Stop the Roll Out of Universal Credit! Protests on December the 2nd.

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Image may contain: one or more people and textStop the rollout of Universal Credit

Organising  has  begun.

 Unite Community Day of Action for Universal Credit on December 2nd.

Contact: to find out where your local action is or to offer your help.

Please do your bit and share the articles to your networks. Get the word out so we can maintain the pressure on this Tory Govt.

Solidarity comrades.

Latest news stories, BBC.

The Scottish government is calling on the chancellor to stop the rollout of Universal Credit to enable “fundamental flaws” to be fixed.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has written to Philip Hammond asking for improvements to be made to the payments system in his autumn Budget.

He said a delay in payments had caused hardship to families across Scotland.

The UK government said the vast majority of people were paid their Universal Credit in full and on time.

The controversial measure, which is being rolled out across the UK, brings six…

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Two key studies show that punitive benefit sanctions don’t ‘incentivise’ people to work, as claimed by the government

Source: Two key studies show that punitive benefit sanctions don’t ‘incentivise’ people to work, as claimed by the government

Housing White Paper – Money talks & Tories makes it sing like Jerry Maguire

We have a ‘broken housing market and we need 250,000 new properties each year says the Tory government in the housing white paper. Currently private enterprise is building 110,000 new propert…

Source: Housing White Paper – Money talks & Tories makes it sing like Jerry Maguire

Photos that need the story added to them. Bath against cuts with Bath Trades Council,UCU, Benefit Sanctions (& Community), Junior Docs, NUT,Swindon Trades Council, White Horse Trades Council, plus so much more. It may take a while, so if you check back in a few days, i’ll have sorted them all out. Ta!

trades council for wordpress

BAC’s & Unite Community Bristol No 2 Benefit Sanctions Demo

Bath Against Cuts & Unite Community Bristol

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Today,at 11am Wednesday,20th Jan, BAC’s & Unite Community Bristol will be outside Bath Job Centre, handing out information & giving support to claimants, who may have been sanctioned. If you can come down & lend your support, that would be fabulous. We’re handing out literature on where to go if you get sanctioned but also, handing out info on claimants rights on work searches etc. Giving people a few minutes, just to let off steam, has been incredibly helpful-just being heard really helps. Come & join us.

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National day of action Say NO2Sanctions day is the 9th March.

Sanctions & how they cause hardship.

The first thing an unemployed person must do is sign a Claimant Commitment. The DWP’s model document is just three pages long but contains nine threats of sanction as well as one threat of a fixed penalty fine and one of imprisonment. The document is 961 words long; 503 of those words are used to explain threats. The commitment is one-sided and contains no reciprocal commitments to support the claimant nor are there consequences for the DWP even if It fails to pay benefits on time. The Claimant Commitment sets the tone of the relationship as one where it is assumed that the claimant needs to be threatened into behaving responsibly. Benefit is paid because people are ill or unemployed.

The majority of unemployed people get into work within a few months and this has been the case whether sanctions existed or not. As a society we recognise that the constant use of threat is not a good way of motivating people and it would certainly not be tolerated in the workplace. So why is it applied to the people who have fallen on hard times? There is plenty of evidence that sanctions cause hardship, suffering and hunger.

Any human society should be disturbed by a statutory system that deliberately causes harm to another human being. It is disturbing that a welfare system, which gives provision for the weakest & most vulnerable, deliberately sets out to exploit a person’s vulnerability in order to achieve control and compliance.

Sanctions undermine the foundational principle of the welfare system. It is precisely because of the damage caused by poverty that the welfare state exists.

Impediments such as health conditions, caring responsibilities or even simple transport difficulties get in the way of full and unwavering compliance. A single minor mistake or misfortune will often result in a sanction, as JCB staff are encouraged to refer for a sanction “first-time every time”

The most common sanction
For a single failure to attend an appointment – quadrupled in severity from one week’s loss of benefit to four weeks’ loss of benefits. The punishment for missing a second appointment increased 6-fold from 2 weeks to13 weeks. The maximum loss of benefit was also increased 6-fold from 26 weeks to 156 weeks or 3 years.
Some sanctions (called intermediate level sanctions) assist in meeting off-flow targets directly.

Before an intermediate sanction is applied the person is first disqualified from benefits and removed from the benefit roll. The person may reapply for benefit before the sanction period is officially imposed. Because the first stage of this rather complicated process removes people from the benefit roll it increases the benefit off-flow that the DWP targets. There has been a 57% rise in these intermediate level sanctions over the past three years.
Sanction regimes reduce the number of people applying for benefits. The increasingly complicated set of conditions causes many people to make the judgement that rather than assisting in finding work, it would be a distraction

Hardship payments (can be claimed if one has been sanctioned).
Time limits apply, meaning that usually an appeal cannot be lodged after the crisis has subsided. Even if a benefits claimant is able to demonstrate that they cannot afford food due to being sanctioned, most people will still not become eligible for a hardship payment or loan for a further two weeks and, once eligible, it will take a further three days before payment actually arrives.

GPs are increasingly seeing people who are suffering serious consequences as a result of the current benefit sanctions system. Vulnerable people can be left with no money to pay for essentials (ie food & heating) and this can then have a damaging impact, not only on their physical & mental health, but also the health of family members, including the children who depend upon them.

This Government released its response to a major review of its policy on benefit sanctions this week. ((20th/21st Oct 2015)
The government was responding to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s report, Benefit sanctions beyond the Oakley Review, which set out more than **24 recommendations for changes to benefit sanctions and the policies behind them.*’Accepted by Labour, Coalition and Conservative Governments, sanctions are a necessary part of that system and we keep them under regular review, making improvements where necessary. The DWP minister of state Lord Freud managed to avoid addressing any of the recommendations made in the report. ‘In response to the Select Committee I am announcing that we will be introducing a number of changes.’

(**None of these have yet been implemented, although 2 of the recommended changes are more urgent. #1. Set up “Broad Independent Review” “that should be established and report as soon as is practicable in the next Parliament.”

#25. Make Hardship Payments available from day one.

Here is the report in full.

Over the next few years Universal Credit (UC) will be rolled out which will combine six benefits into one. Alongside those who are out of work, those earning below a threshold level – normally set at £11,30057, and receiving UC, will become subject to conditionality and sanctions. The Resolution Foundation estimates this measure will bring an additional 1,200,000 people into conditionality.
Details of how this will operate have not yet been published, however it has been confirmed that, for the first time, Housing Benefit will be subject to sanction. The legal framework allows people to be instructed to do things like change jobs, attend training, or increase hours in order to earn more than the threshold income. Sanctions can then be imposed on those who do not comply with the requirements.

Here is the petition asking for the Government to look again at the twenty-six recommendations for changes to the current sanction policies
Please sign.

With thanks

Bath Against Cuts in 2015

First Tuesday of the Month 8 pm The Ram Widcombe.

Come to the meeting with campaign ideas & ideas to change what needs to be changed!

Wishing you all a happy & productive 2016


I’ve tried to get these photos in order of action but i may not have been totally accurate.  I’ve used some that you will have already seen but i’ve tried to put in ones that ended up on the cutting room floor!  I know there will be people who will say what i’ve missed out, so do remind me & i’ll  add them (& any photos you want me to add to the WordPress site, please send them to me. (via                     

BAC' s meeting, at the Ram, Widcombe 12th May. We had 35 people come to this meeting. (many new to BAC's) including BSAFAC's & Twerton's new Labour Councillor Joe Rayment .

Anyway, i would like to wish everyone a happy & productive 2016.

Students March for free education

Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts and their allies took once again to the streets of Bath for a Free Education march.

For their second action of 2015, Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts and their allies took once again to the streets of Bath for a Free Education march. The march set off from Bath Abbey, up the High Street, across George Street, down Milsom Street and ending at the benches near the bus station, where a rally was held. With over 100 students and supporters marching, chanting and banging drums, the demonstration was impossible to ignore. Not since the Occupy camp in 2011 has Bath seen so many active people campaigning for a better future, and Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts show no sign of giving up any time soon, with their numbers increasing with every action. A rally was held on the steps following the demonstration. Speakers included Dr Mike Carley from University of Bath UCU, Dominic Tristram, the Green Party candidate for Bath, Bruce Galliver, the Bath Spa Students' Union president, local guru Ray Raine and students from both Bath Spa University and University of Bath.

John, Barbara & I did a road trip. *Global Justice UK London Conference

Barbara & John

PONHS Hustings

STW Hustings

Celia & I went to see UKIP in Bradford on Avon

Barbara went to Brussels TTIP

Monica, Dave P & Dave L went to London for the Anti Trident rally

Michael C was going off to Brazil for nearly 3 Months


Bath Against Cuts, Bath STW, 38 Degrees Bath, BSAFAC’s and Bath Unite Community, joined together to demonstrate against & support people against the unfair (& cruel) DWP Benefit Sanctions.

BAC's went to London for the age Against Racism Demo. Bath Students against Fees & Cuts also came along. A great day.

BAC’s & BSAFAC’s went to London for the age Against Racism Demo.  A great day.

 *No Human is illegal


Bath Students Against Fees And Cuts.

There were two protests at the Uni Campus. They claimed a victory with the living wage campaign (*campaigns for fair pay are on going)

VC day1

Celia & I Bradford on Avon Railway Station handed out flyers to commuters about re nationalising the railways

Bath Stop the War had a ballot outside the Abbey. *In favour of Trident or not.

*great meeting at the Ram-incase you missed the end of the minutes.

The rest of the meeting was about Trident, The Labour Mug, IDS, Podemos & Dave rejoining Labour when they bring back Clause 4. Dave will also donate £1000 to them if they do. Laurel suggested that we perhaps should take a lead from Frankfurt (on our demo’s). ‘Police cars set alight in anti-austerity protest at new European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, officials say.’  We all agreed.

Pre Election Political Campaign

Stalls Save our NHS/TTIP at Green Park Station & at Bath University

1 1bac

Pre Election Political Campaign, up at Bath Uni. BAC's, Bath Trades Council, UCU & Protect our NHS BANES, went for a lunchtime, to get the Students to sign the Save our NHS petition. We gave them information about their NHS & what would happen if more privatisation was to go ahead. A good reception, even though the Lib Dems didn't want us to set up next to them!

Haysfield School David Cameron & the egg

David Camerson came to Bath

MC & the tory...

RMT StrikeRMT2

Peoples Assembly against Austerity Bristol.



March 11

March 3

March 10hands off 2The National Gallery (privatisation & Candy Udwin) & London Met Job cut

Protestivalprotestival sign*jess protestival...demo3

3bugTory HQ Budget Rally

Bath City buy out

Us in Green park

Bristol’s Children’s community health services

Pat & John

CCHP protest poster


1 BAC1

UCU hooligans

sports direct bathZero Hours Sports Direct

Swindon book fare

Swindon 1


Us BAC's1


Stand Up to Racism Bristol

Greek Solidarity Benefit gig


Junior Doctors rally Bristol

Junior doctor’s strike action. (called off the evening before)

Me & Kim...

PONHS 16th Oct Public meeting Ben Howlett


42015-10-04 12.27.22


Rally for free Education London



student ta...

Supporting the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign


Scholarships For refugees


Climate Change Rally


Issues for Dec We didn’t have a room for our meeting… (it was funny though!)

17th December. The BANES Labour group  submitted a motion re the implantation of the TU Bill

BAC dec

Lots to do, so get yourselves along to the next meeting The Ram Widcombe 8pm (in a room!)

Bring issues to put on the agenda.

See you there


Iain Duncan Smith Is Still an Idiot – And Only We Can Stop Him

the void

Incapacity Benefit for new claimants will go, replaced by Employment and Support Allowance with the emphasis on what a person with a physical or mental health condition can do, rather than what they can’t.

Peter Hain, Labour Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, 2007

We need a system focussed on what a claimant can do and the support they’ll need – and not just on what they can’t do.

Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, 2015

It’s just the same old shit, over and over again, whichever bunch of bastards is in charge.  The above two comments were made almost a decade apart and in that period the number of people claiming out of work sickness benefits has barely changed.  And why would it?  In any society there will be some people who cannot work due to illness or disability and as the pension…

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