European Social Charter
European Committee of Social Rights
17. Article 12 .Right to social security
Paragraph 1 Existence of a social security system ……………….
The Committee concludes that the situation in United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article12§1 of the Charter on the ground that:
the minimum levels of short-term and long-term incapacity benefit is manifestly inadequate;
the minimum level of state pension is manifestly inadequate;
the minimum level of job seeker’s allowance is manifestly inadequate
More than half of people driven by acute poverty to apply for emergency food aid are there because of delays, sudden cuts or sanctions imposed on welfare payments, according to new research
The Trussell Trust’s findings are a direct challenge to the coalition government’s insistence that the meteoric rise in the numbers of food bank users is unconnected to the cuts to the social security system, and is only linked to the growth in provision.
The charity, which runs the country’s largest network of food banks, analysed more than 900 different users at a range of facilities across the country, as well as conducting 40 more in-depth interviews and 178 different caseloads from people accessing one of their advice services.
Up to two-thirds of those analysed by the study, which was commissioned by the charity along with the Church of England, Oxfam and the Child Poverty Action Group, said they were waiting for their benefits which had been delayed, because they had been sanctioned by jobcentres or because they had been suddenly hit by the so-called bedroom tax.
“The promise of a social security safety net that is there to protect people at times of crisis is something that can, and must be, preserved and protected. Food banks, whilst providing a vital and welcoming lifeline to many, should not become a readily accepted part of that formal provision,“ the study says.
The Trust has handed out food parcels to at least 913,000 people from 2013-2014, a threefold increase. The Trust says those figures are a low estimate for the numbers suffering from acute personal finance crisis, many more are likely to be relying on help from friends or neighbours.
Read the rest of this Huffington Post article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/11/19/food-bank_0_n_6183928.html
The latest Government statistics show that people claiming the disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are having their financial support cut more and more frequently.
The figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that there were more than three times as many sanctions in June 2014 compared to June 2013.
These figures relate specifically to people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of ESA, who are expected to undertake certain activities in order to receive their benefits. The number of people in this group has actually fallen by more than 10,000.
Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“We’re very concerned that an increasing number of people on ESA are having their benefits stopped, despite the fact that there are now fewer people in the WRAG. We know that around half of people in the WRAG need support because they have mental health problems, but over 60 per cent of sanctions are imposed on this group.”
“It is unjustifiable that people with mental health problems are being disproportionately affected by this increasingly punitive system. This confirms our fears that people are being pressured to undertake activities that are inappropriate for them and are not having their mental health properly taken into account.”
read the rest of this article here:http://streetskitchen.co.uk/?p=1468