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Welfare reform - IDS interview this morning

32 replies

ISNT · 14/11/2010 17:16


Reading the the report (I didn't see the interview live) one thing jumps out at me - the statement that "If you as a parent, in a family, point blank refuse to take work - and, by the way, this could be work tied in with your caring responsibilities, they have the discretion to do that - then the answer is you will be losing some".

Does anyone know what he means by work "tied in" with caring responsibilities?

A lot else to talk about in the interview, not least that people with a child/ren aged between 1 and 5 can have their benefits cut by up to 40% if they don't attend a work-focused interview, with no ability for the advisor to show leniency for "good cause" (which they can do in other situations).

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ISNT · 14/11/2010 17:18

ie if they have a good reason for not being able to go to the appointment it's an "automatic fail" whereas for other ones if they have a good reason for cancelling etc the advisor can take it into account before cutting benefits.

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newwave · 14/11/2010 18:45

I would like to see someone drop their kids off with the adviser so they can attend the interview and tell them if they get the job this will be a daily occurance :o

May1808 · 14/11/2010 18:56

I have no idea what he means by work tied in with caring responsibilities and I doubt he does either. Sounds like media freindly bluster bollocks to me.

What a vile man.

newwave · 14/11/2010 18:59

May, I detest the tories but IDS does seem to be one of the better ones.

ISNT · 14/11/2010 19:14

I don't like the way that so many things seem to be said on an almost "offhand" way, and there's no way of guessing what they actually mean, or if they even mean it.

This - it could mean anything! And it's pretty important...

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huddspur · 14/11/2010 19:21

We live in the era of soundbites. Politicans often use words and phrases that no-one really understands.

newwave · 14/11/2010 19:28

Even the tory wanker saying them :o

PropertySnake · 14/11/2010 19:29

He means work that fits round school hours, for example. You aren't going to be forced to take a job outside of school hours if you have children. Makes perfect sense to me. Grin

newwave · 14/11/2010 19:37

Snake, that seems ok as there will be lots of that type of work available after the ConDems destoy over a million plus jobs.

ISNT · 14/11/2010 20:54

Do you think so propertysnake? I considered that and then dismissed it on the basis that surely they weren't giving themselves a fanfare for saying parents didn't have to work when it was impractical eg nights. Also the way it is worded doesn't sound like that to me. The nearest guess I can make is that people with caring responsibilities will get pointed told to do care work? But that doesn't sound right either Confused

What do people think about the "no buts and no excuses" specifically for parents of 1-5 year olds, while other groups are allowed to cancel / not attend if there is a reasonable reason for it? That bothers me too I have to say. So much unforeseen with children that age, and do people have to arrange childcare for these "work focused interviews". I imagine they do as otherwise it's not going to be a very productive session. My concern is - childcare falls through / child ill / anything really and it's no excuses benefits cut.

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ISNT · 14/11/2010 20:58

It's the way he says "it could be work tied in with your caring responsibilities" - which for me rules out the theory that it's about timings - otherwise he seems to be saying that there would be occasions where parents would have to do work that did not tie in with their caring responsibilities.

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byrel · 15/11/2010 10:32

I don't have a problem with the "no buts and no excuses" strategy for benefit claimants. People who are on benefits must improve the effort they put in to help themselves and improve their situation.

PropertySnake · 15/11/2010 11:09

It's for their own good. Grin

stretch · 15/11/2010 11:47

So, if you arrange childcare, then your child gets chickenpox, you cannot attend the interview (obv), so your benefits get cut??


ISNT · 15/11/2010 13:58

byrel but there is there an ability for advisors to show leniency if there is good cause for cancelling/not attending for some types of claimant, and not others. I do not believe that "no ifs, no buts" should apply for anyone TBH. If you are in hospital, or have to take your child to casualty, or someone dies, or it's as simple as you have no childcare because the person cancels at the last minute or your child is ill and no-one will take them, I do not believe that should automatically result in a 20% reduction to income. I find it strange that parents of 1-5 year olds (an age group that is pre-govt subsidised childcare and notorious for getting ill/falling off things) should have this applied to them when others do not. I don't understand it.

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ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:09

TBH (being very honest now) when I had a three year old and a one year old I actually completely forgot an important appointment once Shock And I'm a super-efficient sort of person. Having children those ages hit me like a truck - I think it was lack of sleep - and the idea that there is no leeway whatsoever under any circumstances seems very harsh to me.

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vixel · 15/11/2010 14:13

I think there should be penalties for forgetting an appointment. People forgetting appointments across public services wastes a lot of peoples time and money and should be stamped out.
I think they should allow exemptions for certain reasons but the claimant would have to prove that the reason given was why they missed the appointment.

ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:20

I just think that so many parents of one year olds are not in a good place IYKWIM - I wasn't. If they're not expecting women to go to work when they have a one year old why are they being so draconian with these appointments?

Vixel I don't know how you can prove something like your child was ill or childcare fell through or you were in hospital or you got hit by a car on your way there etc. These things do not come with proof.

I don't understand why other groups are allowed leniency if there are good reasons, but not this particular group who pretty much by definition are going to have more things going on and more things cropping up, and are far more likely to be struggling generally.

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ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:21

If anyone can explain to me why it is fair that some groups are allowed leniency but not this one, I would be grateful.

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ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:23

Vixel what do you think should have happened to me when I missed my appointment? It was with the GP.

Should I have been disbarred from NHS treatment?

I was suffering perinatal anxiety and depression and the time BTW.

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vixel · 15/11/2010 14:26

You should have been fined for missing the appointment, to help make up for some of the time and resources wasted by your non-attendance.

ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:29

I rang up and apologised and cried. I did not stop thinking about how I had done wrong for weeks. I have not made any subsequent appointments because I am so embarrassed. I was suffering perinatal anxiety and depression.

How much money should I send them. Or would it be better if I just removed myself from their books as I cannot be trusted?

Please can you also answer my other question as to how it is right that some groups are afforded leniency but others like parents of 1-5 year olds are not.

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vixel · 15/11/2010 14:31

I wouldn't give anybody leniancy unless they had a good reason which they could prove.

As for the level of fine I would probably set it at £15-20

ISNT · 15/11/2010 14:33

So if someone was hit by a car, or their child was in hospital, you would cut their benefits.


If someone can't pay the fine should the be disbarred from NHS treatment?

Should I call the GP and remove myself and my children from their books?

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pallette · 15/11/2010 14:35

To be fair ISNT, I have worked for the NHS and the non-attendance of appointments is very irritating and quite a large contributing factor to the length of waiting lists. I assume its equally frustrating for the benefits people.

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