Thursday, April 05, 2007

John Hutton's latest idea....

Just how far will that schmuck John Hutton and his posse at the DWP stoop? Well, gutter level it seems as the latest offering from John Hutton is that claimants will be subject to a lie detector test in a bid to crack down on fraud. And it gets even better because the people who will be in charge of this is ..... Crapita. Yes, the company committed to "tranforming" your services. Transforming them into what, that's the question?

But back to seeking out liars and cheaters screwing the welfare system. Hutton explains:

"This technology-based process aims to tackle these fraudsters while speeding up claims and improving customer service for the honest majority.
Our investigators are successfully using sophisticated 21st century techniques to stop criminals. The introduction of this cutting-edge technology will be another weapon in the battle against benefit fraud." Ah yes, the "honest majority"....

The Voice Risk Analysis technology picks up in the changes in the caller's voice "which can be signs of stress when telling lies",.. The person's "normal" voice is measured against these changes. Benefit advisers will be trained in using "sophisticated 21st century techniques to stop criminals". It will be tested in north London first (Harrow Council for Housing and Council Tax benefits) before being rolled out to the rest of country including Job Centre Plus. No mention of monitoring and who will monitor.

Words fail me in conveying how obscene this latest proposal from Hutton is. What also springs to mind is.... tax evasion but hey, New Labour doesn't want to upset the likes of Rupert Murdoch so instead it is easier to be gunning for the powerless and treating them all as potential criminals. It is estimated that between £700m-£900m is lost because of benefit fraud but between £97bn-£150bn is lost to tax evasion. While £7bn in benefits are unclaimed. And we know where New Labour's priorities lie.

And this method is utter fantasy as how can you really conclude that someone is "lying"as opposed to "not lying". It is subjective. This latest proposal will cause more upset, misery and distress. It is hard enough contacting a government agency but even harder when you know they are analysing your truthfulness. Yes, truthfulness and New Labour... never the twain shall meet.

And I will be interested in what the trade unions such as the PCS and Unison will make of this.....

6 comments:

AN said...

And the voice test will detect if you are stressed.

God knows, how it will distinguish between lieing, and being stressed ebcause you are poor, on benefit and having to make a phone call while up to your knees in children (for example)

Louisefeminista said...

Yes, that's precisely the point. How do you conclude whether someone is lying.
Also, this will cause extra anxiety and stress for people with mental health problems. It could put them off applying for a benefit they are entitled to. Yes, trying to make a phone call with your kids in the background, and there is that psychological factor when ringing up the DWP etc. that makes you feel even more powerless and vulnerable.

Reading the piece in today's Guardian just makes me so utterly utterly angry that the poor are being screwed.

And will there be independent monitoring? I doubt it.

The scary thing is that Crapita is taking over everything. It has won the contract for medical assessments when people claim IB etc.

Phugebrins said...

What's more, they're bound to end up spending over £900m on this.

Louisefeminista said...

"What's more, they're bound to end up spending over £900m on this".

Precisely.

But New Labour will see it as a sound investment as it means cracking down on benefits cheats...

Clive said...

Hutton is a liar it's a simple as that. Anyone seen his Youtube video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdyrChE34lw

In it he claims single parents (he actually says 'mums' or 'women', I don't think anyone told him men can be single parents too) go straight onto Incapacity Benefit after their child has reached 16!

Louisefeminista said...

Clive: Yeah, Hutton is also an utter fool as well. Just listened to the Youtube thing. Thanks for that.

He has the cheek to go about child care. What exactly are Hutton's proposals? Instead he wants to bully lone parents back into the workplace. Nothing about improving the minefield that is Tax Credits and so on. The man is indeed a Fool!!