Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Tory Election News You Probably Will Not Hear.

with 32 comments

Image result for Tories and welfare Theresa May

Always Looking for New Targets to Reach.

Callous Tory government targeting the most vulnerable in society’.

Welfare Weekly. 20th of April

Conservatives accused of “targeting the most vulnerable in society” with “callous” cuts to Employment and Support Allowance.

Labour MP John Cruddas has accused the Tory government of “targeting the most vulnerable in society” with draconian welfare cuts, which he claims will have a big impact on his poorest Dagenham and Rainham constituents.

The “callous” Conservatives are cutting £30 a week in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments for up to 500,000 sick and disabled people, reducing the amount they receive from £102.15 to just £73.10 – the same amount as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – despite those affected having been declared “unfit for work” following an assessment.

Bereaved families attend widowed parents’ allowance protest

Westminster demonstration takes place after change in rules dramatically reduces amount paid out after a death.

Widowed parents have attended a protest outside parliament after ministers pressed ahead with cuts that will leave some bereaved families more than £50,000 worse off.

One of the attendees said the decision, which came into place earlier this month, was equivalent to “punishing those who are living out most families’ worst nightmares”.

Scotland: Scottish Housing News.

Women ‘hardest hit’ by UK welfare cuts, says minister

Women are being unfairly impacted by recent UK government cuts to benefits and welfare eligibility, according to equalities secretary Angela Constance.

An estimated 20% of women’s income comes from benefits and child tax credits, compared to 10% of men’s. Meanwhile, of all in-work families receiving child tax credits, 87% of recipients were women. For in-work single parents, 94% of recipients were female.

By 2020-21 it is estimated around 50,000 Scottish households will be affected by the changes to child tax credits, which will be capped at two children. This means anyone with two children or more will no longer receive tax credits at the birth of their next child or subsequent children, unless an exception applies. The policy also affects those making a new Universal Credit claim.

In addition, new families will lose £545 a year from the removal of the ‘family element’ – an additional payment that applies to the birth of a first child.

Ms Constance said: “The latest welfare cuts are having a hugely damaging and disproportionate impact on women. It is, frankly, an appalling assault on the incomes of ordinary people already struggling to make ends meet.

“It is all the more concerning because in many households women are the primary, or even sole, carers of children – a massive step backwards for equality in our society.

“As usual we are seeing an alarming lack of understanding from the UK government about the impact of their ideologically-driven policies. This is most evident in the extremely ill-thought through ‘rape clause’, where – shockingly – women have to provide evidence they’ve been raped to access benefits.

“The UK government’s callous policies make our own efforts to eradicate child poverty even harder. We are spending some £100 million a year on welfare mitigation to protect the vulnerable and those on low incomes, which we would rather be investing in anti-poverty measures. The reality is we are tackling deep seated issues of inequality with one hand tied behind our back.

“These welfare cuts were also introduced at the same time the UK government reduced taxes for the most well off south of the border. In contrast, our approach to social security will be based on dignity and respect and listening to people’s views – that’s why we are recruiting 2,000 people to shape the new system through our Experience Panels.”

And just to cheer everybody up: from the Belfast Telegraph about our old friend, Universal Credit.

No Stormont deal could see welfare reform with hard edge

Without a deal to bring back devolution, the Assembly will be unable to bring in mitigation schemes to cushion the impact of the upheaval for vulnerable families and individuals.

Universal Credit, which replaces a number of major benefits, is to be rolled out across the province in just over four months.

If the Assembly is not restored in that time, Secretary of State James Brokenshire will be required to take unilateral action, that could bring the Government in for criticism from other parts of the UK if the mitigation measures are included.

Just over 18 months ago the DUP and Sinn Fein handed back responsibility for welfare to Westminster, after more than three years of deadlock over benefit reforms.

The result was the Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Act, which means the power to trigger Universal Credit changes is in place.

Around 300,000 households will be impacted, with official estimates that 126,000 will be worse off by an average of almost £40 a week.

A further 114,000 are expected to be an average of £29 better off a week, with 72,000 remaining unchanged.

The changes are to be phased in gradually across Northern Ireland staring with Limavady in September – if the current timetable can be adhered to – followed by Ballymoney, Magherafelt and Coleraine.

The full roll-out of the programme will take a year, finishing off with Cookstown, Ballynahinch and Newcastle by September of next year.

Universal Credit replaces a series of existing benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

The Department for Communities, which is working with the Department for Work and Pensions in London following the handover of responsibilities, confirmed yesterday the Assembly had been expected to deal with legislation to extend mitigation payments central to the reforms here.

“Mitigation schemes are already in place for legacy benefits for example JSA and ESA. Further legislation will be required to extend these mitigation payments to Universal Credit,” a statement said.

“This legislation will be dealt with by the NI Assembly. If there was no return to devolved government then such legislation would be considered in line with whatever arrangements were put in place to deal with this and all other pending NI legislation.”

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph this month, benefits expert Professor Eileen Evason said more can be achieved through parties working together.

“What we have, limited as it is, is far in advance of what has been secured by other devolved governments and demonstrates what can be achieved through devolution when people work together,” she said.

Prof Evason, who chaired a Stormont working group charged with mitigating the impact of the reforms within the financial framework, added: “I am also very aware of the high level of social need that continues to scar so many households and communities and is most evident in the growing reliance on food banks.

“I have no doubt those working with the most vulnerable in our society are anxious to move forward, but here, as is the case on so many issues, it is difficult to see how progress can be made without resolution of the current political impasse.”

Belfast Telegraph

Written by Andrew Coates

April 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

32 Responses

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  1. Nothing but bad news for many, the Tory world.


    April 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

  2. Britain ruled by deranged psychopath.


    April 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

  3. Sara Weller to be the Lead Non-Executive Director at the DWP, taking over from Dame Clara Furse.



    April 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

  4. Theresa May is going on Top Gear to learn about U Turns. It will be the only TV debate that Theresa May will be doing.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm

  5. #twittersclosingdown

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm

  6. Tories accused of ‘election bribe’ by unveiling help for the disabled while campaign gets under way

    People denied benefits can keep their adapted Motability cars for longer thanks to an announcement just 36 hours before a ban on new policy

    Mirror.uk.co – 20th April 2017

    Tory ministers have been accused of offering an “election bribe” by unveiling long-awaited help for people who lose their disability benefits.

    People can now keep their specially-adapted Motability cars for up to six months if they are denied Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

    Today’s announcement came 36 hours before a ban on nearly all ministerial statements that is designed to keep the government impartial in a general election.

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams claimed: “This is too little, too late for disabled people.

    “This is a thinly veiled election bribe. If the government really cared about disabled people, they would have done this a long time ago.”

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

  7. Any one who goes against Theresa May is a saboteur. Which makes Theresa May & The Tories a dictatorship.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 21, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    • We the majority are the enemy.


      April 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

  8. Foreign aid spending and taxes could increase and pensions hit if the Conservative party wins the general election, under plans announced today.



    April 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm

  9. Andrew Coates

    April 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm

  10. Theresa May has so far been reticent about the content of the Conservative manifesto for the general election which is just weeks away.

    So it is worth reminding ourselves of some of the most significant Tory policies since the party came into power in 2010.



    April 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm

  11. Everyone in Ipswich vote Labour. Ben Gummer has done nothing good for the town. The obsession on the £100m wet dock crossing and £3m Cornhill design nobody approves of is wasted money better spent elsewhere. £20m given to the wine rack to paint the perfect picture whilst the poor is getting poorer, the number of people begging and the homeless is growing.

    Labour has lost their way. The Ipswich candidate will be pretty terrible. Their policies are pretty rubbish too. Gummer Junior is just using the Ipswich seat to further his career in politics. Showing him the door (even by voting someone equally unpopular) to prevent the wealthy middle class ***** from progressing to part of the cabinet is a duty all us folk should be undertaking.


    April 23, 2017 at 12:03 am

    • Well I and many others would rather have these policies rather than the Tory policies.



      April 23, 2017 at 10:01 am

    • The Wet Dock Crossing, from nowhere to nowhere, really sticks in the craw.

      Labour will have an excellent candidate in Ipswich ready to take on public schoolboy Gummer, who would be better off spending time in writing a sequel to this (which some consider a prophecy for Tory policies).

      Andrew Coates

      April 23, 2017 at 10:54 am

  12. Ben Brooks-Dutton (Bereaved dad) vows to campaign against ‘ludicrous’ benefit cuts for grieving parents.

    The cruel changes mean newly bereaved single parents and their children will be £80 a week worse off.



    April 23, 2017 at 8:58 am

  13. vulture capitalism. not afraid to fight to satisfy their greed.



    April 23, 2017 at 9:18 am

  14. WORKING Police officer & model DEFRAUD £75’000 between them.

    We’ve all recently read the stories of Pc Steven Cook & Chelsey Harwood. What we don’t read however is how that value of money could have housed 8 people who currently live on the streets, 8 people who could have been that little bit closer to the support this government claims to offer but seldom ever delivers on.

    Someone living on the street has no chance of getting employment whats so ever yet under JSA must actively seek employment. Never do i here DWP coaches spend any time assisting the individual into looking for a home, knowing full well, NO HOME, no job. But hey, when your not considered vulnerable its perfectly acceptable under law not to house this person. Whats interesting about this statement is not so long ago this government handed down to DWP a protocol that any one with a mental illness not accompanied by a physical disablement must be treated as NOT VULNERABLE. Its interesting as now we are seeing quite a few homeless people who are without doubt mentally ill sleeping in our shop doorways and the likes.

    These homeless people on the streets aren’t going to go away, there going to end up in hospitals and prisons, a cost way way more costly towards the taxpayer long term. It also helps this government privatize both faster which means even more money longterm coming out of the hard working public pockets and the railway is a prime example of that.

    Would you for example rather spend £26000 turning someones life and chances around or that amount for every year they spend in prison (remember most prisoners are repeat offenders) ?


    April 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

  15. It’s not the first time, is it?

    Theresa May should give Labour a “round of applause” for highlighting the scandal of rip-off gas and electricity bills, the former shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint has said, after it emerged the Conservative manifesto will include an energy price cap.

    Capping utility bills was a key policy in Labour’s 2015 general election manifesto, and was criticised by the Conservatives at the time as statist intervention in the economy.



    April 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

  16. The poor get poorer and the rich won’t admit it

    John McDonnell has put a £70,000 price tag on wealth. So why are we all so desperate to be included in the ‘squeezed middle’?



    April 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm

  17. The 10 areas worst-hit by the Tories’ cruel housing benefit cut for youngsters

    New research has revealed the 10 areas of Britain worst-hit by a cruel Tory benefit cut.

    The study suggests 18,000 people are potentially hit by the government’s decision to strip 18-21 year old jobseekers of housing benefit.

    Charities have already warned the policy, which came into force this month, could force youngsters onto the streets as landlords are put off taking them in.

    The DWP has published a long list of exemptions for parents, orphans, care leavers, domestic abuse victims, the disabled and those in temporary accommodation.



    April 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

  18. Editorial: Tories get a cruel fix from seeing poor people suffer.

    For years we’ve been forced to listen to Tory claims that they’ve had to make “difficult decisions” to manage Britain’s finances and balance the books, while their actions have resulted in pushing the poorest and the most vulnerable people in our society to the brink and beyond.

    We’re told that the economy is on the path to recovery, and that the Conservatives have replaced Labour as the party of the working class, at a time when record numbers are trapped on zero-hours contracts and over a million people are having to turn to food banks to feed themselves and their families.



    April 25, 2017 at 8:19 am

  19. Food banks handed out a record number of meals last year after the chaotic introduction of universal credit, the government’s flagship welfare overhaul, left claimants unable to afford meals when their benefits were delayed.

    The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network, announced that it provided 1,182,954 three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis in 2016-17, up 6.4% on the previous year’s total of 1,109,000.

    This is the ninth successive year in which Trussell Trust figures have increased.

    A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The reasons for food bank use are complex, so it’s misleading to link them to any one issue. Employment is the best route out of poverty, and there are now record numbers of people in work. Under universal credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.

    Debbie Abrahams, the shadow work and pensions secretary, called the news “a damning condemnation of the Tories’ economic failure”



    April 25, 2017 at 8:24 am

  20. Foodbank figures soar in UC areas


    A DWP spokesperson said: “The reasons for food bank use are complex, so it’s misleading to link them to any one issue.

    “Employment is the best route out of poverty, and there are now record numbers of people in work. Under Universal Credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.

    “Universal Credit is designed to mirror the world of work and give people control over their own finances”.

    So WORKING PEOPLE wait 6 weeks plus for wages, ask for advanced payments from there NEW EMPLOYER to survive while visiting foodbanks ?

    Of course they don’t, yet this government maintains the mantra it “MIRRORS THE WORLD OF WORK”.

    So people didn’t control their finances under the old system ?

    So direct debit to a landlord isn’t the same as DWP paying the landlord direct ?

    That 2 weeks difference somehow changes the need to “control their own finances”. Did i miss something, did DWP get our shopping,pay our utility bills directly without the need for a claimant to intervene ?

    As for getting into work faster and longer, under the old system as soon as you hit 16 hours work, unemployment was cut off as was housing until you reapply for housing and if eligible working tax credit.
    All the reform has done is make the transfer to say credits for example seamless as the 16 hour rule still applies even under UC.

    It would appear people are going into work faster and longer as prior there was a split between working and non working procedure. There’s actually nothing to measure it by than this.

    SO WE SPENT 100s of millions on a rebrand when all we had to do was change a few regulations.


    April 25, 2017 at 8:39 am

    • The Trussell Trust welcomes Damian Green’s willingness to work with frontline charities and calls for more flexibility and support to help people moving to Universal Credit

      Willingness to work with, as in doing what?



      April 25, 2017 at 8:52 am

      • Key recommendations:

        1. Recent positive engagement between The Department for Work and Pensions and The Trussell Trust at a national level is welcome. However, more information about the shape and form of Universal Support locally, particularly ahead of full UC rollout in an area, would bring clarity to foodbanks.

        2. A reduction of the six week waiting period for Universal Credit would make a significant difference to people’s ability to cope with no income. The ‘waiting period’, the time before the assessment period begins, could be reduced first.

        3. More flexibility in the administration of Universal Credit is needed to support people moving onto the new
        system. For example, more support for people applying online who are unfamiliar with digital technology, and support to improve people’s ability to move into work and stay in work.

        4. Continued monitoring the impact of conditionality, in particular in-work conditionality, which has been linked to increased foodbank use.

        16 pages



        April 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

  21. […] Tory Elections News You Probably Will Not Hear. […]

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