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
The UK Faculty of Public Health will call for national food policy including sugar tax as concerns rise over vitamin deficiencies
Poverty is forcing people to have dangerously poor diets and is leading to the return of rickets and gout – diseases of the Victorian age that affect bones and joints – according the UK Faculty of Public Health.
The public health professionals’ body will call for a national food policy, including a sugar tax, as concerns rise over malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies in British children. It will also appeal for all political parties to back a living wage to help combat the illnesses.
Doctors and hospitals are seeing a rise in children suffering from ailments caused by poor diet and the faculty has linked the trend to people’s inability to afford quality food. Latest figures show there has been a 19% increase in people hospitalised in England and Wales for malnutrition over the past 12 months but experts say this is only the extreme end.
Dr John Middleton, from the FPH, said the calls would come in the faculty’s manifesto to be published next month and warned that ill-health arising from poor diets was worsening throughout Britain “through extreme poverty and the use of food banks“.
He saidthat obesity remained the biggest problem of food poverty as families are forced into choosing cheap, processed high fat foods just to survive. “It’s getting worse because people can’t afford good quality food,” he said. “Malnutrition, rickets and other manifestations of extreme poor diet are becoming apparent. GPs are reporting rickets anecdotally in Manchester, the East End of London, Birmingham and the West Midlands. It is a condition we believed should have died out.
Read the rest of this article from the Guardian here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/30/child-poverty-link-malnutrition-rickets
Far too many disabled people are now being housed in entirely inadequate conditions, a situation exacerbated by government policies which in practice have had some incredibly cruel results.
Being sick is no fun. We all know what it is like to be poorly, to have flu for a few weeks and feel horrendous. Luckily, most of us recover and get back to our lives. Similarly, some of us will have experienced a period where we struggled with our mobility. A broken leg or arm is not pleasant, but again, we know we will get better with time.
For many sick and disabled people, there is often no light at the end of the tunnel when they will suddenly recover. A large proportion of disabled people struggle with ongoing mobility problems, chronic health issues, pain, and discrimination. Their home should be the one place they can feel safe and live with dignity. Instead, many disabled people have to face the misery of substandard housing and increased poverty due to an onslaught of government ‘reforms’.
Recent research, highlighted by the Observer newspaper, showed that three quarters of people with mobility problems did not have access to suitable housing. This is a disgrace in such an advanced economy. Even worse, a significant number of disabled people are social housing tenants. It beggars belief that the social housing sector is treating them this way. Yet according to Disability Rights UK, over three quarters of Disability Living Allowance recipients live in the social sector – and the sector can fail them. A report by Leonard Cheshire Disability gives a vivid example of this failure in the case of Sue Friar, a wheelchair user who cannot get upstairs and so has to wash in her kitchen sink. She cannot use her garden because her housing association won’t even provide a ramp.
read the rest of this article on opendemocracy.net here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rachel-graham/housing-crisis-facing-uk%E2%80%99s-sick-and-disabled
From the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’
“I had my ESA assessment today and I feel totally degraded. I have had them before and they have always been difficult but this particular one was the worse I have ever felt. I understand they have to ask specific questions but when I explained that my meds sometimes it takes me longer to process the question The situation ended up where I felt like she was the judge and jury and I was on trial.
My day to day is so poor because of my mobility and my pain and I always try and stay positive but today broke my spirit and it broke me. I truly understand why people give up and do not have the fight to prove how they need help. I have gone through so much hardship in my life and today A lot of those feelings came rushing back. I literally broke down today and haven’t stopped and that is not me. Assessor are experts to help us not break our souls.”