Why did the DWP push ahead with illegal sanctions, knowing they don’t do any good?

Brilliant article by Mike Sivier that references my latest blog on the DWP ignoring its own advice and massively increasing sanctions even though it knows they are harmful and counterproductive – but which adds some great context of wider issues and quite possibly criminality on the part of Iain (Duncan) Smith and his Department of Work and Pensions.

Vox Political

Today’s article on the Skwawkbox blog is extremely interesting, for anyone with an interest in the public services and the welfare state.

It seems the Department for Work and Pensions has pushed ahead with a regime including the Work Programme and the sanctions imposed for those who refuse to take part, and even changed the law to reinforce its position, despite having documentary proof that is two years old, showing that these policies do more harm than good and are not in the national interest.

You can read the article here to get the full picture. The gist is that a DWP report from 2011 advised the secretary of state, Iain Duncan Smith, that these policies were a bad idea – but he went ahead with them anyway.

So the report concludes that the Work Programme, and other training programmes imposed by the DWP, cause harm by preventing people…

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7 responses to “Why did the DWP push ahead with illegal sanctions, knowing they don’t do any good?

  1. Why indeed?

    The Swiss are a very precise nation and their findings conclude scientifically that the net effect of benefit sanctions is a negative one.

    This is a view I fully support. An alternative policy of increasing Jobsearch assistance and decreasing penalties is more beneficial to the individual as well as the state.


    I know this really works!

    • Yes, but increased josearch support is only any good if there are increased numbers of jobs, which quite simply there are not. Besides which, it’s not increased jobsearch help that most of us need, merely an increase in the number of jobs available, and they need to be jobs that pay decently, certainly no less than £10 an hour, (or £19,500 a year based on a 37 hour week) that would at least take a single person completely off benefits of any and confer a true dignity. If anyone is under the illusion that this hourly rate cannot be afforded, I’ll just say this, there is more than enough money around, it just needs that the rich are taxed adequately, i.e. at least 98% over the sum of £100,000.

  2. These newfangled forms/surveys etc, designed to create confusion and anxiety, must be the ‘creative’ work of the nudge unit/ behavioural insights team. So it appears that IDS has  found a way of escaping the law:  it’s called ‘nudging’ people to suicide etc  rather than killing them themselves! It’s no less criminal. A convenient way of removing the ‘genes’ of the weak and vulnerable  in society in order to preserve a super-race of elites. The lowliest, most cowardly form of genocide. They do in hiding what other despots would have done in broad daylight!

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  4. Interesting expose by ‘oldwease’ from a Telegraph article (05/02/2013) on the motives behind the govt’s ‘nudge/behavioural insights’ unit. This method of psych manipulation has potential for good but also for wide-scale damage  (depending on whose hands it’s in!) – and should thus be brought under scrutiny, and not just allowed to operate freely. Otherwise it provides far too many legal loopholes for the criminally minded. This comment sums up the potentially damaging effects of such practices when abused by  governments eg the deliberate distortion of information etc
    “Whilst this unit does have some credible academics involved with it, a glance at a number of the other sinister creeps and hangers on  leads to the inevitable conclusion that this is pretty sinister in its intent.
    Retailers and others regularly use techniques to direct the consumer.  These techniques are all well known in the behavioural literature.  Make no mistake, though; the principle aim is to get people to do things which they might not otherwise do.  It is deliberate manipulation.
    Now, maybe nobody cares too much abo0ut that in the context of retailing and other forms of consumer business.  After all, you have usually bought something and so got some item in return for your additional expenditure.  However, when you apply this to a government, the scenario is very different.
    In the hands of a government, this is nothing more than an attempt at mind control, deception and manipulation.  It is designed to obscure the truth.  This administration is so clueless that it’s impossible to say how much of their garbage has its origins here, but they are known to value this unit highly. 
    However, there is one technique that this hapless mob seems to use quite regularly.  It is to do with blitzing ‘information’.  Basically, if there’s a nasty underlying truth which you want to conceal, you blitz the public with distortions, mutually conflicting statements and diversions.   You do this on such a scale that the underlying nasty truth becomes buried and obscured. 
    Problem is, if this has been a deliberate strategy rather than sheer deceit, panic and incompetence, it hasn’t worked for this government.  Most people see through them. “

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