Tag Archives: families

U-turn and u-turn again as Boris Johnson first agrees, then refuses to meet bereaved Covid campaigners

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions. Now he is resorting to flat-out lies.

How galling for the 14 million who voted for him to realise that Boris Johnson is such a craven coward.

He can’t even bear to meet people who have lost family members due to his mistakes – so he has made up a succession of reasons not to.

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK may not have a snappy name but they do have a good reason for existence – they want an inquiry into the Johnson government’s decisions on the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

The organisation wisely distrusts Johnson’s claim that he will hold an inquiry “at the appropriate time” and has already issued a “letter before action”, warning that the group is considering litigation to secure an inquiry.

But a letter before action is not itself litigation.

So when Boris Johnson said, “It turns out that this particular group are currently in litigation with the government. I will certainly meet them once that litigation is concluded,” he was lying.

He had previously promised to meet them.

Perhaps he was hoping that most people would not know enough about court action to tell that he was telling a falsehood in order to run away from the potentially disastrous publicity a meeting would create.

It’s also possible that he was hoping his u-turn would not come to public attention.

This Writer is already on the record as saying it is unlikely an inquiry will take place. Politicians like Johnson say there will be one “at the appropriate time” when a crisis is ongoing and people are demanding it but, the instant the trouble is over, they insist that it would be better to put the matter behind us.

Let’s face it: Johnson is notoriously bad – embarrassing, in fact – when he doesn’t have a script to read out. He may be afraid he’ll say something that may be used against him later.

So he’s running away from a meeting he promised to attend.

And that, dear reader, is the act of a coward.

Source: Coronavirus: Campaigners reject PM’s ‘poor excuse’ for not meeting them – BBC News

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Former Work & Pensions Secretary wants Universal Credit raise for families? Tough.

Did Stephen Crabb not read the memos when he was running the department responsible for benefits?

The Tories aren’t interested in keeping families out of poverty! They’re all about putting families in poverty – so they spend the rest of their lives working their fingers to the bone to get back out again (something they’ll never do, because they are more profitable for employers if they’re in debt).

A Conservative MP has called on the UK government to increase benefits for families for a year.

Stephen Crabb said increasing the child element of universal credit would help families at risk of poverty from the coronavirus crisis.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary said many families faced losing their jobs and a “big drop” in income.

The UK government said it was committed to supporting the lowest-paid families and had taken “significant steps”.

Crabb’s old minister – the DWP – soon put him straight:

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “The UK government is committed to supporting the lowest-paid families and has already taken significant steps including ending the benefit freeze and increasing work incentives.

“We understand the current challenges many are facing which is why we injected £6.5bn into the welfare system, including increasing universal credit and working tax credit by up to £1,040 a year, as well as rolling out income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.”

Translation: “We made a show of putting money in. We know it isn’t enough. Tough.”

Source: Tory MP Stephen Crabb calls for universal credit increase for families – BBC News

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Huge surge in poverty – and that’s BEFORE the Tory coronavirus response kicks us when we’re down

 

A few coppers and some silver coins: all the Tories think you’re worth.

The Conservatives have put another 100,000 children into poverty – meaning 4.2 million are now living under the breadline.

That’s a surge of 600,000 since the Tories came back into office in 2010. Now almost one-third of UK children are living in poverty due to Tory starvation-austerity policies.

And the affected children are among a staggering 14.5 million UK citizens found to be in poverty in 2018-19 – the highest total since the statistics were first collected in 2002 and an increase of half a million in a single year.

Bear in mind also that poverty is a relative measure, being calculated on an individual’s, or a family’s, income as a percentage of the national average.

The national average income has been depressed by Conservative policies over the last 10 years, meaning fewer people are said to be in poverty now than would have been in the past – but they are still suffering from Tory starvation policies.

Worse is to come:

The coronavirus crisis is likely to cause a huge increase in poverty as families face job losses and falling earnings.

The Tory government simply hasn’t done enough to secure people’s income as the pandemic bites.

Income guarantees for employees depend on their employers signing up to them – and many have simply decided to lay off their workers instead, forcing them to claim Universal Credit.

Workers on zero-hours contracts and people who are self-employed have also been told to claim Universal Credit – creating a bottleneck of claimants queuing for attention online or on the phone.

Self-employed people have been offered the possibility of an income guarantee similar to that offered to employees (whose employers took up the offer) – in June, when they are likely to have fallen into serious debt.

All of this – and the huge level of poverty that they have already caused – could be prevented, simply by providing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for everyone.

It’s simpler than the hugely-complicated systems the Tories are bringing in, and it also happens to be cheaper.

In fact, the only reason – that makes sense – for the Tories not to introduce UBI is that they enjoy forcing poverty on people, and they are taking the opportunity afforded by coronavirus to inflict as much of it on us as possible.

Source: Number of children living in poverty rises by 100,000 in a year, ‘shocking’ figures reveal | The Independent

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Food bank use has soared by 3,800% and child poverty is up 38% under Conservative rule

Child poverty is skyrocketing under Conservative rule. It’s time for a change.

As Boris Johnson tried to woo business leaders, the Mirror has revealed shocking figures condemning the way the Conservatives have attacked working families.

Figures quoted by the paper show that child poverty in working families – that’s families where one or more parent has a job, remember – rose to 2.9 million cases last year. That’s an increase of 38 per cent since 2010.

Research by the TUC shows the number of children in poverty-hit homes has risen by 800,000 in that time. Bear in mind that this increase involved children who have since become poverty-stricken adults and new children who have been born into poverty during this period.

One in four children are affected – a quarter of our young people.

Food bank use has rocketed by 3,772 per cent under Tory rule, and the number of food banks operated by the UK’s largest such charity – the Trussell Trust – has rocketed from 57 to 425. That’s a 646 per cent increase.

Volunteers gave away 1,583,668 packages – 14,253,012 meals – in 2018/19, of which 577,618 went to children.

Tories love food banks.

Their existence means Conservative governments can continue cutting in-work benefits. They give the money saved away to the rich in tax breaks, rather than investing it in the UK’s economy or other services for the population.

Other factors in the increased use of food banks were weak wage growth and the insecurity of the work on offer.

Boris Johnson won’t have said anything about that to the CBI conference today (November 18); he doesn’t care.

As I write this, Jeremy Corbyn is addressing the CBI, offering “real change”.

If I were a business leader, I know who I would support.

Source: Foodbank hell for Britain as demand soars 3,800% under a decade of Tory rule – Mirror Online

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Unaffordable rents – arranged by Tories – are pushing low-income families towards homelessness

Nine out of every 10 homes for rent are too expensive for families on housing benefit or the equivalent, Local Housing Allowance – according to the National Housing Federation.

The report finds that 94 per cent of private rental properties are unaffordable for families on Housing Benefit, or the equivalent Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

It also found that 65 per cent of the families affected are in work – proving once again that the Tory mantra that “work is the best way out of poverty” is utter claptrap while they remain in office.

LHA was initially designed to cover the bottom 50 per cent of market rents – in any area. This was reduced to 30 per cent in 2011, after the Tory-led Coalition government came into power (with help from the Liberal Democrats). Rates were divorced from market rents altogether in 2013, and frozen in 2016.

One can only conclude that this was done to price benefit-dependent families out of the market. In the least-affordable parts of the UK – southern and eastern England – only one per cent of privately-rented properties are affordable to those on LHA.

Analysis of data on private rental listings found that:

  • Only 7.54% of rental properties advertised in England are affordable to LHA claimants.
  • “Family-sized” properties, i.e. those with two or more bedrooms, are even less affordable, with only 6.5% being affordable at the relevant LHA rate.
  • Southern and Eastern parts of England are the least affordable areas.
  • In 2011, LHA was set to the 30th percentile of rents within Broad Rental Market Areas, meaning that claimants should have been able to afford 30% of the rental market in each BRMA. In 2019, the median percentage of the rental market that is affordable within a BRMA is only 5.9%.
  • Only 2.75% of rooms within shared accommodation are affordable at LHA. The shared accommodation rate is usually the only LHA rate that single people aged under 35 may claim.

The National Housing Federation has drawn the obvious conclusion – that Tory policies have pushed homelessness to record levels – and are pushing children into overcrowded and poor quality accommodation, like shipping containers and converted office blocks.

The organisation is demanding that the government LHA payments to cover at least the lowest-costing 30 per cent of privately-rented homes again. It also wants a £12.8 billion annual investment in building new social housing.

I think we all know what’s likely to happen about that: Nothing.

You can read the full briefing here.

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Immigration and drug addiction caused huge rise in homelessness, according to Tory minister’s LIES

Is James Brokenshire an imbecile, or does he think we are?

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said the increase in homelessness since the Conservatives slithered into office in 2010 is not the result of government policy but is being driven by factors including the spread of psychoactive drugs such as spice, growth in non-UK nationals on the streets and family breakdown.

Oh, really?

Personally, I would have said it was due to income changes that made it impossible for renters to pay their landlords or for homeowners to keep up with their mortgage repayments and I would have said this was the result of policies including, but not limited to:

The Tory Bedroom Tax.

The Tory Universal Credit.

The Tory freeze (late a one per cent limit) on annual public sector pay increases.

The Tory squeeze on wages that forced them to plummet during the first half of the current decade.

Tory support for landlords that means they can force people to pay huge rents for accommodation that is unfit for human habitation.

And the electorate knows this.

Look at the responses to his claim:

Oh, and the Tory plan to eliminate homelessness by 2027? It requires the death of anybody who is homeless.

Labour’s John Healey puts the real reasons for the rise in homelessness in a nutshell in the following clip:

And Labour has a plan to help victims of Tory policies who end up sleeping rough:

“Oh, but we can’t support that, can we? It comes from that Jeremy Corbyn person and he’s a horrible Communist! All the newspapers and TV channels say it so it must be true, right?”

There’s a simple answer to the kind of person who says that – or anything similar to it.

Just point out that many of the people who are now sleeping rough were also persuaded to vote Conservative, in order to avoid the Labour policies that would have helped them avoid their current predicament.

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The Tories are delaying Universal Credit rollout – but they won’t stop its burning injustices


Yes, I used the words “burning injustices” in my headline to remind you that Theresa May said she would end them. Universal Credit is clear evidence that she intends to make them worse.

In a previous article, I explained why the planned changes to alleviate the hardships of the change from the so-called “legacy” benefits to Universal Credit are no good.

The Labour Party has created a video clip showing why Universal Credit – as administrated by the Conservatives – is a force for harm. You need to see it, so here it is:

Get the picture?

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Biased news: There ARE more families with people in work – but poverty is at an all-time high

We are entitled to expect a better quality of reporting than this from the BBC:

The proportion of households in the UK where no-one is working is at its lowest point for over 20 years, the Office for National Statistics says.

The figures show 14.3% of households containing working-age adults are “workless” – down 0.2% compared with the same point last year.

Fewer children were living in families where no-one was currently working.

The employment figures show a picture of rising levels of work in the 21 million households with people aged between 16 and 64.

There are fewer workless families now than at any point in a data series going back to 1996.

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with it, the answer is simple: No mention is made of the fact that there is more in-work poverty now than at any time in the UK’s recent history, due to the pay-less policies of the Conservative government.

In a tweet responding to the biased BBC report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation stated: “Work should be a route out of poverty. It’s not right that despite the percentage of workless households being at a 20 year low, the percentage of households in poverty is at a 20 year high.”

The BBC’s bias is all the more shocking because the corporation claims to make a point of presenting both sides of any story.

What a fawning failure – sucking up to the Tories again.

Source: Fewer families where no-one working – BBC News

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The great Universal Credit rip-off: Tories are using it to impoverish WORKERS

David Gauke: He wants to push working families further into poverty.

What was that about the Tories being the “Party of the Workers” again?

They have set the regulations for Universal Credit to ensure that if a household has two people at work, the taper rate – the amount of Universal Credit withdrawn as earnings increase – is greater than under the current system of tax credits.

It means the minority Conservative government is intentionally making sure that working families take home less money under the new system.

“Party of the Workers”? Party of screwing the workers, more like!

And guess what? Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke is so pleased with the wholesale harm his system is dishing out to working people, he wants to ramp up the speed at which it is rolled out – from five Job Centres a month to 50.

So much for the Tories’ claim that “Work is the best route out of poverty”.

But then, it is typical of Tories to say one thing and do another. What else can you expect from the Party of Liars?

Universal Credit was branded a “disaster” yesterday after it emerged the new benefits system could leave working families £50 a week worse off.

New research shows the welfare reforms will penalise second earners [a second person in a household, usually a spouse, who also earns a salary] if they take on more hours.

House of Commons Library figures commissioned by Labour MP Frank Field found the taper rate – the amount of Universal Credit withdrawn as earnings increase – is greater than under the current tax credits system.

At the moment second earners lose 41p for each £1 they earn but with the Universal Credit this increases to 63p for every £1.

This means that someone earning £5,000 a year would see their income fall from £2,950 under tax credits to £1,850 under the Universal Credit.

Read more: Working families to be worse off under “disastrous” Universal Credit


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Hillsborough families denied access to justice because trial will be too far away

What a great dodge for those who aren’t interested in justice: Hold controversial trials many miles away from the families of the victims and say the rules forbid funding their attendance.

That is what has happened to the families of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster, it seems.

Here’s the report in The Canary:

On Tuesday 15 August, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reportedly told The Liverpool Echo that:

“Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, we are not permitted to fund any other expenses, including attendance at court hearings for non-witnesses.”

The Liverpool Echo article now appears to have been deleted. But the CPS statement suggests that the government will only cover the travel expenses of family witnesses giving evidence at the trial; meaning that hundreds of the victims’ relatives may not be able to attend. And as The Liverpool Echo reported previously, some families could face a 170-mile round trip to see the trials of the five people charged with various offences in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.

Source: The families of the Hillsborough 96 have just been denied justice by the government. Again. | The Canary


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