Category Archives: Social Security

Dear Amber Rudd MP . . . . .

I was asked to send a quick message to the MP, Amber Rudd, who is the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions – taking over from Esther McVey, in the job nobody seems to be any good at!
These messages are in the hopes that she might halt and fix Universal Credit but, when I went to do look at her page, and after reading all the many hundreds of messages sent to her already Amber Rudd MP 25th November, 14:42, I found it so hard to stick to a short message, that I decided to write my message to her on my Blog, here, instead:

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Dear Ms Rudd,

 

It’s pretty clear to the majority of people in this country that the roll-out of Universal Credit has been a deliberate attempt to force people out of the Benefits system.

 

UC can’t be fixed, as it has been deliberately designed to create the very thing that is happening to everybody who has claimed it so far – if they are able to work, then it is forcing them into zero-hour contracts, which never pay enough, or give enough hours, to support a family or, in the case of the vulnerable, ill, or disabled, is forcing them off of the very Benefits they need to survive, into a world of starvation, eventual homelessness, great poverty and, far too often nowadays, suicide.

 

There are now thousands of families who face not only Christmas, but all this coming winter, with the prospect of going very hungry, very cold, and eventually losing their homes!

 

While you enjoyed your delicious fish and chips with those wonderfully privileged students at Rye College, did you think of all those who WON’T have a hot meal this Christmas, due to having no money to pay their rent and electric, or gas, bills, so that, even if they ARE able to get help from the multiple Food Banks springing up all over the country, they’ll not be able to heat up the food provided by those same food banks – places that have multiplied since your government took control, and induced Austerity on to everybody but the Rich – while giving multiple tax breaks to those very same rich individuals and businesses – and, while you were about it, also giving yourselves huge pay rises?

 

Please could you start doing the job you are paid a veritable  fortune to do, and stop Universal Credit before even MORE thousands of people end up homeless and starving?

 

If you can’t completely stop it, then could you at least pause it immediately, and do your best to fix it, so that those who aren’t able to work – like the vulnerable, or severely disabled – get to keep their old benefits until their UC claims have been finally sorted?

 

Could you also make sure that everybody who claims UC are garuanteed not to lose out when their present benefits are changed to UC, as UC is paying out a lot less than their old benefits, due to your government’s cap on Benefits, which your government keep stating was due to Austerity measures – a Cap, we all noticed, you didn’t apply to your own wages – wages paid to you out of the Public Purse?

 

Could you also make sure that those who have to pay rent to a landlord / landlady, are able to still have their Housing Benefit paid directly to that same landlord/lady, so that there is no risk of homelessness, due to insufficient funds?

 

With homelessness at an all time high at the moment, and not nearly enough homes being built to house the people needing them, then surely it is the government’s duty to make sure no more people are forced out of their homes due to the long delay in paying UC?

 

Believe me when I say that even a week is too long a delay for people who have been unable to save anything in case of financial troubles – and I’m talking not only about those already on Benefits, but those who are in work – especially those forced into zero-hours contracts, which is about the only type of work available to them nowadays!

And while I’m writing my wish list to you, could you please stop the terrible Sanctions regime being used with Universal Credit, Sanctions that threaten people into doing things your way, instead of the way in which every human being – and everybody who has to claim any kind of Benefit is a Human Being, despite all of the smear campaigns your government  put out there, to get people thinking that, if you have to claim, then you are a shirker, or a liar, or a cheat – should be treated!

 

No matter what Theresa May says on her question time, the whole World knows that UC is failing the very people that it was supposedly designed to help, so please, please, show some empathy and compassion, for once, and help those that really do need that help – and stop UC immediately, or at least pause and fix it!

 

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Filed under Amber Rudd MP, Austerity, Benefits, Budget Cuts, Choices, Conservatives, Corporate Tax Cuts, Degraded Public Services, Deprivation, Despair, DWP, DWP Policies, Homelessness, Housing Benefits, Human Rights, Impoverishment, Mental Health Issues, Public Purse, Sanctions, Smear Campaign, Social Security, Starvation, Suicide, Tory Cuts, Underfunding, Unemployed, Universal Credit, Welfare Cuts, Zero Hours Jobs

Are the Tories now showing us openly that they really don’t care about us – at last?

I’ve been offline for a few days, due to my daughter visiting, and one of the first things I saw when going back online, was a post by the Skwawbox, highlighting the spate of tweets being sent by Tory MPs , touting food banks – here’s the link:

https://skwawkbox.org/2018/12/02/tories-gaslighting-the-poor-with-bizarre-mps-and-foodbanks-campaign/

From what I could see from reading the various tweets, they all seem to have been basically following a single script, and including photos of themselves smilingly donating to food banks across the UK.

Here’s just one example:

thomson fb

. . . and here’s a couple of responses to it:

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sg fb

The Skwawkbox used the word ‘gaslighting’ in his leader and, as I didn’t know what it meant, I looked it up:

 

‘to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.’

 

Reading this, I genuinely feel that the Skwawkbox is right, and that the Tories have always had such a great contempt for the workers of Britain, that they really are intent on manipulating people into thinking something that isn’t real!

 

Looking at the other tweets I found online, I felt sick to my stomach that these exceedingly rich Tory MPs, who are supposed to represent the people in their wards, have the shameless gall – or the sheer hubris – to cynically mock all the many thousands of people their policies have managed to reduce to a state of homelessness, penury and, in many cases, begging – to the point that it is only those self-same foodbanks that are keeping so very many people, and especially families with children, from starving!

 

Since they came to power, Tory ideology has consistently been one that is deliberately destroying every single part of the Welfare State that is possible – in fact, every single part of it that has been so bitterly fought for by the working classes, and some of the more enlightened richer people of the times –  and all that made our lives actually worth living!

 

Included in this, is our much beloved – and very much needed – NHS – something that, without it I, for one, wouldn’t be alive right now!

 

But as well as making it as hard as possible for anyone unable to work, whether because of illnesses / disablilities, or because of the sheer lack of any kind of sustaining work – which has, in many cases, been caused by the decline of  manufacturing industries both here in the UK, and elsewhere in the world – the Tory answer to this lack of work, is to force as many people as possible into zero-hour contracts, or into the virtual slavery being forced on them, if they are unemployed, and having to claim unemployment benefits, to work for so-called ‘charities’, full time, and for nothing but the basic unemployment support provided – and, if anyone refuses, the Tories have consistently used a harsh Sanctioning regime,introduced by Tony Blair’s New Labour (who may as well have been called Mini-Tory) to force them into line, by taking away larger and larger amounts of the little money being paid to support them – in some cases, to the point where people have commited suicide, because of it!

 

But, whatever the job they might have, if it is zero hours, or any other of the myriad ways in which the Tories have explored the exploitation of the working classes, these ’employees’ are given as little of that work as possible, and paid as little as possible, in order to airbrush unemployment figures for the Tories – and having so many people doing short hours of work, will still get that work done, but it means that those forced to do it then have to claim Working Tax Credits to survive at all!

 

This means that the employers are then able to salt away all the profits made – while paying the least amount of Corporation Tax in generations – while the ordinary working British public is left footing the bill, by having to pay more tax, to cover the Tax Credits being recieved because of the low wages! In fact, proportionately, the lower earners are now paying the highest taxes since records began!

 

To make matters worse, the Tories then introduced the most calculatingly cruel welfare reform ever thought of – yes, you guessed it – the universally despised Universal Credit!

 

This welfare reform, despite people thinking that it has just been badly thought out, and needs pausing to fix it, is actually the most calculatingly cruel, cunningly thought out reform to ever be introduced.

 

It was neither put together badly, nor is it mistakingly being kept going, either!

 

Universal Credit has been the most cold-blooded, cruelly deliberate reform ever thought up! It was put together in such a way as to make it the hardest Benefit to ever have to claim and, due to the exceedingly long waiting period before any money is actually paid out to a claimant, for everyone who has to claim it, it has made life as miserable as possible while doing so.

 

In a time where there are still hundreds of thousands of people who still have no access to the internet – whether through lack of knowledge, or lack of funds – it is designed so that a claimant can only make that claim online – and this is just the first stumbling block!

 

UC has been put together in such a way as to make anyone claiming it as confused as possible, especially as to their knowledge of what is expected of them and, when they do finally make a claim, nor is it easily seen what responsibilities the government has, in order to help any claimants.

 

It is so badly put together that even the employees of Job Centers, who are supposed to help people make this claim, are all just as confused as the claimants, where understanding the rules of UC are concerned – to the point where each jobcenter seems to be making up their own rules for it!

 

It has also been deliberately created to cut the Welfare Bill – to the point of utter uselessness  – and, despite the many deaths already caused by it’s cruel practices,  the Tories refuse to listen to anyone who complains – another deliberate slap in the face of those people they are supposed to represent!

 

But, before it’s introduction, the Tories had got to the point where they may have been voted out of government and so, to deliberately divert attention, and to forward other plans they have for the UK (such as the UK becoming a Tax Haven for the super-rich), they brought up the issue of Brexit!

 

Once again, the Tories lied through their teeth, making up story after story as to why it would be better to leave the EU – and hiding the fact that it is only the Laws, enshrined in the EU, that have been protecting the workers of our country from even more of the kind of exploitation that other workers, elsewhere in the world, have to put up with!

 

Without that protection, our country is going to be open to every abuse possible – from chlorinated chicken from the USA, to a private healthcare system that only the rich will be able to afford – in other words, we’ll be stepping straight back  into the world of the 1920’s and 1930’s, before the recommendations of a Welfare State was introduced by the Liberal MP, Sir William Beverage, and where his blueprint was then brought into fruition, in 1945, by Lloyd George’s Labour Government!

 

As it is, we recently had a UN inspector travel all over the UK and, in his report, he was shocked at the devastation caused by the Tories’ so-called ‘reforms’, and he claims that the Tories have deliberately gone about increasing poverty in the UK – which is a believable claim, given that, as anyone can work out with a little thought, with great poverty, comes desperation – and people will work for a pittance when they are desperate!

Another side-effect that perfectly suits the Tories, is the fact that the working classes have also been divided, and conquered, because of that fight for survival! 😦

 

This is something the Tories will welcome with open arms – and with their usual false assurances of help!

 

Just another thought:

 

While MPs have had a 17.7% pay rise since austerity started in 2010:

Use of Trussle Trust foodbanks alone has risen from 41,000 to 1.2 million!
The number of rough sleepers has increased by 134%!

The number of children has risen by 73%!

 

. . . . . and these are just the surface results!

 

The Trussel Trust has almost become a national institution where food banks are concerned, and it has spread quickly across the UK, due to the desperate needs of those suffering under unnecessary Tory Austerity  but, when the Tories decided to change things yet again, into the Universal Credit that is making everything even more worse for us all – and that includes far too many working families – are the Trussel Trust up there fighting for us all?

I doubt that very much! 😦

 

Think on this when a chance comes to replace the Tories in government, please?

 

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Budget Cuts, Collapse of the NHS, Corporate Tax Cuts, Death, Degraded Public Services, Deprivation, Despair, Divide and Rule, Eugenics, Fit-to-work Assessments, Funding Cuts, Hospital Waiting Lists, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, Industries, Injustice, Low Wages, Misleading, NHS, Privatisation of Public Resources, Sanctions, skewed presentation of events, Social Security, Starvation, Suicide, Tax Haven, Taxation, Tory Cuts, Tory Lies, UK, Underfunding, Universal Credit, Wages, Welfare Cuts, Working Tax Credits, Zero Hours Jobs

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

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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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Bonuses, Choices, Conservatives, Disability, DWP, DWP Policies, Financial Year, Ideology, Inflation, Payroll Figures, Self-interest, Social Security, Wages, Welfare

Esther McVey lies again – to Work and Pensions Committee | DPAC

This Site’s article about the Tories wasting more than £100 million in two years on persecuting the sick and disabled made a very important point – that the figures never tie together perfectly because they aren’t intended to.

It seems that the issue is worse than I stated: Esther McVey’s department has been found to have sent one set of figures to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, and then sent another set – that the DWP had told the committee weren’t available – in response to a Freedom of Information request.

So the DWP has been deliberately trying to hide information from MPs.

Now, why would anybody want to do that?


My Comment:

If you want to read the complete article, posted online by Mike Silvier, at Vox Political Online, then please click on this link:

Esther McVey Lies Again . . .

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Filed under Austerity, Changes, Commons Work and Pension Committee, Disability Issues, DWP, ESA, Esther McVey, FOI Requests, PIP, Politics, Social Security, Works and Pensions Secretary

43% of disabled claimants under Tories attempt suicide. McVey still on board of Samaritans . . .

Last month, the Independent carried the horrifying news that between 2007 and 2014, the number of disabled benefit claimants who had attempted to take their own lives had more than doubled from twenty-one percent to forty-three percent:

indie suic.png

Please click the link below to The Sqwawkbox, to read the entire article:

43% of Disabled claimants under Tories attempt suicide . . .

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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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