This story won’t go away quickly, no matter how badly the DWP and the Cabinet ‘Nudge Unit’ might want it to. The latest development – involving claims by the false test’s creators, reminds me very much of the claims by the UK Treasury that it still has good documentary evidence that George Osborne’s austerity policies are necessary.
Two questions spring to mind: First, is the theory behind this activity sound? Second, if that theory is being used to support a particular course of action, is that action justifiable?
Expect an article, soon.


Last month I exposed the fake psychometric test the DWP was forcing candidates to take for behaviour-manipulation purposes, under threat of losing their benefits through ‘sanction’ if they did not comply. The story continues to rumble on.

On the 1st of May, the Guardian picked up the story and it became one of their most-read articles of the week. Shiv Malik, the author of that article, told me that the DWP was trying to deny all kinds of things in what seemed clearly to be a transparent attempt at damage limitation. It denied:

  • that the test referred to in the ‘jobseeker’s direction’ (JSD) letter was in fact the ‘my strengths’ test in question
  • that anyone had ever been forced to take the test
  • that anyone could have lost benefits for not taking it
  • that the test was bogus

These denials in the face of the evidence of the JSD letter…

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