Sunday, 29 July 2012

Conservative Think Tank Fueling Attack on Benefit System

The following quotes are taken from Policy Exchange reports on Welfare Reform published throughout 2011.

Policy Exchange is a Conservative think tank that “has established itself not only as the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right”. It has also been described as David Cameron’s “favourite think tank”. It's been run over the years, and still is, by a cadre of right-wing shitbags who've made full use of the revolving doors of power: the current chairman of Policy Exchange is Danny Finkelstein, who is also Executive Editor of The Times.

This will be a smack in the teeth if you’re a claimant, but essential reading to understand the ideology, rhetoric and method of attack the Government is employing as it continues to dismantle/restructure the benefit system as part of a global reimposition of work. Many of the think-tank’s recommendations have, or are, being implemented by the Government, particularly those centred on back-to-work Welfare reform.

One of the most disturbing proposals by Policy Exchange is this:

“…Work Programme providers should be allowed to put in place schemes and measures that act as a deterrent to claiming.”

And of particular concern is the introduction of data profiling; the complete outsourcing of employment support to the private sector; cross-benefit sanctions; electronic sign-in at jobcentres; and electronic tracking of jobseeking activity.

I urge claimants/anti-workfare campaigners/jobcentre staff (who will face massive redundancies), who are not aware of these reports, to read these quotes and then take a look at the ridiculous evidence Policy Exchange includes in support of its recommendations to Government.

No Rights Without Responsibility: Rebalancing the welfare state
Friday, 20 May 2011

“Evidence suggests that the requirement to move onto these [Workfare] schemes has been effective in increasing exits from benefits.”

“The ambition should be that job search becomes more like the typical 35 hour week of those in full time employment.”

“Those claimants who do not qualify for contribution-based JSA should be required to search for any work from day one of their claim.”

“Sanctions need to become a stronger tool for influencing the behaviour of those who fail to fulfil activity conditions. Instead of impacting on only one part of one benefit, they should be more closely related to total benefit eligibility.”

“…stronger conditionality for those without a [National Insurance] contribution record and higher benefit levels for those who have contributed.”

“…fast-tracking claimants to the Work Programme." 

Personalised Welfare: Rethinking employment support and Jobcentres
Friday, 16 September 2011

“We propose that more information (such as entire claimant history, qualifications and sanction history) should be made available to advisers to determine the most appropriate interventions. Advisers should also be given access to other information the government may hold on a claimant –through the NHS, the police and the justice system, for example.”

“…we propose developing a Jobseeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) … it can include things like family circumstances, language skills, ethnicity, living arrangements, country of origin, transport, workplace support needs, geographic location (especially remoteness from centres of employment), recent work experience, homelessness, criminal record and qualifications.”

“…we believe that the JSCI would be greatly improved by the use of profiling data.”

“…we believe that it would be prudent to divert people from the system in the first place. This could be done by increasing work search requirements before benefits can be claimed.”

“…we propose that, in the long-term, responsibility for employment support is transferred completely to the private and voluntary sector.”

“…all income-related, active job search claimants should be required to write a CV at the initial point of the application process and a national CV database should be created.”

“For a large portion of claimants we suggest using electronic sign-ins at Jobcentres on a fortnightly basis (with code numbers through Jobpoint stations, for example), perhaps at changing times for claimants without childcare responsibilities.”

“…claimants would have a permanent record.”

“…personal targets [for Jobcentre Plus advisers] linked to job sustainability should be used as the key basis for performance reviews and remuneration – rather like recruitment agencies or Work Programme providers in the private sector.” 

Something for Nothing: Reinstating conditionality for jobseekers
Monday, 17 October 2011

“We propose removing the [3 day] waiting period and replacing it with a Required Search requirement that stipulates that claimants have to actively seek work for two weeks to be eligible for benefit.”

…reviewing the types of activities that count as ‘jobsearch activities’ and requiring more of them to take place in order for a claimant to be eligible for benefit.”

“…Work Programme providers should be allowed to put in place schemes and measures that act as a deterrent to claiming.”

“Claimants who leave the Work Programme will, under current plans, recycle back on the main Universal Credit conditionality regime. We propose that a full-time workfare scheme is introduced for claimants in this position who have also been assessed as having attitudinal problems.”

“We recommend the introduction of a points based system. Under this system, claimants would need to build up a certain number of points a week”.

“A new system should be introduced that is capable of tracking and monitoring claimants’ jobseeking activity and flagging those individuals who appeared not to be undertaking sufficient activities to meet their points target.”


  1. Is this a joke? No of course it's not, it's those insidious Tories ripping the Heart and Soul of our Country.

  2. Its all part of a Corporate Nazi ideology festering in UK politics the Labour Party is no better in reality, high time to forge a new political force for the 21st century UK !

  3. It's the same old mixture of deliberate lies and outright propaganda.

    We need to mobilise against this, for real. Either we fight back or we remain divided and beaten. Even those working for JC+ are under threat.