Category Archives: Welfare

Figures show: No other govt has invested less additional cash in NHS than this . . .

The government’s fall-back when challenged over its failure on the NHS, as worse winter crisis follows winter crisis, is to fall back on its claim that it has ‘put more money into the NHS’ and is spending ‘record amounts’.

Given that any increase represents a new record, the claim is meaningless – the Tories have increased health budgets by far less than the last Labour government and at a completely inadequate level for the needs of the service, as the ongoing A&E crisis and even a recent BBC report demonstrate.

The public is beginning to get wise to the dodge, as the recent reception faced a Tory Minister on a BBC Question Time programme in a Tory heartland demonstrated.

But a far greater increase in awareness is needed – and as a picture paints a thousand words, this may be helpful:

nhs spend.png

 

Please click the following link to read the rest of the article, posted by The Swawkbox today:

Figures show: No other Government have invested less additional Cash in the NHS than This one!

 

 

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Filed under Austerity, Budgets, Choices, Collapse of the NHS, Degraded Public Services, Deprivation, Despair, Economy, Funding Cuts, Government Spending, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, NHS, Politics, Starvation of Resources, Theresa May, Tory Cuts, UK Government, Welfare

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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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Budgets, Changes, Choices, Deprivation, Disability, Disability Issues, DWP, Economy, Funding Cuts, Government Spending, Health Issues, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, Law, Liberty, Mental Health Issues, NHS, Politics, Theresa May, Tory Cuts, Tory Government, UK Government, United Kingdom, Welfare

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

May Declines to Pledge even one less homeless child by Christmas 2018

via Video: May declines to pledge even one fewer homeless child by Xmas 2018 #PMQs

This doesn’t surprise me, as the amount of homelessness since the Tories took office, seven years ago, has grown beyond any civilized country’s embarrassment, and has gone into the total Shame that it is.

May seems to be living in a world of her own, padded against the results of her austerity programme  – an ideology which is forcing so very many people into the homelessness we are all crying out against, and into a life of penury, hopelessness, starvation, desperate choices, and an impoverishment not seen in the UK since Victorian times! These were the Good Times, when the Tories made their bucks by living off the backs of the poor – does this sound familiar at all?

Now our children are having to cope with living in B&B’s, despite the government saying, ad nauseam, that this isn’t the case – and that’s if the children are lucky enough to have even that!

The continuing rollout of Universal Credit, is one of the worst contenders of this homelessness epidemic, as it is forcing so many people out of their homes, especially those living in the Private Sector, where landlords are, generally, only in the business to make a profit, and so won’t tolerate so many weeks without their rent.

Even the Social sector are in on the act, and are changing into yet more private companies, totally after profit, at the expense of the tenant.

All of this is almost entirely due to Tory policies, that made sure that there was an in-built wait of 6 week’s delay in getting Universal Credit payments to the person claiming – and don’t forget, people, that this is something that is supporting more people who are working nowadays, than those not working – mainly, because the wages paid to workers now are NOT a Living Wage, and companies use this, as they know their workers will have to claim Working Tax Credits to make their wage up to a livable standard!

All of this, then creates a spiraling debt problem, that ends up with the homelessness happening every day now – and this is only on a six-week wait – if the people are lucky enough to only have to wait 6 weeks, as so many of them have at least 12 weeks, and more, before they see a penny – normally far too late to stop the process of being made homeless!

I can just imagine, in the New Year, the Tories announcing a solution to the problem:

They’ll re-open a Work House in every Parish, to house all those shiftless people who weren’t lucky enough to be born rich!

 

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Budgets, Choices, Depression, Homelessness, Ideology, Impoverishment, Living Wage, Politics, Private Sector, Starvation, Universal Credit, Welfare, Work House, Working Tax Credits

Conservative MPs accuse citizens of ‘scaremongering stories’ about experiences of Universal Credit.

Once again, Kitty Jones hits the nail on the head with this post:

via Conservative MPs accuse citizens of ‘scaremongering stories’ about experiences of Universal Credit.

I really don’t understand how so very many ordinary working – and non-working – people are being hoodwinked into voting for a party that are idealogically driven, and are all for the Elitist Rich?

This is a party who are driving poverty levels in the UK into the ground – to levels not seen since Victorian times!

The constant eroding of our Human Rights is barely being spoken of.

Our Economy is rapidly sliding down the drain, along with any of the Industries that had made the UK a leader in the past, and which are, once again, desperately needed, if we’re to build our country’s economic future on a firmer footing than the tory Tax Haven ideals.

The gap between the Very Rich, and the (so-called) undeserving Poor, has never been so wide.

Yet, where are the outcries about the gradual attrition of our hard-won Democracy – fought for by our grandparents, and their parents and grandparents before them – and bought on the backs of loss and pain?

All we need now, is for the terrors of the Work House to be brought back once again – something our forebears fought long and hard to abolish in the first place – and then we’ll see the completion of our lives being deliberately regressed back in time – where the Rich Elite have every bit of power, and the poor work for a pittance – and still starve!

Considering the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths, due to the Tory-led DWP’s ideological attritions, which have created an ever-increasing result of Homelessness, which then leads on to Starvation, Chronic Ill Health, Disability, and then death, to so very many citizens of the UK – and all of this taking place under a very silent Mainstream Media (unless they are screaming that their Tory paymasters are being lied about, of course)!

These are things that were first introduced by the Tory-Lite Blairites, thus heralding the decomposition of an effective Opposition Party, and making it even harder for this new Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party, to fight against this pernicious, and machiavellian,  disease of tory greed and corruption!

The fact that, since the tories took power, and insisted on introducing their ‘made to fail’ Universal Credit,  it shows that we really have already reached the pits of despondency and despair!

So much for ‘scaremongering’ 😦

 

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The Hellish Ordeal of the DWP Experience . . .

I’v just read an article in the Morning Star, and it really reflects the way I felt, and behaved, while going through my changeover from DLA to PIP at the beginning of this year.

To add to the stress and strains, along with paranoia, I was also grieving, which made my mental health so bad, I completely stopped the crochet I love doing, which helps to keep me as relaxed as my pain allows, both physically and mentally.

It took a good 8 months, from the start of my assessment period, for me to get back a, rather fragile at times, peace.

Do follow this link to the article, and see if you’ve had the same experience, too:

The Hellish Ordeal of the DWP Experience

 

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Filed under Benefits, Changes, Crochet, Death, Depression, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, DWP, Health Issues, Ill Health, PIP, Welfare

Thoughts on a summer evening . . .

I begin to despair that any political party is interested in helping the people of this country who, through no fault of their own, are chronically ill, or disabled.

I totally support Labour’s fight against the tories, but see little in their manifesto to help people in my position – house-bound, mostly bed-bound, without social care, and with a husband who, although he is actually my full-time carer, is also having to cope with his own worsening health problems, with no respite, and only my encouragement keeping him going.

We have become a mutual support system, but our supports are getting more and more unstable, more threadbare, more tenuous, as time goes by and, frankly, the only thing keeping me going up to now, had been the hope that Labour would come into power, become our Government, and start making changes for the better for us all – but I read, recently that, even as a government, they are planning on keeping similar kinds of assessments, or checks and measures, in place to cope with the benefits system, that every other party seems to think is a good thing – measures that every ounce of me rejects with loathing!

I wrote about what happened in late December, 2016 – early January this year, when my Mum died, just as I was facing a changeover from my Indefinite DLA award, to the new PIP – which this government deliberately designed to be as hard as possible to be awarded.

I was fortunate to have passed my assessment – mostly because it’s pretty obvious to any medical professional that I’m never getting better, but also because I had a lot of help from other disabled people, who were able to advise me through this awful process – and I was awarded the new PIP for 10 years, which I’m very grateful for, believe me!

After seeing what hoops my friends are having to jump through, while fighting to retain anything, I’ll never be able to express the relief of actually passing this awful thing. But the award is really not fit for purpose, as  I’ll still have all of the same thing facing me, at a time when I’ll be even more disabled by my health problems, and whenever the government decide that they’d like to put me through it all again – you see, what the government don’t tell the public, is that they can call me back for another assessment whenever it pleases them to!

This means that, even though they have awarded me ten years of financial help, I’ll not know if, or when I’ll have to face the torture of another assessment within that time, and it’s affecting my mental health in a way I never figured it would. Even now, in July, I am still suffering the after-effects of all I was put through, and what I might have to face at any time in the future.

My physical health has worsened to the point that I haven’t even been able to do any of my beloved crochet since the assessment; I’ve been unable to do much of anything physically but, a lot worse for me, my mental health has been, and continues to be, badly affected.

During that whole process of assessment, I was made to feel bad. I was made to feel as though my life was totally and utterly unimportant – a waste of breath, a waste of time, a waste of important resources.

I was asked why I hadn’t killed myself yet and, as a typical British person, I did what we all do, and put a brave face on it, a stiff upper lip, and told the assessor that my husband and daughter are my preventitives – while tears fell down my face at the shock of her question, and at the realisation that I was actually too near to those feelings to want to examine them, let alone talk about them to a total stranger!

My answer was very true, though – but for how long, I can’t honestly say, as I try to heal myself of the wounds given to me, just because I inherited health problems that are slowly getting worse, and have no cure, and so needed financial help to live!

. . . and this has made me so angry!

It’s an anger that just keeps bubbling away inside me, and I find it hard to let go of it, especially when I see ever more draconian rights being allowed to those who govern whether any of us can have financial help, when things go bad in our lives.

I have been using the politics that I got interested in, as a way to get past the bad times in my mental health, and it has helped to a certain extent, as I can use up some of the anger that I feel, about the way we are all being treated, through this blog, and on social media

But, as the days go past, every new law, or refining of the law, seems to be aimed at making the situations of everyone in the country, who needs a helping hand, even worse and, when even nurses – those wonderfully caring men and women who have trained hard, for long years, to keep the people of this country well – have had to turn to food banks to survive, then I truly wonder what we have become as a Nation!

And now the Tories are trying to take away our Human Rights under Law, and put in it’s place a watered-down version that looks good on paper, but will be as strong as a wet tissue, if we try to use it.

I’ve read about, and watched, so many protests over the last year or so – although not on TV or in the papers, as these are all controlled by the very people who have brought in Austerity, to weaken the poor, and strengthen the Rich and powerful – and there are many more being organised for over the summer break of Parliament.

But I wonder if the powerful will sit in the sun, clinking their glasses of champagne, while laughing at us ‘plebs’ as we protest their taking away of all our rights under the law!

I have seen, over these last three to four decades, the way that Thatcher’s government broke the power of the unions – the only thing really protecting the ordinary working man and woman – and then the Neoliberal, New Labour, Blairite, government, and then the Tory government again, totally ignoring the plight of those who are having to go through these so-called health assessments, and who award the companies putting them through these useless, atrocious, offensively degrading trials, as if they were doing something wonderful for the country, instead of being the means of hurting too many thousands of vulnerable people – and to make matters even worse, these companies have cost the UK taxpayers even more to run than they will ever save, financially!

These assessments are where the ill/disabled person is lied about, treated like scum, and then ridiculed; where the painfully written, in-depth, descriptions of their daily lives are able to be read by those who shouldn’t be anywhere near them; where the ill/disabled are mocked, sneered at, laughed at, and vilified by both the – mostly – unqualified people who actually do these assessments; and then by the tory MP’s, who have been filmed doing so in Parliament, while they dismantled the laws that were supposed to defend us; or brokered the laws that will make life more unbearable for us all, and are a hell we are having to endure, in order to survive.

Those people who are too ill to fight the stopping of their only means of support – and in the last 2 years there have been at least 10,000 of them – have ended up being put into the position of either starving, or committing suicide.

Meanwhile, the companies that did this to them are awarded ever larger bonuses, and ever-longer contracts – and I wonder how much longer we will be able to survive, and what happened to the caring society that we were, when I was young, and before Thatcher came into power!

There are things happening to the disabled in this country that goes against everything I was brought up to believe in. Hard-won laws are being repealed, or flouted, and there are now working aged disabled people finding themselve immured into nursing homes, due to the cuts in their support – cuts caused by the government deliberately starving the NHS and Social Services of the money they need to go on.

It took the disabled many decades, and huge protests, to have the protections put into place by law, that meant we could live within our communities, near friends and family, and live our lives the way everyone else is able to – and now this government is slowly taking away everything that was fought so hard for – and using the same lies and excuses, that were used during the second world war, to relieve a certain nation of their disabled peoples.

The only hope I have now, is a Labour government, who will listen to it’s people, and stop this cruel torture; who will give the vulnerable of society a place where they can stand proud, and have a belief in themselves as being worthy people once again.

Is it really too much to ask for?

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Carers, Choices, Democracy, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, Health Issues, Human Rights, Ideology, Mental Health Issues, PIP, Politics, Social Security, Welfare