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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 sickchip on Sun May 12, 2013 8:12 am

Surely, because of the persistent lies and manipulation of figures he feeds the public, Iain Duncan Smith should be dismissed from his post.

Pressure should be brought by Labour on Cameron to 'sack' IDS.

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Sun May 12, 2013 10:24 am

sickchip wrote:Surely, because of the persistent lies and manipulation of figures he feeds the public, Iain Duncan Smith should be dismissed from his post.

Pressure should be brought by Labour on Cameron to 'sack' IDS.

I think sickchip that pressure should come from the people of the UK and all the other political parties to Cameron, to send IDS back to the back benches where he belongs then maybe the people that voted for him will sack him as there MP.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by sickchip on Sun May 12, 2013 10:43 am

It would be a terrific blow against the tories for Labour to put IDS out in the wilderness. It would also be a blow against the current propaganda surrounding welfare that rags like the Mail etc promote. We might even begin to look at the Welfare System rationally and begin to deal with any issues sensibly - rather than through the distorted visions / imaginings of a psychotic sociopath like IDS.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Sun May 12, 2013 12:17 pm

Good post sickchip and very true, but at the moment the wool has been pulled over voters eyes regarding every nasty bill the Tories and Lib-Dems are waving through the H.O.C and this dick head of gov't have driven a wedge between those in work and those on unemployment.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun May 12, 2013 12:25 pm

Iain Duncan Slime has always been an especially unpleasant accident waiting to happen. In being cruel to those who are least able to help themselves he really found his raison d'etre and, conveniently, also assisted the Tories to identify the perfect specimen for 'the job'. In short, he is to compassion what Michael Gove is to body-building...
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DWP calls benefit sanction 'achievement' and 'positive outcome'

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun May 12, 2013 3:47 pm

Original including links at http://wp.me/p2sftc-7v1

I’ve written much over the past couple of weeks about the DWP’s apparent determination to persecute unemployed benefit-claimants by forcing them to undergo activities and tests which are totally unsuitable or even fake.

That this trend reflects a deliberate vendetta rather than mere incompetence is something that appears inescapably obvious while at the same time suggesting some kind of ‘conspiracy theory’ that some would dismiss as far-fetched. But I’ve come across evidence that this is exactly how the DWP regards claimants.



I’ve been reading some information released by the DWP as part of a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request in 2011 – just over a year after the coalition government took office.

This information includes guidance documents to Jobcentre Plus (JCP) personnel that reveal exactly how the government regards benefit claimants – and the process of cutting off their benefits: as an ‘achievement‘ and a ‘positive outcome‘.

Achievement

In a section of the guidance titled “05 Completing the MF47 statement“, the DWP instructs JCP ‘advisors’ about how to handle new information that is gathered during a ‘compliance interview’:

8. New and substantial information is defined as:
New – a different offence type than the specific FRF given for the Customer Compliance case;
Substantial – will have sufficient grounds to raise a new FRF that would have the potential to achieve a sanction.

The ‘potential to achieve a sanction’. You only achieve something you’re aiming for – if it’s accidental or negative (in your eyes), you don’t ‘achieve’ it.

This is substantiated by further guidance that tells JCP advisors to pressure claimants to sign incriminating statements agreeing that they falsely claimed benefits (whether this has to be true or not is not mentioned by the form) because without the signed form the funds cannot be reclaimed:

Small overpayment statement from customer
4. In order for small overpayments of £65.00 and under to be recovered from the customer, the following exact form of words must be used on the MF47 statement:
 “I admit I knowingly gave false information” or “I admit I knowingly failed to declare a change of circumstance” (as applicable).
5. Ask the customer to sign and date the statement immediately after the last word. The CCO must witness and date the statement and score through any unused parts to ensure no additions to the statement can be made once the customer has signed it.

Remember, this is just an interview. Nothing has been investigated or proven. But the advisor is told that the claimant must sign one of the two statements because otherwise the money cannot be claimed back.

This is already twisted enough, but we’re not done yet. The DWP has a specific description for ending claimants’ benefits.

A ‘positive outcome’

In a section of the guidance titled “Recording Outcomes“, the DWP tells advisors what constitutes a ‘positive outcome’:

Claiming a positive outcome
17. A positive outcome can be recorded when:
 a customer reports a change in circumstances to a Customer Compliance Officer (CCO) at the interview that leads to benefit being adjusted or a change to the amount of the CCG – See example 2 Appendix 5
 following a telephone call to arrange the CCG visit the customer withdraws the application;
 following receipt of a Customer Compliance interview letter and prior to the interview the customer contacts the CCO or Customer Compliance section and notifies a pre-existing change in circumstances leading to a change in benefit – See example 1 Appendix 5
 at an ineffective visit the CCO gathers information for example, property is empty which allows the DM to make a decision to reduce or disallow benefit;
 a customer fails to attend two interviews and the case is referred to the DM to suspend payment of benefit. The customer does not make any contact within one calendar month and their claim to benefit is terminated;

Withdrawn applications – ‘positive’. Circumstances that allow benefits to be ‘reduced or disallowed‘ – ‘positive’. If a benefit can be suspended – great. If the claimant misses enough appointments to allow his/her benefit to be terminated altogether – fantastic, Christmas has come early!

In March, the Guardian revealed that JCPs are being set targets for ‘sanctioning’ the benefits of people who will have nothing if their payments are stopped (no wonder Foodbanks are having to provide food to vast, record numbers of people in crisis).

The DWP denied that any targets were being set, in spite of clear evidence that they were. But now we have it straight from the horse’s mouth – from the DWP’s own guidance notes to its JCP operatives: sanctions are good, great. Positive. Something to be ‘achieved‘ – something to be aimed for and actively worked toward.

The Guardian today claimed that the unemployed are treated as sub-human under this government. The DWP’s own documents show beyond doubt that this is no mere accident or ‘unintended consequence’.
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IDS lies to Parliament re statistical spanking

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun May 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Original including links at http://wp.me/p2sftc-7wi



I wrote yesterday about the sound backside-spanking that Iain (Duncan) Smith had received from the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) for claiming statistics showed effects of Tory policies, which the UKSA said, as categorically as could be

are unsupported by the official statistics.

The UKSA also criticised the DWP for making the claim even though the official statistical release

explicitly states that the figures are not intended to show the additional numbers returning to work as a direct result

of the government’s measures. As the excellent Vox Political blog pointed out, Smith committed contempt of Parliament by making these claims to the Commons when he knew they were false.

But he has gone much further. He even directly lied to Parliament about the UKSA’s verdict on his statistical abuse. This extract from the Parliamentary Hansard record of Friday’s debate is long, but it’s worth reading:

Mr Duncan Smith: The hon. Lady is wrong about the Work programme. In fact, I will show her later that the UK Statistics Authority has taken her party and others to task for their use of the statistics, which it says is incorrect. The reality, as she will see when we come forward in June, is that the programme is a success, and it is cheaper than anything that Labour produced.

Rushanara Ali: Perhaps the Secretary of State can also explain why he got a slap on the wrist today—and previously—for meddling with the statistics, because people—

Mr Duncan Smith: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Rushanara Ali: No, I will not give way until I have finished my sentence. I will give way when I am done; then I will listen to the Secretary of State’s response.

The Secretary of State is damaging public trust in statistics—there is that old phrase about “damned lies and statistics”. That will lead to further distrust, not just of politicians such as him, but of important institutions that are there to provide independent, credible statistics. He should not be meddling with his figures. The fact that only 2% of participants in my constituency managed to get jobs through his Work programme is an absolutely appalling indictment of his performance in his role and shows his failure to get people into work. I find it deeply disappointing, because I happen to have admired his work with the Centre for Social Justice, which he set up before he got into government. Although I was a sceptic about his conversion to understanding poverty and deprivation and wanting to reform and improve society, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but no longer, because he has returned to the approach that the Conservatives have always taken and failed to do anything to give people genuine opportunities. That is summed up in his Department’s failure to get people into work in constituencies such as mine. The facts speak for themselves. I am afraid that he does not have much to offer, other than trying to rewrite statistics.

10 May 2013 : Column 323

Unless the Secretary of State has something else to add, I will move on.

Mark Hendrick: He has forgotten his intervention.

Rushanara Ali: The Secretary of State has forgotten, but I am happy to give way.

Mr Duncan Smith: I hope that the hon. Lady will withdraw the idea that I am rewriting statistics. She will see from the letter written to me today by the UK Statistics Authority that no mention is made of that. I continue to believe, absolutely correctly, that the work of the cap will help and will lead to people getting jobs. That was the whole purpose, which is why we left those on tax credits off the cap. I believe that people are moving into work, and will continue to do so, as a result of the cap, and I will be able to demonstrate that.

Not only does Smith lie about the spanking he has unequivocally received from the UKSA – but he even tries to ‘flip’ the rebuke and claims that Labour were rebuked instead of him.

It used to be that lying to Parliament was an automatic resignation matter. However, the behaviour and consequences of the outright lies told by Cameron, Hunt, IDS (of course) and many other government ministers has made a travesty of that honourable tradition.

Smith is more likely to be promoted than asked to resign. Since the Prime Minister will not do his job, it’s up to the electorate to deliver an emphatic verdict on him and all his mendacious henchmen.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Sun May 12, 2013 5:15 pm

Lies, damned lies and Iain Duncan Smith

Extracts from an article by Nick Cohen:-

When you see rottenness in a system you must ask: does it come from one bad apple or does the whole barrel stink? The rank smell emanating from the coalition is impossible to miss. At first sniff, it appears to come from the blazered figure of Iain Duncan Smith. His belief that the welfare state holds down the very people it is meant to serve is pleasing to Conservative ears. To maintain his supporters' illusions, he has to lie. Last week, the UK Statistics Authority gave him a reprimand that broke from the genteel language of the civil service.

Duncan Smith's "people" – all of them scroungers, not strivers, who sponge off the taxpayer from their Whitehall offices – brief reporters with unpublished figures. The Tory press uses them, and when his spin doctors meet an honest journalist, who asks hard questions, they end the call and never ring back. Before the benefit cap, it was the work programme, which is meant to provide training for the unemployed. The statistics authority criticised the "coherence" of Duncan Smith's statistics and, once again, the manner in which his department presented them to the public.

Like the Republicans with the Tea Party, the supposedly mainstream Conservatives have decided to woo UKIP rather than fight it. To show that they are "listening", they must pursue policies that make little sense and invent the evidence to support them.

Numbers are stronger than words. When the powerful lie with statistics, they do so in the cynical knowledge that the public is more likely to believe them.


For the whole article:-
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/12/iain-duncan-smith-fiddling-figures?CMP=twt_gu
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun May 12, 2013 5:25 pm

In such circumstances the Official Opposition has to do its job. The Press cannot be relied upon - for obvious reasons. Where is Miliband's voice in Parliament in demanding the truth? Or his colleagues' pressing and constant questions?

Unless the Labour Party wakes up on such matters , it will deserve to stay in opposition, although the nation will most certainly not deserve a continuation of the Tory oppression...
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 12, 2013 5:42 pm

People enjoy the Punch and Judy PMQs, but at heart despise the Politicians' interminable points-scoring off each other at every opportunity. It's the yah-boo school playground level of dialogue replicated by those old enough to know better.

The problem for any Party in Opposition is that they have no power to DO anything - they can only TALK about things, so are eternally on the back foot.

Complaining about EVERYTHING soon becomes a mere background noise, so the tone and topic of questions has to become an art-form. Particularly since Media sources friendly to a Socialist party are in the minority.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Sun May 12, 2013 6:30 pm

Yes, but surely they should be asking the questions?
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by sickchip on Sun May 12, 2013 6:50 pm

oftenwrong wrote:People enjoy the Punch and Judy PMQs, but at heart despise the Politicians' interminable points-scoring off each other at every opportunity. It's the yah-boo school playground level of dialogue replicated by those old enough to know better.

The problem for any Party in Opposition is that they have no power to DO anything - they can only TALK about things, so are eternally on the back foot.

Complaining about EVERYTHING soon becomes a mere background noise, so the tone and topic of questions has to become an art-form. Particularly since Media sources friendly to a Socialist party are in the minority.

I understand your point, ow - but on the issue of IDS and his deliberately misleading statements on welfare Labour should release the dogs. Welfare is a primary focus for this government and it's supporters; and to demonstrate that they are deliberately misleading the public on this important issue should be a moral obligation of a moral Labour party. This is NOT a minor background noise issue - people will sit up and notice if Labour make a noise about this.

A sustained campaign against IDS on this will push it into the news and into focus. People will look more closely if that is the case and realise that they are being deceived and lied to by the government.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 12, 2013 10:06 pm

The kind of person who corresponds on this kind of medium, will know that Ministers are happy to tell lies, but unfortunately the majority of British voters take their cue from a newspaper scanned on the way to work. Accuracy is not questioned - a Minister of the Crown must be right.

That's how IDS and his fellow Tories operate. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones to concentrate upon!
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Mon May 13, 2013 12:32 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:-
Unless the Labour Party wakes up on such matters, it will deserve to stay in opposition
I think you’re not only being unfair but falling into the trap laid for the general public. Most of the papers support the Tories and the BBC is heavily censored these days, whether you’re talking about the news blackout on the NHS and welfare bills when they were being passed, or the silence surrounding the protests and demonstrations against this government, of which there have been many. Tory Lord Patten is installed as the chairman, Bullingdon boy Dimbleby hosts ‘Question Time’ and invariably interrupts left-wing panellists (when there are any), and we know that the BBC is being intimidated because Murdoch wants the BBC broken up to reduce the competition to his media empire. Now we have the endless sequence of horror stories about the NHS, to soften up people for when they realise that the NHS is being privatised. The North Koreans would be impressed by the way this government controls the media.

When Labour front benchers make speeches, they are usually ignored. It happens regularly to Ed Miliband and it happened when Andy Burnham made a far-reaching speech about the NHS. Then most people are left with the impression that “Labour is doing nothing”. What I do know is that Labour MPs and party members go out every weekend on the so-called ‘Labour Doorstep’ campaign, in order to get their message across to tens of thousands of individuals.

We hear the common cry that Labour doesn’t have any policies, usually from Tory hypocrites who seem to have forgotten that we didn’t find out what their insidious party planned to do until it had crawled into power on Clegg’s back. Here is a list of the current Labour policies that I’ve found:-

• Repeal the Health and Social Care Act (otherwise known as the NHS Privatisation Act)
• Build 125,000+ homes
• Regulate private rents
• Promote a Living Wage for public sector workers and shame the private sector into following that lead
• Offer a minimum 33-40% cut in tuition fees
• Limit rail fare increases to 1%
• Bring back the 50p rate of income tax for the super-rich
• Impose a mansion tax on the rich
• Repeat the bankers’ bonus tax
• Reverse the bedroom tax
• Scrap Workfare and replace it with a ‘compulsory’ Jobs Guarantee
• Offer a VAT cut or a ‘temporary’ VAT holiday
• Implement the High Pay Commission report in its entirety
• Scrap Ofgem and bring in proper energy price regulation
• Break up the banks and set up a National Investment Bank
• Support mining communities and clean coal technology

I would also be surprised if Labour didn’t sign up to the financial transactions tax, which may become EU law and which is one of the reasons (to protect their banking cronies) that the rabid Tories want to leave the EU.

As to Iain Duncan Smith (the subject of this thread), for Labour to demand his resignation would be futile and just unite the Tories behind him. Hunt should have been sacked, so should May, so should Osborne, who failed by his own benchmark, the triple A rating. The whole bloody lot of them need sacking, but the only people who can make that happen are the Lib Dem MPs, and they’re hardly likely to want to be the turkeys voting for Christmas.

Just in case you need a reminder of how awful this government is (I doubt if you do!), have a read of this blog by Gracie Samuels:-
http://cameron-cloggysmoralcompass.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-british-government-is-total.html?spref=tw
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Mon May 13, 2013 12:45 pm

oftenwrong wrote:The kind of person who corresponds on this kind of medium, will know that Ministers are happy to tell lies, but unfortunately the majority of British voters take their cue from a newspaper scanned on the way to work. Accuracy is not questioned - a Minister of the Crown must be right.

That's how IDS and his fellow Tories operate. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones to concentrate upon!

In other words OW the UK public have had the wool well and truly pulled over their eyes.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Wed May 15, 2013 9:45 am

Disabled adults and families with disabled children are challenging the legality of the Government's so-called "bedroom tax", arguing that it unlawfully discriminates against them.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rejects the "bedroom tax" tag and says the reality is that "a spare room subsidy" has been removed from social sector tenants.

A DWP spokesman said the new regulations are lawful and adequate steps have been taken to safeguard people with disabilities.

In a three-day hearing, they are asking the court to rule that the new regulations are contrary to Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects against discrimination. They also argue that Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has failed to comply with his public equality duty under the 2010 Equality Act.

http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/bedroom-tax-challenge-in-court-2



Hmm. Well, if they'd just learn to sleep standing-up they wouldn't need any bedrooms at all.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Wed May 15, 2013 2:25 pm

I wonder if we can get IDS convicted of being an Insult to the Humane Rights Act , because he is INHUMANE OW.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by blueturando on Wed May 15, 2013 4:26 pm

Deleted. A personal attack on another member which contained no relevance to the thread topic. Ivan.

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Thu May 16, 2013 10:50 am

blueturando wrote:Deleted. A personal attack on another member which contained no relevance to the thread topic. Ivan.

Just to ask Ivan if you do not mind, I take it this attack was on myself as it has been happening on a regular basis of late and just to let you know I can give as good as I get, the only difference is I tell blue the truth about his gov'ts Incompetence and I guess he does not like it much same as when it is pointed out to Tory PM & MPs. cheers
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Thu May 16, 2013 11:28 am

Redflag. Yes, it was yet another attack on you. I have no doubt that you can take care of yourself, but that shouldn't be necessary. We can't allow this thread, or any other, to degenerate into a slanging match started by a Tory troll. No doubt desperation is setting in, as the Tories tear themselves apart and show they're just as unfit to govern as they were in the mid 1990s, but that's no excuse for such behaviour.

Posts which consist of nothing but personal insults and make no comment on the topic under discussion will be deleted. Repeated attacks on the same member will be treated as bullying or harassment and may be referred to the moderation team for consideration of sanctions against the perpetrator.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Thu May 16, 2013 4:13 pm

Ivan wrote:Redflag. Yes, it was yet another attack on you. I have no doubt that you can take care of yourself, but that shouldn't be necessary. We can't allow this thread, or any other, to degenerate into a slanging match started by a Tory troll. No doubt desperation is setting in, as the Tories tear themselves apart and show they're just as unfit to govern as they were in the mid 1990s, but that's no excuse for such behaviour.

Posts which consist of nothing but personal insults and make no comment on the topic under discussion will be deleted. Repeated attacks on the same member will be treated as bullying or harassment and may be referred to the moderation team for consideration of sanctions against the perpetrator.

Ivan I thank you for your concern, and I agree that we should not go off topic, other wise this would turn into the another nasty forum of which there is plenty of on the web but just in case there is other attacks I will need to increase my supply of cartoons that fit these attacks. Because these attacks are not worthy of words but then again cartoons would be understood better by the attacker. cheers
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IDS faces TWO canings for stats abuse

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed May 22, 2013 2:02 pm

From http://wp.me/p2sftc-7BD - see original for links to sources.



In recent weeks, Iain Duncan Smith received a stern rebuke from the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) for his and his department’s blatant abuse of statistics – and then lied about it to the House of Commons, claiming not only that he had not been rebuked but even that it was Labour that the UKSA had criticised.

Being caught in a lie to the House used to be an automatic resignation offence, but in this government it’s more likely to get you promoted. However, the odious Smith is not getting everything his own way.

Last week I was told that the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee (WPSC) was planning to haul Smith over the coals for his wanton abuse of statistics to tar benefit-claimants as ‘shirkers’ and to make the government’s ‘reforms’ appear to be working when they are not. I was asked to keep the information to myself until the right moment, so that Smith wouldn’t be forewarned about his ‘carpeting’ any earlier than necessary.

However, a few days later the story broke anyway, so the news is now out. However, I can reveal that Smith faces not just one but two separate grillings over his ‘flexible’ approach to truth. Or lies, as most of us would call them.

An MP, who shall remain nameless but who is closely connected to the Work and Pensions issue in Parliament, tells me that the first of these is likely to take place at the review by the WPSC of the Department of Work and Pensions’ annual report which is due soon.

The second is at a special, one-off inquiry that the WPSC is trying to arrange before the summer recess of Parliament.

Smith and his colleagues have lied about disability benefit fraud, about the impacts of the changes to benefits, about the poverty that will be inflicted on those affected, and about supposed huge numbers of people claiming disability benefit abandoning their claims rather than face a medical examination. It’s essential that Smith is called to account for these many lies – but no doubt he’s currently working hard to try to have these grillings quietly cancelled or diluted.

You can help to ensure that he doesn’t succeed by writing to the Work and Pensions Committee at workpencom@parliament.uk to insist that these sessions to go ahead. Please get writing and let’s make sure that Smith and his team are hoisted by their own petard.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Wed May 22, 2013 6:57 pm

Skywalker I do not know if you have heard but IDS is in more trouble the courts have told him to tell people who the companies and charities are that use the Workfare service, and so far quite a few have pulled out already Sue Ryder PDSA British Heart Foundation Sense Cancer Research and Scope, I suppose when all there names have been printed they will pull out too. As you know there is a petition on twitter to Boycott the companies that use Workfare, since I have found out the B.H.F uses workfare I do not go near there shops.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Wed May 22, 2013 7:08 pm

BHF?
Thought the staff at the local charity shop all looked a bit miserable - I will boycott them too now.

Salvation Army is my difficulty - they run our local food bank - hard to boycott.

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Wed May 22, 2013 7:58 pm

"Birds of a feather", Guilt by association, Give a dog a bad name ....

How regrettably easy it is to condemn well-meaning people for getting involved with this filthy Coalition.

Who sups with The Devil needs a long spoon!
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Thu May 23, 2013 7:24 am

boatlady wrote:BHF?
Thought the staff at the local charity shop all looked a bit miserable - I will boycott them too now.

Salvation Army is my difficulty - they run our local food bank - hard to boycott.


Boatlady the Salvation Army use workfare too, I do not mind people volenteer to work in these charity shops if this gov't asked people to spend a few hours per week in there nearest charity shop, and to give them credit for it I would not mind but forcing them in order to qualify for JSA is disgusting since the use any excuse to stop there JSA and job centre plus have got targets for this.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by boatlady on Thu May 23, 2013 8:00 am

I know - I do try to boycott employers who use workfare - but charities like Salvation Army who do, also run vital services that support the victims of the benefit changes - so the issue is complex.
I guess, for people whose workfare placement with Salvation Army doesn't work out, a sanction is just around the corner, just as much as if they don't stick to a placement at Poundland - but if I boycott Salvation Army, I've nowhere to send people for food parcels and other essential charitable handouts.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Thu May 23, 2013 11:27 am

Confirmation if confirmation were needed of the evil which Tories create with their contempt for anything which doesn't make a profit.

Even Charities can now be made to appear venal, but to the Pure, all things are Pure.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Thu May 23, 2013 4:13 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Confirmation if confirmation were needed of the evil which Tories create with their contempt for anything which doesn't make a profit.

Even Charities can now be made to appear venal, but to the Pure, all things are Pure.

Or Cameron and IDS are trying to shift the blame when the workfare programme goes tits up, OW
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DWP: sanctions damaging, unfair, counterproductive. So it does more

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue May 28, 2013 11:59 am

See original at http://wp.me/p2sftc-7EF for links:

I’ve come across a remarkable document in the last few days – a report commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on its own ‘Skills Conditionality’ pilot, in which it started to mandate training on jobseekers under threat of the sanction (suspension) of their benefit payments. The report was released in 2011, so my apologies if it’s not new information to you – but I haven’t seen or heard of it before, and it’s more relevant than ever.

This report, which you can download in full here, takes a bit of digesting, which is partly why I’ve been a bit quieter than usual the last few days. However, once you get through it, it contains some quite remarkable conclusions – conclusions which the DWP has completely ignored, even though it was it’s own advice to itself.

The most striking conclusions centre around the issuing of ‘sanctions’ – periods between 4 weeks and 3 years long, which can be issued instantly by Jobcentre Plus ‘advisers’ for offences as minor as being a few minutes late for an appointment. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Sanctions: damaging to, well, pretty much everything

Section 11 of the report, Conclusions and Recommendations, includes a section on the harm done by the trial itself, either by participation in the pilot project itself or by sanctions arising from it. First the report looks at the harmful effects of the training imposed by the pilot:

- people prevented from looking for work by being forced to attend training that was no use to them
- people already involved in training or volunteer work intended to improve their chances of finding work who had to end it to take part in ‘mandated’ training – or face sanction if they declined
- transport difficulties and childcare problems – again potentially leading to sanctions
- people who didn’t attend, didn’t complete or rejected a training course because it was unsuitable- and were sanctioned anyway

Having highlighted the insanity of forcing people to take training that was unsuitable or impractical and was likely to put them in a position of being sanctioned, the report then looks at the effects of the sanctions themselves on jobseekers – and their families, even if they don’t have dependent children. Harmful effects included:

- forcing claimants to rely on family and friends for their survival (assuming of course they’re lucky to have family and friends to turn to)
- damage to family relationships
- damage to low-income families who had to stretch their resources to help a sanctioned family member
- harm to younger siblings of sanctioned claimants

The conclusions section of the report ends with this statement:

If the pilot is mainstreamed and mandation at Stage 3 becomes more common, sanctioning is likely to increase. It should be acknowledged that when a claimant is sanctioned, the loss of benefits may affect low income families rather than individuals alone, even when the claimant does not have dependants (sic) themselves.

The report recognises that not only does sanctioning do harm, but it also harms people who have nothing to do with the claim being suspended – about as unjust as you could possibly get.

Pointless – and often counter-productive

The report looks at whether sanctions were sensibly applied – and whether they did any good anyway – and the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’. First it acknowledges that ‘directions’ to attend training were given to people who didn’t need them:

In more than half the sample, individuals were identified through basic skills screening as having no potential skills need

Then Jobcentre Plus advisers did not understand the rules properly and mandated training on the wrong people, setting many up for sanction. ‘Bob’, an adviser from one of the pilot centres, told interviewers:

I didn’t realise that it was only for customers with a skills need, so I was putting everyone in the pilot.

The report then looks at whether backing the instructions with sanctions made any difference to the outcomes:

The analysis has provided estimates of the impact of conditionality as operationalised in this pilot on training, sanctions and early labour market outcomes for individuals who were identified through basic skills screening as having a potential skills need, and who had a valid pilot marker. There is no evidence of an impact on any of these outcomes.

By contrast, the report acknowledges that adding more instructions backed by sanctions simply put people in a position of being sanctioned without any real cause:

Some advisers believed that sanctions could be avoided if training is positively ‘sold’ to claimants through encouragement and persuasion. While this approach may have merits, it is unlikely to have prevented most of the sanctioning cases reported to us. This applies particularly to the claimants who had missed sessions through human error, but also to claimants who left training because they felt that it did not meet their needs.
There was little evidence of poor motivation to find work among the respondents who experienced loss of benefits though sanctioning. They were upset at being sanctioned, with some finding it unfair when they were taking positive steps themselves to find work. Those who declined or left training still felt they were right to do so, because it had not met their needs, and sanctioning in these circumstances would appear to be ineffective.

In other words, sanctions were applied to people that had nothing to do with any lack of effort to find work, and because they were not related to any lack of effort, they had no effect in motivating people to find work – they just inflicted suffering for no reason.

While all these statements relate to one specific pilot, the comments about the justness and effectiveness of sanctions clearly have a wider application. The DWP cannot claim to have overlooked the significance of these comments, since it summarises them in a section of its own website discussing the significance of the report, in about as unequivocal language as it’s possible to imagine:

The report concludes that sanctions can cause hardship to families and is (sic) in many cases unlikely to be effective in encouraging future compliance.

The DWP published its report, and made that last statement, in August 2011. If you or I tried something and found that it did no good and in fact caused harm, we’d stop doing it. Right?

But the DWP did anything but.

It’s bad. Really bad. Let’s do more!

In the last full year before the publication of the above report – the first year of the coalition government – the DWP issued 528,700 sanctions, already massively up from the figure of 388,200 inherited from the outgoing Labour government (in itself much higher than the 2007/8 figure of 254,670).

In the 12 months to October 2012 – a period starting just 3 months after the DWP published its remarkably frank report and summary – the DWP issued no fewer than 778,000 sanctions, an increase of over 47% in a single year.

That’s not the worst news. In October 2012, the government introduced a new, even tougher sanctions regime, so the growth of the numbers of sanctions is likely to have accelerated even further. However, we don’t know by exactly how much – the latest statistics were due out this month, but the government has delayed them indefinitely. Most likely, the government is afraid of the political fallout of the results of its actions, or else the number of sanctions has grown so incredibly quickly that even the Tory-led coalition can’t quite believe the figures and is having them double-checked before an undoubtedly embarrassing release. One thing is already certain, however – the tougher ‘regime’ will not have slowed down the growth.

If any sane, non-sociopathic person analysed his own actions and found them to be not only harmful to others but counter-productive to what he wanted to achieve (or claimed to), he or should would stop. For this government, it appears to be a signal to pile on the pain – either recklessly disregarding or else actually desiring the damaging effects on ordinary people.

People who, as the government’s own report admits, are not scroungers or workshy, but are actively seeking work.

To me, that looks like a very good definition of one or two things – either insanity or evil. And in the context of this report – created by the DWP, for the DWP, and explicitly acknowledged – the DWP’s decision, which I exposed last month, to force people to take fake psychometric tests or face sanction is even more unconscionable.

If you want to hear from people who are the victims of this wanton campaign of sanctions, then please watch this 5-minute video made by the Guardian. I warn you, it’s moving, even heartbreaking – but it will make you very angry as well, and in this context that’s anything but bad:

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Mel on Tue May 28, 2013 12:44 pm

Absolutely disgusting. However this is what we have come to expect from these Tory party scumbags. The problem is not enough of the general public are interested in these poor sods unless of course they are affected themselves.
I'm afraid it's due to Thatcher's dog eat dog doctrine that has carried on since the Witches distruction of care for your fellow man.

Thank you for that post SKW.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Tue May 28, 2013 1:04 pm

Mel wrote:Absolutely disgusting. However this is what we have come to expect from these Tory party scumbags. The problem is not enough of the general public are interested in these poor sods unless of course they are affected themselves.
I'm afraid it's due to Thatcher's dog eat dog doctrine that has carried on since the Witches distruction of care for your fellow man.

Thank you for that post SKW.

What the FCUK is the rest of the the UK doing about this, this is just out & out NASTINESS by the Sniveling Smug Arrogant Tory SCUMBAGS, I hope they rot in Hell I also hope the UK public turf them out of office at the first chance we get, the normal man/women on the street is paying for the B(W)ANKERS night at the CASINO how about them forgoing there bonuses to pay this debt back that would be fair, but because Tory & UKIP party funds come from the City of London Bankers this I kow will never happen.

Mel it is up to the majority of us on here to get the message out there let us make the Tories "One Term Firm" and UKIP "Has Beens"
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by blueturando on Tue May 28, 2013 2:53 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332085/Britain-tenth-happiest-country-world--Australia-spot.html

Seems we are a happy lot generally and pretty high up on the list of happiest places in the world. I guess we can thank the Tories for that...Well done Cameron/Duncan Smith and co Smile .....Cheer up Redflag

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by bobby on Tue May 28, 2013 3:29 pm

Seems we are a happy lot generally and pretty high up on the list of happiest places in the world. I guess we can thank the Tories for that...Well done Cameron/Duncan Smith and co Smile .....Cheer up Redflag

Hi Bluey, a bit provocative there methinks.Wink
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Mel on Tue May 28, 2013 3:49 pm

Daily Mail reading again blue?

Happy majority???? you jest sir.

This extract from that article says it all----- The TOP 20% are happy probably at the expense of the remainder.

"In Britain, the survey shows the average household net-adjusted disposable income is higher than the OECD average, but there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20 per cent of the population earn nearly six times as much as the bottom 20 percent."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332085/Britain-tenth-happiest-country-world--Australia-spot.html#ixzz2UbBlPiWw
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by blueturando on Tue May 28, 2013 4:42 pm

Ahhhh well I tried Smile Just to let you know I am happy anyway sunny

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Ivan on Tue May 28, 2013 4:50 pm

blueturando. Just cut out the trolling and stick to the topic. You've been told twice before about your goading of one particular member, so take this as a final warning.

Getting back to the subject, here is an example of Iain Duncan Smith's fine work:-

Linda Wootton: Double heart and lung transplant dies nine days after she has benefits stopped

She was told her employment and support allowance was being stopped as she lay dying in a hospital bed.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/linda-wootton-double-heart-lung-1912498


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BLTi839CcAAEzZd.jpg
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Tue May 28, 2013 5:38 pm

Well researched, Steve. There is more than enough evidence of the Tory's "War" on the less fortunate inhabitants of our Country. It's tempting to speculate whether they are deliberately inciting civil retaliation, so as to win the moral high ground - which they certainly do not now, and have not since the day they formed that spiteful Coalition.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by Redflag on Tue May 28, 2013 9:20 pm

blueturando wrote:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332085/Britain-tenth-happiest-country-world--Australia-spot.html

Seems we are a happy lot generally and pretty high up on the list of happiest places in the world. I guess we can thank the Tories for that...Well done Cameron/Duncan Smith and co Smile .....Cheer up Redflag

Excellent example of why so many journalists have sullied the profession for ever (Helllo Levenson enquiry) Methodology is nil, I guess it would be easy to get any results desired if you just manipulated the questions enough, case in point Sun many times over! Until you can get a reputable body to carry out these surveys I guess posting the results is pretty much pointless. Today's headlines tomorrows food bank wrappings, would have put chip shop, but considering the day and age we live in who nowadays can afford to eat in a chip shop.

Blue did you think posting that crap would annoy me? never bothered by lies Blue not when they are as easy to see through as this

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Tue May 28, 2013 11:31 pm

There is comfort to be found in the likelihood that many Tory Party supporters must be hideously embarrassed to find themselves linked with such as IDS.
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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

Post by blueturando on Wed May 29, 2013 12:19 am

Deleted. Yet another thoroughly unjustified and inaccurate complaint which should have been made in a PM.
Ivan.

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Re: Iain Duncan Smith

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