Divisions in Coalition as MPs demand independent inquiry on poverty


Calls for a ‘commission of inquiry’ into the impact of the government’s changes to social security entitlements on poverty have won overwhelming support from Parliament.

The motion by Labour’s Michael Meacher was passed with a massive majority of 123 votes; only two people – David Nuttall and Jacob Rees-Mogg – voted against it.

The debate enjoyed cross-party support, having been secured by Mr Meacher with Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative) and John Hemming (Liberal Democrat).

Introducing the motion, Mr Meacher said: “It is clear that something terrible is happening across the face of Britain. We are seeing the return of absolute poverty, which has not existed in this country since the Victorian age more than a century ago. Absolute poverty is when people do not have the money to pay for even their most basic needs.”

He said the evidence was all around:

  • There are at least 345 food banks and, according to the Trussell Trust, emergency food aid was given to 350,000 households for at least three days in the last year.
  • The Red Cross is setting up centres to help the destitute, just as it does in developing countries.
  • Even in prosperous areas like London, more than a quarter of the population is living in poverty.
  • According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, for the first time, the number of people in working families who are living in poverty, at 6.7 million, is greater than the number of people in workless and retired families who are living in poverty, at 6.3 million.
  • Child poverty will rise from 2.5 million to 3.2 million during this Parliament, around 24 per cent of children in the UK. By 2020, if the rise is not stopped, it will increase to four million – around 30 per cent of children in the UK.
  • The use of sanctions depriving people of all their benefits for several weeks at a time, had increased by 126 per cent since 2010 and 120 disabled people who had been receiving jobseeker’s allowance had been given a three-year fixed duration sanction in the previous year.
  • There are now more than 2,000 families who have been placed in emergency bed-and-breakfast accommodation after losing their homes.
  • The per cent rise in the overall homelessness figures last year included nearly 9,000 families with children, which is the equivalent of one family losing their home every 15 minutes.
  • A third of families spent less than £20 a week on food and that the average spend on food per person per day was precisely £2.10. That is a third less than those families were able to afford three months before that.
  • The proportion of households that had to make debt repayments of more than £40 a week had doubled and the average level of debt was £2,250.
  • A third of families had council tax debt.
  • 2.7 million people had lost out through the Government’s changes to council tax benefit – many of them disabled people, veterans and some of the most vulnerable in our communities.
  • Households were having to spend 16 per cent more on gas and electricity.
  • There are 2.5 million people who have been unemployed for the best part of two years, and there were 562,000 vacancies when the debate took place (Monday), so four out of five of those who are unemployed simply cannot get a job whatever they do.
  • Cuts to local authorities mean many home care visits are limited to 15 minutes.
  • The 10 per cent of local authorities that are the most deprived in the country face cuts six times higher than those faced by the 10 per cent that are the most affluent.
  • 60 per cent of benefit cuts fall on those who are in work.

Mr Meacher said the biggest cause of absolute poverty was the huge rise in sanctioning, often for trivial reasons such as turning up five minutes late for a job interview or the Work Programme:

  • A dyslexic person lost his Jobseekers Allowance because his condition meant that in one fortnightly period he applied for nine jobs, not 10. He was trying to pay his way and already had work, but it provided only an extremely low income.
  • The jobcentre didn’t record that a claimant had informed them that he was in hospital when he was due to attend an appointment and he was sanctioned.
  • A claimant went to a job interview instead of signing on at the jobcentre because the appointments clashed – and was sanctioned.
  • A claimant had to look after their mother who was severely disabled and very ill – and was sanctioned.
  • A Job Centre sent the letter informing a claimant of an interview to their previous address, despite having been told about the move. The claimant was sanctioned.
  • A claimant was refused a job because she was in a women’s refuge, fleeing domestic violence and in the process of relocating, but I was still sanctioned.

Mr Meacher also quoted what he called a classic: “I didn’t do enough to find work in between finding work and starting the job.”

The latest DWP figures suggest that more than one million people have been sanctioned in the past 15 months and deprived of all benefit and all income. “Given that the penalties are out of all proportion to the triviality of many of the infringements, and given that, as I have said, four out of five people cannot get a job whatever they do, the use of sanctioning on this scale, with the result of utter destitution, is — one struggles for words — brutalising and profoundly unjust,” said Mr Meacher.

Other reasons for the rise in absolute poverty included:

  • Delays in benefit payments.
  • The fact that it is impossible for many poor and vulnerable people to comply with new rules – for example a jobseeker who asked to downsize to a smaller flat who was told he must pay two weeks’ full rent upfront before getting housing benefit. He does not have the funds to do so and is stuck in a situation where his benefits will not cover his outgoings due to the Bedroom Tax.
  • The Bedroom Tax, which applies to around 667,000 households, and two-thirds of those affected are disabled. More than 90 per cent of those affected do not have smaller social housing to move into.
  • The Benefit Cap, imposed on a further 33,000 households.
  • Mistakes by the authorities; up to 40,000 working-age tenants in social housing may have been improperly subjected to the Bedroom Tax because of DWP error (although Iain Duncan Smith claims a maximum of 5,000).

Mr Meacher said: “The Chancellor’s policy of keeping 2.5 million people unemployed makes it impossible for them to find work, even if there were employers who would be willing to take them, and the 40 per cent success rate of appeals shows how unfair the whole process is.”

Responding to a comment from David TC Davies (Conservative) that those who are not looking for work must realise there will be consequences, particularly when a million people have been able to come to the UK from eastern Europe and find work, Mr Meacher said, “Those who come to this country are more likely to be employed and take out less in benefits than many of the indigenous population.”

He asked: “Is all this brutality towards the poor really necessary? Is there any justification in intensifying the misery, as the Chancellor clearly intends, by winding up the social fund and, particularly, by imposing another £25 billion of cuts in the next Parliament, half of that from working-age benefits?

“After £80 billion of public spending cuts, with about £23 billion of cuts in this Parliament so far, the deficit has been reduced only at a glacial pace, from £118 billion in 2011 to £115 billion in 2012 and £111 billion in 2013. Frankly, the Chancellor is like one of those first world war generals who urged his men forward, over the top, in order to recover 300 yards of bombed-out ground, but lost 20,000 men in the process. How can it be justified to carry on imposing abject and unnecessary destitution on such a huge scale when the benefits in terms of deficit reduction are so small as to be almost derisory?”

Suggested alternatives to the punitive austerity programme of cuts came thick and fast during the debate. Challenged to explain what Labour’s Front Bench meant by saying they would be tougher on welfare than the Tories, Mr Meacher said: “As the shadow Chancellor has made clear on many occasions, is that we need public investment. We need to get jobs and growth. That is the alternative way: public investment in jobs, industry, infrastructure and exports to grow the real economy, not the financial froth, because that would cut the deficit far faster than the Chancellor’s beloved austerity.”

He asked: “How about the ultra-rich — Britain’s 1,000 richest citizens — contributing just a bit? Their current remuneration — I am talking about a fraction of the top 1 per cent — is £86,000 a week, which is 185 times the average wage. They received a windfall of more than £2,000 a week from the five per cent cut in the higher rate of income tax, and their wealth was recently estimated by The Sunday Times at nearly half a trillion pounds. Let us remember that we are talking about 1,000 people. Their asset gains since the 2009 crash have been calculated by the same source at about £190 billion.

“These persons, loaded with the riches of Midas, might perhaps be prevailed upon to contribute a minute fraction of their wealth in an acute national emergency, when one-sixth of the workforce earns less than the living wage and when one million people who cannot get a job are being deprived of all income by sanctioning and thereby being left utterly destitute.

“Charging the ultra-rich’s asset gains since 2009 to capital gains tax would raise more than the £25 billion that the Chancellor purports to need. I submit that it would introduce some semblance of democracy and social justice in this country if the Chancellor paid attention to this debate and thought deeply about what he is doing to our country and its people.”

Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley, Lab) suggested that the Government might save a lot more if its members “showed the same energy and enthusiasm for getting those who evade their taxes and run to tax havens as they do for going after the poor, the sick and people on the dole”.

Against this, David TC Davies offered insults and distortions of the facts, quoting the Daily Mail as though it provided an accurate account of current events: “Members of the shadow Cabinet might need a boxing referee to sort out their disputes at the moment, as we read today in the Daily Mail.”

He said: “We took office with a deficit of £160 billion and a debt that was rising rapidly to £1 trillion. That was after years of overspending in good times, as well as in bad, by Labour, a cheap money supply and lax banking regulation under the former Government.” Labour’s spending, up until the financial crisis, was always less than that of the previous Conservative administration; Gordon Brown and Tony Blair both ran a lower deficit than John Major and Margaret Thatcher, and at one point actually achieved a surplus, which is something that the Conservatives had not managed in the previous 18 years. While Mr Davies here complained about the “lax banking regulation”, Conservatives supported it at the time and in fact demanded more DE-regulation, which would have made the financial crisis worse when it happened.

“We had disastrous economic decisions, such as that to sell gold at a fraction of its real rate,” said Mr Davies. Yes – the UK lost around £9 billion. But compare that with the disastrous economic decision by George Osborne to impose more than £80 billion worth of cuts to achieve a £7 billion cut in the national deficit. The UK has lost £73 billion there, over a three-year period.

And Mr Davies said: “Worst of all and most seriously, we had a welfare system that allowed people to get into a trap of welfare dependency, leaving them on the dole for many years, but at the same time filling the consequent gap in employment by allowing mass and uncontrolled immigration into this country, which completely undercut British workers.” The first assertion is simply untrue; the second is a legacy of previous Conservative administrations that agreed to the free movement of EU member citizens, meaning that, when the eastern European countries joined in 2004, citizens migrated to the UK in the hope of a better life. Labour has admitted it should have negotiated for a delay in free movement until the economies of those countries had improved, making such migration less likely, but the situation was created before Labour took office.

Challenged on the Coalition’s record, Mr Davies fell back on the Tories’ current trick question, which is to counter any criticism by asking: “Is he suggesting that we are not doing enough to pay down the national debt? Is he suggesting that we should cut further and faster? If so, and if we had the support of other Opposition Members, that is exactly what the Government could do and, indeed, possibly should do. I look forward to seeing that support for getting the deficit down.” This disingenuous nonsense was batted away by Labour’s Hugh Bayley, who said “investing in the economy, creating jobs and thereby getting people off welfare and into work” was the way forward.

Mr Davies’ Conservative colleague Jeremy Lefroy took a different view, agreeing that increasing numbers of people are finding it impossible to make ends meet, and that job creation and apprenticeships were a better way out of poverty than changing the social security system alone. He agreed that sanctions were applied to his constituents “in a rather arbitrary manner”. He spoke against George Osborne’s suggested plan to remove housing benefits from people aged under 25, saying this “would have a drastic impact on young people who need to live away from home and who have no support from their families”. He spoke in favour of councils increasing their housing stock. And he admitted that disabled people faced severe problems when unfairly transferred from ESA to JSA: “A lady in my constituency says, ‘I am simply not fit for work, but by signing on for JSA I have to say that I am available and fit for work.’ She does not want to tell a lie.”

Steve Rotheram (Liverpool Walton, Labour) spoke powerfully about the effect of being on benefits: “Lots of people in my city are on benefits for the very first time. Far from being in clover — it beggars belief what we read in the right-wing press — they are struggling to make ends meet, and the problem that thousands of Liverpudlians are facing is new to them. For many, the idea that they might miss a rent payment is totally alien. They have not done that in the past 20 years, but since May 2010, their individual household incomes have been on such a downward trajectory that they now find themselves in rent arrears, seeking advice on debt management and unable to afford the daily cost of travel, food and energy. Figures suggest that 40 per cent of the adult population in Liverpool are struggling with serious debt problems.”

And he said poverty had health implications, too: “David Taylor-Robinson of the University of Liverpool and his fellow academics have highlighted the doubling of malnutrition-related hospital admissions nationally since 2008.”

John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley, LD) raised concerns about “the interrelationship between the welfare cap and victims of domestic violence, and whether there are situations that need more attention. I believe that people can get discretionary housing payment to leave a violent home, but it is important that we ensure that there is a route out of domestic violence for women. I am worried about that issue, just as I am about some wrongful sanctioning that I have seen. That does not help at all, because it undermines the whole process.” He also called for “a substantial increase in the minimum wage, because as the economy is improving the Government should look at that, rather than maintain things as they are”.

The vote gave huge endorsement to the call for an independent inquiry into poverty under the Coalition.

But with an election just 15 months away, how long will we have to wait for it to report?

Show your support for Vox Political!
The site needs YOUR help to continue.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:


60 thoughts on “Divisions in Coalition as MPs demand independent inquiry on poverty

  1. angie

    I know away of saving the country money we do not need the likes of A4E we do not need the likes of ATOS stop subsidised restaurant/bars in the house of Parliament, that would save some money .

  2. Joseph Smith

    It’ll either be disregarded, or it will be promised after Cameron wins the next election sometime in 2017/8 that way he either manages to cover it up knowing the public will have forgotten anyway, or he will find some way to water the stats down. Or he won’t win and it’s screwed anyway. We need this enquiry within the next six months.perhaps writing to our MPs telling them in no uncertain terms what we want and when might help. Ideas anyone!

  3. Pingback: First Night Design | Recipes from A Girl Called Jack | First Night Design

  4. Pingback: Divisions in Coalition as MPs demand independen...

  5. Leoni Al-ajeel

    Nothing will be done about this it will be pushed to one side till a later date, its not affecting any of them so why bother with it. what about people who are working and have always worked but had Tax credits stopped because do not work 30hrs a week, i work 25hrs a week and had mine stopped. I have to pay some rent and council tax on an £150 a week wage plus all my other bills, £27 a week on bus fares to work because i was forced to move to another town. My tax credit was my life line for food. I have tried to get another job with more hours or a second job but there is nothing.

  6. Thomas M

    If the Lib Dems are still with the Tories when the election starts, they’ll be sucked down and lose nearly all their seats, so they need to split off from them. I don’t think that will be enough to save them though.

  7. bob archer.

    Who wants to save the lib-dems. They have consistently backed everything this evil mob has done, including all the attacks on the sick ,poor and disabled, not to mention the tripling of tuition fees. They simply cant be trusted.

    1. Thomas M

      I don’t want to save them, I am looking forward to seeing them banished to the outer darkness where they belong.

    2. Steven Mather

      The Lib Dem’s haven’t backed everything and have blocked some conservative agendas. One that sticks in my mind in particular was when Cameron and boys wanted to change the political boundaries. The only reason any political party tries to do that is to improve their chances of being elected in the future. Conversely almost every time the Lib Dems have tried to bring through changes of their own they have been blocked by the Conservatives (the alternative vote they ended up putting to parliament for vote was the only version they could get past the conservatives. Now I’m not saying the Lib Dems are without fault but they are getting tarred completely with the same brush as the conservatives a lot of the time by the anti Con hate lobby (which grows and grows) which is an unfair assessment. However most folk that have taking to hating them are in no mood to be fair. Frankly I hope the Lib Dems do a damn site more to distance themselves from the Conservatives as time goes on.

      1. Mike Sivier

        The only reason the Liberal Democrats blocked the Tories’ gerrymandering of Parliamentary boundaries is because the Conservatives blocked LD plans for reform of the House of Lords. It was tit-for-tat and nothing to do with what’s right or wrong.

  8. amnesiaclinic

    At least they had the debate and a vote which was good. Now we need to take all these points very succinctly put by Michael Meacher and expand argue them with our MP’s. Feedback to others is useful plus practical tips and ideas. We also need to be looking to small groupings with expertise to take the matter as far as possible through the courts and tribunals and FOI requests backing each other up and supporting those we can. Crowd funding can provide funds. We can’t rely on the politicians to do this as at the end of the day they are only the same 2 heads on the same snake. Yes, there are some decent ones but we are going to have to do it.

  9. ghost whistler

    What good will it do? The tories will just disregard the outcome as they have the evidence and as they have every single attempt to rectify this disgusting situation so far. IDS will walk out, McVey will lie and grandstand and the rest of the braying scum will behave like the schoolkids they are.

    I wrote to my MP about this and his response included a link to Guido Fawkes’ disgusting website where, the day after the debate, he focussed on tenuous images of Labour MP’s supposedly laughing. It was pathetic. He tried to worm out of it by saying “look, they were laughing too”. The whole circus show is immature and the lot of them need kicking out. Even Meacher is another professional landlord ffs. Will that change? Mark Thomas had him pegged years ago.

    1. Mike Sivier

      It’ll do more good than asking “What good will it do?” That’s for sure.

      I’m sorry, I’m sure you mean well, but doing SOMEthing about a problem is always better than doing NOthing about it and complaining.

    2. Joseph Smith

      Ghost Whistler write to the party committee tell them he’s not treating your comments with due care diligence and his attitude is dismissive, therefore insulting. Copy in the editor of your local paper.

  10. jed goodright

    I can find no record of this debate on Parliament UK – nor is there any other coverage in the media. Is it possible to highlight this please Mike. It would be interesting to note how many MPs voted out of the total given the ‘large’ majority – what is the context?
    Whilst it might be a useful plan, and I have signed the petition, it may just turn out to be another gloating session by the tories – who are hardly going to change their policies now

  11. hilary772013

    I am sick to death with all politicians & as far as I am concerned they are all as bad as each other. I am terrified of what the next election will bring. Even if Labour win & I think they will, all we will get is a slightly watered down version of the Tory policies. They (politicians) promise us the earth in the run up to an election but once in power they renege on their promises none so bad as the Tories ie The NHS is safe in our hands then when it got into power they proceed to decimate the NHS in order to push privatisation in through the back door. I think there should be a law that if they don’t keep their promises then we should have the right to vote them out, after all if you blatantly lied at a job interview & your bosses found out you would get SACKED.. I wish I had confidence in at least one party but unfortunately I don’t, I am 62 years young & never been so frightened for the future of our Country, not so much for myself but for future generations, if the decimation of the welfare state & the NHS is allowed by the next government to continue unabated.

    1. Joseph Smith

      I agree wholeheartedly with Hilary, I’m also fed up with ineffective MPs lining their own pockets and using the MPs position to advance their careers and wealth, my own MP ( sedgefield ) is lazy inneffective and tends to select those topics which provide him with favourable press. I’m waiting for his response about letting agents charging tenants ( for whom they do not act) massive largely invented fees, unlike Scotland where these fees are outlawed. Like Hilary I feel very strongly, that any Govenment voted in on the strength of its manifesto which it then fails to adhere to should be voted out. We’ve lost control over our politicians who I feel hold us the public in contempt. We must also get rid of the law which guarantees government a five year term. There is an e petition to this effect. We also need to take away the selection of MPs away from the parties. A public committee in each constituancy to monitor discipline and if required sack an MP whose fiddling or persuing personal gains.

      1. Mike Sivier

        You can’t take selection of candidates away from political parties; they are organisations with their own rules about these matters and there would not be any way you could make such a move legal – it would be wrong for people who are not members of these organisations to interfere with them.

  12. Duncan Woodward

    Retrospective personal image management. Action after the fact! Meaningless political posturing that amends nothing and is only intended to resolve any harm to their personal career brands! Where were they when it counted, where were these worm ridden t*rds of loathing when the propositions were made …. when the bills were passed … self serving scum!

    1. Mike Sivier

      Michael Meacher and many of the Labour MPs were voting against those bills, of course – that’s why the Tories keep banging on about Labour opposing every single change they’ve made.

      I can’t report so authoritatively on the conduct of the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats who took part in the debate, though.

  13. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    It’s good news that at last a vote has been passed demanding an independent inquiry into the truly staggering rise of poverty in the UK. I’ve no doubt that the commenters on Mike’s blog, who believe that the government will now try either to suppress the report or water down its conclusions, are right. Nevertheless, a small success has been won in that parliament has voted overwhelmingly for a inquiry, which the government has repeatedly refused to launch. We can attack and criticise the Tories for the attempted manipulation or suppression of the inquiry’s results when that comes.

    It’s interesting that of the two MPs that voted against the inquiry, one was Jacob Rees-Mogg. Jacob is the son of the Times journalist and bona fide Tory lord, William Rees-Mogg. Rees-Mogg senior was often in Private Eye because of the sheer absence of any kind of perceptiveness in his political predictions. When reviewing one of his books, speculating on what the new millennium would hold for us, Private Eye said that all you need to do to see what was really going on was to read his views, then believe the exact opposite. Having read his book, the Eye declared, it was all very good news: Rees-Mogg predicted DOOM. As for young Jacob, he first stood for parliament in a Scots fishing constituency, I believe, where he declared that he would base his campaign on attacking the government’s plan to reform the House of Lords. No wonder the Scots now want devolution. He also described how he got his nanny to hold a book over his head so that he didn’t get sunburn at Glyndebourne. Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, was setting his lawyers on to a young chap, who had committed the grave crime on setting up a spoof blog lampooning him. His lawyers managed to get the blog shut down, but, according to the Eye, there are now four others to take its place. Surely in Jacob Rees-Mogg we have a true defender of democracy, in someone, who wishes to hold on to the power of an unelected aristocracy and shut down any opposing comment on his conduct.

  14. Tommaz Jay

    Dont you love them torys . They sound like buzz and woody. Stand them up and get the person behind to pull the string and out come the same old platitudes. Labours no better. Utopia would be an elected assembly where politics had no part in decision making. Well we can all dream

    Tommaz Jay
    Drowning in the political diarrhoea of our unelected pretenders

  15. Pingback: Divisions in Coalition as MPs demand independen...

  16. Joseph Smith

    Every one should write to their respective MP regardless of party and demand this enquiry takes place and produces its results in public THIS YEAR. MPs who fail to push hard for this should be named and shamed on here. As a second line of action, we need to let Cameron know if he attempts to delay this enquiry we will actively vote against him. Also we need to be aware of cronyism in the selection of enquiry members.

  17. jed goodright

    thanks Mike

    Only 127 MPs voted on this which begs many questions about a positive outcome. Only half Labour MPs in attendance. Once the tories fill the chamber it won’t have a chance. Penning is a real dick is he not?

  18. Rose-Marie Mcginn

    Well done Mike an excellent blog. Goes to show what is happening especially the figures showing the jobs and unemployment. Can I call on a law firm to tackle scantioning as a breach of human rights so it doesn’t leave people destitute. This surely is a valid pro bono case to take. Something has to be done and legally. Protect the vulnerable – Guinevere Reincarnated asking. My heart goes out to people what they are going through – its never right that over 10,000 people have died who were disabled and lost their benefits. We paid in our national insurance contributions we are entitled to be looked after when we need it. People claiming benefits are the same as people claiming on their car or house insurance – we don’t target people making a claim on house or car insurance – the way that benefit claiments are targeted. Time for people to grow up and have a more compassionate view. That person needing help could be you one day!

  19. Joseph Smith

    An excellent blog Mike, over the last few months my eyes have been opened to the lies corruption and inhumanity of this stinking foul bunch who defrauded their way into power. I wonder just how close we getting to anarchy? Secondly I’m amazed just how many people in this country are and remain blind to events, and the lies spouted daily by the filth in government and just how many believe these lies. Have we forgotten how to be angry? Or has so much of our liberty been removed we can’t express our rage? Keep going Mike we need every bit of help and knowledge we can get.

  20. Joseph Smith

    The E petition demanding cumulative assessment in to benefits etc, reached 104500 signatures when it closed mid December last. The response was vague and defensive saying it was very difficult to get accurate information collate and publish same. Lying swines. Because over 100,000 people signed this, it’s fairly safe to assume its a hot topic and there is public concern. So let’s get on with it.

    1. Mike Sivier

      There will be a debate in the House of Commons early this year, on that subject. The government response appeared after 10,000 had signed the petition. After 100,000 signed, there was a debate in the Backbench Business Committee on whether to have a debate in the House of Commons, and it was agreed that this should take place as soon as possible.

  21. sue

    Just seen a notice from the London Borough of Waltham Forest. From the 1st April 2014 all tenants on benefits regardless of income will have to pay at least 15% of their council tax bill due to a shortfall in money received from the government. The only exemption is those people of state pension age.

  22. Joseph Smith

    Slightly off topic, the Americans are now claiming that the Uk, the USAs largest military partner is no longer capable of fulfilling its worldwide military obligations following cut backs to the UKs military. What now Mr Hammond? Resign? No course not you’ll just lie as usual.

  23. Anita Shaw

    I know just how sanctions can effect people as ive been at the rough end of it myself, twice.I attended a part time course, which was under 16 hours to improve my chances of getting a job and got automatically sanctioned.As far as I was concerned I was going the extra mile and getting a good kicking for it.This was a sanction that occured directly after a previous one which was again through no fault of my own.Previous employer had incorrect information about reason for termination of employment.The temporary contract had ended but due to their records being reason for leaving work as being ‘unknown,’JSA took that as me leaving voluntarily and just would not take my word for it.I was at my wits end and nearly gave up trying to improve myself by doing the course.I have a dependant too.We had to survive on child benefit and child tax credit and it was a toss up between buying food and toping up the gas.I was also still expected to pay a service charge which is included in the rent.Something needs to happen and soon.Its highly embarassing that this country is becoming more like a third world country every day.We are no longer the Empire that we used to be.Anita in Surrey

  24. anon

    Regarding the dangerously divisive comment from David TC Davies that a million people had come here from eastern Europe and found work – he ignored the fact that the vast majority of them are AGENCY WORKERS who are UNDERCUTTING THE MINIMUM WAGE.

    In other words, the coalition has again been slyly replacing more REAL JOBS with yet another version of backdoor slavery. Meanwhile keeping UK’s standing army of indiginous unempolyed on the DWP back burner for workfare.

  25. Suzanne Ennazus

    Why do people only whinge on their facebook profiles and wordpress, like it will make any difference, when the Tories have the mainstream media such as Sky News to spread their propaganda.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I would have thought the answer to that is obvious; if you want to control what people are thinking, you take control of the mass media – the mechanisms that tell people what to think.

      The social media – Facebook, blogs, Twitter – aren’t considered as popular yet, but they are becoming more so every day. We’ll reach some kind of tipping-point soon and the Big Money will realise that people are getting their news from different sources. When that happens, they’ll probably try to buy out everybody here as well – or censor them, as David Cameron has been trying to do already.

      Also: You are mistaken in your stated belief that the social media don’t make any difference. Readers trust these sites more than they do the mass media. The struggle, for those of us who write blogs, is getting people to read our work in the first place.

      1. hilary772013

        Totally TRUE Mike if it wasn’t for YOU & other bloggers, I would now be sat at home oblivious to what is ACTUALLY happening in our country as opposed to sitting at home listening to & reading the hype of the media & believing it.. keep up the good work, which believe me does make a difference.

    2. Joseph Smith

      Mike until I started reading yours and other blogs I thought politicians were just well fed well paid tossers unable find real work and they were just semi honest lazy semi criminals. Now I’m realising just how dangerous they are how much they will lie steal corrupt and deviate to achieve their personal ambitions of self preservation careers and personal wealth creation. Clearly we need a different system and different people in control. The first step is rid ourselves of this bunch of wannabe Fascists whose continuing support of a mass murderer in any sane caring country would see an uprising to get rid of them. What we get is an election in which our real choice is who do we believe is the smallest liar the least vindictive and the least corrupt. It’s not much of a choice is it?

  26. DAVID

    everything written here is totally on the money , this government has to go , and stay gone , there has never been a tory within a conscience in my memory and im 63 , I might survive long enough to see david Cameron and his vile uncaring cronies ousted , I do hope so ,WHO VOTED FOR THEM , WERE THEY CRAZY???, I THINK SO !!!!! THEY WILL BRING THIS GREAT COUNTRY TO ITS KNEES , MARK MY WORDS , EVIL !!!!!!.

  27. Pingback: Death of democracy is confirmed as Cameron ignores the will of Parliament | Vox Political

  28. Kenneth Camnan-Roberts

    The Tory led coalition care nothing for the views of the people nor do they care to take notice of court rulings, is anyone surprised that they take no action on this very important matter. This is not a democratic government, this is a dictatorship.

  29. Dave Yorkshire

    After the Benefits Agency failed to pay me >30% of the sicknotes I presented last year, I eventually gave up. I am still too ill to hold down a job, but begging on the streets and shoplifting have proved to provide a more reliable and less stressful means of survival than claiming benefits. I live in hope that I can become well enough to return to work now the benefits agency can no longer hamper my recovery.

  30. Pingback: Send your ESA/WCA experiences to the new MP inquiry | Vox Political

  31. Linda Rowlands

    Its a relief to hear the coalition finally acknowledging and addressing the amount of destitution that we are all experiencing. Dealing with immigration and those who live here illegally would help to reduce the deficit some what, in itself is creating an enormous amount of conflict. That in itself would provide some employment.
    I agree that investing money into our country to provide work for young people AND people of my age group, late middle age and the active elderly retired who are willing, able and capable in keeping a job. People of my age group are capable of learning new skills and can keep up with younger people in a multitude of areas. It grieves me that the coalition has not addressed this particular area at all and like a lot of people I will continue to knock at doors until I gain employment.

Comments are closed.