IDS plan to kill social housing in 4 years

Before anyone dismisses this as just another of #IDS ‘fag-packet’ ideas, read Joe Halewood’s take below: and to quote his closing point “ please stop calling this the ‘daftest policy’ you have ever heard. Stop saying you are speechless at this etc, and grow a set of balls and tell IDS and this government (and the next government and the one after that) to go f**k themselves and to start dealing on your terms.”

The Times and Daily Telegraph have a story today – the latest hare-brained idea of the tyrannical despot called Iain Duncan Smith.

If you have worked for a year you get your council or housing association property given to you for nothing!!

Yes seriously!

The plan is outlined here in an article in 24Dash:

Iain Duncan Smith is keen for the party to include a pledge in its election manifesto to give people who have managed to stay in work for a year a free council or housing association home. As part of the deal, the recipient would no longer be allowed to claim housing benefit, and would have to pay out 35% of the proceeds if the house was sold within three years of the handover.

The rationale it then says is this:

According to Tory thinkers, money generated by the policy would be used to build new homes, while the cash saved on housing benefit would outweigh any other concerns.

Ok, leaving aside ‘according to Tory Thinkers’ – if ever an oxymoron in itself – what would this mean?

Take the Smiths, Wayne and Waynetta Smith who live with their 4 children in a council house in London.  They pay rent of £130 per week and the property is worth £500,000. They get £500 per week in benefits and housing benefit because of the cap and that is shortly to reduce to £440 per week should the Tories not be voted out in May

Wayne and Waynetta approach a bank to say advance us £25,000 and in year one they sign off completely and receive not a penny in benefits.  They then ask for £7k per year for each of the next 3 years to cover the HB they have lost but they sign back on to receive welfare benefits.  They put up the property as collateral.

The bank says ok we will give you £50k – £4k more than they asked for on day 1 and charge you 25% interest per year.  After 4 years the bank are owed £122k by Wayne and Waynetta and the house is now worth £600k.  So the bank force the sale of the house and get their money and Wayne and Waynetta are still left with nearly £400k in their pocket

OK I now that is a bit far-fetched as the bank would charge more than 25% being totally greedy bastards!

Note too the same principle works in depressed low rent areas ‘oop North.’

Result is NO SOCIAL HOUSING IN THE UK AT ALL WITHIN FOUR YEARS – IDS HAS KILLED IT OFF

But where are the old the sick the disabled and the supported going to live?  Well it just so happens the banks and their friends have bought a lot of ex social housing properties which they lease back to councils en masse at 5 times the rent they were charging four years before and the Housing Benefit bill goes from today’s £24 billion per year to about £100 billion per year

AND of course the private sector gets their hands on and now owns a further 4 million plus properties and can charge what they like for them and can do whatever the hell they like to their tenants as they have no security and there is no regulation of the Private Sector landlord at all.

READ the rest at : IDS plan to kill social housing in 4 years.

Who can help Benefit claimants when Charities are no longer Impartial?

There was a spate of example towards the end of last year where Charities were warned they were at risk of closure, or at least sanctions, for acting ‘Politically

  • the chair of the Trussell Trust was told “he must think more carefully otherwise “the government might try to shut you down”.
  • The Global Warming Policy Foundation were advised ‘concerns were raised that the charity was promoting views that were of a political rather than an educational nature’.
  • Oxfam was been rapped by the charity watchdog for not taking sufficient steps to avoid appearing politically biassed in a social media campaign which criticised the Government’s austerity programme earlier this year.

These are only examples, of how a breadth of Charities are experiencing this, what I feel is bullying.

This behaviour by the powers that be, is despite Government guidance which states:

Can a charity carry out campaigning and political activity?

The short answer Yes – any charity can become involved in campaigning and in political activity which further or support its charitable purposes, unless its governing document prohibits it.”

Although since then the Government’s introduction of the Lobbying Act has resulted in a report by the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement (CCSDE) stating “The law makes it almost impossible for charities and campaign groups to work together and speak out on politically contested issues in joint coalitions”.

Given the above, how does this affect the people needing help from the very organisations established to meet their needs? I have received today an example of precisely this; the situation is a benefit claimant who is also a disability activist, at tribunal

“I ended up saying all the things in the tribunal that I was warned by the CAB not to say. They kept saying they were not allowed to have a political opinion. I replied that I didn’t think it could be seen in other than a political light. I ended by telling them that if it goes against me I will be likely seeing them again shortly as my six months is up and I will reapply right away and that’s how ridiculous the system is. I was sent outside while they deliberated. When I was called back in I was asked if I was likely to top myself if the decision was negative. I replied that that was always an option but I would be much more likely to kill one of the oppressors. I was actually quite surprised to have won as I figured I may have gone too far”

So, here the Citizens Advice Bureau is advising people not to have an opinion about the Welfare Reform regime and how it affects them! Our experience at DEAEP is the Tribunal panels ASK questions that require such a response, they usually understand it is the process established by Welfare Reform that has created the problem; and they recognise that Welfare and Disability issues are by their very nature political, something CAB don’t appear to understand.

This reluctance by CAB to appear Political might be as a result to ensure they maintain their funding, and this is a real issue when it comes down to giving appropriate support to individuals, further I believe this is eludes to a greater problem -the morality of the voluntary/3rd sector in general. When community organisations begin they usually are in response to need but…as they grow to be successful, there is a shift from the ‘need’ to a want. The project then spends much of its time searching and bidding for money to allow it expand and employ people; thus begins a vicious circle where workers in fear of their employment, are forced to focus their energy on justifying and gaining financial support for their existence. Hence the original purpose becomes skewed if not lost.

This is an issue I’ve witnessed hundreds of times in my professional life, and it lies at the very problem of the ‘voluntary/community sector’, whose very ethos should be, to work itself out of existence; and it becomes an even greater issue when Government interferes with the actions of these vital projects.

It is an issue we directors of DEAEP are experiencing now, how can we finance the necessary expansion of our service, when any ‘funding we might access, comes with such boundaries? Our response was to set up as a social enterprise, aiming to sell bespoke training the other companies in order to continue to fund our peer support element; this prevents us accessing many funding streams and means we are growing very slowly, but at least we are able to offer truly impartial support  to those we work with.

Tory Cuts KILL – perhaps it’s because they’re Psychologically disturbed?

Yesterdays news was full of the latest findings from Institute for Fiscal Studies demonstrating  the ConDems Changes to the Tax and Benefits system has cost households £1,127 a year on average, and even the Mail concedes this means “poor families have lost the most as a percentage of their income“; and yet despite this, the Government still maintained “UK income inequality is now lower than when this Government came into office“.

I doubt anyone will be remotely surprised at the Coalition disputing the data, this is another example of how this unelected Government has persistently and systematically Lied to the people.

There been countless claims on social and even occasionally in main stream media about the number of people dying as a result of Welfare Reform, and those of us involved in any of the campaigns to raise awareness, need no persuading this is an absolute truth. The situation where respected organisations produce solid date, which then gets refuted and spun by Politicians is the pro forma stance by the Condems.

Lucy Mangan in Today’s Guardian writes maybe the best answer I’ve read in the national media – “If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath“, this is something many of us on social media have said on countless occasions, and it certainly seems to apply to Cameron, Ids and Co, but what does this mean in reality. A Sociopath is listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), as an Antisocial Personality Disorder, with a “propensity for violence, a remorseless mind, indifference to others’ rights and not caring about ethical behaviour or laws”; this suggests the cabinet at the very least is led by people who have a recognised psychiatric disorder.

If we accept this as an explanation as to why those in question behave the way they do it explains much, perhaps this is how IDS can laugh as fellow MPs relate tales of hunger and starvation from their constituencies, why vital cancer treatments can be denied because of a budget target, and precisely why The poorest were not hit hardest by tax and benefit changes by chance: it was by design. 

However explaining what is behind the behaviour of the Government doesn’t help us, what it can do is offer us another argument to demonstrate just how damaging the current Government is the the nation’s people. I expect I will now receive the popular refutation of Political parties all being the same, I do not concede with this . I do agree given the definitions above, all Parties do have certain members to whom this may be applied, but this is not reason to do nothing; we have an opportunity in May to rid ourselves of this dysfunctional group, and we Must, for the sake of the people take it.

If you accept any of the above argument, don’t sit on the proverbial fence of having no choice, reclaim your personal power and pass on the evidence – the unelected Party in power today are Unfit to Govern and MUST GO.

Join us in our campaign to hold #IDS to account and sign IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES and make at least one of the Sociopaths answer for his actions

The cost of PIP? £35 less per week, Thanks #DWP! – This is A CALL OUT for Info

Well I’ve received my PIP award and hooray I’ve ‘scored’ more points than on my DLA and yet, despite this I’ve  been awarded ‘Standard’ rates for both Daily Living & Mobility Elements, to explain how this makes a real difference to me read on.

To get PIP at all, you must score between 8 – 11 points in both daily living / Mobility and to get the Enhanced rate it’s 12 points; the 2 elements are valued differently with

the Daily Living standard rate being £54,45 and the enhanced rate £81.30 per week,

for  Mobility, the standard rate is £21.55 and the enhanced rate is £56.75 per week.

This differs greatly from the old DLA which had three levels of award, the rates which are/were worth  for care

lowest rate – £21.55

middle rate – £54.45

highest rate – £81.30

and for the mobility component

lower rate – £21.55
higher rate – £56.75

I believe these changes clearly demonstrate how the government have reduced PIP spending by a total o£2.2bn?

Personally under DLA I received Mid Care & High Mobility, however under PIP I scraped in at a bare 8 in daily living and 10 for mobility costing me almost £140 per month!! I have reported my intention to ask for a Mandatory Consideration and will keep you posted; in the meanwhile…

…I’m trying to collect evidence of PIP being no more than another Government attempt to cut even more money from disabled people, further driving us into poverty; therefore I ask all of you to please share with me Your examples of PIP, have you received an award, was it worth more/less than before etc.

If you would prefer to share this info anonymously that’s fine and if you want to do so privately, please contact me at ratea62@gmail.com

THANK YOU in advance for your input Jxx

 

Footnote* From truthmeister – ”

As for saving money, the bungling incompetence of IDS has meant that a proposed saving of £1.2bn pa has actually turned into an increase in spending of £1.6bn pa to date, as per the IFS: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7447” Thanks

IDS Lies in Parliament – Hansard records it!

Still Believe #IDS ought Not to be Investigated for Lying ??

READ the section below from SPeye Joe

Then SIGN – IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES  – You KNOW He Deserves It:

Why the bedroom tax has cost more than it has saved – IDS go figure!

Iain Duncan Smith has knowingly and deliberately lied to parliament.  He is a liar as can so easily be proven.  I make no bones either about calling him a liar and a deliberate and knowing one and I refuse to use euphemisms such as being economical with the truth and the like – he is a liar as the figures below highlight and in just a simple 10 minute blog using official figures that he produces!!

He lied over the bedroom tax as Hansard recalls from yesterday in the following question and answer:

Under-occupancy Penalty

Mr John Leech (Manchester, Withington) (LD): What estimate he made of the potential savings to the public purse that would arise from implementation of the under-occupancy penalty; and what estimate he has made of the amount saved to date by that implementation. [906482]

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith): Before our reforms, the taxpayer had been paying for 820,000 spare rooms. To date, the policy has saved about £830 million from the housing benefit bill, and the estimated savings remain the same: approximately £500 million a year in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Those figures have been ratified by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The bedroom tax (alleged) saving.

The bedroom tax has official figures published by the Secretary of State Work & Pensions – yes that’s IDS himself who publishes the official figures every quarter.  The most recent figures were published in November 2014 and cover the period up to August 2014 and this official data says:

BEDROOM TAX LATEST FIGS TABLE 3

  1. (a) How many households are affected (471,887), and
  2. (b) What the average weekly bedroom tax figure is (£14.92), and
  3. (c) There are 52.18 weeks in every year (365.25 days divided by 7)

So when we multiiply (a) 471,887 households at (b) £14.92 per week and then by (c) 52.18 we get the ABSOLUTE THEORETICAL MAXIMUM SAVING and that figure is (a) x (b) x (c) =

£368.114 million in a full year or £7.079 million per week.

IDS claims A saving of £830m so far as at yesterday. The absolute maximum (see below) is £615.87 million so IDS has stated a figure AT LEAST 35% MORE THAN IS THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE

IDS claims the full first two years saving to be £1 billion.  Yet the absolute maximum saving is £736.228 million and again 35% MORE THAN IS THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE

Comment

Take away the DHP costs which for the first two years for bedroom tax are £115 million and we see the maximum possible saving is £621m over two full years (£736m – £115m)

So IDS has told parliament that the ‘saving’ is 61 PER CENT HIGHER THAN IT CAN POSSIBLY BE

Yes he is lying and knowingly lying through his teeth.

Note for absolute clarity if many social housing tenants have left and their place taken by private tenants it could be possible to save housing benefit in this way.  Yet so few have been able to downsize and even if they are all private tenants moving into social housing and thus saving on the HB bill then just the legal costs IDS has paid out to take the recent Upper Tribunal case more than outweigh any savings alone.

Then we have so many other expenditure costs associated with the bedroom tax such as increased homelessness and increased number of bedroom tax appeals each one will cost about £1500 to the MoJ bill that government pays out and so many other expenditure costs.  But let’s forget all that complexity as to whether the additional costs are borne by local government and instead keep this so simple that even a lying buffoon like IDS can understand them.

For a simple way to look at it…. Read More

So He’s done it again, Lied publicly and on the record, surely it is now Time IDS was Forced to Answer for his behaviour?

 

IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES #IDSTimeForTruth

How DEAEP helped Former soldier with ESA Claim

One of the long term cases we are dealing with at  DEAEP  is Burt, he initially came to us for help in January 2014, a deterioration of his health had left him unable to work and in October 2013 he’d claimed ESA. He received an award in January and he’d been placed into WRAG, his range of physical and mental health difficulties were such it was clear he was in the wrong group, therefore  he we supported him submit a mandatory reconsideration (MR) claim to be moved into the Support Group.

In October 2014, Burt received the letter informing him his 365 limit for NI contribution based ESA was ending, so we reapplied for Income based ESA including up to date health information from his specialists demonstrating his further health deterioration.  He was immediately re-awarded and the decision maker had again placed him in WRAG, ergo we resubmitted a MR for inclusion into the Support group.

A fortnight ago Burt received a mandatory Work-focussed interview for today, which we arranged to attend at, and everything was running smoothly until Friday when he received another two letters; one for him to attend a conditionality interview on the following day (Saturday) and the second was the start date for him to begin The Work Programme with A4 on Thursday this week!

Burt immediately phoned the DWP and said he could not possibly get to the JobCentre the next day, but he would be attending today; the call centre operator said this was fine and she believed the letters to be duplicates and to ignore them!

We attended Burt’s interview with him this morning, and after the interviewer explained the reasons for the meeting today, (the changes under Welfare Reform) we entered into a debate as to why Burt was not fit for work. We explained how Burt’s Army induced PTSD and Depression, along with his crushed Spine, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Sciatica and Emphysema; meant he is in constant pain and is fatigued from perpetual Nightmares. Fortunately the personal advisor (PA) we met with was not only willing to listen, she was also suffering from disillusionment with Welfare Reform; she shared with us that before the changes, she as his PA, had the authority to decide which group Burt ought to be in, and in her opinion he should be in the support group. When we asked if there were any approximate  time scales for  MR she said No but the decision makers were still considering our request submitted in January!

She then cancelled  the Conditionality interview and completed the Work Programme Action plan, which was due to be filled at Thursdays appointment, with the statement “customer will respond to or attend all appointments booked by work coach or external advisors“; this allowing either Burt or ourselves the option to advise A4 of non-attendance, until such time the decision makers determine the mandatory reconsideration request.

For me there are Three key points arising from this experience:

The Personal Advisor is the one who communicates directly with the customer, therefore they are best paced to determine which group ESA claimants should be in?

There are far too many  ‘sections’ (14 according to the PA today) in the JobCentre, all dealing with small parts of the ‘customers journey’, and as with Burt, claimants can be called in for each separate part; this causes major difficulties for sick,  disabled and financially vulnerable claimants and obvious confusion for call centre staff. Claimants should have One PA who manages their claims for beginning to end?

Some staff at JobCentre are as sick of the ludicrous outcomes of Welfare Reform as we are, and are trying doing their job; but they’re not medically trained and therefore are not be best paced to make such vital decisions.

If anyone finds themselves in similar situations and would like support please contact us at DEAEP, we’re here to help.

 

 

Dear John Bercow – YOU can have #IDS Indicted

Who Will Watch the Watchmen?

An Open Letter to John Bercow

Dear John Bercow,

I was incredibly naive when I started campaigning for the rights of people with long term health conditions and disabilities.
I believed passionately in democracy and that here in the UK, we had one of the best political systems in the world.
I had always believed there were strict rules governing MPs and that they were held to account by customs and conventions that had served us for centuries. Sadly, that naivety is long gone.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve learnt that democracy is merely an illusion. I’ve learnt that a politician can do or say virtually anything he or she likes and no-one will do anything about it at all.
In the case of Iain Duncan-Smith, we have seen the results of a failure to govern the governors as never before. He has lied – not “misled” or “misdirected” – to parliament repeatedly. He has lied about who is affected by his “reforms”. He has lied about who is protected from them. He has lied about how much they have saved the treasury and he has lied about their efficacy. He has lied about the level of support for his changes and lied about the timescales of their delivery.
The results of his lies are clear for all to see. Vulnerable people he promised to support go hungry or are left without care or security. Nearly a million people have been driven to foodbanks. Homelessness has risen, the benefits bill has risen and the housing bill has risen. Sanctions have soared – over 500% in the case of those too unwell to work – and a fiscal black hole of billions is becoming apparent at the treasury as every one of his major schemes grinds to a halt. Universal credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence payments, all have failed, leaving millions stuck in limbo.
Yet still Mr Duncan-Smith lies and still his lies go unchallenged.
This petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies calls on parliament to investigate those lies and hold a full and transparent enquiry into his conduct. He has even repeatedly bullied the media not to hold him to account, can he bully you too? Is there no-one prepared to challenge this man and stop his inhumanity?
Campaigners will never rest until the scale of this man’s failures are clearly exposed to the public. Until his dishonesty is fully revealed. He will not be reshuffled or sent quietly away to “spend more time with his family”. No matter how long it takes, Iain Duncan-Smith will be shown as the cruel bully he is.
You could choose to make sure that happens sooner rather than later, before more thousands of lives are ruined by his incompetence and lies. You have the power to restore at least some of the democracy we have lost. But make no mistake, now or in the future, it will happen. I and many like me will make sure of it.
This letter is from the indomitable Sue Marsh , in support of the #TRUTH Campaign; Thanks Sue 🙂 xx