I hate this government so very, very much. They would look good on a lamppost, like Mussolini.
The Spending Review. Yes, that’s what it’s about. For welfare claimants none of it is an improvement.
The key policy elements of the settlement include:
• 7 waiting days at the start of UC, ESA and JSA
• Increased requirements at start of claim, including an English language test for JSA, mandation* for CV and UJ (Universal Jobmatch) registration
• Increased signing, weekly for at least 50% of claimants
• UC claimants subject to full conditionality to verify claim every year
• Increased requirements for IS lone parents
• Looking at pilots for new ways of encouraging ESA(WRAG) to take steps to improve their health and significantly increasing requirements for claimants over 3.5 years on JSA
Seven waiting days at the start of a UC, ESA or JSA claim. Now, that’s seven days without money for the poorest people. My savings are such that I could last seven days without pay, but many people, including many poorly paid people, are skin-close to borrowing from loan sharks to keep the wolf from the door as it is.
Increased requirements for the start of claim…we may live in England, but nowhere is there a requirement to be able to speak English. Speak what you like has always been the rule.
Besides, I can think of at least one or two situations where the outcome of this would be very unfair indeed. Think of the situation of a woman who has come here as the wife of a Pakistani man. She speaks only Gujarati. He’s abusive and she leaves him, leaving the children behind her. She can’t go to family: they will shun her because she left her husband. She can only claim UC/JSA – but now she can’t because she doesn’t speak English. What does she do? Her only option is to return to her abuser, because she can’t live any other way.
It’s not that unusual a situation in the district where I live. One of my colleagues has a wife who manages a Jobcentre in central London. Where she works, about 65% of the clients don’t speak good English.
The mandatory registration on Universal Jobmatch means putting your details on a site known to be unsafe (see what Johnny Void has to say about it)
and known to be glitchy, in a way which means the staff at your Jobcentre can see what you’ve applied for and harass you to apply for unsuitable jobs in places you can't travel to. It’s a rubbish idea and someone’s going to be killed, I swear it.
The rest of the ideas are appalling, too. It’s as if they think that there are jobs to be had easily which people are not applying for. If there were decent** jobs to be had, people would take them. That’s how it’s always worked in the past and it would work that way now, too.
* Is mandation even a word? I don’t think it is.
** Properly paid, not part time zero hours contracts, or weird jobs which don’t exist when you make further enquiries.