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To expect people on benefits not to be tricked out of their money

(91 Posts)
holderness Tue 05-Apr-11 18:33:28

Sorry for pinching the headline from this piece in the newspaper but couldn't think of a better way to put it.

I work with the unemployed and have seen so many cases of utter hopelessness brought about by this target (if indeed it is a target).

Once Job-seekers stops ,even for just one week,then the knock-on effect with regard to housing benefit ,council tax benefit etc is huge.

This is such a disgrace but no-one will o anything about it because ,somehow, the unemployed must deserve it.

But those who sit in judgement should know that any of the people I work with were once (and sincerely hope to be again) middle management types who lost out in the redundancy stakes.

It could be you next.That is the scary thing.

ivykaty44 Tue 05-Apr-11 18:36:15

But people don't think it will happen to them sad

GypsyMoth Tue 05-Apr-11 18:43:48

saw this the other day,shocking!

slartybartfast Tue 05-Apr-11 18:45:22

it is totally disgusting.

holderness Tue 05-Apr-11 18:48:26

You are so right Ivykaty . The pity of it is that people who are really capable in their work-lives cannot understand how this could happen to them .
But it does .By the score every day.

And the government gets to keep all of those £65.45's (yes that is what a grown person over 25 is expected to live on for a week).

jade80 Tue 05-Apr-11 18:48:30

So how would you sort out the current issues?

sparkle12mar08 Tue 05-Apr-11 18:49:39

But what did we expect from the Conservatives? They have always been this way, and will always be this way. It's what they are, how they define themselves.

YANBU to be angry and upset by it, nor to want it stopped. But anyone who is surprised by this is willfully naive.

slartybartfast Tue 05-Apr-11 18:50:19

but jade its the trickery involved that is wrong.
tryign to catch people out.
they shoudl be Helping people .
it is not their money they are giving out.

totally wrong attitude.

you dont expect a train station to sell you the most expensive seats, you expect to be helped to get some sort of cheaper deal.

expatinscotland Tue 05-Apr-11 18:54:40

I'm not at all surprised.

FabbyChic Tue 05-Apr-11 18:55:56

It is disgraceful. They do treat people like shit in Jobcentres, they have no hearts, its akin to being a copper where you join up to beat the crap out of someone and be able to get away with it.

Those who work for the Benefits Agency do so because they can treat people like shit and get away with it, is it not enough people have lost their jobs, their livlihoods then they have to go and see the scum at the Benefits Agency who are theoretically out to con them.

Tsil Tue 05-Apr-11 18:57:04

Actually slarty if they are tax payers then technically it could be their money they are giving away.

jade80 Tue 05-Apr-11 18:57:29

Oh yes, I agree that people shouldn't be tricked. Very unfair.

It sounds like some people didn't turn up for booked appointments or interviews though, or didn't apply for jobs that were offered. In which case it seems fair enough to me. Why should they get money when they won't even do those things?

But as you say, if they are misled then that's different. It just sounded like some were lazy feckers who didn't keep to their end of the bargain.

slartybartfast Tue 05-Apr-11 18:57:30

not out of their pockets tsil.

jade80 Tue 05-Apr-11 19:00:51

It is out of all of our pockets, at the end of the day though slarty. I don't begrudge that to people who are truely in need and doing their best to get back to work asap, even if it takes a while. I do begrude it to people who can't be bothered to keep their end of the deal.

Re. train companies and cheap tickets- well train companies hardly operate like charities do they, and often some digging and booking well in advance is needed to get even a half way reasonable fare.

expatinscotland Tue 05-Apr-11 19:02:18

'It is out of all of our pockets, at the end of the day though slarty. I don't begrudge that to people who are truely in need and doing their best to get back to work asap, even if it takes a while. I do begrude it to people who can't be bothered to keep their end of the deal.'

And you think only people who are not truly in need are being tricked, because those are the ones they are targetting, particularly the learning disabled.

Tsil Tue 05-Apr-11 19:02:53

Sorry Slarty but disagree if we paid less tax then we would all have more money in our pockets and our benefits system is a massive drain on the countries budget.

jade80 Tue 05-Apr-11 19:04:27

I don't believe that is what I said.

It is more that I am dubious about some of the tales of people being 'tricked' when in actual fact it sounds like they haven't bothered to turn up for interviews etc.

Learning disabled- I did notice mention of dyslexia in the article, but I fail to see how this makes someone an 'easy target'. If they are aware of an appointment and don't turn up, how is that in any way linked to their difficulty?

jade80 Tue 05-Apr-11 19:06:07

Tsil I agree. The benefit system is valuable and we are lucky to have it. It should be for those in true need though, not just an easy ticket for those who can't be arsed. So lines have to be drawn in the sand. It seems that identifying individuals who can't be arsed to keep their end of the deal is a good place to start.

holderness Tue 05-Apr-11 19:07:13

Oh Im not surprised by it happening -just overwhelmed by the rapidity of the application of the rules and how widespread the affect on claimants.
I do accept that there is a perceived problem with people claiming jobseekers when they aren't seeking a job.

But I have talked with people from a diversity of backgrounds and they have shown me their jobseeking attempts,the letters,emails etc. They say how they have built up a good working relationship with the jobcentre staff and then suddenly find one week that there isn't any money in the account.

Try doing your weekly shop and finding that your card is blocked at the till. Imagine that on a Friday before a bank holiday so nothing will be done before the following Tuesday .Except the only thing that will be done is to be informed of the extent of the sanction.Because no-one has thought to send a letter for information.

This is what most of the people I deal with have gone through for perhaps turning up 5 minutes late for a signing. Such a harsh punishment for a small misdemeanour.

Tsil Tue 05-Apr-11 19:09:21

Jade I agree our benefit system is one of the best but it IS one of the easiest to abuse and a lot of people do.

ccpccp Tue 05-Apr-11 19:11:45

A lot of these people are just going through the motions of getting a job, without really trying to get one. Thats why they are being targetted.

They havent been playing fair with the system so in these harder times the system has started to play less fair with them.

About time too.

Bonkerz Tue 05-Apr-11 19:15:25

My BIL was caught out by this. He was a manager of a small independent shop, was made redundant when the owner did a runner in the night with all stock and money, basically left with nothing. He has 4 children and had to claim.
The jobcenter told him to do an english course which he did and he had to do a test which proved he was dyslexic. At one visit the advisor told him to apply for a job that involved a written test which had to be completed in 12 minutes. My BIL explained his dyslexia and said that unless he had more time or some help to read the questions he would not be able to complete the test. My BIL THOUGHT that this had been noted and didnt take the job details from the advisor.
A week later BIL recieved a letter from housing saying they owed rent......obviously they were concerned and rang council who told them to ring job center. BIL went back to job center and was told he had a sanction and that he would be getting no money and his benefits had been stopped. When BIL got home to my sister and showed her the letter he had been given it was stated that he had refused to apply for the job......this hadnt been the case at all.....he was tricked as the advisor wrote on the computer he had said he would apply for the job when the complete opposite had happened and the advisor had rang the company and asked for special arrangements and been told they would not accomodate this and there was no point sending BIL to interview!

Result was sister breaking down BUT eventually after a few phone calls we managed to sort it out and it was reinstated BUT sis and bil still had to spend the next 6 weeks making up the weeks rent that hadnt been paid.

Thankfully BIL is now running his own buisness after realising it was the only way to get off benefits without qualifications!

holderness Tue 05-Apr-11 19:26:52

ccpccp I know its comforting to think that they must have been doing something wrong but since I speak to individuals and they all have similar tales to Bonkerz BIL there is no chance that they are lying about how the sanction has come about.

I accept ,and strangely so do most of the claimants, that punishments are necessary.But why so punitive? Why with no warning ? And why is there no quick way of appeal?

COCKadoodledooo Tue 05-Apr-11 19:27:40

This was us (dh) last year. He was claiming unemployment benefit, and had regular interviews scheduled. One of them was on the first day of our (booked and fully paid for before redundancy, with no chance of a full refund for cancellation) holiday. He was told it was fine, to call the following Monday as soon as we got back.

He called as bidden, and was told they had stopped his benefit as of the previous Monday for non-attendance hmm

holderness Tue 05-Apr-11 19:28:44

sorry -the one time I dont check my writing blush

should say [there is no chance that they are all lying about how the sanction has come about. ]

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