The PROVEN LIES of IDS – NOW HE MUST ANSWER

Joe Halewood writing as @SpeyeJoe has reprinted a letter from the Tory Chief Whip informing IDS his #BenefitCap will actually cost money!

This is yet more evidence of IDS electing to continue his campaign to punish the poorest of us for the complete cock up by the banks and previous Governments, despite it costing the public purse?

Further nickd at http://ilegal.org.uk/ has spent this week posting more evidence that IDS has been Lying to both his own party and the public throughout the Coalitions Term in Government; this covers Lies about Incapacity benefit, ESA and the Work programme.

Isn’t is time for IDS to be held responsible for these Lies, the same lies that have seen hundreds of chronically sick, disabled and workless people Die under his watch;  irrespective of Who wins on May7, IDS will still remain responsible for the man who oversaw the deaths of so many

how-much-longer-will-the-dwp-get-away-with-this1

These are the reasons for the long running #TRUTH Campaign and whilst Debbie and I THANK all 6000+ signatories so far we need more; If YOU believe IDS deserve to answer for these LIES & DESTRUCTION please SIGN & SHARE  https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies.

Would be good to be able to take along a batch of 100,000s of names to the next Government showing

WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANOTHER 5 YEARS OF SLAUGHTER

End Austerity Demo June 20

#TRUTHCampaign #IndictIDS #ImpeachDWP

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

SO, The Archbishop offers platitudes to Mail Readers

Apologies in advance to any protestant Christians.

I’m Livid, the bloody Eton schooled Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has finally spoke up on people going hungry here in the UK ; so what does he do, writes in the Mail on Sunday. He use this space to preach about bigger foodbanks, a rise in the minimum wage, free school meals all year round and making it harder to sanction benefit recipients.

I admit as an atheist, I think the only point of Churches are as Historical buildings, linked to a time of blind obedience to a richer man; and the sanctimonious drivel from Welby  has not changed my opinion.

If this man was really worried about the poorer people

  • he’d be leading an inquiry into WHY we need Foodbanks not talking of expending them
  • he’d be campaigning for a decent Living Wage not a mere increase of the minimum;
  • he’d by demanding to know WHY people on benefits are bring treated as forth class citizens and
  • he’d by instructing his churches to pay taxes on their income.

This would be something worth writing about?

Reasons for Supporting the TRUTH Campaign – IDS Time to Stop the Lies

Earlier this week Debbie and I started the latest stage in the TRUTH campaign, and launched a petition demanding Kathryn Hudson Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards investigate #IDS for persistently misleading both Parliament and the Public.

There are two primary reasons for our campaign; the ongoing misuse of statistics is not only a breach of the code of conduct #IDS is obliged as a Member of Parliament to abide by, but they result in the dangerous and inappropriate Policies disabled people are suffering from. The raft of Policies forming the Welfare Reform Act have been built on these distorted truths and the consequences are as numerous as the Polices:

The above examples are not the whole picture, particularly when we consider the negative outcomes on our health:

I could go on but I think you get the picture, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation got it right when they said     “our current welfare system doesn’t work“.

If any of the above offends, upsets or concerns you, might I remind you these real life issues are ALL the responsibility of one man Iain Duncan Smith, as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has overall responsibility for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); I’m not suggesting he personally designed the policies but he DID sign then off, he DOES regularly defend them with Lies, and it is this behaviour we are challenging.

Please SIGN our Petition, SHARE, BLOG, and  TWEET #IDSTimeForTruth about this Campaign

We may have started it but…it belongs to YOU.

 Disabled DYING

A Return to the Workhouse?

Almost a year ago I wrote about a report on residential training provision, and remarked that the proposals therein, called to mind a Dickensian view of the Workhouse.

Today I read two articles discussing changes to Jobseekers Allowance, due to come into force next month for Homeless people; according to Inside HousingUnder the new rules, Job Centre Plus advisors will be given the discretionary power to exempt rough sleepers and those in supported accommodation from looking for work“, this will however be subject to “claimants will have to prove they are taking reasonable action to find accommodation“.  The writer appears to view these new amendments as a positive move, offering quotes from Homeless Link and St Mungo’s Broadway, both announcing these changes as, the Government recognising the extra barriers Homeless people experience when seeking work and acting upon them.

The second post from Johnny Void was far less supportive, challenging the exemptions as, only lasting four weeks “despite the average length of hostel stays being significantly longer than that“; he justifies this by pointing out, “the minimum length of stay in one of St Mungo’s Central London hostels is eight weeks, with most residents staying an average of six to nine months”. He also notes “The so-called easement period will be granted only at the discretion of Jobcentre busy-bodies and will not apply to people who have been homeless for a long time“.

Both posts refer to a Report from Homeless Links which found “nearly one in three (31 per cent) homeless people on jobseeker’s allowance have faced penalties, compared with just 3 per cent of typical claimants” continuing with “Eighty-seven per cent of of the services report homeless people are experiencing food poverty, with one in six turning to crime“.

These amendments come at a time when Homelessness is rising exponentially, affecting “an estimated 185,000 people a year“, these figures are from a report by Joseph Rowntree Foundation & Crisis, who define homelessness as “people sleeping rough, single people living in temporary accommodation, statutorily homeless households who are currently or imminently without accommodation and “hidden homeless” households, such as those living in severely overcrowded conditions, squatters or “sofa-surfers”; ergo  many of those affected here will not benefit from Government changes.

The same report does identify the number of rough sleepers as being, up “by 6% in England and 13% in London…(and noting) This pushes the two-year increase in the capital to over 60%” and these are the people these amendments will affect.

It appears accepted by a majority of researchers who have studied the impacts of Welfare Reform , the Act is implicated in the rise  of people without a home; CASE, a research group of nine major housing associations providing affordable homes in the South East of England, asserted in their 2012 report The impact of welfare reform on housing, ‘the combination of the Bedroom tax, Direct Payments and the Benefits Cap would result in people losing their homes’. Further a recent report by Grant Thornton UK  First impressions of the impact of welfare reform, found “worrying signs are emerging, including rising rental arrears, homelessness and reliance on food banks, which may be linked to the reforms“.

Given the above I’m left wondering why Government is tweaking with JSA regulations, when the reasons behind the rise in Homelessness and Poverty, including those which appear as consequence of Welfare Reform, are being overlooked? It is accepted there are many causes for Homelessness, and whilst Government can have little control on personal grounds for this experience; they have almost absolute power over Structural reasons, and it on this basis I challenge the effectiveness of the regulation changes. I fail to understand how the potential for a civil servant not to sanction a homeless person for four weeks, will have an positive impact on their lives.

It is recognised the UK is experiencing an increasing dearth of social housing, as even where genuinely affordable housing did exist, it is being bought and the rents immediately hiked often above the Benefit Cap, forcing  Housing Benefits claimants into rent arrears/eviction. A recent example of this is Government MP Richard Benyon, purchasing the New Era Estate in London; this is particularly disconcerting from man who reportedly blasts the ‘something for nothing’ welfare state, whilst receiving £625K a year in Housing Benefit. For Government to have a productive impact on Homelessness it needs to address the shortage in Homes that are affordable for all; particularly those earning than the living wage and people in receipt of Housing Benefit, all of us without the means or desire to access a mortgage.

This still leaves the question of who will benefit from the regulation changes: a search on Homeless UK shows 1579 projects, offering supported housing and hostels for Rough sleepers, all of whom will profit via receipt of Housing Benefit for those exempt; could this be the reason the Housing charities are so supportive of these changes? Johnny Void  sums this up as “they will still be technically homeless but at least the charity gets a huge Housing Benefit cheque every week“.

If there is any reality in the above intimations, then will be witness a growth in the hostels and associated accommodation, self justified by the rise in Homeless people, and will they become the Workhouse of the 22nd Century?

Surely its time for the Government to fulfil Cameron’s promise for Greater transparency and tell the public the TRUTH behind the rationale of Welfare and other Reforms .

 

Angry? Sign the Petition –  Stage in the TRUTHcampaign

Tweet – #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

 

 

 

 

UK Poverty IS a National Disgrace – For Everyone

This is an email I felt had to be wriiten, it was sent to Paul O’ Grady in response to his article on Child Poverty in yesterday’s Mirror – sent to him via his website email

 

Dear Paul

 
Further to your article in the Mirror today, whilst I totally agree with you, I wish you and others concerned with this disgraceful situation,would also acknowledge this problem extends to include Millions of disabled, elderly and other vulnerable people; in fact dozens of disabled people are dying weekly and to date the figure since the inception of Welfare Reform could be as high as 38,000+
 
I totally concur with your points that poorer children are more likely to have mental health problems, and again this is the position with all people in poverty;
and I agree the current position should be a national disgrace, particularly whilst the Richest prosper disproportionally in the UK. Embarrassingly whilst the treatment of disabled people is so severe, our media, in the main ignores it, and yet other nationalities agree it warrants reporting in their National Press press, I refer to this article in Le Monde
 
I hope you can find the time to read the links as I’m sure you will agree that Poverty in the UK is a Disgrace regardless of the people it affects.
 
Regards
 
Jayne Linney
I’ll let you know if I get a response
 

The just world fallacy

A Joint Post with Sue Jones inspired by Lynne Friedli & Robert Stearn  in their post “Whistle while you work…”

 

The Tories now deem anything that criticises them as “abusive”. Ordinary campaigners are labelled “extremists” and pointing out flaws, errors and consequences of Tory policy is called “scaremongering”. Language and psychology are a powerful tool, because the use of this kind of  “pre-programs”  sets the terms of any discussion or debate. It also informs you what you may think, or at least, what you need to circumnavigate in order to state your own account or case. This isn’t simply name-calling or propaganda: it’s a deplorable and tyrannical silencing technique.
The government have a Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which is comprised of both behavioural psychologists and economists, which apply positivist (pseudo)psychological techniques to social policy. They produce “Positive psychology’”courses which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are using to ensure participants find satisfaction with their lot; the DWP are also using psychological referral with claims mandatorily being reconsidered by civil servant “decision makers”, as punishment for non-compliance with the new regimes of welfare conditionality, to which people claiming out of work benefits are subject.These “Positive Psychology’”courses, and the use of psychological referral as punishment are examples of the (mis)application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT).
CBT is all about making a person responsible for their own thoughts and how they perceive events and experiences, and can be used to empower people. But used in this context,  we are seeing the “responsibilisation” of poverty, with claimants being blamed for not having a job or for being ill or disabled. However, responding with anger, sadness and despair is normal to many events and circumstances, and to deny that in any way is actually grotesque, cruel and horrendously abusive; – it’s a method called gaslighting Gaslighting  is a method of psychological abuse that is usually associated with psychopathic perpetrators; techniques may range from a simple denial by abusers that abusive incidents have occurred, to events and accounts staged by the abusers with the intention of disorienting the victims.
The government is pre-empting any reflection on widening social inequality and injustice by using these types of behavioural modification techniques on the poor, holding them entirely responsible for the government’s economic failures and the consequences of those. Sanctions are applied to “remedy” various “defects” of individual behaviour, character and attitude, and poor people are being coerced into workfare and complicity using bogus psychology and bluntly applied behavioural modification techniques.
Poor people are punished for being poor, whilst wealthy people are rewarded for being wealthy. Not only on a material level, but on a level of socially and politically attributed esteem, worth and value. We know from research undertaken by sociologists, psychologists and economists over the past century that being poor is bad for mental health. The government is choosing to ignore this and adding to that problem substantially by stripping people of their basic dignity and autonomy.
The application of behavioural science is even more damaging than the hateful propaganda and media portrayals, although both despicable methods of control work together to inflict psychological damage on more than one level. “Positive psychology” and propaganda serve to invalidate individual experiences, distress and pain and to appropriate blame for circumstances that lie entirely outside of an individual’s control and responsibility.
Social psychologists such as Melvin Lerner followed on from Milgam’s work, exploring social conformity and obedience seeking to answer the questions of how regimes that cause cruelty and suffering maintain popular support, and how people come to accept social norms and laws that produce misery and suffering. The “just-world” fallacy is the cognitive bias (assumption) that a person’s actions always bring morally fair and fitting consequences to that person; so all honourable actions are eventually rewarded and all evil actions are eventually punished. The fallacy is that this implies (often unintentionally) the existence of cosmic justice, stability, or order, and  serves to rationalise people’s misfortune on the grounds that they deserve it. It is an unfounded, persistent and comforting belief that the world is somehow fundamentally fair, without the need for our own moral agency and responsibility.
The fallacy appears in the English language in various figures of speech that imply guaranteed negative reprisal, such as: “You got what was coming to you,” “What goes around comes around,” and “You reap what you sow.” This tacit assumption is rarely scrutinised, and goes some way to explain why innocent victims are blamed for their misfortune. This Government divides people into deserving and undeserving categories – the “strivers” and “scroungers” rhetoric is an example of how the government are drawing on such fallacious tacit assumptions; this draws on an inbuilt bias of some observers to blame victims for their suffering – to justify social oppression and inequality they have engineered via policy.
The poorest are expected to be endlessly resilient and resourceful, benefit claimants are having their lifeline benefits stripped away, and are being forced into a struggle to meet their basic survival needs. This punitive approach can never work to “incentivise” or motivate in such circumstances, because we know that when people struggle to meet basic survival needs they are too pre-occupied by that to be motivated to meet other less pressing needs. Maslow identifies this in his “Hierarchy of Needs”, and many motivational studies bear this out. This makes the phrase trotted out by the Tories: “helping people into work” to justify sanctions and workfare not only utterly terrifying, but also inane.
Unemployment is NOT caused by “psychological barriers”, it is caused by feckless and reckless governments failing to invest in growth projects. It’s not about personal “employability”, it’s about economics, political policies and subsequent socio-structural problems.
Public policy is not a playground for the amateur and potentially dangerous application of brainwashing techniques via UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) or “nudge unit”. This is NOT being nasty in a “nice way: it is being nasty in a nasty way, as it’s utterly callous. The rise of psychological coercion, ‘positive affect as coercive strategy’, and the recruitment of traditional and economic psychology/psychologists into monitoring, modifying and punishing people who claim social security benefits raises important ethical questions about psychological authority, and we are very concerned about the professional silence so far regarding this adoption of a psychocratic approach to social control by this government.

The Poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

I always start the day by reading the online papers and this morning the Huff Post ran with a blinder ” England’s Poorest Children Start School in Nappies, Unable to Speak or Recognise own name..” ; this particularly resonated as my 3 year granddaughter started school last week.

My immediate reaction was shock and my mind rolled back 35 years to my first adult job. with pre schoolers; I found myself scanning all the children I worked with in my 6 years of work in this field, and found I had known a good few of them to whom this shocking headline could apply to.

I then turned my thoughts to the parents of those children and realised they ALL came from families struggling with a multitude of difficulties. Our response as staff In those days, was to ensure the parents had access to all the support they needed; this regularly meant linking the up with a benefits advisor, Home Start or similar, and the relevant officer from the Pre School section of Social Services, we would all then work together with the family to address the problems, Usually this approach worked and the children went on to develop and grow, often catching up and surpassing their peers by Junior school.

The biggest difference is today, in 2013, this support network isn’t there, the benefit advisors have been made redundant or moved, projects like Home Start have been decimated by Cuts & the Pre School groups are only financially accessible for a fortunate few.

It is this lack of non threatening, non judgemental help & support that particularly worries me; for the children who need extra attention and input, their families who also need the same, but also for the future of our Country.

I accept that many readers will probably be thinking it’s a parents job to teach a child the basics, potty train her/him etc , and whilst in regular circumstances I agree, it’s vitally  important to acknowledge the real difficulties people experience when they’re faced with a genuine struggle to survive,

It was recognised in 1943 by Abraham Maslow  in his Hierarchy of Needs theory  that when people don’t have access to their basic needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep. they cannot focus on anything else. Maslow’s theory has been criticised, challenged and adapted by many other scientists and business gurus but, they all agree that without our basic needs we do not fully function.

Similarly it is well established that when people are truly hungry, they are unable to think about anything other than food, and given we know that Food Banks are rising expedientially, is it really surprising that young children for the poorest families aren’t being taught to read?

I believe this is only the top of the iceberg, and as the real grassroot effects of 3 years of economic austerity continue to emerge into wider public conciousness, we will witness similar and countless other associated Societal problems, directly linked to the decimation of Social Security under the guise of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Given this, without intervention the poorest sections of Society,  without a financial safety net, without access to recourse, without a network of support, have little hope. We know Poverty drains our intelligence, it disables us from nurturing our young, it prevents us from functioning as human beings and working together for a better future.

Therefore, unless those of us who still can challenge and fight, begin to do precisely what those deprived of basic needs can’t; come together, share our intelligence, support each other and lobby and work with those in Parliament who CAN make a difference, surely The poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

A Tory plan to reintroduce the Workhouse

Rarely if ever have I read anything that has made me physically sick; this morning I came across a Government Report via fellow blogger johnny void that openly calls for “Residential Training is intended to help unemployed adults with disabilities, particularly those at risk of exclusion from the job market, to secure and sustain employment or self employment”  which to my mind describes nothing more than a workhouse.

Reading through this Report I went from Hot to Cold and back again as I rationalised the contents, from the executive summery to the Recommendations. The emphasis throughout is to stress the ‘benefits’ of the Residential element and attempts to demonstrate how that could apply to people on Work Programme which “provides support, work experience and training for up to 2 year” and Work Choice for people “ disabled and find it hard to work“.

The report also repeatedly recommends how this Residential programme might particularly suit people with “people with mental health issues” so much as the authors find it necessary to link unemployment rate figures against differing mental health ‘issues’ “phobia, panics, nervous disorders (14% employment rate) and depression, nerves/anxiety – (33% employment rate)“!

I suppose in order to provide a fair analysis I must also note the reports willingness to be inclusive, therefore I also note the authors desire to ensure this Residential training is also open to those the DWP deem to be “non-disabled people who are long term unemployed”. Although this is because “the unit cost of provision would then be driven down” rather than the programme suiting these potential trainees.

I can not here begin to offer a full analysis of this Report but I strongly urge you to take a look and if you can’t bear to read it all at least read the the 3 Case Studies which focus on opiate addiction and mental health issues, Scoliosis, Asthma, Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and Depression and severe mental health issues, alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment; these alone demonstrate the ‘type’ of individual the authors feel ought to be in Residential programmes, and then tell me this isn’t a case for a return to the Workhouse??

 

A Tory Success? – Real Poverty in the UK 2013!

I like most people I know was stunned by the latest revelation to come out of the mouth of Lord Fraud (Freud), denying any links between the scathing Cuts of Welfare Reform & the meteorological rise in the use of Foodbanks.

My thoughts & feelings on this vile man and his opinions, seemingly shared by the whole Tory Party are brilliantly described in this blog by Skwawkbox, Freud: Foodbank dunce – or devil?.

And if you still aren’t convinced by the argument there always Tesco’s own survey which finds “18% of people in the UK have suffered from some form of food poverty, including skipping meals” posted in the latest  Tom Pride blog aptly named “Third-World Britain” 

What terrifies me is attitudes and behaviour such as this by Freud have become commonplace; and the people forced to experience this debasement seem to have become literally petrified.

I can only hope that another favourite blogger is correct as she asserts people “in mercifully growing numbers, rail loudly in physical and etheric throngs, against all manner of Common and localised injustices” ; I so hope you’re as spot on as usual Juli.