Tag Archives: transition

DWP Hide Details Of Forced Transition To Universal Credit Pilot From MPs | The poor side of life

Once again the Department for Work and Pensions has been caught hiding information – this time not just from the public but from MPs as well.

Here’s The Poor Side of Life:

The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have once again been found to have covered up data from a forced transition pilot which took place in Harrogate.

Not only have they tried to hide this information from the public they’ve also hidden the details from MPs.

There is evidence of the DWP covering up not only the details of the forced pilot which took place in Harrogate, but also details of their incompetence.

This relates to the forced transition from legacy benefits to UC (Universal Credit). The social security advisory committee (SSAC) has been reported saying to MPs that there is a need for external scrutiny of the worrying process this month.

Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak has disclosed that copies of the Harrogate forced transition pilot report on the Harrogate pilot have been placed in the House of Commons library, after being entirely redacted with the exception of the words ‘Moved to Universal Credit’ and ‘User research’.

The total redaction tells us one thing, the DWP doesn’t want to let MPs know the details of the pilot and what happened. It goes without saying that they don’t want the public to know these details either.

Steve McCabe also gave details concerning a constituent who was left in a very bad both physically and mentally leaving the constituent in distress. The DWP reported that she failed to respond correctly to a migration notice despite already being told that she didn’t have a computer at home.

He went on to say that she attempted to phone the DWP but could’nt find anyone to speak to. She also sent a letter by recorded delivery at her expense which the department ‘thought’ that they didn’t receive it. This left her without any payments for many weeks.

Charlotte Pickles, a member of SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee), told MPs that the SSAC believed that some kind of external scrutiny of the ‘scary’ migration process is needed which will then supposedly give people forced to transition confidence that the process will be fair.

She went on to say, “We are all very aware that for some groups, in particular, UC is quite a scary proposition. If you are sitting on a legacy benefit or you are a tax credit claimant, you possibly, likely, in certain groups, are very nervous and possibly reluctant to make that move to UC.”

After all who can blame them. The DWP are concealing important details not only from MPs but the public as well. The evidence from the Harrogate trial should be provided in an open and transparent way and any failings dealt with before expanding forced migration to Universal Credit.

Concealing evidence such as this will result in a failure of responsibility from the DWP and will undoubtably result in suffering and distress for those forced to move to Universal Credit.

At the time of writing the DWP are still hiding these details.

Source: DWP Hide Details Of Forced Transition To Universal Credit Pilot From MPs – The poor side of life

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Brexit: ‘Make me an offer’ says May – but nobody wants to talk with her

This is how we should all treat Theresa May.

Theresa May’s week has not started in a very intelligent way, has it?

Not only is she facing rebellion from all sides at home, thanks to her hopeless mismanagement of her own party, as described in This Site’s earlier article

Not only has a report shown that the UK will be worse off after Brexit, no matter what we do with it…

The government’s new analysis of the impact of Brexit says the UK would be worse off outside the European Union under every scenario modelled.

The assessment, which is titled “EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing” and dated January 2018, looked at three of the most plausible Brexit scenarios based on existing EU arrangements.

Under a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, UK growth would be 5% lower over the next 15 years compared to current forecasts, according to the analysis.

The “no deal” scenario, which would see the UK revert to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, would reduce growth by 8% over that period. The softest Brexit option of continued single-market access through membership of the European Economic Area would, in the longer term, still lower growth by 2%.

These calculations do not take into account any short-term hits to the economy from Brexit, such as the cost of adjusting the economy to new customs arrangements.

Not only did the EU take just two minutes deciding what it was going to offer the UK in the next round of Brexit negotiations…

The European Union’s 27 remaining countries have formally agreed on the terms they will offer Britain for its Brexit transition period.

The negotiating guidelines were agreed by the member states after only a two minute discussion, the European Commission’s deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand said on Monday afternoon.

The decision was made at a meeting of the EU’s general affairs council in Brussels, which the UK did not attend – as is convention for decisions regarding Brexit.

Not only did Angela Merkel expose Mrs May to ridicule over her negotiating technique (what negotiating technique?)…

Angela Merkel reportedly left journalists “laughing uproariously” after mocking Theresa May‘s attempts to negotiate a trading relationship post-Brexit.

The German chancellor said she had been trapped in a recurring conversation with the British Prime Minister since the EU referendum in 2016.

Speaking to a “secret” press meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ms Merkel claimed Ms May had repeatedly asked her to “make me an offer”, according to a report by ITV political pundit Robert Peston.

Ms Merkel said that when she replied “but you’re leaving – we don’t have to make you an offer. Come on what do you want?”, Ms May replied again, “Make me an offer.”

“And so, according to Mrs Merkel, the two find themselves trapped in a recurring loop of ‘what do you want?’ and ‘make me an offer’,” Mr Peston wrote on his Facebook page.

But it turns out Gibraltar can veto any final deal!

The chief minister of Gibraltar has said he is ready to veto parts of the Brexit deal agreed by Theresa May if it does not work in the territory’s favour.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Fabian Picardo said he would not accept anything in the deal that was detrimental to Gibraltar’s business or social care systems.

Mr Picardo, who presides over a region that delivered the highest Remain vote – 96 per cent – of anywhere in the EU referendum, also called for a second vote on the final terms of any Brexit agreement.

Of course he wants a second vote. He knows Brexit is insanity – and so do we, after the report mentioned above.

But Tories don’t want to allow it because refusal would ruin their plans to take away what’s left of our rights and property.


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Jackass UK negotiators have just realised they can’t achieve Brexit in the transition period they’ve been offered

“Presidents Club? Never been there,” says David Davis, although his hand gestures tell a different story [Image: PA].

It is stupidity like this that undermines faith – not just in Brexit, which is a lost cause anyway, but in the Tory government and its advisors.

The whole kit and caboodle, as the saying goes.

The UK’s Brexit negotiators are considering asking the EU for a longer transition period than the one they have been offered, amid concerns it will not be long enough to prepare the country for exit.

The possibility of a longer transition comes amid increasing discontent from the Tory right about the period as an EU “vassal state”, and with negotiations on the issue set to start in earnest in the coming weeks.

A Brussels source told The Independent that British officials had asked about the feasibility of extending the period in a recent meeting, while UK diplomats admitted that it might need to stretch beyond the start of 2021 and would not rule out pushing for a later date in upcoming talks.

Source: UK negotiators consider asking Brussels for a longer Brexit transition period


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WASPI women stage noisy walkout of Commons after minister denies them pensions help

WASPI protesters (these were in Norfolk) [Image: Eastern Daily Press.]

Proceedings in Parliament became a little noisier than usual yesterday – and for a good reason:

I’ll let Labour’s Laura Pidcock explain:

Mr Opperman had just refused to provide any transitional help for women who are facing an increase in the age at which they will be paid the state pension.

Changes to the state pension age for women were introduced in Acts of Parliament in 1995 and 2011 and mean that, by 2020, 2.6 million women will have to wait until they are 66 before receiving their pension.

Mr Opperman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “People living and staying healthier for longer is to be welcomed, but the Government must not ignore the fact that it also brings enormous financial and demographic pressures. The key choice that a Government face when seeking to control state pension spend is to increase the state pension age or pay lower pensions, with an inevitable impact on pensioner poverty. The only alternative is to ask the working generation to pay an ever larger share of their income to support pensioners.

“In July 2017 the Government published their first review of the state pension age, which set out a coherent strategy targeted at strengthening and sustaining the UK state pension system for many decades to come. It accepts the key recommendation of John Cridland’s independent review which was to increase the state pension age from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

“The review is clear about increasing life expectancy and the challenges it poses. People are living longer. Almost 6,000 people in the UK turned 100 in 2016, compared with 3,000 in 2002. By 2035 there will be more than twice as many people over 100 as there are now.”

It was while he was saying these words that the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) representatives in the public gallery stood up and, at first, turned their backs on Mr Opperman, before shouting “Shame on you!” and staging a mass walkout.

This Writer can sympathise. Not only was Mr Opperman quoting inaccurate statistics about longevity – people have started living shorter lives since the Conservatives came to office – but he was also wrong about an increase in the amount working-age people would be asked to spend on pensions – the National Insurance fund for Great Britain was in surplus by nearly £21 billion in October last year, while the Northern Ireland fund was half a billion pounds in surplus, and there is no reason to believe that the transitional arrangements being requested would put that fund into deficit.

One particularly strong argument in favour of transitional arrangements is the fact that the women who are being affected were not given sufficient warning of the change and will suffer considerable financial difficulty as a result.

So the WASPI women were right; Mr Opperman should be ashamed.

The debate served a useful purpose – the Commons agreed to call on the Government to publish proposals to provide a non-means tested bridging solution for all women born on or after April 6, 1950, who are affected by changes to the State Pension age in the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts.

No doubt the miserly Tories will refuse the request – they would rather provide useless tax breaks to bankers, after all – but their response will undoubtedly provide another nail in the coffin of the arrogant and incompetent minority Conservative government.


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Theresa May needed to offer more to the EU than continued court jurisdiction

David Davis (L) and Michel Barnier: The body language says it all – we need them; they don’t need us [Image: Reuters/Yves Herman].

It looks like pro-remain site In Facts has got it right – the only progress Mrs May was able to announce in her update to Parliament was conceding that the European court of justice would continue to have jurisdiction over the UK during the “implementation period” of around two years, during which the UK will go through a transition from full EU membership to a completely separate nation state.

So this is a further sign of Mrs May’s – and the Tory negotiating team’s – weakness. Right?

Don’t expect any progress from the next round of Brexit talks, which start on Monday. Theresa May isn’t in a position to make the concrete concessions that will be needed to move the negotiations forward, and the EU won’t trust a nod and a wink from a wounded leader.

The prime minister hoped she could unblock the stalled negotiations with her Florence speech two weeks ago. That now seems almost a lifetime away. Boris Johnson’s exocet missiles, May’s own disastrous speech at the Tory conference and the plot to kick her out as leader have shattered what little authority she had.

The Florence speech involved no fewer that eight u-turns. This was enough for Michel Barnier, the EU Commission’s negotiator, to pronounce there was a “new dynamic” in the talks. But it was always clear that we would have to make more concessions before EU leaders agreed to authorise discussions on our future deal.

After Florence it looked like May was preparing those concessions. A week ago The Times said she was going to accept divorce costs of £40 billion. She would also spell out a way to “ensure legal force is given to decisions by EU judges on the residency rights of Europeans living in Britain”. The EU summit in two weeks would then agree to let Barnier discuss the transitional deal which the prime minister has finally started to realise is needed to ensure the economy doesn’t fall off a cliff when we quit the EU in March 2019.

A week is an awfully long time in politics. Now The Telegraph is reporting that the UK will not be making any more concessions on money in next week’s talks.

Source: Brexit talks even more dead in water after May fiasco


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Another setback for Tory Brexit talks – the silly Ruperts thought they were entitled to set the pace

The key objective of Theresa May’s speech in Florence has been rejected by France and Germany [Image: PA Wire/PA Images].


Theresa May’s Florence speech can’t have been all that well-received if France and Germany are rejecting its main message.

This is what she gets for assuming she can dictate the pace of Brexit negotiations and the subjects under discussion.

It has been said before, and will be said again – the UK is the weaker participant in these talks; the EU can basically do what it wants and if Mrs May doesn’t like it, she’ll have to lump it.

See if she doesn’t.

Paris and Berlin will reportedly reject requests for Brexit talks to move on to a possible transitional arrangement until the so-called “divorce bill” is settled, in a huge setback to Theresa May after her well received speech in Florence.

In that speech, the Prime Minister proposed a two-year transitional period after the UK leaves the EU, in a bid to break the deadlock of the negotiations.

But, according to the Financial Times, any hope of moving on to discussion of establishing a transitional deal will be effectively vetoed by France and Germany, until the question the UK’s exit settlement is fully agreed.

Source: Theresa May’s Brexit plans in ruins after France and Germany ‘reject transitional arrangement’


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