Now unemployed people are sent on army training schemes

Symon Hill

Poverty and militarism feed over each other. Unemployment has always been good news for army recruiters in need of people desperate for a livelihood. So it’s no surprise that the recruitment of unemployed people has been formalised in a scheme in the English Midlands. Could this be a sign of the way things are heading? The government is already forcing unemployed people to carry out unpaid labour through “workfare” schemes. Will they soon be forcing them into army training?

This might seem an odd suggestion at a time when regular soldiers are being made redundant due to army cuts. But let’s not forget that spending on warfare – or “defence” as it’s euphemistically known – has been cut by far less than many other areas of public expenditure. War is increasingly digitised and reliant on such tools as armed drones rather than large numbers of troops. The government’s policy is…

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DWP Begs Charities To Collaborate In Cruelty

the void

CWP-quote A barely literate made up quote from the DWP leaflet calling on charities to force people to work for free.

The DWP has finally released the provider guidance for the new Community Workfare Placements, the new forced work scheme which may or may not be finally starting this month.  This is the set of rules that the private sector parasites running the placements have to follow and should be downloaded  and studied by anyone facing forced work on the scheme.

Alongside the guidance comes a leaflet begging organisations to take part, promising that forcing claimants to work without pay for six months can help charities “fulfil a social responsibility” and provide them with “extra support” for their work within the community.  They also hint that charities can expect to be paid by the tax payer for  becoming involved in workfare, although they warn this will be the decision of…

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Grandfather of severly disabled teen loses appeal over bedroom tax – radio interview.

The grandfather of a severely disabled teenager has told LBC he’s “beyond belief” he and his wife have lost their legal challenge against the so-called bedroom tax.

Listen to the radio interview here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2209715-grandfather-of-severely-disabled-teen-after-losing-bedroom-tax-battle?utm_campaign=embed&utm_content=retweet&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Pursuit of tax credit overpayments turns nasty as debt collectors hound the poorest

Campaigners say families living below the breadline are being harassed by phone and text message for money they do not have

Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s poorest people are being targeted by private debt collectors hired by the Government after their tax credits were overpaid because of errors made by HMRC.

A joint investigation by The Independent and the campaign group False Economy has uncovered the Coalition’s increasingly forceful methods of pursuing more than 4.7 million cases of overpaid tax credits, which amount to debts of £1.6bn. The hardline stance follows pledges by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, to bring down the benefits bill.

The debt collectors hired by HMRC  phone the people they are targeting on their mobiles, send them text messages and write to them at home. Some of those targeted say they feel harassed and frightened. In at least 80 tax credit cases, assets have been seized directly. In total, HMRC made 215,144 referrals to debt collection agencies in 2013-14 to “secure direct recovery of overpaid personal tax credits”, according to data obtained through Freedom of Information requests. 

In many cases the overpayment is thanks to an HMRC error in calculation. The families involved are already living on very low incomes, making it impossible to pay back the accumulated sums.

read the rest of this article in the Independent here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/pursuit-of-tax-credit-overpayments-turns-nasty-as-debt-collectors-hound-the-poorest-9456875.html

Very Sorry but the ILF has not been saved ….. yet.

Since late last night a number of Blog items, Facebook and Twitter posts have appeared saying that the Independent Living Fund has been saved.

We’re very sorry but it isn’t correct.

All of the posts refer to this article which was published yesterday.

The article is talking about a case in 2013, which the ILF Campaign won, which quashed the governments original choice to close the ILF because they had failed to follow correct procedure, which the government did accept.

However this year in March, having redone the Equality Impact Assessment for closure of the ILF, the Government announced that the ILF would be closed for a second time.

See the DWP announcements here , here  and the closure programme and transfer to local authority control here  and the second equality analysis here

The DWP Website states that the ILF is closed to new applications.  The revised date for full closure of the fund is now June 2015

It is this second closure that we are now campaigning against, whereas the article refers to the first ILF closure.

We will keep fighting the closure of the ILF, no matter what it takes, and one day we will all be celebrating the saving of the ILF, of that we are sure.

But sadly that day is not today.

By DPAC (Disabled People against Cuts) 28th May 2014: http://dpac.uk.net/2014/05/very-sorry-but-the-ilf-has-not-been-saved-yet/

‘I feel I have been abandoned’: Almost 100,000 critically ill people facing delay of up to a year to claim payment supposed to cover vital costs

( nice to see the Daily Mail has noticed this at last)

 

Almost 100,000 critically ill people are facing a delay of up to a year to claim a payment which is supposed to cover vital costs such as travel to hospital appointments.

Charities say they have heard of cancer sufferers and other sick people missing vital treatment or using payday loans because they have not been able to claim a new benefit called a Personal Independence Payment.

This Government payout is worth between £21.55 and £138 a week and is given to people who are suddenly stricken by a serious illness.

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2640803/Critically-ill-facing-delay-year-claim-vital-payment.html#ixzz331alGq2D

Another wheeze to cut benefits

Social Policy

The Social Security Advisory Committee is consulting  on the government’s latest wheeze to cut working-age benefits.  This time it’s a proposal to extend the number of waiting days that a benefit is payable, from three days to seven.  This will ‘save’ (that is, cut benefit by)  £40-50 per claim.  Benefits are already paid fortnightly in arrears, so in practice this will mean that people will typically have to wait three weeks for a payment.  (The references to ‘days’ and ‘weeks’ are all anomalous, because the government is supposed to be moving to monthly benefits.)     Those who are desperate will have to apply for a ‘short term benefit advance’.

The policy is due to start in October.  The equalities  assessment notes that 82% of those affected by the change to Employment and Support Allowance have protected status in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act.   Much good may it do them.

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