Jobseekers told to do more to find (non-existent) work

Esther McVile: The employment minister, who claims adamantly that changes to housing benefit do not constitute a 'bedroom tax', is pictured complaining about a so-called 'tunnel tax' in her own constituency in a blatant display of double standards.

Esther McVile: The employment minister, who claims adamantly that changes to housing benefit do not constitute a ‘bedroom tax’, is pictured complaining about a so-called ‘tunnel tax’ in her own constituency in a blatant display of double standards.

WARNING: This article has been edited using the ‘Guide to DWP euphemisms’ published by Richard Hutton, and with inspiration from it.

New rules coming into force at the end of the month mean jobseekers will have to do more to find work – even though there are currently five of them for every job available – the Department for Work and Pensions has announced.

Simply ‘signing-on’ for benefits will be a thing of the past under the draconian and repressive new rules.

Employment Minister and double-standards queen Esther McVey has hailed the new rules as undermining the range of support available, which helps diminish aspects of the social security system so that it no longer protects anybody from being left impoverished – in this case by making sure people cannot start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) by just signing-on without first humbling themselves before the Tory-led government.

She said: “With the economy growing, unemployment falling and record numbers of people in work, now is the time to start expecting more of shirkers if they want to claim benefits. It’s only right that we should push people who are unemployed into such a depth of poverty that even ‘in-work’ poverty is a step-up.

“This is about taking support away from people and undermining the range of support available to them so they can hit rock bottom faster. In return, we will give people as much harassment as possible, to make them stop scrounging or face sanctions, because we know from employers that we have to break people’s spirit before they’ll work for a really low wage.”

To prepare for their first interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, people looking for work will be told they will not even be able to sign as unemployed until they have prepared a CV, set up an email address – even though they might not have a computer on which to use it – and registering with the government’s discredited jobs website Universal Jobmatch, which will expose them to identity thieves and exploiters looking for sex workers. This change will make it possible to exploit people as soon as they start their JSA claim.

People who don’t tow the line will receive more harassment from their Jobcentre Plus adviser – weekly rather than fortnightly – to ensure they can be cleared off the books via sanctions if it proves impossible to push them into poverty work.

All new JSA claimants will also now have a quarterly review with their adviser, who will try to find a reason to impose sanctions and get them off the books.

These new measures are being introduced as figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by over 363,000 on the year, the largest annual fall since 1998. This shows that the system of sanctions, putting people on Workfare to hide the fact that they are unemployed, and asking them to pretend that they are self-employed in order to fraudulently claim tax credits instead, is working.

The government is committed to sanctions and the vast majority of people are bullied off JSA quickly – more than 75 per cent of people end their claim within six months. Every working day Jobcentre Plus advisers shout at 98,000 interviews jobseekers and there are a range of ploys available to push them off the system. These include:

• Hiding them on the Work Programme
• Referring them for ‘training’ by companies that provide the minimum help available, take the money and run
• Putting people on pointless ‘work experience’ that won’t lead to a job but will clear them off the claimant count
• Fooling people with ‘incentives’ that mean nothing
• Getting people to pretend they are self-employed.

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21 thoughts on “Jobseekers told to do more to find (non-existent) work

    1. steve smith

      Ahh the Tories my favourite subject, FOUR MILLION unemployed (if they counted who they should count) and “only” 596,000 jobs available is it not inevitable that there are going to be 3.404 MILLION UNEMPLOYED? 700,000+ 16-25 Year olds unemployed which makes an absolute MOCKERY of the Tory policy of cutting youth unemployment!

  1. Joanna

    What a F****ing EVIL Bitch, Hasn’t she considered that some peoples spirit has already been broken, and also What possible good can anyone get out of a broken spirited person workwise? She is just making an excuse so that she isn’t responsible! Well guess What BITCH!! you are very much responsible and you should walled up in a small bare room and left to Die very slowly and painfully!! Ater all isn’t that what you are doing!!!!!!!!

  2. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Never mind how Esther McVey and the rest of the DWP gang masters phrase it, this is an excellent translation of what they’re really saying. As for Richard Hutton’s ‘Guide to DWP Euphemisms’, this should be a classic work of translating official jargon alongside ‘Yes, Minister’s’ guide to official government phrases like ‘full and frank discussions’, meaning a lot of talk without any positive result. With this in mind, we hope that the new policies of Esther McVey, IDS, Mike Pennington and the rest of the government are so courageous, that they will all receive their due from the public at the next election.

  3. Joanna

    Isn’t she also Breaking the Law? By insisting someone hand over a CV? Isn’t a CV covered under the data protection act? And isn’t an ACT a Law? please let me know?

  4. prayerwarriorpsychicnot

    I am sick of the govt scapegoating the unemployed for the shortage of jobs which the govt is responsible for. And the media plays along instead of holding the government to account for their failure.

  5. jray

    So very true,it is like going to a Vegas magic show “Watch me make the Unemployed disappear with a wave of my Magic Wand” On a different tact regarding the Community Work Programme,it has been suggested to me that I brush up on H&S especially on COSH the Providers are depending on uninformed Conscripts.

  6. jeffrey davies

    like in America they bring their workfare here hasn’t took them long to cook the books fiddle the figures make everyone think works aplenty while quietly filling those places with their mates companies stacking shelves for that 71 pounds yes American ways brought to our shores

  7. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    What percentage of UK benefit claimants are digitally excluded and/or computer illiterate? Is it possible to set up an e-mail account at a public library, or elsewhere?

    Isn’t this a revisit of the Universal Credit and the ‘digital divide’ debate?

    Montreal, Canada

    1. untynewear

      I was speaking last week to a guy I know, computer illiterate and likely to stay that way, who uses public computers in a community centre and is signed up to Universal Jobmatch, so must have an email adress.

  8. Timmo

    Are there really enough Jobcentre staff left to handle ever increasing workloads? Besides what is mentioned in this article Osborne’s Help-to-Work scheme is supposed to be starting this month with thousands upon thousands of unemployed persons having to sign at a Jobcentre every weekday. This seems impossible to me. Literally unworkable.

    1. untynewear

      You’re right, the system will collapse most likely. Already its stretched – I had a Jobcentre Adviser appointment on April 2nd. Next one, 21st May ! Fortnightly appointments out of the window…

      Admittedly I live in an area of high unemployment anyway, but if the backlog is so great BEFORE they implement the next level of nonsense….

  9. AM-FM

    Careful, you might get head hunted by the DWP.

    Geographically, the tunnel occupancy charge can’t be in her constituency, I think it’s in Frank Field’s.

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  11. Thomas M

    If there were enough ok jobs for people as there were in the 1960s, the Tories might have a point, but partly because of Thatcher shutting down the industries, partly because of immigrants, and partly because of technology, there are not the jobs for them to go to. For me having Asperger’s Syndrome, there certainly are no non scammers who would want me for a job.

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