Posts tagged ‘Jobseekers’

The Death of the Welfare State-Joining the Dots Series -Part 2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Blueannoyed  and Paula Peters

So lets look at the next stage of where it all went badly wrong and joining up a few more dots.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes were introduced to the UK under the John Major Government in the 1990s, with the first project Skye Bridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDDTu7kZUjA .Tony Blair’s New Labour Government significantly expanded PFI as a convenient way of funding public infrastructure “off balance sheet.” Despite frequently calling for an end to “Labours flawed PFI program” whilst in opposition, in 2011 Chancellor George Osborne re-branded and continued the PFI gravy train under the “PFI 2” banner. NHS Trusts owe £80bn in PFI loan repayments and “unitary charges,” the technical term describing the extortionate ongoing running costs of maintaining PFI hospitals via PFI – where private contractors are granted 30-year monopoly rights to deliver maintenance and services.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/joel-benjamin/seven-things-everyone-should-know-about-private-finance-initiative

In recent years reform of the welfare system in Britain began with the introduction of the New Deal programme  introduced by the Labour government in 1997. The aim of this programme was to increase employment through requiring that recipients make serious efforts to seek employment. The Labour Party also introduced a system of tax credits for low-income workers. The Welfare Reform Act 2007 provides for “an employment and support allowance, a contributory allowance, [and] an income-based allowance.”. The objectives of the Welfare Reform Act of 2007 were to increase the employment rate to 80% from 75%, to assist 300,000 single parents find employment, to increase the number of workers over 50 by 1 million, and to reduce the number of people claiming incapacity benefits by 1 million.

In the 2009 Welfare Reform Bill This welfare reform proposed an increase of personal responsibility within the welfare system. The reform eliminated Income support, and allocated funds over to the Jobseeker’s allowance, to encourage employment. It also encouraged increased parental responsibility by amending child support laws, and requiring births be registered jointly by both parents. This is basically how we got to David Cameron In power with the help of the Lib Dems. Building on Thatchers Legacy they all equally promoted on the capitalist world stage.

Disability campaigners saw this coming this is how the main groups in 2010 like DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) Black Triangle Campaign in Scotland and Spartacus Campaign,Pats Petition,WOW Debate MHRN (Mental Health Resistance Network)and many others were created to fight against the forthcoming erosion of the welfare state and austerity measures in the pipeline that was to be foisted onto the most vulnerable in society in the hope there would be little opposition, well they got that wrong! Disabled people started to take to the streets warning of what the end game was yet they were often dismissed as scaremongering by the general public but that did not deter them. When people start to die you just cannot sit and do nothing and boy did they take to social media too,  all working together behind the scenes collectively to raise awareness of what was happening to people under these new reforms .  The campaigns that hit headlines were Spartacus twitter  campaign ‘I Am Spartacus’, DPAC ‘s  Independant Living Campaign (ILF) 2010  one thing for sure disabled people were not going to suffer in silence they were going to take this fight to the government and still are! DPAC disruptive direct actions are notorious and they took their concerns to the UN over deaths that were occurring as people slipped through the cracks, while others produced hard evidence of what was going wrong and how to fix it by lobbying ministers to their plight.

ATOS  was the main contracted  outsourced provider of new Biopsychosocial model assessment regime designed by the likes of Mansell Aylward , Gordon Wadell,  (The biopsychosocial approach systematically considers biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and health care delivery.)  Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud,Frank Field et al  grabbed this flawed research with gusto and turned it into something brutal and unrecognizable removing the safety net of the welfare state for those who need it. This government have created a hostile environment for anyone who needs state support with lies about claimants taking taxpayers money while they are working hard to pay taxes. The demonisation started by IDS et al all feeds through to the general public  via the media that those needing support via his scrounger rhetoric, lazy ,feckless , money for nothing,hard working people are just a few of the soundbites used harking back the the victorian days of blaming the person rather than state failures to provide jobs in a failing economy since the 2008 global crash.

 

Iain Duncan Smith (Center for Social Justice)  -Between 1997 and 2001, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security and then Secretary of State for Defence. From 2001 to 2003, he was leader of the Conservative Party and then from 2003, having stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ). The CSJ was an organisation dedicated to focussing on the problems facing those in the lowest income groups in society. It published a series of reports, perhaps the most significantly, “Breakthrough Britain: Ending the Costs of Social Breakdown”, focusing on the five pathways to poverty and a Conservative way to implement social justice and improve the quality of the poorest in society. It is also worth noting that in 2013, the CSJ published the paper on modern day slavery, “It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to Fight Modern Slavery”, which subsequently led to Theresa May enacting legislation on this matter. In 2010, Iain Duncan Smith became Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a position he held until he resigned in a dispute with the Chancellor over his determination to reduce his expenditure on disability benefits by over £1 billion. During his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, he undertook the most significant programme of welfare reform in modern times, transforming the benefit and pension systems, as well as employment services and support. Perhaps the most significant reforms were the introduction of Universal Credit, (bringing together the six unemployment and sickness benefits), the Work Programme, for the first time bringing together private and voluntary sectors to get unemployed people back into work, and the introduction of the Single Tier Pension simplifying the State Pension.

https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/

 

Many battles have been fought since then and the Labour Government started to listen and ministers started to support disabled people in their fight and Ministers from all parties started to have their surgerys full of cases where this regime change was causing preventable harm. Meanwhile the Tories continue to ignore it and dismiss it as ‘work as a health outcome’ and disabled people as scaremongering despite extensive evidence to the contrary.

Further reading:

https://dpac.uk.net/research/

http://www.welfareconditionality.ac.uk/2017/07/demonising-disabled-people-public-behaviour-and-attitudes-during-welfare-reforms/

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/killed-by-the-state/

https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/independent-living-social-care-and-health/ilf-one-year-on/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/rogue-company-unum-had-a-profiteering-hand-in-the-governments-work-health-and-disability-green-paper/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/a-brief-history-of-social-security-and-the-reintroduction-of-eugenics-by-stealth/

Spartacus Reports:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/search/node/spartacus?fbclid=IwAR0oZ4h1GCEG62yOm4M1V8ir_UnEPN-Oq0jJuhlXBpzLHIPgxko3Luy4H6U

https://spartacusnetwork.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR1uGHwGNaggW9dMo7cbdG1WCT33SJK979fd99uQ4lENhKvi1v5bW-KLA3E

 

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Health & Work Programme Part 2


Well Folks as with my previous blog on Universal Credit there are 4 stages to this training programme so I am just going to put the shit shows on this blog so you can see for yourselves the behavioral science behind this horror of a policy. Apologies for its length.

 

Introduction;

About Me;

My 4 Steps;

My Values;

My Action Plan;

Panorama -Universal Car Crash


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC  Panorama Highlighted some of the issues with Universal Credit  with the focus on Housing Benefit Direct Payment process. While this may have been a overall a shock for those who watched the programme who may have never even heard of it, It wasn’t a shock to Disability Campaigners and those who need to make a claim!  The Media has been in full swing recently highlighting the many issues this controversial benefit failings, forcing the Government to make significant changes to the managed migration process as MP’s,charities,many DPO’s including CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group) and SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee) all advising the Government that changes must be made before the next cohort is transferred Secretary of State Ester McVey made considerable concessions to appease the outrage,which combined with fact the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston was visiting the UK looking at Welfare Reform and Poverty felt like a PR stunt to fend off recent criticism.

They focused on 3 Groups of the many that will be affected Unemployed,those who are Sick, and Low Income families. Using Government rhetoric of ‘making work pay’ more than benefits which the government has successfully ingrained into the mindset of many in society through the scrounger rhetoric since 2010.

Anthony the first  man lost his job is 63 so found that while he thought work was out there couldn’t secure employment and had 4K of rent arrears and had had been sanctioned losing 200mth just because for whatever reason  he had failed to comply because no phone or computer skills to manage his claim, and facing eviction, and even when he did make contact was sanctioned again as the advisor was not in the Jobcentre. One can only assume while he was doing everything required to look for work this was due to failed appointments which are generally online or via text notifications. Many in society will most likely exclaim well he was smoking roll ups and not attract much sympathy such a sly move by BBC to present him in this manner, saying well he can afford fags although I’m certainly they will defend this as usual.

Second Guy James Dade was single dad reliant on the food bank for survival but very little was said about his circumstances.

We then saw a Councillor state when people have limited choices they will choose to feed their kids and stay warm than pay their rent  nugget dropped into the programme implying reckless budgeting decisions. even though across the UK the average rent arrears is £663 compared to £263 on legacy benefits which on average is 2 and half times higher and recently over 1/2 claimants found online process difficult hinting yet again that its the claimants fault rather than a design fault.

The next couple Richard and Rita  claimed the benefit as Richard had a car accident  and consequently lost his job telling the public they were forced to sell things in the home to manage due to the fact the design features within the system were paying them less than they should have got, and being taken to court for council tax arrears while they tried desperately to sort their claim out leaving them in debt. they both eventually found Jobs.

Keith  the next claimant was a fellow suffering depression who admitted he was hopeless budgeting relying on the local food bank had lost his job, and faced eviction in November,due to rent arrears and without support unable to cope with system.

Professor Paul Hickman was interviewed  saying that direct payments to claimants rather than landlords as the previous system did was ignored by the DWP. Alok Sharma from the DWP was then interviewed spouting the same Tory script they must have learnt verbatim just like the actors they are, and displayed typical indifference to the plight of those on the receiving end of this vile policy claiming 90% of social sector will soon be signed up to the Landlord Portal which is being rolled out.

With 5821 evictions in the UK and many already homeless on the streets struggling we then had the council highlighting cuts from central government have left councils UK wide unable to pick up the slack and find homes due to lack of Social Housing properties that the country so desperately needs. Councils have seen their landlord lists plummet as many private landlords  refuse to let to those on social security and those needing Alternative Payment Arrangements such as Domestic Violence  victims  unable to get this arrangement and councils unable to help as the agreement has to be done via the landlord not a third party.

 

This programme really barely scraped the surface of the design faults within this policy, many things are changed as an after thought because the policy wasn’t properly thought through and administration is so bad and training is so bad that even those who should be helping haven’t a clue about the constant changes and are mis -informing claimants causing further chaos with long waits on the phone which campaigners call the ‘Vivaldi Line’.

In July 2019  as the Government rolls out a pilot sample of approx 10,000 claimants with many transferring in November 2019 in tranches this chaotic policy is only going to cause considerable harm to many families across the UK. The government knows fine well many of these  families will face hardship and tells them to stand on the beach looking at the wave that is a reality a tsunami waiting to hit them and their children. Yes done properly with support people could transition more easily hence the CAB contract of Universal Support recently announced will help many navigate the complex process of doing so, but support is soon going to be difficult to get appointments due to the volumes involved.

The most severely disabled will if they don’t have change of circumstances will start this process in 2020.

One thing is for certain is the noise about Universal Credit will get worse and louder as this government tries its best to hang on bloody mindlessly instead of scrapping it and admitting this policy should never have been introduced without making sure it was robust,practical to implement and the structure was sound. Now it is only fit for the waste basket of many government projects which has wasted Billions of Taxpayers money while UK citizens find themselves back in Victorian times and seen by the elite as undeserving and feckless poor who situation is their fault, absolving themselves of any responsibility for this total failure ,while the architects have long since retired with a golden peerage  and a hefty financial handshake.

If you missed it here it is;

 

Benefit Payment Cards


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well I have written about Welfare Cards and possible Bitcoin options that have been floated by various ministers, truth is some cards like the Azure card have existed for some time usually given to immigrants seeking asylum, and social care can be paid via a card too to enable carers to be paid. Many who are unable to get themselves a bank account signed up to either by the  governments Simple Payment Scheme and many opted for the Post Office card. Well now the government no longer have investments in Royal Mail which was sold off on the cheap, it latest trick is to make sure the demise of post office accounts and the simple payment scheme will bite the dust to be replaced by another government scheme to track claimants spending.  I-Movo are behind the latest changes and letters are being sent to claimants as we speak.

 

 

DWP letter about Simple Payment service

Simple Payment service – replacement service
The Simple Payment service is to be replaced by HM Government Payment Service.
DWP benefit / pension recipients who are unable to open a bank, building society, Post Office or credit union account may currently be receiving payment by the Simple Payment service. This service is coming to an end in March 2018 and customers are being moved to HM Government Payment Service.
DWP is writing to all Simple Payment customers who are actively using their account to tell them that they will be moving to the new service by 20 March 2018. Most customers will continue to receive payment by the same method (SMS text or card). Customers will be issued with a new card where appropriate. Payment will continue to be through PayPoint outlets in the same way as the Simple Payments service.New customers who are unable to open and / or manage a bank or other account will be paid by the HM Government Payment Service from 1 February 2018. They will be given the option to be paid by text, pdf email containing a voucher or card.
There are a few changes from the current service:
 Benefits or pensions issued under the new service will need to be withdrawn within 30 days of receipt or the customer will need to contact DWP to have the payment voucher reissued.
 Overall payments will remain the same but will be paid in sums up to £100. For recipients this will mean that if their benefit or pension is over £100 they will receive multiple vouchers requiring separate transactions to collect the money. For example, for those receiving payment by card, to collect a payment of £165 the payment card will need to be used twice, firstly to collect £100 and then again to collect the remaining £65. For those receiving payment via text or email with pdf vouchers they will receive two codes one for £100 and the other for £65. As long as funds at the PayPoint outlet are sufficient this can be done in the same visit.
 Customers can use any of the 29,000 PayPoint outlets to encash payment subject to funds being available at the outlet.
DWP has also been writing to customers who have Simple Payment accounts which have not been used recently, telling them the account will be closed and requesting that they withdraw any balance. If there are any outstanding balances when the account is closed these will be held centrally and the customer will need to contact DWP to arrange payment to an alternative account

The letter can be downloaded here

https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/11333/P15

HM Government Payment Service uses a system called i-movo. You’ll be able to collect your benefit from a PayPoint outlet in local shops and newsagents. You can search for your nearest store on the PayPoint website.

The DWP will send you vouchers by text message, email or post. You’ll need your voucher, a memorable date and proof of ID in order to collect your cash. The DWP does not need your agreement in order to pay you in this way, so if you cannot or do not wish to be paid into an account, the Government Payment Service will be the only other option. Find out more about HM Government Payment Service on the GOV.UK website.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/benefits-introduction/payment-of-benefits-and-tax-credits/

http://i-movo.com/

 

 

IAPT -The Governments Magic Cure for Mental Health


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Most people will have heard of CBT therapy for helping those with mental health problems, some may have received it and felt it helpful,but for the majority with serious mental health problems this will not make a jot of difference and in some cases cause more harm. What is insidious about this is that it will be forced upon those who claim Social Security payments in helping them get back to work with their new  health and work programme which is integral to Universal Credit.

This is most likely going to be part of the so called ”Universal Support’ in Universal Credit where the government has target groups, and I’m sure this isn’t the worst of the many packages this government proposes to force upon those groups mentioned in my other blog ‘Universal Support’.

The government in its wisdom wants to half the disability employment gap which most governments have failed to do consistently for decades. The base rate of 5% has never really changed,so it is folly for them to think so , as employers are reluctant to take on people who have mental health or other disabilities let alone the many with chronic ill health which is never catered for in any policy they dream up.

Work is not a ‘cure for all ills’ as this government would like to peddle to media and swallowed by the gullible public who seem to resent our very existence until they are affected personally because of selfish desires not to pay taxes for those needing support from the state,which I hasten to add have paid their own taxes until they became mentally unwell or disabled, so are eligible to claim payment,after all that’s what NI was all about an insurance to cover you if you fell on hard times .

In an ideal world it should be standard practice for disabled people to obtain work on merit if able, but it all comes back to that real issue of ‘productivity and profit’ so  majority of disabled people don’t tick that box precisely because we are not as productive as our able bodied counterparts by the very nature of disability,being off sick when things are bad, hospital appointments,or regular treatment or surgery.

Its a no- brainer to a rational thinking person, but we know our government don’t think like normal people, they just dream up pointless expensive schemes to waste taxpayers money to show the public they are doing something even though they have demonstrated  most fail and cost more than paying benefits in the first place.

Many more dark oppressive schemes are coming to light so we must be vigilant and stand up against forcing people to be so distressed that they harm or worse death to its citizens. It is not like we don’t know how many have decided to end it all over the constant pressures they are put under daily by the DWP monsters, who are out of control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revealed….How Private Insurance Moves to Replace the Welfare State


Image result

Image Courtesy of Legal & General

 

I have in many of my blogs mentioned the fact that Insurance was to replace the welfare state, many still don’t think it will happen well listen up, it is around the corner and thanks to deregulation via brexit it going to happen, and would have happened sooner if EU law had not protected you. There will many who will live to regret the vote for Brexit.

The government has finally introduced it ugly game plan and they wont stop there as the same insurance company is linked to social care which is undergoing a review also.

Looks like insurance for care through legal and General. Names of independent experts invited by government to provide advice and support engagement in advance of the green paper:

Caroline Abrahams – Charity Director of Age UK
Dame Kate Barker – former Chair of the King’s Fund Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England
Sir David Behan – Chief Executive of Care Quality Commission
Dr Eileen Burns – President of the British Geriatrics Society
Professor Paul Burstow – Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence
Jules Constantinou – President-elect of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
Sir Andrew Dilnot – former Chair of the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support
Baroness Martha Lane Fox – Founder and Executive Chair of Doteveryone
Mike Parish – Chief Executive of Care UK
David Pearson – former President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and Corporate Director for Social Care, Health and Public Protection at Nottinghamshire County Council
Imelda Redmond – National Director of Healthwatch England
Nigel Wilson – Chief Executive of Legal and General

Quotes Linda Burnip DPAC

Many income related benefits are being moved across to Universal Credit the governments flagship policy which is sinking fast as the holes in this policy are more flawed than the WCA where more complex claimant issues are exposing the holes in a policy which in theory was meant to revolutionise social security and catapult it into 21st century. Well now their focus are those on contributory JSA/ESA which they plan to be part of the Social Insurance Scheme and the only reason they have not done so already is quoted below

Had contributory benefits been abolished whilst UK social
security was bound by EU law, this would have exposed Universal
Credit (the significantly larger budget) to exportability. In light of the
British vote to leave the EU, however, there is now the possibility of
reforming contributory benefits without breaching EU law.

Employers and all those with a stake in this horrendous policy will not just be looking at savings made, but also the huge concern is denial when it comes to delivering on payouts as long as the state doesnt have to foot the bill. Insurance schemes around the globe are littered with claims of those who took out Insurance only to be denied it  upon making a claim leaving many no option but to be destitute or borrow money to take companies to court to get what was rightly their’s in first place. We keep hearing that state support isn’t sustainable, NHS isn’t sustainable yet majority of the country fell for the last National Insurance Scheme which isnt paying out either, due to an empty pot, which is incredulous really given some dont live to collect a state pension, and those who do never get payments reflecting the thousands they paid in over 40yrs of their worklife.

The only winners here are the banks who underwrite such policies. However Legal & General have Capita to manage the shareholders assets Capita’s Shareholder Services Team is available to answer any questions that you have in relation to your Legal & General shareholding.

and non other than….

  • Group Health and Safety Committee – Chaired by Ian D Smith – Head of HR, Shared Services.

It sure as hell is a murky business, this government is up to its neck and following it mantra “we are all in it together”

So whats the crack I hear you all say get to the point, well this is how it meant to work:

The larger the number of premium payers, the lower the risk profile across the total claimant

population and the lower the total cost of enrolment. L&G estimate
a cost of around 0.5% of payroll earnings at approximately £11 a
month. Total pay-out would be £900 a month for a maximum period
of one year, with a 50% replacement rate.6
After one year, a claimant would return to the state benefit system.
A total of £10,800 could be claimed via the social insurance product.
Ultimately this ‘rainy day guarantee’ has been designed so that a
claimant would receive more than they otherwise would have on
state welfare, and so that significant costs are delivered to both the
taxpayer and to employers.

Individuals
previously eligible for contributory JSA and ESA would fall into one
of three categories: ‘full Universal Credit entitlement’, ‘partial entitlement,’
and, finally, ‘no entitlement’. The projected annual savings
from individuals who fall under ‘no entitlement’ and have no welfare
claim would amount to £60m from JSA and £290m from ESA per annum. Total savings over the 2015–2020 period would come to
approximately £1.66bn

So when many breathed a sigh of relief they were not included in Universal Credit  , they soon will be under a different process.

Read Documents Here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QBdAdIfZCAv4uC5L_zK8ozaPE0WCHxQj/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iuQAL0YlsiVS8ypZn3P3jQWEvou3eFA

Update: https://www.ft.com/content/cda0499e-9ba1-11e8-9702-5946bae86e6d

Health & Work Programme -Universal Credit


Many of my blogs on Universal Credit thus far have been showing how this is a monster of a programme which incorporates the Health & Work Programme. Due to my nocturnal nature I was digging about when I came across these slides and thought this demonstrates how this is intending to operate. Presenting it was more of a challenge but hopefully I have managed to do if my powerpoint works.

The way weasel words are always  ‘Making Work Pay’ or Fullfilling their Potential’ or some other buzzword they embed in the public psyche to hide the abhorrent fuck up and complicated mess this really is in reality for those who are the governments guinea pigs , who have gone from stock to customer and now a ‘benefit unit’!

So fill your boots

 

 

 

 

The 2 yr Job Rule for Disabled on Universal Credit is not True!


 

In the last few days it has been widely reported by various bloggers that those disabled claimants claiming Universal Credit are subjected to finding a job within two years or face a 1 year sanction. This is utter fabrication and feeding many claimants fears which could potentially cause harm. So today I called Welfare Rights ,who called DWP while I remained on the phone, they denied that this information was correct and was downright alarmist and dangerous. That doesnt mean I trust DWP and have submitted a FOI too given 7 years of shenanigans. So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts!

Those who will be put on Universal Credit (UC) will have to sign the claimant commitment regardless, some will be subjected to full conditionality some will have their conditionality limited depending on the circumstances, and subject to sanctions if they fail to comply with the agreed commitments they agreed with work coach via the Work Plan,My 4 steps,My Values documents.  (Document links provided at bottom of the blog.)

As promised last night, the SKWAWKBOX has been looking further into conflicting reports from DWP insiders concerning the WRAG (work-related activity group) category into which the government, more or less arbitrarily, places some disability benefit claimants and the possibility of sanctions after a fixed period of two years under the Universal Credit (UC) system if claimants have not found work.

Some activists insisted that this was part of the UC system and this was initially confirmed by long-term DWP employees. Others subsequently disputed it. The only thing all were agreed on was that the rules are ill-conceived and extremely confusing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted a PCS union official who specialises in UC for clarification and received this response:

 

I’ve been looking at the regulations and I can’t find anything that refers specifically to a fixed time limit in which to find employment.

That is right, because no fixed time limit exists in the regulations

 

The ‘disabled’ argument, as I’m sure you are aware, is notorious because ultimately the Department through the provide contractors are essentially able to define who is fit or not for work.

For example, a claimant maybe moved from ESA to UC on the back of a WCA [Work Capability Assessment]. The claimant may disagree with the decision but they are stuck.

If they are adamant they are not fit for work, they could refuse employment in an environment they believe will affect their health.

 

If they have been found to have no Limited Capability for Work, they cannot refuse employment. The fact that claimants think they are unfit for work has been the main issue with the flawed WCA since 2008

 

This is where the sanction process comes in – a 13wk, 26wk and 156wk sanction could apply (although similar regs existed prior to UC and the 2012 Welfare Reform Act if not as harsh or severe).

 

In this case you’re looking at failure to apply, not accepting work or leaving on one’s own accord. Their argument is they aren’t fit, the department will still look at sanctions.

The circumstances described here apply to somebody who has not been found to have Limited Capability for Work.

 

The sanction regime is clearly arbitrary, deeply unfair and dangerous – but there is no rule mandating a fixed time-limit for a claimant to find work.

Again no time limit

 

However, another PCS/DWP source warned that while the rules don’t include such a limit, the way they are applied may not be as clear cut:

I can tell you that we have received complaints from WRAG claimants about having their ESA revoked after two years. And now they are treated as JSA claimants because they are ‘fit for work but not necessarily their precious occupation(s)’.

ESA cannot be revoked. It simply cannot be claimed after a claimant has been found fit for work. Previous occupations are not a consideration. That has always been the case.

 

Sanctions have been applied because the claimant has not fulfilled their requirement to find work. The purpose of the WRAG was to enable people to return to work despite being disabled, but this component has now been removed as WRAG claimants are now treated as jobseekers.

 

WRAG claimants under UC are described as having Limited Capability for Work.. They are not required to search for, be available for and start work, and cannot be sanctioned for not doing so, but they are required to accept work preparation requirements within their commitment and attend WFIs

.

 

Other WRAG claimants have been booted off ESA or the sickness element of UC after a period of two years because they failed their WCA – deliberate decision to bully them back to work.

 

Some claimants will fail their WCA after 2 years. Others after 6 months, 12 months  etc.

2 years is actually a prognosis period, meaning a number of people are reassessed at this stage. Unless there is any evidence of a pattern, this period of 2 years is meaningless

 

Thanks too to Anita Bellows who has worked with me on this 🙂

 

So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts! 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353594773/4c-ESAHWC1

https://www.scribd.com/document/353595852/CC-O18-E15

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/353603319/1359203507-UJcompanyleafletJCP

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185048/CC-Requirement-to-Accept-a-Claimant-Commitment-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185364/cc-commitment-not-accepted-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185650/My-4-Steps-Template

https://www.scribd.com/document/354187257/1816-my-values-1-pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520361/FTS-FTP-in-WFI-and-Failure-to-Undertake-Work-Related-Activity

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517543/Handout-08-01-Commitment-Pack-v7-7

https://www.scribd.com/document/354182466/Dealing-With-Sanctions-Facsheet-4

https://www.scribd.com/document/353627563/HWC-Exemptions

 

Read Frank Zola Blog below;

https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/disability-rights-uk-disrightsuk-questions-why-dwp-esa-health-work-conversation-mandatory-foi/

Update…….. “The Article originally produced by SKWAWKBOX. Claiming to that Disabled Persons could only claim UC for 24 months, is a mishmash of quotes from Gen William Taggart, who was actually talking about an Early ‘Draft’ of the Welfare Reform Acts. At no time did Gen. T directly associate this with Disabled Persons, in fact it was just a heads up for activists/advocates etc, to remember not to get complacent about the Statutory Instrument placed within the Welfare Reform Acts. “

 

Further confirmation from DWP to my FOI

My FOI response

“Claimants on JSA or UC, who are expected to look for and be available for work, must do all
they reasonably can to find and take up a job. However, the DWP sets no specific time limit for
how long a claimant is given to find a job.
Sanctions are only used in a minority of cases when people fail to attend work-search reviews;
fail to meet the work-related requirements they have agreed in their Claimant Commitment;
fail to apply for work or take up an offer of work; or leave a job, without good reason.
The DWP does not have any statutory powers to sanction or reduce benefit payments solely on the basis
that a claimant has been trying but has been unable to find work within 2 years.”

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/js_a_two_year_clause#incoming-1019979

Universal Credit -The conversation nobody is talking about


This is likely to be a very long blog and I make no apologies as this is important information we all need to get to grips with to survive.

 

Universal Credit (UC) is slowly being rolled out across the UK for some claimants , mainly single claimants and to be continued for couples. The legacy benefits that people are currently getting will eventually become Universal Credit,which runs a live programme (with gateway conditions) and a full rollout programme (no gateway conditions)alongside each other. Advisors will need to determine which is operating in their area and inform clients and explain in full their rights and eligibility. The fact that some will get hit hard  is just the scratch on surface to the vile and brutal conditions of the health & work programme which is incorporated within it. ESA Claimants in WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) will lose the £30 a week inline with JSA for new claims while others migrating will get transitional protection until they have a change circumstances,or appeal, then they will lose it. If you have a change of circumstances at present on ESA  in a UC area  you will be put on UC and stay on it you wont be able to go back to your legacy benefit. For those on ESA it you will continue be assessed via WCA (Work Capability Assessment ) as you are now, but support group will be required to engage with claimant commitment to continue to receive payment according to UC documents. The specialist employment programmes are likely to be part of this commitment if the work coach feels the claimant could move closer to labour market. This will be done via Health & Work Conversation with a Work Coach.

 

Framework The claimant is supported in this regime by use of their Commitment. The claimant agrees their Commitment and is required to alert Universal Credit to any upcoming unemployment and changes of circumstance. The claimant can be sign posted to relevant support depending on their circumstances.

Claimants in this regime may still need or require some support in helping them to move closer to the labour market. If this applies, flexibility exists to sign post claimants to non-funded voluntary support. Consider existing voluntary options in the local area.

 

Support groups claimants will also be hit by losing SDP (Severe Disability Premium) which is currently £62.45 a week for single people and £124.90 for couples unless someone gets Carers Allowance to help you then the single rate will continue,providing you get middle or high rate care needs. Carers too will be affected if they care for a disabled person.

More cuts

The Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) and Severe Disability Premium (SDP) currently give disabled people with high support needs £15.90 and £62.45 a week respectively. But under Universal Credit neither [pdf p3-4] payment exists. These, along with ESA and Income Support, will be replaced with the following payments under Universal Credit (NB: the amounts are for single people over the age of 25, without children and unable to work through ill health or disability):
  • Standard allowance – £317.82 per calendar month (pcm), or £73.34 per week.
  • Limited capability for work (only for claims started before 3 April 2017) – £126.11 pcm or £29.10 per week.
  • Limited capability for work and work related activity – £318.76 pcm or £73.56 per week.
So in total, people who claimed Universal Credit after April 2017, but were previously getting ESA support group rate (£109.65 per week), EDP and SDP, will be set to lose £41.10 a week – as they currently receive £188 a week versus £146.90 under Universal Credit. This means a loss of £2,137.20 a year. But the DWP claims there is a safety net.

 

If other benefits are received, this may impact on the Universal Credit award. Some benefits are ignored whereas other benefits have a pound for pound impact on the Universal Credit award.

Other benefits Universal Credit should not be paid to claimants with enough income available from other sources to support themselves. Exceptions are where payments are received in respect of additional costs which the claimant has, for example disability benefits.

Claimants who receive other benefits in addition to Universal Credit are subject to the relevant Universal Credit Labour Market regime based on their relevant Universal Credit legal conditionality group.
Other benefits taken fully into account The following benefits are taken fully into account when calculating Universal Credit payments:  Bereavement Allowance  Carer’s Allowance  New style Employment and Support Allowance (contribution-based)  Incapacity Benefit  Severe Disablement Allowance  Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit  New style Jobseeker’s Allowance (contribution-based)  Maternity Allowance  State Pension  Widowed Mother’s Allowance  Widowed Parent’s Allowance  Widow’s Pension

This means for each £1 received from these benefits, the Universal Credit payment is reduced by £1.

Any benefit, allowance or payment from a country outside the United Kingdom could also be taken fully into account, depending on the circumstances.

Pension Credit Universal Credit offers a signposting service for State Pension Credit (SPC).Claimants can find further information about SPC on Gov.UK. A benefit unit cannot be in receipt of both Pension Credit and Universal Credit. One of the basic conditions for getting Universal Credit is that a claimant must not be over the qualifying age for SPC.

This is called the Upper Age Limit.
Joint claim The Upper Age Limit doesn’t apply if the person over State Pension age is in a joint claim and their partner has not reached that age. Both adults are eligible for Universal Credit providing all other conditions of entitlement are met. The person over the SPC qualifying age is exempt from work conditionality and will be placed in the no work related requirements regime. Example: One adult in a couple is 57 and the other is 75. Both are able to claim Universal Credit together as a joint claim in the normal way.

Once Universal Credit Full Service is live nationally for all new claims, couples with only one person over the Pension Credit qualifying age will no longer be eligible for Pension Credit. This will ensure that the younger member of the couple has access to support to find work, if appropriate.

The person over the SPC qualifying age is exempt from work conditionality and will be placed in the no work related requirements regime.

So even some pensioners will be targeted as the above example illustrates. Also targeted are single parents .

 

This combined with the benefit cap now  and the family cap (2 child Rule) from 2018, will also face cuts to housing benefits via LHA being reduced with those in private accommodation hit by a new Bedroom Tax and Supported Mortgage Interest being turned into a loan will hit virtually impacting on everyone especially those who are in work too and off sick. The latter will now face 4 wks fit note and then a assessment to determine eligibility to top up benefits to SSP, and subjected to claimant commitment conditions. Those in exceptional circumstances such as Domestic Violence, etc will get the opportunity to ask for alternative payments arrangements so they are not left penniless by abusive partners. Nobody will be deemed exempt it seems, from the vile clutches of this ‘monster’ created by the government and these things need to be urgently addressed and with Brexit around the corner and prices rising already the poorest will most likely be affected the most. There are even two regimes to get people into labour market depending on your given  perceived status. one is Light Touch and the other is Intensive regimes. It is impossible to upload all documents which are many, but main ones are listed below as now is the time to plan ahead to help people understand how Universal Credit can affect you and your families understand the system to make sure you can understand what is expected of them.

One the many hideous things hidden in the Health and Work Programme is IAPT (CBT therapy) which will become compulsory as well as Troubled Families roll out, and targets to enforce therapy regimes on those who are obese, drink,drugs,smokers. Refusing to  take part in this mandatory requirement you will cease to be entitled to Universal Credit.Those considered in debt  and financially vulnerable will also be put forward to personal budgeting support advice where they will be judged and no doubt blamed for buying services that the nanny state deem expensive/unnecessary given the amount they have to live on. Health and Work Blog is linked below.

This Government has excelled itself in brutality towards claimants of social security,while convincing the populace of the UK that demonising the poorest is the acceptable norm and that they are fair game to be abused and they are not worthy as they are unable to contribute in same way a fit able bodied person , leading to further division. While this is not in depth Blog I have included relevant documents for download and uploaded a powerpoint to help people understand how they will be affected.

Anyone needing further advice can use the calculator link below to find out how they will be affected or seek proper advice locally and this blogger would urge people to check how you will be affected to prevent distress and income depravation.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits-calculator/startcalc.aspx

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/349604179/Housing-Costs-Private-Rented-Sector-v4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/349604161/Housing-Mortgages-Previously-MQPs-v3-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349526820/hwc-claimant-booklet

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520880/Customers-With-Additional-Needs

https://www.scribd.com/document/352763377/Carers-V4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352763488/Universal-Credit-and-APAs

https://www.scribd.com/document/352764924/Personal-Budgeting-Support-Guidance

https://www.scribd.com/document/352765382/Labour-Market-Regimes-V4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833624/Appointees-v4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833674/Benefit-Cap-v3-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833773/Child-Maintenance-V1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833815/childcare-costs-at-a-glance-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833897/Health-Conditions-and-Disabilities-v5-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352834778/Students-v5-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352834943/UC-Monthly-Rates-v5-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/358512453/Warm-Up-Letter-v-2-0

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mandatory_psychological_treatmen

 

 

 

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/the-health-work-programme-is-work-really-a-health-outcome/

 

 

UPDATES : More documents have been uploaded including the powerpoints below, Please also check out my blog on Dementia Tax , Cuts that will cut Deep blog also.

 

https://www.scribd.com/presentation/352840015/Universal-Credit

 

Further Updates Uploaded Documents (more to come yet watch this space!)

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/358512765/CPAG-Sanction-Disputes-and-Challenges-Conference-Notes-Sept2015

https://www.scribd.com/document/358512813/Martin-Williams-CPAG-Making-an-Exception-Slides

https://www.scribd.com/document/358512424/UC-Checklist-Applying

https://www.scribd.com/document/358512597/ESAHWC1-Invitation-Letter

https://www.scribd.com/document/358514059/Universal-Credit-for-Disabled-People-Carers-1

https://www.scribd.com/presentation/358512367/Emha-Uc-Presentation  – Housing

https://www.scribd.com/document/358514229/Appointees-v4-0

 

Labour Returns to It’s Roots


Corby with mos book

 

Without a right-leaning New Labour leader, there is now an opportunity for the Labour Party to represent the people it was originally created to serve, writes MO STEWART.

There is an entire generation in Great Britain who have no knowledge of the original Labour Party, who confuse Tony Blair as its former leader and who have no comprehension of the damage the New Labour Party created.

 

Three consecutive general election wins for Tony Blair when leader of the New Labour Party was, by anyone’s standard, a significant achievement.  Blair was the Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, was the youngest British Prime Minister since 1812 and was to became the longest serving (New) Labour Prime Minister which is an achievement not easily surpassed.

 

However, there was a reason why the party was called ‘New Labour’ as it broke away from its traditional roots, and engaged with right-leaning policies not dissimilar to those of the previous Conservative government. Efforts to impress the middle class voters were at the expense of the Labour heartlands and the workers the original Labour Party was created to protect.

 

Blair claimed to want to move the Party to what he called the ‘centre ground’ which, in reality, created right-leaning policies, which were in opposition to traditional Labour Party values. Under his leadership New Labour reduced what had been historic links with trade unions, abandoned what had been the Labour Party’s commitment to nationalisation and supported Britain’s entry into the European Union.

 

His landslide victory over the Conservatives in the 1997 general election was impressive following eighteen years of Tory rule and, for a while, all was well.  However, the longer Blair served as Prime Minister the more right-leaning policies were produced. He made every effort to attract the middle class vote, whilst distancing the party from the working class and the trade unions, whose members stopped voting at general elections in their hundreds of thousands as no political party represented them.

Blair’s embarrassing devotion to all things American meant that the regularly claimed “special relationship” between America and Great Britain was reflected in foreign policy, as Blair took this nation into a war in Afghanistan in 2001 we had no business fighting, which was used to give the Republican President Bush the moral justification for American hostilities.

 

On the domestic front, it was the Blair government who commissioned David Freud to investigate welfare funding.  As a consequence of a totally discredited 2008 report by Freud, Blair’s successor Gordon Brown was the New Labour Prime Minister who introduced welfare reforms.  The reforms permitted an unaccountable foreign corporate giant to reassess welfare claimants using the entirely bogus American influenced Work Capability Assessment (WCA), and was no longer in charge by the time it became obvious that the use of the WCA would kill people.

 

Time has moved on and Jeremy Corbyn was elected as the leader of the Labour Party, for the second time, in September 2016.  Never in the history of the party has there been such relentless personal abuse by Labour MPs still loyal to Blair , but opposition to Corbyn from some Blairite Labour MPs couldn’t muster the support he attracted from the grassroots membership of the Labour Party, who elected him to office.

 

Corbyn has rejected the austerity measures employed by the Tories, which were always guaranteed to cause preventable harm to the most vulnerable people in society.  He has also rejected the neoliberal politics employed by the Conservative, the Coalition and the New Labour governments, which created a free-for-all in the world markets, which eventually led to a world banking crisis in 2008.

 

Whilst grotesque salaries were offered to the few, Cameron used the banking crisis to justify the introduction of austerity measures in 2010.  The sick, the disabled and the poor have all suffered the most as a direct consequence of the austerity measures, as tax breaks were given to the wealthiest people in the country and corporate giants were permitted to fail to fund corporate taxes.

 

Devotion to neoliberal politics, together with austerity measures and a vast reduction in funding for essential public services by the Conservative government has created preventable harm and vast inequalities. There has been a return of Rickets to Britain for the first time since the Second World War, together with increases in Tuberculosis, which are linked to the savage Conservative/Coalition government austerity measures which meant that the poorest and the most vulnerable would be often left without food.

 

The answer to that is the desperate need for food banks generously supported by the British public, school breakfasts begrudgingly introduced by the Tories to reduce adverse commentary, to be replaced by nourishing hot school lunches if Labour are returned to power in the 2017 general election.

 

As leader of the Labour Party Corbyn would never agree to commit British military forces to another war zone at the behest of the Americans. He will return rights to British workers, stop the university students being plunged into debt when attending university and has promised to stop the dangerous WCA which has been linked to the deaths of almost 100,000 people since 2011.  This, together with a guaranteed increase in funding for vital public services, including the NHS, the Police Service and the Fire Service would secure a much better and safer future for the British people.

 

It’s now twenty years ago since Blaire enjoyed a landslide victory against the Tories in 1997 and introduced New Labour to the unsuspecting British people. Twenty years later, it is possible that Corbyn could enjoy another significant victory over the Tories, and this time he would introduce a traditional Labour government to the British public.

 

All that is need is for a majority of adults to vote Labour in the general election on June 8th.

 

Mo Stewart is an independent researcher and retired healthcare professional. Her acclaimed book ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’ was published in September 2016 by New Generation Publishing.

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