DWP officials pocket £44 million in performance bonuses despite universal credit debacle

Figures also show DWP ministers spent £35million defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people vital benefits.

Civil servants working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been handed over £40 million in performance-related bonuses, despite serious problems with the rollout of universal credit and a startling increase in the number of successful disability benefit appeals.

Figures released earlier this week show DWP staff were awarded £44 million in “good performance” bonuses in the last year, while thousands of new universal credit claimants were forced to a wait a minimum six weeks for their first payment and left at risk of becoming homeless because of rent arrears.

According to the figures, 240 senior DWP officials pocketed a total £760,000 in bonuses, while a further 88,300 junior staff were each handed an extra £1,750 in their pay packets.

A Cabinet Office spokesman defended the handouts, claiming bonuses are needed to “attract, retain and motivate highly-skilled individuals”.

Meanwhile, the data also reveals that DWP ministers spent a shocking £35 million of taxpayers cash defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people Personal Independence Payments (PIP), despite separate figures showing 68% of appeals rule in favour of claimants – exposing chronic failures in the PIP assessment process…

• Full story here: DWP officials pocket £44 million in ‘performance’ bonuses despite universal credit debacle

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Emergency appeal: malicious attack on pro-JC campaigner

via Emergency appeal: malicious attack on pro-JC campaigner

@Rachael_Swindon

Pro-Corbyn blogger @Rachael_Swindon is one of the most tireless campaigners for Labour, Corbyn and a fairer society that you’ll ever find.

As well as blogging and creating some of the strongest memes to support Labour’s message, she is a full-time mother of two kids who also cares full-time for her disabled husband, who recently took a turn for the worse. As a result, she and her family are in the support group of ESA and PIP, which allowed them – just about – to scrape by, except when the DWP screwed up.

Until now.

Because of her effectiveness, Rachael has angered right-wingers both inside and outside the Labour party. Because she has a ‘donate’ button on her blog, in case the occasional donation comes in to help eke out meagre benefits, someone made a malicious report to the DWP, triggering an investigation.

Let’s be clear, Rachael has done nothing wrong – being on benefits doesn’t mean someone can’t give you a gift. It’s not earned income. But the DWP has suspended all benefits to Rachael and her family while they investigate – pushing her into desperate straits that have now become very desperate indeed..

This is part of a clearly coordinated series of attacks on some of the most effective pro-Corbyn bloggers and campaigners. The SKWAWKBOX has been targeted, as have others.

The ‘person’ responsible for this is slime. But there are far more good -hearted people out there.

If you are able to help Rachael, however small the amount, please go as soon as you can to her blog and use the donate button. Thank you for your help for great campaigner in an emergency, who’s paying a high price for doing the right thing – and for your support for the cause of making this a better country to live in.

Judges find DWP ‘fitness for work’ test breaches the Equality Act and is illegal

Vox Political

A judicial review has ruled that the test used to decide whether people are fit for work actively discriminates against the mentally ill.

The tribunal concentrated on the issue of supporting evidence, and found that – under the current system – no matter how ill or even delusional a person may be, they are responsible for gathering their own medical evidence and sending it in. Otherwise, the material will not be considered. For someone with a severe mental illness, this may prove impossible.

Paperwork documenting a patient’s history of mental illness may be ignored and their ability to work will be judged using evidence from a 15-minute interview with a stranger who probably has no mental health training and no idea what the experts have to say.

Reporting the victory, the Black Triangle Campaign wrote: “The judgment that the DWP is in breach of the Equality Act is…

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DWP ‘try to ban’ PCS posters about number of callers who threaten suicide because of cuts to disability benefits

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Managers in government call centres have been taking down union posters that expose the brutal way workers are told to treat people on benefits.

Bosses in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said the notices were offensive and an incitement to take industrial action.

The PCS posters were on union notice boards and highlight the real experiences of workers in DWP call centres – including one who was told off for wishing an unemployed person “good luck”.

They also refer to the number of callers who threaten suicide because of cuts to disability benefits.

Industrial action is not mentioned anywhere on the posters.

The PCS poster campaign is a response to what the union says is an insensitive management propaganda campaign aimed at people who take time off sick.

Fran Heathcote, president of the PCS DWP group, said. “This is as an attack on the union’s independence.

“The posters are no different in content to those we’ve used before and we can see no justification for them being banned.”

Separately, PCS is to hold a consultative ballot among some of its members in government call centres in a campaign over working conditions.

The ballot will commence on 25th June, with the result expected in mid-July.

Officials say their campaign has lead to ‘some improvements’, but that these are not enough.

source: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/06/18/dwp-try-to-ban-pcs-posters-about-number-of-callers-who-threaten-suicide-because-of-cuts-to-disability-benefits/