Tag Archives: Welfare Weekly

Penniless and reliant on foodbanks: how universal credit destroyed this mum’s life | Welfare Weekly

[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

If you’re not moved by this report, you’re not human.

The realities of Universal Credit, exposed by BBC News (reluctantly; they do their best to make it look good but after the report about Holly Sargeant, there’s no salvaging it):

Imagine being without money for eight months, left dependent on the support of foodbanks and family, and forced to sell your treasured belongings just to survive.

Theresa May claims universal credit is “working”, but try telling that to this mum who can’t even have her own child sleep over because of how this flawed system has torn her asunder.

That’s the reality faced by Holly Sargeant, who due to “administrative errors” by the Department for Work and Pensions and her poor mental health hasn’t received a single penny in support for several months.

You have to watch the following video from BBC News to believe how seriously flawed this new system really is.

Source: Penniless and reliant on foodbanks: how universal credit destroyed this mum’s life


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The DWP is now largely being held to account by activists with virtually no income | Benefit tales

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Should This Writer be worried about a possible drone attack in the future?

This is from the ‘Benefits and Work’ newsletter.

THE NEW FORCE IN CLAIMANTS RIGHTS
What is particularly notable about these news items is that they were all brought about by tiny, private sector or unfunded groups or individuals.

The ESA death statistics campaign is the work of Vox Political blogger Mike Sivier.

The bogus sanction claimants were revealed by Welfare Weekly – a one-person online news aggregator.

And the UN investigation has come about due to the tireless work of activist group Disabled People Against Cuts.

Add to this the story of the 49 secret DWP investigations into claimant deaths, revealed earlier this year by John Pring’s Disability News Service, and a startling truth emerges.

The DWP is now largely being held to account not by opposition politicians, not by well-funded charities such as Disability Rights UK, but by activists with virtually no income.

One of the main weapons of these new campaigners is the Freedom of Information Act. But we know that the government is already taking steps to try to dramatically curtail the use of the Act.

How long before the government – or its multinational partners – also decide to take action against the campaigners themselves?

Source: The DWP is now largely being held to account not by opposition politicians, not by well-funded charities such as Disability Rights UK, but by activists with virtually no income. | Benefit tales

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Too poor to eat; too long to wait

'Bin diving': This is a stock shot of a man in Chelyabinsk, Russia, looking for food in rubbish bins - but it is happening here in the UK as well, and your Coalition Government will try every trick in the book to deny responsibility for it.

‘Bin diving’: This is a stock shot of a man in Chelyabinsk, Russia, looking for food in rubbish bins – but it is happening here in the UK as well, and your Coalition Government will try every trick in the book to deny responsibility for it.

Two stories on Welfare Weekly yesterday (December 9) really stood out – they express the Coalition Government’s attitude to state-funded benefits and the people receiving them so well.

The first was entitled Too Poor To Eat: Man Reduced To Tears As He Describes Being Unable To Afford Food and describes vividly – in this season of goodwill to everybody – how contemptuously the Coalition regards the people for whom it has the greatest duty of care, and how it has turned the welfare state into a tool of warfare against those least able to fight back.

It told the story of Mike from New Cross, who called LBC radio to describe how he has had to live off a tin of spaghetti a day and is forced to root through supermarket bins to survive.

“What you get covers just what you need, and you have to go to food banks,” he said.

“For these people to sit there to say oh go and get a job – I’m out there every day, looking and searching, and you know you’re trying to do it on your own, but you can’t, and it gets harder and harder.

“You’re just trying to get by. Some days I can’t eat. I don’t eat.”

The other was Five-Week Wait For Benefits Will Increase Food Bank Use, Says TUC. This warned that Universal Credit – if it ever gets introduced across the whole of the UK – will involve a wait of more than five weeks before claimants can receive benefits, rather than the current two.

New claimants will not be eligible for any financial support during the first week of their claim, and will then have to wait a further month before any benefits are paid.

The warning came in response to a cross-party inquiry into hunger and child poverty, which found that delays in benefit payments is one of primary reasons for soaring numbers of food bank users.

Clearly the Coalition Government is not bothered about the plight of people like Mike – its Universal Credit policy makes it perfectly clear that the plan is to increase the agony – for anyone who has the temerity to claim the social security for which they have been paying taxes, ever since they were old enough to be trusted with money.

And there’s another factor at play here: Blame.

Look at what Mike said: “For these people to sit there to say oh go and get a job…” Suppose he starves to death, as Mark Wood already has. What will the Coalition Government and its media puppets say? “He was another lazy man who couldn’t get up off his backside and get a job“?

Suppose more people do end up going to food banks as a result of a switchover to Universal Credit (you never know, that change might just happen) – will right-wing critics attack them in the same way a commenter on Mainly Macro attacked them? Will they be told they don’t really need the free food parcels on offer there? Will they be told they’re only going because it is free, and there is limitless demand for anything that is free? Will they be told they are just pretending to be hungry?

And what, exactly, is the ultimate purpose behind these claims?

Is it not to insure the Coalition Government against the backlash when somebody dies?

They may starve; they may commit suicide through despair. Both have already happened – here in the UK – many times since the Coalition slithered into office. Ministers don’t want you to know that they were responsible; that their policies led people to this point; that this is what they were intended to do.

Speaking ill of the dead is a better outcome for ministers than admitting they failed to provide the protection for which the people of this country pay their taxes.