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Is this really what people want?

(294 Posts)
mcmooncup Wed 17-Oct-12 21:00:04

I don't post much on the threads about benefits but here goes......I'm going to start.

I have a company that works in the Work Programme with long-term unemployed people. Over the last few weeks / month I have seen a dramatic shift in the provision of benefits.

Many many many many more people are being sanctioned (i.e. their benefits are being taken away from them) for missing an appointment, calling in sick for an appointment or not filling in forms correctly.

If you make a mistake with ANY of these 'obligations' under the Jobseekers allowance contract, you, from Monday, can have your benefits taken away for 3 months for the first offence, 6 months for the second and 3 years for the third.

So, I can recount a few stories for you:
Severely dyslexic man provides his job log sheet to the jobcentre and has filled out as much as he can. The jobcentre is not happy with this and sanctions him, probably for 3 months. His response....."I'm going to go homeless, I can't stand this anymore"

Man goes to an interview for a job instead of turning up for an appointment with his WP provider, called in to tell them this. Sanctioned for 2 weeks for not turning up for the appointment. Message was never passed on, and despite phone records showing he called, he was still sanctioned.

Man sanctioned for 6 months for missing an appointment because he was poorly. He is a single parent. He is thinking of suicide.

Is this really what people want?

Homelessness? Suicide?

Do people really think it motivates people to get a job? Because to believe that you have to believe that people like being on benefits, I guess?

What am I missing?

GossipWitch Mon 29-Oct-12 22:25:36

sorry skimmed over first page again ffs must stop doing that !!!

Cozza64 Fri 02-Nov-12 07:22:29

If the Government can assure that there are jobs for everyone then there may be a discussion about the removal of benefits for some who don't try hard enough to find work. It cannot and there are hundreds of thousands of degree educated people without jobs, so where does this leave those who have not managed to attain a good education for whatever reason (family background etc). If you remove benefits and people have no choice then many will turn to crime or have to beg. If they have children then the children will be starving and hungry. Is this what we want from our society?
Look at the numbers of disabled people being found "fit for work" by Atos when they have extremely debilitating illnesses and the huge stress these people are going through. To think that "Dave" had a disabled son himself (who he claimed Full benefits for in spite of being a millionaire) and he is now inflicting so much hurt and pain in the disabled and their carers.
I have never experienced such a nasty Government as this one in my lifetime and I have been around a while. This is truly a Government run by rich men for rich men and sod everybody else.

niceguy2 Fri 02-Nov-12 12:23:26

There will never be 'jobs for everyone' that world has never existed and never will.

The government are not removing benefits for all but restricting who can get them. Clearly we've got a system which is unaffordable. I think most people agree on that. The argument is over which areas to cut and no matter which area you choose, someone will always moan.

With regards to ATOS may I remind you that the contract was signed during a Labour government before the financial crisis. Even back then it was deemed that the amount of money spent was unsustainable and out of touch with reality. Yes the Conservatives/lib dems have continued this. That said, I do have deep reservations about the way the contract has been implemented but it doesn't change the fact that cuts need to be made.

I suspect you find this government 'nasty' because it has been forced to make cuts due to the fact we've no money. The simple fact of the matter is that Labour would have been forced to make the same amount of cuts had they have won. The fact they didn't is very lucky for them in my opinion.

Politics has always been a rich man's game. It's not like Ed Miliband is really a man of the people no matter what the spin is coming from his camp. Ed Balls went to private school and studied at Harvard. Hardly your average joe either.

Cozza64 Fri 02-Nov-12 16:50:10

If benefits are removed for missing an appointment etc then that is the removal of benefits. If people have their benefits removed and they have no money then how do they live? If they have children how do they feed them?

Of course there will never be "jobs for all" that's really my point therefore there will always be people that the state has to support. Or do we want to head back to the days of workhouses?

I haven't made my post party political and of course Labour would have had to make cuts. It is the speed and depth of the cuts that are making a bad situation worse - the deficit is increasing - the high streets are closing and nobody has any spare money with most struggling through from one payday to another.

The cuts are also falling disproportionately on the most poor and vulnerable members of our society with the rich still squirrelling their money away in off-shore accounts. You may be happy with that situation but I am not.

The cuts are also falling disproportionately on women and I am sure that will be reflected at the next election.

I am fully aware that Atos were brought in by Labour and what a shocking choice that was but it is well past the time these bullies were shown the door.J

This Government are also finding billions re-organising our NHS after Cameron personally promised that they would not -and all to hand it over to private companies.

In addition the "cutting back of the" State is really about taking what the state do and handing it over to the private sector. Any savings that are achieved are by cutting services whilst the shareholders and senior managers of these companies get rich on taxpayers (our) money. Of all the jobs that are claimed to have been created in the private sector how many of these were public sector jobs that have simply been outsourced.

niceguy2 Fri 02-Nov-12 20:25:02

For those who miss appointments, they get sanctioned. In other words they have their benefits 'removed' because of a failure to keep up their end of the bargain.

I do have sympathy for some who do have genuine reasons for missing appointments but I suspect the rules are so harsh because so many take the proverbial.

Genuine question for anyone who may know. If you cannot make the appointment for a genuine reason (eg. death in family/job interview/serious illness) can you call to reschedule?

AmberLeaf Fri 02-Nov-12 21:56:18

Sometimes you can call to reschedule, or at least you used to be able to sometimes

Now the smallest slight is cause for a sanction.

People are having benefits removed for unfair reasons, eg a dyslexic who had an agreement that their form where they have to document their job search would be done verbally with their signing on 'person' suddenly put on a sanction because it was not filled in sufficiently!

Actually going back to your question, I know someone who was sanctioned for not attending due to going to a job interview! also someone told not to go to a job interview because it clashed with their signing on time.

niceguy2 Fri 02-Nov-12 22:51:58

Hi Amber

From what I've read it does seem that staff are under pressure to sanction people and not really allowed to use discretion (aka common sense). Again personally I suspect it's a case of the few ruining it for the many.

AmberLeaf Fri 02-Nov-12 23:09:09

Hi smile

Yes I don't think it is staff being malicious [on the whole] I think they are under pressure to reduce numbers basically.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 03-Nov-12 00:04:14

My friend's youngest child was lying in hospital dying, not expected to last another 24 hours. When she rang up to rearrange her Work focused interview, she was told that they wouldn't rearrange as they didn't have a free appointment before her 6 months was up. They told her that if she didn't come in, her JSA would be stopped.

She didn't go. Her 6yo DD took her last breath at what would have been 10 minutes into the appointment.

She had the choice of leaving her DD to die alone and keep her benefits, or to stay with her DD to the end, and have her benefits stopped.

The fuckers stopped her JSA, which also stopped her HB claim.

So don't tell me they have ANY sympathy, NiceGuy.

AudrinaAflame Sat 03-Nov-12 01:38:51

Fucking hell Couthy.

I have no other words.

Brycie Sat 03-Nov-12 02:20:02

"Unfortunately the decent majority are being punished for the sins of the scroungers "

The people who play the system should be blamed for this. The people who defraud and play the system.

AmberLeaf Sat 03-Nov-12 09:14:03

How about, no one is allowed to drive their car anymore, due to those who dont tax and insure their cars, those have spoiled it for everyone else and it is considered fair and proportionate to punish everyone even though it is a minority that behave badly.

Would that be fair too?

MrsDeVere Sat 03-Nov-12 09:32:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VolumeOfACone Sat 03-Nov-12 10:41:03

nfk who commented on my sister's bad decisions and "shit apprentice scheme" back on page one. - Yes, she did make a bad choice borrowing for the deposit. Some young people don't always make the right choices even when they are trying to do the right thing.
My sister's placement is probably as prestigious as these sorts of things can get for a candidate with a troubled background and lack of other qualifications. Hopefully it will lead to something. She has limited options now but that isn't her fault. Her life previously, leading to this state of affairs, was not her choice, she was a child.

Anyway, I still don't think it is right that it is so so difficult to literally just live, while going through it, if you are not living with parents. I just don't. Many other people wouldn't have carried on, not because they are lazy and workshy, but because they are physically hungry and cold, and it is really really hard to continue like that.

I hadn't come back before because I felt weird talking about something so personal. I will probably regret replying again. sad

GossipWitch Sat 03-Nov-12 22:29:34

Basically the way I see it, the government want to have good statistics when they come to the next election and how better to say "there is now only x amount of people on jobseekers allowance compared to x amount of people in 2010, which means we have done our job and got people of benefits." Whilst totally missing the point that they have now made half the uk, homeless and/or hungry.

Did you know they have cut the budget for school meals too, so that tenner you pay for the school to feed your child would be better off spent on a pack up for the week, because believe me, they would get more food in them. They are also trying and have done in some area's cut funding for sen children school buses, lets not forget all the cuts to dla etc. Yet they manage to send 37mil a day to brussels !!!

Also in my area I have known 150 people turn up for an interview for 1 job, there were seven jobs going elsewhere and nearly 400 people were applying, everywhere turned people were telling others that they were applying for the same job and bitterly wishing each other good luck, its complete madness. There are not enough jobs to go round, and yet more businesses are closing every day? and now they introduce ridiculous sanctions to make people homeless and hungry, I feel so much for the sanctioned families who genuinely try their best, and I feel for the people who have to place them and then I feel for the council homeless officers because in the next year or so there case load is going to go through the roof.

Its a sad state of affairs and I will be voting labour !!

GossipWitch Sat 03-Nov-12 22:34:34

Funny how these horrendous circumstances don't fall into the national papers eh?

Darkesteyes Sun 04-Nov-12 01:30:58

How about, no one is allowed to drive their car anymore, due to those who dont tax and insure their cars, those have spoiled it for everyone else and it is considered fair and proportionate to punish everyone even though it is a minority that behave badly.

Would that be fair too?

Fab post Amber.

ttosca Tue 13-Nov-12 21:28:39

^"Unfortunately the decent majority are being punished for the sins of the scroungers "

The people who play the system should be blamed for this. The people who defraud and play the system. ^

Christ. No, the Tories should be blamed for this, as their attack on the benefit system is ideological.

The rate of fraud for every single type of benefit is below 5%. In some cases, such as for DLA, it is below 1%.

The cost of Benefit fraud in the UK is roughly £1.5 Billion:

Putting that in some kind of perspective, the department expects to spend a total of £148bn on benefits, including income support, housing benefit, disability and unemployment payments and more.

Total UK annual revenue: £600 Billion.

So benefit fraud accounts for: 1.5/600 = 0.2% of the budget!

ttosca Tue 13-Nov-12 21:30:49

These attacks on welfare claimants are ridiculous, and causing deaths and homelessness on a large scale (no exaggeration).

Meanwhile, tens of billions of tax revenue goes uncollected every year due avoidance/evasion and the UKs lax tax regime.

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