Archives for posts with tag: poverty

A run of bad luck leaves one man struggling to make sense of the UK benefits system. Very soon he is left with no income and at risk of losing the roof over his head. Can he find his way through a bafflingly complex maze of rules? Put yourself in his shoes.

Your name is Tony Rice. You’re the sort of bloke who gets along with everyone. Always making people laugh. Ever since you left school you’ve been in and out of all sorts of jobs. Manual labour, mostly – builder, dustman, crane driver, painter and decorator. Hawker Siddeley, the aerospace company – you like it there, until the factory shuts.

You split up with your girlfriend so you ask your mum to put you up until you can sort out a flat. Save a few quid. You’re very close to your mum and dad. They’re your best friends, really. Your dad has lung cancer and needs a bit of looking after. You take him for a drive most days because he doesn’t like staying in all the time. He’s like you, not a man to sit about. At one time he worked three jobs, all at once. Still does half an hour each morning in the garden.

So you’re back in the council house in Chingford, north-east London, that you’ve

 

Source: You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News

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How Charles Dickens reinvented Christmas and the current Tory Government have removed Christmas. It is a pity that the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are not available to visit The Prime Minister Theresa May and all of her Ministers.

Govt Newspeak

I am a great Dickens fan and love his work as well as his philanthropy and exposure of the treatment of the poor, I think he’d turn in his grave if he saw how the Victorian poverty he witnessed is back. The more I add articles about the poor denied benefits via Universal Credit to the despicable treatment of the disabled denied PIP/ESA the more I’m convinced that the Tories are adhering to Thatcher’s ideology by taking us back to Victorian “values People unaffected by the welfare “reforms” are either 1) unconcerned about what is happening to the jobless/disabled/poor 2) Blissfully unaware that they are one illness/accident or job loss from suffering the same fate as millions of others and when they ask what help they can get, they will be told:

Ebenezer:But have they no refuge, no resource?
Spirit of Christmas Present: [quoting Scrooge] Are there no…

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Govt Newspeak

George Osborne after delivering his budget in March 2016.
 George Osborne after delivering his budget in March 2016. 

Here’s a shocking fact. Around 70,000 children go to school hungry in a city dripping with the world’s mostly unearned, undeserved, under-taxed obscene wealth. One in four parents in London worry about being able to feed their children.

Almost a fifth of families in the capital choose between heating their homes or feeding their children, according to the latest research by YouGov, with one in seven families relying on charities and food banks. Even if their children aren’t going hungry, a third of parents feel they can’t afford the healthier food they know they should have. Food charity the Felix Project says, “Hungry children are held back in their development – they don’t do as well at…

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By STEVE TOPPLE

Amid the frenzy of the autumn budget, from ‘millennial rail cards‘ to ‘sticking plasters‘, there was one word that for me was glaring by its omission. And considering it represents 20% of the UK population, you’d think that Philip Hammond and Jeremy Corbyn would have given it a mention. But they didn’t. And that word is ‘disability’.

Missing in action

A quick scan using your internet browsers’ ‘Find’ function shows that ‘disability’ did not feature in either Hammond’s or Corbyn’s speeches. The Labour leader did say:

Too many are experiencing… long-term economic pain. And the hardest hit are disabled people, single parents and women.

But otherwise, that was it. And for me, it sums up the political attitude to disabled people entirely. That is, important when politicians want to look good; not so important in what they view as the grand scheme of things.

A “budget speeches”

There are an estimated 13.3 million disabled people in the UK; 20% of the population. And for seven years, this community has been subjected to what the UN called “grave” and “systematic” violations of its human rights, at the hands of successive Conservative-led governments. The situation is so serious that one UN representative said the government had created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK.

Figures from 2015 showed 90 people a month were dying after the government told them they were ‘fit-for-work’, when in fact it should have been supporting them. This is how far the rights of disabled people have regressed in the UK. Yet neither politician felt the need to dedicate any part of their speeches to disabled people.

One issue sums up their wilful ignorance best: the ongoing dispute between transport unions and Southern Rail.

What’s good for the goose

At the heart of the dispute are alleged breaches of the Equality Act 2010, because disabled people can’t just ‘turn up and go’ at every station; at some, they have to book assistance 24 hours in advance.

Now, imagine if the BAME or LGBTQ+ communities were told that, if they wanted to get a train quickly, they couldn’t. There would (rightly) be a public outcry. But politicians, companies and much of the public think it’s fine for disabled people because, well – y’know. They have wheelchairs and stuff, right?

Wrong. The situation encapsulates what’s known as the “social model” of disability. It says that disabled people are only disabled because society makes them so – for example, companies not investing properly in the railways so disabled people can get a train like everyone else. Or disabled people not being able to enter a building because it only has a flight of steps.

No person is disabled because of their disability. They are disabled in spite of it. And it’s that which the public and politicians, by and large, fail to realise. They are happy to see disabled people as a sub-species, now so far removed from the social model it’s untrue.

Killed by wilful ignorance

My friend and activist Paula Peters summed it up best recently. She called Theresa May a “murderer”, and she’s not far wrong. Politicians’ wilful disregard for disabled people is killing them. And by ignoring the community in both their speeches, Hammond and Corbyn have, to me, declared their positions: they are fine being seen allowing disabled people to die.

I’m tired of writing about this, but I’m more tired of ignorant politicians and their supporters ignoring my friends and loved ones. Enough is enough.

Get Involved!

– Read more from The Canary on the autumn budget.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via YouTube/YouTube

 

Source : In both their budget speeches, Hammond and Corbyn threw 20% of the population under the bus [OPINION] : The Canary


Govt Newspeak

It’s a sad indictment of our society that in the run up to Christmas, many people feel the need to focus their charitable efforts on ensuring that children in the UK do not go hungry.

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The cumulative impact of austerity and the relentless rollout of Universal Credit mean that many children could face a Christmas which is Dickensian, in all the wrong ways.

Yet some people see Victorian times not as an era from which we have thankfully progressed, but as a source of inspiration as to how we can tackle the problems we face today.

In a recent article by Simon Lofthouse on the Tory Workers website, Modern Philanthropy, A Second Victorian Age of Altruism, philanthropy was advocated as, “the acceptable form of wealth distribution for the 21st Century; the radical free market response to today’s challenges.” The author claimed that, “In Victorian times, the wealthy used philanthropy very…

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The NHS is worth fighting for, for if it fails we will regress to pre 1948 facilities, where it was no money no life.

Govt Newspeak

A 94-year-old WWII veteran silences a TV studio with his harrowing two-minute account of life before the NHS [VIDEO]

Harry Leslie Smith is a 94-year-old veteran of World War II, and knew the hardship of life before the NHS. In an interview for the Russell Howard’s Good News show, his two-minute tale of the life and death of his disabled sister made the case for the NHS better than anyone.

From workhouse infirmary to paupers’ pit

Describing life before the NHS, Smith explains that only those with enough money could see a doctor or go to the hospital. Everyone else was at the mercy of “local cures”, which were useless against the most common diseases of the time, like tuberculosis. When his sister Marion contracted the disease, the family could not afford to get her medical treatment.

With Marion disabled by the disease, the family had no access to a wheelchair either, so they pushed her around in a cart made of bamboo. Smith remembers sharing the cart with…

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John Pring Disability News Service 14th September 2017

About 900,000 disabled people will see their weekly incomes fall by at least £50 a week by 2020, because of the continuing impact of the government’s welfare reforms, according to new research.

The research by the consultancy Policy in Practice found that, of 7.2 million working-age, low-income households, more than two-fifths of those containing a working-age disabled person would lose at least £50 a week, compared with November 2016.

The report, The Cumulative Impact Of Welfare Reform: A National Picture, says the impact of measures introduced after November 2016 will see the average low-income household containing a working-age disabled person lose £51.47 a week by 2020, compared with an average loss of £35.82 for households not containing a disabled person.

This will come on top of an average weekly loss of more than £20 for low-income households containing a working-age disabled person as a result of welfare reforms introduced pre-November 2016 – such as the benefit cap, cuts to housing benefit and the bedroom tax – although this figure does not take account of rising living costs.

 

Source: Welfare reform ‘will see £50 a week more cuts to 900,000 disabled people’ – Black Triangle Campaign


Grab your popcorn. This showdown between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell is everything. from The Canary on 8th September 2017

Source: Grab your popcorn. This showdown between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell is everything. | The Canary


The poor side of life

Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.

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We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy.  But it’s a whole lot harder for them.

I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at  Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…

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America never learn, but do believe they are the sole masters of the universe and what they do must be right. Trump said he was different, but as we see he is just the same.

Oil is the paymaster and oil has to be obeyed.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Here’s another brilliant little video from the Jimmy Dore Show, which casts further light on the US’ role in spreading the carnage and chaos in Syria. In this clip, the comedian, with his co-hosts Steffi Zamora and Ron Placone, talk about a story which appeared in March, 2016, in the Los Angeles Times. The Pentagon and the CIA are backing different rebel factions in Syria. The Pentagon is backing one bunch as part of their campaign against ISIS, while the CIA is arming another group in order, the paper claimed, to bring Assad to the negotiating table. As Dore points out, this isn’t what the CIA and its government paymasters want. They want to oust Assad altogether. He reminds his viewers how the United States was approached by Saudi Arabia and Qatar several years ago. The two Arab nations offered to pay if America invaded Syria and overthrew Assad…

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