Shocking report shows even grandparents go hungry to feed children
A Birkenhead boy threw up while playing football after eating just two packs of crisps all day, according to a shocking report on children going hungry.
The report said growing numbers of children are underfed or malnourished during school holidays, when cash-strapped parents struggle to afford the extra meals and childcare.
Some Wirral parents and even grandparents sometimes go without food to keep their children fed and pay for other essentials, according to a Birkenhead school governor quoted in the report. The Croxteth Gems youth centre revealed some children were so hungry they ate two or three breakfasts and dinners.
Nadine Daniel, head of the Liverpool Hope+ Foodbank, said she and other emergency food providers had noticed rising holiday demand and expected it to grow again this summer.
The research, led by Birkenhead MP Frank Field and the parliamentary group on hunger, suggested some parents resorted to junk food because it was all they could afford or they could not cook. It highlighted a young person who vomited during a free sports and food programme in Birkenhead run by Wirral Positive Futures and the Street Games charity. When a member of staff asked the boy what he had eaten that day before the evening football session, he replied that he had eaten just a packet of crisps for breakfast and lunch.
It also said a group of children at a Feeding Birkenhead holiday meals event all headed to the table full of fresh fruit – rather than a table with cakes and biscuits. It said: “They had had enough of the sporadic, unhealthy snacks on which they had been surviving at home. Some families are surviving on cheap, stodgy food that temporarily keeps hunger at bay without necessarily giving children and parents the nutrients their bodies need. It is the additional demands placed on budgets of families on low incomes – from food, fuel, activities, childcare – at those times of year that lower children into the clutches of hunger.”
read more here: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/vomiting-boy-ate-just-crisps-12938981
Over half of surveyed teachers have children in their school who go hungry during school holidays, when no school meals are available. Most of those teachers also see children arrive at school hungry. Substantial numbers of teachers also report seeing children return from school holidays with signs of malnourishment.
One teacher said: “In addition to holiday hunger I have families who cannot cook a meal because their oven is broken and they cannot afford to get it repaired. I have families with disabled children who cannot easily leave the house and shop for affordable healthy food because it is too difficult and they have no help.”
Another teacher said: “It’s heart-breaking to hear children not wanting holidays because they don’t get to eat enough.”
The Tory government has also been slashing services which help families to help themselves. One teacher noted: “I believe our local Sure Start children’s centre used to remain open during school holidays to support families until it was closed down last year.”
Compared to other developed countries, the UK has a very unequal distribution of income. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that if the #Tory government’s planned benefit cuts go ahead, inequality will rise even further. The IFS also predicts that “low-income households with children will fare worse than other households”.
– The Independent, 17 April 2017 – http://www.independent.co.uk/…/poor-children-hunger-malnour…
– National Union of Teachers survey – https://www.teachers.org.uk/…/con…/nut-survey-holiday-hunger
– The Scale of Economic Inequality in the UK – https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/scale-economic-inequality-…
From the facebook page StopTheTories17
SNP MP calls for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be ‘halted now’, as mounting evidence shows the new benefit is causing significant hardship.
Universal Credit is pushing vulnerable claimants into “a vicious cycle of debt and despair”, says an MP who is calling for the roll-out of the Government’s flagship welfare reform to be halted with immediate effect.
SNP MP Stuart McDonald says Universal Credit, which is replacing a number of existing social security benefits with a single monthly payment, is forcing some people to turn to loan sharks and food banks to make ends meet.
The new benefit is in the process of being rolled-out across the country but has been beset with numerous delays and IT problems, and has faced heavy criticism over payment delays and an arbitrary six-week waiting period.
read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/universal-credit-roll-out-leading-to-a-vicious-cycle-of-debt-and-despair/
THE Westminster government has been attacked over the ‘rape clause’ by the the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
In a letter to employment minister Damian Hinds, EHRC CEO Rebecca Hilsenrath describes tax credit changes as “regressive” and called for a rethink.
She insists the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) did not carry out “sufficiently detailed” impact assessments and warns the policy change could breach EU human rights laws.
Campaigners have welcomed the intervention and demanded the DWP scrap the “inhumane” policies. The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or when she was in an abusive relationship.
Hilsenrath said: “In our view the exception raises serious issues in relation to a child and mother’s right to private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The exception, which purports to prevent women from being penalised requires, in our view, invasive reporting requirements of intimate details.
“Children who may not be aware that they were born of rape may well become aware through this process and through the creation of a record.
“We consider that there has been a failure to fully consider the impact of the implementation of this exemption, including the potentially traumatic process for having eligibility assessed and the risk of re-traumatisation upon survivors of rape.
“This system would rely upon women, who we know from statistics are overwhelmingly unlikely to report rape to police, reporting it to Department for Work and Pensions.
“The approach also does not account for children born of an ongoing abusive relationship, where women may not exercise power over decisions on how many children to have – and when.”
Hilsenrath said the impact assessment published by the DWP “was not sufficiently detailed to support proper scrutiny of the legislation”.
Read more here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15240334.Human_Rights_Commission_savages_UK_government_over___39_rape_clause__39_/
From my Facebook feed.
My kids have a variety of ongoing health needs. Three days before a consultant appointment we waited 6 months for, we received this letter. I called the hospital who refused to speak to me. They just told me to speak to Virgin Care. You can’t speak to Virgin Care. Only leave voice mails to which they don’t respond. I wrote a letter to which they responded. I got an initial assessment appointment and again have heard nothing since. I still haven’t seen a consultant. In all since seeking a referral from my GP it has been 18 months. This is the new Tory Health care. And it is targeted at your children. If you want this for your babies. Carry on and vote Tory in June. My child is in pain, bleeding and she is ignored because we are poor. We have no NHS to go to anymore. This is your UK if you want to save our NHS. Do something.
New rules could see 13,000 people with disabilities and long-term health needs forced into care homes. This is treating people as objects to be stored
The inescapable logic of austerity is looking likely, once again, to reduce people with disabilities to objects – and in doing so to reduce their independence, options and enjoyment of life. According to the Health Service Journal, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from campaign group Disability United found that 37 NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England were introducing rules about ongoing care that could force up to 13,000 people with health conditions into care homes. The CCGs will essentially begin saying to people with disabilities and long-term health needs: if you haven’t got the cash for homecare, then it’s off to a care home for you.
Imagine you have been living in your home for years. It might be where your kids were born. Being at home, having your stuff around you, having the greatest possible measure of independence, obviously means a lot to everyone, whether you’re well, ill or disabled. Then one day someone comes and tells you, “Nope, you’re too expensive here. We’re moving you to a care home unless you cough up the money to pay for what you need.”
This sounds innocuous to many people. Disabled people and care homes go together in the public mind as easily as “peak-time train service” and “cancellation”. The FOI requests found CCGs were setting limits on how much they were prepared to pay for supporting people in their homes compared to an “alternative option”, which is usually a care home. They were willing to pay between 10% and 40% above the care home option, which will often not be enough to keep someone in their own home.
Anita Bellows, a member of campaigning group Disabled People Against the Cuts is emphatic about what this means: “Institutionalisation is the logical conclusion of cutting the funds for maintaining people at home.”
read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/25/disabled-people-disabilities-health-care-homes
From 1st April 2017 the rules are changing to allow an additional bedroom for disabled children or non-dependent adults who require overnight care and for couples who are unable to share a bedroom for health reasons. Previously people in these circumstances could have been subject to the bedroom tax.
The ‘bedroom tax’ means that working age people who get help towards their rent through Housing Benefit can have the amount they receive restricted if they are considered to have too many bedrooms.
Ever since the policy was proposed Carers UK have campaigned for it to be scrapped. We’ve argued that these bedrooms are not spare but needed by families providing care.
In November the Supreme Court ruled in favour of two families; Carers UK member Paul Rutherford and his wife Susan care for their profoundly disabled 14-year-old grandson, Warren, and live in a specially adapted home, which has a room for a care worker to stay when providing overnight care. This had been deemed as a spare bedroom and, as a result, their housing benefit had been reduced.
The Court also ruled in favour of Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael, who are unable to share a bedroom due to Jacqueline’s severe disability.
To reflect the Court’s ruling the Government has changed the law to create further exemptions for carers from the Bedroom Tax. This means that from the 1st of April:
- A couple that could not share a room because of a disability – could now have an additional room. This is already allowed for disabled children that cannot share a bedroom with another child.
- A child that is disabled – may need overnight care from someone other than the parent/s and may need an additional bedroom can have one. This was previously allowed for a disabled adult, but not for children.
Although we are delighted that the law is being changed we are concerned about the way the change is being communicated to local authority staff in charge of Housing Benefit as the guidance given to them appears to attempt to limit the kinds of health conditions that could result in an extra room.
Read more here: http://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/news/new-exemptions-from-the-bedroom-tax-come-into-law