Got this in an email from 'Benefits & Work.' There's a 'Speed Dating' session being integrated into the £528 a head for this weekend convention by the DWP! Whatever next!!

Subject: Secret DLA decision makers’ shame

Dear Reader,

It's hardly news at all: DLA decision makers are bad at making decisions.

But the recent editions of a confidential decision makers' bulletin demonstrate just how shamefully bad decision making has become. Even the most basic understanding of the way DLA is intended to work seems to be too much for DWP staff to grasp. We've highlighted some of the commonest mistakes being made, so that you can be prepared for them.

Meanwhile, mixed messages about relationships between the DWP, the private sector and the voluntary sector are emerging.

On the one hand we have the spectacle of a DWP minister disowning remarks made by one of his own department's special advisers, banker David 'Benefits' Freud. Plus we have the belated public admissions by voluntary sector organisations that the government has misled them and broken its word over ESA. Not only that, but their concerns are supported in an Early Day motion tabled by Labour MP Roger Berry.

On the other hand, we also have news that CPAG are lending their good name to a conference about Welfare to Work at which the same 'Benefits' Freud is to be a keynote speaker, along with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and various DWP bigwigs. The two day, £528 a head, junket appears to be designed to give private and voluntary sector agencies a chance to meet with senior Labour party and DWP figures who have budgets of billions of pounds of cashpayers money to hand out.

Not only that, but the DWP are also playing cupid, organising 'Speed Dating' sessions at the convention. These are intended to allow different private and voluntary sector providers to explore the possibility of getting into bed with each other for the purpose of mutual pecuniary gratification.

It's not quite pimping, I suppose, but it may well count as pandering.

Good luck,


CPAG supports Freud welfare to work conference
Child Poverty Action Group are prominent supporters of a £528 per ticket Welfare to Work Conference at which David Freud is one of the keynote speakers.

Insurers cash in on ESA fears
Unum and Canada life, two major income replacement insurance companies, are already seeking to make money out of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with warnings that claimants will receive less money under ESA.

Invaluable appeals resource now only on Benefits and Work
A vital resource for claimants pursuing a benefits appeal has been withdrawn from the Tribunals Service website and is now available exclusively to Benefits and Work members.

Pathways to Work not working
A report commissioned by the DWP shows that the Pathways to Work programme has had very limited success in relation to long-term incapacity benefit claimants. A further DWP report suggests that Pathways primarily helps those who would have moved off incapacity benefit within a year in any case.

Good news for Costa claimants?
Claimants already living abroad, and those thinking of doing so, may be able to receive disability living allowance care component, attendance allowance and carer’s allowance following a European Court of Justice decision in October 2007.

Minister distances himself from Freud comments
A minister has distanced himself from claims made by DWP special adviser David ‘Benefits’ Freud as Benefits and Work members continue to push for action against the former City banker.

ESA honeymoon ends in bitter accusations
The all-party, all-charity, consensus on employment and support allowance has finally started its acrimonious break up with leading charities accusing the government of going back on its promises.


Secret DLA decision makers’ shame
Through shameful ignorance or wilful disregard of the law, DLA decision makers continue to prevent claimants from getting the money they desperately need to live on, according to confidential bulletins obtained by Benefits and Work.


Introduction to Employment and Support Allowance
Tuesday 7 October 2008 10am - 4.00pm
Download a flyer ... oct_08.pdf

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(c) 2008 Steve Donnison. All rights reserved.