Labour’s new DWP pledge is only a half measure | The Canary

Labour has clarified its position over a contentious Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy. But when you check it, it really doesn’t go far enough; potentially leaving millions of people worse off than they should be.

The DWP: freezing all over

In April 2016, the government brought in the benefits freeze. This meant the DWP would not increase the amount paid for some working age benefits until April 2020. It followed a cap on increases at 1% from April 2013. The benefits affected are:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
  • Child Benefit.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Tax credits.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work-Related Activity Group.
  • Universal Credit (not disability elements).

The government said the freeze would save it £3.9bn a year. But now, Labour has moved on the policy.

Labour making moves

As Mirror journalist Dan Bloom tweeted, Labour’s position on the benefits freeze was unclear:


Source: Labour’s new DWP pledge is only a half measure | The Canary

Sanctioned for not being able to sign on on bank holiday Monday. Tears, frustration and rain.

The poor side of life

Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.


We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy.  But it’s a whole lot harder for them.

I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at  Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…

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Tax credit victims accused of having a relationship with a CORNER SHOP – Mirror Online

You could not make this up, it would be funny if it was not for the serious consequences these ridiculous reasons have caused by being used to stop peoples tax credits, just proves Concentrix are not ‘fit for purpose’ and by association neither is HMRC. If Concentrix has not committed a crime, then it should have been.


Concentrix stopped people’s benefits because it didn’t realise RS McColl is a chain of Scottish newsagents, not a secret lover

Source: Tax credit victims accused of having a relationship with a CORNER SHOP – Mirror Online

Concentrix to be stripped of HMRC contract over tax credits blunders that left vulnerable out of pocket – Mirror Online

Now what about the DWP and their contracts with ATOS, Maximus, and Capita.


HMRC have announced they won’t be renewing the US outsourcing firm’s contract after they fouled up dozens of tax credit claims

Source: Concentrix to be stripped of HMRC contract over tax credits blunders that left vulnerable out of pocket – Mirror Online

The DWP takes a rather sinister stance on disabled claimants. Provision of Research Lab Facilities for DWP.

To what other lengths will the DWP go as sanctions were bad enough, now these hidden interview and observation techniques, so what next, perhaps lie detectors or forms of direct torture, who would put it past them.

The poor side of life

Being a disabled claimant is hard enough, the whole rigmarole of trying to ensure that you get money to live on, money that you deserve is unbelievably hard. Not happy with the methods that they already use to stigmatise ill and disabled claimants they have decided to go one step further.

At first I read this and couldn’t quite believe it. In essence they have recruited an agency to take part, alongside the DWP in what can only be seen as interrogation tactics, or methods used in police stations when interviewing possible criminals.

A claimant will be told to attend an office for an interview, as we know these interviews aren’t voluntary. If you don’t attend then it gives them the option of punishing you, usually by stopping your only source of income.

From what I have read a claimant will be asked to enter a room which consists of…

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Damning United Nations report. 

Unfortunately the UN as no teeth, so the UK can ignore this report. The UK Government do not even need to debate it unless there is a petition which gains over 100,000 signatures, can I use this post to create one.

The poor side of life

Recently there was an extremely damning report published by the United Nations committee on economic and cultural rights. It confirmed the the Uk governments austerity measures are indeed in breach of their obligations to the human rights of citizens living in the uk. Although mentioned in the mainstream press, it hasn’t been given enough attention, however I do feel that it is time that we spoke about this, it’s am important issue that should not be swept under the carpet.
The report considers a number of areas, all of which are drastically important to our everyday life, and the life of the poorest. It covers factors such as, foodbanks, unemployment rates, the housing crisis, mental health care and discrimination against migrants and the disabled.
In its report the committee reminds the government of their obligations and actively calls upon them to make the changes required. Sadly I fear that this…

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Disturbing evidence on impact of new welfare reforms

By mentioning the National Living Wage this assumes that every employer will be able to afford to pay this to their employees.

Certainly within the care sector this may not be so, as many fees to care providers are funded through payment from local authority social services departments. With the Government austerity cuts reducing Government funding to local authorities, this as a negative impact on funds local authorities have to pay increased fees to service providers.

So what is the outcome, either reduce the hours of care to individuals requiring care so then not meeting their assessed needs or maintain existing hours and not increase fees so therefore the service providers will within time be unable to afford to retain staff and also make the business not viable.

Both will have dire consequences for those individuals requiring care as there will be insufficient resources available.

Funding to local authorities needs to be not only maintained but increased.

G4S security guards handling personal details and making appointments for claimants!

The poor side of life

Well well well, they are at it again. G4S security guards are under the impression that they can handle claimants personal information. Of course they should not be doing this, as it breaches the data protection act, and neither should the DWP be allowing them to do so.
At Ashton under Lyne Jobcentre they seem to think that they can, and I suspect that this is the case in many more Jobcentres up and down the country. This security guard even felt it was his duty to make an appointment for a claimant, an appointment that didn’t exist. He did not tell the claimant that it wasn’t put on the system, so resulting in a wasted journey.
I will state again that G4S security guards are not allowed to do this. Only a designated employee of the DWP can do this. This breeches data protection laws. If they try this…

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