Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

UK Poor are Worst off in Western Europe, Closer to Poor in Former Eastern Bloc.

with 71 comments

Future for the Poor Under Tory Rule.

This story by Danny Dorling deserves wide attention.

The Tories will reduce UK public spending to Estonian levels (Guardian)

In the main parties’ election manifestos published this week, public spending is still public enemy number one. The Conservatives insist that a further £12bn in cuts to the welfare budget must be found over the course of the next parliament. If it isn’t, they warn, then the hordes of so-called skivers who receive unemployment benefit, child support, or disability benefits will keep draining Britain dry.

What is the reality of life for the worse off in the UK?

One case stands out.

The Guardian talks of the “UK’s now punitive benefit sanctions regime and benefits are not simply designed for subsistence or below. “

It’s part of a pattern:

The High Pay Centre says,

Analysis of OECD figures suggests the poorest fifth of the UK population are the poorest in Western Europe

The poorest fifth of the UK population are significantly worse off than the poorest fifth in other Western European countries, according to analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data published by the High Pay Centre think-tank today.

The High Pay Centre examined the ‘OECD Better Life Index’ which estimates the average net disposable household income for the world’s richest economies, as well as the average for the poorest and richest 20% of the population in each country.

In the UK, the poorest fifth of the population have an average income of just $9,530, much lower than the poorest fifth in other North West European countries such as Germany ($13,381), France ($12,653), Denmark ($12, 183) or the Netherlands ($11,274).

In fact, the poorest people in the UK are closer to the poorest in former Eastern bloc countries Slovenia and the Czech Republic than to the poor in Western Europe. This is despite the fact that the OECD estimates average incomes in the UK ($25,828) are similar to Denmark ($25,172) and the Netherlands ($25,697). The UK’s average is inflated by the incomes of the top 20% of the population  – at around $54,000, the third highest in the EU. In Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, the top 20% make between $44,000 and $49,000.

High Pay Centre Director Deborah Hargreaves said: These figures suggest we need to be more concerned about inequality and how prosperity is shared, as well as average incomes or aggregate measures like GDP. The fact that the rich are richer in the UK than many other countries hides the fact that the poor are poorer.

Most people think our living standards in the UK are similar to economies like France and Germany, but being poor in the UK is more like being poor in the former Soviet Bloc than in Western Europe.

The High Pay Centre analysis also notes that if the UK’s total income of around £1 trillion was divided in the same way as total incomes in Denmark or the Netherlands, 99% of UK households would be better off by around £2,700 per year.

Dorling concludes,

…the government’s plans to rapidly reduce the proportion of GDP spent on public services to 38% by 2019 mean that after 2015, the UK would leave the second division of European countries by public spending and enter the third division alongside Ireland, Estonia and the Slovak Republic. A UK in this league would become more similar to these countries. It could become a place from which the young try to emigrate and in which the old are not well cared for, in which people on average live shorter, more brutal and less valued lives.

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71 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    April 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm

  2. SOAK THE RICH!!

    DOUBLE DOLE AND PENSION

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    April 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm

  3. EAT THE RICH!!

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    April 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm

  4. Support a lower cap on benefits
    Crack down on benefit fraud
    End welfare tourism with a five-year embargo on benefits for migrants
    Stop child benefit being paid to children who don’t live here permanently and limit child benefit to two children for new claimants
    Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’

    End unfair ATOS-style work capability assessments and return the system and funding to GPs
    Increase Carers’ Allowance to match Job Seekers’ Allowance – £572 more a year

    Circumstances can conspire against any one of us to leave us unemployed, seriously ill and unable to work, perhaps even facing bankruptcy and homelessness.

    UKIP is fully committed to maintaining a strong and supportive safety net for those who fall on hard times, but will not be a soft-touch on welfare.

    Circumstances can conspire against any one of us to leave us unemployed, seriously ill and unable to work, perhaps even facing bankruptcy and homelessness.
    UKIP is fully committed to maintaining a strong and supportive safety net for those who fall on hard times, but will not be a soft-touch on welfare.

    We will also put 800 advisors into foodbanks to help those using them with additional problems such as debt, addiction, family breakdown and mental or physical health problems, and to offer employment and legal advice.

    http://www.ukip.org/ukip_manifesto_summary

    enigma

    April 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm

  5. Welfare benefits vary widely, with France among the most generous provider of unemployment benefits, while the safety net has diminished in the traditionally liberal Nordic countries.

    Germany

    payments are automatically reduced by 30% for three months if a recipient refuses to accept suitable work offered, or makes no effort to find work, and by a further 30% if they repeat the same behaviour. A person can earn an extra €165 a month, working less than 15 hours, without it affecting their benefit.

    Grants are available of up to €2,557 per project to adapt the home of a disabled person to their individual needs. They are also entitled to housing benefit of up to €1,500, depending on the severity of the disability; help towards taxi fares to enable mobility and participation in normal life; and free public transport. There is also money to cover care at home, measured on three levels, according to an individual’s care needs.

    Russia

    most disabled people struggle on the benefits they are allotted, especially as most Russian cities are extremely unfriendly to disabled people, with stairs, potholed pavements and several months of ice and snow a year. Of those disabled people who could supplement their allowances with work, many say they are unable to find a job due to workplace discrimination.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/which-best-countries-live-unemployed-disabled-benefits

    enigma

    April 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm

  6. …It could become a place from which the young try to emigrate and in which the old are not well cared for, in which people on average live shorter, more brutal and less valued lives. ,,,

    There is no safety net now.

    Low waged people are below the Lower Earnings Level to get automatic National Insurance credits and therefore are not within the welfare state and will never get a state pension.

    See end of my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    Welcome to UK today already.
    Suicide.
    Early death from starvation for the young and families.
    Freezing to death in unheated homes for the elderly.
    More homelessness.
    Social cleansing of London as entire social housing estates sold off to private developers to build luxury flats,
    and rehoused far from London with best chance of jobs,
    to as far north as Birminghamand Stoke-on-Trent with far less chance of work.

    Tories intend to tax at source, disability benefit for all ages and attendance allowance for the over 65s.

    UNIVERSAL CREDIT IS THE END OF THE WELFARE STATE
    DENIES PENSIONER BENEFIT

    Universal Credit denies Pension Credit, as does the flat rate state pension and other types of pension credit from 2016.

    Universal Credit absorbs housing benefit and could absorb council tax support.

    PERMANENT SANCTIONS UNDER UNIVERSAL CREDIT
    TO THOSE IN WORK AND THOSE UNEMPLOYED
    EVEN UP TO AND BEYOND AGE 66

    Universal Credit will include working tax credits and permanently sanction by new rules frfom 2016, along with most everyone else from babes in wombs to grannies, the part time worker / low income self employed for failing to gain the impossible of full time hours.

    When most jobs since 2008 have been low waged part time and there has been a surged in low income self employed, especially over 50s when made unemployed by austerity cuts.

    FOODBANKS DO NOT FEED ANYWHERE NEAR ALL THE STARVING
    GOVERNMENT DENIES THEY ARE THE CAUSE OF STARVATION

    Foodbanks do not feed the starving as not the daily, 7 day a week free cafes that are in the EU nations that feed, without need of restrictive vouchers, the working poor and poor pensioners, equally to the unemployed.

    Government subsidises edible food to be burnt or sent to landfill and not the source of surplus food of the charity, Fareshare.

    The Government took the EU money meant for the foodbanks and spent it on admin that is the source of starvation – Jobcentres, DWP and work programmes / workfare (the latter Nazi ideology).

    SANCTIONS THE CAUSE OF STARVATION
    ALONGSIDE BENEFIT LOSS TO THOSE IN WORK OR UNEMPLOYED THE SAME

    Sanctions cause premature birth and the stress of hunger to mean a new mother cannot breast feed.

    Millions of weeks of sanctions imposed, are death from starvation by design, as death from starvation happens, on average, within one month, and sanctions are many months long.

    Doctors are reporting (but ignored by government) a huge rise in malnutriton NHS hospital admissions. GPS are talking between each other (equally ignored by government) of the great increase in the hunger sympton in kids of Rickets, effecting bone development for life.

    FRAUD IS NOT THE LOSS TO BENEFITS BILL
    WELFARE ADMIN HAS COST HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS
    AND STARVED THE POOR, MOSTLY IN WORK, INTO NHS CARE FROM
    STARVATION

    Fraud is only 0.07 per cent of entire welfare bill, whereas the cost of welfare admin, including the trebling since 2006 of sanction decision-makers, has risen by the tens of billions each year, more if add on the expensive IT projects.

    Whilst the money to the starving has reduced by the billions year on year.

    97 per cent of the benefit bill is poor pensioners (lowest state pension of all rich nations) and people in work, with barely 2 per cent the unemployed,
    within which are the disabled and chronic sick
    dumped off those benefits onto Universal Credit.

    REGIONAL BENEFIT CAPS
    ANOTHER CAUSE OF STARVATION TO COME

    Lower cap on benefit is what is coming with regional benefit caps, which means even more social cleansing and the end of social housing, already destroyed by the loss of council tax support to millions.

    CARERS LEFT WITH NO MONEY

    Carer’s Allowance will be cut to 40 per cent claimants, because only paid to those eligible for Universal Credit.

    Paying child benefit only for the first two children, hits the working poor already on flat lined wages a decade into the past and takes food out of the mouths of babes and kids.

    FOODBANKS ADVISORS A STICKING PLASTER
    OVER
    A WEEPING, RAGGED WOUND

    …We will also put 800 advisors into foodbanks to help those using them with additional problems such as debt, addiction, family breakdown and mental or physical health problems, and to offer employment and legal advice. …

    This is the Tory, Lib Dem and Labour, UKIP and The Greens belief about who are the poor.

    Over 90 per cent of new housing benefit claimants in the last few years have been people in work.

    More poverty is in-work, than the unemployed now.

    There are over 2 million poor pensioners only on the lowest state pension of all rich nations, so far far below the breadline.

    And a huge number of especially women about to be hit with nil state pension for life for retirement age from 2016.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    THE MILLIONAIRE WHO GAVE A MILLION TO UKIP
    HAS THROWN HIS MONEY INTO A SINK HOLE

    The Tories have already won.
    Labour will never rule alone again.

    Yougov polling predict

    277 Labour
    264 Tories
    28 (or even 19) Lib Dems

    Only 4 UKIP

    1 Green

    326 MP minimum threshold for a party to rule the UK parliament.

    In such a severe hung parliament, the Tories are obliged, as the sitting government, by the rules to stay in power in a caretaker government.

    And so we end up in the dictatorship scenario of a second general election this year, when we get a grand coalition of Tory and Labour and no permanent presence on the opposition benches of the House of Commons, save for a flying visit from the SNP from Scotland, a few Plaid Cymru.

    THERE IS A BETTER WAY

    The poor non-voter had a landslide victory in 2010.

    The Tories have not won outright since 1992. Neither as Labour won anything in 2010.

    Most people did not turn out to vote.

    The poor are disenfranchised by the media and blogs not informing them of the parties that are the sole way to put together a group of parties to form a 326 MP minimum UK parliament.

    WHO ARE THE PARTIES WHO COULD DO THAT?

    HOW ENSURE REGISTERED TO VOTE (deadline next Monday April 20)
    See:
    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Chris

    April 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm

  7. When Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, told the Guardian that Labour “is not the party of people on benefits” it was a potent illustration of how ingrained the idea of social security being synonymous with sponging off the state has become.

    That translates to

    Hatred against those receiving benefits is out of control in Cameron’s Britain. The Tories transformed a crisis of capitalism into a crisis of public spending, and determined that the most vulnerable would make the biggest sacrifices. But taking away support from the disabled, the unemployed and the working poor is not straightforward. It can only be achieved by a campaign of demonisation – to crush any potential sympathy. Benefit recipients must only appear as feckless, workshy scroungers, living in opulent quasi-mansions with wall-to-wall widescreen TVs, rampaging around the Canary Islands courtesy of handouts from the squeezed taxpayer.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/owen-jones-hatred-of-those-on-benefits-is-dangerously-out-of-control-7763793.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/which-best-countries-live-unemployed-disabled-benefits

    The Uk is traveling down a road of hate,intolerance and injustice through propaganda of people ready to absorb what they are being told.

    ken

    April 17, 2015 at 3:12 am

  8. And if you are Poor Homeless and forced into begging you get jailed under the vagrancy act!!

    Northolt

    April 17, 2015 at 8:02 am

  9. An unemployed father-to-be hanged himself after becoming ‘stressed’ about completing a benefits form, a court has heard.

    Mark William Jacka, 26, from Tregaron in south-Wales, was expecting his first child when he took his own life after experiencing difficulty in completing a benefits form, the inquest was told.

    His girlfriend Erin Weston said he was having problems getting help from officials and was becoming increasingly more upset about having to borrow money from her.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/unemployed-father-to-be-killed-himself-over-benefits-form-stress/

    enigma

    April 17, 2015 at 8:19 am

  10. I honestly think that, as I see people begging for money in Ipswich every single day and nearly every other place I visit, exception Cambridge), that extreme poverty really is a massive problem.

    Andrew Coates

    April 17, 2015 at 11:21 am

    • I once bought a cup of coffee for a homeless person who was in the empty shop opposite McDonald’s on Carr Street in Ipswich. It was a freezing day and there was snow on the ground. It may have been the only hot drink of the day they had {Saturday..The Resource Centre in Black Horse Lane to my knowledge was closed}. I gave the person the coffee. I got warned off by the Street Rangers. I should have told the person where the Resource Centre was. I have noticed and upsurge in beggars in Ipswich too. Some have taken up behind Sainsbury’s on Dog Head Street. Others too close for comfort to the ATMS.

      Northolt

      April 17, 2015 at 11:35 am

      • I concur I have witness a growth in homeless people and rather shockingly a lot of them are quite young but as yet not school leaving age.

        Ive also seen a rise in what DWP term sofa surfing (where a person doesn’t have a tenancy but sleeps on friends sofas) which really needs looking at as there not registered as actually homeless so become hidden from statistics.

        gaia

        April 17, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      • Yes and I was in that position too just after my divorce. As long as the mail delivery address is classed as safe or you have a pick up point such as the Resource Centre or Unemployed Workers Centre in some parts of the UK. You are stuffed and they won’t help you. I speak from 1st hand experience. Others that read this will know what I mean as they are aware of what happened but I cannot post for genuine legal reasons.

        Northolt

        April 18, 2015 at 7:47 am

      • Yes there is a problem with those, or rather, above all, the, person, in Upper Brook Street by Sainsbury’s.

        It’s hard to know what anybody can do to help.

        Ipswich is a pretty good place and most people do care about each other.

        This makes me conclude that the problem is in the way people can all too easily get into these situations.

        I thought the whole idea of basic welfare was to provide a safety net, not to try to harry and ‘reform’ people as if they were criminals.

        Andrew Coates

        April 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      • Andrew. I thought in Ipswich we had ”Street Pastors” and other ”Outreach Workers” out at night to help these people. Is there not a Night Shelter on the Norwich Road near the YMCA. I think it’s called the Wilbury or something of a similar nature. In my last post I referred to being in that situation and I was guided there and spent 2 nights there.

        Northolt

        April 18, 2015 at 7:53 am

  11. Ed Milliband challenges David Cameron to a duel.

    Onion News

    April 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm

  12. According to IDS today, 60% of the created jobs since coming into power went to UK people.

    Well that stands at 1’080’000 jobs so if we spread this across 367 towns and cities, over 5 years, that means only 588 jobs were created every year, per town and city.

    To be even more clinical that’s around 11 jobs per week, per town and city.

    What was equally as disturbing was that IDS didn’t seem the slightest bit bothered that 40% went to non nationals. For a party talking of exiting the EU, they’ve got a funny way of showing it by being content that near half there effort ended up benefiting Europe while there own clans men suffer, struggling to afford both heating and food simultaneously.

    gaia

    April 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

  13. Insider special report: Dispute resolution. changing the justice system.

    Perry Gourley finds new routes to dispute resolution are emerging.

    “An online disputes system would reduce the time it takes to resolve disputes and accordingly reduce the costs for all involved”

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-features/insider-special-report-dispute-resolution-5534672

    enigma

    April 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

  14. UP OR DOWN? APPARENTLY, IT’S BOTH!

    Here is some news about the latest unemployment figures.

    First, unemployment, we’re told, is at a 7 year low.

    Second, unemployment in Scotland has risen for the second quarter in a row.

    Make of these figures what you will!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-32348656

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/32350391

    Tobanem

    April 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    • Okay lets take this claptrap [Peston over at BBC complaining bout his ‘Tories’ not getting a bigup from the common voter – ie no Maggie landslide] apart shall we, from the Top:

      ConMen, are actually really ConMen, and getting No Bigup from Low unemployment/improved ecomony. That might have something to do with
      1] fear of unemployment,
      2] being unemployed, or knowing someone who is,
      3] poor, lets say that again shall we,
      4] poor, less money in pocket than before 2008,
      5] real cost of living via GDP per capita is actually less than what is being boasted by ConMen in this and nowhere near 2008 levels
      6] disbelief of what all parties but escpecially what ConMem are claiming,
      7] looking around and seeing the effects of austerity,
      8] privatisation of Health service
      9] millionaires on cabinet front bench
      10] fearing where next round of savage cuts are going to hit
      11] poor, on zero-hours contract, or knowing someone who is
      12] dimly becoming aware of what changes to pensions means long term – not good
      13] if unemployed knowing ConMem allow sciopath Smith to be a minister along with Vamperilla McVile and Lord ‘Fraud’ a fraud of a lord
      14] Having David “Fuck off back to Eton” Cameron as Prime Minster

      Add your choice to the list.

      Gazza

      April 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

  15. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    April 17, 2015 at 10:28 pm

  16. Where is Wayne ?.

    Finder

    April 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

  17. OT?

    Govan Law Centre to launch new campaign for tenants by taking to the streets:

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/law-centre-campaign-to-help-tenants-203848n.123407248

    Tobanem

    April 18, 2015 at 8:11 am

  18. Diane Abbott smooches with IDS, there are pictures – oh dear!
    ———————————————
    They are more used to bumping into each other in the House of Commons but today, Labour’s Diane Abbott and Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith had a surprise encounter in Cliftonville.

    The political pair took time out from fighting the election battle to greet each other with a friendly smile and a kiss outside ST Jewellers in Northdown Road.

    Ms Abbott was canvassing with North and South Thanet Labour candidates Frances Rehal and Will Scobie.

    Meanwhile, Mr Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was lending his support to Conservative hopeful Craig Mackinlay.

    http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/an-unexpected-encounter-35330/

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    April 18, 2015 at 10:52 am

  19. Solution to zero-hours contracts is to rebrand them, says Iain Duncan Smith.

    Conservative work and pensions secretary blames Labour and the media for scare stories about contracts he says should be renamed ‘flexible-hours contracts’

    He defended the contracts – which do not guarantee any hours of work for an employee – after the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, criticised the “epidemic” of zero-hours working arrangements in the UK since the Conservatives came to power.

    Miliband has repeatedly said it is not right that employees get a text message late the night before to tell them whether they have any work in the morning.

    He has pledged to ban “exploitative” zero-hours contracts and make sure people are given more secure contracts if they are working for an employer for three months.

    But speaking on Sky News, Duncan Smith said: “I think, with respect, the media and others have got this completely wrong, the flexible-hours contracts I’m talking about which are named ‘zero-hours contracts’, they are taken by people who want that flexibility. The reality is what we’ve had from Labour is a series of scare stories about these.”

    Speaking later on the BBC’s World at One, he said he was “genuinely furious” with the Labour party for trying to whip up opposition to zero-hours contracts.

    He also refused to outline where the axe would fall in £12bn of planned benefit cuts. Asked whether he would want to cut child benefit by rolling it into universal credit, the new single welfare payment, he said: “That’s not on the books now. Of course, a future government may well want to look at that.”

    Esther McVey, the employment minister, has previously tried to rename zero-hours contracts as “enabling-hours contracts”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/17/solution-to-zero-hours-contracts-is-to-rebrand-them-say-iain-duncan-smith

    If IDS is furious now, just think what he will be like after he loses his parliamentary seat and his job – Ha Ha!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    April 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

    • And when jobseekers allowance is abolished for those not of young age, it will be called adult allowance.

      enigma

      April 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

    • IDS and any tory can rebrand it all they like as how are they going to explain how refusing such results in a sanction if they are only for people who desire flexibility as opposed to the government line and regulation of finding work thats around 37.5 hours a week or should I say then whats inwork conditionality about then ?

      IDS is just being the typical tory and backing business over the working public as lets face it, who really holds the reins on the contract as it aint the employee and never has no matter any type of contract of employment.

      I say keep letting him talk as it only serves to make him look the prat he is along with having no concept like his party on what being working class is.

      In parting this subject just remember, you don’t have to except a contract but still agree to turn up every morning your required which I can tell you wont happen as employers want you to sign contracts, need you to but no law says you have to. This means they wont hire you period and dear old DWP cant do squat diddly about it as you guest it, it requires implicit consent.

      gaia

      April 18, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      • I also forgot to mention, or should I say IDS did, that how comes most on Z contracts are on inwork benefits and how the very idea of flexibility goes against his own welfare reform.

        Lets not also forget it was his party that wanted to do away with certain employment rights if employees wanted a share of the business, reminding us that his party only want Z contracts because it benefits the tory lobbyists pockets, namely big business.

        gaia

        April 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    • Didn’t IDS admit he couldn’t live on a zero hours contract??

      kat rehman

      April 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      • We would all like it if he was on ZH 🙂

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      • HI. I have Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Not as bad as some but I do have it. It’s Chromogenic Disorder. There is no known cure. What do you think of this. It is one of the disabilities the DWP say must be seen by a Doctor. But you only see a Health Care Professional.

        Northolt

        April 19, 2015 at 9:33 am

      • Google it Peeps and see the images

        Northolt

        April 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

      • Lol Enigma good point!

        kat rehman

        April 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

      • Here is hoping for ZH for IDS come the General Election.

        Northolt

        April 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm

  20. ESA Work Capability Assessment – changes since court ruling on discrimination?

    On 4 December 2013 the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Upper Tribunal in May 2013, that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process of Employment Support Allowance places people with mental health problems, learning difficulties and autism at a
    ‘substantial disadvantage’ compared to people without those disabilities. This was followed by an Upper Tribunal hearing on 7-9 July 2014 concerning ‘reasonable adjustments’ that could address the discrimination faced by the above groups undergoing the WCA. I
    understand that the outcome of the hearing in July is yet to be announced.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/esa_work_capability_assessment_c#outgoing-437733

    enigma

    April 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

  21. The number of people relying on food banks is expected to pass the one million mark, as Labour seizes on the figures to put poverty and living standards at the heart of its general election campaign.

    Figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest provider of emergency food aid with more than 400 food banks in the UK, will be seen as evidence that families on low incomes are not sharing in the benefits of economic recovery. The statistics could puncture the Conservatives’ optimism on the economy after official figures yesterday showed there are two million more people in work than in 2010, and 557,000 more than a year ago.

    The number of people given three days’ emergency food by the Trussell Trust rose from 2,814 in the 2005-06 financial year to 61,468 in 2010-11, 346,992 in 2012-13 before jumping sharply to 913,138 in 2013-14 – including 582,933 adults and 330,205 children. Its figures for 2014-15 are due to be published on Wednesday and are expected to show a continuing rise despite the upturn in the economy.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-million-britons-using-food-banks-according-to-trussell-trust-10186142.html

    enigma

    April 18, 2015 at 11:26 am

  22. Opposition leader Ed Miliband said on Saturday that he would set up a new government unit to prosecute employers who exploit migrant workers if his Labour Party wins power in the national election on May 7.

    In a major speech on immigration — a widespread concern among Britons that has bolstered the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party — Miliband set out how Labour would try to ensure immigrants did not depress British wages.

    “We’ll make it a criminal offence to undercut pay or conditions of local workers by exploiting migrant workers,” he said in a speech in northwest England.

    More than 600,000 people migrated to Britain in the 12 months to September, up from over half a million the year before, while average wages in Britain have failed to rise significantly despite falling unemployment.

    “This exploitation of the worst kind isn’t just bad for those people directly affected, it drives down living standards and conditions for everybody else,”

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/04/18/uk-britain-election-immigration-idUKKBN0N90DF20150418

    enigma

    April 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    • “This exploitation of the worst kind isn’t just bad for those people directly affected, it drives down living standards and conditions for everybody else,”

      So does MWA and workfare…

      Another Fine Mess

      April 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  23. All of you posting on here:

    You can all eat cake, damn! Do you hear me. Fucking proles.

    Marie Antoinette

    April 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  24. “Tory plans to deny patients the right to refuse treatment are an assault on human rights”

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/peter-kinderman/tory-plans-to-deny-patients-right-to-refuse-treatment-are-assault-on-human-ri

    Annos

    April 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    • The Conservative Party’s 2015 election manifesto contains an extraordinarily retrograde assault on the rights of people with mental and physical health problems in receipt of benefits. On page 28 of the manifesto, under the euphemistic heading; “We will help you back into work if you have a long-term yet treatable condition”, they propose that; “People who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work. If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether their benefits should be reduced.”

      In other words, people with mental health problems, drug and alcohol problems, or who are overweight will no longer be able freely to choose to consent, or withhold their consent, to treatment. To decline a recommended treatment will result in benefits sanctions, and consequent misery and poverty.

      This policy has been trialled before. Leading mental health professionals thought that they had successfully lobbied the Minister for Care Services, Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, to reject the idea. Sadly it seems that Ian Duncan Smith has resurrected the spectre of the workhouses. Obey the rules, take the treatment and work for your dole, or suffer the consequences.

      enigma

      April 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      • It will be interesting to see how this goes as theres a mountain of laws and time honoured ethics to get passed as this has implications that are so far reaching that they go way beyond just those on benefit.

        gaia

        April 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      • Gaia

        This is already happening here in W Sussex, (see below) this man has just told me that he was told it was mandatory, to go to the local hospital for treatment, but this man doesn’t know what some of us know of that word “mandatory” however as he himself said, “why would any one refuse treatment if it was to make them better” so he agrees with it which is why he’s going along with it. he hasn’t had to sign any paperwork but he is one who would sign any.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      • “why would any one refuse treatment if it was to make them better”… does this dumbfuck also say “why would any one refuse ‘help and support’ to get them back into work” this fuckwit need major brain wiring surgery. what an idiot!

        Dumb and Dumber

        April 18, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      • no point in bothering with these fuckwits – they are too far gone!

        Dumb and Dumber

        April 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      • there is nothing that you can do that will ‘save’ this dumbfuck, enigma. don’t waste your time!

        Dumb and Dumber

        April 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      • Obviously your one who wouldn’t like to be any better than you are because of the obvious.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      • “why would any one refuse treatment if it was to make them better” which my neighbour said- he who needs a carer every morning because he is disabled, it is now obvious that this is going to cause problems because it already is.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      • An offer of help/support

        Definition of offer: present or proffer (something) for (someone) to accept or reject as desired.

        So the phrase is in any perspective is incorrect to say the least just like DWP implying placements are voluntary.

        People need to and are beginning to question political phrases that simply defy there very concise meaning, legal or otherwise.

        I wont get into this refusing treatment as it really is quite technical when covering law but trust me, it really isn’t that simple but will say to any having this levelled at them to ask the following first

        A: Does DWP except in writing all liability both criminal and financial in the event the treatment results in the hospitalisation and or death of the claimant.

        B: Does DWP agree to in writing not to sanction a claimant if treatment fails.

        gaia

        April 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      • I thought you would be along Gaia to present some rules and regs about this. but what you said is enough.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      • Gaia

        It is that simple.

        Your saying that if someone has no legs, they should be informed of the law about any help that just might help that person walk, or a person who can no longer see, see again. etc.

        Do you really believe that those people are happy the way they are.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      • “Why would anyone refuse treatment”

        Well apart from an inalienable right, what if the individual doesn’t feel they have a problem, that there quite happy to drink themselves to death, then what are DWP going to do when the treatment fails, sanction you for being a failure, sanction you for liking and consuming alcohol ?

        What if they take heroine (smack), the treatment drug acts exactly like the drug there trying to get you off, meaning they will still be off there face at any interview and treatment goes for years and not months.

        What if the claimant feels they don’t have a mental health problem, haven’t been diagnosed as such.

        Don’t get me wrong, im all for helping people but not forcing them as that only promotes a negative response, just ask any councillor.

        While this may help a few feeling a little blue (deflated),it will not produce the response that DWP think they are going to get, especially when people can be treated as I said for years meaning countless people stuck propping up welfare expenditure, the exact opposite of what the tories want.

        gaia

        April 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      • I too think no one should be forced to any help, nor forced to do anything else for that matter, I think the response to it will be what the DWP expect, as you know it’s all about saving money.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      • I have rheumatoid arthritis and on medication for it, at the moment it’s just my hands, I would really like the rheumatoid arthritis to disappear because I want and need my hands. who doesn’t. I’m pretty sure that “Kat” would also like her rheumatoid arthritis to disappear.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      • If you didn’t come out the anaesthetic the jobcentre would just shrug their shoulders and laugh!

        Coma

        April 18, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      • Of course, because the DWP want us all dead. look at all the money they would save. that is the reason.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      • Meanwhile how many people in history have ever been to see a doc, and why did they, of course it was their own choice to do so, now that we will soon have “would you like help with your ailment” the answer from many will be “no thanks” lets not forget what this could mean, something bad happens to you, but you have refused help, so you can not see a doc or enter a hospital, no matter what. unless you want to pay for it of course, only we won’t be able to.

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      • The thing is they wont save money as its not like claimants are going to say hell no on mass. As we explored a while ago, healthcare is quite expensive and treatment takes time so it cant possibly turn out to cull expenses.

        gaia

        April 20, 2015 at 7:46 am

    • I have just heard from someone who needs a carer every morning due to his disability, he has to go to the local hospital every now and then for treatment, he was told he has to do it but wasn’t told their would be any consequences if he didn’t go. yet.

      enigma

      April 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      • Enigma I sure would like for that to happen!! Hope you are stable at the moment and don’t flare up…

        kat rehman

        April 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      • Kat my knuckles are swollen and have been for a few years, even with the meds, but we both know the meds doesn’t make the rheumatoid arthritis disappear but does slow it down. I can still use my hands though, there is no pain, but if I were to do some digging in the garden for hours then my hands become more swollen and painful so making my hands un usable. (I’m not having that) so please don’t ask me to do your garden for 8 hours 🙂

        enigma

        April 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

  25. The Tories are embroiled in a bitter coalition row over their plans to extend the “right to buy” as a leaked ministerial letter shows they knew that forcing housing associations to sell properties at discounts could reduce the number of affordable homes.

    David Cameron announced last week that the Tories would extend Margaret Thatcher’s policy on the sale of council homes to around 1.3 million housing association tenants, offering them the chance to buy their homes at discounts of up to £102,700 in London and £77,000 in the rest of England.

    The plan was immediately attacked by housing experts, housing associations, charities and business groups, who all said the government’s figures did not add up. They doubted whether the sale of high-value council properties would be able to fund enough replacement housing and keep pace with sales to housing association tenants.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/18/tory-cameron-hopkins-right-to-buy-home-sales-housing-association

    enigma

    April 18, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    • Enigma I’m sorry and don’t worry. Weedkiller is an amazing product…!!

      kat rehman

      April 19, 2015 at 10:01 am

  26. “I am seeing examples of people who are being forced to live on water mixed with sugar, smelling with it because they have been surviving like that for two to three weeks. I am seeing people who are drinking Oxo cubes so their kids can eat.” – Fast Forward to 10:50

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05qgm2n

    Two Rooms

    Fi Glover hosts a unique experiment as two groups of people share their contrasting experiences, and voice their inner concerns about the way society is developing, as Britain faces arguably the most unpredictable election of modern times.

    In the first programme, the groups explore whether they feel that the UK is creating a secure and financially stable society for all.

    Producer: Emma Jarvis
    Series Producer: David Prest
    A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

    BBC Radio 4

    April 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm

  27. On the topic of Health and doctors & our info.

    Going to the doctor’s is a pain. Why, if you have a recurring condition, do you need to take time off to go through the same checks to get the same prescription? How is it that the only time the doctor can see you is the least convenient hour of the week? Why is it that after wasting time with old copies of National Geographic in the waiting room, you are ushered into a smaller room only to wait again?

    Now technology – bold disrupter of industries from media to banking – is promising a brave new world of medicine. A world in which, as author and cardiologist Dr Eric Topol has it in his new book, The Patient Will See You Now. Tech companies see healthcare as a new gold mine.

    IBM has just announced it will be hiring hundreds of people to help analyse reams of health data with its Watson supercomputer.

    Stolen healthcare information is worth 10 times as much as stolen credit card information. Criminals use the information to buy drugs and medical equipment to resell. It’s also some of the most, if not the most, personal information that we disclose and has traditionally been heavily protected.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/19/s-medicines-brave-new-world-of-apps-and-smart-pills-good-for-our-health

    enigma

    April 19, 2015 at 12:16 am

    • If you upload all your healthcare information and medical records to Facebook we will give you 10 FREE SPINS!! yes, 10 FREE SPINS on the fantastic game CANDY CRUSH 😀

      Mark Fuckerburg

      April 19, 2015 at 8:22 am


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