Posts Tagged ‘the Guardian’

Article in today’s Guardian online…

Independent review of benefit sanctions urgently needed, say MPs
Cross-party report comes amid concerns that financial penalties have been issued inappropriately and caused hardship and destitution

My thoughts:

How is a job seeker who has lost all financial control and is told constantly (mostly passive aggressively through media and societies controlled perception) that they are useless & worthless, supposed to then find the motivation and self belief needed to sell themselves at a job interview?

The government want to encourage personal responsibility and get rid of victim status (I am all for that) yet at the same time help to strengthen “victim status” mentality by making people feel powerless and depressed.

Surely positive encouragement is needed to motivate people to get help get a job?

Their main priority seems to be punishment for the people abusing the system – which I actually believe are few and far between and is backed up by statistical research – but their current system punishes every person on benefits;

  • The people who have had jobs all their lives and paid into the system only to find through no fault of their own they’ve been made redundant.
  • Graduates leaving University and looking for their first professional job having now experienced the entire GRADUATE PREMIUM Myth!
  • People with genuine disability who have been treated absolutely disgustingly by this government, etc, etc.

You’re always going to get people who abuse the system including those who work within it! Sanctioning just weakens a persons resolve to find work but I can’t help thinking that’s what they want anyway!?

The people who they’re taking the power away from are the same people who have the power to oust them!

It works in the government’s favour to make people as passive as possible their very political survival depends on it.

Cartoonist Martin Rowson on the death of “The Great Moderniser” Abdullah of Saud and the truly dreadful tributes from Tony (‘Tis a pity he’s a whore) Blair and Bullingdon’s finest, David (Call Me Dave) Cameron. Fucking Warmongers and hypocrites All!

Cartoonist Martin Rowson on the death of “The Great Moderniser” Abdullah of Saud.


The sycophantic international ‘grieving’ for this Saudi despot is as sickening as the line up of representatives of repression on the Paris “Je suis Charlie Hebdo” march.
It’s all about the oil and BAe weapons sales, it’s The War Machine in attendance.

John McArthur is making his one-man protest outside LAMH in Motherwell [The Guardian].

  • So you think there’s no slavery in the UK? Read this:

A man who was laid off at the end of his temporary job has been ordered by the Department for Work and Pensions to work for the same company for six months without pay, according to The Guardian.


McArthur says he is surviving on a monthly pension of £149 after the DWP stopped his unemployment benefit until January as punishment for refusing to go on the 26-week community work placement (CWP).

For almost three months, McArthur has spent each weekday between 7.30am and 9. 30am with a placard outside the plant reading: “Say no to slave labour”.

“They [the government] deny it’s forced labour, that you can say no, but forced doesn’t always mean physical, it can be psychological or economic. The person who is trying to survive already on subsistence level welfare has absolutely no choice in the matter … especially if they’ve got young children to look after.”

Following conversations with local councillors, North Lanarkshire council passed a motion in October strongly objecting to forced employment schemes saying it would not get involved itself. “This council will not provide jobs or placements without pay as a condition of receiving benefits unless it is truly voluntary,” the motion read.

“We do not support any mandation of unemployed people to work without pay that puts their benefits at risk.”

The motion added such measures were ineffective and could “further stigmatise and demotivate” the unemployed in their search for work.

(Follow on Twitter: @MidWalesMike)


The DWP have sanctioned Mr McArthur until January.

He has a meagre £149 monthly pension to live on after decades working as an Electronics Engineer, his expertise in Electronics was being exploited by thIs electronics recycling company.

And now the DWP has DECIDED HE MUST BE Triple Exploited in the same job he was told he was redundant from!
This could happen to anyone in work at any time.

This is why the Gov removed legal aid, this is why the Gov have tried to wipe out Unions. People in work are petrified.

The Gov are applying the tools of FASCISM it is plain as can be!

Mark McGowan, The Artist Taxi Driver has also spoken out:

This article titled “Work programme: bonuses paid even to worst performing providers” was written by Rajeev Syal, for on Wednesday 2nd July 2014 00.31 UTC


Welfare-to-work providers will receive undeserved bonuses of up to £25m even though they have failed to hit government targets for placing people in to long term jobs, officialauditors have found.

The National Audit Office has discovered that flaws in work programme contracts meant that the Department for Work and Pensions is obliged to make incentive payments to even the worst performing providers.

In a report released today, auditors also say the success rates of contractors has fallen. Around nine in every 10 claimants of employment and support allowance, who include many people with illnesses and disabilities, are failing to maintain a job.

The report is the latest damning assessment of Iain Duncan Smith’s £2.8 billion programme which has been beset with problems since its inception in 2011.

The amount paid out in bonuses from the public purse is likely to be around £31 million in 2014-15, whereas a measure of performance more dependent on results would have triggered payments of just £6 million, according to the report.

“Flawed contractual performance measures mean the department will have to make incentive payments to even the worst performing contractors,” the report said.

Auditors said that the way the contracts were drawn up also made it more expensive to sack under-performing providers. When the Department for Work and Pensions decided it wanted to drop the Newcastle College Group, it was unable to argue it had breached its contract by failing to meet minimum performance levels and instead had to use a voluntary break clause to negotiate the termination costs.

Despite claims by ministers that the work programme would be an improvement on previous schemes, auditors found that the actual performance levels were very similar.

Performance for the harder-to-help groups was also below expectations with only 11% of claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) – paid to those with disability or long-term illness – finding work compared to a forecast of 22%, according to the report. The contractors’ own estimates showed they were now planning to spend 54% less on the harder-to-help groups than they were when they originally submitted their bids, auditors said.

Margaret Hodge, the chair of the public accounts committee which oversees the work of the NAO, expressed anger at the failure of the DWP to help those who needed it the most.

“The work programme is absolutely critical to getting people, especially some of the most vulnerable in society, into work and helping to keep them there in the longer term,” she said.

Unusually, the report was not signed off by the DWP prior to publication on the grounds that it did not reflect its view of “the relevant facts”.

The department said that no incentive payments had been made so far, and that any future payments would be included in ongoing contract negotiations.

“The work programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme and has already helped half a million people start a job and 300,000 into lasting work,” a DWP spokesman said.

The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), representing work programme providers, insisted the scheme was working well.

“It’s quite an achievement that performance is the same level as predecessor programmes despite there being less cash in the scheme,” said ERSA chief executive Kirsty McHugh. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010