Category: Army recruiting

Universal Credit isn’t fit for purpose, but it inflicts endless suffering upon innocent, vulnerable people. This weeks blog.

Dear readers, I’m sorry for the delay in writing this weeks blog and publishing it. A missing bus and daughter duties are to blame. Here it is and I hope that you enjoy it. Enjoy is the wrong word to use I know because its damn depressing but imagine how depressed people are when trying to cope with this system.

Before I list everything that happened today, I have to mention something. Hardly any of the people that we speak to are what you would describe as being ‘fit and well’, none are scroungers and most are desperately trying their best to manage despite living in desperate poverty.

New clothes, nights out, trips to the cinema are a thing of the past and having a meal in a restaurant can only be dreamed of. We handed out five food parcels in the space of half an hour, all to people that are desperate, are awaiting Universal Credit payments and are also struggling to cope whilst living on Universal Credit. So please don’t message me saying that they are ‘trying it on’ are ‘scroungers’ and aren’t worthy of sympathy. What has happened to them can and does happen to anyone.


The first man that I spoke to looked confused and distressed. This was his first time attending the Jobcentre. He is a manual labourer  and has had to take time off work because he had been attacked quite badly. He told me that he couldn’t believe how difficult that it is to get any help from the Jobcentre and he’s waiting for his first Universal Credit payment. He’s been waiting for two weeks so has got a long wait still and he hopes to have found more work by then.

This man needs time to recover and recuperate, but the government won’t allow this. Get to work is their mantra, despite what your circumstances are and your ability to do so.



I spoke to two homeless chaps that I generally speak to every week. They are lovely chaps but are struggling at the moment. They need more intensive help but it just isn’t available at the moment, the government cut the funding so we now have thousands of people like these chaps walking the streets. It’s awful. In reality it would work out cheaper in the long run if the government actually funded this help because emergency housing, visits to a&e all amount up. It’s cruel.


I spoke to another homeless man who is living in a tent out of the immediate area. He’s claiming Universal credit and is struggling. He proudly told me that he has been clean for a long while now and is trying to improve his life. He has had news that he might be in with a chance of getting a flat to live in so everything crossed for him.


Roy and Gordon spoke to a young woman who is forced to live in unsuitable accommodation. She has no choice but to stay there either because of the shortage in social housing.


I spoke to an older man, he’s lost his job and is now faced with the challenge of trying to fathom out the Universal Credit system. He told me that the last time that he was unemployed was in the 1980’s and things were very different then. He went on to say that back then he was given help, guidance, and was shown how to do things. He actually had help to find a job. Now, he said you are just left on your own without a clue in the world, trying to cope with a massively complex system and having to go for weeks without a payment. “They want you to die don’t they”. He isn’t wrong there is he.



I spoke to a woman that has been mandated to attend one of their so called ‘miracle’ courses. To attend this course they have to provide proof of ID, the ID being a passport, driving licence, birth certificate or a household bill. Now I’m very aware that this has been going on for years but this is DWP bureaucracy gone mad. No one that isn’t forced to attend these courses actually wants to be there, no one wants to sneak in either. Proof of their benefit entitlement from the DWP or a letter from them should be enough. It’s another expensive hurdle to cross, and it can be an expensive one also.


We helped an older lady out with her Council Tax court summons. She had received a letter saying that she had to attend court for non payment even when she had already paid over half the bill. A member of our team E, took her over to the council offices where she spoke to an officer. They quashed the court order, quashed the court costs and gave her a better payment plan than she had already agreed to. Who says that we do nothing……  Needless to say she was very happy now that she doesn’t have the threat of court hanging over her head anymore.

Council tax is a massive worry that is constantly looming upon most of the people that I speak to including myself. The supposedly ‘small’ amount that they have to pay, which isn’t small is often unpayable. Eating and rent has to be a priority. I do still campaign against the council tax supplement and the whole council tax system but no one is talking about it anymore. It’s been accepted that the poor should pay a large chunk of their meagre income towards this and it shouldn’t be accepted it needs to be fought.


We noted an older man struggling to walk into the Jobcentre, he didn’t want to talk but it broke my heart seeing this. Many older people will have the worry of the DWP hanging over them until their death. Horrible.


I spoke to a 57 year old woman that suffers from several illnesses, all debilitating. She struggled to attend the Jobcentre and I handed her a leaflet. She told me that she had been given little advice except that she should claim PIP. I agreed and I advised her further. She told me that she was glad that I was there to speak to, because now her path is much clearer.


I spoke to a woman who has only just started to receive her Universal Credit payments. She told me that she now has to survive on £200 a month which equates to £50 a week for a four week month, even less in a five week month.

That’s £50 a week or less. Out of that food has to be bought, gas and electricity to be paid, council tax to be paid, the bedroom to be paid and any other system.

So don’t tell me that the people that I speak to have it easy, they don’t. They are living in poverty with no hope, and no future that they can see. Universal Credit is working ok for the government though. It’s systematically making sure that the poorest and most vulnerable people in society suffer, it encourages them to give up and lowers the unemployment figures.

Oh and Esther Mcvey can stuff her lies where the sun doesn’t shine. We all knew that she was lying, she knew that she was lying and yet she still continues to smirk at us all.


I spoke to a man struggling with the online system of Universal Credit. “It baffles me he said, I know how to use a computer but this is beyond ridiculous” Yep! it is.


I spoke to a woman that had been refused to accompany her friend into the Jobcentre. Her friend is vulnerable and really needed her support. Come on Ashton Jobcentre, do I need to tell you the rules about allowing a person to be accompanied again? How many times do I have to repeat myself…. A person is allowed to be accompanied. There I said it again.


So here it is, all this happened in less than two hours. We worked hard and many thanks to Roy and Gordon. The amount of suffering is unprecedented and even though I often regard myself to be extremely wise to the system, I’m still often shocked. The government needs to stop this, the system needs to be challenged more and unemployed people are important. They are trying to survive an inhumane system and they are all heroes in my eyes.




Please read, share, RT, email my blog. I do my best and as a single parent running this campaign can be challenging at times. but we must continue to fight against this terrible system because people are dying and it needs to stop.



The government controls us with fear and oppression. We are controlled by it everyday. Please read.

Today and everyday thousands of people will receive a dreaded brown envelope in the post from the Department Of Work And Pensions.. most will feel scared, intimidated and feeling at a loss of how to carry on. No one can underestimate the fear and dread upon seeing that envelope arrive.

As I write this I have learnt that a friend of mine has been denied his PIP payments even though the DWP informed him that he didn’t have to attend another medical assessment for three years. As usual they recalled him within months and he’s panicking. He might loose his home. You see, the loss of an essential benefit payment has massive ramifications and he can’t claim the appeal rate until his appeal has been lodged but first he has to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This is another step that the government uses to delay appeals and to make people give up altogether. Many do.

I spoke to a gentleman who is a carer. He told me that the person whom he cares for has received a letter asking him to attend another ESA assessment. and he’s been in bits ever since. He can’t understand why he is being constantly asked to attend assessments because his disability is never going to get better.
He’s been trying to learn about his legal rights and has been trying to get in touch with a local organisation that can help him. He is 64 in October and had always worked until he became disabled.
As a result many people in the same or similar position will commit suicide because they can’t cope with the DWP regime. Most of these suicides won’t be recorded as such due to a lack of evidence, therefore their suffering continues unchallenged officially, whilst the government continues to wipe their hands of such matters.

Yes people are dying as a direct result of this governments actions and I hate the government for this.


Every day thousands of people will be made homeless, or have the threat of being made homeless. They can’t afford to pay bedroom tax for the homes that they live in. When housed in their accommodation their local councils deemed them suitable and a decent size legally for them.
When the Bedroom Tax was introduced the rules changed, and what was previously thought to have been a home for life or a great many of years suddenly made their accommodation temporary based on their ability to pay this new bill.
They can’t move because they owe rent, most social housing organisations won’t allow a house move until there are no rent arrears, and there is also a distinct lack of smaller accommodation. It’s a loose loose situation for them
Meanwhile, their ‘social housing’ landlords can evict them and then charge the next tenant more rent and let the property on a short term basis.
Security of housing no longer exists. Whilst landlords often benefit from this.

The onset of the Bedroom Tax coincided with the introduction of the Council Tax Supplement, meaning that many people claiming benefits have to also pay an amount towards their annual Council Tax bill.
This financial year the poorest will have to pay more council tax than ever before, many councils have increased the amount to be paid due to the lack of funding from the government for local social care provision.
Whilst they don’t begrudge the idea of having to pay an amount towards this, they can’t afford to pay it and as a result many people are incarnated as a result. Upon being released from prison they still have to pay their council tax bill. Many will be made homeless as a result.
People who are making new Benefit claims are being summoned to court quickly by their local authorities in a matter of weeks. A charge of £50 is  often levied for presenting the summons.

I call these courts Kangaroo courts, believe me I’ve attended them. A local authority hires the courtroom for the day and it’s there that council employees speak to people demanding an unrealistic payment scheme. Many people don’t realise that they can actually ask to see a magistrate who will hear your case fairly. Do this.
The whole council tax system is discriminatory and unfair, and it scares people. The government should, by duty towards the most vulnerable, fund every local authority adequately in the first place.
This and the Bedroom Tax are the new Poll Tax, yet not many objected to it being implemented.


This week thousands of people will be hoping for warmer weather to arrive, not because they want to enjoy it but because they will no longer be cold.
Winter is cruel to everyone in fuel poverty and street homeless.
And while the energy companies make massive profits, the poorest and most vulnerable suffer.
Our energy companies have to be regulated and renationalised as a matter of urgency to prevent this endless suffering.

Everyday many people will be forced to become carers for parents, relatives and friends only to be persecuted by the government and the Department Of Work And Pensions for doing so, yet they save the government money and do an excellent job. They should be praised, not punished.

Many women are forced to live with abusive partners because of cuts to refuges and other essential services.
Funding to the police has also been cut time and time again, so responding to incidences relating to domestic is often slow.
One woman dies every 3 days as a result of domestic violence, many more woman are injured, and as a result of the governments cuts this figure will undoubtably rise.

As I write this many people will have been forced to shoplift for food, clothes and toiletries because they don’t have the means to pay. I know this happens, I speak to people all the time who have been forced to do this. I also know people that have been forced to beg just to collect money to buy food whilst they are waiting for their claims to be processed.
A claim for Universal Credit takes at least six weeks to process, leaving individuals and families to go without food and other essentials.
The government argue that they can take a loan out whilst waiting for their claim to process, but for many this isn’t an option.
The DWP loans are repayable at an amount of up to 40% of their total Universal Credit payments each month, leaving them in perpetual poverty.

I wish that I could say that the above examples are unusual, that they don’t exist. Working or not working we are all affected by them, or know someone that is, they’ve become an accepted part of everyday life, but we shouldn’t accept this as the norm. Being cruel and callous isn’t the norm, far from it but yet these policies are.


The government is using an age old method of controlling it’s population. Fear. Fear is a tool that is very easy for governments to use should they wish to. Instead of beating a person or group of people or an individual into submission they take away their very necessities to sustain life, deliberatly making it laboriously hard to appeal any decision made by them. They just don’t care. A society living in fear is easier to control and manipulate so they  use to subjugate the wider population and what form that fear takes is irrelevant.
We must continue to challenge the government upon each and every one of these issues, it has never been as important to do so.


Well done to the creator of this piece of artwork. I spotted it yesterday whilst walking around Ashton Under Lyne. Treat folk with contempt that they don’t deserve and this is the consequence.

Please join us on Thursday for our usual demo 10-12 outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Please like, share, read, email my blog. I’m going to try to get a few extra blog pieces out every week and I hope that my readers are agreeable to this.

Please donate if you can, I’ll leave a donate button underneath. I’m a single parent just trying my best to fight against this unjust system and this callous government.



Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!


Three strokes, blood clots, fluid on the brain… Declared fit for work, being given the run-around by the DWP. Welcome to DWP hell.

Hi readers, for once the blog is relatively on time so I don’t need to apologise this week. Its the school holidays so there’s no need  for me to hang around waiting to collect my daughter.

Huzzah! We had sunshine albeit still cold, which was far more welcoming than the awful rain that keeps coming our way. We were still low on numbers this week which was a massive shame. Its hard work but the appearance of comrades from Shaw cheered me up. If you are local to Ashton Under Lyne please come and say hello!

A bit of good news, our latest run of leaflets should be with me next week, I’m running extremely low on these and today was a close call.

We also handed out six food parcels to everyone that needed one plus four extra from our Shaw comrades.


As usual I will go through in list form of the problems that we encountered today and the people that I spoke to. Please note that I do refer people to local services if possible, if not their local MP etc. We are lucky in the respect that we have three very good MPS but I realise that this isn’t the case in many areas. We never leave anybody after speaking to them with no support or not knowing where to get that support.


The first thing that I noted was the increase of women and very young children having to use the Jobcentre today. It’s currently the Easter school holidays here in the UK, so that explains the increase. What an awful place to have to bring children to, especially as they have no facilities for them, and the management won’t allow the public to use their toilets. Nor will they allow food, drinks and the use of mobile phones.


I spoke to a man who has COPD and had been sanctioned.  He had no idea that he was able to claim ESA, he was obviously struggling. I advised him of what steps to take. He should have been given this advice. He was hungry so I gave him a food parcel and he called me an angel which was lovely, but life shouldn’t be like this should it.


I spoke to a man who has been lodging with a friend for a long while. He was paying his friend rent, but his friend hadn’t been paying it so they both will be made homeless in the near future. I’m very worried about him because he has several health issues and I’m not sure that he could physically survive life on the streets. I signposted him to local organisations and told him to contact them as a matter of urgency. He told me that he would do, so I’m hoping that he does do this.


I spoke to a man who was clearly struggling. He told me that he hadn’t eaten for days and that he had been sanctioned, although he hadn’t been told the reason for this. He entered the Jobcentre to attend an appointment to discuss this but was told at the front desk that his name wasn’t on the list so he wasn’t coming in.

How devastating is this, its literally soul destroying. He knew that he had an appointment yet was denied entry by the front desk, and I can add that he wasn’t inside the building for more than five minutes. There’s no way that they had checked properly in that time period. Now he is worried about having another sanction on top of this one because he hasn’t attended. Dear gods it’s cruelty at its worst.

I referred him to local organisations for help and gave him a food parcel. This man is now literally going through hell, and all because no one checked his appointment time correctly.


I spoke to a young man who spoke English as a second language. He told me that he’s going to lessons to improve his language skills, but his advisor has told him to attend a local work programme organisation to learn computer skills.

Sounds good doesn’t it….. Only it isn’t. I’ve had personal experience with Standguide and to put it bluntly they are awful I wished him the best of luck and advised him of what to do.


I spoke to a young man who had recently been made redundant from his job. He has a masters degree and his area of employment is specialised. He told me of his experience of having to use the Jobcentre and how he has been treated. His experience is not unusual by any means, but for someone who hasn’t had to use a Jobcentre for many years it was a shock to him.

He told me that “They make you loose all pride and they hold you to ransom. Everything that they do is nonsensical. I do everything that they ask me to and yet they ask me to do the same tasks time and time again. It’s wrong that they have shifted all the blame on the claimants, it’s not our fault that the system doesn’t work properly. The inefficiency of the system is inept.” He went on to tell me that he also remembers the days when the Jobcentre actually cared and helped people to find work.

Everything that he said is correct, and I wish this lovely man all the best in his quest for work.


I spoke to yet another older lady who has noted that her advisor is messing her about with appointment times. Most likely to keep her on her toes and to remind her of who’s the boss.


I overheard a young woman on the phone who was having a conversation with someone at the side of the Jobcentre. Her friend was worried about asking for help with their situation in case the  Jobcentre found out. Sickening that anyone should feel like this because I remember the days when they actually helped people with this.


I spoke to a man who was using crutches because he told me that he has a bad hip. He told me that he’s on Universal Credit and because his money is paid monthly and he has to pay more rent etc he isn’t coping. He hadn’t ate etc so I gave him a food parcel etc and signposted him. The DWP just don’t care how vulnerable, ill or disabled a person is. it’s a travesty that they are allowed to act in this manner, but the government employs them so it’s to be expected.


I spoke to an older lady who was upset about the ESA changes, for heavens sake she should be enjoying her retirement but has been prevented from doing so by the government.


I noticed a lot of older men having to use the Jobcentre today. They should be allowed to slow down and not forced to comply with countless pointless DWP tasks.


I spoke to a man who was struggling to walk even though he was aided by a walking stick that he was depending heavily on. He told me that he had to give up work due to illness. He has blood clots, has had three strokes so far, has cysts in his brain and also suffers from fluid on the brain. He also has mobility issues.

He attended his ESA medical and they declared him fit for work. He really isn’t fit for work, far from it and takes a lot of medication on a daily basis to just keep going. He’s going through the process of appealing this decision and is getting the help of one of our local MPS Andrew Gwynne. I really do hope that he wins his appeal and gets all the money that he’s owed.

To say that the government is cruel is a vast understatement, they are beyond cruel. The very presence of a brown envelope through the letterbox sends people into a state of panic and despair. No one knows if it will be their turn tomorrow and it’s a worry that many people can’t cope with, and I’m not sure how long we can cope with being persecuted like this.


This all happened in the space of two hours, yes two hours. Can you imagine how many more problems we would have encountered if we had stayed all day? Please spare a thought for everyone who has to go through this day in, day out. Be kind to folk, spare time for them because sometimes a friendly face makes all the difference to someone.




Thank you to everyone who came along today, it really is appreciated.

Please share, email, write about and talk about my blog. Send a copy to your local MP, if they are a Conservative MP even better. For everyone that does this already a massive thank you. Thank you so much to everyone that does support my blog. I’m a single parent on an extremely limited income and I juggle a full time campaign along with my writing all by myself.

I’ll leave a donation button for anyone who might like to donate. Thank you!


Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!





Failed ESA assessments, I wish that I could destroy that building it’s hell in there. Welcome to Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre..

You know that it’s been over four years since we started the weekly demos and you would have thought that things would have got better, problems would be ironed out they said… It pays to work… The lies were constant, they still are and the problems haven’t been ironed out. They’ve become much worse.

I sometimes wonder how much crap the government will continue to give us, how much more will people have to suffer. The government are certainly relentless in their persecution of the poor and this isn’t going to change soon.


Today was another cold morning and more snow has been predicted, its been a very long winter and shows no signs of ending. Anyway I packed my bag as usual and set off to help people.


I started really early this morning because I stopped to help a chap whom I can’t discuss on here. His problems are very serious and I did my best to help and have other local organisations. They can only do so much, and the police are really stretched by a lack of funding. They do their best though. I hope that he is OK and his words will haunt me tonight. Life isn’t supposed to be all about suffering but for some it is.


I arrived at the Jobcentre and helped to get the food parcels out of the car. Some went straight away for various reasons, all had gone by the end of the demo. We shouldnt have to feed people like this, but the government nor the DWP cares nothing for them. Trying to persuade people that people like us do care can be very hard work at times. People are used to being shoved to one side like yesterday’s newspaper.

A lady rushed into the Jobcentre worried that she would be late for an appointment as did a man. Both had their heads down and looked unhappy. They probably are unhappy, I don’t know anyone who is happy whilst claiming Universal Credit.


We spoke to two young girls both in Foster care. They are 17 and both told me that they might have to leave their accommodation soon. The law states that they should be 18, but they often encourage them to leave earlier.

My heart went out to them, one was carrying her worldly possessions in her bag and both are trying to navigate the whole DWP system. It’s awful and these young women deserve so much more than this. They can’t see any opportunities in life, whilst others appear to have so much more more opportunity. The class divide certainly exists doesn’t it.


I spoke to a man who had failed his ESA and is now fighting to get it reinstated. He’s doing his best and he’s a lovely chap but he shouldn’t be struggling like this. He also has to walk miles to Ashton Jobcentre because his local Jobcentre has now shut down. He told me that he wished that someone could destroy the Jobcentre because they have been awful to him.


I saw several young people constantly walking in and out of the Jobcentre for being a few minutes too early. This is the norm but they should let them sit inside.


I spoke to lots of people, paid a visit to the local ADS down the road, signposted many people, gave people hugs, fed them and gave them hope. I’m tired, but if we wernt there then these people would fall between the lines and become lost. I will do everything thug I can to prevent another suicide, admission to hospital etc. Ive seen too many people suffering like this and whilst they have a voice they aren’t heard for the best part of the time.

I have hope that things will change one day but for as long as we have universal credit I fear that we or I will still have to be there to help people.

Love to you all, and thank you for reading. Also massive thanks to Gordon and Roy for braving the cold weather and for putting up with me.

Thank you so much to everyone who reads and supports my blog it means the world to me and I will catch up with my emails ASAP, I’ve been very busy with trying to keep the campaign going and being a single mum. I won’t lie it’s hard but its worth the difficulty. If we make a difference to one person’s life then thats a job well done in my eyes and I shall continue to hold this government to account for their cruelty. img_1701-1



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What’s the point in trying to stop them from sanctioning me? They do it anyway. A man defeated by the system.

I’m going to start this weeks blog by thanking all of my readers, supporters, followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. Also I want to than all my activist friends for their support.

Today was absolutely freezing cold. Not only did I have to contend with walking the mile to school on what was effectively sheet ice, the wind chill was awful. I really don’t know how anyone that is street homeless survives in this weather. I only stood for nearly a couple of hours and I was chilled to the bone. The national and local severe weather emergency provision is unsatisfactory also. All different authorities use differing thermometers and rulings. Once the weather on their individual thermometers reaches above zero then there isn’t any provision.

They don’t keep in mind that their thermometers can be wrong, and people can and do still die on the streets in above zero temperatures. Today with the cold, and wind chill it’s much colder than they think. Ultimately it’s all about saving money though and denying responsibility. A national system needs to be introduced, where every local authority uses the same temperature measure, ideally the Met Office and take things like wind chill, feels like temperature and rain into account.

Anyway I have digressed from the demo, but it’s a subject that I’m passionate about. I speak to many street homeless folk and I can’t imagine the hell that they go through on a daily basis.


Anyway like I’ve said it was cold, so much so that we had to leave 20 minutes early. There was only three of us, and a couple of friends came to say hello, thank you! I’m always wary that I don’t want anyone to become ill. But I apologise anyway.


The first person that I spoke to today was a lady who told me that she was grieving. There had been a death in her family and she was trying to cope as well as keep up with the DWP regime. She had handed a sick note in, but unfortunately it had ran out so back on the treadmill she goes. I handed her a leaflet which she was thankful for.


I spoke to a lady who was new to the DWP system due to a relationship breakdown. She has two children, one still very young, but her advisor has given her an unreasonable job search time in her claimant commitment. I advised her and she will be taking this further. I gave her a survival guide which she was grateful for.


We spoke to an older man who’s son is claiming Universal Credit . His told us that his son is 50 years old and has a degree. He is looking for work and is doing his best. He told us that the DWP staff are ‘buggers’ who don’t help anyone but themselves. It must be awful seeing his son in this position and worrying about him also.


We spoke to a man who had won two tribunals to reinstate his JSA payments, but the DWP are still refusing to pay him. The DWP have given him all sorts of rubbish excuse that don’t amount to any substance at all, and they are ignoring the tribunals order to pay him his money. He will be appealing this though, he’s very knowledgeable and will hopefully be visiting the Law Centre in Manchester for further help.


I spoke to a few people that were walking out of the Jobcentre clutching colourful, glossy brochures. They informed me that they contain information about a health and wellbeing course at a local college. I will endeavour to get further details of these courses.


We spoke to an older man who looked very despondent. We asked him what the problem was and he told us that he was sick of that place (the Jobcentre). We handed him a leaflet and told him that it would help him, and hopefully prevent him from being sanctioned. He looked at the leaflet, looked at us and said “What’s the point? They do it anyway.” That, readers are the words of a defeated man. His pride has gone, and the system has ground him down as much as it can. This is what the system does to people, it takes a person’s spirit from them, I’ve seen it countless times and it sickens me.


I spoke to a lady who I speak to on a weekly basis. She’s so lovely and always has a smile for us despite having a hard time. She has had the flu, works for 12 hours a week and relies on the top up element of Universal Credit. Because she claims the top up element she still has to do a weekly job search which she keeps to stringently. Today her advisor told her that she hadn’t looked for work enough. Luckily for her she proved that she had done so. She was so close to wrongly having her top up wrongly sanctioned, and thanks to our advice she had the evidence. This is how easy it is to be sanctioned and it angers me.


We handed out 6 food parcels, all full to the top, handed out extra bread, handed out copies of our survival guides, gave comapssion, understanding and sympathy. All of those qualities the DWP are devoid of. I’m very sad to say that we had to leave early, 20 minutes early but we were really cold. I’m still cold. But we will return next week as usual and will be there for the full two hours.

Steve if you are reading this get well soon!

Thanks to my rocks Gordon and Roy for coming today. I’m very aware that it wasn’t easy for you so a massive thank you.



Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!



DWP staff told to reach Aspiration targets. 

The DWP like to create new names for targets that they want staff to reach. These names help the government to disassociate themselves from the heinous acts that they choose to inflict on claimants and their families. 

I have it on good authority that a DWP Labour Market decision maker now has a new name for a target they have to reach. 

A Labour Market decision maker is an employee of the DWP specifically employed to deal with Mandatory Reconsiderations. A Mandatory Reconsideration can be requested once a decision has been made to stop a claimants money for whatever reason given. 

It’s supposed to be a fair process, but I’ve had good reason to doubt that this process is anything but fair. I’ve heard of a Mandatory Reconsideration being refused on the same day as the reconsideration was requested. 

So yet again the evidence of target lead decisions is mounting up. Of course the DWP will deny this, they never say on paperwork that they have a target led system but of course we know different. Who remembers the Sheriffs stars?

Now I’m not saying that all DWP staff are happy about this. They have brought this issue up with their union the PCS but their complaints haven’t been listened to by the DWP. The Government have no intention of changing it because this system works too well for them. So the staff have to carry out orders. Failure to reach their aspiration targets will result in being seen as a poor performer with poor performance levels and they will receive a disciplinary. Can you imagine how stressful this can be if you really don’t want to do this, but are too scared of being targeted at work or loosing your job? They won’t want to be in the same position as a claimant. This does not excuse the DWP employees who don’t mind doing this. They really need to question their motives and their moral standards. Having to refuse a claimants money could quite literally result in that claimants death. There’s enough evidence of this. 

Now the definition of the word aspiration is this. “A hope or ambition of achieving something” As in the needs and aspirations of the people” Words associated are desire, hope, longing, yearning, hankering, urge, wish. The list goes on. 

It’s quite different than the governments retroric that states that people should “Aspire to work”

I really do think that the government have surpassed themselves here. Aspiration targets for refusing mandatory reconsiderations could be translated as a desire to refuse as many mandatory reconsiderations as possible. 

The more exposure we have on target led decisions that we can expose the better. No one can challenge anything publicly unless the public actually know. 

And I’m not supporting the DWP either. This system is cruel, it’s designed to fail a claimant and I will continue to challenge this for as long as humanely possible. 

Universal Credit promotion continuing and DWP involvement with The Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside.

Well, well well it seems that the DWP aren’t giving up as Teresa May suggested. My instincts were right in thinking that they would continue the planned roll out, after all they had just employed new staff especially for this purpose at a Jobcentre in a nearby town. 

Today I received a rather interesting email. It was from an organisation called Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside They work closely alongside several networks and organisations to provide resources and help to raise awareness, and to also provide practical help to those living in poverty across the Greater Manchester area. 

In this email that was sent out, it included a selection of roll out tools for the promotion of Universal credit. 

Now I found this extremely interesting as Universal credit has been proven to not make work pay. The waiting time for a Universal Credit claim to be processed at its quickest is six weeks, the longest period of time that I have heard of is three months. So why are The Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside Group  communicating with the DWP? 

Now included in this email is a complete tool kit which will give organisations everything that they would need to promote Universal Credit. So I have had a good look, and have picked some of the misleading information out to highlight to the readers of my blog. I do know that what I am about to show you is nothing new, but it does no harm indeed to show you again. People forget quickly. 

Now take note. This is the propaganda. Below is an image of the reality.

You are not better off in work whilst on Universal Credit, you are actually worse off. As from April 2016 the back to work bonus was taken away, leaving claimants with no benefit at all. Quite simply you end up worse off. It seems that the DWP has failed to correct their promotional material. 

Also in the material given, the DWP tries to pursuade organisations to ensure that claimants tick the boxes on the Universal Jobmatch job search account that claimants are forced to sign up to. 

Now if a claimant does this, they loose all privacy and their unreasonable job searches will be monitored at all times. I’ve seen cases of when a claimant was ten minutes short on their job search and they had their Universal Credit payments sanctioned. The amount of time that claimants have to search for jobs is entirely individual, for some claimants they have to job search for 35 hours a week. 

However in a recent freedom of information request it shows that legally you have no obligation to tick that box at all, and indeed the accompanying box next to it on the form. I always inform claimants that this is the most important thing to do. 

You can imagine how alarmed I was to see that The Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside are in communication with the DWP. They are supposed to be helping people out of poverty rather than dragging them into even more poverty. 

You also might be interested to learn that Universal Credit has lead to an increase in domestic violence incidences. The lack of money, and one person controlling the household income has had a detrimental effect. People are suffering, that I and others have no doubt and the suffering will indeed continue. Universal Credit was created to cause suffering I’m sure of that. 

Update: I have been contacted by a member of Greater Manchester Poverty Action. This has absolutley nothing to do with their group. The group involved is The Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside. An email had been sent to Greater Manchester Poverty Action and the sender from the Poverty Agenda Group had included them without their knowledge. 

I have therefore amended my blog but I will not change my opinion that the original sender The Poverty Agenda Group Oldham And Tameside really need to think about their actions. Associating with the DWP is in my eyes morally wrong. 

I find it very disturbing that they are in communication with the DWP.