Some of my friends had some form of sanctions for various reasons which I can’t go into on the grounds that they are seeking a judicial review as most of them had worked all their lives and through no fault of their own they had lost their jobs owing to a recession and they could not find a job that match their skills. Some are almost at pension age and others are graduates and to add insult to injury the DWP are demanding that they do more voluntary work and sadly they do not receive proper support from both DWP and work programmes.
Hmm do I hear swearing from some quarters and wondering how on earth do they survive as there seem to be a crisis with the food banks with food shortage and they all have to pay their rent, council tax, gas, and electric to top it off they can only attend a Foodbanks three times and that’s it. It’s no wonder why some people turn to crime which I would like to make clear that they should do it as it’s breaking the law instead I would encourage them to visit the Citizens Advice Bureau for advise see what actions can be taken. I’m in no doubt that CAB are being flooded by people who has had their benefits sanction
It’s purported that around 580,000 sanctions were handed down between October 2012 and June 2013 around 6% raise on the same period a year earlier before rules were tighten.
Granted work should pay but this should not be at the expense of using sanctions as a means of a beating stick nor am I stating that people who depends on the dole should be treated as scroungers as not one size fits all. There may be a few bad apples but they are far less than the many as most people wants to work and yes some will have skills that are outdated but with a little encouragement they will be able to attend a retraining programmes provided by some college but there is a snag it’s very basic which are free and there are other courses available at a price which the collages are strongly recommending that they should take out a 24+ loans to cover the cost which put the claimant into more debts.
I can just see the legal shark lenders rubbing their hand waiting for someone who has muggings written on their forehead to take up a loan with very high interest rates in some cases some unemployed will turn to just to make ends meet which is very unfortunate as they are the ones who has to repay the high interest rates. It’s so easy to slag off the unemployed and telling them to find a job without firstly checking their circumstances. I’m sure that some people will recognize that some of them won’t be able to work owing to their disabilities which may be a learning or mental health nor am I tarnishing them but to highlighting some social policies which this and other successful government(s) have constantly fail to address or recognize.
I’m glad that five disabled people have succeeded in a legal challenge to a government’s decision to abolish the independent living fund. The £320 million ILF currently provides support enabling nearly around 20.000 severely disabled people in the UK to live independently in communities. I sure it’s was not easy for the five people to appeal the decision of the high court and later won on appeal by the court of appeal. Well done to the five disabled people for their victory and let’s hope that the coalition does not waste tax payers money to contest the judgement.
So lets see what has happened since the dreaded coalition Universal Credit has achieved so far the implementation of the government’s flagship welfare reform has been “extraordinarily poor”, with much of the £425m expenditure to date likely to be written off, MPs have said.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee said oversight of the Universal Credit scheme had been “alarmingly weak”.
Warning signs were missed and there was a “fortress culture” among officials, it claimed.
Ministers said there was new leadership and controls had been strengthened.
The criticisms by the cross-party committee echo those by the National Audit Office – which said in September that management of the £2.3bn project had been weak and financial controls had been inefficient.
Ministers have insisted the plan to consolidate six separate means-tested working age benefits into a single payment – designed to increase incentives for work – is back on track following a “reset” of the programme at the start of the year.
But the committee said the project had been beset by a string of problems and still faced considerable challenges if it was to achieve its long-term objectives.
It suggested much of the £425m spent up to April, about a third of which has been on computer software and other IT systems, was unlikely to have any worth in future and its value would have to be written off.
Controls over suppliers, it added, had been largely absent with, in some cases, multi-million pound orders being signed off by secretarial staff.
From the outset of the project in 2011, it said, senior civil servants had “failed to grasp the enormity” of the task they had been set by ministers, did not monitor progress adequately and had not intervened when issues arose.
A lack of day-to-day control meant that top officials only became aware of difficulties through “ad hoc reviews” and as problems mounted, those in charge of the scheme had become “isolated and defensive”.
“Universal Credit is the Department for Work and Pensions‘ single biggest programme and enjoys cross-party support yet its implementation has been extraordinarily poor,” Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the body, said.
“The failure to develop a comprehensive plan has led to extensive delay and the waste of a yet to be determined amount of public money.
“Pressure to deliver a programme of this magnitude within such an ambitious timescale created a fortress culture where only good news was reported and problems were denied.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has insisted that Universal Credit can still be rolled out to all existing and new claimants as planned by 2017 – a view endorsed by officials from the Major Projects Authority who were drafted in earlier this year to run the rule over the scheme.
But the committee said the pilots conducted to date had been unsatisfactory and a target to enrol 184,000 new claimants on to the single benefit by next April would be missed.
“The department will have to speed up the later stages of the programme if it is to meet the 2017 completion date but that will pose new risks,” Mrs Hodge added, urging the government not to throw “good money after bad”.
“We believe strongly that meeting any specific timetable from now on is less important than delivering the programme successfully.”
Appearing before the committee in September, the top civil servant at the Department for Work and Pensions rejected suggestions the Universal Credit was launched “without a plan”.
Robert Devereux said the strategy behind the policy was “very clear” and the “best available” people were running it.
But he accepted there had been a “let’s punch through” mentality among the original management team and its leadership was changed once it became clear that a different, more reflective approach was needed.
Howard Shiplee, who took over the running of the project in May, has admitted mistakes were made but said real progress was now happening and much of the existing IT systems could be used.
Responding to the committee’s report, the Department for Work and Pensions said Universal Credit was a “vital” reform which would ultimately bring £38bn in benefits to society by helping people into work and reducing fraud.
“This report doesn’t take into account our new leadership team, or our progress on delivery,” it said. “We have already taken comprehensive action including strengthening governance, supplier management and financial controls.”
It said it did not accept “the write-off figure quoted by the committee” and expected it to be substantially less.
A spokesman for Mr Duncan Smith said he had “every confidence” in the team now running the programme, including Mr Devereux whose position some newspapers have suggested is under threat.
“Both the National Audit Office and the public accounts committee acknowledged a fortress mentality within the Universal Credit programme,” he said.
“Iain was clear back in the summer about how he and the permanent secretary took action to fix those problems.”
For Labour, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said the report was “another nail in the coffin of the government’s promise to deliver Universal Credit on time and on budget”, adding that “families facing a cost of living crisis need welfare reform they can trust”.
So the next time when Iain Duncan Smith criticize people who are on the dole let us all remind him of his failure in government of mismanagement. No ifs or buts about it!
“Lets not forget that we are the many not the few”
واضاف “لا ننسى اننا لا القليلة”
“Vergessen wir nicht, dass wir die vielen, nicht die paar”
“Permet de ne pas oublier que nous sommes les nombreux pas les quelques”
“Umožňuje ne zapomeň, že jsme mnoho není několik”
“Давайте не будем забывать о том, что мы не много не мало”
"Nid Gadewch anghofio ein bod yn y nifer o Nid yw yr ychydig"
“No nos olvidemos que somos la mayoría y no los pocos”