Tory ministers have abandoned a plan intended to prevent people unfairly losing their benefits, maintaining it’s not deserving of the extra time and cost.
The yellow card scheme gave people a warning before their Jobseekers’ Allowance was sanctioned after MPs warned the system caused severe financial hardship. But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is abandoning the plan following a short trial involving just 6,500 claimants.
Ministers declared the trial appeared to make little difference to the outcomes of claimants and they’re now going back to the drawing board to design an alternative system almost two years after the project was trialled.
But they’re dragging their feet and the delay will just drive people to food banks and data implied the project was protecting hundreds of people from being unfairly sanctioned.
If it had been implemented in the country as a whole, that layer of stability could have covered countless thousands of very vulnerable people and ministers should come up with a new plan immediately to prevent people being left penniless and justice demands that actions like these are tested as quickly as possible.
The yellow card trial, mid-April and September 2016, meant claimants who faced a benefit sanction were instead given a sanction warning letter but the DWP stated that only 13 per cent of those who got a warning letter responded to it within the two week period.
Plus in half of those instances, the data did not include a good reason for the sanction to be removed, so it was used nevertheless and about 8,700 jobseekers’ allowance claimants are sanctioned per month for transgressions like reporting late to an appointment due to traffic.
Sanctions last an average of 28 days but 5 per cent last more than 14 weeks and Campaigners fear the sanctioned time will soar under Universal Credit, the all-in-one benefit which is replacing jobseekers’ allowance.
Some 4.7 per cent of Universal Credit claimants were sanctioned in November 2017, compared to just 0.4 per cent of jobseekers’ allowance claimants and they’re also sanctioned for longer, with 15 per cent of universal credit claimants who are sanctioned losing their benefits for 14 weeks or longer.
It appears that given the added responsibility that had been put on Departmental resources and marginal gains obtained, the trial did not seem to be an effective use of the Department’s resource and the DWP doesn’t think that the advantages of the strategy are enough to warrant the additional time and cost it adds to the process.
They’re now examining the probability of an alternative method to give claimants written warnings, rather than a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review and the plan will be to conduct a small-scale trial of concept to get qualitative feedback from workers on this new process, followed by any subsequent tests.
Sadly, the entire ethos of Toryism is to support cruelty at every opportunity. Fox hunting, benefit cuts, NHS cuts, taking away school meals for underprivileged kids, tax credit cuts and we really shouldn’t be shocked at this culture when we look a little deeper into the history of the principal offenders in Government.
At a really early age, most of them have nannies, as their own parents can’t be bothered with them and as quickly as they can, they send their children to boarding establishments and they’re barely allowed home. After that, they end up in university and all through there lives they are denied human kindness, respect and love.
So, is it any surprise that they turn into these cold heartless people who are simply are of no use to mankind at all.
The DWP have this two-pronged response and it’s quite sinister.
If worthy people are unsuccessful with their claims they give up persevering, end up much worse off and may be pushed into dead-end jobs they’re incapable of keeping but it gets them out of the unemployed category and then the DWP claim it as a success if they get them into work, irrespective of that person’s quality of life.
If the person gives up and kills themselves or dies from a worsening of the health condition they’re living with, the DWP state that it was the condition that killed them off, not the determination to deny them payment.
People who are blind are being given 0 points and they’re being told that they know they have a disability but that they’re not disabled enough. What does a disabled person have to do to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP), do they have to be dead?
If a person is blind, they can’t see, it’s as simple as that. If a person can’t speak, it means they can’t communicate, it’s as simple as that. If a person has had their leg or arm amputated, it means they can’t walk, it’s as simple as that.
A person who’s blind, their eyesight isn’t going to come back, if they can’t speak, they’re not suddenly going to wake up one day and be able to talk, if they’re arm or leg has been removed, it’s not going to grow back, we haven’t actually grasped the science of mutation yet.
There have been so many people who have committed suicide because they’ve been turned down for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and those that were on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and then assessed and put on PIP, some have lost money or had their money discontinued because they’re evaluated by fools.
Numerous people I have talked who went from DLA to PIP are being evaluated by people that have no idea about their health. Therefore, a person going to be evaluated who has a heart condition and is being evaluated by a physiotherapist, what does a physiotherapist know about heart disease? NOTHING!
There are many cases like this, where a person goes to see an assessor and that person asks the assessor what sort of skills they have and it has nothing to do with what the person has wrong with them.
We can understand the logic of being evaluated, but if the government want the scheme to work, they must get in qualified staff to do the job. If somebody goes to be evaluated and they have an arm or a leg missing, it’s not hard to understand why they’re there.
Although there is certainly no logic to this, if a person is an amputee, it’s rather self-explanatory, so why torture them into coming in to be assessed in the first place? If someone is being assessed and they have kidney disease, then the person assessing them needs to be qualified in kidney disease et cetera.
There’s no trust anymore, whatever benefit you might be on. There’s no trust in the system, and the establishment needs to find a more reliable way of doing things and it might seem routine to them, but it unquestionably isn’t routine to the person that has to put up with this total lack of empathy.
To do the job well, DWP workers must understand and identify and they must learn that people have emotions. They must be on the same wavelength and to be able to speak the same language, otherwise, how can they possibly relate to that person.
If they don’t have insight they can’t move forward in connecting with the people that they deal with every day.
I have been down to the Jobcentre a number of times and I have observed the workers there. Most of them don’t even seem like they want to be there, with their huffing and puffing attitudes, and with that said, sanctioning a person must be the highlight of their day.
Withholding benefits will not help vulnerable people to get work, particularly those that are too weak to work and there is no indication that sanctions work and numerous Jobcentre advisers are told to get a claimant in, to get them onto the Work Programme.
And even if that claimant is about to go into hospital for a major operation, he will still be summoned, otherwise, he will suffer a sanction that could end benefits for four weeks.
Advisers are encouraged to see each interview as an opportunity to start the process of sanctions that might delay or withdraw their claim, thereby diminishing the number of claimants.
We’re frequently told that such drastic steps were used as a benign incentive, to remind people of an alternative to a life dependent on benefits but there wasn’t any proof that they worked.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) never had any proof, so it’s been a lie all along about the motives for imposing sanctions and it’s failed to monitor the overwhelming impacts it’s had on thousands of people whose benefits have been denied.
The primary experience with people on health-related benefits where people who work for the DWP and are required to implement hostile targets to some of the most defenceless people in society if they’re five minutes late for an interview or fail to apply for enough jobs.
It’s called the Jobcentre for a reason so they can find YOU work, not the other way round.
Some of these people were actually without food and couldn’t afford to heat their homes.
People who work for the DWP should be doing something for their clients, but instead, they sit there dishing out these sanctions in an attempt to get brownie points for cruelty.
The bureaucracy itself seems to be intentionally planned to confuse the distressed claimants and this didn’t just affect those dealing with literacy or mental issues, numerous clients, who were usually high-achieving professionals, or people that had worked all their life, suddenly through redundancy or injury were for the first time in their lives, were forced to claim benefits and found the process daunting and embarrassing.
Some of these claimants might be in the older category and some don’t have any computer skills and find it quite hard to use a computer and there’s nobody to support them and there’s a lot of people out there that don’t own a computer, let’s face it, the DWP don’t pay enough for that kind of indulgence.
I recently was involved with a couple who had moved in together because she is pregnant and they were required to claim together. He’s disabled and although his partner isn’t, she has literacy problems and isn’t good on the telephone, so I spoke for her with her consent.
Following a lot of confusion they will get their money, which they’ve waited two months for but I was told that he needed identification when they went for their interview, so I asked what would he need and I was told a Passport or Drivers Licence, my response was they don’t have a passport or drivers licence because the DWP don’t pay them enough for that extravagance and if they require that sort of identification they should pay them more, after all, you can’t get blood out of a stone.
But the burden on workers to reach targets is intense and team meetings frequently leave colleagues in tears and if any staff go off sick this increases pressure on staff achievement.
Many of the workers at the DWP have caseloads of clients but rather than helping them back to work or training, the staff are required to focus on trying to find inventive ways of meeting targets and some workers get so distressed by the work that they become depressed.
We must show how society and the media defame and slander benefit claimants and that must be changed.
Society has too many people with too much time on their hands, with people peering out their windows, policing people who are genuinely on sickness benefit but society assumes they must be skiving.
We actually have turned into a mean-spirited society, spying on our next-door-neighbour.
There’s no doubt that the system of scoring brownie points towards targets still is and in fact, the sanctions are used as a one size fits all which is motivated by financial and political targets regardless of entitlement or eligibility.
People are being threatened with sanctions and have to apply for positions that they’re not even qualified for, but have to make useless applications for that said job that they would never really be considered for but the DWP staff are under the telescope as well because they’re compelled to do these things or else they will be sitting on the opposite side of the desk.
The DWP is led by men and women who don’t know a joiner from a wheeltapper and withholding food is an ultimate crime and any government doing that should be charged with crimes against humanity and it’s a burden of shame which should taint the character of every MP.
But it’s not patriotic to reprimand the establishment for its apparent cruelty to the people of Great Britain. Yet we have a parasitic government of the rich, for the rich, by the rich and such is our view of a benign government that the overall public seems compelled to impute the most vulnerable for all our problems and the United Kingdom has become a shameful, offensive little country.
If you starved your dog because it didn’t do want you wanted it to, you would be persecuted and that’s what it’s like all over the United Kingdom, it treats its dogs better than its people.
We have an extremely insulting government that has taken divide and rule to a new and terrifying level and with the aid of the media, they have succeeded in setting citizen against citizen. They have encouraged hate and prejudice amongst us all and have proceeded to use this for their own ends.
They’re cruel scoundrels, traitors who are slimy, smooth-tongued crooks. Starving people so they take, dead end, low paid jobs they wouldn’t do themselves and in the meantime, we’ve been paying for Ian Duncan Smith’s underpants.
There are those in the DWP who enjoy the persecution they employ, however, there are others in the DWP who are being bullied and made to do these things involuntarily. Many are getting ill or mentally sick over what they’re made to do and many have left their jobs and some have become whistleblowers.
There are some nice people who work in the DWP, but the DWP culture and environment has become so noxious and depressing they’re backed into a corner.
There should be laws that stop Ministers from creating these sort of situations, but why do they do it? It’s just sheer brutality and sheer bullying.
Bullying is disdainful and this government approve it and have done so for a long time, and like all tormentors, they pick on the most defenceless in our society and I would like to know why our government think that society should cast off these poor people.
It’s been roughly 2 years since Theresa May became Prime Minister but she’s done nothing for the disenfranchised constituents of our society and the Tories seem to think that they’re above the law, and even if they’re taken to court, what do they do, they change the law and suddenly they’re not guilty anymore.
It’s a trick used by oppressors and tyrants, like Mugabe and the Tories are attempting to influence the ESA/PIP tribunals by stacking the system against the claimant and delegating more attack dogs to make the DWP view on the tribunals.
And then there was the UN inquiry that uncovered that Britain had violated the agreement on Disabled Rights which the Tories rejected. The UN report on housing and the Bedroom Tax, the Tories rejected that as well and don’t overlook the high dudgeon the Tories got into when the courts supported the sovereignty of Parliament and with the help of their Far Right press collaborators they branded the judges and the law as conspirators to the people.
The Tories don’t want the law to be obeyed, except when it satisfies them.
The problem is people are so easily deceived, show them opposition and they’re like putty and we don’t want to believe that there’s a certain network of media factions and the conservative government are in league with each other to basically give them the ability to do as they please and for us to praise them for it.
We want to believe that the government are our chosen delegates and do really do have our best interests at heart. I mean, how can this many people be this evil? But as each day is passing people are becoming more sceptical.
You have to be vaguely human to have a soul and like most people in government, they all appear to have a dark side but to have a soul you must possess the qualities of kindness, compassion and benevolence and the MP’s that supported this should be made to experience life on welfare for a few years under the regime they created.