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

Reasons Not to Vote Conservative in the General Elections 2015: The Injustice of Benefit Sanctions

“I am not surprised people want to kill themselves. People are now being given sanctions for the most minor things. They make you feel worthless, I felt unworthy being a student and thought I should be working like other non-disabled students can manage.”
Julia a student with autism

If you can’t read the text, click on the image to view the full size

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Six of many examples of the ludicrous reasons in which people have had what is often their only source of income taken from them for months – and even longer. Sanctions have led to hunger, homelessness and suicides.

The Jobcentre is sanctioning people to maintain targets set within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), not in the majority of cases because of any wrongdoing by the claimant. Benefit sanctions were once almost unheard of.

Read more and access larger sizes

Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16094843129/

One of the most inhumane actions taken by the coalition government is the introduction of punitive benefit sanctions.

Unfair Benefit sanctions have driven people into poverty, destitution, despair and suicide. Benefit sanctions are one of the main reasons people have to resort to food banks. Such treatment of vulnerable people – namely the unemployed claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and sick and disabled people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are consigned to the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – is not worthy of any civilised society, it is not worthy of the UK.  The present government has come under the condemnation of the UN for the present vicious welfare reforms which have left sick and disabled people with a lower or no income. The introduction of ever more punitive sanctions adds further to the misery and suffering that has resulted from the coalitions welfare reforms.

Anyone claiming JSA or are assigned to the WRAG can be sanctioned from anything up to one month to three years!

“In the Northeast alone “At any one moment in time, 30,000 people are being sanctioned …”

Including:

* A Hartlepool woman who broke an appointment because she was “burying her grandfather and had been at his deathbed for week”.

* A Sunderland man who was told “an asthma attack is not a good reason for missing an appointment”.

* A Middlesbrough woman who forgot an interview because it was “the day her father died”.

* A man in Bishop Auckland constituency who was a collecting a sick daughter from school and was accused of inventing a “fictional child”.

Julie Elliott, the Labour MP for Sunderland, said: “For people to be treated in this inhumane way is wrong.””

Read More:
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11708430.print/

Read accounts concerning the detrimental effects of benefit sanctions

Where did we go wrong? Why has starvation, suicide and poverty become the norm? More sanctions.. sanctions kill.

As you know every week we hold a demonstration outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. We believe that the cruel sanctioning and the cruel benefit reforms that are affecting thousands of people up and down the country everyday. Once you start hearing the real stories and the way that they are affecting people in your local community you cant help but feel their pain in some way. Sometimes we cry whilst we are being told of a persons death, sometimes we go home and cry. Today was one of those days. I woke up wanting to change things, but sadly realised that I cant change much apart from peoples minds once they read my blog. I opened my emails and read some stories that have been sent to me, They want their news to be shared but sadly not always their names. You see they feel victimised already and don’t want to be persecuted anymore. Here are a few of their stories. Please read and share.

Continue reading:
https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/where-did-we-go-wrong-why-has-starvation-suicide-and-poverty-become-the-norm-more-sanctions-sanctions-kill/

As incredible as the following may seem one unfortunate person was sanctioned for three months for making a spelling mistake!!!!!!

Sanctioned for making a spelling mistake.

You couldn’t make it up… Well actually it’s become the norm to be sanctioned for making a spelling mistake. A gentleman who spoke to us on our Thursday demo told us that he was put on a three month sanction at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre for making a spelling mistake. He wasn’t given a chance to correct it, or a chance to explain it. He was told very bluntly “we are sanctioning you for spelling this word incorrectly on a form. This will prevent you from getting work so therefore is a sanctionable offence”. This man received a three month sanction for this so called offence. No one bothered to ask him if he was dyslexic or had any other issues which may have prevented him from spelling the word correct. Neither is it a crime to spell a word incorrectly. Indeed we are all human and are prone to making mistakes.

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/sanctioned-for-making-a-spelling-mistake/

Read the 11 most senseless benefit sanctions:
http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-11-most-senseless-benefit-sanction-decisions-known-to-man–x1dmkd2_Me

Worse hit by sanctions and rarely defended are people with mental health conditions many of whom have been unfairly and disproportionately sanctioned.

A Government That Permits The Psychological Torture Of Benefit Claimants Does Not Give A Fuck About Mental Health

This Government do not give a shit about people with mental health conditions, and neither did the last one.  Whilst politicians of all parties offer soundbites and fake sympathy the treatment of people with a mental health condition by the benefits system now amounts to little more than psychological torture.

This is not hyperbole.  Whilst the medical establishment has stood ildly by, and mental health charities have veered between mild disapproval and outright collaboration, the DWP has lanched an all out war on the most marginalised people in society.

Continue reading:
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/a-government-that-permits-the-psychological-torture-of-benefit-claimants-does-not-give-a-fuck-about-mental-health/

Revealed: Inhumane Treatment Of UK’s Disabled & Poor By Department For Work And Pension

The following blog appears to show that, after blogger Jules Clarke contacted his MP, Iain Duncan Smith admitted in writing to the MP that the DWP sanctions people with “learning difficulties or mental health problems.” Both disabled and non-disabled benefits claimants are most at risk of having their rights eroded if they’re on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and especially if they’re coming off the Work Programme.

Read More:
http://www.mintpressnews.com/MyMPN/revealed-inhumane-treatment-uks-disabled-poor-department-work-pension/

Benefit sanctions and absurdity: will public attitudes change

It’s always worth reminding ourselves just how draconian and irrational, not to mention pointless, sadistic, and avoidably counterproductive the benefit sanctions regime can be, not least because, as my colleague Patrick Wintour noted this week:

“The issue is one that all political parties are reluctant to take up, partly because public opinion is thought to be hostile to “benefit scroungers”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2014/oct/24/benefit-sanctions-unfair-consequences-clapson

Is this the kind of Britain in which we want to live where people are hostile towards benefit claimants, the kind of Britain were people are impoverished by unfair benefit reforms including sanctions. Sickening that both of the major political parties consider that the continued persecution of benefit claimants and the imposed drastic decrease in benefit payments as a result of cuts and sanctions are seen as a vote catcher.

Take Action

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

I would like to say that the best action is not to vote Tory which is indeed a necessary action if we are to ever bring about change concerning benefit sanctions and other unfair reforms.  However it is unclear what Labour intend and with the exception of abolishing the bedroom tax it looks increasingly that nothing much will be done to undo the vicious and unfair welfare reforms of the last five years.

We must demand a more fair system that allows those who through no fault of their own as a result of long term sickness, disability or unemployment to receive benefits which provide a decent standard of living. Bullying people to find work that they are too ill to do or to find jobs that simply don’t exist is unacceptable and it has to stop now, but unless more of us speak out nothing much of anything will ever change. The present government and to a lesser extent the previous one have done a thorough job of turning public opinion against benefit claimants, a tactic used in prewar Germany

Here is the latest outrage

David Cameron To Force NEETs To Carry Out 30 Hours Of Community Work A Week ‘From Day One’

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/02/17/cameron-neets-community-work-day-one_n_6696286.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&icid=maing-grid7%7Cukt2%7Cdl9%7Csec3_lnk4%26pLid%3D330421

Related Links

Sanctions and the charity shop.
https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/sanctions-and-the-charity-shop/

Entre staff under pressure to strip claimants of benefits for no good reason, North East MPs claim
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/jobcentre-staff-under-pressure-strip-8401574

Iain Duncan Smith to accelerate benefit reforms to stop Labour reversing them
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11321769/Iain-Duncan-Smith-to-accelerate-benefit-reforms-to-stop-Labour-reversing-them.html

Updated list of deaths due to welfare reforms

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/

 

 

 

Benefit Sanctions Killed David Clapson

Please read the following from the Void:

MAIN--David-Clapson
Sign The Petition For An Inquiry Into The Benefit Sanctions That Killed David Clapson

The family of David Clapson – the former soldier who recently died after his benefits were stopped as punishment for missing a meeting at the Jobcentre – have launched a petition calling for an inquiry into benefit sanctions. In his sister’s own words: “My brother, David Clapson, a diabetic ex-soldier, died starving and destitute because he was penalised by the Job Centre for missing a meeting. “David had his £71.70 weekly allowance stopped meaning that he couldn’t afford food or electricity. He was penniless, starving and alone. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his diabetes insulin chilled was not working. Three weeks after his benefits were stopped he died from diabetic ­ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin. “David wasn’t a “scrounger”. He had worked for 29 years; 5 years in the Army – including two years in Northern Ireland…

Read More 

Please be sure to sign the petitions:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-hold-an-inquiry-into-benefit-sanctions-that-killed-my-brother

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

David’s sister Gill quoted in the Daily Mirror said:

“I don’t care even if they do not admit it as long as they look at it again in the background.” She added: “If my brother had been a murderer he would have been fed and watered with a roof overt his head. “People talk about human rights but where were my brother’s human rights and dignity? “They took away his rights and dignity.”

Please read More:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-slammed-brushing-off-3928427#ixzz3979kDCFq

Facing the possibility of sanctions?

You can get help from Job Seekers Sanction Advice about what to do if you are sanctioned

We’re a small network of 3 disgruntled ex, Department of Work and Pensions civil servants who left the service for a variety of reasons, not least of which was our dissatisfaction with the pressures being placed on staff to achieve what many of us saw as targets, which were designed in our eyes, to punish people financially for the smallest error or indiscretion. Rather than regard that as the end of the matter, our small group decided to actually do something about the reason for their premature departure from the civil service and with their new found freedom launched Job Seeker Sanction Advice.

Read More: Job Seeker Sanction Advice Home Page
http://jobseekersanctionadvice.com/

Please read the following if you have not already done so. This is an excellent article which well sums up the shocking situation today here in the UK when benefit claimants are vilified, labeled as scroungers and skivers, plunged into poverty and destitution, even starvation and death. https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/rip-david-clapson-another-man-helped-to-death-by-iain-duncan-smith

As a result of Tory propaganda against benefit claimants we are a divided society where few speak out either against the treatment of the most vulnerable or the destruction of our welfare system. For make no mistake this is the agenda of the Tory’s and maybe even Labour. These are very worrying times, who would have thought that such a violation of human rights and the mistreatment of sick and disabled people and the unemployed would happen here in the UK and that moreover few would challenge this.

Sadly David is not the only one to die after having had his benefits cut off. Recall the case of a man with Asperger syndrome who died of starvation when his Employment and Support allowance was stopped: https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/man-dies-of-starvation-yet-another-victim-of-the-governments-callous-treatment-of-sick-and-disabled-people/

Also the case of a man who died of kidney failure and starvation in the affluent town of East Grinstead after his benefits had been cut off.
http://uk-condemnation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/man-63-dies-of-kidney-failure.html

These are just three cases among many, among thousands who have suffered death, committed suicide, been plunged into poverty, destitution and misery at a time in their lives when they need help and support as a result of loss of income because of unemployment, sickness or disability. The welfare system needs to change to avoid more tragedies of this nature.

Shocking that anyone in this world of plenty dies of starvation but when it happens in the sixth richest country in the world where food is readily available this social injustice seems more shocking. When shops are filled with an abundance of food, when the rich gorge themselves on the access of decadent living it is shameful that a sick person should die or indeed anyone simply on the whim of a government ruling. Benefit sanctions are unjust and mostly issued unfairly. For missing one appointment with his adviser this person lost his life!

More information

Read the heartbreaking story of David Tovey a seriously ill man who was driven to destitution, homelessness and attempted suicide as a result of government reforms.

The reality of the governments welfare reform:
http://glynismillward189.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/the-reality-of-the-governments-welfare-reform/

In Memory of all Who Have Died as a Result of Government Welfare Reforms:

On 28th September last year a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity took place in London for all who have suffered and or died after ATOS assessments and as a result of the government’s viscous welfare reforms:
https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/in-memory-of-all-of-those-who-have-died-as-a-result-of-government-welfare-reforms/
The suffering continues.

Britain’s Welfare  Reforms have come under the condemnation of the UN

Letter by UN poverty experts including Raquel Rolnik blasts welfare reform:

“… a 22-page letter was sent to Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, criticises George Osborne’s indications that welfare reform will continue until at least 2017. It also criticises the benefits cap and raises concerns about the bedroom tax. The letter says:

‘We would like to bring to your government’s attention information we have received concerning the… impact of reductions in public expenditure, in particular to social security, to an adequate standard of living… and to equality and non-discrimination, especially for people living in poverty.

According to concerned sources, the package of austerity measures enacted could amount to retrogressive measures prohibited under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified in 1974.’

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/letter-by-un-poverty-experts-including-raquel-rolnik-blasts-welfare-reform/7004553.article

 

Welcome the Legalisation of Cannabis – But Don’t Vote Tory

Conservative think-tank Bright Blue has recommended that a pledge for the partial legalisation of cannabis should be included in the Tory’s general election manifesto. The new proposals by Bright Blue suggest that drug reform would appeal to young and ethnic-minority voters, who are crucial to the Conservative Party’s long-term survival, while saving millions of pounds of public money.
Read more
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/29/cannabis-legalisation-uk-tory-bright-blue_n_5232450.html?ir=UK

While I unreservedly welcome the legalisation of cannabis I would never vote Tory to bring it about. This is of course an obvious ploy to win votes from younger people who tend not to vote and is therefore nothing more than devious manipulation of the electorate. This, if included in the manifesto, will in any case be another broken election promise; the Tory’s will never legalise cannabis because it would adversely effect the right-wing conservative vote. Before you vote on a one-policy issue, this or any other, remember the devastation of misery the Tory’s have inflicted on almost everyone except the very rich.

Here is a graphic reminder from Flickr user Byzantine_K of the effects of Tory policy during the last four years.

The conservatives have created unemployment.

One vacancy for every five job applicants and zero working hours, which basically means that a person is counted as employed but may in fact not be working at all. Also People on Workfare placements are counted as “employed” in government statistics.

 

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Source and Read More: https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/13997649816/

Welfare Reforms

Vicious welfare reforms (benefit cuts)have plunged thousands of people into devastating poverty, including the sick and disabled, driven thousands to commit suicide and left many with insufficient or no income dependant on food banksshivering in unheated homes. These drastic and unfair cuts range from reduction in amount received to a complete cessation of benefits when seriously sick and severely disabled people are told they are fit for work and have their benefits stopped. These cuts include the bedroom tax which since it’s introduction has plunged many deeper into poverty and resulted in an increase in homelessness.

In modern-day UK 13 million people live below the poverty line.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/8605818535/

Workfare – getting people to work for nothing

Real unemployment has risen, and the Conservatives method for supposedly tackling the crisis is to take advantage of the situation and provide themselves and their wealthy friends with a growing supply of free workers. Capitalism – and certainly at its extreme; that which we are now enduring – does not work accept for the greed of the few. The government is whittling welfare away to nothing, destroying employee protections in order to make it easier for employers to hire and fire; to generally exploit and mistreat their employees. Work continues to vanish overseas where people can be even more easily and grossly exploited, and more jobs are lost to private and public sector job cuts motivated more by greed than neccessity. And how many 10s of thousands of jobs have been lost to such as the automated/self-service checkouts?

Read More: https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/8059606143/

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Last month began the government’s latest work-for-nothing Workfare scheme Help To Work, which includes the Community Work Placements programme that requires anyone who has been unemployed for over two years to carry out 780 hours of unpaid “voluntary work” – a real oxymoron if ever there was one.

Osborne’s flagship sinking as voluntary sector rejects role in scheme

Community Work Placements are six-month unpaid work placements for unemployed people, part a set measures branded as “Help to Work”. The £300 million Help to Work programme is aimed at 200,000 Jobseekers Allowance claimants. Studies into existing UK workfare schemes in the UK have found them to have zero effect on helping people find work.

read More:
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3543 – please take the suggested action to help the Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign.

Alternatively unemployed people of two years duration are required to attend the job centre every day to sign on.  This will mean thousands of people hanging about in long queues. Time which could be spent looking for an actual job. What the hell that is supposed to achieve I cannot imagine accept disruption and chaos. More details of these the latest in a long line of
Workfare – work for nothing schemes. Failure to comply will result in sanctions from a minimum of four weeks to as much as three years!

More information:

Chaos At The DWP As Bungled Help To Work Scheme Attempts To Launch http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/chaos-at-the-dwp-as-bungled-help-to-work-scheme-attempts-to-launch/

Increase in homelessness 

In the last two years there has been a rise in homelessness of 62%

…the dubious “economic crisis” followed unhelpfully by a swathe of vicious and unjustifiable cuts and so-called reforms by this phony government, plus uncontrolled and often greed driven prices rises and sinking wages has caused poverty to soar to levels unknown since the War, and a dramatic increase in homelessness nationwide. And it needs to be remembered that many of the homeless go unrecorded Homelessness is nothing new – and in more recent time was noticeably bad during the 1980’s and into the 1990’s in the UK. The situation seemed to improve for a while following.

Read More :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/14017366392/in/photostream/

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The world’s largest tax cut to bankers.

Osborne also spent thousands of the tax payers money fighting an EU ban on bankers’ bonuses.

 

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/14017419251/

Tax cuts to the rich and corporations.

Also profit motivated NHS reforms, privatisation of the post office below it’s value and increased funding for councils – but only in affluent areas.

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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/14021162724/in/photostream/

False Promises

8408902519_8419327569_z   We e.

We can’t go on with this government. If they remain in office much longer, little if anything will be left of what was once good about this country.

Read More: https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/8408902519/

If you vote conservative based on the promise of the legalisation of cannabis or a vote on the EU you are also voting for more of the above. Ask yourself, is it really worth another five years of rule under this vile government who have destroyed millions of lives reducing people to poverty levels not seen this side of world war 2 while feathering the nests of the rich and the elite.

Click the link below for more graphics from Flickr user Byzantine_K . All graphics have a creative commons license, please freely use in anti Tory campaigns during the upcoming election. The public need to be reminded of the devastation and suffering brought about by the most vile, the most callous, the most greedy self-serving and incompetent government in the history of the UK. Do not forget the parasitic Libdems role in the destruction of our welfare system, the NHS and indeed most of the warped Tory policies, all of which, with the exception of Gay marriage, have been a detriment to most of us who are not rich.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/

Related Links :

New Citizen’s Advice Scotland report – ‘Welfare Reform: Thousands of sick and disabled Scots facing poverty’

Westminster welfare cuts will push 15,000 more Scottish children below the poverty line

Benefit Sanctions Pushing Unemployed Further Away From The World Of Work

JSA Maximum Sanction Increases To Three Years From October 22nd