HMRC & DWP  and in his opinion “It is important to identify these two together and to split them apart to identify how much is fraud and how much is error. Only by doing that and measuring it can we actually measure success against it”, Jan Smith agreed with Mr Dukes. Debbie Abrahams MP suggested  that benchmarking might be way to measure risk like Visa do in banking, however Mr Dukes felt it should be based on Risk Management and was cautious re benchmarking as it was suggesting pitting one against the other which brings in competitive element into the mix.

Jan Smith stated “By taking that risk-based approach, you have more flexibility with your resource, because the low-risk cases can be dealt with by one area and the high-risk cases by investigators, etc”. The risk of low case management and high risk cases are clearly defined and the letter would under risk analysis be flagged up. Debbie Abrahams MP queried whether or not there was a acceptable level of loss due to fraud and error, Mr Duffield said that there was a sort of” inevitability  about it” and said had it even identified fraud within the system and without full access  he would reserve judgement on questioning the figures in front of the committee but any fraud was unacceptable. The Chair Anne Begg suggested that it was possible that large amounts of unreported  fraud could be hidden in the system  that isn’t yet flagged up and that error normally shows up eventually, Mr Dukes agreed that was indeed a possibility, so this fraud  thus far seems to be one of just possibility rather than fact?

Mr Dukes said fraud data sharing between organisations  helped prevent it at the gate rather than wait till horse had bolted approach in the private sector and felt that could be applied to the public sector too, using a zero tolerance approach, and was key to tackling the issue. Risk Management is key to tackling that a mistake by a claimant failing to report is fraud at low level while others have made a deliberate attempt to claim benefits for example from 3 different boroughs is high end fraud. Mr Dukes suggested checking the lifecycle of a claim could highlight risk management being successful in clamping down. 42% of overpayments it was suggested by Dame Angela Watkinson was down to incorrect reporting of income or earnings  Mr Dukes concurred with her assessment on this,  she asked that correct information reporting is only way of verifying correct claims Jan Smith agreed with her. “The fields that they complete and the information they provide in that claim need to be standardised. Everybody needs to be filling in the exact same form, providing the exact same information, no free format.You have to have values in because, if you have the accurate data, it is far easier to follow up when someone’s circumstances change.In the private sector, there is technology available that allows monitoring to take place so that, when there is a change in someone’s circumstances, you can be proactive about it. If you do not have the correct information in the first place, it is difficult.”

The subject of repeat offenders was brought up which Mr Dukes felt was 40% of re-filing and that was fraud was being in-putted into the system which he felt could be tackled using technology that is widely used in private sector ,by banks, insurance sector  which the banks have worked on over last few years called’ single customer review’, this enables the bank to look across its divisions and highlight any potential problems. Anne Begg queried the complexity of the Social Security system and sheer volumes of people’s changing circumstances.  That constant is not just one thing that is changing; it is two or three different elements that might be changing in that. Jan Smith agreed .

I totally agree with you on that but, if you know you have that customer and you know the different benefits they are entitled to and what is happening with them, if there is any change in circumstance, you are in a far stronger position to cut any areas and stop any fraud that may take place.

The Chair Anne Begg asked when moving to Universal Credit would the system be on household basis or individual basis like it was under Housing benefit at present, it was confirmed it will be individual by Jan Smith, and Simon Dukes concurred that while data was complex it was merely just a case of ‘pipework or plumbing’ within the system.

Then Nigel Mills MP brought up technology ,by ways the system could tackle multiple claims (Organised Fraud) to the individual who has had cash payments they didn’t declare. Mr Duffield said he had the voiceprint  technology to tackle that.

Sean Duffield   I have a technology of voiceprint identification so, if somebody was contacting on one channel and then being somebody else on another channel, I could potentially, with other pieces of data, identify that you have that duplicate fraud happening there. It is hard to crack that small casual fraud, if you could categorise it as that, versus a fraud that is more organised and systemic.

Jan Smith then went on to explain a fraud hub that has been used in Housing Benefit Sector in London and other areas so far . CIFAS  highlighted that fraudsters move from region to region  not nationally,  which has brought about successes in housing benefit crime.  This highlighted hot spots of criminality , which they were able to tackle. Mr Dukes agreed.

Kwasi Kwarteng MP then brought up prosecutions in relation to fraud and the monetary values of pursuing an investigation and what could they learn from the private sector .

Jan Smith When we started working with local authorities to pull this fraud hub together and produce a fraud product, a lot of the benefits they were looking for from it was making it a swifter process to identify fraud in order to manage their resources moreeffectively. The way that we deliver information can be used by anyone, so you could have someone frontline who identifies, because of all the data that is washing around, that this is a potential fraud case. We identify them as red, amber or green so, if you get a red case, that probably means it needs to have full investigation; you need to do yourSection 29s. That is going to be resource-intense. Some of the lesser frauds can be dealtwith by other people, so it helps local authorities manage their budgets more effectively. In the public sector, if you identify what you think is fraud, you can, under Section 29 exemption, come to a credit reference agency and access a lot more data than you would be able to normally to investigate that fraud. They are used by public sector investigators, but you have to be fairly confident that there is a serious fraud taking place. You cannot just do a blanket case for everyone.

 

They went on to discuss that prosecution rate at present is around 28% but they didn’t have that data as it was other organisations that held that information . Kwarteng  queried if they felt it was acceptable rate and Mr Dukes felt it was rather low overall, while acknowledging it could be lowered , although it is very resource intensive to decide to follow through a fraud case, it was also would they be able to get the money reclaimed. he suggested they focussed on prevention not cure.

Kwasi Kwarteng: The idea is that you would reduce the numbers at the beginning,  if  you like,  and then,  if you keep the numbers of prosecutions,  that would be a higher proportion? Simon Dukes: Exactly.

So here we have a play on figures and statistics  and we wonder where they seem dream stuff up from, this is obviously how. You are probably bored to death by now, however it is important to understand this important information ! Only by understanding the methodology behind it can we address  the serious issues we face and how they operate. They call it tackling a problem, I call it  setting up a system so complicated that a simple error  or mistake, can be costly to you the claimant being labelled a fraudster.

Graham Evans MP then brought up ‘digital by default’ mantra. Using  Indentity Assurance  (IDA) .

A question for you, if I may, Sean: IDA, the identity assurance for universal credit, is apparently some way off. I understand that it is “overly complex and potentially unwieldy”. Can you expand on that view?

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240208131/Identity-assurance-system-moves-into-beta-test-phase.

 

The hub will manage communications between users, identity providers and government service providers. It will allow users to select and register with an identity provider, and then use their assured identity to access digital services,” wrote Steve Wreyford, the head of communications and marketing for the IDA programme. Eight companies were selected last year to provide IDA services – The Post Office, Cassidian, Digidentity, Experian, Ingeus, Mydex, Paypal and Verizon.

 

Sean Duffield stated “how that is going to work on the telephony channel.” You mentioned at the top of your question digital by default, and I would just caution on that. Today, we know that 11% of the population have got very low skills when it comes to using the web, so we need to make sure that, if people want to identify and verify with the DWP, they can do that across channels, both web and the telephony channel. We need to make sure that we have processes for security across all those channels that are also the same across those channels, so you do not need to know one set of passwords for the web channel, for instance, and another set for, let’s say, the telephony channel.

 

 

Graham Evans went on to ask “Howard Shiplee, the DWP senior responsible officer for universal credit, told us in February that “no one is using a totally online approach”. Do you agree that an entirely digital approach to this thing is feasible, achievable or indeed desirable when dealing with financial transactions?”

Sean Duffield responded that “I do not think it is a good idea, no. Nobody in the commercial world has really achieved that and people who have set out to just have a web service, quite commonly, have then ended up with call centres”.

My question is if that’s the case why are we trying to push a square peg in a round hole at the huge cost to taxpayer when it probably isn’t going to happen to make it a success , and  the more I read the transcript the more worried for taxpayer I became talk about elephant in the room scenario. also that 11% demographic was 50-55 and over age group weighted against the elderly and lower socioeconomic backgrounds which I may add will be the most disadvantaged group in society, yet again bearing the brunt of this complex system which they say is simplifying it.  They are planning to make income reporting  a central point of this benefit claiming system and that is coming into play as I am writing at end of the month for Jsa and Lone parents amongst other groups in my universal credit for homeowners blog. The next point they address is the worrying part  of welfare reforms being similar to the Australian Model and of  the use  of voice verification technology for those who are nervous on phone , suffer mental health or have a speech impediment or deafness. how in god’s name are those people’s needs going to be addressed, using voice technology. This is big brother stuff you saw as a kid in Dr Who, which is being implemented here in reality. This is called Centrelink in Australia and a automated income/ earning information line where claimants can report changes of circumstances, initially they gave out passwords but found that many forgot their password as many of us do.

Mr Duffield reported that you go into that and just using your voiceprint, based on previous calls, you just need to know your account number in fact and then, through your voiceprint, the rest of the identification process is done. It has saved a lot of time and increased reporting.It is very hard to impersonate. Like all technologies, it is not 100% but, when you combine it with knowledge-based information, i.e. your account number and the voiceprint, it is a very secure way of transacting.To date via that system the Australians state they have had no fraud via that system. He didn’t not have figures to back that up. Barclays Wealth has deployed a biometric solution.Sean Duffield You phone into Barclays Wealth. The first time you phone in, it will put you through the standard identification and verification process, asking you the third and fifth letters of your password, as you would with your bank normally. Once they have then captured your voiceprint, you are offered an enrolment, “Would you like to enrol in the process?” Most people say yes; 93%, I believe it is, say yes. Subsequently, when you phone back into the bank, you just give your account number and then, through talking to the agent for around 15 seconds of audio, that is sufficient for them to let you in to use your banking services.Just as under universal credit where people are going to have to report their income, that line was set up so that people could report their income. Obviously it cuts both ways. You do not want people falsely reporting income to people or being malicious as well, and it prevents that.

Sean Duffield stated the use case for this technology is it stops imposter fraud. Sheila Gilmore MP stated ” I am quite surprised that this has not been mentioned to us before as a possibility, because it has been one of the real problems in getting a working IT system. We were told that one of the reasons for the slowing up and so on was that this was one issue that had not been properly resolved”. Sean replied this is not new technology the technology has been around a while now. There are a number of deployments out there. As more organisations take it on, more organisations will go with it. There has been that slight element that it is new, so people have been a little wary of deployment. However, I want to emphasise that this voiceprint technology is part of this overall solution. If I do not have correct data in the first place to enrol people, I may enrol fraudsters. I need to have data based on credit histories and all of these things, so I know that I am not enrolling fraudsters in the first place. It is not the be-all and end-all; it is part of an overall solution. There are two ways you can do it: you can do it with an agent-assisted way using the say-anything technology, or you can use text-dependent technology where people have a set passphrase. If you did three-factor authentication of people that is very, very hard to sidestep

 

 

This will surely discriminate against the groups mentioned previously from my perspective if this is UC ‘sway forward. Simon Dukes stated you have to have ID assurance alongside fraud prevention as well. You have build fraud prevention into your system. The topic of identity fraud, is helped by online social networking  being a insecure way people data gather or even via conversations on train where people give details out in earshot of potential  identity fraudsters.60% online false identities are on social networks and 80% of fraud is committed online via online shopping sites such as Amazon, Ebay etc.

Jan Smith stated that via LHA’s they are identifying 10% potential fraudulent cases a week  yet some LHA are reluctant using legal and data protection citing  not to join up to data sharing, yet the Serious Crime Act of 2007 says that “public sector data can be shared with the private sector where it is to be used for prevention or investigation of fraud, but there is no clear guidance that says, “Here’s what you can share; here’s what you cannot share.” In the private sector Oral evidence: Fraud and error in the benefits system, HC 1082 15 there is; there are rules on reciprocity and there are rules on data sharing. That has been a stumbling block for us”.

Dame Angela Watkinson: Would you say that there are opportunities for the private and the public sector to work collaboratively or co-operatively together in combating fraud, to the benefit of both sectors? Mr Dukes stated I find it extraordinary that we do not!

Nigel Mills: Ms Smith, in your written submission, you quoted the Information Commissioner who said something like “responsible data sharing in a good cause is always Oral evidence: Fraud and error in the benefits system, HC 1082 17possible”. Is what you are saying that it might be possible for the Department perhaps to be a little less conservative in its approach and try to push the boundaries? She replied Exactly. Nigel Mills MP asked “In theory, it could be a condition of claiming a benefit that you let us have access to all your data, anywhere we choose to go and find it. That might be going a little bit far.”

Jan Smith: It could be a step too far.

Too blooming right it is a step too far  would they like to come and live with us too? This is way past  the point of ‘Fairness’  and a invasion of our human rights for a poxy  £71 quid a week JSA for instance. ever feel like you stepped into a matrix?

 

 

Nigel Mills: Do you think there are any further powers the Government needsto take, perhaps changing legislation or something? We saw some changes in the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, which allowed local authorities to ask for a range of information. Do you actually think more powers are needed or is it better use of powers that already exist?

Jan Smith: I think better use of powers that already exist and the removal of this confusion of what can and cannot be done, so you have a consistent approach, whether it is central Government or local government.

Simon Dukes: The Serious Crime Act 2007 quite clearly set up this SAFO type of organisation—a specified anti-fraud organisation—for the purpose of being able to facilitate public and private data sharing. It has not happened. Clarification of SAFO andwhat is written in the Serious Crime Act would go a long way to helping perhaps remove the logjam, and then there is a bigger cultural thing in some Departments about data sharing with the private sector. That is a different issue, but some clarification on theSerious Crime Act would go a long way.

When talking about data matching and errors that were made by HMRC which resulted in benefits being stopped  raised by Sheila Gilmore MP,  Mr Dukes commented We are talking about the differences between the challenges facing DWP and the challenges facing the private sector. You are absolutely right that DWP is going to have to pay claimants regardless of whether they have committed fraud in the past, if they are entitled to those payments. Jan Smith: All the data matching we will do will raise exceptions. It is those exceptions that need investigating. The majority of data that is held by credit reference agencies is accurate . Simon Dukes: By the fact that we are going to an online system whereby, with assurance of identity, you will be able to— Sheila Gilmore: The assurance of identity is the crucial bit.

However Lord Freud has thus far rejected joining CFIAS according to Mr Dukes who has stated that they will do that work for nothing, which the committee like the sound off  ‘something for nothing culture’ clearly runs through government dept’s. So Basically this risk management is for purpose of flagging up potential fraud.

If you have managed to stick with this exceptionally long blog ‘Well Done ‘ I will attempt to do Part Two tomorrow, health permitting where I will show how they apply methodology and talk more about fraud stats. 

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news/committee-hears-evidence-from-dwp-and-treasury-ministers/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is a Pig not a Pig? When you put lipstick on !


atos assist

So everyone who is disabled/job seeker, or worker is celebrating the mighty ATOS falling from grace ? I think they shouldn’t be so quick to jump up and down as a pig is still a pig regardless of putting lipstick on it.

Today the news is full of their demise, but hello folks they are still in charge of PIP assessments and contracting private enterprises in  Occupational Healthcare and still owning the rights to LIMA software where the tick box exercise  ‘one size fits all’ scenario will continue. They are still in charge of running multiple IT contracts in government departments and HMRC and a multitude of other things, so they haven’t really gone away have they? So all the celebrations are a falsehood. (See my other two blogs re atos links.)

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2014/03/atos-healthcare-clarification-for-esa-claimants-about-todays-announcement/

http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/atos-healthcare/pressreleases/early-exit-from-wca-contract-977418

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/03/atoss-departure-isnt-enough-fit-work-tests-arent-working

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefits-assessments-atos-quits-government-3290777

 http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/March_2014/27%20March/32-DWP-Atos.pdf   (DWP Statement from Mike Penning)

 

Today they launched a You Tube Channel

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2013/11/launching-the-new-atos-healthcare-youtube-channel/

 

Today the Minister for Disabled Mike Penning said ”

The DWP said to ensure a smooth transition, one national provider will be appointed early next year to take over the contract. In the longer term it is intended to move to multiple providers to increase competition.

Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People, said: “The previous government appointed Atos as the sole provider for carrying out Work Capability Assessments and since then we have carried out several independent reviews and made significant improvements to the assessment.

“Today we are announcing that we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times.

“I am pleased to confirm that Atos will not receive a single penny of compensation from the taxpayer for the early termination of their contract, quite the contrary, Atos has made a substantial financial settlement to the department.”

Anyone who suffered at the hands of this provider knows full well while Labour brought ATOS in the Condems rewrote contracts and made tests tougher because they thought it was ‘too soft’ ! They set Atos  impossible targets from the  initial contract which they denied and it is now at stage where they cannot recruit HCP’s hence the backdown and backlog. So realistically Atos are scapegoats for this mess along with Labour because the Condems couldn’t run a Chimpanzee’s Teaparty! While Atos are complicit in facts that they brought about their own demise by reports not being accurate ,cancelling appointments at short notice, losing this contract will be no great shakes for them, probably relief if anything, after claiming their staff were threatened by protesters yet we are still waiting to see that evidence from Atos via a FOI which I still haven’t received a response.

So the new provider will probably come from  the governments other three main contractors G4S,Serco, Capita. As Capita already do some assessments they are probably front runners. One question nobody is asking what happens about LIMA software the HCP’s use?  Have  Atos come to a deal for that still to be used by other providers or have they pulled that rug from under governments feet, or are they going to allow others to pay for right to use it only time will tell but you can bet I’m watching closely and will find out one way or another.

The Tentacles of a Government Provider For WCA and Beyond PART TWO


atos coin

I have added more documents  to the Dropbox folder on my other blog which I will place  link here again at the bottom of the blog.

For those who followed the last blog I had to come do  another  after finding out more and more info thanks to a friend I made, who is also interested in the shenanigans of this  corruption swimming around Westminster swallowing up contracts like  a shark looking for its prey. The vast coverage this company & others have  is mind-boggling and ironically shocking that this whole thing was planned a long time ago by those in power at the time.

” This Thinkpiece presents an alternative narrative from a range of sources that have been overlooked by both major parties and by the media. Work is good for health,there is no doubt about it; nor is there doubt that many people who are unfit for work might be able to return to work with right support. But the case has been fatally exaggerated.The health needs of people who are the subject of huge investment by the Department of Health have been treated counter productively as invisible, or worse, as malingering, by the  DWP and successive Work and Pensions ministers driven by a compulsion to judge and to be privatised. GP’s have been marginalised.There is a vision of Incapacity Benefit which has informed Labour’s  Welfare to Work Policies ,carried forward by the new Coalition Government, driven by the former Labour Adviser Lord Freud, now Minister for Welfare Reform, who designed the second, privatising phase of ,  Tony Blair, as so often, encapsulated the vision in 1999.  “Incapacity Benefit is: not a benefit which compensates those who have had to give up work because of long -term illness  or sickness – it’s an alternative long-term unemployment or retirement. That’s why it must be reformed. ” (taken from Compass Thinkpiece document in Dropbox Folder at base of this blog)

So any claims that Labour under Miliband will change things is just frankly bullshit, but we have no choice to vote for them to stop the Tory Machine grinding through society as it pleases. This hurts me to say being a Labour supporter but I’m angry that a party I support also condones such vile policies and will support the recent cap on welfare spending announced in the Budget 2014 with promises of further cuts which will hurt those in society who cannot help their situations. No one suggests that assessments should not take place but these vile assessments carried out by Atos and Capita are punishing very sick and disabled people on the orders of the coalition is sickening, and those actually ‘on the fiddle’ are not caught and punished  as often as they profess, yet the majority are tarred with same brush with such venomous rhetoric that the stress of these and incompetence of these companies highlighted recently in the HOC  Committee headed by a very angry Margaret Hodge MP hit the nail on the head ,taxpayers are being fleeced  under the premise of clamping down of scroungers and the workshy ,but the waste of money is costing more than they save.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10096793/Ed-Balls-plans-to-keep-Coalition-spending-cuts.html

<script src=”http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Embed/js.ashx?15137 460×322″></script>  (Video of Margaret Hodge grilling Atos and Capita)

As a humanitarian I cannot see how anyone could be so cruel to those who are less fortunate than themselves and have the audacity to call it progress. This agenda has been well planned for over a decade and  it is deliberate to save a few pennies here and there, which I’m sure the taxpayer wouldn’t object to paying a extra few pence in NI/Tax’s to cover the cost if they knew the truth. It is up to us in society to speak that truth to stop this lot in their tracks. No wonder the coalition is laughing all the way to bank, but when you consider the agenda here  it will just eradicate the welfare state as we know it and our children and grandchildren will not have the benefits we all enjoyed of such a marvellous idea pioneered by Beveridge & Co.

Look at links and see what a monster this really is and how your lives are being manipulated every single day and with every action you do in daily life.

 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-26/sap-joins-atos-to-target-government-cloud-deals-amid-spy-threats.html

http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/european-cloud-partnership (surf this page and look what governments across the globe are doing )

http://atos.net/en-us/home/your-business/energy/oil-and-gas-transport-and-distribution.html

http://atos.net/en-us/home/your-business/energy/oil-and-gas-exploration-and-production.html

http://www.derby.ac.uk/corporate/clients/atos/

http://uk.atos.http://atos.net/en-us/home/we-do/identity-security-and-risk-management.html

http://atos.net/en-us/home/we-do/identity-security-and-risk-management.html

http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/lobbying/item/5343-%E2%80%9Cthe-nhs-will-be-shown-no-mercy-says-cameron-health-adviser

http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Pages/PerformHelpingtheNHSDeliverupto20EfficiencySavings.aspx (KPMG are arm of Atos)

http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/industry/Healthcare/Pages/default.aspx

http://economia.icaew.com/News/Ex-KPMG-partner-gets-top-job-at-HMRC

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2013/04/11/kpmg-cannot-be-put-in-charge-of-the-hen-house-let-alone-hmrc-and-financial-regulation/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2311821/Criticism-SEVEN-watchdog-members-set-investigate-KPMG-revealed-current-employees.html

http://www.gponline.com/News/article/1155526/KPMG-working-quarter-CCGs/

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/police-reform-home-secretarys-speech-to-the-reform-and-kpmg-summit-on-the-value-for-money-in-policing

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/01/13/would-you-trust-a-firm-who-said-its-goal-is-to-dominate/

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/09/atoss-chief-medical-officer-professor-michael-odonnell-a-man-with-a-mission/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bis-staff-seconded-from-1-january-2010-to-present-from-listed-financial-institutions-foi-request-130313

http://downwithallthat.wordpress.com/category/dubious-academics-universities/unum-provident/unum-provident-uk-government/

http://dpac.uk.net/2012/04/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-debbie-jolly/#sthash.GwHQlSm2.088ooFYA.dpbs

http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/atos_notes_on_a_neoliberal_scandal

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1yyxc1evxet6lvq/aCOQymW40T   (Dropbox Link to all documents to read )

Thanks to Andy who provided some links here

 

UPDATED; SEE NEW PIC AT  RE HCP AND ATOS OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT DOCUMENT ATOS OFFICIAL SECRETS FOR HCP 1jpg

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2004-02-10.153434.h&s=atos+contract#g153434.r0