‘Moaning’ Work and Pensions committee lets IDS ‘off the hook’

Mike Sivier's blog

131210IDScommittee

It is said that you can get the measure of a man, not from his words, but from his actions. Iain Duncan Smith brought bodyguards to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee yesterday. (Monday)

Why did he need the muscle? Probably because he knew how his behaviour would be received. This is a man who is absolutely not going to accept criticism, in any form at all.

The man whose benefit reforms were mocked by Ed Balls last week as “In Deep Sh…ambles” batted away concerns about inaccurate statistics as somebody else’s fault and, when confronted with a whistleblower’s claim that jobseekers were being sanctioned indiscriminately, said he wanted to see the evidence.

That’s a bit much, coming from the man who is still withholding the mortality statistics of people going through the assessment regime for Employment and Support Allowance. Where is that evidence?

Our evidence that he had a…

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‘Moaning’ Work and Pensions committee lets IDS ‘off the hook’

Mike Sivier's blog

131210IDScommittee

It is said that you can get the measure of a man, not from his words, but from his actions. Iain Duncan Smith brought bodyguards to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee yesterday. (Monday)

Why did he need the muscle? Probably because he knew how his behaviour would be received. This is a man who is absolutely not going to accept criticism, in any form at all.

The man whose benefit reforms were mocked by Ed Balls last week as “In Deep Sh…ambles” batted away concerns about inaccurate statistics as somebody else’s fault and, when confronted with a whistleblower’s claim that jobseekers were being sanctioned indiscriminately, said he wanted to see the evidence.

That’s a bit much, coming from the man who is still withholding the mortality statistics of people going through the assessment regime for Employment and Support Allowance. Where is that evidence?

Our evidence that he had a…

View original post 794 more words

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Workers Of The World Relax, Universal Automation Hits Google Store

the void

Universal-Automation1-appIain Duncan Smith’s plans to force claimants to spend 35 hours a week endlessly applying for unsuitable jobs via the DWP’s shoddy jobsearch website have suffered another humiliating blow.

Universal Automation, which was recently released as a trial version, has now been launched in google’s Chrome store and is free to download.  The app automatically applies for jobs on Universal Jobmatch, the Jobcentre website that claimants are often forced to use as a condition of claiming benefits*.

According to the developers the latest version has several new features:

  • You can now set all Universal Jobmatch search parameters in the extension options. We added distance, posting date and job type.
  • The extension will apply for jobs on all pages of search results, not just the first one. To control that, you can set the maximum number of jobs the extension will apply for in a single session.
  • When the extension…

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Poverty: The situation’s bleak, but the future looks worse!

Mike Sivier's blog

130617childpoverty

We all owe a debt of thanks to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its work to reveal the depth of poverty in British society today.

The Foundation’s latest report reveals that – even by standards that have slipped since the Coalition government came into office – in-work poverty has galloped ahead of that suffered by those in workless and retired families – proving once and for all that, under the Tories and Liberal Democrats, work doesn’t pay!

But the situation is actually worse than the figures suggest, because the poverty line is always 60 per cent of average (median) income – and incomes in the UK have been dropping. Some say the average is now seven per cent lower than in 2010; others say nearly 10 per cent.

This means that, if we add in the people in working families who would be below the poverty line if it…

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The coming Corporatocracy and the death of democracy

Politics and Insights

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“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
Benito Mussolini.

“The real corruption that has eaten into the heart of British public life is the tightening corporate grip on government and public institutions – not just by lobbyists, but by the politicians, civil servants, bankers and corporate advisers who increasingly swap jobs, favours and insider information, and inevitably come to see their interests as mutual and interchangeable… Corporate and financial power have merged into the state.”Seumus Milne.

The Conservative privatisation programme has been an unmitigated failure. We have witnessed scandalous price rigging, and massive job losses, decreased standards in service delivery and a disempowerment of our Unions. But then the Tories will always swing policy towards benefiting private companies and not the public, as we know. In Britain, privatisation was primarily driven by Tory ideological motives, to “roll…

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A few lights, a camera and some real-life action helped us demystify what it’s like to live with a mental illness, says Dan Charlton

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A few lights, a camera and some real-life action helped us demystify what it’s like to live with a mental illness, says Dan Charlton

A few lights, a camera and some real-life action helped us demystify what it’s like to live with a mental illness, says Dan Charlton.

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Why your NHS Mental Health Trust should provide an independent in house Welfare Rights Service.

Local Democracy and Health

Blog Welfare Rights and MHEvery year approximately 70,000 people with a Psychosis are supported by the NHS. In most cases while they receive good consistent support from health and social care services the same cannot be said about access to support to address their socio-economic circumstances. Yet these can have a huge impact on their wellbeing and the likelihood of their being admitted to costly NHS services.

In 2013 Norman Lamb the Minister of State for Care and Support hosted a meeting in the House of Commons launching a report by the Centre for Mental Health on the importance of welfare rights provision for people with a psychosis. As well as many guests from the NHS and voluntary sector James Morris MP who was the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health was also there.

The report “Welfare advice for people who use mental health services – developing the business case”

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Day 5: Online Action on workfare and sanctions – the finale

the void

WorkFare-not-workingFrom Boycott Workfare

The week of action has seen a very loud noise demo at the workfare industry’s annual conference, hijacking its hashtag and actions in Cardiff, Wrexham, and even one in Germany! There’s loads more planned this weekend – with a new action just announced in Sheffield this Saturday too (and one coming up next week in Oxford!).

Thanks to everyone who’s been putting the pressure on online too. We’ve kept a lot of workfare exploiters’ Facebook Page moderators very busy this week and we’ve seen time and again how pressure from action on the streets plus online embarrassment can be enough to make a company or charity think twice!

Today, please help show all the companies and charities we’ve contacted this week that we won’t stop until they do. Scroll down our website front page for ways to contacts some of the worst offending charities, biggest workfare-using…

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Young People To Face Workfare In Supermarkets Or 780 Hours Forced Community Work Osborne Announces

the void

jesus-workfare-salvationFor a long time now anti-workfare campaigners have warned that so-called ‘voluntary’ unpaid work on Jobcentre schemes is often forced labour in disguise. Such is the toxic environment in Jobcentres that those who refuse to take part in ‘voluntary’ workfare can simply be sent on a mandatory scheme instead.

Now George Osborne has let the cat out of the bag and in his speech yesterday signalled his intention to enshrine this vile practice in government policy.  Starting as early as April next year in some cases, almost all unpaid work schemes will now be mandatory for the young.

Osborne will force all those out of work for six months and between the ages of 18 and 21 into Traineeships or Work Experience.  Those who refuse will be sent on a Community Work Placement  – 780 hours unpaid work – or face losing benefits completely.  This is a huge turn…

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