41% more immigration under Theresa May

Theresa May as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 allowed 41% more net migration into the UK with on average 243,000 per year compared to 172,000 per year under Labour.

Theresa May allowed in more people per year with a high of 650,000 immigrants in 2016 compared to Labour’s highest figure of 596,000 in 2006.

Theresa May allowed in more foreign workers per year averaging 241,000 per year compared to 223,000 under Labour.

2016 saw Theresa May allow in 321,000 foreign workers which is 33% higher than the highest figure of 242,000 under Labour in 2007.

All of the above are the official figures from the ONS and explain why Theresa May does not want to debate in this election.

The figures are HER record as the minister responsible and no longer can the Tories say the last Labour lot opened the floodgates for immigration as her record is much worse.

It was Theresa May who set the Tories target of less than 100,000 per year for net migration and the current figure is 335,000 which is also an all time record high figure.

Theresa May’s record on immigration is one of abject failure and is far worse than under the last Labour government.

Below are two charts which give the official figures.

Fig 1 – Net Migration (How many more came in than left)

 

Fig 2 – Foreign workers allowed into the UK

The number of foreign workers allowed here to work is 100% within the gift of the government and Theresa May consciously let in more and more foreign workers into the UK and in 2016 Theresa May allowed in 84% more foreign workers than she did in the year ending 2012.

Theresa May as Home Secretary broke every record high on immigration as the above facts prove.

If you overhear conversations in the pub or read in the media or if any Tory MP ever says again the truly offensive term that Labour opened the floodgates with immigration you will be able to say back that Theresa May personally and the Tories since 2010 opened much wider gates than Labour did and did so as deliberate policy.

 

 

 

Bedroom Tax et al costs MORE in Housing Benefit

The bedroom tax, it’s a cut to housing benefit it must save money, right?

Wrong! It costs more and over £1 billion more per year in real terms as those damn pesky facts reveal.

Table 2.2 above comes from the IFS report in 2015 and reveals that in real terms, after allowing for inflation, the Housing Benefit bill for non-pensioners increased from £18.1 billion per year to £19.2 billion per year – an increase of £1.1 billion per year.

There are fewer claimants too so the increase is nothing to do with more people claiming housing benefit.  It means that all of the cuts and cap policies to Housing Benefit including the bedroom tax cost MORE and do not save a penny.

The Conservatives aim in all of its HB cut and cap policies (bedroom tax, benefit cap, etc) they announced in their first budget of June 2010 was to cut HB in real terms by “nearly £2 billion” yet those policies have seen the opposite and actually cost MORE

The DWP said in its magazine called HB Digest published in early July 2010 that:

The Chancellor announced a package of Housing Benefit (HB) reforms in his Budget statement on 22 June. Ministers are clear that the overall cost of HB, forecast to be around £20 billion this financial year, must be controlled and reduced. The package of reforms will save nearly £2 billion by 2014/2015

So while Tory (and Lib Dem) Ministers were clear they intended to cut the overall HB bill, you should be clear that their ‘Housing Benefit (HB) reforms’ actually increased the cost of HB.

As I say facts are damn pesky!

In these perverse political times of the overall welfare cap that sees the Labour Party trapped into having to say for example that carers deserve £10 per week more and that will be paid for by reversing cuts to Inheritance Tax, the simple message is abolish the bedroom tax, benefit cap and all other Tory HB reforms and you have a £1 billion per year pot of savings to be spent as you choose!

Time to radically rethink welfare

If late payment of £26 billion per year causes 50,000 small businesses to close each year then what are the impacts of the none payment of £33 billion to the most impoverished UK citizens?

I’m taking at face value that the figures put out by Jeremy Corbyn this morning and stated below are correct.

Corbyn is making a point that is largely apolitical and the statement is one you could easily see the Tories making and a cause they would also want to support: Any political party in fact and across all of Europe too as the EU has long claimed (with full support from all parties) that if every small business took on just one more employee there would be zero unemployment in Europe and so the importance of the small business is high for all political parties.

Anyone who has ever been self-employed or ran a small business will know the age-old problem of getting paid and the scourge and stress that late payments cause.

Yet by definition a late payment is one that will be paid whereas the none payment of £33 billion per year in welfare (tax credits and social security benefit) that is entitled to but not claimed does NOT get paid and has to be much worse than that in its impacts.

How do you or can you assess the impacts that the sum of £33 billion per year of income that takes those entitled to this welfare, which must be £33 billion per year below what the law says is the minimum you need to live on I just don’t know?!

How much more does this cost the National Health Service for example or social care budgets or homeless budgets or the criminal justice system? Who knows?

Yet it would be nice for once for any politician of any party to actually give a shit about the fact that £90 million per day goes unclaimed in the UK in welfare which none of them are willing to do.

None of them will dare mention it let alone do anything about it and despite the facts that £2 in every £3 of welfare goes to the pensioner and that the UK pays out £3 of in-work only welfare in working tax credits for every £1 it pays out in dole (JSA) to those unemployed.

All of them play up the welfare scrounger narrative while ignoring the fact that the highly politically sensitive pensioner takes £2 in every £3 and while those in-work get more in welfare than those out of work.

Yesterday John McDonnell announced that Labour would seek to make the minimum wage £10 per hour by 2020 (the Tories announced at least £9 per hour by 2020 a few years ago) and I commented that this policy would drastically reduce the welfare bill by a few billion per year due to less entitlement to working tax credit and housing benefit and still leave those affected by it with more income through increased wages.

In short the Labour £10 per hour minimum wage gives the couple with 3 kids more than £35 per week MORE better off than the IDS work will always pay more mantra of the Tories.

That policy is a win-win for all for those who are working and on minimum wage and especially for those out of work as work will always pay even more under Labour.

I’m presumed (naively?) that the minimum wage of £10 per hour was thought through with the reducing welfare dimension.  Even if it wasn’t looked at the reduction in welfare this gives needs to be shouted from the rooftops and as I say especially for those out of work.

Then today we see Corbyn falling back on the infamous shit-scared to say anything about welfare approach adopted by Rachel Reeves when Shadow DWP Minister under Miliband which saw her say Labour is the party for those in work and not those not in work which Corbyn is doing here by inference, and both these strategies sees Labour targeting the in-work voter and doing absolutely bugger all for the out of work voter.

How perverse that the in-work and the out of work voter both have the same one vote yet Labour still see the in-work voter as having greater egalite! Plus ca change!

 

I apologise reader for the title in calling for a radical rethink of ‘welfare’ when clearly nobody is thinking about it at all!

 

 

 

Increasing the minimum wage saves billions in ‘welfare!’

The higher the minimum wage level the greater the welfare bill falls!

Yes you read that correctly and the lower the minimum wage the more the UK tax payer pays out in welfare to subsidise low paid jobs.  If you increase the minimum wage the country spends far lesson working tax credit and housing benefit.

WTC and HB are in reality subsidies to low wage paying employers as earn enough in wages and you don’t qualify for WTC or HB; both of these ‘benefits’ have risen sharply with for example the amount of housing benefit paid to those in work has more than tripled from £1.6 billion in November 2008 to £5.3 billion in November 2016 and we spend out £3 on working tax credit for every £1 spent on JSA, i.e. dole!

Housing Benefit like Working Tax Credit enables UK employers to peg wage levels at or near national minimum wage levels in full knowledge that the government will subsidise workers income with welfare and particularly HB and WTC.

It follows – and again the (pesky) facts prove the point – that if the minimum wage increases which the Tories have pledged at £9 per hour and Corbyn at £10 per hour, both by 2020, then the amount paid out in HB and WTC falls dramatically.  In short the higher the wage the less the welfare cost!

I’ve just crunched some numbers as is my want and the couple with 3 or 4 children moving from today’s minimum wage to a £10 minimum wage would receive £1000 per year less in Housing Benefit and £1400 per year less in Working Tax Credit – so there’s a £2,400 reduction in the welfare bill alone and in the lowest cost social housing, it is much more if the low paid household lives in the private rented sector.

This is based on the minimum 24 hours per week to claim WTC and to avoid the overall benefit cap.

They would even be paying income tax and national insurance when now they don’t on today’s minimum wage so the exchequer would also get around £12 per week more in revenue and a further £9 or so per week in employers NI that they don’t get now.    That’s another £1000 per year win for the exchequer and so moving to a £10 per hour minimum wage and just at 24 hours per week is a net benefit to the government welfare bill of £3,400 – £3,500 per household per year.

With over 1.1 million in-work households getting housing benefit the yearly savings to the HB bill alone could easily reach £2 billion per year (plus the added tax take!)

Yet, surprise, surprise, within an hour of Corbyn pledging the £10 per hour minimum wage, the right wing think tank the IEA say this will paralyse the country blah, blah, blah and the usual scaremongering of what this will do for employers … which surprise, surprise, did not spew forth when Osborne announced the £9 per hour minimum wage a few years ago or at any time since then!

This deliberate political sophistry is just one of the truly perverse and overtly political aspects of the UK welfare system and there is blatant hypocrisy in how the British people view ‘welfare’ and an article in the Observer  on Sunday epitomises this as it stupidly focused on the symptom and not the cause of the latest craze, the just about managing or JAM households and the problems they face.

Valerie Wolfkamp knows all too well how the government’s austerity drive threatens her ability to keep a roof over her head.
The holder of three degrees, she lives in a three-bedroom house with her five-year-old son and 18-month-old twin boys and works part time in Bristol University library, earning around £600 a month after tax. Along with around 500,000 working people in Britain, and 1.2 million people in total, she relies on benefits to help her meet her rent, paid to a private landlord.
“My housing benefit is roughly £700 a month and my rent is £925 a month, so to make up the shortfall I have to rely on tax credits or my salary, which after paying for essentials doesn’t come to much,” she explains.

Here we have the lone parent who works part-time yet receives over £24,000 per year in ‘welfare’ in addition to her wages but is not vilified and is a deserving case according to the Observer because she works at least 16 hours per week.

I’ll say that again this (deserving?) household gets £24,000 per year in welfare in addition to her wages and far more than the out-of-work household gets in welfare!

If she did not work the public would be outraged that she gets £20,000 per year in welfare and she would be vilified and told to get off her lazy backside and work.

Vox populi do not realise that in work she would get significantly more in welfare – tax credits, child benefit and social security benefits including housing benefit – and pay nothing in Income Tax or National Insurance.

If out of work she would ALSO be told to go and live somewhere cheaper and especially if she dared moan that her housing benefit had been cut by nearly £90 per week or close to £400 pcm which would be the case if she was not working due to the overall benefit cap.  Even if she was a social housing tenant with a cut of around £30 per week of £130 or so per month she would attract little sympathy and the general public would perceive the benefit cap policy as being fair!

Yet because she works part-time on a very low income (and pays no tax or nat. ins.) the lone parent is portrayed as worthy and deserving of the £24,000 or so per year she gets in welfare!

Note well that this tenant is NOT caught by any of the recent welfare changes to benefits or tax credits and the Observer use her case to illustrate that LHA has not kept pace with rising private rent levels.

The in most part ignorance of how the welfare benefit system works will continue to see the general public (and journalists) continue with this hypocrisy over the deserving / undeserving stance as illustrated by the self-defeating human interest story strategy they use.  Judging any policy or the entire welfare system with this human interest story approach that the media loves is crass stupidity.  As much as the Observer wish to portray Valerie above as a deserving case and thus any policy is unfair, the rest of the media will find the public-perceived undeserving case such as the BBC Panorama programme did this week over the benefit cap!

As I said here all of the examples in the BBC Panorama programme would get huge amounts MORE in welfare if they did take up 16 hours work at minimum wage as a lone parent (24 if a couple) and as much as £17,000 per year MORE in welfare.

Would the vilified cases that the Panorama programme chose to display as scroungers getting £20,000 per year in ‘welfare’ suddenly become deserving if they did work and then get £37,000 per year in welfare and on top of their wage income?

Clearly not!

The typical vox populi view of ‘welfare” is that it is the sole preserve of the scrounger, the layabout, the Benefit Street and BBC Panorama poverty porn stereotype, which while salving the predetermined ire of the workforce does so in huge error of who actually gets welfare (those in work) and why they get it (to subsidise low paying UK employers).

The dole (JSA) costs £3 billion per year yet working tax credits cost more than triple that amount at around £9 billion per year of the total tax credits of £28 billion per year (child tax credits paid to those in and out of work while WTC only paid to those in employment.)

For every £1 paid out in dole the government gives those in work £3 in benefit through Working Tax Credits.

Yet the benefit recipient is always the scrounger, always out of work, always sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle with the curtain closed blah blah blah when the reality and the fact is that huge amounts of welfare goes to those in work to subsidise low wage paying UK employers.

I repeat where I began – the higher the minimum wage level the greater the welfare bill falls.

Facts as I keep repeating are downright pesky!

BBC Panorama knowingly and deliberately misled over the Benefit Cap

The BBC Panorama broadcast on the benefit cap this week was a classic example of sanitised propaganda by the BBC and is why the Tories so love the mainstream media, especially when it is prime time national television.

Here is the proof that BBC Panorama deliberately and knowing misled the British public and the licence fee payers over the overall benefit cap policy.

In late November 2016 I met and spent almost 5 hours with the producer of the BBC Panorama team in Liverpool.  The producer, Richard Cookson, took fastidious notes of what I was saying and also of the independent sources he could use to check what I had told him; such as the benefit cap meant the family working 24 hours per week would see them receive £334 per week MORE in benefits.

That fact that the in-work part-time family will get £334 per week MORE in benefits through working than being out of work, which is £17,366 MORE in benefits per year and a total amount of £40,366 in benefits per year and on top of their wage income I detail below using one of the independent sources informed the BBC Panorama producer that he could use to verify these figures which in this case are for a 2 parent 4 child family.

Yet the BBC Panorama programme CHOSE not to include the extremely pertinent fact that the in-work family gets vastly more in benefits than the out of work family at any time in this rare 60 minute prime time TV broadcast and instead they CHOSE to deliberately and knowingly deceive the British public.

Here is the knowing and deliberate deceit of the BBC Panorama programme in its broadcast this week as they CHOSE not to mention this fact (and many others) and instead chose to edit the many hours of footage they took of the 2 parent 4 child family to Steve from Knowsley saying he has to have £40 per week to spend on booze and fags.  A case of BBC playing up to the poverty porn stereotype and Tory-led scrounger narrative rather than present the facts of the overall benefit cap.

The BBC Panorama broadcast DID mention such a family would only have to work 24 hours per week to escape the reduced benefit cap yet CHOSE not to say that this household type would get MORE in benefits if they did find 24 hours work at national minimum wage.  That is a deliberate error of omission, also a deliberate error of commission, it it cleverly edited TV … and it is a deliberate and known deception which is 100% propaganda from the BBC.

I don’t know whether the producer personally edited the programme or whether someone else at the BBC did not choose to tell the British public that those in-work get far more in benefits that those out of work.  Yet the fact remains the BBC Panorama programme consciously chose not to mention this highly pertinent fact.

In case anyone believes I have invented any of the above I have attached below a redacted email dated 13 December 2016 (and still containing the typos) that I sent to a Chief Executive of a housing association in another area to see if they wanted to help out Panorama with finding tenants who were affected by the benefit cap.

The BBC Panorama team had at least four months to verify that the in-work household with 1 parent of the couple working 24 hours at minimum wage would get a massive increase in benefits which of course INCREASES the overall benefit bill.

You can check this yourself in 4 minutes never mind 4 months here and even if you know nothing at all about the benefit system: Simply put in the details of how many parents and children and know that 24 hours of minimum wage at £7.20 is £172.80 per week gross and the rent level which you can estimate or use official figures as I have done here.

Below is what the 2 parent 4 child family would receive (the same household type as Steve from Knowsley that Panorama used) in additional benefits for working 24 hours at minimum wage using the Entitledto online calculator which is one of many that can be used and for a social housing tenant in London.

Ignoring the Council Tax Support element the facts show the £667.59 per week in benefits (£674.93 less £7.34) and many will be staggered, including those working in housing, that the rent for a 3 bed so-called affordable rent property of a housing association is £341.32 per week yet this rent level comes from the official figures published by the housing regulator in the 2015/15 statistical data return.

This factual table reveals £34,714.50 per year in benefits and on top of the wage income and for a social housing tenant.

The 2 parent 4 child household with the same 24 hours of work at minimum wage in the private rented sector would get up to £776.27 per week in benefits which is £333.96 MORE in benefits per week as they can be paid up to £417 per week in housing benefit!  That is a total of over £40,000 per year in benefits on top of wages for working 24 hours per week.

BBC Panorama portrayed the overall benefit cap as a policy of out of work scroungers ripping off the British tax paper for an outrageous £20,000 or £23,000 per year in benefits when those in part-time work paying minimum wage can receive over £40,000 per year in hand outs from the government and on top of their wages!

That was why the BBC chose to have the chinless wonder of the Tax Payers Alliance on the programme; a chinless wonder who is wholly ignorant of the fact that being in low paid part-time work can see the tax payer pay out DOUBLE that amount of taxpayers money in handouts (to use his pejorative language!)

This 24 hours of work at minimum wage sees the family pay £1.91 per week in national insurance an zero in Income Tax which sees them rewarded with £333.96 per week MORE in benefits!

[I do love how pesky facts prove the chinless wonders of the Tax Payers Alliance that BBC have regularly on Question Time do not have a bloody clue what the hell they are talking about!]

What makes this even greater propaganda is that the Panorama programme did correctly mention that the two parent family has to work 24 hours between them to escape the overall benefit cap YET did not say this meant the family would get so much more in benefits if they did work 24 hours.

Panorama allowed the DWP Minister Caroline Nokes and the Tax Payers Alliance spokesman Ian Wild to say the benefit cap will save £150 million per year – and just one more reason why the omission of the increased levels of benefits those who (are able to) work minimum hours at minimum wage to escape the benefit cap will receive £40,000 per year in benefits which is £17,000 per year more than the out-of-work family that the Panorama team CHOSE to highlight.

That is overt propaganda and nothing more.  It is deliberate deceit by the BBC with this error of omission and error of commission too.  This is not ignorance of the facts as the producer of the programme knew specifically that this meant more in benefits for the in-work family as he was at pains to take very fastidious notes including the many independent sources such as Entitledto to verify them when I told him these facts during our first 4 – 5 hour meeting on the subject over 5 months ago.

I do not know whether the producer chose himself not to mention these very pertinent facts in the programme or someone else within the BBC hierarchy would not allow these facts to be broadcast.

Yet I do know with 100% certainty that the Panorama programme team was 100% aware of these facts that it CHOSE not to reveal.

The Panorama programme chose NOT to reveal many aspects of the overall benefit cap such as how much increased homelessness it would directly create and would all landlords private and social refuse new prospective tenants as they only receive an amount in housing benefit that made allocating a property too risky for all landlords, which again adds to the inevitable increase in homelessness the policy causes.

Yes I did tell Panorama that there are 385,000 or so new social housing tenancies per year in England alone and anyone fully occupying a 3 bed property would get at most £50 per week in housing benefit and statistically this meant at least 140,000 housing association and council properties per year were off limits to those on benefit!

So the irrefutable fact that those in-work and those now out-of-work who take up 16 hours (lone parent) or 24 hours (two parents) at minimum wage and thus get so much MORE in benefits and obviously INCREASE the overall amount paid out in benefits … was just one of the many known and irrefutable facts that Panorama chose NOT to broadcast

The BBC Panorama programme on the Tories overall benefit cap policy was known and deliberate propaganda and deception by the BBC.  The BBC CHOSE to deceive the British public and CHOSE to perpetuate the Tory-led scrounger narrative instead of reporting what the facts of the policy are.

 

More in benefits for working than ‘scrounging’ – Benefit cap facts Panorama never mentioned

Did you know if you are benefit-capped and able to take a part-time job at minimum wage levels the amount of benefit you receive for being in-work increases dramatically?

That is an undeniable, irrefutable fact and one not mentioned in the Panorama hour long special on the overall benefit cap (OBC) broadcast last night. The fact was never put to the gormless Caroline Nokes the Tory minister for work at all and every question that was was responded to parrot-faced with the Tories work will set you free type of ideological claptrap.

Yet the Tories claim the OBC will save money and that is a key rationale of the policy … and a blatant known lie. Each one of the 5 families that Panorama followed – of 4 social tenants and 1 private tenant which is not representative and each had 4 children when the OBC affects some families with 2 children and all with 3 – would get massive increases in benefits if they worked part-time at national minimum wage to escape the inept and fiscally bankrupt overall benefit cap.

Yesterday I gave two illustrations to counter the BBC propagandist pie chart they included on their website in trailing the Panorama broadcast and demonstrated that (a) the London tenant renting privately would get £218.63 per week MORE in benefits which is £11,368.72 per year more; and (b) the regional household in social rented accommodation would get £54.18 more per week in benefits in work  which is £2,82.92 per year MORE.  Those charts I reproduce again below.

Figure 1 – More benefit IN-WORK than out of work (the benefit cap myth)

 

The regional pie chart on the left above is the £22,824.92 in benefits which is above the £20,000 per year regional cap.  On the right shows the London £34,368.72 figure which is £11,368.72 more than the London £23,000 pa cap.

What these demonstrable facts reveal is that the reality is very different indeed from the political myths the Tory government issue ad nauseam to sell the overall benefit cap policy.  You get more in benefits if you work than if you don’t is not only a fact, it shows the OBC policy cannot even work in theory.

In both cases of the regional tenant in low cost social housing to the London tenant in high cost private rented the households would pay nothing in Income Tax and just £7.07 per week in national insurance contributions, yet the government / tax payer / public purse pay out FAR MORE in benefits … which was something that the chinless buffoon from the Tax Payers Alliance on Panorama never though to check before he spouted the usual incompetent bullshit over the policy.

What Panorama did however state was that the vast majority of benefit-capped households are not on Job Seekers Allowance that is dole and only 13.29% of them receive JSA.  It’s a good job for the UK finances that the vast majority of benefit-capped households are unable to take up work else the benefit bill would rise by well over £1 billion per year.

The case of Bruce a single dad with 4 children exposed that he could NOT take up employment and even despite being on JSA because there is no child care provision that enables him to do so (and by the way my figures in the charts above exclude child care costs which are also paid out in benefits, or at least 70% of them which would see the benefits bill rise so much more!)

Bruce was not seeking the ever increasing zero hours contract type of employment that no form of child care provision can accommodate due to employers demanding employees drop everything and come in at a moments notice; this was a job at Barclays Bank and no child care provision was available of a Saturday or, very tellingly, for him to do what he called the late finish of 5.30pm as by the time he commuted back from Birmingham the child care provision would be closed.

Child care provision for ZHC’s and other such unstable employment is far worse than a job at Barclays Bank and quite simply does not exist.  This practical or stating the bloody obvious constraint appears nowhere in the government thinking and the policy is systemically unfair to the lone parent such as Bruce, who make up 60% of all benefit-capped households.

The case of Colleen a grandmother in her 60’s who took on her four grandchildren because the Mother was unable to do so saves the country a fortune in care costs for her grandchildren which Panorama said was £100k per year for the 4 children, though it could easily be £100k per child and £400k per year and which Colleen gets £29,000 per year from social services as a kinship carer.  That is ridiculous and truly offensive … yet also a distortion as the overwhelming majority of kinship carers go unpaid and there is estimated to be at least 170,000 of them in the UK.

How can someone receiving Carers Allowance Now belatedly be exempt from the overall benefit cap yet a kinship carer, paid or unpaid, is not?  That question was asked to Caroline Nokes the government minister who did not answer it at all and then spouted nonsense about discretionary housing payments and the outright lie that personalised support is available to job seekers which it is not (see here)

The same question was put by Colleen to her squirming Tory MP and he too had no answer to it yet still defended the overall policy when he and his Tory colleagues clearly did not have a clue on what they voted for … plus ca change … yet as I have said any times the reduction to the overall benefit cap level was also in the Labour Party’s 2015 general election manifesto, which not only shows their ignorance of the policy and its impacts, but now prevents them from opposing the policy publicly because it was in their manifesto!

The 2010 – 2015 coalition of Tory and Lib Dems saw Labour shit-scared to oppose any so-called ‘welfare’ policy in case they were labelled the party OF welfare and culminated in the truly offensive publicly stated policy of Rachel Reeves while the Shadow DWP Minister of Labour is the party of those in work not out of it!

This means that there is no political opposition to the overall benefit cap and it has had a free ride to spout its many myths, errors of fact and to demonise anyone who receives ‘benefits’ in the well established scrounger narrative that the electorate has bought hook line and sinker

But let’s get back to the fact I mentioned at the beginning – that the overall benefit cap policy if the benefit-capped households could work would cost the country FAR MORE in benefits.  The policy is economically bankrupt and 100% ideological nonsense and the timidity of all opposition parties now to oppose it is compromised.

The policy is here to stay and so will it impacts which beside being truly offensive will also cost the public purse billions more per year in the homelessness costs its creates – another issue the Panorama broadcast missed and largely because of its timing.

Just before the swingeing reductions in the OBC level cam in from November 7 2016 I was approached and met with many TV producers including Panorama who were all keen to make a broadcast taking the household from receipt of benefit cap letter through to the end result of homelessness or employment.

I informed they should delay the programme for two months as then they would see whichever outcome yet they were all rigidly tied to the broadcast date of late March to early April.

I also informed it would be inevitable that local councils would find additional money of their own in Q4 of 2016/17 to supplement whatever they had left of their central government allocated DHP budgets as this would save each local council far more than the alternate cost of homeless provision AND that the real issue with the meagre DHP budgets would really start to hit from May or June 2017.

I also informed that the true numbers of benefit-capped households would not be released until August 2017 when the DWP release the benefit-capped data for May 2017 – a complex issue to explain but figure are 3 months in arrears in release and each sweep of LA data takes place over a 10 week period so that the may 2017 release of the February 2017 data would not even include many of the larger councils benefit cap reduction implementation dates in late January 2017 and a few other reasons too.

I also informed that they would struggle to find families to come forward which all TV and TV production companies did as pride and other factors would kick in and note well that the Channel 4 Dispatches programme of a week or so ago only involved families who were already capped before the swingeing reductions of £250 pcm and £500 pcm took place.

All TV programmes have missed the benefit cap and what it means and all should have delayed their research and broadcast as if Panorama or any other did a follow-up programme on it in summer of 2017 the real horrors of the policy will be there for all to see with rampant child homelessness and even council landlords refusing to accommodate the family liable for the benefit cap which is the death of the housing safety net created in the 1948 Welfare State.

In short the shit is really going to hit the fan very soon yet all the TV channels will miss it and the opposition parties have neutered themselves in opposing it and every MP surgery will see benefit-capped and shortly to be evicted tenants and tenant refused even the cheapest form of rented housing by the score … and the electorate will continue to believe this policy is fair because they have been told nothing but that in mistake after mistake and nobody has the balls to say they were wrong in not challenging this policy previously.

Five years ago and before the OBC began I did any presentations at housing events and began to blog that the OBC was by fare the worst and most dangerous of the misnamed welfare reforms which in reality are mostly cuts to housing benefit entitlement.  They mainly focused on its original systemic flaw that the cap figure, then £26,000 per year, remained a constant one while benefit levels and especially inflation-busting rents would see more and more affected.  They also included illustrations of when (not if) the OBC level was reduced to £20,000 per year and what that would mean.

Nobody argued with the figures as they could not do so as they were facts and undeniable.  Many said I was being Dystopian or scaremongering in saying the cap level would reduce but I was proven right just as I was over the shared accommodation rate being introduced to social housing and many other housing and housing benefit related changes and cuts.

Many in housing still said I was wrong that social landlords would (a) evict existing tenants and (b) refuse allocations to the 385,000 or so new social housing tenancies they create each year to benefit-capped families.

Panorama proved me right on the first point last night as it revealed the Wirral housing association was resolute in going ahead with its possession case (which I have found out is 100% benefit cap generated arrears not pre-existing) until miraculously a benefit cap DHP was found.  When in Wirral and every other local authority the DHP budgets run out very quickly in this 2017/18 financial year expect thousands if not tens of thousands more social housing evictions due directly to the benefit cap.

Also expect social landlords to refuse former private sector tenants as the benefit cap takes away the safety net that social landlords USED to provide in this scenario.  Also expect the chances of many tens of thousands of existing bedroom tax cases who have been reliant on DHP to no longer get one as it suits every LA to transfer DHP to benefit cap cases to save itself more, which the facts show has been happening in London councils since 2013 and now will happen nationally.  This in turn will see far more bedroom tax evictions due to this benefit cap consequence – all of which I have posited any time before and been called a scaremonger for saying.

Panorama went some way to proving what I have been saying all along about child care and about inability to work and other benefit cap aspects, yet there is still a long way to go in seeing the true picture of the benefit cap impacts and however much the Tories and the BBC and others as its propagandist vehicle try to keep from us.

___________________

PS – Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of CPAG, brava for your part in the Panorama broadcast.

 

BBC weaves its tangled web over the Benefit Cap

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive is clearly the BBC Panorama intention tonight when it reports its very narrow distorted view (i.e. not a panorama at all!) over the swingeing reductions in the Tories overall benefit cap policy.

 

The BBC website here which is promoting this programme as news and investigative news is only promoting fake news and is promoting a chronic distortion of the reality of the policy especially who it affects.

Figure 1 – The Panorama Deception and Fake News

Oh dear! Just how wrong and just how much of a deception and distortion is the above pie chart which the BBC has issued on its website?  Let’s take a look:

Firstly the title of this “What a family of six …..

The amount of ‘benefit’ (base social security benefit, child benefit, child tax credits and housing benefit) differs for a lone parent with 5 children (a family of six) to that of a couple with four children who are also a family of six!

Secondly, which is perhaps the greatest (and deliberate BBC?) deception of all as the illustration uses “Job Seekers Allowance” which is only received by 13% of all families who are hit by the overall benefit cap as the official figures issued by the DWP reveal.

Figure 2 – Tab 6 of the Official Benefit Cap data from DWP

As you can see just 13.29% of families who are benefit-capped receive Job Seekers Allowance yet the BBC chose to use this benefit to give the hugely deceitful view that families who are benefit-capped are on the dole (JSA) and thus ready and able to work by virtue of receiving the dole.

Far more benefit-capped families receive the incapacity benefit ESA than receive the dole and by virtue of this they are unable to work due to the incapacities they have (and have been rigorously assessed as being incapacitated too!)

This ESA cohort are those in the work-related activity group or WRAG and the rationale for this is they are expected to work in up to two years and if they receive support.  Yet as I pointed out a few days ago in a post entitled “BBC complicit in Tory propaganda over ESA cuts”  no such support exists, it is a chimera and ethereal concept that exists only in the minds of government.

NB that while this ESA cohort attempt for two years to be ready and able for work that they will be hit with the swingeing cuts to the overall benefit cap policy that largely apply just to housing benefit (HB and LHA) and so they will be long evicted and homeless before they can actually find and take up this work!

Directly under the deliberately deceitful pie chart (Figure 1) above the BBC website has the government response which is the usual political sophistry:

Welfare delivery minister Caroline Nokes said: “What we sought to do was incentivise work because we know that the outcomes for children will be better if they are in families that are working.

Given that just 13% of those who are benefit-capped and thus ready and able to work as the official FACTS demonstrate, this quote and its use and positioning by the BBC is deliberate bias and deception.  It attempts to say that families are only benefit-capped because they won’t get off their lazy backsides and get a job when even if every single recipient of JSA was this stereotypical scrounger that the government choose to portray then 87% of those benefit-capped do not conform to this scrounger narrative … that the BBC love to infer too!

The majority of benefit-capped families are lone parents at over 52% of all cases with preschool age children which is why they receive Income Support.  These families are hit with the £500 per calendar month cuts to the benefit cap the Tories implemented for the 87% of the country who live outside of London – and yes that means a Mother of a day old baby is hit by this cut and is expected to go out to work to avoid the massive cut to housing benefit and at severe risk of losing the roof over her head and that of the day old baby!

This benefit-capped cohort is both the unable to work cohort who need child care provision and the not expected to work cohort because of the preschool age children.  Unable to work here largely means child care provision which is scarce generally and non-existent outside of Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm when most of the zero hours contracts and other typically similar employment is available.

Zero hours contracts which is working at the demand of the employer and often with little notice doesn’t sit at all with the availability of child care – a point that is acutely relevant for the MAJORITY of all benefit-capped families yet the BBC website chooses to wholly ignore the realities of this policy and who the benefit cap affects  and instead promotes that all benefit-capped families are poverty porn TV stereotypes much to the glee of the Goebbelsian Conservative Party!

I will leave it there for now yet rest assured I will pick up every distorted nuance of this BBC Panorama programme and come back with the likely many more deliberate politicised distortions, deceits and fake news that it contains which the BBC website piece above seeks deliberately and knowingly to distort beyond any semblance of reality in order to appease its huge Tory bias.

What a tangled web you actually do weave BBC as its abundantly clear you are deliberately and knowingly practising to deceive!

UPDATE – and just how much the BBC and Tories deceive!

The BBC chart they used on their website at Figure 1 above is for a couple with 4 children and the BBC tells us they get just 50 pence per week in Housing Benefit

Now what would happen to the amount of ‘benefit’ if this two parent four child couple did what the government wanted to escape the overall benefit cap and one parent got a 30 hour per week job paying the minimum wage?

Here is the equivalent pie chart of that for the two parent 4 child couple living in London with a private rent of £360 per week – and they will receive a total of £34,368.72 in ‘benefit’ which is over £11,000 per year more in benefit than if they were not working and hit by the £23,000 benefit cap in London.

So for this family doing what the Tories want and incentivise in the words of Caroline Nokes above they will receive £11,368.72 more per year in benefit and £218.63 more in benefit per week.

This household will pay a whopping £7.07 per week in National Insurance and £0.00 per week in Income Tax and the additional £218.63 per week they receive in benefit adds to the additional net wage income of £208.93 per week.

The London private rented tenant

The Regions and in Housing Association 3 bed

Here is the same pie chart for the 2 parent 4 child household living in the regions in a 3 bed housing association property paying the national average affordable rent of £138 per week (and one parent working 30 hours at minimum wage)

This 2 parent 4 child family in the regions will get £22,824.92 per year in benefit which is £2,824.92 MORE in benefit per year – £54.33 per week more in benefit – and they too will pay just £7.07 per week in National Insurance and pay zero in Income Tax and have the £208.93 per week of net wages to add to this.

These pie charts explain that the family IN WORK receive vastly more in benefit than the out of work family the government and the BBC are so keen to blame and chastise.

That is the scale of the BBC and Tory deception – Go Figure!!!

_________________________

Notes:  The above figures use the Entitledto online calculator and use £7.20 as the minimum wage as tax credits are based on the previous financial years wages (2016/17) when the minimum wage of £7.20 per hour applied.  Each case assumes no child care costs.  The exact same results occur when using any other calculator.

In short …

 

And for completeness here is another crude graphic comparing the BBC propagandist bullshit to the 2 parent 4 child family living in London in the private rented sector – revealing the staggering amount of over £11,000 per year MORE in benefit if one parent works 30 hours per week at minimum wage than if neither parent work (assuming they are capable of work)

Anyone think it is time for those pesky and extremely inconvenient FACTS to change the fake new, blatant propagandist bullshit the Tory government are saying and use the BBC as its partner in crime for this?

Embarrassment as DWP has to amend its bedroom tax guidance lies

The DWP has been forced to amend its earlier guidance issued to local authorities in the A3 HB circular of 2017 with an updated version today that contains a very begrudged apology

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused BUT …”

I reported on this here on 2 March 2017 and said the DWP were misleading local councils by limiting the Supreme Court decision in Carmichael to just those with a PHYSICAL disability which the hastily screen copied section of my post below sums up

As you can see the regulations on the left say just ‘disability’ yet the guidance issued to decision makers in local councils on the right above says and repeats the term PHYSICAL disability only.  The DWP were deliberately deceiving local council HB decision makers.

Today the DWP re-issued the A3/2017 HB circular guidance to local councils (here) and, lo and behold,  the word PHYSICAL appears nowhere in its 18 pages of guidance to local council decision-makers!!

 

 

No DHP under Universal Credit?

The government has released a Guide to Housing under Universal Credit which contradicts its own policies and even the law when it comes to Discretionary Housing Payments or DHP.

If “Discretionary housing payments are a temporary solution ..” as this guide says then why does the government guidance issued to local authorities say they can be paid on a long term basis?  Even more bizarre given that the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham lost a judicial review case over their failure to even look at an indefinite DHP award recently!

Also the DWP has used DHP indefinite awards as the basis of its legal defence in the bedroom tax cases of MA & Ors which the (gullible) Supreme Court has accepted as mitigating the clearly found discrimination that policy holds.

Yet what also jumped off the page at me was the second emphasis above and how this relates to the overall benefit cap policy:

To receive discretionary housing payments you must be entitled to Universal Credit, including the housing costs element...”

In the existing system a couple with say 5 children way exceed the overall benefit cap level and yet receive a nominal fifty pence per week in Housing Benefit so that they ARE eligible to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment.  This is the only reason they are awarded this nominal 50 pence per week.

Yet under Universal Credit the same household does not get this nominal 50 pence per week in hosting costs payment (the UC replacement for HB) and so they do not receive any housing costs payment.

Receiving and being entitled to are two separate issues and even though this illustrative couple with 5 children do not receive any housing costs payment they are still entitled to it and be assessed for it.

I suspect this is just poor wording yet the following sentence says

You will need to check with your local authority to see if you can claim a discretionary housing payment.

Anyone can claim a DHP even a multi-billionaire and of course not qualify and the wording could be read by your local council that they could exclude you from getting a DHP because you do not get a penny for housing costs under Universal Credit and they therefore have the ability to exclude you from a DHP on this basis.

While I still suspect this is incredibly poor drafting and nothing more I couldn’t help but smile at the apparent reason this new Universal Credit guide has not been issued on the http://www.gov.uk website … which is because that site does not like graphics!

Ah the full DIGITAL roll out of Universal Credit!!

BBC complicit in Tory propaganda over ESA cuts

“The government says new (ESA) claimants will receive personal support packages with practical help to enter the workforce when they are ready.”

So reported verbatim BBC Breakfast News this morning in relation to the £20.05 per week cut to new claimants of incapacity benefit ESA.  The broadcast today, Monday 3 April 2017, is here and go to 2 hours 10 minutes to see the broadcast.

This claim and DWP canard is utter bollocks and no support exists.

There is NO package of support at all never mind a personal and tailored practical support package as the BBC reported.

No support whatsoever and the government spokesperson who informed the BBC over this is lying … and as per usual BBC journalists simply repeat whatever canard they are told by the DWP instead of checking if this government statement was true, valid or factual in any way shape or form.  It isn’t and it is a LIE!

ESA – Employment & Support Allowance replaced Incapacity Benefit which tells you all you need to know about those who receive it.  Recipients are assessed (ahem!) into two groups namely the Support group who are not expected to work and the WRAG – the work related activity group – who are expected to be able to take up some form of employment within two years IF they get support.

As no such support exists they are often sanctioned and receive no money at all and the constant stress of being required to seek employment brings on greater levels of disability especially in terms of mental health.

Government figures also show 65% of those who appeal their failing ESA decision that they are fit for work and placed in the WRAG rather than the Support group get this decision overturned.

There is a national 65% success rate at ESA appeals and some agencies I am personally aware of such as F.A.C.E. (Fight, Appeal, Challenge, Everything) have a greater than 99% success rate in overturning ESA fit for work decisions.

Recently I spent a few days speaking with Karen Price the founder of F.A.C.E. a not for profit community interest company (CIC) who began three years ago and is still staffed on a voluntary basis looking at what they do, who refers to them and their astonishing appeal success record in all social security benefits not just ESA. Their work includes Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, DLA to PIP, ESA, Housing Benefit, PIP and so many others challenges and appeals are undertaken and their example illustrates and typifies a huge number of issues and indeed reasons why up to £33 billion per year of welfare (social security benefits and tax credits) goes unclaimed in the UK.  That is £90 million per day that is entitled to yet goes unclaimed

F.A.C.E. receive a majority of referrals from Citizens Advice Bureaux, Job Centre Plus and social landlords own welfare teams.  This reflects the complexity of the cases they undertake and more significantly the extensive time involvement which means such cases are too costly for CABx and others who all tend to have what are called outcome-based funding regimes.  In short, this means here is £100k per year of funding that is conditional on seeing 1000 cases which equates to £100 of funding per case.  That stinks yet in most cases is all there is!

There are 8 CAB offices in Liverpool with many only opening part-time hours and only 1 of them I am informed represents claimants at tribunal which gives a part-time post code lottery as to such support and advice in terms of benefit appeals. If this is reflected nationally and it appears to be the case then services are funding-led and not needs-led – just another factor in why entitlements to benefit are not taken up by those who need and qualify for them.  I am not seeking to disparage CABx or other welfare rights agencies to be clear; I am merely stating what the reality is and some reasons behind the lack of claimant support services in relation to claiming benefit entitlement.

This £100 per case example above limits most welfare rights agencies such as CABx to 3 – 4 hours per case whereas a typical F.A.C.E. case can involve 25 if not 30 hours of work needed or ten times the amount of involvement.  CABx and other welfare rights organisations by direct consequence of this outcome (and in reality output) based funding sees many now necessarily focus more on debt advice rather than getting claimants the social security benefits they are entitled to.  A reactive response rather than a proactive one in simple terms.

Another reason is that the Tories stopped legal aid for welfare benefit cases a few years ago and before it did many solicitors had welfare benefit officers attached to them who because they got legal aid meant funding for welfare benefit appeals was demand led and largely available.  This no longer happens and solicitors can now only claim legal aid for higher court cases such as the Upper Tribunal and even then this is often restrictive levels of funding and a very limited number of cases go down this route.

The context is that even the DWP official figures admit somewhere between £2.8 and £3.9 billion per year of ESA alone is entitled to yet goes unclaimed and the typical CABx funding regimes and removal of legal aid for welfare benefit appeals as well as the welfare benefit scrounger narrative and the deliberately incomprehensible forms used for these benefits are all apparent as constraints to vulnerable people getting the welfare that they are entitled to!

When we drill down into the official figures we find for example that pensioners with a disability in Liverpool alone miss out on over £12 million per year in Attendance Allowance, the pensioner form of disability benefit, which the Tories are seeking to change from a national social security benefit into a locally administered pot of money to save the up to 28% of it that now goes unclaimed!

So not only do pensioners miss out on disability benefits they are entitled to, the Tories are seeking to take away the pensioner’s right to get this disability benefit in the first place!  IF the Tories are allowed to do this which they have been planning for some time then the blame for the non-availability of such pensioner disability funding also passes from central to local government, which is another typical aspect of the Tories social security and welfare strategy that the LHA maxima cap policy will repeat and in some earnest!

Last week I attended a seminar called #whosebenefit in Liverpool  – about a new academic book from Ruth Patrick who followed numerous families for five years detailing their experiences of the so-called welfare reforms – with Karen from F.A.C.E. and it included other speakers from the Guardian and the local council on the same ‘welfare reform’ subject.

In the Q&A that followed Karen said just the claimant filling in the ESA1 form themselves means the claimant has lost 10 points from the start which raised eyebrows from the largely academic audience yet they quickly realised upon her explanation was and is an extremely valid point (that alone could spawn 20 different doctoral theses!)

Completing this extremely tortuous form unaided means in the DWP view that the person is capable of work and is capable of following directions easily and is therefore fit for work.  What the claimant puts on this form is given more weight than the professional view of the claimant’s GP or consultant or other specialist by the DWP’s non-expert decision-making staff.

The same goes for the PIP form.  Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the Tories designed PIP with the expressly stated intention of removing 600,000 people who receive DLA.  Right now we are seeing a national transition from DLA to PIP and that includes those whose DLA was awarded indefinitely in the past and whose disabilities have got worse not being awarded anything at all in PIP!

This indefinite DLA cohort believe (wrongly!!!) as they have been awarded DLA indefinitely that they will naturally receive PIP in this transition and so they complete the tortuous PIP2 form themselves.  They then lose their DLA and are rightly angered by it.  To illustrate the scale of this at the same #whosebenefit seminar Ros Wynne-Jones who chaired the seminar apologised to the audience for mentioning in her Daily Mirror Real Britain column that 800 disabled persons are losing their mobility car each week!

The apology was that it is 900 persons per week who are losing their mobility car in the DLA to PIP transition not 800!!

The system is corrupt and in relation to the ESA and PIP and other social security forms I can’t begin to describe just how tortuous these forms actually are and how individualistically (is that even a word!) that they need to be completed! The old and typically 32 page housing benefit claim form (the HB1) that my largely housing audience will know of was and is simple to complete and is a see one, do one, teach one basis as the same answers are required.

Yet the 63-page ESA1 Form used to claim ESA and the 40 page PIP2 form and both have lengthy accompanying notes are task-oriented and means that each claimant has an individual answer as to how their incapacities and disabilities affect their ability to complete tasks such as preparing food, washing, bathing and toileting, dressing and undressing, communication and so on – with each case seeing the different side effects of medication taken affecting each task.

Each form is thus hugely individualistic and not a see one, do one, teach one form and their tortuous nature alone explain why it needs the 25 hours plus I referred to above to complete properly. Yet often even that is not enough and whilst at F.A.C.E. Karen showed me an example of a man who had his voicebox removed over 20 years ago who scored zero points on ‘communication’ in his PIP assessment!!

One manifestation of so many losing DLA and so many ESA Support Group claimants being demoted to the WRAG group is that these households then lose their exemption from the likes of the overall benefit cap policy which then puts these incapacitated and still disabled households at risk of eviction due to arrears as a result of the alleged fit for work tests in the sham work capability assessments.

The extremely high resource time and the very specific expertise needed just to complete the tortuous ESA and PIP forms makes this a significant financial problem for social landlords which is where the majority of the ESA and DLA cohorts live.  These are not see one, do one, teach one forms such as the old HB1 Housing Benefit claim form, they are extremely individualistic forms that require a very high time involvement with the claimant (the tenant) to complete correctly … an even that assumes the tenant as the claimant is willing to tell their landlord of the very private persona circumstances their incapacities and disabilities manifest.

How many tenants will tell their landlords or even the CAB that their infirmities mean they have a bucket next to them to urinate in as they struggle to make it upstairs to the only toilet they have?  Pride kicks in and understandably so … and that example is much more common that anyone imagines.  And yes these are the same cases that the DWP finds fit for work and tells the BBC they have a practical and personal support package to get them into work!

Do you have a bucket under tour desk in the job you do reader?!

Again addressed to the social housing professional and especially their welfare teams whether in-house or externally funded or just sign-posted to otheragencies would your tenants tell you they piss into a bucket as they can’t make it up the stairs when you have been bombarding them with red-inked letters over paying the rent with the bedroom tax, benefit cap or Universal Credit?

Would such tenants trust you enough to tell you that?  I strongly doubt it and that explains one of the key reputational risks to landlords that I have been banging on about for the past 5 years over all of the so-called welfare reforms.

The same of course goes for local councils who, even with the best will in the world, will not see tenants and citizens tell them that they piss in a bucket because councils like landlords are seen as the establishment and tenant pride kicks in to negate the best-intentioned welfare-maximising services that councils have.

What we have now in terms of general needs housing is a populace who need as much support just for the welfare benefits they are entitled as we had when I first entered highly complex needs supported housing more than 20 years ago.  The average general needs social housing resident NEEDS a hugely increased level of support and advice just for claiming the tortuously complex social security benefit system that used to be the sole preserve of supported housing.

Yet unlike in supported housing where the relationship of trust that exists between resident and support worker is critical and sacrosanct, no such relationship of trust exists between general needs tenant and social landlord and, regrettably, the past few years has only seen so-called social landlords erode any trust that previously existed with their sole focus on their own bottom lines and red-inked bombardment of welfare reform affected tenants.

To put this back into very specific context the above is why facts – yes those pesky little buggers again – are so important such as there are more benefit capped households in receipt of ESA at 15% of all cases than there are in receipt of dole or JSA at 13% and that is why the inordinately complex world of claiming and maintaining disability and incapacity benefits is so crucial to social landlords arrears risk and their bottom lines.

Yet social landlords wrongly and ineptly concentrate on and spend their money on basic work related issues such as how to write a CV when the majority of their at risk of arrears tenants are often unable to work because they have incapacities and disabilities which prevent work and they have no support to claim what they are entitled to … just like the so-called support that the BBC report exists in the ethereal minds of this government that does not exist.

Disabled and incapacitated claimants who don’t have a pot to piss in before this ESA cut invariably do piss in a bucket while the DWP and the BBC simply piss in the wind!

_______________________

Forgot to mention that the new ESA WRAG cohort will just receive £73.10 per week the same as JSA.  This was the rate in April 2015 and has been frozen to the end of this parliament in May 2020 and note the social security benefit rates for financial year 2020/21 are set before the end of this parliament.

So this freeze which the DWP and government refer to as a 4 year freeze is actually a SIX YEAR one as the rates that applied from April 2015 will be the same ones that apply up until the end of March 2021!

FURTHER UPDATE

Perhaps the BBC could have referenced this House of Commons report on ’employment support’ (I use the term very loosely indeed!) which is due to begin in the AUTUMN of 2017

Or even the Guardian article on this in January 2017 here which said, correctly, that ’employment support’ would reduce by 75% in this nefarious Tory plan – and note this support is described as ‘voluntary’ whatever the hell that means!!

Goebbels would be proud of the BBC! Arbeit Macht Frei!

Voluntary?  There is a seminal difference between saying ‘the disabled want to work’  as the DWP oft repeat in hugely offensive language and forcing them to work with sanctions if they do not work … and sanctions given by private sector companies who will run this allegedly voluntary ’employment support’ scheme that is allegedly going to begin in the Autumn of 2017.  Is that Autumn as in Autumn Statement which happen in November by any chance?

Still makes perfect sense for the Tories to start it then as that will a nice build up of all new ESA claimants from April (ie today) until this 75% reduced and alleged personal and practical support (which is apparently voluntary!) who have been sanctioned and thus scared witless into these free labour schemes for UK employers …

Work will set you free!!

Is it any coincidence that Arbeit Macht Frei has the same scansion as Esther McVey?

Some more (nefarious) detail on this alleged “employment support” 

Firstly, note the use of “from” in this alleged support – the roll out will start FROM April and FROM the summer.

Secondly, those who are placed in the ESA wrag will have a new ‘claimant commitment’ FROM (again) the ‘summer’ – and yet in the House of Commons report on the DWP committee and scrutiny on this above it was stated as being voluntary yet now (after any parliamentary scrutiny) it is now a condition of getting ESA in the individual disabled claimants case.

This means job centre staff will be determining whether an ESA claimant can or can not do any given job – and if refusing this claimed but now clearly NOT voluntary activity then the disable claimant will of course be sanctioned!

This DWP press release goes on …

… to show the DWP left hand has no bloody clue what the DWP right hand has already done to those on ESA and in the WRAG with the overall benefit cap.

Under the Overall Benefit Cap the ESA WRAG recipient is NOT exempt and is subject to the swingeing housing benefit cut which averages around £76 per week when their youngest baby is 2 SECONDS old and they can only escape this swingeing cut IF they work … which I have reported on and repeated numerous times over the last 18 months … just as I have reported on the same issue I state above that there are more benefit-capped households on ESA than there are on JSA for the last 18 months too.

The DWP position to those receiving ESA and in the WRAG is we accept you need support for up to 2 years to get employment and we have never previously provided it but we will deceive everyone that we are now going to (that is future tense) provide some pretence at it and while we don’t expect you to find work in that time we will cut your housing benefit anyway so you and your children are evicted for rent arrears and made homeless before the ’employment support’ actually kicks in!!