Monthly Archives: November 2012

Atos causing pain again!

The lady  (Mrs X) mentioned in my previous post who had failed her ATOS medical has sought advise from Welfare Rights, who have said yes she can appeal and will likely win but will almost definitely be placed in the WRAG group. Apparently even life threatening illness isn’t enough to get you into the Support group as we have all seen from cases highlighted in the press! This has plunged Mrs X into depression as she now realizes she will be subject to attending pointless Jobcentre interviews, forced to apply for jobs she has no chance of getting and face sanctions if she isn’t seen to be doing enough! Mrs X could also find herself having to attend a placement on workfare. All this when her Doctor says she isn’t fit for work. Unfortunately this government aren’t satisfied with all the misery they’ve caused so far and look set to cause more by stepping up the pressure on those in the WRAG group by forcing them on to mandatory work schemes.

My partner has received a letter to this effect just this week. As I’ve said before perhaps with a bit of understanding from employers some of those on ESA could work but unfortunately that understanding is sadly lacking.  If any of those people with long-term health problems did manage to secure a job in many cases it just wouldn’t last because these health problems won’t just go away and time is money. Lets face it money is more important than people’s lives in our society as is shown time and time again. We should be looking after those too ill to work not demonizing them and causing them further pain. I do wonder where all this will end – with the targeting of DLA starting soon the future for those who dare to become ill or disables looks increasingly grim!

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Bedroom tax

What should have been an opportunity to put across the barbarity of the changes in the welfare system last night on Question Time turned into a discussion on, well to be honest apart from Israel/Palestine I can’t remember what! There was a very small section about the cap on housing benefit during which Iain Duncan Smith was heard to say the changes don’t come in til April as if that makes it ok. He also expressed the view that he was changing people’s lives for the better and that he was proud of doing so. For the first time for a while there was a significant amount of shouting from the audience. Try telling the people who are set to lose their homes or face paying the bedroom tax in April that he’s improved their lives. Where are all the supporters of those unfortunate to be jobless? Why does everyone believe it is our fault we have no job? Do those fortunate enough to have a job really believe this is a life choice and that there are jobs out there for the taking that will provide us with the means to leave the world of benefits behind? This government has demonized those on welfare  benefits making it all our own fault. Whilst they milk the system we are financially discriminated against because we are so downtrodden we don’t know where to turn for support. Please join the campaign against this grossly unfair tax on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/antibedroomtax

This also affects those on low wages in receipt of housing benefit so in effect it’s not just demonizing the unemployed, sick and disabled but also those in jobs which do not pay a living wage. It is financial discrimination! And there aren’t enough smaller properties to go round anyway. Please write to your local paper and your MP and stop this unfair tax.

Lets get this stopped before there are devastating consequences as people become increasingly desperate in the face of the increasing futility of existence on society’s scrap heap.  Make the bastards at downing street see they are doing the exact opposite of improving our lives. More houses are needed – this is what happens when social houses aren’t built and the floodgates to Europe are opened whilst private rents are allowed to soar. We need to fight not lie down in the gutter and let them wipe their feet on us. Please join us.

 

Housing benefit changes set to cause devastation.

I know posts seem to be like buses none for a while then they all come at once!

The groundwork for the proposed changes to housing benefit for those in under occupied homes is being done by some councils now with claimants being asked to sign a form stating they will make up the shortfall in rent (in effect to pay for the rooms the government say they don’t need). One couple I know who are on JSA of £111.45 per week have received such a letter and are devastated that they may have to leave their home of 30+ years. This couple are in their late fifties and prior to the pit closures both worked for NCB. Since these closures both have been in and out of low paid work (many of the companies they worked for have shut down). They have limited computer skills, the husband in particular can’t get to grips with computers and is ideally suited to manual work of which there is very little in our area. He attends all the job search workshops and DWP interviews as required but still he has been unable to gain employment, but because it is his own fault there are no jobs he will be expected to pay up to 25% of his rent! Just where he’s expected to find this from their £111.45 I’ve no idea!

This couple has saved the council hundreds of pounds in the past by doing repair and improvements to their home themselves. Anyone lucky enough to end up there will have a lovely home at this couple’s expense! The stupid thing about this situation is that should they be forced to move to a smaller home, undoubtedly it will be private rental, as council properties are like gold dust these days and the rent will be probably be higher than for their current home!

The truth is, unpalatable or not mass immigration has played a part in this. No country can open the doors to anyone and everyone without investing in its infrastructure, it’s common sense that eventually jobs and homes will run out. The infuriating thing about this situation is that the poor and jobless are considered to blame for being poor and jobless. In these times everyone has to realize ‘there but for the grace of God’, it can happen to anyone.

Meanwhile the self-serving pigs in Westminster continue to milk their expenses to their heart’s content with no moral conscience, at great expense to the public purse whilst continuing to kick the already downtrodden. No doubt they’ll step over the corpses of those who’ve decided to end it all due to the futility of their situation!! All in it together- Bollocks!!

ATOS STRIKES AGAIN!!!!!!!

Despite all the publicity surrounding Atos medicals it seems they have learned nothing! An acquaintance of mine, lets call her Mrs X was telling me of her experience at the medical and it’s the same story we’ve been hearing since these medicals began. Mrs X worked doing manual and driving jobs until about ten years ago when she developed a back problem and could no longer manage to work. An operation was advised but Mrs X was reluctant due to the possibility of the op leaving her in a worse position. Her husband persuaded her that she should go ahead with the op despite the fact it could leave her paralysed. Fortunately though this didn’t happen, unfortunately neither did significant improvement and Mrs X resigned herself to the fact that return to her previous normality wasn’t an option. Mrs X can’t walk very far, is in constant pain, walks slowly, can neither sit or stand for long periods and uses a mobility scooter to get about.

Fast forward to the Atos medical which was held on the third floor of the building. Upon entering she was told she couldn’t go up on the lift in her scooter and was asked if she would be able to use the stairs should there be a fire. Her response was a truthful yes she could but by the time she got to the bottom the building might well be burnt to the ground. Deciding this was too risky they asked the nurse conducting the medical to come to the ground floor and conduct her medical there.

The nurse could clearly see Mrs X needed to use the scooter, had access to the doctor’s report about medical conditions and yet guess what Mrs X like many that have gone before her received nil points. How can someone needing help to get around get no points at all? It beggars belief! Mrs X is of course appealing so it will cost the DWP time and money to fight their case which on past experience I would hazard a guess they will lose. They have learned nothing!!! Their quest to get the ‘spongers’ goes on!!!

Benefit Evictions

As you may know there are plans to change the rules around housing benefit in April 2013 and it seems in my area the council is already putting out letters to people who may be affected or who they think are living in a underoccupied property. A friend’s sister who lives in a 2 bedroom bungalow because of mobility problems caused by a childhood illness has received a letter with a form to fill in stating her circumstances. Her circumstances have been the same for years. She never in fact needed the 2 bedrooms, as she is childless and although when she was allocated the bungalow her husband was alive they did share the same bedroom. Obviously at the time it must not have been important to the council that she had a spare bedroom but it appears now it may be. As I understand it provision has been made for disabled people to enable them to be exempt in certain circumstances from these rules, but the doubt and stress caused by the thought that you may be compelled to move can’t be underestimated. This lady lives very close by her elderly mother and they are a support to each other. I know some people may advocate them moving in together but this would mean the mum moving in with daughter as this is where the spare room is. This would be an upheaval for the mum as she is quite elderly.

Unfortunately this government aren’t interested in the wellbeing of their electorate just grabbing back as much money from the poor as they can. Meanwhile they continue to abuse the expenses system to the tune of millions whilst those on low incomes or benefits are having pennies, but pennies which really count for them, taken away at every opportunity. Whilst it may make financial sense to make these changes the inequality of it all makes me sick and the morality of forcing people out of their homes is disgusting and in my opinion will only lead to more unrest. After all would you spend money you can’t really spare making your home nice if you are always living with the threat of having to leave? I can see this costing councils more in repairs when tenants leave as their housing stock becomes no more than temporary housing which people have no regard for. Progress I don’ t think so.