Why am I the mediator for ESA and UC?

Having phoned ESA a couple of days ago, today I phoned UC to tell them that ESA had told me that they needed to send a form to ESA to say that I'm now in receipt of UC. ESA kindly keep paying me until they get said form, so that I'm not left without any … Continue reading Why am I the mediator for ESA and UC?


ESA and UC aren’t talking

Phoning ESA again. It has a long spiel followed by 'please press 1 to continue'. Why not just carry on without having to press 1? After more spiel, there is an explanation about it being the wrong number for Universal Credit. Then it tells you, twice, that you need to state what benefit you are … Continue reading ESA and UC aren’t talking

Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

We might be responsible for getting ourselves into a mess, but does that make us ‘responsible’ for getting ourselves out of it? I use quotation marks because ‘responsible’ isn’t quite what I mean here, at least not in its usual meaning. I think what I mean is that people who are in a mess – … Continue reading Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

How successful is the Work Programme?

Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be … Continue reading How successful is the Work Programme?

Government vs Reality – the big society

Dear government, Let’s stop talking about what you think happens in theory and start talking about what is happening in reality. In reality, people are being told they can’t claim JSA after you have told them they can’t claim ESA. In reality, other countries are looking at your handling of social security and using it … Continue reading Government vs Reality – the big society

The Contributory Principle

There is a debate continuing around the social security system on whether those who have paid in more should get back more when they need it. The inverse of this is that those who haven’t paid national contributions get nothing – including those who have not had the opportunity to pay anything. This is where … Continue reading The Contributory Principle

Something for nothing cultures

I’m getting sick of this ‘something for nothing’ attitude that MPs seem to have regarding social security. They complain about giving Jobseeker’s Allowance to people who haven’t spent many years in employment, and forget that to have spent many years in employment one also has to have lived many years since leaving education. They forget … Continue reading Something for nothing cultures

A week of poverty statistics

It seems to be a week of poverty. Median income is below its level in 2009-10. Work isn’t a route out of poverty. Being in full-time work should mean not being in poverty. Yet the majority of those in poverty are in work. This is not relative poverty but absolute poverty - “severe deprivation of … Continue reading A week of poverty statistics

The disappointment of Universal Credit

It’s such a shame. There was a wonderful opportunity to make something that worked. To get rid of what was failing and bring in new things that improved on the original. To end the mess and confusion. To repair the holes. Instead we have more holes. Bigger holes. Holes in places that used to work. … Continue reading The disappointment of Universal Credit