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UK Welfare reform Bill

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posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 05:10 PM
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Just come across this, never heard of it before but I believe it's currently being rushed through the commons. Here's a breakdown of some of the bill changes, not to sure if it affects anyone here but it seems to include some ID collection items.

Abolition of Income Support
The Bill allows for the abolition of income support, and provides that any groups that remain on Income Support can be required to attend work focused interviews, and undertake work related activity or be subject to a sanction.

Increased conditionality
People claiming benefits will be compelled to follow the directions from an employment advisor or face sanctions on their benefits.

Work for your Benefit
‘Work for your benefit’ is workfare. It is enforced labour at a rate of as little as £1.73 per hour (combining current JSA rates with a 35 hour week). The Bill proposes piloting of workfare and would allow for a national rollout without further primary legislation. But DWP research already suggests that:
• there is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work;
• it is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high;
• it is least effective for individuals with multiple barriers to work;
• it can reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers.

Work related activity
The bill will allow the Jobcentre Plus, and private contractors, to issue mandatory directions to lone parents and sick and disabled claimants that they must undertake a specific activity, or face a sanction on their benefits.

Increased conditionality for couples
The Bill makes two changes for couples claiming benefit. Firstly, it removes the right of a sick or disabled person to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for the couple where their partner could instead claim JSA. Secondly, the Bill requires partners of claimants of IS, ESA and JSA to undertake work related activity or be subject to a sanction, meaning that partners cannot choose not to work.

Changes in contribution conditions for JSA and ESA
The Bill proposes a significant restriction on eligibility for contributory JSA and ESA. Those in work will find that they have to work for longer to pay the contributions required to qualify for benefit. This will reduce the number of claimants who qualify for contributory ESA and JSA, and will force many more claimants on to means tested benefits, which are complex and suffer from low take-up. Others will have no entitlement at all to means tested benefits.

Carers Allowance and Maternity Allowance
The Bill abolishes the dependent additions paid with carers allowance and maternity allowance. Both benefits are non-means tested and are paid to some of the poorest people in the country. Its removal will lead to an increase in reliance on means tested benefits, or for those who fail the means test, having to live on a lower level of income.

Benefit penalties for ‘offenders’
The Bill proposes that claimants who have been convicted, cautioned or fined of any offence of fraud will have their benefit suspended for four weeks. The proposal will catch people who are overpaid benefit due to a DWP mistake or error or misunderstanding on their part, but who but lack the skills and confidence to seek advice and challenge poor decisions made by the DWP. Benefit fraud is now a smaller problem than error, and is also smaller than that of non-take up, yet the Bill has nothing to say about how those missing out on their entitlements can be helped to claim. In addition, continuing to issue high profile ‘tough’ messages stigmatises the claimant population by instilling a wrongful stereotype that claimant fraud is common.

Training and skills of employment advisors
The Bill gives employment advisors greater responsibility in supporting people to look for work and in imposing sanctions on people who do not follow their directions. Advisors are currently insufficiently trained on working with people who need more support to look for work, including people with mental health issues and people with disabilities, yet the Bill does not propose to increase the training for employment advisors. The payments by results culture in this bill means that it is more likely that the employment support offered to people will be generalist, meaning people who have support needs, who it will be more expensive to support into work, will not receive appropriate help and will risk having their benefits cut under the new sanctions. There is nothing contained in the bill about how claimants will be protected from the unfair application of sanctions.

Mandatory drug testing
The Welfare Reform Bill introduces the power for mandatory drug testing for benefits claimants. The penalty for not complying with the test, or with a resulting rehabilitation plan is loss of benefit for 26 weeks.

Compulsion to access medical treatment
The Bill will allow employment advisors to decide the appropriate activity a claimant should undertake to be ready for work, including activities to manage their health. This power could be used to require a claimant to access healthcare provision, take medication or access psychological therapies. This will blur the boundaries between health provision and social control, and may mean that people are compelled to access physical or mental health treatment in order to obtain their benefits.

Data sharing
The bill proposes that information about benefit claimants will be more widely shared between government agencies, including sharing information from the police, prison service and health services with employment agencies.

Right to control for disabled people
The proposal is for a pilot to see whether people should be given control over their social care support, it does not give a commitment that this will happen for everyone. The government does not yet have a clear idea about what types of funding and support people would be given control over, how they would implement individual budgets or how they would give increased control to people who do not want individual budgets.

Social fund and Community Care Grants
Plans for the future of the social fund are not clear. The proposal is for the Social Fund to be partially administered by private loan providers who would charge interest on the loans, yet there is no rationale about how this will improve the operation of the fund. The bill will also enable successful Community Care Grant applicants to be provided with the item they have applied for rather than money.

Birth registration
The Welfare Reform Bill introduces compulsory joint birth registration for unmarried parents, and sanctions can be applied if a mother fails to disclose the father of her child.

Child maintenance
The bill also proposes new collection and compliance arrangements for child maintenance, including the withdrawal of driving licences and passports of non-resident parents who do not pay child maintenance.


More information here




posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 06:43 PM
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Looks like no more big welfare for a lot of people in the UK. I would be interested to see what developes and how the people will take to this.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by spitefulgod
 


This is really trying hard to divert public attention by attacking unemployed or disabled people.

There are around 1.9 million unemployed people in the UK that these measures are aimed at, the alleged idea is to get them in work.

I believe the are currently around 30000 unfilled job vacancies in the UK which are primarily part time.


Simple arithmetic that unskilled unemployed people can work out -

3.7 million foreign workers

1.97 million unemployed people

30000 partime jobs

= Preparations for civil unrest this summer

[edit on 3-3-2009 by moocowman]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 07:06 PM
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I think something does have to be done to combat the "benefits culture" which exists in some parts of the UK. It is unreasonable, for example, for a non working single parent to be paid Income Support up to their youngest child's 16th birthday, with no requirement for that parent to seek work. Their idleness doesn't set a good example to their children.

Similarly there are plenty of people "on the sick" who are capable of some work & the conditionality requirement this Bill introduces will oblige them to start addressing some of the issues which prevent them from working.

My workplace, for example, has a blind switchboard operator. She could quite happily stay on benefits forever but she chooses instead to come to work. She enjoys the company & the "banter". Similarly one of our engineers is an ex-Army amputee & with a few adaptations for his condition (mainly to the controls of his truck) he performs as well as any of his able bodied colleagues.

The real problem I have with this, as an ex-employee of DWP, is where this Bill gives powers to staff to withold benefit. Sounds great to withold social security benefit for 26 weeks to drug users who fail to avail themselves of treatment. Those decisions will be made by staff in remote benefit centres ... but in practice it will mean DWP staff in unscreened Job Centres, the ones who have to deliver those decisions, being assaulted by disgruntled members of the public (been there, done that).

In addition, the introduction of private sector providers is invariably more expensive than using existing DWP staff & the results obtained by doing so vary little compared to an in house team.

Moocowman, there's considerably more than 30,000 job vacancies currently available in the UK. I think you missed a nought out somewhere.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 02:14 AM
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I just think it's a little devious that it appears to be being sneeked in through the back door while the focus is on other things..... Not that I'll see any tax back if it saves the government any money.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:12 AM
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Those laws needed to be changed.. its the same in my country.

There are many people who know the benefit system off by heart and live nicely off it. A few years ago I was living with a guy who was getting almost €400 a week in benefits, dole, back to education and rent allowance etc for doing nothing.!!! He knew the system and screwed it legally. I was working a 40hr week and earning the same amount. It pissed me off a bit but I don't see the point in claiming if you don't need it.

These kind of people cost billions in welfare when they can easily work.

Changes to ensure people aren't getting free money for nothing will save governments a fortune in this recession.

But, if they touch the social insurance money that you are owed if you lose your job.. there will be war.

[edit on 4/3/09 by Dermo]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by The Lass
 





Moocowman, there's considerably more than 30,000 job vacancies currently available in the UK. I think you missed a nought out somewhere.


Yes well I won't argue that I could be mistaken, the figure was quoted on bbc Question time by a government minister and I can't remember which episode to be honest to double check.

Nevertheless, if the figure is 300 000 the problem is not any better,

People with no job nearly 1.9 million (and rising)

Jobs for them to take 300 000 part time, and according to the government minister, when asked by David Dimbelby why these part vacancies weren't filled these "300 000" (I'm sure it was 30000" ) jobs were not taken by the unemployed, these part time vacancies as "SKILLED" and the unemployed people don't have the skill, so then he changed direction to education.


Yea right ! This is all about getting people to work for peanuts or starving them, so to speak.

Yes there are people that take the piss out of the system and it costs a lot of money, but there always have been and always will be.

There are far more scumbags at the top of the financial ladder fleecing the taxpayer for millions but these are not taken to task as, so many of the UK population are to busy ooing and ahhing over Jade Goody on front page or the family of 12 kids with 10 fathers.

The population are fed crap and scary outrage demanding headlines, we are not told the whole truth and are not supposed to see the whole picture.


Most people who are for whatever reason out of work would like to work and improve their financial situation.
However the government want them picking potatoes etc when they need picking, in any working conditions for minimum wage.

The government itself set a figure on the minimum amount of money an individual should have in order to live at a minimum standard considered by the government.


When the majority of working people in the UK were getting reasonable incomes and living a better quality of life, things were ok they didn't need to think about a few scumbag families.

But the real con artists and robbers have eventually nearly bankrupted the country, putting people out of work and raising the cost of living, closing the gap between what someone on a decent wage receives and what the government set as a minimum amount of money an individual should have when they can't work.


The upshot of it all is that foreign workers "WILL" pick potatoes in appalling conditions for peanuts, as it's so much better than where they come from.
You can guarantee once these workers become nationalized things change, the will demand decent pay and conditions the same as anyone else in the UK, something that Uk workers have been fighting for, for centuries.

The easiest way the wealthy of the UK can keep the population bringing in the money for them, is to keep everyone at each others throats, too busy to observe what they're up to.


By attacking a group of people who we are told are robbing us when we're skint and may loose our home. We are allowing a the government to lower their minimum living standard for a genuine claimant just trying to get by in hard times.
What were are not observing is that, that genuine claimant could be us who have made a financial contribution to an insurance policy designed to protect us when we have problems.


We scream and shout when the system puts its greedy hand into our pockets, to give to a young mother who buys a bottle of booze and cannabis with the money instead of clothing her baby.

But we don't bat an eyelid when the queen needs a new airplane or the archbishop of cantubry a new palace, that requires thought and reasoning discussion, which takes time away from corrie or Take a Break magazine.


The current system cannot support full employment because too much money is being generated out of unemployment.

Housing associations do not build house for people who are employed they build them for unemployed.
The only building contractors that have something to look forward to are the ones that are building for housing associations, the Uk is going mad.

I would sooner have a scumbag family rob me of one pound on a regular basis in the hope helping someone out and the favour being returned when I need one. Than I would a Royal family rob me of hundreds of thousands for generations not caring whether my children starved to death.






















[edit on 4-3-2009 by moocowman]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 05:41 AM
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This is just an easy out for the UK government. They need to blame someone don't they?It's either the immigrants or the poor that get the shaft when the the SHTF economically.


private contractors


Who will benefit from the cheap labour that they will get. On benefits? Well now you'll work for some company for 2 quid an hour to be able to get them.

I'm tired of hearing how good the benefit recievers have it. Have you been on a social housing estate lately?

I work, but should I ever need benefits I have no illusions of how #e it will be.

The governemt tells us that each claimanet will have a personal advisor who will help them get into work and lead productive lives! Yeah right, the only time I've been to a Job Centre Plus I was in and out in ten minutes, there was NO advisement, they just don't have the staff. Thankfully I found a job that week and never had to go back to get "advised"

Just a way to get our eyes off the real scroungers and onto people whose voice is drowned out by the Daily Mail crowd.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by Dermo

But, if they touch the social insurance money that you are owed if you lose your job.. there will be war.


The suggestion laid out above is that when you lose your job, you are forced to work for £1.75 an hour on a workfare program.
Who will you be working for?
Most likely whatever corporation is giving labour the largest backhander under the table.
Seems like the likely scenario is to crash the economy to force millions onto benefits, then force them to work for big business at third world rates or starve to death.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 05:57 AM
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Originally posted by Salamandrax
The suggestion laid out above is that when you lose your job, you are forced to work for £1.75 an hour on a workfare program.
Who will you be working for?


It doesn't mean 'forced'.. it means if you want benefits, you have to earn them. Its obviously moving away from the more socialist ideal because it costs too much.

The system in place here in Ireland means you are entitled (constitutionally I think) to the benefits you paid towards with your Pay Related Social Insurance deduction from your paycheck. This means they cannot mess with you until you are off insurance and onto benefits... after that, you are subject to whatever schemes the government deems necessary to earn it or prove you need it. I was pretty certain that this system was in place in the UK also..

It looks likely that the above is to motivate/punish people who are either scamming the system of to lazy to get a job.. it also seems to try and stop young people having children in order to get free social housing and benefits.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:15 AM
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That is how it's supposed to work, in reality the criteria for meeting the "national insurance contribution" based Jobseekers allowance is pretty sketchy and they can deny it based on a 1 week discrepancy in thier records (from personal experience 8 years ago).
Seems they are raising the bar for how much of that you have to pay to qualify too, last time I had to deal with the jobcentre it was 2 years at class b (i think) without a single days gap. Even things like taking a week off sick would reset the 2 years.
Wouldnt suprise me if they just take that away completely once this new bill is active.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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Disabled people what are they going to do roll there hospital beds to the work place. Maybe hire undertakers at all workplaces.
That way they can save money and just plant them right there.

Are they going to force disabled veterans to work. a lot of veterans would tend to remember there military training. and use it.

Now I know why they disarmed the people in the UK.

I live in the US and yes i could work but only with a large amount of narcotic pain meds. That means that I would not be able to pass the drug test.
Also taking the narcotics or not and being in pain i would not think clearly and would mess everything up costing them more then it was worth to try to get work out of me.
It would be cheaper for them to just pay the $958 veterans disability benefits I get then to deal with the mistakes(sabotage) I would make in the workplace

But then I was disabled BY one of those corporations. Monsanto
remember them they made agent orange



[edit on 4-3-2009 by ANNED]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by Brothers
Looks like no more big welfare for a lot of people in the UK. I would be interested to see what developes and how the people will take to this.

I suspect that it’ll be the same old routine; a few welfare groups will speak out and ask for support, which will promptly be ignored by those effected who will just whine and bitch about it.

A simple solution to stop this right now is to simply write two letters;

1) Addressed to a member of the house of lords explaining that you are not prepare to let your family die of malnutrition, so you plan that once this bill is in place, that you will be visiting them for a way of putting food on the table.

2) Addressed to your local MP stating that under the new reforms once the 300,000 vacancies are filled, that you being a member of the other 1.6 million (which is expected to rise to over 3.5 by autumn) who will be unable to meet the requirements to for JSA as there are no jobs available.

Then go on to explain that you are not prepared to let your family die from malnutrition; hence your only option will to vote for the BNP party in future as once they remove the immigrant work force there will once again be vacancies enabling you to either re gain employment or meet their requirement in seeking work..


[edit on 4/3/2009 by northerngate]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by northerngate

Then go on to explain that you are not prepared to let your family die from malnutrition; hence your only option will to vote for the BNP party in future as once they remove the immigrant work force there will once again be vacancies enabling you to either re gain employment or meet their requirement in seeking work..


[edit on 4/3/2009 by northerngate]

This is a very scary and very realistic prospect.
In my local area (a very poor part of Wales) most of the jobs are unskilled minumum wage affairs, which used to be alright as anybody with a decent trade could always move away and leave the slackers to work tables in one of the hundreds of hotels along the coast.
Recently however there has been a MASSIVE influx of Polish workers and the crappy minimum wage jobs just arent there anymore for the locals, they dont even get advertised in the job center.
Every single time (ok, well almost every time, but a lot nonetheless )I get a taxi now or stop to chat with a local shopkeeper I hear about how we should send them all back home or "this wouldnt bloody happen if we voted in that BNP bloke".
I really do believe that if the situation gets any worse we could see a massive shift towards the BNP in low income constituancy's. It's unlikely that they could ever take power in the UK but even having them on the local councils make me shiver a little to be honest. Not being born british and all.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by Salamandrax
 





This is a very scary and very realistic prospect. In my local area (a very poor part of Wales) most of the jobs are unskilled minumum wage affairs, which used to be alright as anybody with a decent trade could always move away and leave the slackers to work tables in one of the hundreds of hotels along the coast. Recently however there has been a MASSIVE influx of Polish workers and the crappy minimum wage jobs just arent there anymore for the locals, they dont even get advertised in the job center.


Dude you noticed how our shopping centers are suddenly getting filled with polish people selling the Big Issue etc, this is scary their even taken the begging positions normally left for a few homeless.


Perhaps it's time for more people to support the BNP even if only to send a strong message to government.

So what if the BNP did actually get some power ? Could they possibly do any worse than the religious nut jobs pulling strings in high places?



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:43 PM
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Theres actually a bit of a conspiracy around the big issue beggars too!
Theres organsied gangs of Polish and previously Scousers and Manc's (who funnily said they had been run off thier own patch by islamic asian gangs) who would actually bully the local homeless and take over thier Big issue patch.
I only know all this because one of my friends used to work in the Body shop where they handed out the magazines in the morning.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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The whole welfare state is one creaking, paper-spewing, beaurocratic behemoth that needs to be put to sleep and an efficient means of social support created in its place.

The last time I was a claimant some years ago, I undertook a course of part-time vocational training with the blessing of my back-to-work advisor who could see the potential in my plans...only to be told by another advisor some months later and shortly before the final exams, that he could, if he saw any reason, order me to terminate my studies to take up one of the jobs on offer or risk financial sanctions.

The job in question was as a shelf-stacker in a local supermarket paying barely more than my combined housing and welfare cheques. Had the sanctions been applied, I wouldn't have qualified for a place at university with the longterm-view of setting up a business and employing others

There is one solution to ease the DWP cashflow though , but wouldn't be implemented for fear of alienating middle-class voters...means-tested child benefit

Child Benefit is currently paid out to any and every family, regardless of household income...to those at the bottom of the pile, its a valuable lifeline, to those other children in a comfortable-income family, its a second holiday in France

The new rates for 2009 are £20.00 for the eldest/only child per week, and £13.20 for each subsequent child...multiply that by the millions of families who aren't in any dire need but who still claim and you have many millions of pounds going to those who don't deserve welfare, but who still take what they can



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