Monthly Archives: January 2013

Benefits campaigners to leaflet Nottingham Job Centre about Universal Job Match – Wednesday 23rd January at 9.30am


Benefits campaigners will be outside the Jobcentre this
Wednesday meeting at Station Street Jobcentre at 9.30am.

We will be handing out leaflets informing people on JSA about their rights
and data protection, especially around the new UJM (Universal Job Match)
scheme. UJM is not mandatory yet but is being treated as if it is. The
scheme has received widespread criticism (see link below) for its security
weaknesses with personal data being easily accessible by anyone posing as
an employer. It is also the latest step towards the draconian (Jobcentre
can track everything you do on the UJM, meaning when it is in full flow
they will be able to keep complete tabs on the job searching of people
claiming JSA.)

We are also inviting people to the “Nottingham Unemployed Workers Club”
which meets every Thursday afternoon between 11am and 2pm for cups of tea
and coffee, some lunch and sharing of ideas. We meet at Sumac Centre, 245
Gladstone Street, Forest Fields.

Be great to see you there!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/unemployed-to-be-forced-to-sign-up-to-universal-jobmatch-website-at-the-centre-of-security-concerns-8427546.html

See also: Info on UJM in English and Polish. http://universaljobmatch.eu/.
http://universaljobmatch.eu/pl.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign – JOIN THE LOBBY ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY AT 1.00PM OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL HOUSE


Heed your own warning on “chaos” of Council Tax Benefit changes: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign urges Nottingham City Council

The campaign group have written to the Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme for 2013/14. Instead of going ahead with an 8.5% cut to all Council Tax Benefit recipients of working age, they say the Council should delay passing on the cuts. The Council are permitted to pass a scheme with zero cuts to Council Tax Benefit for 2013/14 and still be entitled to transitional funding. If they did this, they would have a year to build a campaign with local residents and other groups across the country to demand a sustainable and fair alternative and prevent the introduction of a minimum 20% cuts in 2014/15.

JOIN THE LOBBY ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY AT 1.00PM OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL HOUSE

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign
http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk/

Read the letter to Nottingham City Council. Council letter Jan 13

Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign – Press Release


PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Campaign Group urges Nottingham City Council to heed its own warning on Council Tax Benefit changes

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign [1] have written to Nottingham City Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme [2] for 2013/14 , and buy time and fight with local residents for a sustainable and fair alternative.

In their letter, the group say the new proposals are unsustainable, as they do not provide a long term solution to the funding crisis with Government free to keep cutting funds regardless of need. They quote Nottingham City Council Leader Jon Collins predicting “chaos”[3] in trying to collect the money from benefit recipients. They point out that, under transitional funding rules, Nottingham City Council had the option not to pass on the cut to Council Tax Benefit, but have chosen to ask for the maximum amount of 8.5%. They also say that removing empty property council tax discounts and exemptions to part fund the scheme would be unfair and could penalise carers and other groups.

“These new proposals represent a shift away from a Council Tax Benefit scheme based on people’s real needs. A cut of 8.5% in your Council Tax benefit may look better than a cut of 20%, but it will still cause hardship and debt for people who have no money left at the end of the month, and will do nothing to prevent much bigger cuts in future years. We call on Nottingham City Council not to pass on these cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Nottingham” – Chris Jackson, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits.

Contacts

Cathy Meadows: 07913476905

Email: defendcounciltaxbenefits[at]yahoo.co.uk

Ends

Notes: 1. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign is opposed to the proposed abolition of the Council Tax Benefit Scheme and its replacement by local Council Tax Schemes; campaigns for councils to refuse to pass on the cuts to its local community; supports those who are unable to pay their council tax due to the proposed changes; and calls on councils not to pursue those who are unable to pay their Council tax due to the council’s changes. Contact information below.

2. The current national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme is being abolished under the Welfare Reform Act. All councils in England must bring in their own Council Tax Support scheme from April 2013, with less funding. In October, the government announced transitional funding for councils on condition that anyone previously entitled to full CTB will now receive at least 91.5%. On Dec 18, Nottingham City Council agreed to apply for Transitional Funding of £775,000, and changed its CTB Support Scheme accordingly:

· Putting a maximum limit on the amount of council tax support that could be paid to all working age people, so that working age households who got 100% help with their Council Tax bills now could receive a maximum of 91.5% help in 2013/14
· All working age households would pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill in 2013/14
· No sharp reduction in support for those entering work. The following additional elements were recommended and included, following
· Consideration of the findings of our formal consultation exercise:
· Removal of Second Adult Rebate
· Retaining backdating
· Setting a minimum award level of 50p

3. http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Council-leader-warns-council-tax-court-chaos-cuts/story-17627391-detail/story.html”>http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Council-leader-warns-council-tax-court-chaos-cuts/story-17627391-detail/story.html

Co-operative stops using ATOS


ATOS kills logo
In the face of protests both on and offline, The Co-operative Group have ditched poverty pimps ATOS as their occupational health provider.

The Co-op posted the following on their facebook page this afternoon:

“Hello everyone, here is an update as promised on our occupational healthcare provider, many thanks for your patience on this matter.

The Co-operative Group can confirm that a robust procurement process considering, amongst other factors, cost, operational efficiency and geographical capability is currently underway for our occupational health services provider. Having been scored against an agreed set of parameters and against other bidders, Atos Healthcare have not progressed to the later rounds of that process and our intention is to have a new provider in place when the current contract terminates.”

Source 14/1/2013: http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/co-op-ditch-atos-keep-up-the-pressure-it-works/

Action against ATOS in Nottingham:

Nottingham Defense Campaign: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/groups/nottingham-defence-campagin

‘Too much of this sort of thing’ Atos Two pamphlet: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/zines/2548

The subject of ATOS is currently receiving House of Commons debate:

Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130117/debtext/130117-0002.htm#13011761000001

Guardian 17/1/2013 Atos comes under attack in emotional Commons debate: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/17/atos-attack-emotional-commons-debate