European Committee of Social Rights declares levels of benefits in the UK are ‘manifestly inadequate’

January 2014

European Social Charter

European Committee of Social Rights

Conclusions XX

-2 (2013)


17.   Article 12 .Right to social security

Paragraph 1    Existence of a social security system    ……………….

19.     Conclusion

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

read the entire report from the European Commission of Social Rights here:

The low levels that Ashton Jobcentre will go to to sanction people.

Originally posted on The poor side of life:


23 week pregnant woman sanctioned.

The above woman (wearing costume so the Jobcentre staff don’t recognise her) was sanctioned when 23 weeks pregnant. The reason you may ask…. for attending a work fare interview (work for nothing) at B&Q.

Whilst at the interview they noticed that she was pregnant and they said yep we will put you on light duties…. The jobcentre decided otherwise… in their words “we are sanctioning you because you told them that you were pregnant”.

So in other words she was meant to break all health and safety laws in the uk and not declare that she was pregnant. How on earth can this be right? It isn’t. She was heartbroken. She had walked a few miles to this workfare interview and she saw it as her last hope of not being sanctioned.

Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre knowingly target pregnant women. On one of our demonstrations…

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Children’s Commissioner warns that UK is now in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Originally posted on Politics and Insights - kittysjones :


In February last year, I wrote an article about Conservative attitudes towards poverty that entail a victim-blame narrative. It was written at a time that the government were developing “better measures of child poverty” to provide a “more accurate reflection of the reality of child poverty.”

According to the Tory-led Coalition, poverty isn’t caused through a lack of income. Iain Duncan Smith is responsible for this outrageous nugget of calculated, preemptive denial. Because the government knew in advance what the consequences of the austerity cuts would be: a massive increase in inequality and poverty. 

I concluded in the article that the grossly discriminatory austerity cuts breached the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

And they do.

As Chancellor George Osborne,prepares to release his mid-term (Autumn) budget statement, the government’s Children’s Commissioner for England has published a reportcriticizing the Coalition’s austerity policies, which have reduced the…

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In Orr of social housing’s professional suicide…not!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

The minimum amount the law says you need to live on is….” A phrase familiar to any social tenant receiving any level of welfare benefit.  Yet now your social landlord has lobbied to allow Iain Duncan Smith to take up £80 per week out of your welfare benefits at source to give to your landlord if you have rent arrears, which you will inevitably have as UC ensures.

Prepare to starve, get cold and ill, fall prey to loan sharks, prepare to die a cruel death in penury!


Anger and other emotions aside let’s have a look objectively at what has happened here and it is all to do with Universal Credit (UC)

Two elements of UC are the payment of all welfare benefits and what is now housing benefit in one monthly payment – known as monthly payment- and all of that being paid direct to the tenant…

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Food Bank Demand Driven By Cuts And Sanctions To Benefits, New Report Finds

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:

Stand with us and be sanctioned. Jobcentre bullying at its worst.

Originally posted on The poor side of life:

Today we met at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre for our regular Thursday demonstration. Nothing unusual at that. We are there every week to support the victims of the Jobcentres cruel sanctioning regime. What was unusual was that we were missing a regular attender. A member of the public that often attended our demonstrations. A nice quiet man, well mannered and very unassuming. He can see the injustice of the system. He had however passed a message onto us saying that he couldn’t attend because the Jobcentre staff had threatened him with sanctions for attending. He would however join us at our meeting after the demonstration away from the Jobcentre. When he joined us I quickly interviewed him and here is a transcript of that interview. In his own words. I cannot name him because he is scared. Hes been threatened by the Jobcentre.

“I walked into the Jobcentre for my…

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Huge rise in sanctions for people with disabilities

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: