Tag Archives: MP’s expenses

Benefits Street

I felt I just had to comment on this programme. I didn’t really want to watch it, knowing before I did exactly what impression it would be making to the wider public. I was going to post a link but am not sure I want to up the viewing figures but I suppose in order to form an opinion you need it so http://www.channel4.com/programmes/benefits-street.

Having been in the position of being on benefits for a while I know it isn’t possible to live comfortably on them. You have to make sacrifices which in the opinion of some people is only right for something which isn’t meant to be forever. For those who find themselves unable to work through illness or can’t find a job no matter how hard they try, it may be something they have to do for the foreseeable future or for the rest of their life. It is not possible, contrary to popular opinion to have HD tv’s, the latest iPhone or computer, fantastic holidays (or any holiday in most cases) or posh cars on benefits. The reason people have these things can be many.

1)  They already had them before they claimed benefits.

2) A kind family member has gifted the item(s)

3) They are getting money from elsewhere.

Whilst I can’t condone people working on the side, shoplifting or drug taking I can understand getting to the point where you no longer care about anything but getting money from somewhere to feed your family or heat your home. It amazes me that people are so quick to label benefits claimants as scroungers but no one gives as much publicity to MP’s scrounging. What about the thousands paid by Diane Abbott or Iain Duncan Smith from taxpayers pockets for their portraits!  Surely in a country where children are going hungry this is wrong on every level!

I know the people on the street portrayed in Benefits Street could be classed as rough and ready, but one thing they do seem to have that a lot of us lack is community spirit and I applaud that. No one knows today where they will be in a year’s time. Poverty can be a paycheck away. Please look a little deeper before you judge these people. Circumstances have made them into the people they are. No one wants to live a stressful life like theirs.

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Merry Xmas from DWP

I’m not much good with figures to be honest and I sometimes struggle to remember the names of MPs because many of them are so wishy-washy these days, but one thing I do know is the things this government are doing should not be happening to one person never mind the thousands it is affecting. I watched the programme on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pc1qb/Panorama_Britains_Hidden_Housing_Crisis/ last night and was particularly appalled by the treatment of the lady suffering from cancer. As she put it a few months of help would have seen her through until she could pick up her life again and get straight, instead she was offered a smelly flat. Disgusting!

Meanwhile Maria Miller claims 90,000+ for a second home occupied by her parents and Cameron stands up for her. This from the government that can’t stump up a few quid for housing benefit for the poorest in society. Just don’t know how they sleep at night. Whereas you or I would be prosecuted for such offences, what’s betting she gets off with it. One rule for them…..

And back here my friends’ struggling with the problem of bedroom tax have received a bill from DWP for £10 outstanding on a loan they had eight, yes EIGHT years ago! Somehow this got overlooked by DWP and themselves, possibly they were on one of their breaks from receipt of benefit and my friend had  a short period of work. They can’t remember. DWP have kindly said they can pay it out of their JSA over the two week Xmas holidays at a fiver a week. Couldn’t they have waited til after the festivities? After all they’ve waited eight years. Have those at the DWP got nothing better to do than go back over years worth of data to find such oversights? Meanwhile the likes of Miller claim thousands from the public purse for their own personal gain and that’s seen as fair. After all we’re all in it together, but some of us are in it further than others!!

 

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!!