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» Yahoo Mail down - again!
by Jamboree Yesterday at 23:42

» Wonderful images - fabulous music (Part 2)
by Kitkat 20th February 2018, 21:35

» Daughter fundraising to save her terminally ill mother
by Jamboree 18th February 2018, 11:53

» Kitkat's KK Blog
by Kitkat 15th February 2018, 21:36

» Keep a Word - Delete a Word
by Jamboree 15th February 2018, 19:31

» Poetry from the heart.
by Jamboree 12th February 2018, 07:46

» A Day in The Life of a Dictator - Documentary
by Jamboree 12th February 2018, 07:21

» Guess the word
by Whiskers 9th February 2018, 20:41

» A coconut in a coffin?
by Whiskers 9th February 2018, 20:35

» Books
by Stardust 9th February 2018, 16:11

» Limericks
by bimbow 8th February 2018, 21:22

» Stardust on the Moon
by Stardust 8th February 2018, 20:13

» Bureaucats: Whiskers in the Workplace
by Whiskers 4th February 2018, 12:21

» Is there a Cathy in the place?
by Kitkat 1st February 2018, 19:17

» Delicious and nutritious
by Stardust 1st February 2018, 14:38

» Chinese New Year
by Stardust 1st February 2018, 14:17

» Feather by the sea.
by Stardust 1st February 2018, 10:37

» Message in a bottle from 1980s resurfaces in 2018
by Kitkat 28th January 2018, 12:08

» What's your emergency?
by Whiskers 27th January 2018, 13:09

» YouTube free-loading vlogger gets a much needed lesson in reality
by Whiskers 22nd January 2018, 20:17

» Three-month-old baby says "hello"
by Kitkat 13th January 2018, 15:00

» The cartoon thread.
by bimbow 12th January 2018, 22:06

» 60 Christmas traditions around the world
by Kitkat 30th December 2017, 21:58

» Simon's Cat
by Kitkat 26th December 2017, 16:27

» A new(ish) song for Christmas.
by Whiskers 24th December 2017, 13:49

» Merry Christmas
by Whiskers 24th December 2017, 13:37

» The Christmas Thread
by Kitkat 20th December 2017, 21:22

» A reader's response to your article on food waste
by Whiskers 18th December 2017, 14:35

» Downward Dog
by Kitkat 4th December 2017, 21:35

» A very young Bee Gees treat
by Whiskers 29th November 2017, 16:35

» Prime cheek!
by Kitkat 28th November 2017, 09:32

» The life and achievements of Dr Elsie Inglis
by Kitkat 26th November 2017, 09:14

» Hidden disabilities: Pain beneath the surface
by Kitkat 21st November 2017, 21:20

» Scary photos
by Kitkat 19th November 2017, 12:50

» The 7-year-old neuroscientist wowing the internet
by Kitkat 16th November 2017, 10:03

» The cat killer stalking suburbia
by Whiskers 6th November 2017, 15:53

» It's that time again .....
by Kitkat 29th October 2017, 00:21

» Happy Halloween!
by Stardust 25th October 2017, 08:37

» Love makes the world go round
by Stardust 25th October 2017, 08:00

» Need help with homework (Hall Effect)
by Kitkat 24th October 2017, 12:18

» Well hello there!
by Whiskers 23rd October 2017, 23:53

» Madeleine McCann investigation continues ...
by Whiskers 23rd October 2017, 23:43

» Famous Youtubers... Do you watch them? Do you dislike them?
by Jamboree 23rd October 2017, 00:44

» Control your television with any object
by loner55 16th October 2017, 10:32

» Fahrenheit 451
by loner55 16th October 2017, 10:26

» HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Feather!
by Jamboree 15th October 2017, 17:43

» A walk through Dominica, hours after Hurricane Maria
by Kitkat 15th October 2017, 12:48

» SKEPS Forum
by Kitkat 8th October 2017, 22:00

» Quotes about Lifestye
by Whiskers 7th October 2017, 15:25

» MPs call for ESA death statistics to be published (Calum's List)
by Kitkat 30th September 2017, 18:23

» Songs from the heart
by Stardust 20th September 2017, 20:55

» Bodies of 'hundreds' of children buried in mass grave
by mac 19th September 2017, 12:25

» Psychics didn't foresee THAT coming!
by mac 16th September 2017, 15:14

» Number 7777
by Kitkat 14th September 2017, 14:10

» 'Messy' mum barred from pub
by Stardust 11th September 2017, 16:17

» [solved] Multiquote ?
by Whiskers 11th September 2017, 11:13

» Cosmic beauty
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 21:29

» Why men are happier people???
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 20:10

» A Granma's Anagrams
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 19:49

» Silly Endings.
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 19:45

» Pink rainbow
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 15:46

» Barking mad!
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 15:44

» Invasion of the sex-craved spiders! EEK!
by Stardust 8th September 2017, 15:38

» Surviving in Libya
by Kitkat 7th September 2017, 22:52

» The Forum Café
by Kitkat 7th September 2017, 14:53

» Hurricane Irma
by Kitkat 7th September 2017, 12:22

» Struggling To Login
by Kitkat 6th September 2017, 17:41

» Kitchen bat chase video goes viral
by Kitkat 6th September 2017, 17:21

» 10 things we didn't know last week ...
by Whiskers 4th September 2017, 14:31

» End of Summer Drinks
by EndoWarriror 1st September 2017, 13:53

» Bruce Forsyth dies aged 89
by EndoWarriror 1st September 2017, 13:34

» Notifications re new topics & posts on the forum
by Kitkat 1st September 2017, 13:23

» New forum design
by Jamboree 23rd August 2017, 13:03

» Photobucket
by Jamboree 10th August 2017, 02:36

» Hi from Brin
by Whiskers 6th August 2017, 12:14

» Delusions
by Kitkat 30th July 2017, 12:19

» BABY PLEASE DON'T GO ...
by Jamboree 25th July 2017, 16:03

» Wonderful images - fabulous music (Part 1)
by bimbow 21st July 2017, 22:21

» Photobucket no longer free ...
by Kitkat 8th July 2017, 11:05

» Problems logging in from your mobile, iPad or tablet?
by Kitkat 5th July 2017, 13:05

» Protest March through London
by Kitkat 1st July 2017, 17:41

» Our NHS
by Whiskers 29th June 2017, 16:49

» [solved] Forum showing me as online -- but I am not!
by Kitkat 25th June 2017, 10:41

» Day of Rage in London
by Kitkat 21st June 2017, 16:56

» NHS European Health Insurance Card
by Kitkat 20th June 2017, 21:26

» Postcards from the Shoutbox
by Whiskers 20th June 2017, 13:08

» Shout Box (SL and LAL)
by Kitkat 19th June 2017, 22:29

» A day out at the polling station
by Stardust 9th June 2017, 14:48

» Functions of the Blue Toolbar at top of the Forum
by Kitkat 5th June 2017, 10:47

» Light After Life forum's new address
by Kitkat 1st June 2017, 18:42

» Tick tock: The importance of knowing the right time
by Whiskers 1st June 2017, 11:23

» Derek Acorah to appear in Celebrity Big Brother 2017 ?
by Kitkat 24th May 2017, 22:38

» Publications
by Kitkat 22nd May 2017, 00:46

» The world's longest cat?
by Whiskers 19th May 2017, 09:22

» Nigeria
by Kitkat 19th May 2017, 08:54

» Redwater
by Kitkat 18th May 2017, 17:28

» Maggie's Cancer Care Centres
by Kitkat 17th May 2017, 18:07

» I'm being chased by an otter!
by Kitkat 16th May 2017, 13:07

» Eurovision Song Contest 2017
by Kitkat 16th May 2017, 11:49

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'Can this be England?'

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Kitkat
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Posts : 3351
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Star sign : Sagittarius
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'Can this be England?'

Post by Kitkat on 11th February 2015, 13:02

"As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty"

Former jobcentre adviser Angela Neville has written a play to expose the harsh reality of the benefits sanctions regime
Angela Neville, 48, is describing events she witnessed as a special adviser in a jobcentre that prompted her to write a play about her experiences.

“We were given lists of customers to call immediately and get them on to the Work Programme,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sorry this can’t happen, this man is in hospital.’ I was told [by my boss]: ‘No, you’ve got to phone him and you’ve got to put this to him and he may be sanctioned.’ I said I’m not doing it.”

Neville worked as an adviser in Braintree jobcentre, Essex, for four years and has written a play with two collaborators, her friends Angela Howard and Jackie Howard, both of whom have helped advocate for unemployed people who were threatened with benefit sanctions by jobcentre staff.

The title of the play, Can This be England? is an allusion to the disbelief that she and the others feel at how people on benefits are being treated, she says. And she unashamedly describes the play, in which she also acts, as a “dramatic consciousness-raising exercise”.
Full story in  The Guardian


Related articles:

Sobbing decision makers plead with claimants not to appeal
Sobbing decision makers are desperately trying to persuade claimants not to lodge appeals following an unsuccessful mandatory reconsideration, a senior welfare rights worker has revealed.
Writing on the welfare rights workers website Rightsnet, one senior welfare rights worker reveals that two clients have told him independently that the decision maker was ‘in tears’ or ‘sobbing’ because the claimant insisted that they wished to continue with their appeal when their mandatory reconsideration was unsuccessful.

The senior welfare rights worker goes on to explain that two decision makers have told claimants:

“But don’t you understand, the whole point of mandatory reconsiderations is to avoid appeals because they’re expensive, time-consuming and usually pro-claimant and wrong. Even government ministers know that.”

In the past, decision makers were indifferent as to whether their decisions were appealed or not. It simply made no difference to them. For decision makers to be reduced to tears when a claimant informs them that they intend to appeal suggests that massive pressure is now being placed on them to stop this happening..

Grieving relative confronts DWP minister Esther McVey after benefit sanctions inquiry
The sister of a diabetic who died after having his benefits cut wept after hearing the minister say there is state support for vulnerable people.
Esther McVey, the Employment Minister, was handed an image of David Clapson – the man found dead in his flat from diabetic ketoacidosis, two weeks after his benefits were suspended – following a select committee inquiry into benefits sanctions this afternoon.

In the emotional confrontation, Clapson’s younger sister, Gill Thomspon, presented the image to McVey and said: “A diabetic cannot wait two weeks.” A reference to the amount of time a Jobseeker's Allowance claimant, when sanctioned, has to wait to receive a hardship payment.

When Thompson discovered her brother’s body in July 2013, she found his electricity had been cut off, meaning the fridge where he stored his insulin was no longer working. Speaking to the Guardian in 2014, Thompson said: “I don’t think anyone should die like that in this country, alone, hungry and penniless . . . They must know that sanctioning people with diabetes is very dangerous. I am upset with the system; they are treating everyone as statistics and numbers.”

Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee
A former employee of three separate Work Programme providers describes how staff members were compelled to increase sanctions in order to hit financial targets.
From 2011, at the dawn of the Work Programme, to 2014, I worked on three separate Work Programme provider contracts. At some point during each of these I, with my then colleagues, was approached by various levels of management and told in no uncertain terms to increase the number of sanctions raised on our clients.

Different justifications were given for this demand, but the implication was always the same – get the dead wood off our books so we can concentrate on the job-ready customers and hit our targets. Fortunately, I was clued-up enough to resist these attempts at coercion through a proper knowledge of the legal foundations underpinning the Work Programme, but many didn't, and, at threat of receiving a disciplinary and/or losing their jobs, complied.

Retired gardener takes his own life after change in benefits system, inquest hears
Malcolm Burge was left owing more than £800 to Newham council in London, after backlog in implementing government changes to welfare.
A retired gardener took his own life after a change in the benefits system that left him owing more than £800 to his local council in London, an inquest has heard.

Newham council admitted a failure to deal with Malcolm Burge’s benefit issue because of the backlog of cases after the change.
Full story in The Guardian

Charities gagged by Lobbying Act
The Coalition’s Lobbying act has largely succeeded in scaring charities in not speaking out on behalf of vulnerable people in the run up to the election, a report by the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement has found.
The Lobbying act obliges charities and other non-governmental organisations to register if they are planning to spend more than £20,000 – including staff time – on campaigning activities during the run up to the election which could possibly influence the way people vote. There is then a strict limit on how much money may be spent.

The rules apply even if the campaigning is entirely non-party political. Where two or more organisations mount a joint campaign they must jointly remain within the cost limits, further limiting how much they can spend.

So, for example, campaigns relating to food banks, homelessness or benefits cuts would all be likely to fall within the terms of the Lobbying Act.

As a result of uncertainty about the law, fear of getting caught up in huge amounts of costly administration and concerns about being targeted by politicians many charities are remaining silent during the election period.

One charity which wished to remain anonymous told the commission:

“We are re-considering our usual manifesto activity leading up to the election.

“Although none of it is intended to be – or has ever been – party political, there is now a risk that certain politicians will try to make examples of anything we do and try to harm us financially or harm our reputation.

“For this reason we have to be careful about what we say. Even though the issues are very serious and we need to be hard-hitting in our communications to all politicians.

“Anything we say is now at risk of being wilfully misinterpreted.”


The Commission on Civil society has recommended that the Lobbying Act should be repealed.

You can download a copy of Impact of the Lobbying Act on civil society and democratic engagement here.

    Current date/time is 22nd February 2018, 04:48