Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Chris Grayling has performed so well at the DWP that he has been promoted to the Cabinet as Justice Minister.  There is no word yet as to who replaces him.  Iain Duncan Smith was apparently offered the job but wanted to stay put.  So we expect no change.

No change to the Universal Credit policy, despite criticism from several sources.  The Chartered Institute of Taxation is concerned about it being "wholly impractical" for the self-employed, who will have to report their transactions every month, within 7 days of the month end.  The Federation of Small Businesses agrees.  Gingerbread, which campaigns for single-parent families, is even more worried.  They reckon that more than a million such families will lose out.  Read their findings here.

Some change (for the worse) for those who have been shifted onto ESA work-related-activity.  They will now lose up to £71 a week if they don't comply with the instructions of their "advisers".  The Guardian has an excellent article on this.    The Telegraph, however, chooses to headline its own account as "Fines for workshy sickness benefits claimants to double."

No change to the government pretending that millions forced into part-time work because they can't get full-time is a good thing.  The Express has a good article on this, which ends with a typical Grayling "everything is wonderful" quote.

But there is change - dangerous change - in the numbers of people having to depend on food banks.  There's an excellent, detailed article by Paul Mason on the BBC's website.  It shows that 43% of the people needing to turn to these food banks are there because of benefit "sanctions" or the refusal of a crisis loan; and there's a graph showing how these sanctions have spiked.

Another of those MPs who have been invited into A4e's offices has blogged about how impressed he was (scroll down the page).  He's Conservative Guto Bebb, MP for Aberconwy.  He's another who thinks that self-employment is great.  But he complains about the Welsh government (Labour, I believe) supposedly creating initiatives which are damaging the Work Programme.  Or so A4e says.  Does anyone know anything about this?


  1. Just recieved an email that Mark Hoban MP, former Financial Sec to the Treasury has replaced Greyling.

    Will he change tack? Probably not. The most that'll happen is a change in terminology and body language!

    1. Hoban is a Chartered Accountant, apparently.

      My apologies for the pop-up ads now littering this site, and every other site I use, it seems. A new way to make money by annoying people. Not money for me, I assure you.

    2. Polly, I can't answer your question without an email address.
      And those annoying pop-up ads apparently are peculiar to Chrome.

  2. Just looked at the Welsh Government website, they are developing a Future Jobs Fund Initiative that will pay 18 to 24 year olds the National Minimum Wage. This will be primarily delivered through the voluntary sector. The odious Bebb will loath this because it:

    Pays young people a wage: In people like Bebbs view only the rich work harder if you pay them.

    It impacts on the lamentable Work Programme: Obvious a superior programme that values young people will reduce the profits of Bebbs odious mates in the Welfare to Work 'Industry'

    The Bullingdon Boys have just appointed a Welsh Secretary who wants to abolish the Welsh Assembly!

    As someone who has an involvement in the justice system thanks a lot for sending us Grayling!! This is probably the most ignorant and populist of any of the changes Cameron has made. I fear the damage he has done in the DWP will be as nothing to the catastrophe he will certainly be in the Ministry of Justice.

    Anyone for a tea party?


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