Second leaked DWP whistleblower document shows welfare sanctions targets are widespread

March 25, 2013 8:05 pm

On Friday we showed you a shocking letter (leaked by a DWP whistleblower) that revealed the DWP’s secret targets for sanctioning welfare recipients in action.

As we were posting the letter, Iain Duncan Smith was still insisting on the floor of the Commons that no such sanctions targets exist. That letter proved he was wrong.

We asked on Friday for evidence of sanctions targets in other job centres – and several people have contacted us with their stories of similar actions in other parts of the country. If you have proof - please let us know.

Here’s another document we’ve been sent, which talks about the new sanctions regime, and says that “unless we improve we will be put under special measures”:

  • thiswayup

    Isn’t lying to the House a breach of the Ministerial code punishable by instant sacking?
    So how long is IDS still in the job, or will he retroactively get rid of that legislation as well?

  • AlanGiles

    Yet another reason for Byrne, Miliband and co to be deeply ashamed of their behaviour a week ago when they gave a nod and a wink to the loathsome Duncan-Smith to get his retrospective law through Parliament. A bit like a soft magistrate giving a violent old lag a suspended sentence, and we all know how keen both Labour and Conservative are for that popular lady Laura Norder.

  • Monkey_Bach

    The reason this kind of thing happens is because David Freud wanted Jobcentres and Work Programme providers to try different methods, or “innovations” as Freud called them, to see what got people off benefits best. Managers were given a huge amount of latitude to “interpret” and “reinterpret” rules and regulations, which led some to abuse their positions as indicated above: claimants began to be lied to, bullied, threatened unjustly, or deliberately enticed to “incriminate” themselves by word, gesture, or some other means, enabling them to be “sanctioned” as a consequence for completely trivial infractions. Rules changed on a day to day basis as the DWP winged it and made things up as it went along: nobody knew for sure on a day to day basis what was actually expected of them and many innocent guileless souls suffered terrible pain and misery by mistake, as a result, completely undeservingly and needlessly

    Overwhelmingly Liam Byrne personally backs such a harsh approach, not because he is innately cruel but because he is an amoral, ambiguous creature who believes that now, at this point in time, during the current climate of fear and upheaval, that the public favour calamitous and heartless treatment of working age benefit claimants.

    We know this.

    But even with a terrible, unenlightened, and cruel government in power with a weak and uncertain opposition giving them it easy ride at least innocent citizens enjoyed some protection against injustice by recourse to an appeal process and by making a case in the courts as a final recourse… well they did… until last Tuesday evening, that is, when Labour became a passive party to this:

    http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/wingsland/civitas.htm

    What would the Party’s founding fathers have thought of the above?

    Has the leadership no honour whatsoever?

    No courage?

    No sense of shame?

    That’s a resounding “no” then is it?

    Eeek.

    • AlanGiles

      What bothers me is that LL writes, in all innocence about “shocking letters” and Duncan Smith denying things to be true when he knows otherwise.
      Perhaps some people are genuinely naive, but in the case of Byrne and Miliband they cannot be unaware, since it is on public record, that Duncan-Smith lied on his CV, and over his expenses, and is well remembered for Betsygate.

      He may have been an officer, but he never was and never will be, a gentleman.
      If Smith would be that paltry about his CV, do the Labour front bench really find it that surprising that his integrity is so low on more serious matters?

      I suppose in the case of Byrne and Smith, where personal financial honesty is concerned, it is a case of “birds of a feather” but in all honesty if Labour’s top table is so ready to believe the bluster of the failed Tory leader, they ought to leave major decisions to people who have the experience and maturity to know when a mediocre politician is being economical with the actualitie’

      • Monkey_Bach

        IDS may be telling the truth. He is a credulous and hugely stupid man with only a loose grip on reality and may honestly have no real idea in respect to what the heck is going on it Jobcentres or the DWP.

        More serious in my opinion is the fact that Jon Cruddas, after all of his critical articles about New Labour and subsequent welfare reforms, injustices and dangers, tamely abstained from voting against the Jobseekers Bill, as ordered, just like the other quislings. Where have all the heroes gone? Eeek.

  • MonkeyBot5000

    “unless we improve we will be put under special measures”

    That made my day.

    On the one hand it’s bad that they have targets for sanctions, but on the other hand, they might get punished for missing an arbitrary target over which they may have no control – just like jobseekers.

    Anyone who has ever had to deal with the sneering half-wits that make up 90% of job centre staff can’t help but take a little schadenfreude at them getting a little of their own medicine. At least they know they won’t just get their wages stopped because some minor bureaucrat doesn’t like the way they filled out a form.

  • Moose

    WE have got to admit, however, that this homeless, destitute place of no provision to which the unexploitable and the expendable are being consigned to die more quickly than everyone else was not created by Ian Duncan Smith or any other member of the Conservative Party, nor has its body count even yet been doubled from the 40,000 that Gordon Brown left in it. These are the Labour Party’s killing fields. WE are the murderers.

  • Amber_Star

    Liam Byrne had Labour abstain for nothing. The Tory Lords have binned Byrne’s ‘prize’ for abstaining: i.e. sanctions quotas will NOT be investigated during any review. So much for Byrne’s explanation on Labour List about the importance of getting an independent investigation into this. Very poor judgement by Byrne, was it not? Perhaps he needs reminding of rule one: Never Trust a Tory.

    • AlanGiles

      “The Tory Lords have binned Byrne’s ‘prize’ for abstaining:”
      I suspect that it was a fig-leaf to hide behind his covert support for the measure. as Monkey says Crudas abstained, which is a bit odd for somebody who is so opinionated and “for” the ordinary man.

      TBH I just do not trust or believe either Duncan-Smith or Byrne – to borrow Eddie Mair’s words they are BOTH “a nasty piece of work”. Both of them should be up a side street selling dodgy used cars.

  • Dave Postles

    Quite honestly, I can’t see a way back for Labour.

  • http://twitter.com/diarychecker Bad Penny

    I work in a jobcentre and have today been dragged in before the manager to explain why I have referred 0% for possible sanction when other officers are running at a 1-2 per day. Threats of action were made to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/geraldine.cox.100 Geraldine Cox

      the government says there are no targets to be met if there is no law stating this then you are not doing anything wrong if they dismiss you take it to a tribunal because you have been dismissed unfairly the law is on your side there is no legal sanctions to be targeted ,then take to the media and stand up for those who are sanctioned for no reason.

  • peter goggins

    OH SORRY .. I though the Labour party supported the ‘welfare reforms’ .. Just a brief personal story … Having left Uni 2 years ago I found myself signing on .. I have a long term chronic illness.. I was ill time and again .. so I was given a 2 month sick note .. I had my benefits STOPPED and I have been HUNGRY for weeks with no heating NO money .. quite seriously ill and told .. I have to appeal a ‘decision’ by ATOS .. even though the doctor says I am unfit for work

    so YOU LOT on here are in la la land if you thik Labour are our friends ,.. I wrote to labour party about this ..= NO ANSWER = why >? because they SUPPORT IT!!!

  • peter goggins

    Labour support this policy.

  • peter goggins

    Labour support this policy I am being cencored by the site mods .. what a joke this ‘discussion’ is

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