All posts tagged: claimants

News of the World publisher ‘gave false evidence’ over missing Rebekah Brooks hard drive, claimants say

News of the World publisher ‘gave false evidence’ over missing Rebekah Brooks hard drive, claimants say

[ad_1] Rebekah Brooks The publisher of the defunct News of the World “gave false evidence” to police about how the hard drive of its then-chief executive Rebekah Brooks went missing as it faced allegations of phone hacking, the High Court has been told. News Group Newspapers (NGN) is being sued by Prince Harry and several other individuals over allegations of unlawful information-gathering, including the use of private investigators. Lawyers for the individuals have claimed that a computer hard drive belonging to Rebekah Brooks, NGN’s former chief executive now in the same role at News UK, went missing in May 2011 and that NGN gave false evidence to the police to “explain away” its disappearance. The allegations came in written submissions for a High Court hearing on Wednesday, where barristers for the claimants asked to update parts of their case, including aspects of Harry’s individual legal challenge, following the release of further information. Allegation Rebekah Brooks hard drive was ‘sequestered and/or destroyed deliberately’ NGN is resisting the application, with its lawyers saying the changes are “wholly unnecessary” and “positively undesirable”. Thanks …

Scrap plans to scan accounts of benefit claimants or risk new scandal, MPs told | Benefits

Scrap plans to scan accounts of benefit claimants or risk new scandal, MPs told | Benefits

[ad_1] Plans for automated surveillance of millions of bank accounts to catch welfare cheats should be scrapped, campaigners have said, warning the approach risks a repeat of the Post Office Horizon scandal. The Department for Work and Pensions is seeking new powers to require banks to trawl the accounts of millions of people who receive benefits in an effort to cut the £8bn currently lost annually to welfare fraud. The plan is close to being passed into law by parliament and will be “fully automated”, the government said. It is likely to use artificial intelligence to flag activity considered suspicious by the DWP. The government said no decisions on whether a claimant was committing fraud would be made on the basis of the mass surveillance, but it would examine cases flagged as possible fraud or error “through our business-as-usual processes”. “A member of staff will always take any decision related to suspending benefits, and any signals of potential fraud or error will be looked at comprehensively before action is taken,” a DWP spokesperson said. “We …

DWP decision to stop referring benefit claimants to food banks is shameful | Food banks

DWP decision to stop referring benefit claimants to food banks is shameful | Food banks

[ad_1] Twenty years ago, an American supermarket, discovering that its own low-paid employees needed to use a food bank, stopped supplying that food bank with food. Old traditions die hard. Here, the Department for Work and Pensions is to cease referring benefit claimants to food banks because it “breaches data privacy law” (Jobcentres told to stop referring benefit claimants to food banks, 16 February). Some food banks will no longer supply some families with food. The logic of DWP’s position is that all of the other agencies involved in referral – social services, charities and health centres – must also be in breach of data protection regulation. I’m in favour of food banks helping fewer people, even closing down – but only when no longer needed. A record 3 million people used them in 2022-23, as the plight of the poorest got worse. The DWP’s decision is callous and shortsighted; those suffering the worst excesses of poverty will suffer even more. This raises some questions: what are data regulations for? In whose interests should the …

More than half of Universal Credit claimants ‘ran out of food’ | Politics | News

More than half of Universal Credit claimants ‘ran out of food’ | Politics | News

[ad_1] More than half of those on Universal Credit “ran out of food” during the last month. A survey from an anti-poverty charity found more than 52% of people claiming benefits are behind on bills and credit commitments or are finding it a constant struggle to keep up with them, a survey for the Trussell Trust found. Over two-fifths – around 42% – said they are behind with one or more household bills. The YouGov research among Universal Credit recipients, carried out from January 18 to February 5, found that one in eight (12%) had used a food bank in the previous month while 55% had run out of food in the past month and could not afford more. More than a fifth (22%) of Universal Credit recipients had been unable to cook hot food in the past three months as they could not afford to use their oven or other utilities. Just over a quarter (26%) have missed an essential appointment, such as visiting the doctor or travelling to work, because they could not …

Jobcentres told to stop referring benefit claimants to food banks | Food banks

Jobcentres told to stop referring benefit claimants to food banks | Food banks

[ad_1] Jobcentre officials have been ordered to stop referring penniless benefit claimants to food banks because it breaches data privacy law, in a move charities have warned will cause delays in crisis help for thousands of hungry households. For years the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has allowed jobcentres to issue DWP-designed “signposting slips”, which allow claimants to access local food banks, many of which will not give out food parcels without a formal referral. However, an internal DWP briefing seen by the Guardian says it will no longer issue the slips – which require the name of the claimant and brief details, such as the number of children in the household – because they amount to “inappropriate use of personal claimant data”. Instead, new DWP signposting slips, which come into force next week, will contain just the name, address and opening time of the food bank, and none of the basic information about the claimant required by food banks to validate food parcel requests. Food banks questioned whether the referral slips breached data …

Benefits claimants must ‘play by the rules’ and get a job, says minister

Benefits claimants must ‘play by the rules’ and get a job, says minister

[ad_1] Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, attacked Labour’s plans to soften welfare sanctions – TAYFUN SALCI/SHUTTERSTOCK Benefits claimants must “play by the rules” and get a job or face losing their handouts, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said. Mel Stride attacked Labour’s “reckless” plans to soften welfare sanctions as he vowed to ensure greater fairness for the taxpayer. He made the remarks in an article for The Telegraph as the Tories ramped up their attacks on Sir Keir Starmer as a soft touch on benefits. The minister has unveiled plans to remove perks and handouts from claimants who are able to work but choose not to. Under the proposals those who refuse to look for a job will lose access to free prescriptions and discounted bus travel after six months. If they still fail to seek out employment, they will have their benefits cut off after 18 months. ‘Robust safety net’ “At the heart of this approach is my belief in fairness. We will always provide a robust safety net to protect …