The Criminality of a Price on Life

In yesterday ‘s Guardian the Government is facing calls to investigate ” a deeply worrying trend in the number of deaths from cocaine use”, 432  in 2017 compared with 112 in 201. I would never dispute any needless death is sad, nor am I unsympathetic to the reasons behind drug use; but it is a choice.

Compare this to a report on Wednesday by Welfare Weekly who demonstrated “111,450 ESA claims were closed following the death of claimants between March 2014 to February 2017″. These people Died through NO fault of their own and indeed may have be as a result of Government Processes.

Desperately this is not new, back in 2014 I was writing about the number of Chronically Sick and Disabled people dying waiting for benefits where ” between January & November 2011 10,600 disabled people either in receipt of or awaiting benefits died”

I called it a Scandal then, now I can only call it Criminal and my real question is Where is the Call for this to Stop ?

I  don’t know if there is one place which has recorded all the deaths of sick and disabled people either waiting for, or after losing their Welfare Benefits;  Steve Topple at The Canary used the Welfare Weekly figures and calculates

the deaths per day were:

  • Slightly more than 7 in the “unknown” group.
  • 9.02 during the assessment phase.
  • 10 in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).
  • Almost 75 in the Support Group.

Further there are numerous petitions, reports and investigations undertaken by ourselves as a disabled community through to the UN; all attempting to identify – Why have so many of our most vulnerable citizens died before their time.

Despite the struggles to address this over the past seven or eight years it continues; ergo I feel compelled to ask When and by Whom will the #DWP, who as the benefits administrator must surely be the responsible party and the Ministers of State who Manages said department be held to account?

Nothing will bring back those we have lost, but surely no one will disagree, it well past time those responsible paid the price for these needless Deaths – it is Time For The TRUTH.

Equal opportunity, the eradication of the poor and cold blooded vengeance

This is another important piece from @KeithCameron5 , if Equality, in an issue that interest you this is a must read; as Keith says

I am beyond caring that the system is rigged against us, that’s a given, it is time for doing something about the rage that accumulates and rips away at us and to remember that revenge is a dish best served cold, exacted with cold blooded intent.”

Equal opportunity (in a pigs ear), the eradication of the poor and cold blooded vengeance

£20BILLION more Cuts! To fund another £93BILLION in Corporate handouts?

The Mirror today reports that George Osborne is to slash a FURTHER £20 BILLION from almost every Govt. Dept, including of course, the DWP in November’s budget.

The question I believe the Nation ought to be asking is WHY, particularly when in one year he granted Private Corporations  nearly FIVE TIMES this amount in Corporate Welfare? 

In 2013 alone £93 BILLION was given away to Private Companies, including a  £FIVE MILLION government grant to AstraZeneca; supposedly to develop its research and development centre at Alderley Park, Cheshire. In just five months, the same company closed the plant along with 2,100 jobs; I don’t suppose this has anything to do with the project being in Osborne’s constituency?

To this end I’ve stated a petition on Change.org demanded Osborne STOP using OUR money to finance Private Corporations and to REPAY it into Public Services. I have no expectations of this happening but maybe if the people knew precisely where their direct and indirect Taxes were being spent, they might just recognise the only reason for the Tory Austerity budget was to further enrich themselves and their friends?

If you want to read more about how Corporate Welfare works, Aditya Chakrabortty spells it out.

Come on people let’s spread the TRUTH, we might just wake the people up – and What have we left to lose?

#TRUTHSeekers

People starving to death in the UK – on David Cameron’s doorstep

If there was Ever a reason to have Iain Duncan Smith, the Minister responsible for these disasters Investigated – it is THIS?

#IDS These Deaths are YOUR Responsibility
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies

Pride's Purge

 (not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Austerity kills. It killed Mark Wood and it killed David Clapson. Both starved to death as a direct consequence of the coalition government’s austerity programme. Both were vulnerable adults who starved alone, bewildered at being punished by those they thought were helping them.

The two people closest to these victims will share a platform on 27 November in Witney, David Cameron’s constituency. Cathie Wood, the sister of Mark Wood, and Gill Thompson, the sister of David Clapson, will demand to know why their brothers died at the hands of the state. They are determined that other vulnerable people should not share their brothers’ fate, victims of an inhuman political ideology.

“We are sticking to the task. But that doesn’t just mean making difficult decisions on public spending. It also means something more profound. It means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need…

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Tories indicate Benefit Claimants to be their REAL Enemies in WAR

Here we go – the lead up to the last Tory Conference in this round of Government and the ‘big guns’ are blazing across the Tory press, making their pre-election ‘promises’/threats. Cameron in the Times states,  he will cut a further 3,000 from the benefit cap reducing this to £23,000 & stopping all out of work benefits for anyone under 21, Grayling in the Telegraph is vowing to strip away the remainder of our Rights, with the shredding of the Human Rights Act; and then we come to IDS, who according to his latest delusions he is responsible for breaking up TV programmes!

IDS, relegated to the tabloids says his” DRASTIC curbs on welfare benefits are starting to break up Britain’s “Shameless” housing estates”; he justifies this by stating ” the proportion of people in social housing who do not work had fallen from just under 50 per cent in 2010 to 41 per cent”. Where IDS gets this data from is as usual a mystery, it may be based upon the the fact “The proportion of people in social housing has dropped from almost a third (31.4 per cent) in 1980 to one in seven today (16.8 per cent)“, which is in due to the scarcity of social housing rather than anything to do with benefits. Alternatively, it might be the reality a growing number of people are paying towards their Council Tax, albeit this was a response from Local Authorities to DWP Cuts,  that aided him form his belief.

Continuing his chosen way of utilising personal creed rather than reality,  IDS proudly quoting the fictional  ‘Shameless’ & the much derided Benefits St TV programmes as his examples of ‘evidence’, continued to praise the Work Programme; claiming this has added to the ‘success’ of people leaving benefits. This is of course despite countless sources demonstrating the failure of this project, including the DWP themselves.

These messages all combine to indicate the speeches and associated media coverage over the next week will continue Lie about demonising the poorest and most vulnerable in society. To me this seems to be an enormous use of hype against 5.3 million working age benefit claimants, (excluding HB DWP Feb 2014), compared with the total number of people in this age bracket is 39.4 million. Further when we add the 4.9 million of Housing benefit claimants, this group also form a part of the ‘Hard Working People’ Cameron pledges to cut taxes for?

Is it any wonder we as dependants upon Social Security are angry? Every day across social media, people are talking about the injustice of  this small minority of the UK being wrongly blamed for the ills of the nation because we are ill, disabled, unemployed etc, we’ve dealt with persistent Lies, and have even been called “Extremists” in Parliament!  For me, it raises the question of exactly WHO DO the Tories, consider to be the greatest enemy of the Country?

Time for TRUTH #Nowpetition #ImpeachDWP

ESA – URGENT Call for HELP??

A comment left on my recent PIP post really needs answering; I’m copying it here in the hope someone can help Julie:

I am so confused. I had my pip form and have filled it in,waiting for my CPN care plan. Went to look at my ESA payment in the bank, and to pay a bill,I get it every two weeks(I am in the support group)It wasn’t there??????????? I have had no letter to say that they are stopping it. I thought they could only stop your payment,if you were in the WRAG..I just don’t know what to do now. I cannot phone them,as I have only got a mobile and can’t phone their Bull@@@@ 0800 number.

Has anyone else had this happen?

I’m sure this isn’t an isolated  incident and if anyone has any productive ideas for Julie PLEASE leave them here – I’ll forward them on

On a broader note – THIS type of situation arises because #DWP no longer have Free Phones in JobCentres – Where DO people Go???

  Let the TRUTH come out #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

 

 

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