Saturday, 15 March 2014

Redefining ‘Fairness’…

Nearly 70,000 job seekers have had their benefits withdrawn unfairly
Oh..? Without cause? At random? Just because someone in the DWP felt like it?
Policy Exchange says almost a third of all people who break their job search conditions for the first time have their benefits taken away by mistake and face unnecessary hardship as a result.
Ah. I see. There are rules. They break ‘em. What’s so hard to understand?
Guy Miscampbell, the author of the Policy Exchange report, said: "It is clear that there are a significant number of people who have their benefit taken away from them unfairly. Four weeks without any money is driving people to desperate measures including a reliance on food banks".
Oh, food banks! Those much needed charitable…

Wait. What?
The claim is made in a BBC Panorama documentary broadcast on Monday evening, which found that over a third of local authorities in England and Wales were providing funding for food banks, despite government claims that charity food is not a part of the social security system.
"Food banks are an inadequate plaster over a gaping wound," Dowler said.
Really? Because, to me, they seem like a combination of a middle-class employment generation scheme and a way of ensuring that, once again, there are no consequences…
Policy Exchange suggests issuing first-time offenders, who may or may not have been fairly sanctioned, with a 'yellow card' in the form of a benefits card. It says this would be a more compassionate way of trying to help people back into work. Benefits would be accessed via this card for a maximum of eight weeks.
If the claimant continues to breach job search conditions, the card and benefits would be taken away. This system would provide a safety net, mitigating hardship while a sanction is appealed, forcing claimants to re-engage with Jobcentre staff and deterring non-compliance through the added inconvenience of daily sign on.
Inconvenience? Well, I suppose having them miss a live episode of ‘Jeremy Kyle’ is something (they’ll just set their Sky 3D box to ‘series link’, though) that a think-tank drone believes is a fitting trade-off for throwing taxpayer’s money at ensuring there are no possible consequences to the workshy.

Pass the biscuits and the fancy coffee round the table again. What’s next on the agenda?


Quiet_Man said...

Ah, the soft-left think tank Policy Exchange. They have the gall to consider themselves conservative, but in reality they're just the usual lentil chomping liberal leftards social workers. Basically they are proponents of the magic money tree theory of socialist economics where money is simply handed over without thought of actually who supplies it (hint, it isn't the government)

tolkein said...

No, I'm afraid you're wrong on this Julia.

Forms are complicated and easy to get wrong. Someone in 50s loses job for the first time, eventually signs on and gets something wrong. Lose benefit for four weeks. they've paid taxes for decades. Meanwhile Ms and Mr Stabby McChav get their forms corrected for them by DWP staff - otherwise they'll get their head kicked in. The first named is usually bewildered and Food Banks help them. Our Church helps at the local FoodBank and we hear too many of these stories to doubt there's truth in them. The State is supposed to be on our side, after all. They've paid taxes, so why kick them hard now?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

There are rules. Worthless public-sector parasite thinks they break ‘em.


andy5759 said...

You've put my thoughts into words. I have had three occasions to sign on in my 40 working years. Each time I have felt that I am missing a trick.

The Blocked Dwarf said...

Kinda agree with Tolkein-except anyone in their 50s would have been educated back when we had an education system and therefore should be literate enough to cope with the JSA forms!

Saw a TV report recently about Food Banks - German Food Banks. I was shocked that 1. Germany should NEED Food Banks- I blame Gert The Shredder and 2. that, worryingly and increasingly, the 'clientele' weren't OAPS or 'Scroungers' but young GERMAN couples/families IN WORK!

I'm told by friends who use Food Banks here that the number of these "New Poor" (ie employed but in Fuel Poverty) is increasing rapidly too although many , strictly speaking, aren't even allowed to access the Food Bank and that the Food Banks are having to turn a blind eye.

Anyone on Minimum Wage and paying full council tax has to choose between buying food and heating these days it seems.