Friday, 15 March 2013

Er Liam .. about that

"We're fundamentally different to this bunch of horrible, nasty, benefit grabbing, benefit removing, forced labour and illegal sanctions bastards" um, stance..."

Forgive me for saying so, but it doesn't quite square with your Party backing them on a emergency vote to approve retrospective legislation to avoid having to "compensate" people they've been er less than honest to by using legislative powers that didn't exist to apply illegal sanctions does it .. or maybe it does, I never can quite get my head around the intricate complexities of politics...

Or maybe the G have been hearing noises via "crossed grapevines" - which if it was the case I would have expected someone on "your side" - say the shadow Work and Pensions secretary, to be hurriedly at least tweeting "The G story is rubbish, no way would we" ... but so far nothing from you since your web-site posting on Monday -

Work Scheme refunds could cost millions
Posted on 11 March 2013 | No comments yet

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to reports in the Daily Telegraph that ‘Work Scheme refunds could cost millions’, said:

“Bungling DWP ministers have turned the Work Programme into a West Coast mainline-style fiasco. Hundreds of thousands of sanctions might now be illegal because Iain Duncan Smith messed up the regulations and now the taxpayer might be on the hook for over £100 million.

“It simply beggars belief that this Government is now so incompetent it can’t even organise a simple work experience scheme. We’ll be demanding ministers come to Parliament urgently to explain themselves.”

Demanding they come explain themselves? In return for a promise to back their emergency legislation which removes the obligation to make amends to those affected by that "illegal sanctions" incompetence..?

"The Guardian understands that Labour will support the fast-tracked bill with some further safeguards and that negotiations with the coalition are ongoing"

A DWP spokesperson said: "This legislation will protect taxpayers and make sure we won't be paying back money to people who didn't do enough to find work."

That "we aren't going to pay up JSA that was withheld from claimants under sanction for not agreeing to do something we didn't actually have the legal power to sanction them for not agreeing to do" would appear to run the risk of re-opening the debate on "what the Work Programme is actually for - to help make people seeking work better fitted to achieve that or just to punish them for not having a job" [whilst funnelling large quantities of taxpayer funds to ERSA members - but that's not the issue here] were there someone willing to take it up on the floor of the House but what do I know - Over to you Liam?

DWP seeks law change to avoid benefit repayments after Poundland ruling

The Department for Work and Pensions has introduced emergency legislation to reverse the outcome of a court of appeal decision and "protect the national economy" from a £130m payout to jobseekers deemed to have been unlawfully punished.

The retroactive legislation, published on Thursday evening and expected to be rushed through parliament on Tuesday, will effectively strike down a decision by three senior judges and deny benefit claimants an average payout of between £530 and £570 each.