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Iain Duncan Smith

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Is it right for the Tories to redefine poverty?

Post by astradt1 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Is this government right to set out a new criteria by which poverty in Britain is measured or is it just a case of moving the goal posts to help them meet a target?

Poverty Measure To Be Redefined By Iain Duncan Smith

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/14/poverty-measure-to-be-redefined_n_1595677.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:21 pm

More evidence that Cameron is still deep in Rupert Murdoch's pocket - a new appointment (Richard Caseby) for Iain Duncan Smith's department:-
 
http://ilegal.org.uk/thread/8438/dwp-murdoch-media-links?page=1&scrollTo=21243

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Most jobseeker agreements ruled unlawful – and the DWP doesn’t care

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:02 pm

Hello everybody. It's been a while since I was here and I apologise for that - snowed under with other things. But this needs to be shared - view the original at http://wp.me/p2sftc-92P for the full version including links to sources.

A reader of my blog has written to me with an update about a case that I referred to her for her expert help some time ago. The appeal against draconian sanctions that she helped our mutual contact to conduct was successful, with the judge ruling that the ‘conditionality’ imposed on a jobseeker was unreasonable – and that the benefit sanction (immediate stoppage) used to punish the supposed miscreant was therefore unlawful.

But the Tory-led government is so single-minded in its determination to penalise benefit claimants for failing to find jobs that don’t exist that it is knowingly ignoring the judicial ruling and the precedent it sets, in order to continue what can only rightly be called persecution of the disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Here’s what she wrote to me:

I am a keen follower of your blog and thought you may be interested in this story…
I have recently helped a Jobseeker (I’ll call him John) to win an appeal at the First Tier Tribunal after his benefit was stopped for allegedly failing to ‘actively seek’ work.

About me

I am a semi-retired business woman and I initially got involved in helping benefit claimants due the significant and negative impacts of the new Welfare reforms on some of my family and friends. My deep concern led to offering my services as a volunteer at the CAB and now as a ‘Welfare Champion’ on a part-time basis. I do this work mainly on a private basis and receive referrals from various sources. I could not cope with lots of readers contacting me (I am easily traceable), so for this reason I will refer to myself as ‘Mary’.

About John

John has worked from the age of 15 and for over 24 years with a few short breaks, so no-one could ever describe him as a “skiver” or a “shirker”. However, due to the economic downturn he found himself unemployed for longer than expected and could no longer afford to run his car; regretfully he has had to turn down a number of job offers due to the lack of transport.

At the beginning of 2013 a new Jobseeker Agreement was imposed on John; it required him to take at least 14 steps to look for work – it previously stated 3 as per the current legislation. It also required him to seek work on-line 7 days per week and to register with the DWP Universal Jobmatch site, which incidentally is not mandatory, nor is it a condition for receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance despite what Jobcentre Advisers might tell claimants.
Jobcentre errors in law and procedure!

John took 10 strong steps, which included applying for 4-5 jobs to help him secure employment each week during the period in doubt, but the Jobcentre thought this was not good enough and his benefit was stopped for 4 weeks! From my experience unless a claimant fulfils every detail of their agreement the majority will be sanctioned. This is wrong, both legally as well as procedurally! In this particular case I uncovered numerous procedural, policy as well as legal mistakes.

The impact of Jobcentre mistakes!

John was completely stunned and bewildered by the sanction; the impact was immediate and significant. He had no money and was unable to source a food parcel or any assistance from Social Services, so he was completely destitute for 2 weeks.
The regulations do not allow access to an immediate hardship payment if you are not in a vulnerable group I.e., you are sick or, have dependent children. The hardship payment he received after 2 weeks was £43.02pw (his usual payment is £71.70pw) for the remainder of the sanction period. He was already struggling financially and feeling low due to being unemployed for over a year and Christmas was on the horizon. Those feelings darkened and he felt suicidal at times, due to his mistreatment by Jobcentre Plus. He could not pay his bills or afford to eat properly and he certainly could not afford to buy his children any Christmas gifts.
And, to this day he has still not recovered from the loss of his benefits (his arrears are pending). The sanction has not made him any more motivated than he was previously; it has just made him very angry and mistrustful of Jobcentre Staff, hence the reason he was keen to help others by sharing this story.

Sanctions are only used as a last resort!

The government keeps claiming sanctions are only applied as last resort and if a Jobseeker wilfully does not to keep to their side of the bargain (the Jobseeker’s Agreement). This certainly is not true in John’s case, so what is the real reason for the sanction….performance expectations (targets to you or I), reducing the unemployment count, saving money or all 3?

Jobseekers are being set up to fail by Jobcentre Plus!

An ex DWP employee has confirmed:

“But the truth is that benefit claimants are being deliberately set up to fail in order to achieve sanction quotas without regard for natural justice or their welfare. Staff are being asked to behave in a manner that is against the department’s values of integrity and honesty.”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/09/iain-duncan-smith-dwp-stop-benefits-whistleblower

Suspected criminals are treated more fairly in this country than the sick and the unemployed; they are innocent until found guilty, receive swift and free legal assistance, a bed, food, water and a roof over their heads.

In my view all these sanctions are unjustifiable and certainly do not match the offence. A low level sanction of 4 weeks sanction incurs a c£200 penalty for people over 25 years of age like John, who is already living well below the bread line according the EU http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/29/uk-benefits-inadequate-council-of-europe.

A speeding ticket is £60 to people who can generally afford to run a car and the offender is given time to challenge the penalty before it is imposed.

What does the law – the Jobseeker’ Act actually says….
The duty to actively seek work is not to be found in the job seekers agreement but in S7 of the jobseeker’s Act. S7(1), which provides:

“a person is actively seeking work if he takes in that week such steps as he could reasonably be expected to have to take in order to have the best prospects of securing employment.”

More detail is set out in regulation 18 of the Regulations. Regulation 18(1) provides that:
“… a person shall be expected to have to take more than two steps in any week unless taking one or two steps is all that is reasonable for that person to do in that week.”

Mr Commissioner Williams held at para 10 & 14 of CJSA/1814/2007 (case law)

“That is illustrated by this appeal. C was required by his Agreement to take 6 steps each week and several other steps from time to time. That is clearly more steps than the regulation requires of him to meet the test of “actively seeking work”. And it is more steps than the Agreement asked him to record. On the facts, the secretary of state’s representative now accepts that C took four steps in the week and that those four steps met the test in section 7(1).”

“Further, there is nothing in the Act or the Regulations requiring that a claimant must comply with everything in the Agreement. The reverse is the case. Theagreement must comply with the law. To be valid, a jobseeker’s agreement must comply “with the prescribed regulations in force”: section 9(1) of the Act. The pattern of the legislation is that a jobseeker’s agreement must comply with the test of actively seeking work in sections 1(2)(c) and 7 of the Act and regulation 18 of the Regulations and not the other way round.”

The Outcome of this case – Success!

Using this piece of case law the appeal was allowed, because the judge determined John (the appellant) was actively seeking work as per section 7 of the Jobseeker’ Act 1995 and he took significantly more than 2 steps to in order to have the best prospects of seeking work (Reg. 18 JSA Regs 1996)!
What does this outcome mean?

This result confirms that Jobseeker Allowance claimants are unwittingly agreeing to unreasonable, thus unlawful Jobseeker Agreements (soon to become JSA Claimant Commitments) and, as a result 1000s are being sanctioned unfairly.

However, this achievement is a hollow victory for the thousands of Jobseekers expected to comply with their Jobseeker’s Agreements.

This Tribunal ruling does not set a precedent for DWP to follow. As far as DWP are concerned “it will be business as usual”. DWP’s position will remain that if an individual claimant wishes to challenge their Jobseekers Agreements on the basis of this Tribunal ruling they will have to jump through all the various hoops. Most will decide it is not worth their while and I know from my own experiences how difficult it can be. Further, the claimant must have the capacity to do so (many claimants are vulnerable) and they must also know that their Jobseekers Agreement is unlawful. The majority will not and as for the handful of claimants that do, DWP will cope with these people.

What we appear to be dealing with here is, maladministration by the DWP on a grand scale affecting 1000s of individuals.

What can people do?

I would strongly urge those who have been affected to get in touch with their MP to raise this important issue.

And, you must appeal.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure

Read the recent news reports about unfair sanctions….
“70,000 job seekers’ benefits withdrawn unfairly, says think-tank”

I believe it is significantly higher.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/03/70000-job-seekers-benefits-withdrawn-unfairly-thinktank
And:
Rising rates of successful appeals have been seen as a sign that the system for penalising those deemed to have broken job-seeker agreements is flawed.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/successful-benefits-appeals-soaring-says-scots-academic.23532954
Regards
Mary


This is absolutely vital information. Any jobseeker who can demonstrate that s/he has taken 3 steps a week to find work has complied with the law. Any jobseeker’s ‘agreement’ that imposes more than three steps is illegal and legally unenforceable. Any claimant sanctioned for failing to meet such an illegal requirement has a right to have it overturned on appeal.

And the scale of this is enormous.

‘Mary’ is right that the numbers stated for people sanctioned are vastly understated in the sources she quotes. 818,000 people had been sanctioned by late Feb 2014, just since the end of 2012.

But the DWP doesn’t care. It relies on the fact that only about 2% of people sanctioned formally appeal to get away with breaking the law 98% of the time – and on ignorance to keep it that way.

This government will never be shamed into changing its treatment of unemployed, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged people – it thinks it has found a formula to make its actions popular: the demonising of the vulnerable.

If it won’t be shamed, it must be removed – and that means relentlessly spreading the word on this and its many other misdeeds so that the election in 2015 becomes unwinnable for these shameless criminals. Please help to do so – publicise this, write to your MP and write to the press until they pay attention.

And if you’ve been sanctioned for failing to comply with an unlawful sanction – appeal, appeal, appeal and seek publicity for your appeal until the scale of the illegality can’t be ignored.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:19 am

Thanks for posting this Steve (and also nice to see you!! Very Happy )
I'll pass on the information where it can do some good
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:21 am

On a similar note, new Council tax benefit Rules can reduce earnings to 3p in the pound for some working claimants.

http://money.uk.msn.com/news/council-tax-benefits-perverse-1
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:13 pm

Dear fellow forumites
I an incandescent with rage this evening, following the keynote speech at my local CAB annual conference, delivered by someone very senior in the organisation nationally.
 
I'm aware that these events produce a good quota of bullsh-t and hot air, but the message going out today was that the role of CAB and similar organisations is to 'give' poor people the 'skills' to manage their income - because the current changes to the benefit system are a jolly good idea and an overdue improvement - for too long have the long-suffering citizens of this good land been burdened with the improvident poor, who just need to learn to manage better. It's an unfortunate circumstance, and of course no fault of Mr Duncan Smith, that the necessity to completely dismantle and overhaul the benefit delivery system just happens to coincide with the sad necessity (he didn't actually say it was Labour's fault) to cut costs across public services.
 
Now, I understood CAB to be something of a campaigning organisation, dedicated to pointing out to the government of the day just where policy decisions are failing the electorate, and to helping individuals access the resources to allow them the opportunity to make positive choices - so hearing this right wing claptrap , which could have come direct from a Tory party manifesto, has disillusioned me somewhat.
 
I didn't stay for the rest of the conference - my credit card and I had a nice day out in Norwich - so I feel a bit better now. Thank you for listening.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by bobby on Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:09 am

I always believed the people who work for the CAB were volunteers, If that is the case, perhaps they will withdraw their assistance, if they did where would that leave the prick you mentioned?
Could this all be some dastardly plot to close down the much needed service to enable Government to get away with even more.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:45 am

boatlady wrote:-
……the improvident poor, who just need to learn to manage better.
As George Orwell said: "If the unemployed were better managers, they'd be better off. Then it wouldn't be long before the dole was docked correspondingly."
 
Right-wing politics, bordering on fascism, is spreading like a cancer into every walk of our lives. The demonisation of the sick, poor and disabled – and the willingness of so many people to go along with it – is terrifying and has echoes of what happened in Germany in the 1930s. Hitler stated that the disabled were a burden on society it couldn't afford. Cameron says the welfare bill, in the seventh richest country in the world, cannot be afforded by society today. Then we have the chilling language of Iain Duncan Smith, who doesn't want the severely disabled to be "condemned" to a life on benefits. No, and he doesn’t want them to work either, as the Remploy closures demonstrated.
 
Anyone who believes that what happened in Germany could never have happened here is seriously deluded. Of course history doesn’t repeat itself in precise detail, but similar situations when similarly handled are likely to produce similar results. And all extreme right-wing governments need scapegoats to make it easier for them to divide and rule while they’re transferring state assets to unaccountable corporations.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:18 am

Hi Bobby - we're mostly volunteers - and of course keep involved because the bureau does allow a way to get access to people who need advice support and often ongoing involvement now most of the statutory agencies have withdrawn from actually helping people.
Government policy includes starving voluntary agencies like CAB of funding, because of course the agenda is about disempowering people and depriving them of the means to protest when they are unfairly treated. You only have to look at the more or less total withdrawal of Legal Aid, the new policy of charging an up front fee for access to an Industrial Tribunal, the changes to the rules about appealing a DWP decision, the wholesale erosion of employment rights etc etc.
I just thought CAB senior management would be protesting about these issues, rather than mindlessly parroting government rhetoric.

I won't be withdrawing my labour from CAB - but I won't be going to any more annual conferences either - and will probably make my views felt about that particular keynote speech.

Ivan, I think you're spot on about the unconscious creep of right wing political ideas - this is the second time in a couple of weeks I've been shocked by statements from people I would have classified as conservative with a small 'c' that actually are so right wing as to raise my blood pressure.
We see the problem - I'm not sure we yet see the solution
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:01 pm

".... people I would have classified as conservative with a small 'c' ...."

Folklore has it that although, in College many students are anarchic left-wing, their views mellow with age until they become intolerant of anything remotely revolutionary-sounding.

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:11 am

That's true - and I've noticed my own views get more moderate and conservative over the years. Age and experience tends to teach us that overturning the status quo can result in something so much worse. You sort of expect a 'mature' viewpoint to involve some version of 'if it ain't broke, why fix it?'

What now seems to be happening, though, is that the 'mature' viewpoint also seems to involve denying our common humanity with those who are less fortunate - blaming the victim if you like - and I think that's new - or have I just been deluding myself all my life?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:50 pm

My father used to tell me that as one gets older one has more to conserve and, therefore, moves towards a the political philosophy which ensures that.

In a strange - and probably perverse - way I have tended to move in the other direction. But while I have sympathy for those who have little, and detest the smug arrogance and greed of the Tory animal which emerged most particularly since Thatcher, I am not a natural Labour supporter and , for example, had very little time for the likes of the Socialist Bob Crow and his antics. I am sorry for his passing on a human level , but his politics I can do without. Ditto, to a lesser degree in terms of his political leaning, Tony Benn.

It occasionally pains me that I have no allegiance to a particular party, but the plain fact is that none of the current bunch inspires me. I suppose it could be because, fortunately, I am short of nothing and am unlikely ever to be, but have to no desire to extend or enhance what 'assets' I have.

Any suggestions...?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:59 pm

Just a thought ..

https://humanism.org.uk/
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:23 pm

Thanks -not a bad starting point...      thumbsup
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:03 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:-
It occasionally pains me that I have no allegiance to a particular party, but the plain fact is that none of the current bunch inspires me. ….Any suggestions...?
I think you have three options, my friend:-
 
1. To vote for the least worst option, regardless of whether or not that party has any chance of achieving power.
In my case, I could imagine voting for the Green Party, especially if the candidate is a dedicated, principled and honest politician like Caroline Lucas. That wonderful lady got herself arrested in Balcombe because she went on the front line to protest her sincere opposition to fracking, while so many other MPs sat in their cosy Westminster bubble. I’m glad I don’t live in the Brighton Pavilion constituency, where I would be torn between heart and head when deciding how to vote next year.
 
2. To vote for the party which has the best chance of keeping the party you hate most out of office.
From your blog and the many comments you’ve posted over the last five years, both here and at MSN previously, I assume that’s the Tories. Well only Labour can replace them in 2015, there is no realistic alternative.
 
3. Don’t vote.
Stay at home, along with the ‘NOTA’ (none of the above) contingent who have been vocal on Twitter recently. But be aware that most disaffected Tories won’t vote for UKIP next year; they’ll hold their noses and vote Tory. Lynton Crosby loves it when non-Tory voters don’t vote for anyone, it’s mission accomplished as far as he’s concerned, especially if we all wake up on 8 May 2015 to find that Cameron has crawled back into power for another five years. And if he does so with the support of less than a quarter of the electorate (again), he won’t give a damn, while Iain Duncan Smith (I had to make this post relevant to the thread!) will be free to continue waging war against the poor, the sick and the disabled.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:17 pm

Can't argue with the logic, Ivan.

I live in an area which will never not return a Tory and that is depressing.

Maybe I need to join the local Conservative Party and become a Trojan Horse or a one-man fifth column...      Smile
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:34 pm

At the general election, you could ask the local Tory Party organisation to send a car to take you to the Polling Station, where you can spoil your paper. That'll larn 'em!
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Wed May 28, 2014 11:42 pm



https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BovnVuaIUAAlyQY.png
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Stox 16 on Thu May 29, 2014 7:59 am

a very good summary of a very dull Tory who looks at the world through a sewer in a glass bottomed boat most of the time Ivan.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Dan Fante on Thu May 29, 2014 9:23 am

Haven't heard much about universal credit and how it's going to save this country for while.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Thu May 29, 2014 12:21 pm

Dan Fante. This might explain.
 
Universal Credit “reset”: was there an attempt to bury the bad news?
 
Extracts from an article by Lucy Fisher:-
 
After chronic delays, multi-million pound write-offs and the emergence of major design flaws, Universal Credit was hit last week by the latest missile in the fusillade of bad publicity that has beset it. And more could be on the way. Critics have noted that the report, thought to have been ready for days, was finally published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the midst of local election coverage, leading to accusations of a botched attempt to bury the bad news.

The DWP has insisted that the scheme is “on track”, but it was supposed to be rolled-out nationwide last October – three years after the government released its white paper on welfare reform – with a million users predicted by April 2014. As of February this year, however, only 6,000 claimants had used Universal Credit according to DWP figures. Despite Duncan Smith assuring Parliament that the project was “proceeding exactly in accordance with plans” last March, the true severity of the troubles surrounding the project emerged a month later.

The government’s ability to deliver UC has lead to widespread criticism. In addition to censure from the Office for National Statistics and the Public Accounts Committee, Labour has repeatedly raised concerns. Rachel Reeves urged Cameron to “urgently get a grip of this failing policy before any more taxpayers’ money is wasted…...it's increasingly clear that Universal Credit is lurching from one crisis to another with incompetent ministers failing to deliver the savings they promised.”

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/universal-credit-reset-was-there-attempt-bury-bad-news
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Dan Fante on Thu May 29, 2014 12:27 pm

Yes, I'd previously seen an article about how few people had 'taken advantage' of UC, which is what I was hinting at. I hadn't seen that about the attempt to bury the bad news though.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu May 29, 2014 12:29 pm

Who would really be surprised if Duncan Smith were found to be a blatant liar and his stewardship of the DWP a total shambles, characterised by spiteful attempts to penalise the needy and shady strategies to hide his crimes against the poor.

He is a disgrace to humanity and he makes me sick...
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Stox 16 on Thu May 29, 2014 12:56 pm

IDS is a very nasty bit of work Phil and i feel the same as you about him.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Thu May 29, 2014 4:00 pm

The awful thing about this government is the sheer sense of futility - there are so many individuals and actions to hate, the average day just isn't long enough.

However, on a lighter note, perhaps a sign of things to come - this week, I asked at the DWP for my comments on a particularly nasty sanctioning of benefits to be placed on the record - the call centre person did so - and within the hour, the sanction was overturned. I'm a bit gobsmacked and not sure if this means things are changing, or maybe they're just sick of me bitching
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu May 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Keep that 'bitching' going, boatlady...and more power to your elbow...
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Thu May 29, 2014 5:05 pm

Oh I will - and gave a verbatim script to other advisors in case they want to try their luck
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Thu May 29, 2014 5:53 pm

It pays to complain - especially in an Election Year.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by astradt1 on Thu May 29, 2014 10:31 pm

Overpaid benefits: Coalition’s pursuit turns nasty as debt collectors hound poorest over tax credits

A joint investigation by The Independent and the campaign group False Economy has uncovered the Coalition’s increasingly forceful methods of pursuing more than 4.7 million cases of overpaid tax credits, which amount to debts of £1.6bn. (average of £304.42 per claimant)

The debt collectors hired by HMRC phone the people they are targeting on their mobiles, send them text messages and write to them at home. Some of those targeted say they feel harassed and frightened. In at least 80 tax credit cases, assets have been seized directly.

Most of the working families affected are among Britain’s poorest. More than half a million of the families involved have a taxable household income of less than £20,000. Of these, 118,000 earned less than £5,000.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/overpaid-benefits-coalitions-pursuit-turns-nasty-as-debt-collectors-hound-poorest-over-tax-credits-9456875.html

Now what is HMRC's actions over tax avoidance by big business?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Fri May 30, 2014 8:19 am

I think they're getting to that, once they've prosecuted all the single mums who have been overpaid
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri May 30, 2014 8:43 am

I say once again : where is the Opposition outcry on this sort of activity?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Fri May 30, 2014 9:18 am

Taxpayer speak with forked tongue. Justifiably complain about people receiving benefits to which they may not be entitled, but then complain again when a government agency firmly demands reimbursement.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Fri May 30, 2014 10:19 am

1) often Tax Credits debts are very old (10 years or so/) and have been caused by errors at HMRC - in these circumstances I would feel claimants could legitimately feel the debt had been written off.
2) some of this 'recovery' involves criminalising single parents who in most cases have honestly tried to report all changes, falling foul of the complex nature of the exercise and the incompetence in some cases of the officers they have reported to, who have allowed payment when the issue has been in doubt.
3) Recovery of Tax Credits is going to hit people on the lowest incomes (that's why they claimed Tax Credits) and the repayments demanded are often quite unreasonable and unaffordable.
4) Selling off government debt of this kind to private debt collection agencies is to my mind morally repugnant
5) (and to my mind the most galling aspect) the government will point to this exercise as proof that they are vigorously opposing tax fraud, when we all know that the BIG money the country loses in taxes comes from large companies' tax avoidance and tax evasion

Once again, the 99% being punished and demonised for the sins of the 1% - not fair, not moral, just plain WRONG
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:49 am



www.youtube.com/embed/eZ231M7fCNo?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:53 am



www.youtube.com/embed/9QRdNIDytEY?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:13 am

Effective and telling challenge.  Such a shame that it is never replicated in Westminster...
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:14 pm

Phil Hornby wrote: .... a shame that it is never replicated in Westminster...

Nor ever likely to be. Described as the best Club in London, members do not un-necessarily challenge each other except during the ritual pretence of taking up adversarial positions for the purpose of keeping the voters interested.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:35 pm

Ah, the joys of democracy...    Crying or Very sad
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by sickchip on Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:31 pm

The labour party prove they're as big a bunch onuts as Iain Duncan Smith by deciding to victimise the most vulnerable, ie, poorly educated youngsters from poor backgrounds - you're not clever enough we'll top any benefits for you. The Labour party are traitors and a bloody disgrace.

Let's stop pretending we have different political parties in the UK.....let's just call the all 'the government'. And they are all out of touch barstewards.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:51 pm

sickchip. I'm sure Lynton Crosby will be delighted to hear a leftie talking like that. All you need to do now to make his day is to promise not to vote in the general election. But rest assured that Tory supporters will.

Getting back on track, here's Glenda Jackson showing that she isn't the greatest fan of Iain Duncan Smith....   Shocked 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jckm3X5MXo
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Deadly Nightshade on Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:41 pm

boatlady wrote:The awful thing about this government is the sheer sense of futility - there are so many individuals and actions to hate, the average day just isn't long enough.

However, on a lighter note, perhaps a sign of things to come - this week, I asked at the DWP for my comments on a particularly nasty sanctioning of benefits to be placed on the record - the call centre person did so - and within the hour, the sanction was overturned. I'm a bit gobsmacked and not sure if this means things are changing, or maybe they're just sick of me bitching


Reading this made me smile. Whether it was as a sign of the tide finally starting to turn or someone realizing that when sanctioning someone there does in fact need to be grounds to do so. Congrats boatlady on getting it overturned.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:30 pm

A flower for every person who died within six weeks of ATOS finding them fit for work.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Br25fFTIYAAC8P9.jpg

Iain Duncan Smith has blood on his hands and should be put on trial for crimes against humanity when this nightmare of a government is thrown out.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

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