How many years of benefits would that pay for, for disabled people and carers?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) paid more than £53m in performance related pay and bonuses last year – including over 100,000 vouchers of at least £25.
In total £51,274,006 was paid in cash to staff in in-year and end of year bonuses between April 2012 and March 2013.
And a minimum of £2.56m was also paid in 102,349 voucher payments valued between £25 and £50.
This total could be as high as £5.12m if all vouchers handed out were for £50 and would take the total bonus pool to £56.4m.
Senior civil servants (SCS) received the highest awards – 61 of 242 eligible staff (25.2%) received a median bonus of £10,000 each, although the maximum paid out was £15,000.
The vast majority of non-senior staff eligible for an end of year bonus (91%) received one, with the top value being £1,705 and median value £475.
One in five (19.6%) of eligible staff members also received an in-year bonus, with the highest being £2,250, although the median amount was £100.
According to the official DWP data, the bonus pool amounted to 3.2% of the annual £20.4m pay bill for senior civil servants.
And it represented 1.8% of the £2.76bn total pay for the 104,000 non-senior eligible employees at the department.
Originally posted on the void:
In a move which could hit pensioners, disabled people, lone parents and unemployed people, government advisor Dame Carol Black has said: “I personally think we should perhaps be more honest and debate more fully if we would prioritise such patients if it was a question of getting them back to work.”
In other words if you are currently without a job, for any reason, then forget about accessing healthcare as you are pushed down to the bottom of NHS waiting lists. Black’s comments even seem to suggest that the sicker you are, and the less likely to be able to go back to work, then the longer you might have to wait for NHS treatment.
Disabled people will be impacted by the closure of the ILF but it will close anyway.
Despite the heroic efforts of some users of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in successfully challenging the Government’s original decision to close the Fund in April 2015, today the Government announced that, following undertaking a new Equality Impact Assessment the Fund will close in June 2015.
The Equality Impact Assessment acknowledges the likelihood that ILF users will face a reduction in their care and support packages with some disabled people losing all their support if there needs are considered to not to fit with their local authority’s exacting eligibility criteria. However the assessment goes on to claim that this may be mitigated by ‘more care services being paid for directly’.
The impact assessment goes on to claim:-
“It is simply not possible to quantify accurately how the closure of the ILF would impact on individual care and support packages or how any funding cuts would translate into the loss of independence or reduce choice and control over their daily lives. “
Commenting on the announced closure Sue Bott, Director of Policy and Development for Disability Rights UK said: -
“I know many of our members will be very disappointed and worried following this decision. The Equality Impact Assessment whilst acknowledging there will be an adverse impact dismisses such concerns on the grounds that they can’t be quantified accurately, or the Care Bill will make everything in the garden rosy again, or – extraordinarily – some concerns are simply the result of an outdated view of local authorities. The fact is that social care is chronically underfunded and this decision will only exacerbate that situation.”
She went on to say: “The priority now must be to ensure that all ILF recipients get the best package possible from their local authority. We will do what we can to assist through independent living information on our website and through our independent living helpline. We would take issue with the Minister’s assertion that disability has become better understood in the last 20 years. As far as independent living is concerned there is a need to renew the debate and give disabled people a right to independent living as contained in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.”
From 30 June 2015, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will close, Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning announced today (6 March 2014), and funding will be transferred to local authorities and the devolved administrations.
Current users of the fund – which was first set up as a transitional arrangement more than 20 years ago – will then receive support through the mainstream adult social care system.
Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said:
Our understanding of disabled people has changed over the past 20 years, and along with it there have been significant developments in how we provide social care to disabled people so they can live independent lives.
We continue to spend £50 billion a year on disabled people and the services provided to them, and as part of the government’s long-term economic plan, we want to make sure that disabled people are given the support that allows them to fulfil their potential.
There are approximately 18,000 ILF users across the UK. The fund was permanently closed to new applicants in December 2010, and the government consulted on the best way forward for existing users in 2012.
Since then, DWP has carried out a new equality analysis to enable ministers to make a new decision about the future of the fund.
Nearly 1.6 million disabled people in England alone already receive support through local authority social care arrangements. In future ILF users in England will receive all their support under the same system.
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide how ILF users in their areas will be supported.
The government, local authorities, the devolved administrations and the ILF will work closely with disabled people to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for current ILF users.
All disabled people, including those transferring from the ILF, will continue to be protected by a safety net that guarantees disabled people get the support they need.
I share his disability and was sad to read that he has been denied SDR- something his family clearly want for him and believe will help him. I wish them well in whatever happens next.
The furious family of cerebral palsy boy Ben Baddeley is to take legal action against the hospital that axed his life-changing operation due to cuts.
Mum Amy said she believed another child had the £20,000 surgery just days after her nine-year-old son’s was suddenly cancelled.
The 29-year-old said: “I was so angry when I found out they were operating on other children on the waiting list, but not on Ben.
“It is just so wrong to choose one over another. It is playing at God.
“I am going to see my solicitor about taking legal action.
“I do not believe you can give a child a date for an operation, take it away, then continue to do it for other children.
“I don’t think it is lawful.”
Ben, of Silverdale, Staffs, was booked into Queen’s Medical Centre , Nottingham, on February 20 to prepare for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery, which could help him walk unaided.
But the Tories cut funding.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust pledged to operate on “those already with a date or those fully prepared”.
That angered Amy and Ben’s dad Gary, 37.
Amy added: “How can they tell my son his date was not the start of treatment when he was to have a catheter in his spine and go into theatre?
“He has taken so long to prepare for this. He had 18 months of gruelling physiotherapy.”
The trust’s neurosciences chief James Hunter said: “It would be unfair on our patients and their families to continue a process which may not result in surgery.
“We are in contact with the Baddeleys to discuss alternative arrangements and funding options.”
The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed it was investigating 179 employers for potentially breaching the rules on the site.
The disclosure comes as it emerged that national fraud investigators are examining allegations of a scam in the North West of England in which job seekers responding to adverts were asked to hand over £65 for background criminal checks for positions which did not exist.
Universal Jobmatch was set up in November 2012. Since March last year anyone claiming jobseekers’ allowance can be required to apply for a minimum number of jobs through the site each week to prove they are actively looking for work – or facing losing benefits.
Whilst Government figures show more than half a million employers have advertised on the site, it was recently claimed that as many as one in three of the vacancies could be fake.
Labour MP Frank Field, who obtained the figures, has asked the National Audit Office to investigate. He said: “The heart of the government’s welfare reform programme is bedevilled with fraud and, in its current state, it is out of control.
“Anyone can place an advertisement on the site in the space of five minutes by ticking a few boxes. Ministers need to get a grip before more people fall victim to fraudsters preying on them with the helping hand of a major government department.”
Among the breaches uncovered so far are employers promoting franchise opportunities or pyramid selling schemes which require applicants to part with money up front. While not illegal, they do flout Jobmatch terms and conditions and are removed.
In another instance, positions advertised on Universal Jobmatch for trainee child counsellors with salaries of £18,500 a year rising to £34,000. Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside Police have all received complaints from job seekers who claim they were duped after attending interviews.
In Liverpool successful applicants claimed they turned up for work but were told that the company did not exist. The matter has been referred to the national fraud agency Action Fraud.
Under the terms of the deal advertisers are permitted to conduct interviews in Jobcentre Plus premises.
In a letter obtained by Mr Field last month, the DWP said: “Currently there are 179 accounts advertising 352,569 jobs which potentially breach the terms and conditions (of Universal Jobmatch) and those organisations are being contacted to seek evidence of compliance.
“If evidence is not provided the accounts will be terminated within five working days and all associated vacancies removed from Universal Jobmatch. It is anticipated that this exercise will take around three weeks to complete.”
In a recent Parliamentary written answer, DWP minister Esther McVey said it would be too expensive to keep records of the number of people finding work through the site or how long they had remained employment.
A DWP spokesman said millions of vacancies had been posted since 2012 and problems of bogus adverts were common to all on-line job sites.
“The truth is that the vast majority of employers post genuine jobs, and we crack down on those who don’t play by the rules. We also regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises,” he added.
We won. And so did common sense. And decency. And… well just about everything really. Now, I just hope they stop taking bets on the trial verdict.
Paddy Power has been told to withdraw its Oscar Pistorius advert with “immediate effect” after it became the most complained-about UK campaign ever.
The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered the bookmaker to remove the newspaper advert, which offers “money back” on bets if the South African athlete is found not guilty of murder.
More than 5,200 complaints have already been made, the ASA said.
Mr Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The ASA ordered the removal of the advert after “an unprecedented number of complaints”.
It said it was investigating whether the ad is “offensive for trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman and disability”.
The ASA is also investigating whether it “brings the good reputation of advertising generally into dispute”.
Paddy Power’s advert featured a photograph of Mr Pistorius, a double amputee Olympic racer and a Paralympic gold medallist, mocked up as an Academy Award statuette.
“We consider the ad may be seriously prejudicial to the general public on the ground of the likely further serious and/or widespread offence it may cause”, the ASA said.
“We are also concerned that the good reputation of the advertising industry may be further damaged by continued publication of this ad.”
ASA chairman, Lord Smith said it had taken the “unusual step” of directing the advertiser to withdraw the campaign before the outcome of an investigation.
The campaign was run to coincide with the Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles and the first day of Pistorius’ trial in South Africa, for which the bookmaker is offering odds.
Prosecutors allege Pistorius, 27, shot his model and reality TV star girlfriend through the bathroom door at his home on Valentines’ Day in 2013. Pistorius claims he mistook her for an intruder.
An online petition, claiming that making money from the trial is “vile” and “offensive”, has been signed by 120,000 people.
The number of complaints to the ASA has already surpassed a 2005 Kentucky Fried Chicken advert, which was the previously the most complained-about UK advert.
It featured call centre workers singing with their mouths full and drew 1,671 complaints.