BBC Panorama tonight: LTB’s (‘Lying Thieving Bastards’) is the new acronym for disabled jobless at DWP Work Programme provider Triage Ltd.



The Work Programme is an attempt to move 68,000 disabled people into work


On paper, Linda Smith’s job with an Aberdeen company was straight-forward – she was meant to be helping the long-term unemployed – many of them disabled – to find jobs and move off benefits.

The reality, she said, was a corporate culture that saw staff in training sessions referring to those same people as LTBs – code for “lying, thieving bastards”.

“That is how they are referred to,” she said of the clients of Triage, which is a key player in the government’s ambitious plan to pay private companies to move people from benefit into work.

They haven’t done a single thing to help me in any way”

~ Tony Wilson Long-term unemployed

There are 2.5m long-term sick and disabled unemployed people in the UK. The cost to the taxpayer is £13bn a year.

The government’s £5bn Work Programme has identified 68,000 disabled people in receipt of incapacity benefit who it believes can work.

‘Bucks, ker-ching’

To achieve that, 18 main providers have been contracted to do the work and are paid in stages when the clients are referred and when they find jobs. A further payment is made if they stay in work for two years. It is called payment by results.

Mrs Smith said her time working at Triage – a sub-contractor to two of those main providers – was an eye-opener. She said the nature of the scheme is that the firms earn more money from taking on the disabled as clients.

“These people were probably more difficult to place in employment for us as employment workers, but for them (the company) these people were bigger money…these people were the bucks, the ker-ching.”

But once those people were on the company’s books, and an initial fee paid, Mrs Smith said the company – which operates in Scotland and northern England – told its staff to spend as little time and effort as possible on helping them find jobs.

She said the practice is known as “parking”.

Four other former Triage employees told the BBC similar stories of being told to “park” clients rather than actively help them find work.

They also confirmed the use of the term “LTBs” to describe their clients.

“They would be put on telephone interviews…just to make sure that there was this contact made so they could tick a box to say ‘yeah, they’re still on the Work Programme’,”

Mrs Smith said.


The RNIB said the Work Programme is not delivering jobs for blind and partially-sighted people
The RNIB said the Work Programme is not delivering jobs for blind and partially-sighted people

Tony Wilson, 34, from Middlesbrough, had been unemployed and receiving incapacity benefit for almost nine years before being referred to the Work Programme through Triage in February 2012.

Mr Wilson said he suffers from depression, anxiety disorder and borderline personality disorder and he believes he has been “parked”.

He said he has only met his advisor three times, some of the courses he was told he would be sent on have not happened and he has not even been asked to produce a CV. He said his contact with Triage has been reduced to occasional phone calls.

“They haven’t done a single thing to help me in any way.”

In response to the allegations about parking, Triage said in a statement:#

“It is standard practice, particularly for those clients that are sick or who have otherwise been unable to attend, to telephone them to check on their progress and maintain contact. Triage’s delivery structure of the Work Programme does not allow for ‘parking’.

“The compliance requirements of the programme demand a frequency of contact and this together with our own commitment to excellence and meeting client needs means that ‘parking’ is not an option.”

Triage also said the term LTB was referring to an isolated incident, adding:

“This is not a phraseology used or accepted by Triage.”

Left behind

Mrs Smith’s concerns about the attitude of some Triage staff comes as a survey of charities and other organisations recruited to back up the 18 main providers conducted by the BBC found that many do not feel the Work Programme is delivering.

In the survey of 348 organisations listed with the Department for Work and Pensions, so-called Third Party providers, 184 answered a series of questions about their involvement in helping the long term sick and disabled to find work.

The survey found:

  • 77% of organisations with specialist expertise to support disabled people believe that expertise has not been correctly utilised by the main provider
  • 80% of organisations which responded had fewer referrals than they expected
  • 45% of respondents have had no referrals at all

And 40% of those which responded said they were not actually part of the Work Programme, therefore should not be on the DWP’s list.

The RNIB Group (Royal National Institute of Blind People) was one of the organisations that did sign on to help big companies to get the visually impaired into work.

Panorama: Find out more

BBC Panorama logo
  • Samantha Poling presents The Great Disability Scam?
  • BBC One, Monday, 28 January at 20:30 GMT

Steve Winyard, head of policy at the RNIB Group, said the programme has failed to deliver the promised support to help people move into paid employment.

“It is a disaster. The latest data that has come from DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) shows that there have been zero successful placements in work for blind and partially sighted people…that’s meant to be the core outcome and it is just not delivering.”

Justin Urquhart is a financial analyst who examined the Work Programme’s payment by results financial model. He said it is designed in a way that encourages companies to cherry pick the people who are fairly easy to move into jobs.

“Sadly, if you do not have the experience, if you do not have any training and maybe you are disabled, then you’re going to be left behind.”

Hoban Expenses

Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment, said he is confident the Work Programme can deliver:

“It is early days….but what we’ve seen is that 200,000 people have got work through the Work Programme. That’s a good start, but clearly we know there’s more that needs to be done.”

Panorama: The Great Disability Scam? is on BBC One, Monday, 28 January at 20:30 GMT and then available in the UK via the BBC iPlayer.

For viewers in Scotland, BBC Scotland Investigates Parking the Disabled, BBC One at 20:30 GMT.


33 thoughts on “BBC Panorama tonight: LTB’s (‘Lying Thieving Bastards’) is the new acronym for disabled jobless at DWP Work Programme provider Triage Ltd.

  1. jed goodright says:

    nothing will change – nothing has changes since the debat in parliament – no change – carry on towards the death camps – welcome to britain

  2. Claire Peach says:

    Surely panorama etc KNOW that bringing this phrase into the mainstream will give the haters more to attack disabled people with? Either the BBC is stupid or biased. I am not sure which yet.

  3. Marion says:

    Good Morning All,

    Claire, I was just thinking the same thing when I saw the title of this BBC programme, what the hell are they thinking, putting a title like, “The Great Disability Scam”, as you say the public doesn’t really need more ammunition to label disabled people and to believe the lying gutter press.

    I don’t rate the BBC at all any longer, one time I did and rated their Panorama and news programmes, but I’m pretty disgusted the way they have covered welfare benefits, back to work programmes etc., since the recession especially. I do still tune into to some of them ,but for my real taste of this news, I go to Cahnnel 4 News , RT(&Keiser Report) and of course various places online.

    I will watch tonight, but don’t hold out much hope, but I do think the BBC should be taken to task over this awful, misleading title, plus they never explain about the difference between Ib/ESA/DLA?

  4. Andy says:

    I’m glad this programme is being shown, but I have high doubts that it will change anything… and it hugely worries me that the term ‘LTB’ Lying Thieving Bastards, is being used to promote this programme… to promote an idea that this is shocking while totally reinforcing that term into people’s minds…very very sick and very very clever marketing I’m afraid

  5. tanith says:

    why isnt something being done to get rid of these monsters is the whole country blind /has every 1 gone mad /allowing these cruel people to keep on doing this when will they realise and stand up to this wicked government

  6. cheryl says:

    Yes Wake up all you people out there, we are being killed slowly by these people i for one would rather take my own life than let these murderus governmen t mps and priminister i have starved my self for a year to keep car on rd, now car has gone as i need the money for bedroom tax why dont they give this tax to home owners its unfair and putting vunerabl people at more risk of abuse and violence how daer they its not the middle ages and all you rich greedy people are ki;;ing people yet none of you will go to jail for murder or man slaughter. Also how daer they make more children have to live in poverty, all very well for the rich they have even said that 90% of the populating should be culed who made these people gods i havent and never will, I refuse to be apart of this disgusting world i have enough to deal with and i can only fight like this on line. Iv be called for nine work assesments in a year and and 1 month now i have to get used to not leaving my house unless its for apointments at hospital or drs and thats only if my son is available to take me as he works full time and his job is shift work, and they amount of times i have to ask him if he can take time off work, cant keep doing this he has already had 2 warning, so i cant ask him any more i dont want him to loose his job

    1. Anna Hayward says:

      Don’t you think rather than talking about taking your own life, which wouldn’t affect the government one iota, it would be better to use your anger to fight them? (non-violently, of course). Black Triangle and many other organisations and sites are organising, complaining and demonstrating. We don’t need to crawl into a corner and die – that’s apparently what they want us to do. We need to shout and scream as much as we can until someone listens.

      I hope Panorama might be useful to our cause, as it was to the case of Winterborn View and those disabled people who were being abused. At least it got those people out of there and started a serious debate about the care of learning disabled people. Maybe this documentary will help turn the tide from ‘Lying Thieving Bastards’ to Joe Public realising the Welfare State is actually vital to everyone’s well being. Nothing happens over night, but attitudes can and do change.

      We need to do everything we can to get the message out, and challenge this whole myth of the disabled scrounger everywhere (he does exist, but he’s a rare beast). Documentaries, blogs, newspaper articles, Facebook… it doesn’t matter how the message gets out, just as long as we keep saying it, and saying it loudly.

      I have a disabled son and when he leaves school, I want a decent lifestyle for him, not grinding poverty and neglect. So that’s what keeps me going. We can’t just let them get away with it!

    2. lewis says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      I agree and it’s undeclared war. We have to outsmart the *uckers. They are greedy, yes and not so smart so let’s use our minds against them. We have more integrity and more heart then they would ever know. I plan to outsmart the decision makers and everybody that tries to hold me back, then I will have the last laugh.

  7. Boadacia! says:

    The BBC is run by the government, so until it can ever be truly independent, we should get our news elsewhere or expect to be Jimmy Saveloy’d! It’s all part of the propaganda system for the ignorant and filthy (Murdoch) rag readers.

    I thought ‘LTB’ was very appropriate to describe those that use it.


    GEOFF REYNOLDS January 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    GEOFFREY REYNOLDS left an annotation (28 January 2013)

    Gone are the days when you needed to use an easily recognizable mode of ending someones life…..
    No need for firearms,knives or poison….
    It could start with the receipt of a seemingly innocent brown envelope containing a deadly recipe concocted to take away the very reason for living…..
    A death sentence generated and sent to the most weakest and vulnerable in our society by the most heinous and cowardly in our society…..
    The assailants hide behind bureaucracy and ill thought out guidelines and hastily drafted, corrupted laws.
    Meanwhile the impact becomes more and more apparent as the clock ticks and the victims multiply…
    Statistics will be used to try and mask the injustice but consciences will carry the burden. It is never erased.

  9. DAVE says:

    im on the work programme with triage and if i was told that i was a lying thieving b****rd to my face i would have that persons job on the line they cant talk to people like that!
    i would also contact the media about it naming the person responsible and contact a local councillor for the area where triage is email the dwp email david cameron and ian duncan smith and also my local lib dem mp menzies campbell about this and refuse to attend further appointments until triage apologised and sacked the person responsible
    boadacia has a nerve saying that LTB was an appropiate description for those of us shoved onto this waste of tax payers money and am assuming boadacia works therefore its your income tax the goverment is paying triage with so why critisise? maybe one day you wil be paid off and made to go onto the work programme hopefully with triage or are you such a smartarse that you will get a job before being unemployed for a year thereby avoiding being put on the work programme
    if however you do become unemployed you will then experience the reality of what it is like to be on benefits or are you one of the lucky smartarses who have never been unemployed?

    1. Bluesky says:

      Hi Dave, I think you got the wrong end of the stick here, I think you will find that Boadacia was refering to the people who uesed the term LTB……

  10. Trevor Eagle says:

    I think if I were effected I would organise together to go down to your local MP’s surgery and have in impromptu lynching.
    That way they may start thinking twice about it.

  11. duncan a. smith says:

    Taken rom the Tiage website – “Government is committed to fighting poverty; supporting the most vulnerable and helping people break the cycle of benefit dependency. As a result it has made significant reforms to the welfare-to-work programmes available to Jobcentre Plus customers”

    Bit obvious whose side these arseholes are on if they reckon that the govt is committed to fighting poverty (by cutting benefits and tax breaks for the rich), supporting the most vulnerable in society (again cuts, tax breaks for rich and bedroom tax to take MORE money from the vulnerable). Could they get their noses any further up the backsides of IDS, Camoron, etc? Won’t it be interesting to see how much THIS shower are being paid to shaft us further?

  12. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    GEOFF REYNOLDS January 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    What next? loft tax?shed tax?tent tax? These bastards are taking the piss big style! Nobody should have the right to interfere with how a person lives. its way beyond the remit of common decency to impose these draconian standards on the less well off, or anybody for that matter.
    They swan around in big fancy cars, living in big fancy mansions, swilling expensive cocktails and slurping down food that you or me would find hard to pronounce, never mind eat.
    My logic is that they number a few whilst we number a lot. Being the dominant force we become the ones to be reckoned with.
    United in pursuit of a common goal we become much stronger and carry a voice that will be heard from the rooftops.
    You can only kick a dog for so long till it bites back. That time is drawing near, its put up or shut up time……
    A concerted front is a strong front. They started the fight but we will finish it. Good always reigns over evil, history shows this.
    With so much hate in the country, who knows what could happen. All their dirty little secrets and ill conceived plans are putting an indelible stain on the good people of this land. We can and will erase it ………

  13. Bluesky says:

    Re the new changes that came in yesterday here are just a couple. 1, ‘Substantial risk rule= any reasonable adjustments that could be made ‘By Employers’ to reduce the risk and potentially helpful effects to any prescribed medication the ‘claiment’ fails to take can now be considered???(Does this mean we can lose benefit if we don’t take medication that the DWP or an employer thinks we should be taking????) what if your GP thinks that taking this medication is not in our best interests, will we still have to take it becouse DWP or an employer says so or lose benefit???????.Would i Have to go through spinal surgery even though it would permanently cripple me???if i don’t have it done will my benefit stop?? (. 2, Aids and appliances. aids and appliances that the claiment could reasonably use will be taken into account, not just the ones that the claiment normally uses….(Does this now mean that i will be forced to use a wheel chair(buy one) I won’t be able to use it if it’s a manual one, does this mean i HAVE to buy a Powered one?? or lose benefit?? use a guide dog, even though i won’t need it all the time??or lose benefit?/ The new changes are going to confuse everyone. Whats next ‘Fireing squad for anyone who’s not a Conservative MP??????GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

      1. Bluesky says:

        there is now a stipulation that only a claimant with a physical condition can satisfy the physical descriptors and only a claimant with a mental health condition can satisfy the mental descriptors. Any side-effects of medication for physical health can also only be taken into account for physical health problems and vice versa.

        1. Bluesky says:

          abit more info on the changes. they will also mean that an individual could now be refused ESA if an assessor believes the potential health risk if they are forced to work could be “significantly reduced” by a person starting to take a particular drug. This could see claimants lose the right to ESA if they refuse to take a medicine because of its side-effects.

          Assessors will also be able to assume that an ESA claimant is fit for work if they could potentially benefit from a prosthetic limb or an assistance dog that they could “reasonably be expected” to use, in the same way that the use of wheelchairs and other aids is already considered in the WCA even if they are not currently used by a claimant.

          And the regulations will separate physical impairments from the potential impact on mental health that might result from them, ruling out any interaction between the two in the test. Looks like the ‘S##T’ has hit the fan (again).:(:(

  14. Marion says:

    Geoff, totally agree with your comments and I too hope I can keep fighting on as long as I’m able, can’t bear the thought of thses bastards getting away with this travesty. Only thing I disagree with you on and this in my 51 years life experience, good doesn’t seem to reign over evil/badness, it’s like that insane religious thing I was brought up on, “The meek will inherit the earth”-what tosh and not much good when you’re living your life and hoping for fairness!!

  15. Aletheia says:

    I agree with Geoff we may be weakerin health or because of disabilites, but our numbers make us stronger, and remember a person with nothing to lose is very powerful indeed:)

  16. Serenity says:

    The term daylight robbery comes from the window tax, gotta pay for all these wars ya know Africa now!
    Unfortunately good does not overcome evil I agree Marion.

  17. alan says:

    we are all effected by the government stance like i say. no need for doctors /hospitals/chemists/ and mobility car/buggies. we are so fit we could fight for this country or let atos take over, everyone, and lets have atos taxation

  18. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    GEOFF REYNOLDS January 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    The difference between me and lord fraud sounds similar. I HAVE A PHYSICAL IMPEDIMENT AND POSSESS A HEART AND SOUL….

  19. Jayangel says:

    I think they forget they took the power away, and now they are trying to take their souls away.. Something REALLY must be done

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