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

 

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Benefits UK: Are We Getting Like The US?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inquiry into disability benefits ‘deluged’ by tales of despair

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

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

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

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

Continue reading the full article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the following

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the following from the Washington Post

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

597 days.
And still waiting.

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

What will happen to Joe Stewart?

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

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

Please take time to read the full story

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

Write to your MP and demand change:

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

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

Related Links

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

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

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

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

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

 

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/

End the injustice of benefit cuts.

On a  recent visit to Conset in county Durham Jeremy Corby called on the government to halt Universal Credit which requires a six week wait resulting in poverty, debt, insecurity, food bank use.

“Mr Corbyn said people will have to wait six weeks for payment when they transfer to Universal Credit, causing “terrible hardship”.

He said many legitimate claimants did not have access to a computer but were being told to go online to access Universal Credit.

“The Government has a great opportunity on Wednesday week, which is the Budget,” he said.

“Why don’t they say: ‘We have looked at it, we have listened, we have heard the hardship, we are going to pause the roll out?'”

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2017/11/10/halt-universal-credit-before-it-makes-millions-worse-off-jeremy/?ncid=webmail

 Please contact your MP and demand a halt to Universal Credit

Demand an end to the injustice of Universal Credit The Government has an opportunity on November 22nd, the autumn budget, to stop the misery and suffering and bring a halt to Universal Credit. Contact your MP demand a pause to the roll out of Universal credit:

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

Please sign petitions

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

Change Universal Credit
https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-corbyn-mp-scrap-universal-credit

Imagine the misery, the anxiety, of not being able to buy food to feed yourself or your children, watch them go to school without breakfast, not be able to heat your home or to pay your rent or live any kind of quality of life. Never forget we live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet this callous evil government – sanctioned by so many people as they yet again cast their vote for austerity for the poor and tax concessions for the rich – denies people a basic standard of living

The more and more that such cases relating to Universal Credit UC and other benefits as those below come to light the more angry I become. It seems to me that all care and compassion has gone, that generally speaking few people give a damn as to the plight of sick and disabled people and the government’s appalling treatment of them and those who are unemployed or subsist on low wages and require benefits to maintain even the most basic of existence. All people think about these days is money money money.They say that money is the root of all evil and this is just so true.

If you support the Tories after ten years of hell for vulnerable people you disgust me.

If after reading the following stories of grave social injustice that is taking place in our country and indeed throughout the world and you remain unmoved and couldn’t give a damn you need to ask yourself what the hell is wrong with you. Are you a sociopath perhaps rather like most Tories and you are incapable of caring? Maybe you’re worn down by your own misery, after all few but the very rich have remained unscathed by Tory austerity policies. However if  you voted Tory anyway you do not have my sympathy and you are worse than a sociopath. If you are simply ignorant or naive and believe all the rubbish they spout aided and abetted by the media, well get educated, don’t take anything at face value.The conservatives are not for everyone, they support the rich at the expense of the poor.

If you are not convinced than read on

The UK is the 6th richest country yet a seriously disabled woman denied benefits has to survive by eating out of garbage bins and living in her car!

Ann a former nurse, was told she isn’t eligible for disability benefits and has been struggling to get by ever since.

“A disabled woman says she has had to survive by eating out of bins, after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) axed her benefits.

“I can’t go on like this”

Ann Cumberland-Quinn is a former nurse living with a condition known as paresthesia. It causes weakness in the arms and legs, which means Ann has to rely on crutches in order to get around. But even though a neurosurgeon said Ann uses her crutches “with great difficulty”, the DWP denied her disability benefits. The DWP told her she hasn’t “got proof of entitlement”.”

Read More

A woman is ‘eating out of bins to survive’, thanks to the DWP
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/09/woman-eating-bins-survive-thanks-dwp/

The next heartbreaking case concerns a 38 year old woman who died alone and in the cold, a victim of callous Tory austerity.

More about the tragic death of this unfortunate woman

“How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people?”

Probe into death of mum in freezing home after benefits were stopped
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/probe-death-mum-freezing-home-13880840

If that didn’t make you angry, sad or depressed what is wrong with you.

According to this article more children will soon be in poverty since records began  back in 1961

“Soon more British children will be poor than since records began, back in 1961. In four years, progress will be reversed and all the good that was done undone. Over a million more will be plunged below the decency threshold.

For 37% of children to be brought up poor is a national humiliation. Any politician boasting pride in “British tolerance” should include our remarkable tolerance of poverty, which exceeds all similar European countries. This is who we are and what we expect, so today’s chilling report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies didn’t make it into this morning’s BBC news bulletins. Sex and Brexit obsess us, while poverty is just normal Britishness.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a political decision, supported by enough voters.

Read More:

When 37% of children are brought up poor, that’s a national humiliation
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/02/37-per-cent-children-poor-national-humiliation-ifs

Sick and disabled people are dying and few care, sad sick world. As of course it is not only here in the UK that the vulnerable are under attack. A similar situation is enfolding in the US as a result of a crack down on welfare.

Trump Vs. America’s Children: Child Poverty In America Is Indefensible

For the country’s poor, the American dream is a living nightmare which is heightened by Trump’s ill-conceived budget.

“The state of poverty in the United States, particularly among children, is abhorrent. It puts America, the richest and most powerful country in the world, in a shameful light.

Successive U.S. administrations are guilty of immense negligence toward poor children. They have inflicted incalculable damage to millions who continue to suffer. This causes a tremendous loss of human resources and productivity to the country.

The following heart-wrenching statistics demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. One in 11 children, approximately 6.5 million nationwide, live in extreme poverty (an average of $12,129 per year for a family of four).”

Read more of the shocking facts about poverty in one of the world’s richest countries

https://www.theglobalist.com/donald-trump-budget-cuts-united-states-poverty/

And in Australia

Australian government intensifies welfare “debt” crackdown

“In an attempt to meet corporate demands to slash social spending, the Liberal-National government of Malcolm Turnbull is escalating a welfare offensive initiated by the previous Labor government. Using an automated data-matching system introduced by Labor in 2011, it is dispatching thousands of “debt notices” every week, demanding that current and former welfare recipients repay hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars.

In order to intimidate people relying on pensions, family tax benefits, unemployment benefits or other welfare payments, the government is sending out corporate debt collectors. It is also threatening to jail people unless they pay the demanded amounts or produce documents to disprove any alleged over-payment.”

“Decades of cuts by successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have resulted in Australia having one of the most punitive welfare systems among “developed” countries.”

Read More:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/09/welf-j09.html

Capitalism is killing us, other species and the planet, but few want to know. Sad pathetic what kind of a society have we become, greed greed greed that is all that motivates most people. Maybe we feel so powerless to stop the onslaught, though the fact remains that there are just so many who are indifferent, uncaring.

Related Links

Warning that Wales could see the biggest rise in absolute poverty if benefits changes go ahead

“Britain’s most respected economic think tank has warned that Wales could see the biggest rise in “absolute poverty” of any UK nation or region if benefit cuts go ahead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has sounded the alarm with a major report which also predicts an increase in child poverty in Wales.

It expects the absolute child poverty rate to climb from 28% for the 2013-2015 period to 34.9% for 2019-2021. There will be further concern at an expected rise in overall absolute poverty in Wales over this period from 22.5% to 23.3%.”

Read more:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/warning-wales-could-see-biggest-13845675

Sadly it will be a bleak Christmas for many if the government does not halt Universal Credit.

Universal Credit roll-out leaves food bank with shortage fears

“THE UK’S biggest food bank network has unveiled a five-point plan as it calls for urgent action in the run-up to Christmas.

The Trussell Trust warns volunteer groups could struggle to meet dem- and this winter unless urgent action is taken to improve Universal Credit.

Many recipients face waits of up to six weeks when transferring on to the benefit, which is being rolled out across the UK as part of welfare reforms aimed at saving the UK Government millions.”

http://www.thenational.scot/news/15644429.Universal_Credit_roll_out_leaves_food_bank_with_shortage_fears/

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/

 

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