JSA changes, the sick and disabled get caught up…

Proof, if proof were needed, that Iain Duncan Smith is a witless as he is hairless come in this headline in the Observer “Unemployed told: do four weeks of unpaid work or lose your benefits.” It’s worth reading that article, and the more brain-dead comments that follow it (except mine, of course!)

This is the most moronic idea I’ve ever heard and, almost inevitably, it’s a US import, demonstrating that the coalition is as bankrupt of ideas as it is morally bankrupt.

What sort of work is this, that millions will be expected to carry out? Is it economically viable, with an end product? If so, isn’t this scheme taking work away from other people? How can that be justified? And if it’s not, what’s the point? IDS thinks it will get people used to going out to work – without the pay-packet, of course. IDS is an idiot, and he’s going to wreck lives, and families, for no very good reason.

Here’s an idea, though, punish the people who got the country into this mess, the bankers and financiers, claw back as much money as possible, and plough it into job creation. Nail your tax-dodging camp follower and squeeze them til the pips squeaks, and do likewise. THEN you can make a start at getting people back to work, in proper jobs, not soul-destroying make-work programmes that accomplish nothing.

And going out to work, even to workfare garbage like this, costs a lot more money than staying at home, yet it seems the additional expenses are to come out of their JSA, which currently pays the less than staggering sums of £50.95 a week for those under 25 and £64.30 for those over 25. Not a lot of scope there, then, for finding money for travel and for meals and, quite possibly, clothes, too, is there?

Consider, though, all those sick and disabled people who have been screwed by the ESA application system, and hived off onto JSA. Not forgetting the hundreds of thousands currently on IB who will be making the change to ESA, and doubtless getting screwed in the process, with many, many, more ending up on JSA.

How does this Mekon-lite  numbnuts propose that they do 4 weeks work? Or even 4 hours. And what will the response be? If claimants refuse to work, or fail to complete the 4-week stint, they will lose their JSA for at least three months.

So where does that leave the sick and disabled, on JSA through no fault of their own?

And, of course, on JSA you are expected to attend training courses and job interviews (though just where these mythical jobs are, in the light of the 1.5 million or so of upcoming job losses is a mystery). But if you don’t attend courses, or absolutely futile interviews – there’s going to be hundreds after every job, so who wants some poor bugger who hasn’t been able to work for years, maybe decades – you lose your benefit.

So finally, in Britain, in the 21st century, it will be a punishable offence to be sick and/or disabled.

Doesn’t that just give you a warm glow?

This is, of course, but the first step on the road to IDS’s “Universal Credit,” (seems he’s allergic to the word “benefit”), designed to replace all existing benefits, that “will ensure it always pays to work rather than stay on welfare.”

And if that’s not the most rotten, fly-infested, bovine ordure, I don’t know what it is. It will not “always pay to work rather than stay on welfare” (another Americanism the Mekon has adopted), simply because it’s not always possible to work, and far too many people who are going to get caught up in this scrofulous, ideological attempt at social engineering are incapable of working.

So what then, IDS? Any ideas? At all? Any time soon?

What happens to sick and disabled people forced onto JSA by the seriously defective system – ESA – left over from Labour (and which, at the time of the election, was about to be reviewed – hands up if you think that’ll still happen!), when they fall foul of these new rules? Because they surely will.

And what of the knock-on effects of this cretinous idea? If DLA is abolished, to be replaced with a no doubt far lower supplement to the “universal credit” what happens to the Motability scheme, access to which depends on the higher rate mobility component of DLA?

Are they, too, to be cast aside, to add to the ever-swelling ranks of the jobless?

And does anybody doubt that when the shiny, new, replacement for DLA is rolled out, that we’ll have to reapply? Just in case any of us have magically recovered.

Of course, the huge problem is that, after failing miserably as Conservative party leader, and being emptied out after a vote of no confidence, this is IDS’s last chance to make a name for himself – I could suggest a few – and make a name for himself he  will, and hang the cost.

Because the cost won’t fall on him, it will fall on, as ever of late, those members of society least able to defend themselves.

So I have a message for the unions, looking at this affair and thinking, we don’t have a dog in this fight, let’s leave them to it – you’re wrong.

The vast majority of you will have family members, and friends, who are sick, disabled and/or old – are you going to sit back and let them be destroyed by the most dishonourable, unprincipled and, let us never forget, unelected, government ever to seize power in this country – and do nothing about it?


9 thoughts on “JSA changes, the sick and disabled get caught up…

  1. Yes, I wonder where all the jobs are that we’re training these folk for. Perish the thought that I might agree with you about something :-).

    Taking the devils advocate position… if you’ve been unemployed for 9 of the last 10 years – or even just the last couple of years, what do you think is a good way of getting back *into* work assuming you *don’t* have a health issue? As quite a lot don’t.

    I know (well) some folk in their late 20s & early 30s in this position. They certainly don’t live high on the hog, with their JSA and housing benefits (although one of them has just got invalidity for an injury to their foot they got, ironically on the way to a ReStart type interview) so they aren’t the image the Daily Fail would like to portray.

    However, they don’t keep regular hours, and have nothing on their CVs for the last couple of years other than applications.

    If I was an employer, *why* would I take *them* rather than a keen school leaver. If they’d been working in, say, an Oxfam shop they’d have recent retail experience, have familiarity with card services – and have proved they can turn up to work on time. Like many other working people, I also do a number of voluntary activities, and I tried to encourage my acquaintances to join in.

    Sadly, getting up early, or being out in anything less than perfect weather didn’t figure in their game plan. One of them confidently said “Well, any employer would rather have me than a school leaver.” I didn’t ask why they hadn’t picked up a job if it was so easy; I did say that when I used to recruit clerical staff many years ago, I would have taken a school leaver over someone in their 30s with no discernible activity over 2 years.

    Going back to agreeing with you, I don’t see how the overhead of this scheme will make it at all effective; another poorly thought out failure.

    • I don’t think they care about what it costs. After all, re-assessing everybody on IB, on the way to JSA via ESA, plus the plans to re-assess everyone on DLA, will cost millions, if not billions.

      They want to do what Thatcher probably never even dreamed of doing – destroy or privatise the welfare state, at any cost.

  2. Hi Ron
    Can i suggest that you post your comments on the goverments web site at least they will see it from other people point of view and you never know may change when these things come for the parties in the commons to vote
    regards Tom

    • Tom, ask yourself a question – if I did that, how long do you think it’d be before I got my benefit reviewed – adversely.

      I’m pushing my luck writing this stuff, I’m not about to commit financial suicide. You tread carefully around a sleeping bear – not poke it with a stick.

  3. As someone who has personal experience of the futility of the YTS, i am no fan of this current reincarnation.

    I have been on ESA since last December and although i don’t envisage myself clearing out canals, painting fences etc i still care about the plight of those currently languishing on JSA. In fact i am not nieve enough not to imagine that it won’t effect ESA claimants in the long run, especially when the Universal Credit is rolled out.

    It seems that the tories are quite determined to roll the clocks back to the 1980s but to finish the job this time.


    • More like the 1940s, as they seem bent on dismantling the welfare state, a Tory wet dream since its inception.

      I became too disabled to work in 1986, while Thatcher was in power, and had no problem with my benefits. The rot set in with Labour and James Purnell, whose propagandist in chief, lying scumbag David Freud, defected to the Tories.

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