The recent Appeal court judgement in the case brought by Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson against the DWP has rightly been celebrated, but it might not be good news in the short term. It is likely, given the arrogance of Iain Duncan Smith and his henchmen, that nothing will change for a while, and it may be that nothing will change until the next General Election. That election, however, might be decided on the back of this shambles, and all the others perpetrated by this omnishambolic administration.
The “pasty tax” was relatively trivial, but it’s been followed by more serious matters, such as the bedroom tax, which will start to bite the government when it seen to actually cost the country more, as well as being a cruel measure.
This latest stupidity should have been struck down on the grounds of human rights, which was originally why the case was brought but, instead, the appeal court decided that that it was the regulations under which most of the government’s ‘back to work’ schemes have been created are unlawful.
The DWP has already announced that they will be rewriting the regulations to comply with the law just as soon, I suppose, as they can find a cigarette packet or an old envelope that they can write them on.
They have also asserted that people already sanctioned because of the illegal regulations won’t be getting back any of the money they lost. This is bad news for the victims of the DWP’s abuse, obviously, but the willingness to ride roughshod over the courts, and Parliament itself, adds to the distrust of this government that, I hope, will see them thrown out of office.
One of the claims I keep seeing when the subject of workfare crops up is that “it isn’t really slavery, because claimants get paid money” i.e. benefits. What people who say this seem to miss is that Jobseeker’s Allowance is a subsistence allowance. It is not enough for an extravagant lifestyle. Slave owners would feed their slaves and provide them with shelter, and would sometimes lend them to other people or businesses. The slaves themselves would not be paid.
Just as Poundland, the Salvation Army, the RSPCA and others implicated in workfare don’t pay the slaves loaned to them.
Claimants cannot, yet, be bought and sold. Perhaps that is planned for after the next election. It won’t be in the Tories’ manifesto though.
- Graduate wins claim that making her work for free at Poundland was unlawful (standard.co.uk)
- Iain Duncan Smith Is A Power Crazed Fool And Should Be Sacked (johnnyvoid.wordpress.com)
- This Poundland ruling is a welcome blow to the Work Programme (www.guardian.co.uk)
- It’s The End Of Workfare As We Know it, and I Feel Fine. Welfare Reform Pt.II (politicoid.wordpress.com)