Passport Office workers who’ve been ordered to return to work are being seconded to process millions of new Universal Credit claims.
A huge 1.2 million claims have been made since lockdown started and an insider at HMPO in Glasgow has revealed workers are being given a five-day crash course in training to process them that would ordinarily take six weeks.
Passport Office workers said they were horrified to discover they would be responsible for being told they would be involved in sanctioning claimants as well as processing new claims and were distraught at the idea of leaving some vulnerable people without anything to live on for perhaps weeks at a time when they have precious little understanding of the system.
About 40,000 claims are being made a day, opposed to the 10,000 that would ordinarily be anticipated and over seven days since the COVID 19 crisis started, 5.8 million calls to the Universal Credit helpline were made.
Some of the 2,000 workers who are being ordered to go back to work will help process them and there are strategies to have 500 people in offices at any one time.
But the Home Office has been accused of a nonchalant approach after staff were reportedly told that 80 per cent of the population will get infected and we can’t hide away from it permanently.
The Home Office stated it was adhering to Public Health England’s guidance by managing social distancing at passport offices and added there was no advice saying that you should only go to work if you’re an essential or key worker.
On a conference call on Tuesday, staff were informed by the Home Office deputy scientific adviser, Rupert Shute, that 80 per cent of people would get COVID 19 in the end and according to a leaked transcript of a Zoom meeting, Rupert Shute stated that there was no more risk at the workplace as there would be in your home or at a supermarket and that it was about minimising it.
He further said that they were working on the assessment that 80 per cent of us, if we haven’t already, will get the virus and that we can’t hide away from it forever.
A Government spokesperson said that since the inception of the pandemic the whole of Government has looked at ways to support priority work and that staff will be thoroughly equipped to ensure that they can commence work on behalf of other government departments adequately so that the most vulnerable in society can access public services as promptly as possible.
And it’s understood the reason training has been cut to five days is that a streamlined package that only includes components explicit to the tasks needed will be delivered.
But the welfare system over the last decade has help to kill countless people and the assessments are farcical for the disabled, and the DWP have put claimants through weeks of stress doing Mandatory Reassessments before a claimant can go onto appeal their case.
Another hurdle the DWP put claimants through, creating more despair but then Universal Credit was done merely as a means for cuts and demeaning claimants in the process.
The DWP and their beloved Universal Credit are bursting at the seams, now drawing in staff that have had insufficient training and this is only the start of the real nightmare that all new claimants will suffer under Universal Credit and some are in for a rough ride.
The DWP and the government will never change for the better and it will only get worse once coronavirus is sorted out. Then it’s back to Austerity and people having to go on Universal Credit will be pressured into finding any job, otherwise, they will risk being sanctioned.
And it’s a cruel, ruthless draconian benefits system, created to make life as difficult as possible for potential claimants.