DWP spending on IT contractors rockets amid Universal Credit delays

Sentinel News

By Chaminda Jayanetti

Spending on external IT contractors by the Department for Work and Pensions has rocketed to £8m every month in a desperate attempt to get the heavily delayed Universal Credit scheme back on track.

Monthly workforce figures published by the DWP show that departmental spending on “specialist contractors” has more than doubled in just eight months, reaching £8,272,817 in April this year.

Specialist contractors are people temporarily hired from outside to work on a short-term basis as non-payroll contractors rather than employees.

According to the DWP they are working on its IT projects, with their numbers rising due to the department’s need for specialist skills in rolling out its “Digital Transformation Programme”, related to the troubled Universal Credit benefit scheme.

In just over two years the number of specialist contractors working for the DWP has risen from below a hundred in March 2014 to a record high of…

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100 Wood Street: the bosses start to crumble, the strike goes on

Follow the link to donate to the strike fund.

Cautiously pessimistic

As the amazing cleaners’ strike at 100 Wood Street in the City of London goes on, the bosses are starting to back down, but the cleaners are determined not to settle for less than total victory. As their statement puts it:

After 43 days of our all out strike at 100 Wood Street – the longest strike in the history of the City of London and the loingest stirke by an entirley migrant workforce – WE HAVE WON the London Living Wage (LLW) which will be paid effective immediately! This is a significant victory. The LLW is 30% more then the minimum, poverty wage set by the government.

However, our inspiring members have voted unanimously to stay out on indefinite strike until all unlawfully sacked cleaners are reinstated; the LLW is backdated and confirmation is given that the cleaners will be paid the annual LLW uplifts as announced by…

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For a world without leaders, elections, jobs, money, nukes or fascists: Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2016.

Thanks to West Midlands Wobs for the flag!

Wessex Solidarity

naughty boyIt was a lovely sunny weekend, with a superb music line-up. We made some new comrades and enjoyed catching up with the Bognor contingent, Bristol Afed, Swindon A’s, North London, South Wales, West Midlands IWW and many musician friends. Big shout out to the Wob Kitchen for all the tasty vegan meals.

Tolpuddle festival is the Ascot of the left; the various historical re-enactment societies and activist groups rub shoulders in a more or less cordial way and Che Guevara shirts are worn without irony. The Radical Workers’ Bloc idea began in 2011, as a new generation discovered rioting, exasperated with the blatant futility of representative politics. Ever since, in the jolly festival atmosphere, we’ve had frank tactical discussions between Marxists and anarchists, antifascists, environmentalists, trade unionists and hunt sabs. There has been a tacit acceptance of the need for militant antifascism and mass direct action generally.

This was a…

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

Andrew, Eating

PART 1: INEQUALITY

THE WEALTH OF THE RICHEST 1% OF THE BRITISH POPULATION IS EQUAL TO THE WEALTH OF THE POOREST 55%.

THE 5 RICHEST BRITISH FAMILIES ARE AS WEALTHY AS THE POOREST 20% OF THE BRITISH POPULATION.
* That’s 12.6 million people.

THE WEALTH OF THE RICHEST 1000 PEOPLE IN BRITAIN HAS DOUBLED IN THE PAST TEN YEARS TO £547 BILLION.
* More than a third of the annual economic output of the entire U.K.

BRITAIN HAS 117 BILLIONAIRES, THE MOST PER CAPITA OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
* That’s one for every 547,000 people, more per head of population than any other nation in the G20.

LONDON’S 80 BILLIONAIRES IS THE MOST OF ANY CITY IN THE WORLD.
* With a total wealth of £325 billion, more than the GDP of Ireland or South Africa.

THE £9 TRILLION OF PRIVATE WEALTH IN BRITAIN IS HELD BY JUST…

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Notts IWW Statement on Orlando Attack

Notts IWW

The following is a statement from the Nottinghamshire General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of The World in England, regarding the recent terrible events in Orlando, Florida, USA:

The IWW’s Nottinghamshire General Members’ Branch was deeply saddened to hear of the shooting that occurred at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last Sunday. This shooting, which targeted LGBT members of the Latinx community, was a tragic symptom of the racism, homophobia and transphobia that permeates so much of our society, both in the United States and in the wider world. Both of the communities targeted suffer disproportionately at the hands of the boss class, with the Latinx community especially being affected by issues of poor pay and precarious working conditions. We note that many of the victims of this event have been forcibly outed as a consequence, either posthumously or as a result of ending up in hospital, and…

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Early July round-up: cleaners, disability assessments, carers and more…

Cautiously pessimistic

First off, there’s a few upcoming events this week that look worthwhile:

Throughout the whole week, the Universities and Colleges Union will be taking local actions as part of their ongoing pay dispute. The week of 11-15 July sees Edge Hill and Exeter out on the Monday, Open Uni, Rose Burford College, Arts Uni Bournemouth and Keele and Tuesday 12th, Roehampton on Wednesday 13th, Canterbury Christ Church on the 14th, and Teesside and Swansea on Friday 15th. If you don’t have plans, Fighting Against Casualisation in Education or the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts might potentially be doing interesting stuff to support the strikes in your area.
On Wednesday 13th, there’ll be action against the companies that carry out assessments for Personal Independence Payment, the new benefit that was brought in to replace Disability Living Allowance, in 16 towns and cities. There are events confirmed so far…

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See you at Tolpuddle! 15th to 17th July 2016.

tolpDorset GMB will be on the IWW stall at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival this coming weekend, why not stop by for a chat? We will also be supporting the Radical Workers’ Bloc on Sunday’s march. Check out FW Les’ Wob Kitchen next to the RWB tent on the campsite, free/donations, first come first served.

Swindon Unites Protest. Sunday 10th of July 2016.

swindon unites posterOn Sunday 10th of July, there will be a protest in Swindon to stand in solidarity with migrant workers and refugees. The protest is being held with a backdrop of rapidly escalating violence and abuse towards migrant and refugee communities.

The march will be starting at 2pm from Wharf Green in town centre (see below) and will be ending with a picnic in the GWR park, 2 minutes from the train station. Any support you could give in publicising the event, attending of encouraging friends and members to attend would be appreciated. Spanish, Portuguese and Polish versions of the poster are also available on request (from Swindon TUC). Hope to see you next Saturday!

In Solidarity,
Swindon TUC swindontuc@gmail.com

station wharf green map