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:

Charities ‘very worried’ after leak suggests Tories plan to tax disabled benefits if re-elected

Charities yesterday condemned as “very worrying” any move by a re-elected Conservative government to target the disabled

after a leak suggested senior Tories were preparing to tax their benefits in a future cuts programme.

Campaigners accused ministers of fiscal short-sightedness after proposals drawn up by civil servants to deliver Chancellor George Osborne’s commitment  to cut £12bn from the welfare budget by 2017-18 revealed plans to raise £1.5bn by clawing back a slice of key disability payments.

The leaked document, obtained by the BBC, detailed plans to impose taxes on the disability living allowance, personal independence payments and attendance allowance, paid to over-65s with personal care needs.

Charities said the disabled, including those suffering mental illness, had already shouldered a heavy burden from cuts brought in by the Coalition and further cuts would disproportionately target the most vulnerable.

read the rest of this article from the Independent here:

The benefit cap equals 1 MILLION men women and children evicted from social housing!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

If you are sick, disabled or unemployed and the Tories are not voted out in May you will be evicted and you will have nowhere you can possibly live.  The overall benefit cap proposal will mean you work or are evicted and that applies even if you are sick or disabled and unable to work.

It means that a social landlord –  a housing association or council landlord – which are the cheapest forms of housing is unaffordable to the sick, disabled and unemployed tenant as the social landlord cannot AFFORD to have you as a tenant.

It means the sick, the disabled and the unemployed have nowhere to live at all. It means the social housing model of HA and council landlords is dead.

How does the benefit cap work?

  1. The cap figure which is now £26,000 per year or £500 per week is the starting point.
  2. From this figures…

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Government Statistics No Longer Reliable Say Charities As Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse

Originally posted on the void:

cause-of-homelessness How private sector evictions are driving homelessness. AST stands for Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Graph from Crisis.

Figures showing that statutory homelessness has soared in England by 27% since this government weren’t elected do not even scratch the surface of the desperate homelessness epidemic.

53,250 families were accepted as homeless in 2014, up from 41,780 five years earlier and the latest official homlessness statistics uncover some starks facts.  There are now twice the number of families living in B&Bs than in 2010 and the number who have been there over six weeks has leapt by an appalling 500%.  This is a practice which had almost died out, but as demand for temporary housing has risen over the the last five years there are no longer enough hostels, refuges and other forms of emergency accommodation for the growing numbers of homeless families.

These statistics come after last month’s rough sleeping estimate

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Single parent? Attend the Jobcentre and get referred to social services as a troubled family. New trial at Ashton Jobcentre.

Originally posted on The poor side of life:

Yesterday I heard something very disturbing. A lady contacted me, she was very upset. She attended the Jobcentre for her signing on appointment and was confronted with something totally unexpected. She’s a very intelligent lady and thankfully she acted quickly and appropriately. She said hello to the advisor or job coach as they call them now. I don’t know why because they don’t coach you into anything except desperation. She’s been attending a mandatory work related course and had despite this completed all her Job searches correctly. The meeting then took a totally different atmosphere. The advisor suggested to her that she should be willing to get involved with a trial that they are running with Tameside Council. They are asking single parents to be assigned a social worker and a key worker so they can keep an eye on her… The reason for this? Because they said she hadn’t…

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They Are Coming For Our Pensions … And This Is How It Begins

Originally posted on the void:

work-till-you-dieUnpaid work experience and apprenticeships for pensioners could soon be on the way as a report released earlier this month lays the groundwork for an attack on pensions.

The report, entitled A New Vision For Older Workers, was produced by Dr Ros Altmann, a former banker who is occassionally on television.  To anyone who has followed the ongoing destruction of an adequate benefits system for sick and disabled people it is chillingly familiar.

“Encouraging and enabling those who want to work longer is an idea whose time has come” the report declares before trotting out the exact same assumptions that were used to justify the introduction of vicious assessments – and eventually forced training, job search and workfare – for sick and disabled claimants.  Older people want to work according to the report, and of course, work is good for your health.  It then goes on to make dire…

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Cold Homes Kill More People Than Alcohol, Road Accidents Or Drug Abuse, Research Claims

Living in a home that is too cold kills more people in England and Wales than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse, new analysis has found.

The number of “cold homes” deaths in 2013 has been estimated at 7,400; nearly five times higher than deaths from road and road accidents (1,574), and more than carbon monoxide, fire and assault deaths combined.

It was also slightly more than the number who died from alcohol abuse (7,059).

Cold homes have killed 46,700 people in the UK last five years, the research from the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) revealed using official data.

A group of over 200 organisations backing the fuel poverty campaign Energy Bill Revolution are calling on the government to tackle this “silent killer” by spending more on energy efficiency in homes.

Its recent video, a spoof of ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s Frozen called ‘Let Them Freeze’, went viral in February.

The research used Office of National Statistics (ONS), National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency information.

read the rest of this article from the Huffington Post here:

Missing Forms, Medicals And Qualifications

Originally posted on Same Difference:

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

Benefits and Work is continuing to receive reports of medical assessments for ESA and PIP not being carried out correctly.

Missing ESA50 forms
Following a recent article on the issue, we have now heard from over a dozen people who have been asked to attend a work capability assessment without first completing an ESA50 form.

People who challenge Maximus about the lack of an ESA50 claim they have been given explanations such as:

“Not everyone will get a form.”

“One isn’t needed in your case.”

“You don’t need to fill one in.”

In most cases, however, people have not queried the lack of a form, even if worried and puzzled by it.

One member rang Maximus and insisted that they wanted to complete an ESA50 and would download one, complete it and forward it. They did exactly that and the health professional…

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