Reposted from the Leicester Mercury
DWP, you really are a piece of shit!
Nick Gaskin, 46, from Quorn, was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) 16 years ago.
He can no longer do anything for himself and needs round the clock care.
He and his wife Tracy were astonished to receive a letter from the Loughborough Job Centre with an appointment for July 22.
The letter states: “You and your personal advisor will discuss the possibility of going into paid work, training for work, or looking for work in the future.”
His wife, Tracy, called the centre to explain the situation but was told he still had to attend.
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This is my first post in a few months, there’s been several reasons for this including an horrendous bout of depression, an operation and masses of work for DEAEP, our new course starts next week. There also been one issue that has taken over what little energy I’ve had left after this; a month ago I was asked if I’d be interested in working on the setting up of a unifying group for disabled people to fight the Government.
Anyone that’s read my blogs is well aware I’m committed to collective working and collaboration, most of my posts end with some form of plea for Unity or Togetherness, so of course I said yes. To my horror, in this very short period of time several of those willing to do the backroom work have been bullied and verbally assaulted by the same people who purport to believe in campaigning and challenging…
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There’s seemingly no end of blogs about WHY the Tories ended up back in Government; there also many many posts on social media discussing how disabled people are going to survive when the next round of Welfare Cuts come in; here’s my view…
At the time of writing we don’t yet know Who will be the Work & Pensions Minister, we do now that #McVey, in maybe the only good news of the election, being deselected won’t be there, and Mark Harper has gone as the Minister for disabled people but as for the others, we’ll have to wait? What I believe is no matter WHO fills their seats (and that of #IDS of course) things will not get any better.
I was SICK of the whole Carbuncle of Welfare Reform before May 7 – now we await with trepidation the announcements of the next round of proposed £12Million of Cuts; we’ve already…
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Another quick round-up of news across a few different areas:
In repression news, five water charge protesters are still in jail in Ireland for protesting against water meter installations. I’ve not been able to find any addresses to write to the five in jail, but I’ll keep looking. In the mean time, the movement’s not taken this attack lying down, with a fresh wave of angry protests in response, as well as ongoing resistance preventing water meters from being installed. It’s difficult keeping up with the myriad of facebook pages reporting on what seems to be a genuinely decentralised movement, but Release the Water Warriors NOW seems to be the main campaign for the release of the five, and the Workers’ Solidarity Movement continue to provide ongoing reporting from an anarchist perspective. Meanwhile, closer to home, the ongoing police crackdown on anarchists in Bristol has resulted in its…
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It’s been a few weeks since I did a proper news round-up. While there’s not been that much in the way of big, attention-grabbing stories, there’s still a multitude of local struggles going on up and down the country, so I’d like to try and highlight a few of those.
But first, a brief bit of international news. The South African farmworkers’ union, CSAAWU, was recently hit with an incredibly punitive court order forcing them to pay R600,000 (that’s $54,800 or £3,3400), which could well bankrupt them, so it’s good to report that, thanks to international solidarity, they’ve hit their first target of raising $10,000. There’s a long way still to go, but it’s clear that they’re not beaten yet. Meanwhile in Spain, the seven anarchists being held without trial as part of Operation Pandora have been released on bail, although there are still charges against them, and…
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There was a spate of example towards the end of last year where Charities were warned they were at risk of closure, or at least sanctions, for acting ‘Politically
- the chair of the Trussell Trust was told “he must think more carefully otherwise “the government might try to shut you down”.
- The Global Warming Policy Foundation were advised ‘concerns were raised that the charity was promoting views that were of a political rather than an educational nature’.
- Oxfam was been rapped by the charity watchdog for not taking sufficient steps to avoid appearing politically biassed in a social media campaign which criticised the Government’s austerity programme earlier this year.
These are only examples, of how a breadth of Charities are experiencing this, what I feel is bullying.
This behaviour by the powers that be, is despite Government guidance which states:
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In this my last post before the festivities kick in I want to take a look at a quick overview of the Truth Campaign and our reasons for pursuing it.
It all began on April 14 2013, when Debbie Sayers and I wrote an open letter, to Esther McVey regarding her persistent misuse of facts and statistics, we sent this with over 800 signatures, including 4 MPs, a month later. On the back of this, we started our first petition (27/5/13) to the Work & Pensions Committee demanding they :Hold IDS to account for his use of statistics.
We eventually received a response from the DWP correspondence team to our letter, which failed to even acknowledge the questions we had asked, but she did reply to Michael Meacher and Tim Loughton MPs, who had supported our letter with the same reply.
By June 12 our first petition had hit the magic 100,000 signatures…
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Who Will Watch the Watchmen?
An Open Letter to John Bercow
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Only one in four workers in the UK have successfully managed to escape low-paid employment in the last decade, a new report reveals.
The report – Escape Plan – written by the Resolution Foundation for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, found that only 25% of low-paid workers were able to permanently escape the low-pay poverty trap over the course of an entire decade.
The majority of workers were hit by an unenviable case of one-step forward and two-steps back, falling back into low-paid employment whenever they managed to escape.
12% were permanently stuck in dead-end low-paid jobs for each and every year over the last decade, forced to survive on low wages with limited opportunity for progression.
Workers who were able to escape the low-pay poverty trap saw their wages grow by an average of 7.5% in real terms over the decade, while those who were unable to escape low paid work saw their wages grow half as fast (3.6%).
The Resolution Foundation used official data to track workers over a decade to find out how far up the employment ladder they were able to progress. The independent think tank also investigated what factors may have played a part in pay progression.
Several factors were identified as being positively associated with escaping low paid employment, such as a higher level of education and a ‘positive outlook’. Businesses who assist with career development and offer greater opportunities for progression into higher-paid positions were are also a major factor, says the Resolution Foundation.
However, the report identifies a number of significant barriers to pay progression including disability, gender, part-time employment, being a single parent or an older worker.
The strong link between part-time employment and poor pay progression will be particularly disconcerting for the 6.8 million people currently working part-time in the UK – three-quarters of whom are women.
Part-time workers are offered fewer opportunities to progress within a company to higher-paid positions than full-time workers, say the Resolution Foundation. The hospitality industry such as restaurants and take-aways were found to have particularly poor escape rates.
Vidhya Alakeson, Deputy Chief Executive at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“Britain has a long-standing low pay problem, with over a fifth of the workforce in poorly paid jobs. But the limited opportunities for escaping low pay is just as big a concern as it has huge consequences for people’s life chances.
“While relatively few workers are permanently trapped in low pay, just one in four are able to completely escape. More permanent escape routes are needed for the huge number of workers who move onto higher wages but fail to stay at that level.
“Some groups clearly find it more of a challenge than others to rise up the pay ladder. Breaking down the barriers to promotion faced by disabled people, single parents, part-time and older workers is crucial to reducing the share of low pay across the workforce.
“We know that even in sectors dominated by low pay it is possible for staff, assisted by employers, to progress their career and earn more. But for this to happen we need more employers to take the issue seriously and have effective plans to promote pay progression.”
The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, added:
“The majority of Britain’s poorest paid workers never escape the low pay trap. Too many simply cycle in and out of low paying jobs instead of being able to move up the pay ladder.
Any sort of work is better than no work but being in a job does not guarantee a route out of poverty.
> There speaks someone who has never had to do “any sort of work”…
“This research provides compelling evidence for employers and government to do more on pay progression. It is a powerful argument for Britain to become a Living Wage country.”
Source – Welfare Weekly, 11 Nov 2014