More smoke and mirrors at the DWP

Those who know me quite well, know that I am a bit of a nosey old trout (I prefer to say that I have an enquiring mind!)

I have put that enquiring mind/nosiness (delete as applicable) to good use ….

Read this Hansard Q&A first;

Cabinet Office

Photo of Tom BlenkinsopTom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Labour)To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the Office for National Statistics defines people in unpaid workfare-style programmes as being employed in its Labour Market Statistics.

Photo of Nick HurdNick Hurd (The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office; Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Conservative)holding answer 22 October 2012

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated October 2012

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking whether the Office for National Statistics defines people in unpaid workfare-style programmes as being employed in its Labour Market Statistics. (124129)

The ONS collects information on people participating in government-supported employment and training programmes via the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The information includes the name of the programme and the type of activity being undertaken. Those participants whose activity comprises any form of work, work experience or work-related training are classified as in employment. This is regardless of whether the individual is paid or not.

This classification is in line with recommendations set down by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which the ONS uses in the LFS to classify individuals into different labour market statuses. Those in employment on government-supported employment and training programmes comprise one of the elements—alongside employees, the self-employed and unpaid family workers—that make up the total number in employment.

Now read this …

UPDATED: 14:19, 14 November 2013


The Bank of England has stated that the stronger than expected recovery could see the 7 per cent unemployment benchmark for considering a rise in interest rates arrive sooner.

In its latest Inflation Report, the Bank said that the ‘stronger near term outlook’ meant that ‘unemployment was likely to fall more quickly than anticipated in August’ – on the same morning that this was issued unemployment ticked down to 7.6 per cent from 7.7 per cent.

Read more:
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Ever get the feeling that the two are connected?

See, on one hand we are being told that mandatory workfare is classed as EMPLOYMENT for the purposes of the unemployment stats, but is NOT EMPLOYMENT for the purposes of being paid for work.

This is yet another case of the government that was not elected “massaging” the stats. Why? so that the Governer of the Bank of England can put the interest rates up. Why? so that all those poor little bankers and hedge fund managers, who just so happen to be mates of the ConDems, can benefit.

Now… if someone is “employed” which according to the ConDems, those on mandatory workfare are; then surely the “employee” should be receiving NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE!

So, ipso facto, the ConDems are in breach of their own regulations.

Should anyone be interested, this is the telephone number for the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on Tel 0800 917 2368. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, Saturday.

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2 Responses to More smoke and mirrors at the DWP

  1. #AceNewsServices says added your post to the related articles in the post you liked and followed and liked your blog #Thanks


  2. Thanks for that, much appreciated !


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