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:

Foodbank hands out hot water bottles to cash-strapped mum so kids can go to bed without coats

Devastating tales of hardship are witnessed on a daily basis by husband and wife, Sarah and David Jones who run Kings Storehouse foodbank in Rhyl

Foodbank workers have revealed they handed out hot water bottles to a cash-strapped mum – so she didn’t have to put her children to bed with their coats on.

And a blind pensioner with no family was also found living on custard creams because he had fallen behind with his gas payments.

Such devastating tales of hardship are witnessed on a daily basis by husband and wife, Sarah and David Jones who set up The Kings Storehouse foodbank in Rhyl in 2012.

An ex-solider left disabled after a hit-and-run crash while out on his bike, had his benefits stopped because he couldn’t get to the Job Centre fast enough in his wheelchair.

Despite his cupboards being bare, a man suffering with Asperger’s syndrome turned down a Fray Bentos pie that was inside a food parcel because it would cost him £3 to put his oven on for 30 minutes, and he only had £10 left in his meter.

The couple from Rhuddlan say hundreds of people are suffering in silence, with many finding themselves living below the bread line through “sheer bad luck.”

The worst off are having to turn to The Kings Storehouse to make it through their cash crisis – mostly caused by innocently falling foul of benefit rules.

Read more here:

Barnet Council hits a new low as Jennifer is set to be made homeless

Originally posted on sweets way resists:

11351378_10153975436849057_4083927975974302228_n Domestic violence vigil at the front of Barnet Homes

Today Barnet Homes and Barnet Council acted with utter contempt for ex-Sweets Way resident and domestic violence survivor, Jennifer, telling them they will not offer her any support, and leaving her with a letter suggesting she contact Shelter and find her own solicitor before she becomes homeless on the 2nd of June.

This is truly disgusting and an absolute lack of respect for both Jennifer’s circumstances and for the rules of local government in these situations.

Following the meeting, we blockaded the front of the Barnet Homes office for several hours in protest, and left candles (pictured above) in memory of the many women who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Barnet completely denied any wrong doing, refusing to address the many specific issues we raised with them, in previous letters and in person. The Barnet Homes’ website released a strongly-worded, but largely…

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Number of people evicted from rented homes hits highest level in a decade

Ministry of Justice figures show the number of people removed from their rented accommodation in the North East by court bailiffs

The number of North people being kicked out of their rented homes is now at its highest level in a decade, according to latest figures.

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show that the number of residents removed from rented accommodation by court bailiffs in the past two years is the highest recorded level for any two-year period going back more than 10 years. These figures include evictions by social as well as private landlords.

Between April 2013 and March 2015, 1,847 households across the region were booted out by the courts, with 1,720 of these repossessions occurring in social housing.

Homeless charity Shelter labelled the statistics a “glaring reminder that sky-high housing costs and welfare cuts are leaving thousands of people battling to keep a roof over their heads”.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Every day at Shelter, we see the devastating impact of a housing market at boiling point, with the cost of renting so high that many families are living in fear that just one thing like losing their job or becoming ill could leave them with the bailiffs knocking at the door.”

And he called on the government to strengthen the housing safety net to “make sure people aren’t left to fall through the cracks and hurtling towards homelessness”.

Meanwhile Coun Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, blamed increasing pressure on household budgets for evictions in the city.

“Many people in social housing and rented accommodation find their budgets squeezed and have to make difficult choices about buying food and paying their rent,” he said. This will only get worse when Universal Credit is rolled out as housing benefit will be paid directly to tenants rather than landlords. The expectation is that the amount of people with rent arrears will rise significantly in the future.”

‘Rogue’ Landlords Raking In £5.6bn From Unsafe Homes, Says CAB

Rogue private landlords are raking in an estimated £5.6bn from unsafe homes that fail to meet minimum legal standards, a new report shows today.

The damning study from Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) reveals that 740,000 private rental tenants in England are living in homes that pose a serious health hazard.

read the rest of this article here:

DWP order woman with 45 years experience to do unpaid work to learn ‘vital skills’ – or face sanctioning : Clydebank Post | Vox Political

Temporary and part-time jobs surge promotes inequality, says OECD

Originally posted on DWPExamination.:


In the UK, non-standard work including zero-hours contracts accounted for all net jobs growth since 1995

Striking workers at the Hovis bakery in Wigan in August 2013.

A surge in self-employment and temporary or part-time jobs over the past two decades has been a key factor behind the rise in inequality in the world’s industrialised countries, according to a major new study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The Paris-based club, which has been a driving force in arguing that increasing inequality jeopardises economic growth, says more than half of all job creation in its 34 member countries since the mid-1990s has been in “non-standard work”, which accounts for about a third of total employment.

With such jobs tending to be lower-paid and less secure than their full-time, permanent equivalents, some economists have described this phenomenon as the rise of a “precariat” – and the OECD says the growing prevalence of non-standard work has widened wage…

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Tory welfare reforms ‘set to take cash from battered women and give it to their attackers’

AN expert has warned Iain Duncan Smith’s planned Universal Credit will move cash away from women in violent households and hand it to their partners instead.

TORY welfare reforms will take money from abused women and give it to their abusers, MSPs were warned yesterday.

An expert who campaigns for women’s economic rights said Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s planned Universal Credit will move cash away from women in violent households and hand it to their partners instead.

Universal Credit, designed to lump together all the working-age benefits each household gets, has been plagued by problems but is due to be in place by 2017.

And Professor Diane Elson, head of the UK Women’s Budget Group, told Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee: “There are so many question marks about that. It’s clearly not going to be safe and secure for women at risk of abuse and abusive relationships. It’s not going to be secure for many women even if they’re not in abusive relationships, as money that they were getting in their hands moves away from them. There’s going to have to be more bargaining in households about how that money is spent. It’s going to be much harder to budget.”

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said later: “Today’s evidence highlighted the worrying risks Universal Credit poses to women in abusive relationships. The Tories can’t be trusted to make decisions over welfare on Scotland’s behalf.”

The committee also heard that abused families are already suffering because of the Tory attack on welfare.

The Child Poverty Action Group told of one family with four children fleeing violence who fell foul of the Tory benefits cap. They were then told they wouldn’t get extra payments because their electricity use was higher than average and one of their children was getting “expensive” counselling because of the violence they had experienced.

From the Daily Record