These are the welfare-related links we’ve been looking at between September 6th and October 27th: Continue reading Welfare-related links for September 6th through October 27th
These are the welfare-related links we’ve been looking at between June 20th and August 20th: Continue reading Welfare-related links for June 20th through August 20th
Here’s a good example of following the money to see exactly where the priorities lie on two kinds of ‘benefit fraud’: fraud by benefit claimants, and fraud by the companies who get the contracts to run welfare services.
Rajeev Syal reports that the government has cut those people responsible for investigating fraud by private contractors from 69 to 49 in two years: a drop of 29%. Continue reading Fewer people investigating private contractors fraud, while benefit investigators increase
Online Protest Against Workfare have posted the experiences of one job hunter who has experienced A4e on 3 occasions. It includes descriptions of bullying, more than one work experience that happened to be with the company itself. Continue reading An A4e experience: ‘bullying, changing staff, out of date resources’ [Link]
FullFact checks out some of the claims made in relation to proposed changes to Working Tax Credits and gathers some useful data to keep to one side and return to once any changes have taken effect. Continue reading Link: child poverty and welfare stats
Thanks to L S McKnight in the comments for pointing us to this report from Third Force News on the Scottish disability charities who boycotted a meeting with disability minister Maria Miller after she falsely claimed to have previously met them. Continue reading Testing the claims of politicians: the disability groups that Maria Miller ‘never met’
The Sun’s announcement that it is targeting benefit cheats has led to at least one very nasty experience for a 68-year-old former dustman.
Elaine Milton writes movingly about her father’s injury, countless operations, and recent discovery of bowls, “with the support of his doctor”. Then:
“You can imagine how I felt when I heard that a Sun journalist and photographer had been knocking on his door, taking his picture, telling him that they were doing a story on benefit cheats. Continue reading The real life impact of being targeted by a Sun journalist as a ‘benefit cheat’
If you’re trying to unpick the intricacies of what should happen in a Jobcentre, or what rights jobseekers have, Consent and Welfare to Work(fare) Programmes is a good place to start. Continue reading Sanctions, jobseekers, and protecting personal information – link
Following Friday’s post about work experience guidance being altered, The Void blog reports on more curiosities from the Google cache: this time, an FOI response from December which listed private companies taking part in the work experience scheme:
“The document could previously be found at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/foi-3238-2011.pdf. Unfortunately it’s no longer there. But that’s okay because good old google cache has a copy of this as well.“
The FOI response – which can also be found here – describes the programme as “providing mandatory work placements”.
Again, if anyone wants to get a response from the DWP, let me know in the comments.
UPDATE (29 Feb 2012): Channel 4’s FactCheck have followed this up with a response from the DWP:
“A spokesman told FactCheck: “The changes to the website were just part of a regular update. We regularly revise documents for clarity purposes.”
“When pushed on whether that meant that the instruction to mandate participants is no longer government policy, she wasn’t able to provide any more “clarity” other than to say: “I’m not saying the advice is wrong.”
“That’s a bit of a problem, because if the advice ISN’T wrong, but HAS been taken down, doesn’t that mean that Work Programme providers are now in danger of breaking the rules on the National Minimum Wage Regulations, as the government took great pains to flag up originally in the missing paragraph?
“Confusion reigns, and despite repeated phone calls and several days to think about it, DWP has declined to clarify the situation.
“The spokesman did tell us that the apparently damning FoI answer had been taken down because it contained an error (“one of the names of the companies was wrong”).
“And the timing of all this was pure coincidence, the spokesman insisted.
“So a document emphasising the “mandatory” nature of Work Programme work experience happened to disappear from the department’s website just as the controversy over whether other schemes were mandatory was raging in the headlines.
“Or in any event, that’s DWP’s story and they’re sticking to it.”
Original post below
Anton, a commenter on The Void blog, has pointed out that government documents on the work experience programme have been altered recently to remove the instruction “you must mandate participants to this activity”.
It’s a bit late in the evening to get a response from the DWP on this, but if anyone wants to ring on Monday morning, let us know.
UPDATE: Mary Hamilton looks into the documents’ metadata and tells us the original version was “created/modified 17/08/2011. Changed version created/modified 24/02/2012.”