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Actually not in the news, but should be...

(33 Posts)
ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Mar-13 13:08:39

Why the feck is no one talking about that nasty piece of retrospective legislation pushed through Westminster yesterday?

You know the one... Judge rules workfare illegal, meaning those sanctioned whilst on it are entitled to compensation... Government pushes through retrospective legislation negating this...

This is a scary precedent because,

1)The government has shown that is can retrospectively make something that was illegal, legal and vice versa. This completely undermines the rule of Law

2)The government has done this solely to avoid paying out a relatively small amount of compensation that these people were entitled to by law.

Thumbwitch Wed 20-Mar-13 13:11:31

There's an awful lot of nasty legislation being snuck through at the moment. Poll tax will be back, for one. It's shocking - and despite it being talked about on various ranty FB pages, and some demonstrations in various parts of the country, there isn't enough popular uproar about it all.

The one you're talking about is bloody dangerous though, you're right. sad angry

meditrina Wed 20-Mar-13 13:25:08

It was reported on BBC.

Can you shortcut my googling with a link explaining which parts have retrospective action?

The Bill has gone to the Lords now. Anyone know how it is likely to be received there? Is anyone proposing an amendment to remove the retrospective bits?

meditrina Wed 20-Mar-13 13:36:58

I found this briefing note on retrospective legislation. There is more precedent than I had realised. Also Labour government support for legislation of this type.

ParsingFancy Wed 20-Mar-13 14:00:42

Guardian article: "DWP seeks law change to avoid benefit repayments after Poundland ruling"

The retroactive law also benefits the companies profiting from workfare, who might have been forced to pay their workers National Minimum Wage.

boxershorts Thu 21-Mar-13 11:38:17

Very nasty tory led government

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 11:49:34

Disgusting bunch of nasty bastards.

ttosca Thu 21-Mar-13 20:57:01

Lords condemn Government plans for jobseekers payout

Ironically it's the ES, but this article sums up eloquently what's wrong with retrospective legislation:

"The committee questioned whether it was "constitutionally appropriate" for the legislation to be retrospective, saying there was no "compelling operational requirement" for that to be the case.

"Such provision engages the cardinal rule of law principle that individuals may be punished or penalised only for contravening what was at the time a valid legal requirement," the report said.

"According to the doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament, retrospective legislation is lawful.

"Nonetheless, from a constitutional point of view it should wherever possible be avoided, since the law should so far as possible be clear, accessible and predictable.

"In scrutinising this Bill, the House will wish to consider whether retrospectively confirming penalties on individuals who, according to judicial decision, have not transgressed any lawful rule is constitutionally appropriate in terms of the rule of law."

The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill is due to complete its passage through parliament on Monday.

Independent crossbencher Lord Pannick, a member of the constitution committee, said: "This Bill is an abuse of power that brings no credit whatsoever on this Government.""

edam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:45:29

I do hope if the government gets away with this unconstitutional making-the-illegal-legal-after-the-event con trick, the victims take it further - perhaps the European Court of Human Rights?

meditrina Sat 23-Mar-13 11:48:38

Given what Harriet Harman set out about retrospective legislation, I don't think it's beyond existing powers or precedent, unfortunately.

edam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:49:02

Examples of retrospective legislation from that govt. briefing paper don't include any that make unlawful punishments lawful after the event. That is what is so wicked about this con trick.

edam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:49:32

was Harman's assertion ever tested in the courts, though?

meditrina Sat 23-Mar-13 11:54:18

Don't know: perhaps it should be, for quite a bit of what that administration brought in was found illegal (control orders springs to mind).

edam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:59:23

YY re. control orders but then TPIMs allow suspects to move back to the place where they've been hanging out with other suspects... I dunno, wish the government would sort out some legitimate way of allowing security services stuff to be used as evidence without the appalling way they are doing now, trying to bring in evidence that the other party isn't told about, isn't allowed to hear and that even their lawyers aren't allowed to hear. Seems to be that makes it impossible to have a fair hearing.

Xenia Sat 23-Mar-13 16:43:34

The state has consistently made it clear it would not pay compensation because it make this procedural breach of the rules. The courts by the way have not said workfare is illegal at all. They have said the rules must be followed.

The sooner we ensure those many skivers sitting around on benefits all day have to work for their benefits the better for those of us who work so hard and full time to keep them in idleness.

ParsingFancy Sat 23-Mar-13 17:59:20

No Xenia, the sooner they can work for wages the better.

Atm, the taxpayer is paying for them - and keeping Tesco and their ilk in clover.

LittleFrieda Sat 23-Mar-13 18:06:43

OP you need to learn the inference between retroactive and retrospective.

And Labour support this bill.

LittleFrieda Sat 23-Mar-13 18:07:15


PeneloPeePitstop Sat 23-Mar-13 18:13:53

Nice one, parsing.
I've had enough of workfare eroding the jobs market and private enterprise creaming off the profit from forced labour.

If these companies have work available then they should directly employ at minimum wage levels.

Dominodonkey Sat 23-Mar-13 18:24:23

The general concept of workfare was good but it is blatantly obvious to anyone with any sense that it should have consisted of hours linked to minimum wage/benefits (ie as many hours working as meant the person earned their benefits if they had been receiving minimum wage) and that the workers should have only worked for charities, govt funded local projects or council run environment style projects. People who were already volunteering in a useful manner (such as the girl who took the case to court) should have been entirely exempt. I agree that it is abhorrent that massive companies received cheap labour.

ttosca Sat 23-Mar-13 18:27:03

For what it's worth:

2 days left - Please Help stop the UK Governments plan to retrospectively change the law!!

ttosca Sat 23-Mar-13 18:27:33



ttosca Sat 23-Mar-13 18:28:09

It's the Boycott Welfare week of action:

Get involved!

ttosca Sat 23-Mar-13 18:28:32

Argh! *workfare.


edam Sat 23-Mar-13 19:45:42

'procedural breach of the rules' - I think you mean breaking the law.

If the unemployed make a 'procedural breach of the rules' they are punished and left destitute. But if the government does it, it's fine, somehow? That's clearly unjust.

The government took money from people illegally. They should pay that money back. It's quite clear and simple.

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