Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cynical manipulation

There's something sinister going on.  The DWP has released new figures ahead of the WP performance data - the figures for those who have been "sanctioned" i.e. stripped of benefits.  The papers seem to understand that they're being manipulated but fall for it anyway.  The Mail headlines it "More than 150,000 forced off benefits after refusing to participate in Iain Duncan Smith's back-to-work scheme".  So already they don't grasp what people are being sanctioned for.  Turning up late for an appointment is hardly "refusing to participate".  But they then go on to talk of, "Suspicions that figures will be used to distract from report that fewer than one in 20 on scheme have found a permanent job".  Yes.  Apparently sanctions are running at 15,000 a month.  Do the papers seriously think that these are all people who are "determined to avoid getting a job at all", in the words of Mark Hoban?
The Telegraph has spotted that "More people who take part in a flagship government jobs programme end up being stripped of their benefit payments than finding permanent work, new figures suggest."  This is a much better account of the situation; perhaps Patrick Hennessy, the author, has a better understanding of the subject.  But they still repeat the statement from Hoban: “Through the Work Programme we are offering the hardest-to-help claimants extensive support in order for them to take control of their own lives and return to work. They need to do their bit to find a job but we’ll be there to help them do that.”
The comments under both articles demonstrate both the entrenched attitudes, and the anger which is building up.


  1. Will this Government's indefatigable efforts to demonise the unemployed be enough to win the next General Election for the Tories?

  2. Statements like this this one made by Employment Minister Mark Hoban,

    “Through the Work Programme we are offering the hardest-to-help claimants extensive support in order for them to take control of their own lives and return to work."

    clearly show that he and those implementing the Work Programme are clueless as to what is really happening. Unless they count a five minute meeting every month as 'extensive support' that is!

    The real reason is becoming apparent though, It's about getting people sanctioned and has nothing to do with supporting people back into work.

    Unfortunately far too many millionaires are being created as a result of all these back to work schemes so nothing will change, other than a name change and a Government re-shuffle every few years.

    It's an abject failure.

  3. take control of their own lives?

    my experience o fthe work programme is nothing of the sort.

    The amount of ignorance regarding this scheme, even from the people meant to run it, is breathtaking.

    i'm told i have to give up my cv to people who insist on applying for jobs in careers i don't want without my consent. They use threats to pursue that end.

  4. The Work Programme Private Providers and DWP are dreading the release of the figures that prove's the Work Programme is an abismal failure. (Figures are released on 27/11/12) Time for Iain Duncan Smith to get roasted by the media and explain this failure, which he will try to do and in the process lose his temper - this is gonna be sweet.

    However he will have to stand behind his promises, the main one being:

    If Private Providers are missing their minimum targets for getting the unemployed into work, then we WILL terminate their contracts with us.

  5. This may be of interest to people on the Work Programme regardless of which Provider their with.

    “I confirm there is no requirement for any
    Work Programme participant to sign any
    documents from the provider…“

    From: DWP Labour Market Decisions (Appeals and Sanctions) letter 20 July 2012


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