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Friday, 18 August 2017

Threats of sanctions hold us to ransom

"Fourteen percent of people completing ESA sanctions in 2016 were sanctioned for more than 6 months." That is one of the things that can be gleaned from latest official figures from the Department for Work & Pensions, I have read via e-mail citing an expert source who has looked at the figures.(1)
Threats of sanctions hold us to ransom

Do not the DWP have anything better to do?

Benefit sanctions: Britain's secret penal system (2)

Benefits claimants are subjected to an 'amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system', writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.
By: 
Dr David Webster
Date: 
Monday, 26 January, 2015


Link note

  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions
  2. https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system 


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Laughing at bigotry can be therapeutic!

Benefit claimants face a lot of challenges based on bigotry, and so it can be highly therapeutic in terms of laughter, stress release output, when bigoted perceptions can be found to be misleading.

Along these lines, I have just had a very refreshing outuburst of laughter in response to a Yahoo! News-promoted story.

See what I was laughing at at https://uk.yahoo.com/news/anti-immigrant-group-ridiculed-mistakes-empty-bus-seats-women-wearing-burkas-095344639.html

Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Sunday, 30 July 2017

New mental health workers and the centenary of Passchendaele

Today the BBC has announced a Government recruitment drive for more mental health nurses.(1) Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt appears to be acting like Kitchener, the man in the pointing finger 'Your Country Needs You' recruitment poster pin-up for World War 1. Hunt is also the Health Secretary who previously stated that the British should work more like the Chinese workforce.(2) In China they have a word 'guolaosi' referring to those worked to death in the production of consumer goods, as pointed out in my referenced comment on a previous Kate Belgrave blog post.

Today we are also at the centenary of the start of the WW1 battle of Passchendaele.(3) You may also wish to refer to my previous Kwug Blog posting [Department for Work & Pensions] making poor people mentally ill at great cost to the NHS as we approach centenary of a WW1 blood bath(4), and my comment on Kate Belgrave's blog post Student debt dominates debate — but where's the political sympathy for people crushed by council tax debt, DWP loans, rent arrears and sanctions debt?(5)

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Notes

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40752060
  2. http://www.katebelgrave.com/2015/10/being-treated-well-on-workfare-is-a-bonus-not-everybody-gets-that-bonus/
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=passchendaele+centenary&sa_f=search-product&scope=
  4. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/dwp-making-poor-people-mentally-ill-at-great-cost-to-nhs-as-we-approach-centenary-of-a-ww1-blood-bath.html
  5. http://www.katebelgrave.com/2017/07/student-debt-dominates-debate-but-wheres-the-political-sympathy-for-people-crushed-by-council-tax-debt-dwp-loans-rent-arrears-and-sanctions-debt/ 


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Employment Tribunal fees unlawful, says Supreme Court

The Institute for Employment Rights reports:

[Employment] Tribunal fees unlawful, says Supreme Court

 26 July 2017
Unison has won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court today (26 July 2017), as the highest judges in the land unanimously ruled that the government's tribunal fee system is unlawful.
The public sector union brought a judicial review against the government when it first launched tribunal fees in July 2013, and has continued to fight the case for four years.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that employment tribunal fees are unconstitutional, they will be scrapped and the thousands of workers who have paid up to £1,200 to hold their employer to account over the past four years will be reimbursed more than £27 million in total....

More at http://www.ier.org.uk/news/tribunal-fees-unlawful-says-supreme-court

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Boycott Workfare team up with Pluto Press to expose violence of workfare

"A new book chapter using testimonies compiled by Boycott Workfare exposes the violent impact of forced labour.

"When we talk about what’s wrong with workfare, we often mention the horrifying material impact on people’s lives of the benefit sanctions that underwrite it. The political impact of unwaged work is also important – the way it attacks workplace rights and destroys our freedom. And workfare is psychologically violent and humiliating: it is coerced labour that’s supposed to build skills and motivation but obviously does nothing apart from offer free work to businesses and charities.

"Now, in a freely available chapter of The Violence of Austerity, just published by Pluto Press, the accounts of 97 people who were on workfare schemes between 2011 and 2015 show how workfare is not only ruthlessly exploitative, but can also mean being forced into dangerous work in which health and safety laws are violated as a matter of routine...."


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Thursday 20 July 2017 latest Disability News Service headlines

Latest Stories

Conservative DWP calls pre-sanction interrogations 'Health & Work Conversations'

A conversation in theory involves balance of bargaining power and ability of both sides to discuss their concerns. If you follow the link http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=bargaining+power, you will realise that such conversations with benefit claimants is not what this Conservative Government is about.(1)

'Austerity' driving Conservative Government — and its Blairite predecessors — are and have been far more about finding fault with claimants so that they can cut our benefits and/or sanction us in the name of 'protecting the public purse'. Their savings are not really savings and their lack of monitoring service provision and recruitment and retention of Disability Employment Advisers have long demonstrated that they don't really care for claimant or staff wellbeing.(2)

Now, it emerges via a Freedom of Information (FoI) Request that the Department for Work & Pensions intend to further weaken the bargaining power of disability benefit claimants by calling interrogations toward sanctioning Employment & Support Allowance claimants 'Health & Work Conversations'.(3)

I am reminded of Theresa May's insistence that those made homeless by the Grenfell Tower blaze in a Conservative-led local authority should be rehoused with supreme urgency. Such supreme urgency can lead to people being offered places that are unsuitable at the best of times, and for the places to be offered long before the prospective rehousing fodder are in an emotional state fit to make any long-term commitments.

The result would be that under long-established legislation, after turning down three offers, the rehousing fodder could be deemed to have made themselves 'intentionally homeless'.

What will the Department for Work & Pensions do to restore the trust of economically vulnerable people after successive Governments have screwed up on Disability Equality and Disability Rights issues for many people's life times? 'Care in the community', anybody?

Note

http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=bargaining+power
http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/private-legal-safeguarding-of.html
https://benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3647-being-asked-about-your-values-could-lead-to-an-esa-sanction