Today I learnt of some new developments in the universal credit roll out. These changes are devastating and they left me lost for words. I’ll explain now but please share.
When universal credit first came out you could not apply for it if you were already claiming housing benefit. There was a glitch in the system and the computer said no. They’ve sorted this so here goes.
They are now transferring people onto universal credit from JSA. There’s no option to say no, they are simply changing their claim. Their existing claim will be shut down, as will their claim for housing benefit. The claimant will also have to go to the local council offices to sort out the council tax payments, if not they will be left with a massive bill.
Why am I so worried? If you are already in debt with your rent due to the bedroom…
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We’ve now suffered through the Lies from Esther McVey Wednesday 04 February 2015 9:30 AM on “benefit sanctions policy” , with her ‘assurances’ there are “categorically no targets set on how many claimants should be sanctioned”‘
Refuted yesterday offered more evidence that contradicts McVey with the DWP recruiting an extra 1600 Benefit Sanctions Decision Makers since taking office!; They support these statistics with the comment “Whilst the DWP continually says it has no Benefit Sanctions Targets, despite irrefutable evidence, this view now seems even more implausible since today it published statistics that it show they nearly trebled the number of sanction decision makers?”
Lets not forget All these #Sanctions are made by unqualified people ” there are no specific external qualifications required for the decision making role. All Decision Makers go through a training programme that supports the individual in their role. The Decision Maker consolidates this learning with…
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We don’t easily get shocked on our weekly demos, we hear so many terrible stories but yesterday was a day that I won’t forget for a while.
We were stood in our usual spot and I got called over by a member of our group. “Hiya this man would like to speak to you. He wants to be heard” I walked over and spoke to this lovely man. He was sat in his mobility scooter and shook my hand. He went on to say “my friend committed suicide just before Christmas. He hung himself at the top of his stairs. He had been sanctioned but he had mental health problems. He was that scared that he was going to loose his house he killed himself. He couldn’t see any other way out. I miss him everyday life without him isn’t the same. Since when was this government allowed to hurt…
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When David Cameron stands up in all his hypocrisy and tells you that tearing apart the basic safety net that guaranteed people would not be left in hunger or destitution is part of his “moral mission”, even die-hard Tories should agree that the country has taken a turn for the worse.
When he defends an administration that has become so punitive that applicants who don’t get it right have to wait without food for months at a time, by claiming he is doing “what is right”, even die-hard Tories should agree that the man who claims he is Prime Minister has diverged from reality.
That is precisely what he has done, and you can bet that the Tory diehards will quietly go along with it because they think it is far better for other people to lose their lives than it is for their government to lose face.
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“Manifestly inadequate” are words that should ring in Iain Duncan Smith’s ears for some time to come.
They are the Council of Europe’s verdict on the UK’s social security system of payments for jobseekers, pensioners and recipients of both short- and long-term incapacity benefit.
The Council, an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation, is home to the European Court of Human Rights.
The finding was made in an annual review of the UK’s adherence to the council’s European Social Charter. If the UK’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government takes no action to rectify the situation, then the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers may address a recommendation to the UK, asking it to change the situation in law or in practice. This is clearly a weak way of handling a situation…
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Reposted from Dr Éoin Clarke (PhD) – TheGreenBenches@Hotmail.com
According to Iain Duncan Smith’s team, every year, more than 40,000 people on Sickness Benefits (eg. ESA) die. Over a three year period more than 125,000 people had died while on sickness benefit. During the lifetime of this parliament, 200,000+ will die on sickness benefit.
In order to be placed on sickness benefit, claimants must undergo an assessment. Some of those claimants are assessed and told that they will be fit for work in the future, and as such they are expected to carry out work related activity (such as training) immediately. According to Iain Duncan-Smith’s Department, 1,300 of those told they’d be fit to work in the future and expected to carry out work related activity died during one 11 month period from January 2011 to November 2011.
Of those receiving ESA who had died from January 2011…
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The Salvation Army‘s new regional pay structure came into force at the start of the month, bringing with it cuts in pay for hostel workers – including at the Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge in Sunderland.
The charity says the cuts are in response to changes in funding for homelessness services from central and local Government.
Clare Williams, regional convenor of the union Unison, said: “These changes will result in workers doing the same job in different areas of the country for different levels of pay, which in itself is unfair.
“However, it is aiming to achieve this by implementing severe cuts to pay and service conditions without properly considering the effects on its own workforce and the services it provides to vulnerable people locally.
“The charity says the changes are to secure future contracts for homeless services paid for by the Supporting People Grant.
“The irony is that the impact of these cuts upon its own staff will put many on the poverty line and some at risk of losing their own homes.”
Readers might like to consider the fact that the Salvation Army are also enthusiastic users of forced labour – unemployed under threat of benefit sanctions – to staff their charity shops. Perhaps they have plans to extend forced labour to other areas of their organization.
More on the SA and unpaid labour here –
Perhaps we need a resurrection of the Skeleton Army – a diffuse group, active in Southern England, that opposed and disrupted The Salvation Army’s marches against alcohol in the late 19th century. Clashes between the two groups led to the deaths of several Salvationists and injuries to many others.
A fascinating – and largely unknown – example of popular protest. Read more here –