Benefits UK: Are We Getting Like The US?

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
Elie Wiesel

It looks like it will be a cold winter this year here in the UK. Yesterday I saw a homeless man on the street sleeping in a shop doorway, it was 09.30 and bitterly cold. I could not afford to give him money but did so as I was worried that he was not well and needed a reason to wake him.  This country is an awful place with extreme social injustice condemned by the UN, a country where many people have no money to live on. Poverty is high and getting higher – childhood poverty has soared by 400,000 since the Conservatives came to power.  While corporations get tax concessions and tax payers fund another extravagant royal wedding poor people get their benefits cut or taken away from them.

How long I ask myself is this nightmare going to be allowed to continue. We cannot have people living in poverty in the 6th richest economy. Shameful. Anyone who votes Tory should be ashamed for you are responsible for the damage to thousands of people’s lives including children. How do you sleep at night, not like the homeless man mentioned above ? The indifference of many people to the plight of those needing benefits has also played a role in consigning many people to lives of misery and despair, not knowing where their next meal will come from or if they will have a roof over their heads.

Under cover of the announcement of the royal wedding – 0dd how there is plenty of money to indulge those who already have it in
abundance – the government announced that they intend to continue the freeze on benefits:

Benefit freeze to stay for working people costing typical family £300 a year

“Millions of people will have their benefits frozen for another 12 months from April in a move that will cost a typical working family with two children about £300 a year.”

“The freeze, which has been in place since 2015, means a real-terms cut in income for millions of people because of rising living costs.”

Continue reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/benefit-freeze-to-stay-working-people-costing-typical-family-300-a-year

Poverty and homeless increase yet who cares, most people carry on with their own lives oblivious.

How many of us were aware that back in July 100 tenants each day where being evicted as a result of cuts to benefits, this number will no doubt rise with the introduction of Universal Credit. 

“More than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). It is an increase of a third since 2003 and the highest level recorded. The research appears to confirm fears that a mixture of rising costs and falling state support would lead to a rise in people being forced out of their homes. It will raise concerns that even those in work are struggling to pay their rent.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/22/100-tenants-a-day-lose-homes-rising-rents-benefit-freeze

It is important to note that UC is a benefit for working people paid low wages.

Three thousand people responded to an a House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits when only about a hundred responses were expected. Responses are still coming in after the deadline has passed.

Inquiry into disability benefits ‘deluged’ by tales of despair

More than 3,000 people have written to work and pensions committee in despair at system, many saying they have been driven to suicidal thoughts

“A House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits has heard from more than 3,000 people in despair at the system, including dozens who say they have been driven to suicidal thoughts by the process.

Frank Field, the chair of the work and pensions committee, said it would be usual to receive about 100 responses, but the inquiry had been deluged by people sharing stories about being denied disability benefits or battles to keep their entitlements.

The evidence includes testimony from many saying their mental health had deteriorated as a result of trying to claim the employment support allowance (ESA) for daily living costs and/or the personal independence payment (PIP) to cover the extra costs caused by long-term disability.”

Continue reading the full article:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/inquiry-into-disability-benefits-deluged-by-tales-of-despair?CMP=share_btn_tw

Life for many in the sixth richest economy is hell thanks to Tory polices and the indifference of other people.

Read the Story of Sue and others lives turned into a nightmare by UC

‘It’s just mistake after mistake’ – stories from the universal credit catastrophe

“It was introduced to simplify benefits and encourage people to work. Yet from a bungled rollout to Kafkaesque rules and the infamous six-week payment delay, universal credit has caused untold misery. John Harris meets people who have had their lives turned upside down. ”

With only £48 a week of child benefit coming in, Sue had effectively stopped eating. “I was trying to make stuff from the food bank last longer. I lived off cereal, so the kids could eat. That went on for three months.”

…the time it took to process her application and start paying her the right amount of money went way beyond six weeks, to almost three months.

One of her most vivid memories is of explaining what was happening to her eldest son. “I sat down with him, and I was crying my eyes out. I said: ‘I’m so sorry – I’ve got no money at all for anything for Christmas . It was only through our church’s generosity, giving us bits and pieces for the kids, that they actually had presents on Christmas day. None of it was from us.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/20/mistake-universal-credit-catastrophe-misery

This is the tip of the iceberg. People’s lives have been made hell on earth since Tory changes to welfare, so many people do not know where to turn or have the wherewithal to write to committees, either worn down by the misery of draconian welfare assessments, by the severity of their illness often made worse by the nature of these assessments or they simply do not have the ability to write about their situation.

The Tories are on a mission to dismantle the UK’s welfare state.

I get sick of hearing that the Tories are out of touch with reality. The implication being that it is incompetence rather than a deliberate attempt to destroy our welfare state. The truth is the Tories are using cuts  as a means of destroying the welfare state – including the NHS which they detest.

Read

How to dismantle the welfare state in five easy steps – and ways to spot the Government doing it

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/how-to-dismantle-the-welfare-state-in-five-easy-steps-and-ways-to-spot-the-government-doing-it-a7025711.html

The above article is eighteen months old but the points it makes are valid now as they were than.

Don’t be fooled with the misleading implication of Tory ineptitude, even by those opposed: benefit cuts and cuts to NHS funding are deliberate a attempt to end our welfare state.

Universal credit is not the only problematic benefit. The Tories new Personal Independence Payment PIP which replaced Disability Living Allowance DLA has left thousands of disabled people without this extra support or with a less amount of money.

The government are slowing dismantling our social security until it resembles the US –  virtually nonexistent.

If you think this is far fetched, such abuse of sick and disabled people would not happen in the UK think again.

Read the following

The staggering rise in PIP complaints shows there’s rot in the system

It’s not just the scale of the complaints, it’s the increasing evidence that disability benefits are being removed on fabricated grounds

‘Almost 80% of disabled people put through the PIP test have seen their health deteriorate due to stress or anxiety.’

Complaints about the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process rose by nearly 880% last year,

For the past four years, I’ve been reporting on the radical changes to disability benefits orchestrated by Conservative governments. The lack of humanity is glaring: there’s the Open University student with agoraphobia, Asperger’s and complex mental health problems living without a washing machine, oven or television after benefit cuts left her destitute; the 14-year-old child carer listening to her disabled dad crying because he doesn’t know how he’s going to pay the bills after having his disability benefits taken. But as the DWP’s complaints show, the scandal of this goes even further: there’s increasing evidence that benefits have been removed from disabled people based on entirely fabricated grounds.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/30/staggering-rise-pip-complaints-rot-system-disability-benefits

Note in the above article that there are “claims of  widespread dishonesty in the disability benefit system, with more than 250 PIP claimants alleging assessors repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations. ”

Claiming PIP is a harrowing and degrading experience added misery, anxiety, stress and depression to the lives of vulnerable people whose lives are already difficult as  consequence of their conditions

After reading this story why you might ask why did this person receive zero points

Cece’s epilepsy last May left her bed bound for three months!

Her “focal onset seizures ranging from between once a week to sometimes ten to fifteen a day – these leave me confused, exhausted, emotional, unaware, and unable to speak or move. I’ve caused harm to myself many times, being alone in my flat while my partner is at work.”

“The assessor was shocked when she saw that I struggled to write my own name because I’d had a seizure three days prior to the assessment; she was shocked when I told her about my job; she was shocked to hear that on bad days I can’t even walk to my GP surgery which is only a 15 minute walk away, or stand in the shower which is why we have an unbecoming IKEA stool in our lovely bathroom, that when my partner is away I can’t cook for myself because I can’t be by the stove unsupervised; she was shocked to hear that if I have a seizure while out, I become confused and lose my way and struggle to read maps – even a tube map, yet I grew up in London. Every Londoner knows that a tube map is like their children’s Bible and by the time you hit adolescence, you don’t even need that bad boy because you have it memorised. Well, not when you have recurrent seizures.

None of this was in this assessment report however… No mention of my awkward crying either, or the constant prompting for answers, because of my slow brain. Furthermore, my mobility problems, medical history and mental health issues were also relegated to thin air, and in the end I scored zero points.”

This World Isn’t Made For People Like Me – My PIP Assessment

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-world-isnt-made-for-people-like-me-my-pip-assessment_uk_5a11b32ce4b0e30a958507fe

While it’s bad here in the UK it could get worse. Sadly I rather think this is what the government intend for the UK

Read the following from the Washington Post

10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision in the past year

597 days.
And still waiting.

10,000 people died in the past year while stuck
in a backlog of judges’ disability cases.

What will happen to Joe Stewart?

“Stewart had first applied for federal disability benefits on May 21, 2015. The application was denied, and so was his appeal. When he appealed the second rejection, he went to the back of one of the federal government’s biggest backlogs, where 1.1 million disability claimants wait for one of some 1,600 Social Security administrative law judges to decide whether they deserve a monthly payment and Medicare or Medicaid. “A death sentence” is how Stewart, who has no health insurance, has come to think of another denial.

For other applicants, the wait itself may be enough to accomplish that. In the past two years, 18,701 people have died while waiting for a judge’s decision, increasing 15 percent from 8,699 deaths in fiscal 2016 to 10,002 deaths in fiscal 2017, according to preliminary federal data obtained by The Washington Post. The rising death toll coincides with a surge in the length of time people must wait for a disposition, which swelled from a national average of 353 days in 2012 to a record high of 596 this past summer.”

Please take time to read the full story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2017/11/20/10000-people-died-waiting-for-a-disability-decision-in-the-past-year-will-he-be-next/?utm_term=.16e88fbb0b2c

Write to your MP and demand change:

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Remember anyone can be ill at any time, lose their job, become homeless. None of us are immune to the suffering that is taking palce here in the UK as a result of vicious tory policies which are taking us back to a time we had hoped had faded into history.

Related Links

Apparently universal credit claimants will now only have to wait five weeks instead of six! BIG BLOODY DEAL when you have no money. Housing benefit to continue for an extra two weeks after the start of a universal credit claim. Again hopelessly inadequate, not everyone has savings for a rainy day, thousands of people here in the UK live from week to week . By way of comparison, in 2015-16, government targets for the waiting times for income support, jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance were between 10 and 14 days).

An insult, a joke. .These changes as pathetic as they are  will not come in time to help claimants struggling before Christmas, as they only take effect from next year.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/22/universal-credit-wait-reduced-to-five-weeks

Keep in mind also that UC the new system’s shift from a mixture of benefits paid monthly, weekly and fortnightly, to a once-a-month payment will make people’s budgeting even more difficult.

The fact that UC depends on an internet connection makes it very difficult for a lot of people to access, not least because of the government’s closure of hundreds of public libraries.

 

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Another Vicious Attack on UK Benefits

We are a step closer to the end of the welfare system in the UK as this vile government once again deals a savage blow to sick and disabled people as £30 is cut from Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA), a benefit given to disabled people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) whom the government considers may be able to work at some future time. I must point out that many in this group deemed fit to work at some point are not necessarily able to do so and are in many cases seriously sick and disabled.

The planned cut was delayed by peers in the House of Lords but finally and inevitably this government got it’s own way and yet another social injustice comes into being which will seriously affect the lives of people for whom day-to-day existence is already a huge struggle as the existing benefit is already inadequate. The government says that the cuts will incentivize disabled people to work!  Disabled and sick people may well wish to work but are too ill to do so, incentives, or more like coercion,  cannot make seriously ill people work if the are just too sick or disabled to do so. In fact charities have warned that the cut will make it more difficult for people with illness or disability to find work and many struggle to afford the basics of food, heating and shelter even on the current rate of benefit.

“We’re deeply disappointed that the Government is pushing ahead with its plans despite opposition from the House of Lords and many MPs.

“Half a million disabled people will be affected by this proposal – losing around £30 a week – at a time when they are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Reducing disabled people’s incomes won’t incentivise them to find a job. It will just make life harder
Elliot Dunster Scope

More information

Tories force through ESA disability benefit cuts as Lords run out of options to block them

“One peer described today as a “black day for disabled people” as Peers were forced to accept cuts to Employment Support Allowance”

Cruel cuts to benefits for sick and disabled people will now go ahead, after Lords were forced to back down in their opposition to Government plans.

Ministers were twice defeated by Peers over plans to slash Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 a week.

But the measure was today pushed through the upper chamber, in what Lord Low described as a “black day for disabled people.”

Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith wants to cut sick and disabled peoples’ ESA from £102.15 to £73.10 a week from April 2017 – equal to jobseeker’s allowance – if they are deemed fit for “work-related activity”.”

Read More:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tories-force-through-esa-disability-7512289

The government are simply hacking away at our welfare system bit by bit until it exists no more and the progress of the last sixty or so years will be gone and forgotten.

Jobseeker’s allowance of just £ 73.10 is not adequate for the unemployed to live on, it is not adequate for disabled and sick people to live on. No one can exist on such a small income. While greedy MPs many of whom are millionaires accept huge pay rises they dock the income of people who are already poor and struggling to make ends meet. It is disgusting, bloody outrageous and I cannot understand why few voices are raised condemning this injustice! As a result of government welfare reforms it’s a frightening time to be sick and disabled in today’s UK. What is even more frightening is the lack of support from the public as so few speak out against this gross injustice to our most vulnerable citizens, rather in the same way that few spoke out against the Nazis attack on disabled people prior to World War 2. The UK is a rich country, the problem is the wealth is in the hands of a few greedy individuals and things have to change, it is not right that some people accrue millions and are fabulously rich while others have nothing, are hungry, cold and often destitute. Four more years of this hell and we can wave goodby to the our welfare system and turn the clock back to Victorian times

We must not allow this to happen. Make your outrage known –  if you are not outraged why not????? This could happen to anyone at anytime, sickness and disability can befall us unexpectedly, no one is exempt from this possibility.

Please Take Action

Click the link below for a list of the names of all the MPs who forced these cuts through and voted for this unfair reduction in income to vulnerable people. If one of them is your MP or even if they are not please write and tell them what you think concerning this deeply unfair and unjust cut in benefits for people who are sick and disabled. Please write to as many MPs as you can, politely but strongly convey your outrage

These are all the MPs who voted to force through the ESA disability benefit cut:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/esa-wrag-disability-benefit-cut-disabled-mps-vote-tories-iain-duncan-smith-a6918556.html

Please click the above link for the complete list and write to as many MPs as you can

You will find contact details of all MPs on the list by clicking the link below:

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Be sure to write to David Cameron:
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mr-david-cameron/1467

Email Number 10

“The Prime Minister’s office is interested to hear from you and you can email us using the link above. All emails are read and we will do our best to ensure you receive a response. Where appropriate, we will forward your email to the relevant government department for the matters you raise.”

You can also write to the following address:

10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/prime-ministers-office-10-downing-street

Not all Tory MPs approve the cut

Tory MP Heidi Allen explains why she’s defying her party to oppose ESA benefit cuts
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mp-heidi-allen-explains-7480573

Tory MP defies Iain Duncan Smith to vote against ESA welfare cuts – and begs colleagues to join her
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mp-defies-iain-duncan-7480632

If you look at the list of MPs Heidi Allen’s name is not included. This gives some small hope that even for Tory MPs there is a limit to which they will not go beyond. So it is worth writing to MPs on the list.

In the comment section of the Independents MPs list someone raises the following question:

Although this cut will only impact on new claimants, how long until we’re all re-assessed and found fit-for work?

This is something I have considered myself and no doubt everyone on ESA will be thinking along the same lines. Will future assessments be rigged to make sure people are found fit for work so when they next apply for ESA they will only get it at the reduced rate.

Here is more of this person’s comment

They’ve already attacked means to appeal and financial support during appeal, many of us can’t claim JSA due to severity of our disabilities, and now even if we get back on ESA we’re going to see a huge loss to our income. Just remember that £30 is a LOT of money to us…for example after paying minimum to priority bills that would leave me with ZERO for food, travel to appointments, assistive technology, etc. so how does that help me into work?! 

The toll of Damage done to disabled people by the Tories

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Disability Confident by Byzantine_K

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Disability Incompetence by Byzantine_K

“The DWP went from an assessment system which fairly assessed fitness to work using a doctor and other professional consultants, with information taken from relevant sources to support the claim, to a system which mostly uses random idiots with some vague health qualification assessing with the aid of a computer based system deliberately designed to find any excuse to find people fit to work. And if that fails they sometimes outright lie.

Result: over 600 people have committed suicide. Over 10,000 people (well over by now) have died after being declared ‘fit for work’. Hundreds of thousands are being plunged into deeper poverty. Foodbank use has increased at least 2000% since 2009/10 (yes that is accurate). Jobcentres have been vandalised or set on fire. Many peoples mental and physical health conditions have worsened as a direct result of the tests and the cuts.”

Continue reading and source of graphics:

Disability Confident
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/24630424399/in/dateposted/

Disability Incompetent!
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/24371211253/in/dateposted/

A good graphical summation of the damaging effect the Tories have had on the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. Please share. 

The treatment of sick and disabled people continues to get progressively worse, yet there are few who speak out. The more of us who do the more likely it is that things will change. Frankly the lack of outrage against the government’s welfare reforms has shocked me. The fact that few speak out shames us as a nation. The fact that the Tories are allowed to do as they please while the lives of people who already suffer as a result of illness and disability ,which includes the mentally ill , are ruined, is something that I never thought I would witness here in the UK. The fact that the government gives concessions to corporations, ignores tax which is owed by big business while disadvantage people on benefits are plunged further and further into poverty is a grave social injustice that has no place in the modern world. Not to mention the psychological torment which has scarred many beyond anything that could ever have been envisioned a couple of decades ago.

Contact your MP and demand a return to a more fair system of assessment and a standard of living for sick and disabled people that allows them to live as full and as meaningful a life as possible.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/22/bedroom-tax-my-spare-room

The Iron Lady’s Prayer: A Parady

 

15843499298_067f071efa_h

“Parody! Barely.

The Conservative’s* prayer to their goddess of greed, Margaret Thatcher. Her state funeral last year was bordering on outright worship of Thatcher and her ideological legacy of self-centred greed which with all the other branches of libertarianism/capitalism, is creating global harm on a colossal scale: fueling poverty, oppression and environmental devastation.

It’s bad enough when anyone participate’s, but even as an ex-christian, I find the sight of hypocrite’s who pretend to be religious, happily pushing the cult of greed over need; sickening. People who have no problem with the gaping wealth inequality, the poverty, the foodbanks, the homelessness.”

“*Not just the Tories, but UKIP, the US GOP, Conservatives in Canada and Australia…. and all the other    greedy, selfish, sociopaths everywhere.”

Read more and access larger sizes

Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/15843499298/in/photostream/

I cannot and never will understand the cult of greed at the expense of other people, other animals, the earth itself, our very existence and the existence of future generations. The insatiable greed of the few is like an illness, a compulsion when enough is never enough. Like a gambling or other addition it leaves nothing but misery in its wake.  Sadly it is mostly those of this ilk who rule the world and our lives, yet few challenge this status quo. Here in the UK benefits are being stripped from disabled people, people who are too sick to work who can in many cases barely cope with day-to-day living yet are considered fit to work and for non compliance are left destitute with no income, not even the means to obtain food, shelter or warmth, all of which are basic human rights that we all should demand. While food banks open at an alarming hitherto unparalleled rate and people die in their own homes from cold here in the sixth richest country in the world, the rich get richer.

While a child dies of hunger every three seconds in so-called developing countries, while people die of preventable disease and the want of clean water and medical care, have no shelter, no education, no hope and no future, the decadent 1 percent continue living their extravagant life styles accruing more and more wealth at a phenomenal rate.

Here in the UK thanks to the sociopathic polices of Thatcher and her even more warped successor Cameron and his cohorts the gap between the have and the have nots is growing ever wider, more so here than anywhere else in Europe.

How the super rich got richer: 10 shocking facts about inequality

The gap between the super rich and the rest of us is spiralling out of control, with Britain’s 1% grabbing more than their counterparts anywhere else in Europe.

“The coalition government has already reduced the top rate of tax to 45%. Now it plans tougher benefit cuts for the poor. Under current financial plans, it will reward the top 1% even more in future, by cutting income taxes further. The rest of the top 20% can expect slight increases in their net income in the years up to 2016, while everyone else is impoverished.”

“We are facing a fork in the road between having a majority global middle class, or most of us becoming a global service class employed to satisfy the needs of a tiny minority of super-rich individuals.

In spring this year, Oxfam revealed that some 85 of the world’s richest people now had as much wealth as the poorest half of all humanity. A few weeks later, Forbes magazine updated that estimate to just 67 people. Then, within days, they corrected that estimate on their website to 66 people, so fast was the wealth of the multi-billionaires rising in the world during early 2014.”

Interesting to note the following:
London’s wealthy elite also includes the largest concentration of Russian millionaires found outside of Moscow – at least 2,000, many of whom are also “Ultras”. It is impossible to accurately assess their wealth because so much of it is hidden. But the donations from many of them to the Conservative party suggest that they have a direct interest in maintaining the low tax – especially wealth tax – policies of that party. It is not just property that the Russians are buying.
Extracts from How the Super Rich got Richer: 10 shocking facts about inequality
Read the full article:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/15/how-super-rich-got-richer-10-shocking-facts-inequality

Are the super rich getting even richer?

The world’s richest 1 per cent will own more than the other 99 per cent by next year, a charity warns.

“Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 per cent own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.

“In the past 12 months we have seen world leaders from President Obama to Christine Lagarde talk more about tackling extreme inequality but we are still waiting for many of them to walk the walk. It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world.

“Business as usual for the elite isn’t a cost free option – failure to tackle inequality will set the fight against poverty back decades. The poor are hurt twice by rising inequality – they get a smaller share of the economic pie and because extreme inequality hurts growth, there is less pie to be shared around.”

Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyim quoted in the Channel4 article:
Are the super rich getting even richer?
Read More:
http://www.channel4.com/news/inequality-world-richest-wealth-oxfam-poor-uk-rich

Take Action

Watch the Video and join the Oxfam Campaign Even it Up:
http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/even-it-up

Inequality is out of control: Time to Even It Up!

Around the world, the gap between the rich and poor is spiralling out of control. Extreme inequality is not accidental or inevitable – it’s the result of deliberate policy choices by people in power. Together we must #EvenItUp and stop #inequality from undermining our fight against #poverty. Join our campaign now to close the gap between the rich and the rest: http://www.oxfam.org/en/even-it-up

Wealth: Having it all and wanting more –  A report by Oxfam

Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite. These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance, and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists.

This briefing explains Oxfam’s methodology and data sources and updates key inequality statistics, such as Oxfam’s frequently cited fact in 2014: ‘85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population’

Download the full report:
http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/wealth-having-it-all-and-wanting-more-338125

Surely enough is enough, when are we going to take a stand against the greed of the few at the expense of the many. Time for a fair society, one that allows people to have fulfilling lives including of course the very basics which so many people lack such a shelter, food, clean water, warmth, education and health care, without exploitation of other human beings, other animals or the planet.

While the Oxfam initiative is a good start the ultimate fair world consists in removing ownership of the world’s resources from individuals who for all intents and purposes control these often essentials for the life, health and wellbeing of the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants.

“Gross economic inequality is as vile as racism, misogyny and hatred of the disabled; as damaging in effect; and as dependent on a small group of supporters who believe that just a few should have more and more and more, because they’re worth it.”

Danny Dorling

 

Confirmed – The FULL Impact of Cuts Disabled People Face

Please read about the effect of welfare reforms on sick and disabled people since the coalition government introduced their vicious benefit cuts.

Below is a cross post from Sue Marsh originally posted on Dairy of a Benefit Scrounger.

(Comments and other information follow).

Confirmed – The FULL Impact of Cuts Disabled People Face

Since the coalition came to power, sick and disabled people have claimed we are being fundamentally harmed by the coalition welfare reforms. Not scroungers or skivers, but  people living with long term serious illnesses like me, or who live with physical disabilities. Adults AND children. Young and old. People with terminal conditions, people with kidney or heart failure, people waiting for transplants and even people in comas. None have been spared. The government repeatedly assure you they have.

The government have of course denied that they are putting an unreasonable share of austerity cuts on us. Repeatedly and often aggressively. This is how they respond to the UN of all people :

Since 2011, almost every main voice involved in the services and systems that support sick and disabled people have argued that we must know how all of the changes TOGETHER have affected us so particularly.

Everything we rely on has been cut severely – in some cases by up to 40%. Disability benefits, sickness benefits, social care services, housing support, legal aid for tribunals, respite care, the independent living fund, council tax relief, higher education funding, everything.

It is very possible that if you were affected by one of the changes, you were affected by several or even all of them. 
Whilst the government paid lip service to assessing what impact their reforms would have on sick and disabled people, they only did so one by one…

 

Please continue reading:
http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/confirmed-full-impact-of-cuts-disabled.html  – I had intended to include the entire post however due to technical difficulties I am unable to do so.

Please click the link above and read the entire article particularly if you are sick or disabled and claiming benefits. It has some important information for you.

Please also share and cross post or reblog the above article by using the following link:
http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/confirmed-full-impact-of-cuts-disabled.html

My comments and other information

Prior to the election Cameron Said:

“A country is judged upon how it cares for its most vulnerable in society in bad times as well as in good times”.

He also promised that the sick, disabled, the elderly or the poorest in society had nothing to fear if he became prime-minister because he would protect the vulnerable people of Britain.

“I help care for a severely disabled child – my son. It’s what I do at the start of each day. It’s sharpened my focus on the world of care assessments, eligibility criteria, disability living allowance, respite breaks,”

He further explains how his own personal experiences had shaped his views:

“The very painful thing about disability – whether your own or your loved one’s – is the feeling that the situation is out of your control. When the system that surrounds you is very top-down, bureaucratic, inhuman, that can only increase your feelings of helplessness … but I do believe there are moments of despair, helplessness and frustration that could be directly alleviated by the work of government.”

And on yet another occasion he said:

“In the past we used to think of poverty in absolute terms – meaning straightforward material deprivation… We need to think of poverty in relative terms – the fact that some people lack those things which others in society take for granted.”

Finally the UN has judged Cameron and his government as being in violation of the UK’s international treaty obligations to the poor.

In a twenty-two page letter a group of United Nations poverty experts have criticised the coalitions’ welfare reforms. They say that the cuts in benefits break Britain’s international treaty obligations to the poor. The report will be discussed at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in New York, in September.

Who would have thought that our welfare system would come under criticism by the UN. How times have changed in the UK and even more so since the coalition came into power. And to make matters worse there are more cuts to come, more austerity measures aimed at the sick disabled and the poor.

Though these violations of human rights have come to the attention of the UN I rather doubt that anything much will change as a result as yet again Duncan Smith reacts with his usual angry rebuke and denial.

Read
UK ‘sleepwalking into violating disabled people’s human rights’:

Welfare reforms break UN convention and will leave many without crucial help for daily living, say campaigners:

Jane Campbell, a cross-bench peer who is disabled said: “It is both extremely worrying and deeply sad that the UK – for so long regarded as an international leader in protecting and promoting disabled people’s rights – now risks sleepwalking towards the status of a systematic violator of these same rights.”

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/07/uk-sleepwalking-violating-disabled-peoples-human-rights-charities

Related Links:

Read the latest finding that show how hard families have been hit as a result of benefit changes

“Research for the Real Life Reform report was carried out between April and early May and shows that people are dealing with mounting debt, borrowing from loan sharks and turning to food banks.”

http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2014-07-10-UK-governments-welfare-reforms-piling-misery-on-the-poorest-households-report

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert Humphrey 38th US Vice-President

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