Category Archives: Benefits

Benefits Freeze Adds to Universal Credit Misery.

I was interested to see this post, as I’ve recently been told that my area is going to roll out Universal Credit, and so I went onto the government website to see how I would be affected and, at the present rates, I’m going to end up being around £2,400 a year worse off – I’m really looking forward to both starving, and freezing, while also being housebound, and also unable to keep myself, or my home, clean!

Universal Credit is a disgrace, and the Tories have so much blood on their hands already, I guess they don’t care that it’s going to get very much worse for anyone who is being forced on to it 😦

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Image result for universal credit cartoonMore than the usual ‘system error’.

The controversy about Universal Credit continues to develop.

Today the Currant Bun, not the Claimants’ chum,  headlines

Universal Credit revolt by THIRTY Tory MPs as they urge Chancellor to plug £2bn black hole which will leave millions worse off.

At least two dozen have signed a letter to the Treasury highlighting their fears to the Chancellor – urging him that an extra £2billion is needed for the reform.

Around a million people are expected to go onto Universal Credit next year as part of the rollout to everyone over the next five years.

The letter reads: “As it stands 3.2million working families are expected to be worse off, with an average loss of £48 a week.

“Enabling hard working parents to keep more of what they earn and thus encouraging them to take up more work is at the heart of Conservative policy.

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Filed under Benefits, Changes, Chronic Ill Health, Disability Issues, DWP, ESA, Ideology, PIP, Social Security, Tory Cuts, Tory Lies, Universal Credit, Welfare Cuts

If Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech on anti-Semitism, perhaps this is what he should say . . .

Corbyn’s Labour has been attacked by the anti-Semitism trolls over the last few days.

This Writer is looking forward to his speech – expecially if it takes the angle chosen by a Labour Party spokesman when pro-Tory-pressure-group-pretending-to-be-a-charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism tried to complain about Mr Corbyn (again).

He said [boldings mine]: “Labour is committed to rooting out antisemitism from our party and society. False and partisan attacks like this undermine the fight against antisemitism.

The Milk the Cow Podcast has made a few suggestions which are far too strong to publish unedited here. Those of you of strong character can see the original by following this link.

For the rest of you, I’ll paraphrase . . . . . . .

Please click the following link to read the complete post by Vox Political’s Mike Sivier:

If Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech on anti-semitism perhaps this is what he should say:


Comment:

The continuous attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, which started even before he won the leadership of the Labour Party, has been constant, brutal, and totally and utterly uncalled for, especially by those right-leaning MP’s in his own party who, through pique, greed, or sheer bloody-mindedness, have decided to do the job that the Tories and the Media have tried to do since he came into office – which is to try and get rid of him.

The Reason?

Because Jeremy Corbyn has got the fire, the will, and the decency that so many Tory, and right-leaning Labour, MP’s haven’t got!

Jeremy has consistently fought against any kind of oppression, no matter where it was, or who was doing it, and he has done this throughout his political life – and that’s why so many hundreds of thousands of us voted him in as the leader of the Labour Party because, for the first time in far too many years, we see a man who can lead this country away from the disasters that the Tories have brought on us, through their greed, dishonesty, and their belief that, because they are rich, then they should be able to do as they please, strip our public services, our land, and our future – and we should bow down our heads, and allow these selfish, amoral, people to do with us, and our country, what they wish to – because, don’t forget, people, there are a damn sight more of us than there are of them, and so it is our country!

We’ve all seen where their leadership has led us, despite the Media blackout of real news!

The deaths of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who have had the small amount of money they have to live on be taken away, because ‘they are just not trying hard enough’ to get a job – and this, in a country where the elite have managed to kill almost all  of our industries through their greed for ever more profits!

The destruction of OUR NHS – and, yes, it IS ours! Bought and paid for with our grandparents, parents, and our, hard-earned taxes. All of this has been brought about through the deliberate financial starvation of the NHS, by the elite, because they are planning to almost give it away to their Billionaire pals, who own the private medical businesses around the world that most of the tories probably own shares in, and so plan to earn yet another fortune, off the backs of the poor, once more!

Our NHS will be privatised, and stolen away from us, and the dream that our forefathers had, to make sure that none of their children and grandchildren would die through a lack of free medical care – which is something our grandparents saw all too brutally, in the days when we had no National Health Service, and where, if you didn’t have the money, you didn’t get the care!

And then we have the disaster called Brexit!

When all those MP’s went out with their campaign buses, with the lie that the money saved from going for Brexit will be used to fund the NHS, so many people fell for it, that nobody actually questioned the figures being spouted by these cleverly deceitful liers – and so the country voted for Brexit – and spat in the eye of the hundreds of thousands of European people who live and work here in Britain – mainly in our much-loved NHS – people who are our friends, our neighbours, our loved ones, our family! And so we told them that they weren’t wanted any more – we’d used them, and spat them out again, like so much discarded gum!

And so we truly have got the government we deserve – one that will keep squeezing people until they can’t bear it any more, one that will keep killing the poor, the old, the vulnerable, until we go back where we are considered as serfs, just like in the past, where the super rich owned everything – because they stole it from us all in the first place – and where they will dictate to us when we can eat, sleep, breath and, most importantly for them, work all the hours of the day and night, all for their bid for even more wealth – and we’ll watch the future of our earth be laid to waste – all in the bid for more obscene profit! 😦

But I don’t believe we deserve a government like that!

I believe we deserve a government who look after it’s poor, it’s ill, it’s weak, it’s elderly, it’s vulnerable – and who look after the people who work hard for little wages, but want to build a better society for their children, and their children’s children – just like our grandparents did for us!

And the only way we’re going to get a government like that, is to stop believing the lies thrown at us every day by this tory government – and the media they control – and listen to Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet-in-waiting, and then vote Labour in the next election!

Because the Tories are only looking after themselves – they always have, and they always will do! 😦

So, the next time you have a chance to listen to Jeremy Corbyn, and the people in his Cabinet, listen closely to what they are saying – and not what the Media twist it into – then think about what you want this country – and even this world – to be like for your children, and theirs, and let’s get rid of the poison that has slowly been killing our people, our country, and the Democracy our forefathers fought so hard for in the first place!

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This Comic Nails the Difference Between Chronic Fatigue and Just Being ‘Tired’ . . .

‘The Mighty’ is a digital health community, created to empower and connect people facing health challenges and disabilities, and I came across it by accident – but found so much relevant to my own life, that I signed on for regular emails.

The comic strip, further below this, is one such link sent to me to read, and it reflected my life so much, that I really wanted to comment on it here.

The comic strip shows exactly what happens to me every time I try to be ‘normal’, and meet up with a friend for lunch, or try to be a little independent, and attempt to do small chores for myself, etc. It shows the difference in energy used between a healthy person, and someone suffering with an auto-immune illness, and I felt it showed the difference very well.

It really is so very hard to explain to someone who isn’t suffering from a plethora of auto-immune illnesses, just what life is like for us who do 😦

Link to website: The Mighty.com – Comic Strip that explains Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME

In honor of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome awareness day on May 12, I thought I’d make a comic. When I decided to do this I didn’t quite realize just how long it would take and how many spoons, but hopefully it’s worth it.

To read a transcript, head here.

Introducing Maddie, a girl with ME, who in this episode, “Energy and Exertion,” is meeting her friend, “Normal” Nancy, for coffee.

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This blog was originally published on Laura’s Pen

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Just like Maddie in the comic, I suffer with ME, but I also have Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Arthritis, and a plethora of other health problems – plus 2 blood disorders that are really making my already complex health issues even worse. This means, unfortunately, that the physical, and mental, side effects of each of them, affect me even more than just the one problem does Maddie 😦

Like Maddie, I try my best to occasionally meet up with a friend for lunch, or to go into town – even if it’s only to get money out – although I’m unable to travel by Bus, as it became a very painful – and totally exhausting – thing to do years ago.

I don’t get out as much as I’d love to do, but as much as my body allows me to 😦

I can only manage this, though, if a good friend picks me up in her car, and drives me around from place to place – so I can manage to do what I must, without having to constantly walk too far. Then, when I’ve either finished my list, or just run out of energy, she then drives me home again, making sure I get myself, and anything I’ve bought, safely into the house.

If I absolutely MUST go into town for something important, and my friends are unavailable, then I’ll catch a taxi, which I arrange to return for me where I was dropped off, an hour later (because an hour is my absolute limit, especially when on my own)!

If I have to use a taxi, once I get there, I know I will only be able to manage one or two things that I absolutely HAVE to do – plus, I also have to plan the shortest route possible between places I need to visit before my energy runs out, and I need to get back home before I fall down exhausted – so I only do what I absolutely MUST do 😦

I often need to get cash out from my post office which, fortunately, is in the same building as the food shop, where I often need to go to get the items I’ve forgotten to order with my home delivery! (oh, for a brain that didn’t keep forgetting things!). I can normally do this before needing to get home but, if I happen to meet a friend while I’m in town, then I often have to choose between the shopping, or stopping to chat with the friend, as it’s almost always impossible for me to do both – especially if I want to save enough energy to get back home safely, where I can then collapse back into bed, where I’ll spend most of the next few days desperately trying to recover enough to look after myself properly 😦

My life is no different to many thousands of others, here in the UK – and around the world – whose lives are affected so badly by chronic illness, and we all, in one way or another, find it difficult to get across to others who are fit and healthy – or who are physically disabled in a way that doesn’t affect their energy values – the way in which our lives are affected by these awful autoimmune-based illnesses that we have to cope with every single day of our lives.

But I think that the worst aspect of all of this, is the thought that there are no cures for any of the auto-immune problems that so many of us suffer with, especially as they have made it impossible for me to work! This means that I have to rely on Welfare to keep me fed, and homed – in almost every aspect of my life – by a government who are doing everything they can to make life for people like myself a living nightmare 😦

To make matters worse, I lost my wonderful husband in March, and I had to spend the next 3 months going through all the worst aspects of this, while trying to apply for the benefits I needed to live on – it took 12 weeks before they sorted out what I was entitled to and, if it wasn’t for good and kind friends, I don’t know how I would have managed, financially, or emotionally! 😦

It certainly didn’t make my health any easier to cope with when, along with the grief suffered with then – and now – I also had to fill in so many forms, and battle with the DWP to get what I needed to live on – but that’s another story, I guess 😦      

 

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DWP Reveal How Much More It’s Paid Out in Staff Bonuses – for failures!

I was shocked, when reading The Canary, earlier on this evening, to discover that the DWP are STILL paying out millions in bonuses to their staff, despite the catastrophic failures they have wrought, while making the lives of anyone who needs to have any help to live, a living nightmare 😦

Here’s what The Canary said:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed it paid out over £6m in bonuses last financial year. But the figures are even more eye-popping when you compare it to the previous year. Because despite the DWP losing court cases and receiving international condemnation, it’s actually on track to pay out more.

Eye-watering figures

The DWP has released its provisional payroll figures for March 2018. When combined with the provisional totals from January and February, it shows the department has paid out £3m of “non-consolidated performance payments” (that is, monthly bonuses). For the same period in 2017, it paid out £2.21m. This is a 36% increase year on year. But delve deeper into the figures and the numbers make for even more interesting reading.

As The Canary previously reported, the DWP paid out £5.3m of in-month bonuses between April 2016 and March 2017. It paid out £6.1m from April 2017 to March 2018 – a 15% increase. But when you analyse the payroll costs, it shows a different picture.

Total payroll costs between April 2016 and March 2017 were £2.46bn. For the same period a year later, they were £2.52bn – an increase of 2.44% year on year. So, as a percentage of the total payroll costs, the bonuses were 0.22% and 0.24% respectively.

As a percentage of pay, the bonus increase may not seem like much. But in cash terms, the DWP has substantially increased its bonus payments, and the year-on-year percentage increase is well above the rate of inflation.

To read the rest of the article, please click on the following link:

DWP Reveal their Staff bonuses:

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Disabled people’s response to PIP review: STARK TERROR . . .

Judge Death: Esther McVey’s Department for Work and Pensions will evaluate the PIP entitlement of people who have died since claiming – including some whose claims were refused altogether. Fat lot of good it’ll do them [Image: PA].

Perhaps Esther McVey thought disabled people would be grateful when she announced that every claim for Personal Independence Payment would be reviewed, because the government was under-paying people with mental health problems. If so, SHE THOUGHT WRONG.

In fact, the 1.6 million PIP recipients whose claims are to be reviewed have greeted the announcement, not with gratitude, but with terror.

Vox Political commenter ‘Florence’ explains:

 

The decision to review all cases had caused alarm among the PIP base; we see yet another opportunity to be denied benefits. The DWP are not trusted, and the decision to review all 1.6 million claims will undoubtedly have some unpleasant side effects.

While [the] opportunity to gain extra data on the appalling Human Rights situation is welcomed, the simple fact we are all being put through a desk-based review before our existing review date just fills us all with dread.

To read the full article, posted today by Mike Silvier, of VOX POLITICAL, please click on the link below:

Disabled People’s response to PPIP Review: STARK TERROR.

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The UK government was just found to have violated disabled people’s ‘basic’ human rights. Again . . .

 On Wednesday 24 January an international body reported that the UK government had breached the legal human rights of sick and disabled people. This is now the fifth such report to state this in just 20 months.

The ECSR

A report [pdf “ECSR conclusions for 2017 – UK”] from the European Committee of Social Rights (part of the Council of Europe) details whether the UK government was meeting its legal obligations under the European Social Charter The UK signed up to the Charter in July 1996 [pdf, p3]. It covers fundamentalhuman rights, including those related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare.

The report covered [pdf, p3] the years 2012 to 2015. And overall, it found the UK government was breaching its legal obligations in two areas.

Failing on welfare

The first breach was of Article 12, the right to social security. The committee found [pdf, p19-22] that many welfare benefits – including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – were “manifestly inadequate”. That is, people were not getting enough money to live on and were being left in poverty.

The committee made a point [pdf, p19] of noting that in response to a previous report where it had raised this issue, the UK government:

contests this finding… arguing that the benefit rates are considered in isolation, without taking into account the safety net of other benefits and credits available.

But the committee once again disagreed. It said [pdf, p20] that all the benefits mentioned left people below the poverty line, even with “other benefits and credits”. Therefore, this is an automatic breach of the Charter [pdf, p20].

 

 

Please click on the link below to read the complete article, posted by The Canary:

The UK government was just found to have violated disabled people’s ‘basic’ human rights. Again. ( by Steve Topple)

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Human Interest stories only shaft the vulnerable even more!

via Human Interest stories only shaft the vulnerable even more!

Having just read Speye Joe’s post, I have to agree with his arguments, about the way in which we all seem to be suffering a kind of Poverty Fatigue.

There are so many stories coming to light, about the appalling way people’s lives are unravelling, here in the UK – people who, through no fault of their own, are having to claim benefits in order to survive, and with no chance to thrive!

People who are more likely to actually be working, than not, and who are living such precarious lives because of the Tory inability to see that No, work doesn’t pay any more – mainly, because of the fact that all of those excessively rich tory voters are actually the ones who own the businesses that most people are working in, and who have made sure that wages stay so low, that the only way to survive for their workers, is to claim the now-infamous Universal Credit – thus making the ordinary tax payer the ones who pay towards their own wages, rather than those same Tory bosses being made to dig deep into their enormous profits, to pay their people a decent, living, wage!

But it’s this so-called Universal Credit, that is causing more grief, poverty, homelessness, and deaths, than has been seen since Victorian times – and it was a Benefit that was deliberately refined, to the point where it’s harder to claim than anything ever thought of, and with horrendous sanctions built-in, just to make sure that the poor can be punished even more, for daring to be born poor, or because they were reduced to poverty by their workplace closing, mostly due to the Tory Banker’s greed!

The fact that the tories are aggressively denying the come-back of Rickets, and other poverty-related illnesses, here in Britain, is to be expected – after all, every word that comes out of a Tory mouth is lie, upon lie, upon lie, and nothing gets done to change it – mainly because there are still far too many ordinary working class people who would rather believe the Tory Lie, fed to them every day in their Tory-owned newspapers, and on the Tory-owned TV, rather than face what our country has really become, and do something about it!

 

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Budgets, Choices, Despair, Divide and Rule, Economics, Government Spending, Homelessness, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, Politics, Private Sector, Social Security, Starvation, Stories, United Kingdom, Universal Credit, Welfare, Work House, Working Tax Credits