It’s David Gauke and the government that need to change their behaviours, not poor people

Andrew Marr interviews David Gauke about the effects of welfare sanctions

David Gauke claims that the government’s harsh sanctions regime is to ‘change the behaviours’ of people who need to claim support from the welfare state. This is the welfare state that everyone, including those needing support, has funded through the National Insurance and tax system. Gauke clearly thinks that starving people and making them destitute will somehow punish people into working more. He’s riding the fabled rubber bicycle.

Gauke clearly needs to read Abraham Maslow’s work and the results of the Minnesota starvation experiment, because a vast amount of empirical evidence indicates that when people can’t maintain their basic living requirements – fulfilment of basic physical needs for food, fuel and shelter, which every human being has – then they simply will not have the capacity to fulfil higher level psychosocial needs, and that includes looking for work. 

maslow-5

Gauke tried to imply that more people are working and this is somehow linked to the punitive conditionality regime. However, he chose to completely ignore comments outlining how more people have become homeless, now face soaring debt and face more risk of experiencing mental health problems because of sanctions.

The government have ensured via systematic deregulation that the ‘supply side’ labour market is designed to suit the wants of employers and not the needs of employees. Much employment is insecure and wages have been driven down to the point where they are exploitative and no longer cover even the basic livings costs of workers. Wages have stagnated, and are most likely to remain stagnated for the foreseeable future.

So we now have an economic situation where even nurses and teachers are having to visit food banks because they can’t afford to eat. At a time when the government boasts more people than ever are in employment, cases of malnutrition and poverty related illnesses are actually rising. Work clearly does not pay.

An international study has recently shown that, rather than acting as a ‘perverse incentive’ as the Conservatives claim, generous welfare states tend to encourage people to work. This fits with Maslow’s framework, and findings of the extensive Minnesota starvation experiment, among many other reliable and valid sources of empirical evidence, indicating that sanctions cannot possibly work to ‘incentivise’ or motivate people to work.

If Gauke was remotely interested in ‘getting it right’, he would have surely paid a little attention to this and other important research findings. However, he seems very happy to operate from within his own and his party’s state of perpetual confirmation bias.

So much so that even the harrowing findings of a United Nations inquiry into the government’s woeful record of systematically abusing the human rights of disabled people who need welfare support didn’t break their stride at all. They simply denied it. I’m surprised that the government didn’t accuse the United Nations of being ‘Momentum supporters’, as they usually dismiss their critics with that comment, or simply label us as ‘scaremongers’ or ‘marxists’. However, unlike the word ‘Tory‘, the latter isn’t actually a derogatory term outside of the minds of the Tories and Daily Mail journalists.

Pressing him on the harmful effects of benefit sanctions, in the interview, Andrew Marr quoted an open letter to the Independent signed by representatives of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the other leading UK psychotherapy organisations. 

The letter called on the government, in the words quoted by Andrew Marr, to “immediately suspend the benefits sanctions system” because:

“We see evidence … which links sanctions to destitution, disempowerment, and increased rates of mental health problems …

“Vulnerable people with multiple and complex needs, in particular, are disproportionately affected.”

In his reply, Gauke completely ignored this, and simply restated that work ‘can help people’s mental health’, while Marr mentioned that the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee have both criticised the Department for Work and Pension for not knowing enough about the effect of sanctions. Gauke implied that sanctions are pretty much experimental – a sort of trial and error approach, that the government ‘doesn’t always get right’. 

Actually, it’s not a government that gets much right. It’s not so long ago that government officials admitted that claimant’s comments used in an official benefit sanctions information leaflet were ‘for illustrative purposes only’. The Department for Work and Pensions tried to claim, using fake case studies, and fake ‘testimonials’ that people were ‘happy’ to be sanctioned. The government attempted to manufacture evidence, in other words, to justify the use of despotic state behaviours. It’s not a government that feels any need to be transparent and accountable. It is one, however, thatlikes to get its own way, regardless of how harmful and damaging that may be. 

Something I have also raised concerns about on previous occasions is that behavioural economics – the ideological and experimental ‘libertarian paternalist’ approach of the government in changing the behaviours of citizens (note it’s mostly poor citizens that are being targeted for nudge ‘interventions’) – isn’t being monitored, nor does it operate within a remotely ethical framework. No-one seems to care about the potential for abuse here, or about the potential for the state to inflict lasting psychological damage on citizens via its imposition of psychomanagement.

It’s hardly surprising that an authoritarian government using psychological coercion on the poorest citizens by inflicting extreme punishments – in making food, fuel and shelter (basic survival needs) entirely conditional on citizens’ absolute compliance – is causing serious harm and psychological distress to those citizens. It isn’t how people expect governments to behave in a developed, very wealthy so-called democracy.

B.F Skinner’s lab rats were treated better than people needing welfare support. At least once the rats pressed a lever in the operant conditioning chamber during the experiment, they were fed. Some people are left for weeks, months and sometimes up to 3 years without the means to cover their basic survival needs, just to put this into perspective. The government is experimenting on the poorest citizens without their consent. Punishment is being inflicted by the state in an attempt to ‘cure’ state inflicted poverty. Take a moment to think that through.

Behavioural economics entails ‘nudging’ citizens without their informed consent to change their perceptions and behaviours, so that they meet politically defined economic outcomes. The idea of increasing the severity and duration of welfare sanctions came from behavioural economists, who claim, along with the government, that they know what is ‘best’ for citizens and society. Apparently, conditions entailing starvation and destitution is ‘best’ for poor citizens, while handouts, tax cuts and offshore banking is best for the very wealthy minority.

When citizens experiencing such a deep fear of being sanctioned that they are forced to sit through a jobcentre interview while having a heart attack, when vulnerable disabled people are taking their own lives, rather than face a precarious future in a country that is no longer kind; when the government’s actions are causing real and irreversible harm to people who are ill; when the government’s ‘interventions’ are killing people, when cases of suffering, malnutrition and other poverty related diseases begin to reappear, after decades of progress through the welfare state, now being undone when the government refuses to acknowledge these consequences and does nothing to change its own enormously damaging behaviours – simply continuing to deny these inevitable consequences of its own actions – we must ask ourselves if those political actions and the consequences are fully intended.

Policies are political statements of intent, they provide messages about how a government thinks society and the economy should be organised and this is being imposed on citizens. The more a social group suffers the adverse consequences of a failing economic system, the more the government punishes them. It’s despicable. 

Ordinarily, governments in wealthy democracies are supposed to reflect the needs of the public they serve. This government expects the public to reflect the needs of the government and meet economic policy outcomes. The neoliberal framework is profoundly damaging, however, to most ordinary citizens. It seems it cannot be imposed without a considerable degree of authoritarianism, and irrational, unevidenced and pretty vile ideological justification. The justification simply reflects Conservative class prejudices and an elitism. All of this of course turns democracy completely on its head.

Gauke showed not a shred of remorse or concern regarding the terrible impact of sanctions during that interview. He simply didn’t respond, insisting instead that conditionality is necessary for ‘behaviour change’, and as a ‘fair’ gesture to that mythological beast of burden, the ‘tax payer’. While Gauke is casually discussing the political misuse of the worst kind of brutal, punitive behaviourist pseudopsychology, which is designed solely to prop up a failing economic system and to justify the steady dismantling of the welfare state, real and qualified psychologists are telling the government about the unforgivable harm and damage they are inflicting. The Conservatives are simply refusing to listen and engage with citizens.

The welfare state has always entailed a degree of conditionality ever since its inception. However, Gauke tried to claim that the extremely impoverishing sanctions now being imposed for often arbitrary reasons – on people who are late for an appointment, who are too ill to attend a meeting, or for a range of other reasons that indicate barriers people may face in complying with often meaningless, trivial tasks – are somehow ‘necessary’. But we know that most people who need to claim welfare support are either past working age, or they are actually in work. 

So let’s get this straight, it’s a government that believes withdrawing the means of meeting basic survival needs of poor people is necessary. Let that sink in for a moment.

The arrogant and taken-for-granted assumption is that poor people need behaviour changing ‘state therapy’, when the fault lies with the socioeconomic and political system. Not only has this government done their utmost to pathologise poor people, and scapegoat them for a failing political-economic system, it is a government that is quite happy to watch people suffer. If people can’t meet their basic needs for food, fuel and shelter, they will die. This is a government that is OK with people dying because of government policies. Take a moment to think that through.

Gauke also claimed that work is the only sustainable basis for lifting people out of poverty. As stated previously, most of our welfare spending is on supporting people in work. The problem of low wages is not one that warrants the punitive ‘behaviour change’ approach aimed at those on poor pay and in precarious employment. It’s not as if the government values collective bargaining and trade union interventions. The behaviour that needs changing is that of exploitative, profit driven employers. Yet already disempowered citizens on low pay are being sanctioned for not ‘progressing in work’. This government is absolutely disgraceful, vindictive and unremittingly cruel.

Image result for welfare spending uk pie chart

‘Making work pay’ is a simply a Conservative euphemism for the dismantling of the welfare state – a civilised and civilising institution that came into existence to ensure that no-one faces starvation, destitution and the ravages of absolute poverty.

Gauke conveniently overlooked the fact that the majority of people needing support have worked, many move in and out of low paid, insecure employment, others are in employment but are not paid an adequate amount to meet even their essential living costs. In fact the majority are in employment. Everyone – in work and out – pays taxes and contributes to the treasury. Well, except for those with havens and the power to say ‘this is what we will pay, take it or leave it’ to the government. ‘Sweetheart deals’ generally don’t come from sweet hearts. These are people who don’t care if the welfare state, NHS and other gains made from our post-war settlement are being plundered and destroyed: they are the cheerleaders of social and economic destruction and the architects of absolute poverty for others.

Gauke also claimed that work was the only sustainable basis for ‘helping people out of poverty.’ However the original aim of the architects of the welfare state was to ensure no-one lived in absolute poverty. This is a government that fully intends to continue dismantling our social security system, regardless of the harm that this does to individuals and to society as a whole. 

The BPS’s call for the suspension of benefit sanctions was repeated in our report Psychology at Work, which was launched last month. The report said sanctions should be suspended pending an independent review into the link between their use and their impact on the mental health and wellbeing of claimants.

The Society called on the government to commit to an end-to-end review of the Work Capability Assessment process in order to bring about the culture change needed to make it beneficial. 

Psychology at Work also made recommendations for creating a psychologically healthy workplace and supporting neurodiverse people at work. 

Here is the Society’s full open letter to the Independent:

The DWP must see that a bad job is worse for your mental health than unemployment

We, the UK’s leading bodies representing psychologists, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and counsellors, call on the Government to immediately suspend the benefits sanctions system. It fails to get people back to work and damages their mental health.

Findings from the National Audit Office (NAO) show limited evidence that the sanctions system actually works, or is cost effective.

But, even more worrying, we see evidence from NHS Health Scotland, the Centre for Welfare Conditionality hosted by the University of York, and others, which links sanctions to destitution, disempowerment, and increased rates of mental health problems. This is also emphasised in the recent Public Accounts Committee report, which states that the unexplained variations in the use of benefits sanctions are unacceptable and must be addressed. 

Vulnerable people with multiple and complex needs, in particular, are disproportionately affected by the increased use of sanctions.

Therefore, we call on the Government to suspend the benefits sanctions regime and undertake an independent review of its impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

But suspending the sanctions system alone is not enough. We believe the Government also has to change its focus from making unemployment less attractive, to making employment more attractive – which means a wholesale review of the back to work system.

We want to see a range of policy changes to promote mental health and wellbeing. These include increased mental health awareness training for Jobcentre staff – and reform of the work capability assessment (WCA), which may be psychologically damaging, and lacks clear evidence of reliability or effectiveness.

We urge the Government to rethink the Jobcentre’s role from not only increasing employment, but also ensuring the quality of that employment, given that bad jobs can be more damaging to mental health than unemployment.

This should be backed up with the development of statutory support for creating psychologically healthy workplaces.

These policies would begin to take us towards a welfare and employment system that promotes mental health and wellbeing, rather than one that undermines and damages it.

Professor Peter Kinderman, President, British Psychological Society (BPS)

Martin Pollecoff, Chair, UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Dr Andrew Reeves, Chair, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Helen Morgan, Chair, British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)

Steve Flatt, Trustee, British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

It seems that real psychologists believe it is the government, rather than poor people, who need to change their behaviours.

 


 

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28 thoughts on “It’s David Gauke and the government that need to change their behaviours, not poor people

  1. Hi Kitty,

    It is all well and good to ask the government to slow down sanctions, in that they have no choice! It’s the power hungry worker bees in the DWP who are issuing sanctions. I dread the day that I am taken out of the Support group because I would not be able to get a job and I have no family, I don’t make friends because I don’t trust anyone, I have been hurt way too much!!! I can’t even apply for PIP in case my other benefits are reviewed.

    There is a bit of information I would like to let you and your readers in on, if they don’t know. At vaiou councils they have a scheme called Council Tax Mental Health disregards all they need is a form filled out and they will do the rest. Iam applying for a blue badge which allows for free bus travel and all they need is a letter from my doctor.

    I wish you and your readers A Merry Christmas and Happier and peacefull New Year!!

    Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, they don’t care, my Job Coach was near useless at sorting out issues I have which are still on-going a year after my claim ended. It is a nasty sanction based system.

      It has to change, a Basic Income system is the answer, sweep away all the bureaucratic barbed wire and implement a one tier system that has 5 categories, you just move from one to the next, it is the future.

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  2. The benefits system was changed in 2013, it tightened up on loopholes in rental payments for instance to the degree that DWP housing benefit does not cover rent totally, they know it. This is perhaps a measure to get people off benefits and into work if they live in private rental.

    Whilst the Daily Mail this week states that the DWP staff have received £44 million in bonus payments whilst making errors, I am a victim of this, they drag their feet over fixing the problems.

    The DWP is trying to cut costs, that is why it has shut many job centres, because their leases are up for renewal. They spent thousands over an appeal against my case which is still ongoing that has cost them more than they will ever get back from me.

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  3. Day 1027 13.03.15 to 03.01.18 – seen sons 10 times.

    It appears the Department for Work & Pensions are still struggling with their investigations.
    I therefore attach, once again, the “Statement of Reasons for Decision”, dated the 15th September, 2017, which clearly highlights some of the errors made by the Department for Work & Pensions and the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, that wasted so much time with their conflicting instructions, false statements and withholding vital evidence.
    This “Statement” concludes the judiciary’s involvement. However, I am placed in the “support group” for a further two years – for which I receive benefits that would not satisfy the family support I was paying three years ago.
    In light of the recent declarations made by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions – Rt. Hon David Gauke, MP, regarding the “system” :

    “Designed to get people into work”
    “First priority is to get claimants back to work”

    Re: Sanctions on Housing, Mental Health and Child Poverty, within the “Andrew Marr Show”.
    Would the Head of E.S.A. Mainstream Operations, demonstrate at what stage this was implemented – because over three years, I cannot remember any help, support or encouragement to find work – due to the long delays, I was forced into making decisions – I did not want to make and eventually, accepting benefits that do not settle my debts.
    Finally, I would suggest the Head of E.S.A. Mainstream Operations acknowledges the “Statement of Reasons for Decision” to the Appeal Court concerned and apologises for the wasted time.
    Any further “internal” investigations or those made by the Independent Case Examiner will result in greater embarrassment to the DWP and CHDA.
    Any “Act of Decency” is requested.

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    1. I have just written to Mr Gauke to make a complaint about the DWP and the many errors that have left me £4000 out of pocket,

      For information

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      1. Considering I’ve only seen my two sons, 10 times, in 1027 days and the DWP have refused to acknowledge my invoices of £1million+ in November, 2016 and £2million+ in September. 2017.

        My account stands at £3000.00 PER DAY until this matter is resloved !!!

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  4. COPY OF E-MAIL TO THE HEAD OF ESA MAINSTREAM OPERATIONS

    May I please respond to your letter dated 9th February, 2017, (ref: FBH 18017), copy attached.
    Thank you, also, for your letters dated 17th June, 2016, 5th October, 2016, 16th November, 2016 and 9th November, 2016.
    The Independent Case Examiner is still investigating my concerns, regarding the Work Capability Assessment of the 27th February, 2016.
    The “other agencies” were the Upper Tribunal, who referred my case back to the Lower Tier in April, 2017 and their final decision of the 15th August, 2017 – placing me in the support group.
    I accept it is not appropriate for the DWP to comment on the I.C.E., investigations relating to C.H.D.A.
    However, with the “Statement for Reasons” made freely available, I cannot understand the reluctance of the DWP to respond to my letters of August, September, December, 2017 and January, 2018.
    The fact I have “other assets” may stop me gaining benefits, but it should not stop me gaining employment.
    Why did it take the involvement of the local Member of Parliament to obtain the Medical Assessment – 11 months after my application?
    The DWP making false assumptions about the actions of my under-aged sons contacting solicitors.
    The DWP making the statement, “I was suffering from depression” – without any proof.
    The DWP making recommendations to the Appeal Hearing, I should be placed in the “work-related” group – when they, disqualified the “work-related group” months earlier.
    Showing no respect to my reasonable questions and just dismissing me like a child.
    Kind Regards

    Maurice Spencer

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  5. I have the gift of two amazing sons – my “saving grace”
    Due to the Department for Work & Pensions – with their incompetence, ignorance and stupid rules, my contact with them is limited to 10 times in 1029 days.
    AND they want to continue this “farce” to complete further investigations!

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    1. I am sorry to hear that. The DWP are arrogant, they think they are Gods, there is really no independent mechanism for appeal, they make many errors yet no one in my case has been held to account. Go to the press. The only way they will be changed is by being shamed and the record shown for what it is, in my case a catalogue of error.

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  6. I have the gift of two amazing sons – my “saving grace”
    Due to the Department for Work & Pensions – with their incompetence, ignorance and stupid rules, my contact with them is limited to 10 times in 1029 days.
    AND they want to continue this “farce” to complete further investigations!
    How ridiculous – when the answers are given to them in the Statement of Reasons for Decision, provided to them by the First Tier Tribunal, dated 15th September, 2017.
    I appreciate my word is worthless – but, to disregard this “Court of Law” is unbelievable!!!!

    GOD HELP US ALL !!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Extract from “Statement of Reasons for Decision”, from The First Tier Tribunal dated 15th September, 2017. Ref : SC306 / 16 / 00164

    “Item 7
    Mr Spencer was aged 62 at the date of the Tribunal hearing on 15 August 2017. He completed a questionnaire (ESA 50) dated 13 March 2015 ( Page 10 ) which raised Schedule 2 activities 8, 9, 10 and 13, plus other information and attended a medical examination on 27 February 2016. The report by the Health Professional (HCP) stated that no descriptors under Schedule 2 applied and Regulations 29 and 35 did not apply”.

    I consider this to be “gross negligence” and the HCP did not follow the instructions or procedures set-out by the CHDA and the DWP. Furthermore, no elementary checks were made to ensure all sections of the ESA50 form were satisfied and his actions are still defended by his “colleagues” in the CHDA and the DWP.
    The sections omitted refer to the left “homonymous hemianopia” and certified partially sighted
    Suffering a stroke on 8 November 2011 caused by stress, I continued to have “post stroke faigue”

    Would you please advise the “mandatory” requirements of the HCP?

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  8. “MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL”
    Due to the series of errors and the long delays – where nothing was done – even this “idiom” is meaningless.
    The DWP have made a crisis out of the “molehill” – wasting consultant’s valuable time – and left the “mountain” behind.
    Unfortunately, the DWP and CHDA are deluded to think they can solve the crisis by throwing “support group” benefits at me – still forgetting about the “mountain”
    I could have conquered this “mountain” three years ago – by gaining employment – but was not given the opportunity.
    The “MOLEHILL” is my incontinence problems and the “MOUNTAIN” is the partial sight and fatigue caused by the stroke – which in turn – was caused by stress of not seeing my two sons.
    The “off the cuff” remarks made by the DWP did not help – I should stop the family support; demands to sell property that did not belong to me and claims I had depression.
    Appropriate questions should be asked at the appropriate times. There’s no point me completing the ESA50 form, if 11 months later, you just ask about the medical conditions described in the first half of the document.
    Somewhere during this debacle – I am positive –the DWP realised their mistakes – hence no representative, from the DWP at the 2nd & final hearing. Thinking, I would be satisfied with the “support group” payments.
    The continuing silence, from the DWP, only echoes this thought and I believe it’s time to “Hold your hands up”

    COPY OF FURTHER E-MAIL TO THE HEAD OF ESA MAINSTREAM OPERATIONS AND LOCAL MP

    ( HAVING PROSTATE CANCER DOES NOT HELP )!

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    1. Unfortunately you are not alone, going by my own case, the DWP is disarray, I worked for a predecessor of this shambles over 20 years ago when it was working. I find that no one wants to take responsibility. I submitted a tenancy agreement and 5 weeks later someone contacted me, by which time my UC claim had been finished by at least a month, I asked if this could be investigated, the complaints officer just said ‘sorry’ no investigation, no disciplinary measures taken for failure. It is almost like they want you to die than have to deal with the problem?

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      1. The answer is to introduce a Basic Income Payment system with out all the bureaucracy and crap that has led to an overcomplicated system which costs £389 million a year to administer. This will have to come as the jobs market shrinks by half over the next 20 years.

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  9. NEED FOR EMPLOYMENT MARCH 2015 – NEED FOR EMPLOYMENT JANUARY, 2017.

    Please find below, e-mail dated 4th October, 2015, ( Day 205 ), which makes reference to my “NHS HISTORY”
    The same document presented to the Department for Work & Pensions with my application ( ESA 50) ( Day 1); Mr. Matt Warman, MP – 18.09.15 ( Day 189 ); The 1st Hearing ( Day 462 ); the Upper Tribunal, ( Day 632 ); the 2nd Hearing. ( Day 886 ).
    The document which clearly states the reasons, why I took early-retirement in December, 2012 and why benefits started from September, 2017. ( Day 924 ).
    Unfortunately, the H.C.P. omitted to ask about these conditions on the 27th February, 2016 ( Day 351 ), which made his REPORT completely worthless – stating only my I.B.S problems; the prostate cancer and the fact I played dominoes – 8 times!
    Considering it is the Government’s policy to get all claimants off benefits and back to work and my priorities remain the same, as March 2015, to find employment. Would you please explain, how the “system” works?
    Please find attached, letter to Dr. xxxx, that confirms the remarks made to Mr. Warman, have continued to be the same, throughout

    FURTHER COPY OF E-MAIL TO ESA MAINSTREAM OPERATIONS AND SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WORK & PENSIONS — PMQ’S

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  10. The DWP were wrong to say:
    MARCH 2015 – Stop family support – without giving me the medical assessment, within 13 weeks as promised.
    October, 2015 – Denying me work-related benefits – telling me to sell assets that did not belong to me.
    APRIL, 2016 – Asking me to re-apply – stating I was suffering from depression.
    MAY, 2016 – Making recommendations to the 1st Appeal Hearing, I should be placed in the work-related group. When already stopped.
    OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER, 2016 -Dismissing my reasonable requests – when the facts were proven 8 months later.
    ON-GOING – Maintaining their “NO COMMENT” approach.

    My problems remain the same – the need to sell South Terrace and settle the outstanding mortgage.
    Due to the indecision(s) of the DWP – 1039 days have been wasted and it would seem they are willing for this to continue, until my 2nd Medical Assessment, (August, 2019). Will these mistakes be repeated?
    Answers to my medical condition are now given, by the 2nd Appeal Hearing and the errors made by the DWP / CHDA. Refusal to accept these is “criminal”
    I have seen my sons, 10 times during this 1039 days and now held prisoner in the house, I want to sell. There is no reason for me to stop here – in a 3 bedroom house. Especially when you consider one son is taking his studies in Cardiff and other in Leicester. And their mother lives somewhere in-between.

    Payment of my outstanding invoices is requested. The DWP made the demands for evidence of numerous consultants, doctors and professional people, who have given up their valuable time to provide it. Scrutinized by three separate law courts – I think – even they were amazed at the stupidity of the DWP’s “system”. A “system” that asks questions about my bowel movements and forgets / fails to ask about the reasons I took early-retirement in DECEMBER, 2012 and described in my application for ESA – MARCH, 2015.

    TIME TO NAME & SHAME?

    E-MAIL TO LINDSAY TICKLE HEAD OF ESA MAINSTREAM OPERATIONS

    ( THE PERSON WHO TOLD ME – FEBRUARY, 2016 – NOT TO WASTE DWP’S TIME )

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  11. Day 1041

    Nearly three years ago, both the Department for Work & Pensions and I were in agreement – neither wanted me claiming benefits and both of us would try our best to find employment for me.

    The contribution benefits would be back-dated to November 2014, so they ended in August, 2015. In the meantime a medical assessment would be arranged to fall within 13 weeks from the 13th March, 2015 – my application date – latest for WCA, 11th June, 2015.

    This never happened and a “wall of mistrust” started when the DWP telephoned and stated I was not eligible for ESA benefits at the end of September, 2015.

    Involving the local MP and my Stroke Consultant appointments were made at the Boston Jobcentre, December, 2015 – TO GAIN EMPLOYMENT.

    The advice given was: although Jobseekers and work-related benefits were not available the “support group” was and the medical assessment remained a requirement.

    Neither the Jobcentre nor I were happy regarding this situation – our first priority of finding employment could not be satisfied. I was so desperate for funds that I took the “support group” option – not realizing the nightmare that would follow:

    THE MEDICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE 27TH FEBRUARY, 2016.

    Today, nearly 100 weeks later, I am still explaining how this 40 minute examination went so terribly wrong.

    I have spoken to the Senior President of Tribunals Office and the Independent Case Examiners’ Office in my attempts to clarify the errors made by the Department for Work & Pensions and the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments.

    Mr. XXX stated if the second hearing had provided the DWP with the Statement of Reasons for Decision, they must act upon it and there is no cause to wait for I.C.E investigations. Sue XXX has also confirmed this.
    I therefore, attach Page 47 of the “Court Papers” – “Client Interview” which omits the Schedule 2 activities 8, 9, 10, 13 and other information, namely:

    Partial Sight for which, I was tested soon after my stroke of November, 2011, (Pages 148 & 149) and again January, 2016 (Page 94) – why I gave-up my driving licence February, 2012 and now have the Certificate of Partially Sighted ( Page 342 )

    Lack of Energy – confirmed by XXXXX XXXXX letter dated 21st January, 2016, (Page 95) and the Stroke Association’s letter dated 14th July, 2016, (Page 240) – Post Stroke Fatigue

    Finally, I would say, once again, I stopped all medication in April/May of 2015 and the Healthcare Professional was wrong to declare these on his report.

    I have never said I was suffering from depression in the Mandatory Reconsideration, (Page 81). Both items are recorded in the Audio CD Ref: OFFICIAL E397-16, provided by the DWP – relating to the telephone conversation of the 19th April, 2016.

    Day 1041 – All this time, providing evidence and information. At no stage have the DWP and CHDA made any correct decision to gain me employment or benefits. The Second Hearing placed me in the “support group” and made the recommendation for the second Medical Assessment to take place in August 2019.

    Second best is no longer good enough

    Like

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