In the latest newsletter, we've looked at some of the things the political parties might have planned for claimants after the next election, but which they are not willing to admit. We'd be interested to know what other plots you think might be lurking in hidden manifestos.
For example, we can reveal that the Ministry of Justice has done so much work on charging benefits claimants to go to a tribunal that they are refusing to send us the information - because it would cost too much to collect and collate it all.
Then there’s the news that a Labour council have had to abandon a scheme for giving claimants a pre-payment card instead of cash, because only two people volunteered. It was Labour who introduced compulsory prepayment cards for failed asylum seekers and it was IDS who announced at the Conservative party conference in September that they will now be tested on claimants who are parents and have “drug or alcohol addiction, even problem debt, or more”.
How long before ESA and JSA claimants are also forced to use prepayment cards, to prevent them spending their benefits on anything other than “essential” items?
Plus there’s the possibility being raised that workers could be made to pay £5 a week into a ‘personal welfare’ account run for profit by the private sector, in order to get higher benefits if they lose their job.
And, of course, there is the furore over David Freud saying that some disabled claimants are not worth the minimum wage. David Cameron has denied that this is official government policy – but how long before that changes?
We’d be interested to hear what you think the various parties have secretly got planned for claimants, should they get into power in 2015.