Don’t vote Tory: Universal Credit

If you don’t know what universal credit is click here:
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit/What-is-Universal-Credit

End universal Credit. Vote Labour December 12th

This film reveals the truth about universal credit

Universal DisCredit is a new film made by Videoblogg Productions in collaboration with The Canary

“We are proud to present Universal DisCredit, a powerful new film that shines a light on the devastating consequences of Universal Credit (UC), a flagship policy of successive Conservative-led governments. Featuring interviews with campaigners, policy makers, academics, and people with first-hand experience of UC, it shows how people are being driven to poverty, food banks, destitution, and death. Please share this film widely and join our campaign to #ScrapUC

Featuring interviews with campaigners, policy makers, academics, and people with first-hand experience of UC, it shows how people are being driven to poverty, food banks, destitution, and death.”

To read more about the film and view comments click  YouTube at the lower right corner of the video.

Here are three stories which highlight the problems with Universal Credit and the disastrous effect it has had on claimants

If it were not for a friend this woman would have gone without food or heating

‘Universal credit is a nightmare – the stress is overwhelming’
Jacqueline Widick, 47, on how osteoarthritis has left her struggling to pay her bills
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/02/universal-credit-is-a-nightmare-the-stress-is-overwhelming

Two stories of mums struggling as a result of the flaws of Universal Credit.

Universal Credit: “It’s been a nightmare – I’m £2,000 in debt. I can’t get any more loans.”
https://www.trusselltrust.org/2019/07/29/universal-credit-nightmare-im-2000-debt-i-cant-get-loans/

A mother seeks help from crowd funding. The number of people struggling to survive by means of crowd funding has tripped in the past year.

Mum survives Universal Credit nightmare thanks to the kindness of strangers
‘It’s amazing how kind people can be’ – As the number of people looking for help with Universal Credit from strangers triples we speak to one mum who told us what happened when she reached out to others
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/mum-survives-universal-credit-nightmare-14991767

More stories from people affected by universal credit

Universal Credit is affecting everyone – the heartbreaking horror stories
We have heard from people all over the country of how they are struggling with the new benefit system

Help end this shameful treatment of people on Universal Credit
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/universal-credit-affecting-everyone-heartbreaking-2575597

The last decade has been nothing short of hell for anyone who has the misfortune, either as a result of disability, sickness, loss of employment or low wages, to apply for benefits.

The suffering must stop. The Tories will continue to inflict this misery on millions of people if they get reelected.

If you vote Tory you are complicit. 

Labour will scrap universal credit. December the 12th VOTE LABOUR

Don’t Vote Tory: Benefit Cuts

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government 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 shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Hubert H. Humphrey

 

December 12th Vote for change, Vote Labour

For the past ten years the Tories have decimated the welfare state with cuts to benefits, including a benefit freeze which now prior to the election they say they will remove by 2020. If you believe that you are naive at best, seriously misguided at worse.

If you even hesitate to dismiss this commitment as the election bribe that it is continue reading to remind yourself of the misery and suffering caused by punitive benefit cuts to sick and disabled people including children.

The sole purposes of benefit reforms is to remove as many people as possible off benefits including severely ill and disabled people

The government are so determined to strip as many people as possible of their benefits that they have spent 40 million pounds of tax payers money fighting appeals, most of  which they lost.

Austerity over the last decade has resulted in misery, poverty, destitution and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

Austerity has been so shocking that it has resulted in three UN reports.

Read the following extracted from the Canary article: Here’s the bombshell buried in Boris Johnson’s ‘do no harm’ Tory manifesto. The article discusses the UK’s human rights act and the Tory pledge to update it, no doubt in a detrimental way. It discusses the Tories record of human right violations, one of which concerns the governments treatment of disabled people.

“The Human Rights Act protects citizens from both inhumane treatment and discrimination. The unnecessary austerity regime sucessive Conservative governments have championed over the last nine years has heaped plenty of both on Britons. As The Canary’s Steve Topple reported in 2017, for example:

“The UN has condemned the Conservative government for creating what it calls a “human catastrophe” in the UK. It follows a previous report which stated that the Tories had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights on British shores. And the UN accused the government of using a “smoke screen” and “misusing statistics” to try and cover its tracks.

These UN judgments specifically related to the government’s treatment of disabled people. The UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, meanwhile, further investigated the government’s austerity regime in 2018. He stated:

“The costs of austerity have fallen disproportionately upon the poor, women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, single parents, and people with disabilities.”

He also said:

“Britain is certainly capable of eliminating most, if not all, of its poverty if it wanted to. But it’s clear that there’s a political choice: that it doesn’t want to.”

Read more:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/11/25/heres-the-bombshell-buried-in-boris-johnsons-do-no-harm-tory-manifesto/

Here are a few facts concerning Tory benefit changes: 

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found.

UK austerity has inflicted ‘great misery’ on citizens, UN says
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/16/uk-austerity-has-inflicted-great-misery-on-citizens-un-says

17,070 disabled people have died while waiting the decisions on their independence payments.

More than 17,000 sick and disabled people have died while waiting for welfare benefits, figures showhttps://news/uk/home-news/pip-waiting-time-deaths-disabled-people-die-disability-benefits-personal-independence-payment-dwp-a8727296.html

In one year alone nearly 50,000 sick and disabled people were hit by £30 cuts to ESA

Nearly 50,000 Disabled People Hit By ‘Appalling’ Cut To Benefits In Last Year Alone, Analysis Reveals
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nearly-50000-disabled-people-hit-by-appalling-cut-to-benefits-in-last-year-alone-analysis-reveals_uk_5c0504ede4b0606a15b70525

During 2016 more than half of long term sick and disabled people suffered food insecurity.

Man died ‘in hunger’ while waiting for Universal Credit just days after ITV interview
https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2017-10-24/man-died-while-waiting-for-universal-credit-days-after-itv-interview/

Many people who are seriously ill either physically or mentally are told they are fit for work

Below is one of the most shocking cases of a seriously ill man who nonetheless was told he was fit for work

“Stephen Smith’s weight plummeted to six stone and he could barely walk due to several serious illnesses, he was still deemed ‘fit to work’ by the government

A government department has apologised after it was revealed a man with several debilitating illnesses was deemed fit to work.

Stephen Smith was denied benefits, despite barely even being able to stand.

The 64-year-old from Liverpool was rushed to hospital over Christmas because his health had deteriorated so significantly. Despite his condition, and weighing less than six stone, he had to leave in order to contest a decision by the department of work and pensions (DWP) that he could work.”

Read more:

DWP apologies for telling starving man to get a job
https://www.joe.co.uk/news/dwp-starving-man-stephen-smith-218611 

If you click the link above you will see a very disturbing utterly shocking photo of this poor man which most people will find upsetting. 

“Read accounts written by disabled people, carers and health professionals on how austerity and cuts have affected them.”

Consider the information below

Note: The only way to bring about change is to vote Labour. The Tories will continue with their punishing benefit reforms including sanctions which leave people with no income whatsoever.

“The Government’s “cruel and harmful” welfare policies have left tens of thousands of poor families hungry, a damning new report has said.

Global charity, Human Rights Watch, said successive governments had “violated” the right to food, but took particular aim at the Tories.

It listed a string of welfare policies over the past decade, including the introduction of Universal Credit and the benefit cap, as being behind a surge in hunger in England.”
Read more:
https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/government-and-public-sector/policy-making/news/103950/cruel-tory-welfare-cuts-blame-poor

Tax cuts for the rich, benefit cuts for the poor

“Benefit updating should be based on need, not the whim of a government addicted to inflicting austerity on the poorest families

April used to be the month when social security benefits and pension rates were uprated in line with the cost of living.

This was a fair deal, giving working people the additional support they needed to keep up with rising prices.

But the updating of most working age benefits has been frozen since the 2015 Summer Budget, and workers are now braced for the start of a fourth successive year.”

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the first three years have already pushed 200,000 people into poverty – around half of them children.”

Continue reading:
https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/britains-broken-politics-tax-cuts-rich-frozen-benefits-working-families

Now watch the following videos concerning benefit changes and cuts to benefits and related issues

Benefit cap: Emma’s Story

65-year-old man dies at job centre in Wales after being declared ‘fit-to-work’

This man should have been retired. In this day and age where jobs are so few people should now enjoy retirement much younger. The Tories have raised the retirement age “From December 2018, the state pension age will rise for both men and women, until it reaches 66 in October 2020 and 67 between 2026 and 2028″ and they intend to raise it as much as 75 years. Do they mind if we have some lives to ourselves to live as we so please, surely by 65 this poor man had done more than his fair share and may have undergone years of exploitation simply to increase profits of some big corporation or to make another person rich in some way or another. Wake up, end this misery unless you want to work until you drop. Read the comments, people are waking up but more need to do so. It’s not just here in the UK, notice the comment about the Australian government putting up the retirement age to 70!“Here in Australia the government has just raised retirement age to 70. They have also ordered all doctor’s to NOT help people get disability pension. Western governments are totally out of control.”

Breadline Britain: Tory housing benefit cuts have caused a homelessness explosion

No expectations? Expert compares UK welfare policy to age of Dickens

If you want things to change for a fair society for everyone Vote Labour December 12th

A Christmas Message for Theresa May

A Christmas Message for Theresa May:

Spare a moment over the festive season in your warm centrally heated home with luxury food in abundance for the 300,000 people in Britain who are homeless, including 128,000 children and over 4,000 rough sleepers; the result of Tory policies which have taken money from the most vulnerable in our society and handed it to the better-off. While you enjoy your opulent Christmas sadly it’ll be a different story for homeless people waking up shivering on the pavement, families with children waking on Christmas day in cramped depressing B&Bs or hostel rooms. The children will have few if any new toys for Christmas, their parents having been made destitute as a result of Tory benefit cuts and other austerity measures.

Are you even aware that only last Sunday a thirty-eight year old man died sleeping rough in Birmingham on a bitterly cold night. 

Take time to reflect on the increase in childhood and pensioners poverty which has soared by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively since the Conservatives came to power, the worst decline in decades. Now in the world’s seventh richest country 14 million people currently live in poverty. Shameful.

This Christmas think about the disabled people whose already difficult lives have been detrimentally affected by your so called welfare reforms which the UN have condemned. Vicious attacks on the most vulnerable in our society which have resulted in an increase in poverty and the overall death rate including a high rate of suicides by disabled people after the withdrawal of welfare benefits. This also includes the mentally ill of course who now have to increasingly cope alone as there are 6,700 fewer mental health nurses and 5,000 fewer mental health beds since 2010.

Take time from your hectic schedule to spare a thought for the thousands of people on universal credit who will not receive a payment at Christmas.

Please consider the overworked and underpaid NHS staff who have seen drastic cuts in their numbers, who struggle to cope with underfunding that has resulted in such outrages as 10,000 patients a week left waiting in ambulances outside A&Es ;  Long waits in A&E which have increased by 557% in seven years  and cancelled surgery for 10s of thousands of people.

Thanks to you Theresa May and your government we are now living in a period of great social injustice of which sadly some people are not aware. You and your predecessor have managed to turn the clock back to a time most of us do not remember and thought had been consigned to history.

Tell me: How do you sleep at night?

Related Links

Perhaps Theresa May and other Tories should also consider the following questions:

“It’s like an ordinary day, to be honest”: How the cuts stole Christmas

As foodbanks stockpile and benefits are withheld, Britain faces crisis this festive season.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/12/it-s-ordinary-day-be-honest-how-cuts-stole-christmas

As a result of conservative policies it is estimated that over 4,000 disabled and vulnerable people may have died, but this figure could be much higher as a result of welfare cuts:

Welfare Reform Deaths – Memorial Page – Please Stop Killing Us
http://calumslist.org/

Recent research shows the conservative party’s austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html

More UK children homeless or in temporary housing than during crash crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/06/more-children-homeless-or-in-temporary-housing-than-during-crash-crisis

One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/08/one-in-every-200-people-in-uk-are-homeless-according-to-shelter

I never thought the day would come when the UK would be subject to UN condemnation concerning human rights, particularly in respect to its treatment of disabled and vulnerable people. Anyone reading this please consider the above, Theresa May is not solely responsible.  If you voted Tory and continue to support them you are complicit in this, the greatest social injustice in our country in a long time. It is shameful that so many people either are ignorant of what is happening or simply do not care.

“Stand for what is right even it that means standing alone”
Suzy Kassem

 

Tories Out: Please Attend Demo Tuesday November 21st

A bit short notice if you are not already aware of the following protest, but if you can please do join the demonstration outside Downing street and around the country taking place tomorrow Tuesday November 21st.

If you can’t participate in the protest please send an email to your MP supporting the demonstration.

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

Or Send him or her a Tweet

Your MP’s Twitter address will be included in the above contact information. All you need is to enter your postcode

There are other events nationwide.

PROTEST

#SackTheTories
Stop the Universal Credit Crisis – Stop Tax Avoidance – Fund Our NHS
Day of action ahead of the Budget

Tuesday 21 November, Nationwide

Check out more details click below:

#SACKTHETORIES – BUDGET DAY PROTEST

http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/budget_toriesout

The Tories have been accused of “economic murder” and rightly so as their relentless austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people.

120000 DEATHS LINKED TO AUSTERITY

The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

Continue reading:
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/120000

The Tories’ destruction of our welfare system is unrelenting.With every passing day more and more shocking facts come to light as vulnerable and poor people are plunged ever deeper into poverty and despair.

Here are some of the latest

A cheap stunt by the government over Universal Credit will lead to thousands of children a year being worse off

“The government has made a significant change to the controversial roll out of Universal Credit. It’s launched a consultation on proposed changes to a policy affecting over one million children. It says more children will be helped by the plans.

But dig a little deeper into the details and it actually seems like a cheap stunt. Because the proposals could eventually lead to around 16,000 of the most deprived children being worse off every year.”

Read More:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/18/cheap-stunt-government-universal-credit-will-lead-thousands-children-year-worse-off/

No Money for Christmas for 60,000 households with 40,000 children

Landlords have already sent out notifications anticipating that their tenets will not be able to pay rent as a result of delays to Universal Credit (UC).

Note the following:

Food bank use has increased 30% in areas where UC has been rolled out

3 million families are losing an average of 2,000 a year as a result of UC

Action on poverty says that more than a million children will be in poverty due to cuts as a result of universal credit.

Does this insensitive robotic woman have no feelings. The number of people being evicted has gone down so she says in the above video, by a whole third, so that makes it all right then despite the fact that two thirds, hundreds of people, continue to be evicted as a result of universal credit. You’re just a number to them, this woman and others of her ilk have no feelings, no compassion no concern for you as an individual.  It has been announced that over Christmas people who are changing to universal credit will get no money until after the christmas period. How the hell are they supposed to survive for six weeks with no income. Hard at anytime but more devastating this time of year.

Please sign the following petition:

A small admin oversight by the government will mean thousands of people will be left penniless this Christmas, without enough to pay their rent or buy food – let alone celebrate Christmas.

Please read more and sign the petition:

Please make an exception to Universal Credit rules this Christmas
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/2998?utm_source=email&utm_medium=blast&utm_campaign=20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&bucket=email-blast-20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blast2017-11-20

What is happening to poor and disabled people here in the UK is disgusting

The government will not even  investigate whether people claiming Universal Credit are forced to use food banks

Separately, the Peabody Trust housing association, one of the UK’s biggest social landlords, has calculated the delays will put about 23,000 families – with 41,000 children – at risk of destitution in the run-up to Christmas.

The problems are likely to escalate with the extension of Universal Credit. Even by the end of January, only 10 per cent of benefits claimants will be receiving it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/universal-credit-government-food-banks-benefits-work-pensions-dwp-charities-mps-dan-jarvis-a8048496.html

Here is the reality of UC

Below is a chart showing the impact of UC

The government claim that people struggling without money can claim advance payments. Don’t be fooled. Here is the reality of so called advanced payments:

How the hell can anyone live on £22 a week. Moreover this money has to be paid back!

Here is more of the grim reality of Tory Britain as diseases of the Victorian era return to Salford: rickets and beriberi – thought to be long eradicated – are on the rise due to food poverty according to a shocking new report

Never forget if you vote Tory you are complicit ! Your actions in the ballot box have set the clock back to a time and circumstances that we had hoped had been consigned to history long ago. Your vote is destroying the lives of children and disabled and sick people. Think of that when you sit down to your Christmas dinner, in your warm home and watch your children pay with their new toys. Thanks to your vote Christmas for many people will be like something out of Dickens!

To make matters worse the Tories could care less and even laugh about the suffering caused by UC.

Comment on the Guardian article above which basically sums up the situation.

“One way to judge a society is by our children .If that is the case this cruel tory goverment has proved to be an abject failure .There is a massive divide between the rich and the poor.This has to be a deliberate policy. This goverment has chosen to give more to the very rich at the cost of the poor .There policies are designed to be cruel to those struggling to get by .This Tory goverment are well aware of the plight of the poor .By there actions have proved they don’t care.

Food banks are mistake this goverment has allowed .these statements on our society are just the tip of the ice berg .Our public services a vital life line for us all are collapsing.worse child poverty is rife in our country in 2017 .employment deregulation is seen as outrageous .When the ultra rich benefit from tax breaks ,and then to add insult to injury use tax havens to avoid there responsibility to society we all live in .The duty of any goverment is to ensure its citizens are treated fairly .Its obvious this goverment has failed.”

If you can, please attend your nearest protest tomorrow.

Also please write to your MP express in the strongest terms, though politely, your outrage concerning the continuous onslaught of misery and suffering caused by Universal Credit and other benefit cuts and changes on vulnerable members of our society including children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

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

Tories Out: Help Stop Universal Credit

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government 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 shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Hubert H. Humphrey

With all the Brxit chaos, the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society –  including disabled people and the low paid – seems to be increasingly overlooked. This, one of the greatest social injustices of our time, means an additional 400,000 children in the UK will be pushed into poverty by benefit changes, including the roll-out of Universal Credit

The study found that the freeze on most working-age benefits will see around 7.5 million low income households have their benefit entitlements cut by more than £500 per year in real terms. The limiting of tax credits and universal credit to two children will leave some low income families with £2,500 less in benefits than they otherwise would have received, the report says.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/02/400000-children-pushed-into-poverty-by-benefit-changes-and-universal-credit-roll-out-7049382/?ito=cbshare

Before continuing please take the following actions to end Universal Credit

Petitions

Two petitions from 38degrees

Abolish Universal Credit
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/abolish-universal-credit

Pause the rollout of Universal Credit
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/universal-credit-pause

Petition from the Labour party
Theresa May: pause and fix Universal Credit now
https://donation.labour.org.uk/page/s/universal-credit

More suggested actions further down

The reality of Universal Credit (UC) as a mother of two is unable to pay her rent, forced to use a food bank, choose between gas and electricty and take out a £900 debt as a result of delays in payment

Mum-of-two reveals Universal Credit delays forced her to choose between gas and electricity while relying on foodbanks to feed children
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-two-reveals-universal-credit-11453141

Even severely disabled people are not exempt, in fact one of the policy’s most shameful parts is barely being noticed: the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people. Philip, mentioned in the article below, who has multiple disabilities is losing £40 per week after changing to UC. He cannot afford to eat properly and skips meals which is affecting is health. He now has rent arrears of over £450.

This article shows the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people.

Universal credit’s hidden cut pushes disabled people into poverty
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/31/universal-credit-pushing-disabled-people-into-poverty

Note the following from the article above:
“Up to half a million disabled people like Philip and their families will be financially worse off under universal credit, according to disability charities, through the removal of the disability premiums, as well as cuts to child disability payments, which could affect 100,000 children at an annual loss of £1,000. Ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and it states that the support given by SDP is now provided through personal independence payments, (Pip) and social care from local councils, and that “transitional protection” will be available when disabled people are moved from ESA on to universal credit in 2019. But press further, and it turns out that cash-strapped local authorities have no obligation to provide support. And there is no help for disabled people like Philip who are transferred early.”

Concerning the treatment of disabled people a UN inquiry has said that the tories have created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK. The UN report has stated that the UK government have committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights . 

For more detail please read the following from The Canary

“Here are some of the main criticisms :

  • The UK government has forced through reforms with no regard for the rights of disabled people.

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “processed rather than listened to or understood” disabled people during Work Capability Assessments (WCA).

  • The WCA gave disabled people significant “anxiety” and “financial, material and psychological hardship”.

  • The Conservatives had introduced reforms that had evidently caused “high levels of stress, anxiety and depression”.

    The UNCRPD was also critical of the Conservatives’:

  • Cuts to Legal Aid.
  • Failures to monitor how reforms were affecting disabled people.
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012; specifically that it broke set international conventions on disabled people’s rights.
  • WCA not recognising the complexity of disabled people’s conditions.

No independence

The report also specifically noted that the UK government had violated rights due to:

  • The Bedroom Tax.

  • Changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

  • Cuts to social care.

  • The abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

  • Caps on benefits.

Be sure to read the full details concerning the UN’s damning indictment of the UK’s treatment of sick and disabled people:

BREAKING: The UN has just accused the Tories of creating a ‘human catastrophe’ in the UK
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/08/24/breaking-un-just-accused-tories-creating-human-catastrophe-uk/

Read about the controversial roll out of universal credit which with its seven weeks wait for payment of benefits  – sometimes 60 days if there are delays –  has left people unable to pay their rent, needing to resort to food banks and eventually getting into debt resulting in poverty and distress.

Severely disabled people will lose as much as £78.35 per week.

When faced with some difficult questions, this Tory minister’s silence over the DWP was deafening [VIDEO]

‘Deeply flawed’

But Paula Peters from DPAC does not think UC is “working”, as the DWP says it is. She told The Canary:

UC will cause extreme poverty and distress for millions of claimants. Conditionality under UC will be the order of the day. And if claimants are unable to meet the stringent demands under the Claimant Commitment they will be sanctioned.

Under UC disabled people will find they will miss out on transition protection, and in many cases treated as a new claim. This means that severely disabled people stand to lose £78.35 per week, as UC has no severe disability or enhanced disability premium. This will plunge disabled people further into poverty. Research has already shown that the additional cost of being disabled is £500 a month, and with the removal of social security payments disabled people are unable to meet these costs.

But calling for UC to be paused does not go far enough. This system is deeply flawed and will cause, and is causing, mass distress and harm. It needs to be scrapped.

Read More:

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/10/07/faced-difficult-questions-tory-ministers-silence-dwp-deafening-video/

Below is an important damning quote from Thersea Degener chair Of UN committee on the rights of people with disabilities not reported by the media

Here are more real life accounts of the devastating affects of the Tories welfare reforms

Mum and new baby face Christmas eviction after WCA ‘nightmare

“A disabled woman with a new baby is set to be evicted a fortnight before Christmas because the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her benefits when she failed to attend a “fitness for work” test she had not been told about.”

“The mother-of-two said last night (Wednesday) that she felt as though she had been living through a “nightmare”.

She had previously had seven miscarriages, before giving birth through IVF to her first son Harrison, who is now three, and Edward, who was conceived naturally.

She said the ordeal DWP had put her through felt like “someone is standing on your head and pushing you under water”.

She said: “I feel numb by the whole ease with which they can destroy somebody.

“I know that some people have committed suicide [in situations like this]and I can totally see how something like that can happen. The system is so cruel.”

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/mum-and-new-baby-face-christmas-eviction-after-wca-nightmare/

‘Selling everything’ because of universal credit

Holly Sargent first applied for universal credit eight months ago.

But administrative problems and her vulnerable mental health means 10 applications later she has still not received the benefit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41590794/selling-everything-because-of-universal-credit

One poor women is expected to live on just one penny per month as a result of a UC Sanction, impossible of course.

Distraught pregnant woman must survive on 1p a month due to Universal Credit sanction
http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/19/distraught-pregnant-woman-must-survive-on-1p-a-month-due-to-universal-credit-sanction-7011899/?ito=cbshare

From top graduate to fleeing a bedsit – how Universal Credit nearly destroyed me

I waited months for Universal Credit. Then my landlord kicked me out and I was forced to move in with a man I didn’t know.

“Where are you living right now?”

“I’m just staying on his floor for now. It’s a bit dodgy because I have to leg it every Friday when the landlord’s son comes to collect the rent – he can’t know I’m living here.”

“You’d definitely be a priority for a place in refuge. How soon can you get here?”

I blinked. Some faceless person on the other end of a phone wanted to help me. I pushed down the flicker of hope that had ignited within me. There was probably a catch. I couldn’t trust that I might finally be free.

“If you text me when you arrive at the station, I’ll come and pick you up. I’ll text you my number now. See you soon.”

As promised the text came through. I sprang to life. Throwing the few belongings I had left into a suitcase, I began a journey that took me across London, to one of its outer suburbs. As promised, there was a car waiting. I was driven to a large, spacious house with a garden.

The case worker showed me to my room, gave me a bag of toiletries, then went back down the stairs. Once I was alone, I sank to the floor, completely numb. It was over. Being homeless, getting abused, was over.

But I was left with a question: how could this happen? How could Universal Credit change someone’s life so disastrously?

Continue reading

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/11/top-graduate-fleeing-bedsit-how-universal-credit-nearly-destroyed-me

Regarding the opening quotation concerning the moral test of a government. It is obvious that the government have not passed such a moral test and never will. It is only Labour who have in the past fought for social justice regarding those who are vulnerable in our society. Why people continue to vote for the policies of injustice I can never understand as no one knows if they or those they care about will need benefits in the future.

Take Action

– Support DPAC and Black Triangle, campaigning for disabled people’s rights.

As always you can contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

Anger as ‘quarter of Universal Credit recipients in Leeds hit with sanctions’

A quarter of single unemployed people in the city have faced sanctions in the first year

Read more at:
http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/anger-as-quarter-of-universal-credit-recipients-in-leeds-hit-with-sanctions-1-8835579

Department for Work and Pensions refuses to disclose Universal Credit reports

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/department-work-pensions-refuses-disclose-universal-credit-reports/

 

Tories Out: Protest the Tory Conference

The world is now ever more turbulent and it is increasingly more difficult to know where to begin to protest the onslaught as equality, social justice, decency, compassion fight against a seething mass of bigotry, social injustice, racism, right wing subjugation of the poor, increased abuse of animals, war … well the list is just so long. The headlines, as biased to the right as they are here in the UK, mostly seem more interested in Sport, the new opiate of the people,  than much else. Seemingly sport is more important  than the misery mostly inflicted by the right wing and those of right wing mentality – the other night a sports segment on the BBC came before any mention of the fiasco in North Korea where two psychopaths who hold so much power rattle their sabres with the resulting possibility of  leading us to the brink of nuclear war.

Undercover of all this the Tories continue their agenda with increasingly more austerity as if the disaster of Grenville Tower, the result of austerity, greed and neglect had never happened.

Right wing political ideology, particularly in its extremes as is the case today, will never bring about social justice, a fair world and a just society, it therefore must be eliminated permanently.

The world it seems is becoming more right wing, more fascist, racist and intolerant and the struggle to procure a decent existence for us all more of a challenge. I am shocked by the displays of open racism in the USA, the violence, hate, bigotry and intolerance.   What an appalling display of hate in Charlottesville as an ugly crowd of vile racist thugs, emboldened by the bigoted rhetoric of Trump’s extreme right wing agenda, wreaked mayhem. Such has no place in the modern world, it is sickening to every decent person.

We need to bring about change in the world urgently including here in the UK. We need to stop the spread of the right wing chaos that is making the lives of millions a living nightmare.

We have to keep speaking out against the rise in right wing agendas which are changing our world, taking it back to a time we once thought had passed into history.

Here the Tories systematic destruction of our social progress seems to go unnoticed lately.

Take Action –  Join a protest in Manchester. 

If you live in or can get to Manchester here is an opportunity to voice your protest.

Please Join a protest organised by The Peoples Assembly

“TAKE BACK MANCHESTER FESTIVAL 2017 – #TORIESOUT

Saturday 30 September – Wednesday 4 October – Protest the Tory Party Conference

Join us this autumn in Manchester for a huge political and cultural festival to coincide with the Tory Party conference.”

You can find more details about the protest here:
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/manchester2

Please read the following from the People’s Assembly’s Facebook Page

“NO MORE AUSTERITY | SCRAP THE PAY CAP | TORIES OUT
FOR DECENT HEALTH, HOMES, JOBS & EDUCATION

The People’s Assembly will be holding a week of protest, demonstrations, cultural events, rallies, comedy, music and public meetings all across Manchester while the Conservative Party hold their conference there.

The week of action will include a national demonstraiton on the day the Conservative Party Conference opens:

National Demonstration, Sunday 1 October
Assemble 12pm, Castlefield Arena Rice Street, Manchester M3 4JR

The election result has left Theresa May and the Conservative Party with a weak, unstable Government and represents a rejection of their vicious policies that only benefit those at the top.

The week of action will demonstrate the huge opposition to the politics of austerity, racism and war and demand an alternative that works for everyone. Full timetable avaliable soon – accomodation & transport will be avaliable.

We are compiling the timetable of events for the week. Keep checking our website for details. If you are part of an organisation, band, performer or speaker who would like to take part in the week, please email us.”

www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

You can access this and other information here:
https://www.facebook.com/ThePeoplesAssembly/

This is great opportunity to speak out please consider taking part.

Please share information about this event widely.

If you need some encouragement here are some reminders of the Tories huge contribution to the misery of life for the majority of us.

List of Tory policies we need to get rid of along with the Tories

Austerity which transferred wealth from the majority, including the poorest made increasingly more poor, to the already fabulously wealthy.
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/are-people-finally-waking-up-to-fact.html

The more severe cuts were to families with children

As always, poor and vulnerable women bear the brunt of austerity
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/16/women-austerity-poor-vulnerable-gender-inequality

The severest cuts are to already poor families with children
https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10447/ifs-report-almost-1-3-children-be-poverty-2022-due-uk-austerity-push

Which resulted in:

Massive increase in child poverty by 400,000 since 2010 and still rising WITH WORSE YET TO COME

David Cameron’s legacy is soaring child poverty – with worse to come:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/10/child-poverty-david-cameron-austerity

And an increase in the use of food banks which continue to rise to name just some of the more serious consequences of austerity for the many for the advantage of the few.

Cuts to the NHS
“Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed £20 billion off the NHS budget. Their current spending plans involve a further £22 billion in funding cuts between 2015 and 2020.”
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/why-you-need-to-speak-to-someone-who.html

Cuts to benefits and services to disabled people so extreme that it has brought condemnation from the united nations

The systematic Tory abuse of disabled people
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/the-systematic-tory-abuse-of-disabled.html

Cuts to fire and police services Tories have reduced police jobs by 34,000 with the result of an astonishing rise in the crime rate with more cuts on the way. A similar situation exist concerning fire fighters with 10,000 job cuts , again with more cuts planned by 2020.

Cuts to education Continued cuts to education are planned.

The education system is broken says one teacher:

I’ve been a teacher for five years, but cuts are making me say goodbye to education:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/cuts-to-education-teachers-bbc-food-banks-public-money-austerity-driving-phones-a7857846.html

Education cuts forced back in Hackney
http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25886

Also keep in mind the huge increase in student tuition fees of £9.000, 2/3 of students will never be able to repay their debts

Well the list is long.

The above are highlights of the damaging Tory policies which affect the vast majority of us and which are the more familiar.

Here is a detailed list of thirty damaging Tory policies which includes some of the above links and from which much of the information above was scoured.

30 things you should know about the Tory record
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/30-things-you-should-know-about-tory.html

For a thorough run down of the detrimental policies of the Tory government the above article and its links are highly recommended

We must do all we can short of violence to rid ourselves of this blight to humanity (namely RIGHT WING POLITICS) the other species with whom we share this world and the plant itself if we are to ever have a decent existence which values the right to life, and a good quality of life, for every being that exists. Ousting the Tories and replacing with a real socialist Jeremy Corbyn is a good way to start.

 

Trump: Cuts to Food Stamps and the Detriment of Right Wing Politics

President Trump wants Congress to drastically cut federal support for food assistance to the poorest Americans by some 25 percent over the next decade. An astonishing 43 million of the US’s poor people rely on America’s Food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP. Most recipients live in households with children (about 72%) and more than a quarter live in households with seniors or people with disabilities.

To make matters even worse Trump in a really devious ploy proposes to penalise (charge) retailers who accept food stamps.

Please sign and share the petition below which now needs only another 500 signatures

“Once again our country’s most vulnerable citizens are the target of President Trump’s brutal cuts. This time the it is the 43 million Americans that rely on the SNAP program – formerly known as the US Food Stamp Program – that could be hit hard. The Trump administration is proposing $191 billion dollar in cuts to the program over the next 10 years but what’s more he now wants to charge – read penalize– retailers for accepting the food stamps that often serve as a temporary lifeline for America’s poor. 

The proposed fee to SNAP participating retailers could encourage independent and smaller grocers to leave to program. This means that there would be fewer retailers available to SNAP participants, many of whom already live in food deserts. For example, the National Association of Travel Plazas and Truckstops has come out against the president’s plan because, while most city dwellers view truckstops as a place to grab a quick snack, for many of the rural poor it is the only place to shop and get sustenance. “

Please continue reading and sign the petition

Congress: Don’t Let Trump Stamp Out Benefits for Food Stamp Recipients

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/880/854/517/

Millions of people like Reginald Porter-Bey will suffer as a result of this gravely unjust proposal:

“Reginald Porter-Bey, 59, who used to work as a printer at the Pentagon, started using food stamps a decade ago when he was homeless and jobless. “They’re very important to get through the month. You’ve got to know how to find bargains.”

Porter-Bey, who has five children, added: “It would have a hell of an impact. That’s taking food out of my mouth and other people’s mouths who’ve got kids. That’s not fair. People voted for Trump and he slapped them in the face. There are people in West Virginia who are poor just like here. He doesn’t care because he’s all right.”

Read more stories of people who reply on food stamps to survive:

Food stamps: a lifeline for America’s poor that Trump wants to cut

Residents of the Congress Heights section of Washington DC tell of the devastating impact the president’s plan to cut food stamps would have on their families:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/28/food-stamps-lifeline-trump-america

Note the following in the article

“Conservative media outlets such as Fox News have previously referred to food stamp users as “moochers”, “parasites” and “takers” instead of “makers”. Last week Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney said: “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work.”

But according to the government’s own figures, most families on Snap – 55% of them – do have a family member working. The issue is that they do not make enough money to feed their families. “This budget is not an evidence-based exercise in policy-making. It’s oriented at cutting government spending in order to lavish tax cuts on the wealthy,” said Dean.”

If you live in the UK the above rhetoric is very similar to comments made by the media here and implied by the Tory government referring to benefit claimants – including sick and disabled people and people who simply cannot get jobs because there are few jobs available too them – as scroungers fraudsters , parasites, skivers, work-shy, lazy, stupid, feckless with terms such as”handout” “something for nothing” .  Note also like the UK many of the people who claim SNAP are working people whose wages are too low to support them sufficiently even to put food on the table. Yet another similarity is that cuts to Snap and other benefits are made in order to cut taxes to the rich.

I cannot understand the mentality or the purpose of these constant attacks on the poor though of course the language of “scrounging” “parasites”and so on is meant to poison people’s attitudes to benefit claimants. Whether here or in the USA such treatment of vulnerable people is deeply unjust, grossly immoral and not worthy of any country that wishes to be considered civilised. To deny people enough food to nourish them when enough food is available is surely a violation of a basic human right. To go hungry even die while food stores are overflowing with an abundance of food is a great social injustice and frankly a crime against humanity. The US is a rich country, it is shameful that a government of millionaires led by a fabulously wealthy president sees fit to attack the most vulnerable of its citizens while giving tax breaks to the rich.

Both here and in the USA it seems that poor people are under constant threat of cuts to their meagre incomes by the right wing governments that for reasons beyond my comprehension millions of working class people continue to vote for. Here in the UK once again the electorate which comprises mostly working class people (60% of Britons regard themselves as working class) return a right wing government to five more years of power, five more years of austerity: cuts to benefits for sick and disabled people, including the removal of mobility vehicles, cuts to the NHS , to schools and recently voting for a one percent pay rise cap for firefighters, nurses and other pubic sector workers, to name but a few of the austerity measures implemented by the present government. And we must never forget the latest casualty of austerity the Grenfell fire where well over 80 people lost their lives    – though the final toll could be far higher – as result of cut backs and profits before people. I can well envision that if the Tories, propped up by the equally extreme DUP, continue their term in government for the full five years we will see an end to the NHS and universal free health care.

I fear for our future and for future generations, the other species with whom we share this earth and the very earth itself. I can well imagine a world where the vast majority will have no or little food, shelter and the basics of existence while the tiny minority will live surrounded by obscene wealth supported by the labour of those who will barely have enough to subsist on. Furthermore as a result of automation there will simply be millions thrown on the scrap heap, their services not required eking out a living from a dying planet destroyed by the insatiable greed of the one percent – seemingly aided and abetted by the very people whose lives are detrimentally affected by the right wing polices of greed, inequality and social injustice which the electorate seems so keen to support.

Related Links

Behold the full horror of Donald Trump’s 25 percent food stamps cut

President Donald Trump wants Congress to slash federal support for food assistance to the poorest Americans by some 25 percent over the next decade, the White House budget unveiled Tuesday shows.

Such a deep cut could be backbreaking for the more than 40 million Americans — many of them children — who qualify for the nation’s premier anti-hunger program.

Please read more:
Austerity’s violence, aimed at hollow stomachs
https://thinkprogress.org/trump-budget-food-stamp-cut-7c612489fe9e

Trumps cuts to food stamps is not the only austerity measures which will effect poor people.

Trump’s budget: major slashes to social programs – but $1.6bn for the wall

Millions of people stand to lose Medicaid access, alongside cuts to welfare and food stamps, under a proposed budget that still has numerous hurdles to jump

Donald Trump will embrace hardline rightwing economics on Tuesday with a budget that proposes severe cuts to social safety net programmes while allocating $1.6bn to a border wall.

Read about the history behind SNAP. Again similar to the UK the US is proposing to take a step back in time and undo all its social progress concerning welfare which again like the UK requires improvement rather than reducing its effectiveness, I can well imagine that both here and in the US such welfare programmes will eventually be dismantled after years of gradual cuts.

Donald Trump’s Budget Cuts Would Leave Many Americans Hungry

Their bellies were swollen and their fragile limbs covered with sores that would not heal. Clothed in rags, these children of the Mississippi Delta huddled in crumbling shacks with empty iceboxes, not a morsel of food to be found.

It was a level of human suffering and despair that brought a New York Senator to tears. Walking, stunned, from one hovel to the next, Senator Robert F. Kennedy saw conditions that rivaled what he’d seen in third-world countries.

It was 1967. Kennedy had headed south in response to a report by civil rights attorney Marian Wright that detailed levels of childhood hunger unconscionable in the richest nation on earth. What he saw there helped galvanize a nationwide response.

Please continue reading:
http://time.com/4838245/trump-health-care-congress-food-stamps/  

Since Trump has been in office he has inflicted the most  brutal cuts on the working poor  “The Senate health care bill he seeks to pass targets the sick, elderly, disabled and impoverished with breathtaking precision. His proposed budget threatens not just SNAP but heating aid, legal services, student loans and mental health care for those most in need. And, while that budget cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from policies to empower the working class, his tax plan would give even more than that to the very richest among us.”

 

 

UN Inquiry into Human Rights Violations Against Disabled People

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

This news has been around for a few days and somehow I missed it. I cannot however let this great news go without mention.

I am pleased to learn that the United Nations is carrying out an  inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of  the human rights of disabled people by the Tory government here in the UK? Though I knew that the UN were undertaking an inquiry into the UK’s human rights violations in this regard I did not know that it had finally been confirmed.  According to a
spokesperson from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) the UN inquiry “will examine the vicious and punitive attacks on disabled people’s independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths.”

From Disability news Service

Confirmed! UN is investigating UK’s ‘grave violations’ of disabled people’s rights

“The United Nations is carrying out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights by the UK government, Disability News Service (DNS) can finally confirm.

DNS revealed last August that the UK appeared to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).”

Continue Reading:
http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/confirmed-un-is-investigating-uks-grave-violations-of-disabled-peoples-rights/

In the meantime keep campaigning, writing letters and signing petitions such as the one below:

“Leaving people with no means of feeding themselves, keeping warm and keeping essential electrical appliances working is unconscionable and has no place in a civilised and rich society such as Great Britain.”

Too many people have die and suffered. Act now and Implement these Select Committees recommendations.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-implement-the-recommendations-of-the-benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review

It is claimed that the government ignores petitions, whether of not this is true it is still a good idea to sign and voice your opinion, it shows the level of public feeling regardless as to whether or not the government decide to ignore petitions or letters or any other form of protest.

The treatment of sick and disabled people, and the unemployed and low paid for that matter, here in the UK during this and the previous Tory government, aided and abetted by the Lib/Dems, is shocking and now that they have the majority is getting ever more abusive and punitive.

“Many disabled people are facing a multitude of attacks on their human rights and living standards. It is rarely just one or two issues per person. This is the crucial point in the current retrogression of the human rights of disabled people – attacks are being carried out in every area of our lives.”

“There has been a massive rise in the numbers of disabled people being sanctioned and left reliant on food banks, and the increasing levels of malnutrition people are suffering due to increased poverty,”
DPAC spokeswoman quoted in Herald Scotland

Along with unfair assessments, cuts and sanctions is the Nazi style campaign to vilify benefit claimants labelling them “scroungers “and “Skivers”. This is outrageous and unethical treatment that has to stop now, such treatment of the most vulnerable in our society has no place in the UK, one of the richest nations in the world. Shame on Cameron and IDS who have violated the human rights of sick and disabled people causing deaths and unimaginable misery. I hope now that finally they will get their comeuppance and that the main instigators Cameron and IDS and all those who enthusiastically supported them will finally be recognised for the evil and vile people that they are and that this grave injustice will end once and for all.

Thanks to the grassroots campaigning organisation DPAC who have tirelessly petitioned the UN to launch an inquiry when charities for the disabled and the Labour party have done so little.

Read more information about the inquiry

So DPAC triggered the UNCRPD inquiry but what does it really mean?http://dpac.uk.net/2015/09/so-dpac-triggered-the-uncrpd-inquiry-but-what-does-it-really-mean/

Maybe just the news alone that the UK government is under investigation by the UN will raise public awareness regarding the violation of human rights concerning people with disabilities.

Other hope comes in the form of Jeremy Corbyn who says Labour would now oppose all the Tories welfare changes, including the benefit cap

Opposition to welfare cuts

“Labour will oppose the Welfare Bill in full. We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing,” 

“We will bring the welfare bill down by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and socially cleansing our communities.”

http://www.aol.co.uk/news/2015/09/15/jeremy-corbyn-slams-poverty-denier-david-cameron-in-blast-at-free-market/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D383187

Below are links to articles and personal accounts of the reality of how Tory benefits cuts have affected the most vulnerable in our society. Ignored for the most part by mainstream media these stories need telling again and again and should not be allowed to fade into obscurity. The fact that 25 percent of people who are entitled to vote voted Tory either means that 25 percent of our fellow citizens don’t give a dam about the shocking treatment of people who are unfortunate to a have to depend on benefits, including disabled and sick people, or they are ignorant of what is happening. A third possibility of course is that those who voted Tory believed all the anti benefit propaganda spewed out by biased right-wing media.

Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show

“Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work, according to new data that has prompted campaigners and Labour leadership contenders to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare regime.”

“…7,200 claimants had died after being awarded ESA and being placed in the separate work-related activity group – a category which identifies claimants who are unfit to work but may be able to return to work in the future.”

Read more:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014

Updated tragic list of welfare-related deaths of UK’s sick and/or disabled people. This is the tip on the iceberg:

They shall be remembered forevermore.

Read the entire list, more people have died since the list was last updated and there is no doubt that more people have died who have not been included on the list. This is only the tip of the iceberg!
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/

Personal accounts

Chronically-ill dad kills himself with electric saw after fearing his sickness benefits would be changed again

Glenn Harris, who couldn’t work because of lupus and auto-immune disease, was “profoundly worried” about having to go through the reassessment procedure

“A chronically ill dad of two committed suicide with an electric saw because he was scared his benefits would be changed again, an inquest heard.”

Read More:
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/chronically-ill-dad-kills-himself-with-electric-saw-after-fearing-his-sickness-benefits-would-be-changed-again/

Confessions of a Pariah

“My personal story is just one of millions, millions of stories of no real significance to anyone in power but of very real significance and worth in human terms. What the government is doing is not saving the country from austerity but smashing the lives of millions. Disabled, vulnerable and poor people are being portrayed as feckless workshy scroungers, social pariahs who need teaching a lesson. It is an ideological Conservative dismantling of the welfare state, destruction of the health service, marketising social housing and higher education that is hurling this country back into an economically and socially divided nation.”

Read More:
https://apootler.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/confessions-of-a-pariah/

Shocking Benefits Story Exposes Britain’s ‘Barbaric’ Welfare System

“I became badly psychologically ill a few years ago at 17, diagnosed with major depression and general anxiety disorder which developed further into physical conditions and eventually made life impossible to function most days.”

Read More:
http://www.welfareweekly.com/shocking-benefits-story-exposes-britains-barbaric-welfare-system/

People with mental illnesses have seen their already difficult lives deteriorate as a result of welfare reforms.

Sanctioned Jobseekers With Mental Health Problems Are Not ‘Vulnerable’, Says DWP

“Requests for hardship payments may be made by people who say they have a mental condition. A person will only be a member of a vulnerable group if the condition causes limitation in functional capacity because of a physical impairment.”

It continues: “It is extremely rare for a mental condition to produce a physical impairment that limits or restricts functional capacity but it can happen.”

http://www.welfareweekly.com/sanctioned-jobseekers-with-mental-health-problems-are-not-vulnerable-says-dwp/ – please be sure to read the above in full. To comment fully on the outrageous claim that mental illness does not limit functional capacity and vulnerability would need a separate entry. Mental health conditions to name but two of the most obvious and most common, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD, can incapacitate sufferers in such a way that they can no longer leave their home, sometimes not even one room. Sufferers of conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be even more severely affected. Indeed mental illness can be physically incapacitating in the extreme, such as a person with depression may become catatonic. Even if this was the case people still have to feed themselves, keep warm, pay their rent and so on. Mental illness is a profoundly disabling condition which can prevent a person from functioning in any capacity whatsoever. How the hell can you work if you cannot get out of bed incapacitated by depression or you cannot leave your home as a result of agoraphobia?In fact in some way those with a mental health condition may be more vulnerable because it is far less easy to fight for your rights when your mind is in turmoil as a result of delusional thinking and or anxious fearful thoughts, when thought processes are numbed by depression or you are stuck in the turmoil of compulsive behaviours incapacitated by fear and dread.  A sufferer of a mental illness often finds it difficult to communicate either by talking or writing, a phone call can be a monumental ordeal of stress and anxiety. Few understand the effect of mental illness on the entire life of a person who suffers in this way and how added stress can exacerbate symptoms. Publilius Syrus once said that “pain of the mind is worse than pain of the body” and in many ways this may be so, it most certainly can in some cases be just as incapacitating though in a less obvious way than a Physical  disability.

Disabled and sick benefit claimants are not alone in their suffering as low wage earners are now much worse off since Osborne’s Budget.

Minimum-wage families would be £2,038 a year richer if George Osborne’s Budget had never happened

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/work-capability-assessment.html#.VWw_0KDqYo4.wordpress

Well I could go on, there are so many sad tragic stories so much suffering and despair. I doubt if anyone has read all the above. There are many stories as their are injustices as the Tory government carry on with their destruction of our welfare state and if no one stands up to them things will continue to get worse and more lives will be ruined and more people will die. This is not the society we want for ourselves, for our children or future generations.

Join a Demonstration at the Tory Party Conference

18995445068_b2507802a6_z

Graphic: Absolute Austerity by Flickr user Byantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/18995445068/in/dateposted/

Take Action

Please join a week of protest organised by the Peoples Assembly.

“We’ll be hosting a week of National protests at the Tory party conference. More details will be coming soon, keep an eye on this page.”

http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/demonstrate_at_tory_party_conference

Please attend if you can.

Lets make this protest count and make Cameron take notice.

During the recent protest by disabled people against the closure of the Independent living fund (ILF), David Cameron reiterated that he would not bow to pressure from the street and would go ahead with the new wave of social cuts. The reporting of this protest was censored by Commons officials who banned all broadcasters from filming:
http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/06/parliamentary-officials-tried-to-gag-media-from-reporting-on-disability-protest/

This outrage towards seriously disabled people was reported worldwide, for example:

Disabled rage against Cameron in Parliament:
http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2015/06/24/558aeb36e2704e4e1e8b4583.html  – you will need to use Google translator or similar. Be sure to watch the video which shows the outrageous treatment by the police of disabled people.

The closure of the ILF is but one of the many cuts to benefits and services by the Tory government aimed at sick and disabled people.

There are many many more ongoing and proposed outrages perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our society. If you are in any doubt please read the following which accurately describes the shocking treatment of people who are unfortunate to need to claim benefits as a result of illness, disability, low wages and unemployment:
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/striving-to-bring-the-bastards-down/

Check out the unbelievable proposals for the mentally ill:
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/dwp-hires-miracle-lifestyle-guru-who-claims-95-success-rate-in-curing-mental-health-conditions/

Of course it is not only people on benefits who have been effected by Tory cuts

The majority of the UK population has suffered from a fall in their living standards during the current government’s term of office concludes an analysis of the latest data of official government data released to the European Statistical office.
http://www.poverty.ac.uk/editorial/uk-living-standards-pse-election-briefing

Do read carefully the information in the link above, it may shock you to release that almost half of people in the UK cannot afford an unexpected expense and 39 percent cannot afford one weeks holiday from home. This report does not mention the fact that many people in certain jobs cannot afford to take the full allocation of holiday entitlement or as a result of zero hour contracts are not entitled to holidays, this is often the case now for many people in poorly paid jobs who cannot depend on a regular income, a taxi driver for example. Indeed we have all been in it together except the very rich who have found that their income has increased.

There are just so many reasons why this government should not be in power and those of us who are affected – most everyone except the very rich – know only too well exactly what these reasons are. My objection to the Tories in addition to my opposition to right-wing politics in general is their treatment of sick and disabled people and other benefit claimants, low wages, zero hours and the privatisation of the NHS. In fact I am strongly opposed to privatisation in general which is a lot more widespread than people think. Concerning wages: please don’t be duped by the ” living wage” nonsense recently promised in the budget. Besides the fact that £ 7.20 is hardly a living wage – it is lower than the voluntary living wage of £7.50 which already exists – it is cancelled out by benefit cuts  and is in essence a rebrand of the minimum wage which is £6.50. Shadow chancellor, Chris Leslie, has said: “This minimum wage increase is just a rebrand of the minimum wage – trying to call it something different. It doesn’t actually compensate in any way for this massive take away from tax credits. The changes amount to a work penalty that he has introduced into the tax credit system. It hit very, very hard.”

“Charities said that for many families the impact of the national living wage would be swamped by the changes to tax credits and housing benefit, warning that there would be a rise in poverty and inequality over the coming years.”
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/08/george-osborne-budget-minimum-wage-rise-12bn-welfare-cuts

Also consider:

“Young people will be the hardest hit by the changes as the under-25s will not benefit from the new National Living wage, will lose housing benefits and will see student grants scrapped.”
http://news.sky.com/story/1515280/pay-rise-for-uk-with-national-living-wage

I have to question why the under twenty-fives do not get the right to a living wage. I know that in the past between the ages of 16 to 18 wages may have been slightly lower but twenty-five is ridiculous as by this age many people have the responsibilities of a family or the need to buy their own home, after eighteen you are an adult and should be paid the wage of an adult. Besides surely regardless of age if you are doing the same work as everyone else you should be paid the same wage, it is as simple as that!

Also it is important to note that by 2020 the £9 eventually promised will be worth one hell of a lot less and most certainly won’t be living wage. I would like to see these greedy MPs living on a wage of £7.20 an hour! Another huge rise of 10 percent is in the pipeline for MPs while for public sector workers wages are frozen at 1 percent for four years!

Note the reality as posted by on-line commentator:

£7.20 per hour in 2016, based on the Government’s 30 hour week example results in £216 per week, or £916 per calendar month, £11,232 per annum; stand up the MP who can live on that considering MPs are in line for a £7,000 pay rise taking their salaries to £74,000 with expenses of Conservative and Labour averaging between £30,000 and £40,000 per annum!
http://www.channel4.com/news/national-living-wage-will-it-be-enough-to-live-on

Even calculating the usual 40 hour week £7.20 provides a wage of only £288 per week, not really a living wage is it, not with energy bills of  £1,265 per year, council Tax of around or just over £1.000 per annum at the cheapest – council tax of course depends on where you live and the type of property you live in. Rent is another huge expenditure and again varies according to location. In London the average rent is £1,500 per annum.:
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jun/15/london-rents-homelet-survey-housing-crisis

Whatever your grievance against the Tory’s in October there is an excellent opportunity to make your voice heard at this year’s Tory conference in Manchester. If you can attend please do so, the more of us who show our outrage the less Cameron can ignore us.

Keep in mind that only about 25 percent of the voting population voted Tory, they do not have a majority.

I will never understand why even that number of people voted Tory. Was it promises of a better future, did people really believe the economy was improving and that even if it did it would make a difference to their lives for the better. Was it about immigration, the EU vote. Here is why some people voted conservative as reported in the Independent:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/one-reddit-user-asks-why-did-you-vote-tory-10238486.html

According to the above the economy and how good their candidate was with local issues seems to be the main reasons why people voted the way they did. How short-sighted, how selfish, how misguided. What about all the people who desperately need the support of the welfare state, the sick and disabled, unemployed and the low paid who have been driven to poverty by vicious welfare reforms.The 3.5 million children now in poverty not only as a result of benefit reductions including punitive sanctions, but low wages and zero hours.

Here are sixteen reasons why you should not have voted Tory, a pre election article from the Daily Mirror:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/general-election-2015-16-reasons-5647467

Please make your protest by attending the demonstration in October and any other protests before than.

Related Links

Author of the Freedom of Information request into benefit deaths explains the horror of the ‘Work Capability Assessment’
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/author_of_the

While the video doesn’t really show the extent of the way the protesters were treated the comments show the level of feeling against the Tories treatment of disabled people.

Disability protesters storm into parliament
https://www.facebook.com/bbcnews/videos/10152902511957217/

Tim Farron Slams Tories And Labour Over Welfare Cuts (Video)

“We are very clear: we cannot and will not support the Bill. If it did what it said on the tin, there might be much to commend it, but it does not. The Government pledge a living wage that even they know is not one, they want a welfare state that is anything but good for our country’s welfare, and they use the guise of economic necessity to cover up ideologically driven cuts. Tonight, we will vote against the Bill because we know that the depth and character of the proposals are unfair, unwise and inhuman, and anything but economically necessary.

“The truth is, the Government do not have to take £12 billion from the poorest families in the country, mostly working families. They are choosing to do so.

http://www.welfareweekly.com/tim-farron-slams-tories-and-labour-over-welfare-cuts-video/ – well worth reading though of course it has to be said that had the LibDems defended benefit claiments instead of voting for Tory welfare polices some of the more vicious and damaging reforms could not have been implemented

Join Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts

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“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
Nelson Mandela

Please support the following National Day of Protest in Glasgow  – Please consider supporting this protest even if you do not live in Scotland, we need solidarity to end the austerity measures that are having the greatest impact on people who are sick, disabled or unemployed.

ALL SCOTLAND NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST BENEFIT CUTS – please note at the time of publishing, this link did not work. According to this link https://www.facebook.com/blacktriangle11
there have been problems with hacking. The information however appears below and also here:
http://englandevents.co.uk/glasgow-all-scotland-national-day-of-protest-against/280298  Includes a map.

14 June at 12:00 in UTC+01

George Square

Glasgow

If you can possibly do so please attend a protest in Glasgow this coming Sunday. If you can’t or even if you can please share the following:

14th June 2015 George Square Glasgow 12:00

“PLEASE SHARE! ALL SCOTLAND NATIONAL DAY OF PROTESTS AGAINST BENEFIT CUTS 14th June 2015 George Square Glasgow

MASS MOBILISATION CALLED BY BLACK TRIANGLE CAMPAIGN: SCOTLAND SAYS NO TO THE TORY WAR ON OUR POOR OUR SICK AND OUR DISABLED PEOPLE:

WESTMINSTER! HANDS OFF OUR POOREST!

STOP ATTACKING OUR PEOPLE! NO MORE BENEFIT RELATED DEATHS!

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH OUT OF SCOTLAND NOW!

FULL POWERS FOR SCOTLAND NOW!

TIME HAS COME TO UNITE AND FIGHT BACK! UNITY AND SOLIDARITY FOREVER!

https://www.facebook.com/blacktriangle11

‘If Westminster fails to deliver [HOME RULE AND FULL POWERS OVER SOCIAL SECURITY] there will be an UPRISING in Scotland and we entertain do doubts whatsoever that we will be an independent nation within a very short span of time indeed. If you do not give us these powers the Union is finished. Be in no doubt.’

STATEMENT

We reject the UK Government’s unconscionable Welfare Reform Act and policies which are literally killing our people and which are immiserating millions.

As disabled people and citizens of Scotland, we demand nothing less than full autonomy for the Scottish Government over all matters relating to welfare, ownership of our natural resources and national assets, income from taxation and measures to address and eradicate the poverty that blights the lives of nearly one million people in our land.

If Westminster fails to deliver there will be an uprising in Scotland and we entertain do doubts whatsoever that we will be an independent nation within a very short span of time indeed. If you do not give us these powers the Union is finished. Be in no doubt.

We are aware that 10,000 submissions have been made so we will make this brief. These are the reason that we demand full powers over our own affairs. Rocks would melt in the Sun before the catastrophe of UK Welfare ‘Reforms’ would be introduced by Scottish politicians elected by the people of Scotland. This is not the Scottish way. This is the land of Robert Burns.

This is absolutely anathema and barbaric to us.

When Scotland sends 59 Yes party MPs to Westminster in May that will be fighting to repeal the lethal and despicable Welfare Reform Act. It’s now time for all to unite with us and say together: “No More!”

This is an updated tragic list of widely reported welfare-related deaths of the United Kingdom’s sick and/or disabled people. The tip of an iceberg.
We will always fight for freedom from Westminster’s murderous policies and support the struggle of all Britain’s sick and/or disabled people simultaneously, wherever they are from.

Read More:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1634601470097270/

If you are in any doubt there is worse to come please note the following Facebook comment which I have included here for easy access, and also because I don’t know how to directly link to individual comments in Facebook which soon progress down the page quickly as other comments are added and are often missed. After reading this and viewing the video, people in Scotland and the rest of the UK have good reason to be afraid:

“This is a profoundly shocking scene – I need to draw everybody’s attention to (a very poorly) disabled Baroness Jane Campbell’s question to Welfare Minister Lord Freud in the Lords yesterday asking “will disabled people be protected” from further £12 billion life-destroying cuts to be announced by Osborne in July?

His ice-cold, callous response is truly spine-chilling:

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton (CB): My Lords, during the general election campaign the Prime Minister stated his desire to “enhance” and “safeguard” PIP. Will the Minister say how the Government plan to fulfil that election promise to disabled people and reassure them that their payments will be protected in the Chancellor’s up-and-coming Budget?

Lord Freud: We will continue to support the disabled and the vulnerable in months to come.

Baroness Sherlock (Lab): My Lords, maybe I can follow that up a little more. The noble Baroness, Lady Campbell of Surbiton, specifically asked for an assurance of the Prime Minister’s guarantee that he would continue to support disabled people and that their benefits would be protected. Let me give the Minister the opportunity to give that. The Government want to make £12 billion of welfare cuts. Will he say today that none of those will fall on disabled people?

Lord Freud: I repeat what I said: we will continue to support disabled people and the vulnerable through that process.

THE TORIES ARE BEASTS

Either view the Video on the All Scotland Day of Protest facebook page or click the link below and go to 22 minutes into the programme:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05ykxs6/wednesday-in-parliament-10062015
Highlights of Wednesday 10 June in Parliament, presented by Alicia McCarthy.
BBC.CO.UK

He didn’t really answer the question did he, indeed very disturbing.
https://www.facebook.com/blacktriangle11

Read About how frightening it really gets for vulnerable benefit claimants

“It gets to the point where you’re frightened of the thud of the postman coming up your path, “You’re fearful of a brown envelope, in case it’s from the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions]. You’re fearful of a white envelope in case it’s from Atos.”

The worry got so much that once she was admitted to the local psychiatric unit, where staff were warned not even to mention benefits in front of her.
Read More:
David Cameron, a champion of disabled people? Try telling Paula Peters
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/08/cameron-disabled-champion-paula-peters-cuts-most-vulnerable – this is an excellent article showing the damage both physically and psychologically as a result of welfare cuts to the lives of people already blighted by illness and disability.

Benefits recipients ‘living in fear of cuts’, says report

“Welfare reforms are making people live in “constant fear” of cuts to their benefits, according to a report.

The study by Napier University found those on benefits were anxious that changes to their circumstances would push them into “crisis situations”.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-32953253

The following is a detailed rundown of all the benefit cuts this evil government have put in place.Shocking that people voted for more of the same. If you voted Tory you are of course complicit with what amounts to a calculated assault on the most vulnerable in our society. An attack on disabled people much like the beginning of the propaganda that lead to the Nazi’s persecution of the sick and disabled.

‘The Disability Audit: the eight coalition policies that have hit disabled people

“It has made few headlines but two out of five disabled people in this country are now unable to eat, wash, dress or get out of the house due to underfunded services in their area.”

“…a 32 year old who had all his toes amputated after being forced to spend last winter sleeping in a tent. Mitchell Keenan, from Skelmersdale, in West Lancashire, was evicted from his four-bed house because the bedroom tax meant his family could no longer pay the rent. He was diagnosed with frostbite six weeks ago when his family noticed his toes had turned black. His 62-year-old father, Keith, also evicted, has malnourishment, scabies and dementia.”

Read More:
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2015/04/30/ge15-the-disability-audit-in-the-name-of-love-put-an-end-to-this-vile-pogrom-on-disabled-people-now/ – You just can’t imagine can you someone getting frost bite, living in a tent in the sixth richest country in the world. One of the problems is that to many people it just doesn’t seem real. With the exception of people begging in the street, for some the reality of what is happening in the UK is often not obvious and many people remain oblivious to the misery, fear and desperation behind their neighbour’s closed doors as sick, disabled and the unemployed struggle with slashes in benefits, no benefits at all, rising prices and the threat of homelessness.

Queen’s Speech: For Our Poorest, Our Sick and Our Disabled The Worst is Yet to Come:
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2015/05/29/queens-speech-for-our-poorest-our-sick-and-our-disabled-the-worst-is-yet-to-come/

Please attend the protest in Glasgow and spread the word.