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Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Steve
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Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Have you watched It? What Is your thoughts? If you have not watched then please do, Its 27 Min long and you can watch It here
Let us know your thoughts.
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

They are just one of the many groups of people ripping off the system and getting away with it.
Starts at the top in my opinion, if politicians, bankers and others are milking the system it's not hard to see why people on the dole see no wrong in fiddling a few pounds.
The Solution also starts at the top, until they set an example why should those further down the scale bother ?
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

I watched it during transmission and found it very interesting.
One of the main messages there was don't go to Jobcentre Plus if you want a job.
The sight of the the Director of Jobcentre Plus squirming on the end of searching questions was also amusing and revealing.
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jmd
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

The programme was very misleading.  The "adviser" that they went in and were signed by is just a signing clerk and they have 4 minutes to deal with each person.  Amyone they see who is fairly obvious such as bloke in paint splatered overal would have been referred to fraud without the claimant realised as there is a button on screen which does that.
When people do see a Adviser they get a longer interview and referred on for help with CV, interview techniques etc.
The programme did not show how due to enormous cutbacks the staff in JobCentrePlus have unrealistic targets, have to put up with abusive claimants, and due to programmes like this and lack of knowledge/too much knowledge have poor morale.
I worked in JobCentres for 29 yrs and was very glad to retire 5 years ago. I was fed up of claimants calling me names, throwing things at me and generally being difficult - one woman who had been out of work years told me that her tax [that she was not paying] was paying my wages so therefore I should accept that she could not travel any further than her front door for a job!  How she was going to find a job at her front door I do not know!
When the JobCentre just dealt with jobs in the 80s we had people thanking us for finding them jobs and this was in a period when unemployment was far far higher than now.  I got occupational training so I knew what type of work people did and was able to place them in the right sort of jobs or refer them to relevant training.  However, when it became part of the benefit system then staff were policing the benefit system for the government.  We had advisers who came as "direct entrants" who had limited knowledge of what type of different work there was[which included ex recruitment consultants], whereas those of us with experience were not recognised in respect of that and so staff had poor morale.  Our managers were charged to improve morale but nothing improved.
That reporter needs to go back and look at the other side of the counter, and see what the staff have to cope with before he makes out JobCentrePlus is a waste of money.  
alanf
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Quote from: jmdlp
Amyone they see who is fairly obvious such as bloke in paint splatered overal would have been referred to fraud without the claimant realised as there is a button on screen which does that.

True the programme did not reveal whether that did or did not happen in the example case. However, the former JobCentre Plus employee said that in his experience referring to fraud was the exception not the rule.
jmd
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

What he said depends on where he worked and why he left!
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Quote from: jmdlp
I was fed up of claimants calling me names, throwing things at me and generally being difficult 

After the GLC was abolished in the mid '80 I was transferred to the LRB (London Residuary Body) and moved into their Housing Benefit section at County Hall. Stories were rife about the abuse of many members of staff by 'clients' including one who ended up in hospital after being attacked by an irate lady with a knitting needle. Back then there were no screens or security guards. We just faced the public and dealt with any issues as they happened. I never actually met with physical abuse but plenty of verbal by phone and letter but never in person!

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thejudge
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

I haven't seen the programme (I don't have a television - or the time), but from what I've read about it elsewhere it seems to be just another part of the "all claimants are scroungers" notion that certain groups of not-exactly-disinterested people have been pushing for all they're worth in the last couple of years or so. This has been the primary factor in - for example - the huge rise in verbal and physical attacks on disabled people.
The truth is somewhat different; the level of benefit fraud is very low, averaging no more than 5 per cent at worst (and that - if I remember correctly - is for Pension Credit; you know, all those scrounging grannies!  Wink , and is dwarfed not only by what is lost through tax evasion, but also by the amount which is lost through official incompetence and by the amount which could legitimately be claimed by people, but which for various reasons is not.
But then, in our tabloidised society, the public must be kept happy by having a group of people they can kick who - they think - can't fight back.
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

I was a Sickness/Injury benefit clerk for the DHSS back in 1969. The chairs and table were bolted to the floor in the interview room. The risk of assault was present even then.  We had "regulars" who would try to defraud the system. I suppose in those pre-computer days the local staff were much more in touch with the claimants.
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nadger
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Back in 2000, due to screw-up by DWP over commencing state pension, I had to take paperwork to Job Centre in Luton which is about 17 miles from here.
Not an experience I'd care to repeat as there were people screaming and shouting at staff who then pulled down shutters to protect themselves.
Lady I eventually saw seemed most surprised at being spoken to politely - at the end of the day it wasn't her fault. She checked that I'd completed forms correctly and matter had been resolved by the time we returned from 3 weeks in France.
First pension payment was received on time  Smiley
David_W
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

I'm guessing it must be really different down here.  The job centre in my town (now closed and moved to Penzance) was staffed with friendly people, they actually had two buildings, one was the job centre plus where you looked for work or signed on and the other was where you went for interviews or new deal type stuff.  There is no shutters or anything between the job centre staff and the customers, although living in a small town you can't really get away with being violent or anything as odds are there are people in the room who know who you are!  Plus it's a bit silly to be violent towards the staff who let you sign on, they should be able to ban from you entering the building and signing on.
I do think the film was showing a very unfair comparison between private recruitment firms and the job centre.  Private firms have the time to work with their clients because they get paid for putting them into work so it's in their best interest to present their clients in the best possible light, the job centre on the other hand has a fair few more people on their books and have to deal with more things which is why after a set amount of time customers get taken from that system and put into another system where they get the personal one on one treatment, help with their CV, english/maths testing (and if needed help with improving their maths/english).
If I was looking for a job though (I'm unable to work currently) it would be a hassle to go to Penzance and the job centre there but I do know I'd get good service.
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Quote from: David
I'm guessing it must be really different down here.  The job centre ............................ was staffed with friendly people,...............................  There is no shutters or anything between the job centre staff and the customers,

Same "up here" on the occasions I've had to use it. Altogether quite civilized.
That said I didn't find it a "financially productive" process at all, the minimal payments I got barely covered the cost of travelling to the job centre which was some miles away.
I did it mainly to get NI credits, which later became irrelevant when the pension qualifying rules changed.
In fact I worked out that the time and expense involved were pointless and my time and energy would be better employed job-hunting myself and getting a job sooner. That was based on an assumption of a fairly low "hit rate" on job applications and a "reasonable" salary once employed. The Job Centre didn't have (and to be fair their staff never expected to) any vacancies relevant to my skills.
jmd
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Shutters were removed in early 90s before JobCentrePlus came into being from Unemplopyment Benefit Offices but left at DHSS.
I also felt shutters made people worse as part of frustration was the barrier.
Steve
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

Quote from: thejudge
I haven't seen the programme (I don't have a television - or the time), but from what I've read about it elsewhere it seems to be just another part of the "all claimants are scroungers" notion
It was actually more about the boss of job centre plus Ruth Owen being lousy at her job In more ways than one, She was very rattled and caught out about a lot of things Inc how 127 civil service jobs were not being advertised at job centre when they were supposed to be.
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Re: Dispatches Tricks of the Dole Cheats

I have only been to the job centre a couple of times - I was driving one of my children there as we don't have a bus service - and I saw no problems or bad behavior. However this was in the centre of Poole so probably not typical.
The one thing I did notice while wandering around the office looking at the posters and then going on to the job seekers computer system was just how few jobs there were requiring any significant skill level or training.
Looking in the local paper there were hundreds more.
Is this typical