The DWP has finally released the provider guidance for the new Community Workfare Placements, the new forced work scheme which may or may not be finally starting this month. This is the set of rules that the private sector parasites running the placements have to follow and should be downloaded and studied by anyone facing forced work on the scheme.
Alongside the guidance comes a leaflet begging organisations to take part, promising that forcing claimants to work without pay for six months can help charities “fulfil a social responsibility” and provide them with “extra support” for their work within the community. They also hint that charities can expect to be paid by the tax payer for becoming involved in workfare, although they warn this will be the decision of…
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I look forward to reading VP readers’ thoughts on this.
The Guardian today offered 6 steps that Nick Clegg must take to help rebuild the Lib Dems before the next election.
Personally I don’t think they were anywhere near radical enough.
So here are 6 things I think Nick Clegg needs to do if the Lib Dems are to avoid further meltdown:
1) Nail his scrotum to the floor.
2) With one rusty nail for every year he’s been in coalition.
3) Without anaesthetic.
4) In public.
5) Then apologise.
6) And resign.
That might just do it.
Please feel free to comment. And share. Thanks:
There’s considerable cynicism today about politics and the effectiveness of voting. Some of this is justifiable to a certain extent, coming from the fact that all three of the main political parties – Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives – have embraced Thatcherite neoliberalism to a greater or lesser extent. So much so, that many people cannot see any real difference between them, and so despair of there being any effective change in policy. As a result, they either don’t vote, or else vote for UKIP. The Kippers present themselves as being qualitatively different from the Liblabcons as they put it, but are in fact merely the extreme Eurosceptic Tory Right which has somehow managed to find a largely Left-leaning working class constituency.
Apart from this, there is a facile cynicism about democratic politics, expressed in sneers at the motives of the people who fought and died for modern…
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On Thursday I published a post about the way the Bulgarian peasants’ party, BANU, attempted to provide reasonable credit from banks lent to peasant credit cooperatives as a way of destroying the moneylenders that had plagued Bulgarian rural society, as a result of whom hundreds of villages had found themselves in serious debt. I suggested that we needed something similar to act against usurers, such as Wonga and the other payday loan companies. Thousands of people in Britain have now also found themselves heavily in debt because of the way they have been forced to rely on such companies, as well as criminal loan sharks, because of low wages and the repeated slashing of benefits by successive governments. People have also been caught in the credit trap through the absurdly easy terms on which it was available during the boom years. Advertisers must share their responsibility for this, has the…
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In my last post, I put up Leoni al-Ajeel’s personal account of her problems with the authorities claiming that she had been overpaid tax credits on Mike’s piece on this problem over at Vox Political. The Coalition has passed legislation providing for the use of debt collection agencies against those the bureaucrats at Whitehall have deemed to have been overpaid them. The original legislation regarding overpaid tax credits provided for a buffer to give claimants the benefit of the doubt and so allow for the possibility that calculations they had been overpaid may in fact be mistaken. This leeway has been scaled back, according to Mike, to £5,000, making many more people vulnerable to claims and mistakes by the Inland Revenue.
It has seemed to very many of the commenters on Mike’s blog that this was another attempt by the government to exploit the poor, and also to deter…
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This morning I reblogged Mike’s post from over at Vox Political on the government’s use of debt collection agencies against people, who have been overpaid tax credits due to mistakes by the Inland Revenue, ‘Tax credit debt collection is a double-edged attack on the poor’. Many people have experienced problems with the authorities claiming that they have mistakenly overpaid benefit claimants, and threatening them with legal action. One of those, who have been a victim of this is Leoni al-Ajeel, one of the commenters on Mike’s blog. In her comment on Mike’s post, she gives her account of her struggle with the authorities, who repeatedly claimed that they had overpaid her. She writes
I also have debt with Tax credits, I received a letter saying I owe them £997 and I must pay it back. This is not the only letter I got, I got letter from council saying I…
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Timothy Langdale, QC, for Mr Coulson, said the former editor of the News of the World had tackled difficult questions in the witness box “without shilly-shallying or obfuscation.”
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