European Committee of Social Rights declares levels of benefits in the UK are ‘manifestly inadequate’

January 2014

European Social Charter

European Committee of Social Rights

Conclusions XX

-2 (2013)


17.   Article 12 .Right to social security

Paragraph 1    Existence of a social security system    ……………….

19.     Conclusion

The Committee  concludes that the situation in United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article12§1 of the Charter on the ground that:

the minimum levels of short-term and long-term incapacity benefit is manifestly inadequate;

the minimum level of state pension is manifestly inadequate;

the minimum level of job seeker’s allowance is manifestly inadequate

read the entire report from the European Commission of Social Rights here:

To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets…

Originally posted on So Bad Ass:

Dear lady who loudly tutted at me using the disabled loos,

I know you saw me running in, with my able bodied legs and all. You saw me opening the door with my two working arms. You saw me without a wheelchair. Without any visible sign of disability.

You tutted loudly as I rattled the handle with my hands that work perfectly and my able voice call to my kids that I’d be out in just a minute.

My lack of wheelchair may have suggested to you that I was some lazy cow who didn’t care. Some inconsiderate bitch who was using something I wasn’t entitled too. (I actually carry a card to explain that I’m entitled to and have a disability key if you’d have cared to ask). You may have seen my face blushing as I caught your eye and assumed I was showing guilt at blagging the…

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Your sick notes aren’t good enough claim Ashton under Lyne Jobcentre

Originally posted on The poor side of life:

Yesterday our demo was a very busy one. From the minute we arrived to the minute we left we were inundated with terrible stories and people desperate for help. Nothing really shocks us anymore but it’s becoming very clear to see that universal credit is destroying life’s for both working and non working people.
A man who wanted to remain nameless has been claiming universal credit but he got sick so he did the responsible thing, he went to his doctor and got a sick note. The doctor stated on his sick note his medical condition so he took it into the Jobcentre. He was told that this sick note wasn’t good enough and that he needed to get another one because it needed the words written on it.. “He’s got worse”. He went back to the doctor got another sick note but the doctor quite rightly said I can’t…

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The benefit cap prevents the bedroom tax from working – IDS, rectum and humerus!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

IDS does your left hand know what the right is doing?

  1. IDS says bedroom tax is to free up under occupied social housing properties for overcrowded households.
  2. IDS also proposes to reduce the overall benefit cap to £23k per year or £440.79 per week.

So far no contention that IDS wants the above two – yet here is why they contradict.

Mrs & Mrs Jones solely under occupy a 3 bed social housing property and cannot afford to pay the £25 per week bedroom tax on their £100 per week social housing property..  They are forced to leave due to the bedroom tax deduction and the Smiths – a couple with 4 children living in an overcrowded 2 bed privately rented flat – wish to move in.  They should and will according to IDS’s theory.


The Smiths despite being the political epitome of the “hardworking family” have one wage earner in…

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Sobbing Decision Makers Beg Claimants Not To Appeal

Originally posted on Same Difference:

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

Sobbing decision makers are desperately trying to persuade claimants not to lodge appeals following an unsuccessful mandatory reconsideration, a senior welfare rights worker has revealed. It is the first evidence that DWP staff are coming under pressure to meet targets for cutting appeal numbers for benefits including employment and support allowance (ESA), personal independence payment (PIP) and disability living allowance (DLA).

The DWP introduced a new, much more complex system for challenging benefits decisions in 2013. The mandatory reconsideration system obliges claimants to first ask the DWP to look at a decision again and then, if they are unhappy with the result, to lodge an appeal with the Tribunals Service themselves.

The new system applied to universal credit and PIP decisions from April 2013 and to ESA and other benefits from 28 October 2013.

Back in December 2014 we revealed that there had…

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Learning disabled and the #workprogramme. My experience with Mark

Originally posted on I'm a JSA Claimant:

Last week I attended the work programme for the first time this year.  My part-time Xmas work ended in January so I signed back on – but I was feeling anxious.  For over a year now whenever I attend any place associated with DWP I have found myself struggling. Inside my head I’m like a pressure cooker steamed up and tense. I often find myself physically shaking. It’s ridiculous and frustrating but sometimes I cannot write my own signature as I struggle to hold a pen. This has been going on since my benefit sanction in December 2013.

A few things have changed since I last attended the work programme; there is a new manager, fewer staff and they have moved into a new building. The place is small with six computers available. Staff desks are mingled between the spaces available to ‘clients’.  The old manager filled the walls with quotes…

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Money For Old Rope … How The Work Programme Poverty Profiteers Are Fleecing The Tax Payer

Originally posted on the void:

Former A4e boss Emma Harrison made millions out of the welfare-to-work scam before retiring just as the company became mired in fraud allegations. Former A4e boss Emma Harrison made millions out of the welfare-to-work scam before retiring just as the company became mired in fraud allegations.

If there is one place that a culture of worklessness really does exist it’s in the offices of the companies running Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme.  Some welfare-to-work advisors have been languishing on tax-payer funded salaries for years whilst barely lifting a finger.

Last week the DWP published an update of the Minimum Service Delivery standards for all of the main Work Programme providers.  These are the very basic levels of service that everybody referred to these companies can expect to receive as promised in their contracts with the DWP.  As the document reveals, you shouldn’t expect too much.

Appallingly a claimant on Employment Support Allowance can expect to wait eight weeks before Maximus will be bothered to help them produce a CV.  Those placed with the…

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Stats: DWP recruited 2907 Benefit Sanctions Decision Makers from 1059

Originally posted on

Whilst the DWP continually says it has no Benefit Sanctions Targets, despite irrefutable evidence, this view now seems even more implausible since today it published statistics that it show they nearly trebled the number of sanction decision makers?




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