Bedroom Tax, Council Tax, I’m disabled and just about ready to give up.

This was posted on the facebook page “Moved to get out of bedroom tax but can’t move to get out of council tax”


“I moved 2 yeaŕs this June after I had 56 square ft (too much space in my flat). I lived there 12 yrs. I’ve had bailiffs here since the move as the move put me in debt and now, (I’m 45. Was on DLA now on PIP) I’m just about ready to give up. My eldest left for uni. My youngest is 15 this sat.

I have fought for 2 yrs to get Riverside Housing to bring this house up to standard. Tried Shelter and environmental health but they cant help anyone in a housing association as they have their own policies in place. I’ve been hospitalised this year and brought back from an overdose.

I emailed cameron… got a thank you for contacting us kinda email back but nothing.

I’m pretty much done. I moaned 18 months ago that I got moved by force by the bedroom tax. I still have no carpets or curtains. I had no cooker for months aw man…. its been shit. Isolated shit. 12 years of being included in neighborhood society.

I’m an agoraphobic. I don’t know where the heck a flippin post box is here. Don’t know a neighbor that might pop a letter in a post box for me and…. I owe council tax because they don’t do it like they used to. They used to take you on merit of housing benefit. I tried on line for council tax but they need me to print n post anyway?!!!

Done. I got 2 huuuuge tvs (90.s style) … a contract phone and a barbie cd player ….. come get it bitches its all I have left. 😐

Pregnant women and new mums forced out of their jobs

The Shocking Report the Tories Hoped Working Women Wouldn’t See

David Cameron may have generated a few headlines recently when he argued, in an article in the Times, that for those advocating gender equality “there has been a recent slew of good news”. But the reality is somewhat different. Let’s start with the fact that, in the last ten years, the number of women forced out of their jobs – either when they become pregnant or on their return to work after giving birth – has almost doubled.

That was the upshot of a controversial new report on workplace discrimination published by the Government on Friday. If you missed the news, that was exactly what the Government was hoping. Timing its release for the fag end of the week MPs deserted Westminster for the summer, most in a state of exhaustion, was a cynical attempt by the Tories to bury bad news.

And make no mistake – for working women, this report was very bad news indeed.

Notwithstanding its rather clunky title, “Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage“, the paper included some shocking findings. Interviews with more than 3,200 women about their experiences of being pregnant at work, or returning to their jobs after giving birth, found that 11% reported having been dismissed, forced to take redundancy or treated so badly that they felt they had no choice but to resign.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which co-commissioned the research, assuming that these trends are replicated across the entire workforce means that as many as 54,000 new mothers in the UK may be forced out of their jobs each year.

But what few seemed to notice was that the new figures showed we are moving in the exact opposite direction of progress. Ten years ago, the Equal Opportunities Commission produced a similar report on maternity rights in the workplace, with the much more snappy title of “Greater Expectations”. That report estimated that the number of pregnant women and new mums forced out of their jobs was around 30,000 each year. Ten years on, the number is close to twice that.

Read more here:

New targets for DWP compliance interviews.

The poor side of life

Sometimes I’m taken by surprise. Mostly I’m not. But this is a new tactic. A new target driven tactic employed by the DWP.

For anyone claiming JSA, ESA Income Support or universal credit you might be familiar with a local service compliance interview. They send these letters out usually on a random basis or sometimes on the say so of a suspected fraud taking place. Now these interviews are compulsory and if you don’t attend then your money will get stopped.

Whilst attending one of these interviews you are normally treated like a criminal, guilty before being proven innocent, most likely innocent of any wrongdoing as you have been randomly picked in the first place. You are taken to a room which looks just like a police interview room. They record everything like the police do, only in this case you are most likely innocent. You are asked to bring…

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Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut

The government appears to believe that forcing addicts into treatment unwillingly can work. I doubt if there are many therapists that agree with this. However, as yet another mechanism for siphoning our national insurance money into the hands of private outsourcing companies, it makes perfect sense.

David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems

A full-scale review is to be launched into whether tens of thousands of obese people and those with drug and alcohol problems should be deprived of benefits unless they accept treatment.

A consultation paper launched on Wednesday for a review to be completed before the end of the year by Dame Carol Black admits strong ethical issues are at stake. But it also questions whether such people should continue to receive benefits if they refuse government-provided treatment.

The review, which was limited to obese people when it was first outlined in February, will now be expanded to include the cost of drug dependency and alcoholism to society and taxpayers.

The consultation paper stresses that the purpose of the review is not punitive but to “consider how best to support those suffering from long-term yet treatable conditions back into work or to remain in work”.

The review is designed to “establish the role such treatable conditions play in causing worklessness and estimate the associated cost to the exchequer and the economy”.

It will also consider the groups most at risk of becoming workless through treatable conditions in future and the support available to them, including incentives on employers.

Read the rest of this article here:


A survivor of the system but no thanks to the DWP.

The poor side of life

Last week I met a lovely man once again. I didn’t recognise him, and I had to look twice. The last time that I saw him he was very thin, he was hungry and very depressed. Why? The Jobcentre kept sanctioning him even though he had fully complied with his job search requirements. It had got that bad that he was very close to loosing his home and he was thinking of taking his own life. The DWP had taken every bit of hope away from him. He had nothing left inside him. Both myself and his girlfriend had given him some advice and he survived.

He sat opposite me, and I told him that I didn’t recognise him, his whole persona had changed. There was a spark in his eyes and he had put a lot of weight on. I asked him what had happened, and he told me…

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Falklands veteran dying of cancer told: You have to work again

FORMER commando Gordon Lang has been told he should get back to work – despite having terminal cancer.

Amputee Gordon, 62, was already in dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after they forced the Falklands and Northern Ireland veteran to sign on to Jobseeker’s Allowance.

But the ex-marine was left feeling ‘betrayed’ after saying he told a government work programme about his cancer diagnosis, only to receive a response saying: ‘When you feel fit and ready for work we look forward to working with you to find a suitable job.’

 Mr Lang, of Chilworth Grove, Gosport, was then told he will remain on a work programme – despite being about to undergo lung cancer treatment that may only add three months to his life.

Mr Lang, who has not been told how long he has to live, said: ‘I feel not only betrayed but criminalised for being ill. I’ve been at work since I was 10 years old – that’s 50 years in the work place. If I hadn’t lost my leg I’d still be at work now.”

Read the rest of this story here:

Review of benefit sanctions urged amid concern over regime’s effectiveness

Advisers to Iain Duncan Smith say there is no hard evidence that stopping payments to claimants is helping people get jobs

Official advisers to Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, have called for an urgent and robust review of the government’s controversial benefit sanctions regime amid concerns that it is failing to help jobless claimants.

The independent social security advisory committee says the policy of stopping claimants’ dole payments for alleged breaches of benefit rules should be put on hold until “a firm evidence base” has been established.

Sanctions, under which claimants lose benefit payments for between four weeks and three years, have come under fire for being unfair, punitive, failing to increase job prospects, and causing hunger, debt and ill-health among jobseekers.

Although ministers say monetary penalties are effective in helping people into jobs by changing their attitudes to work, the committee says there is no hard evidence for this and urges ministers to consider trialling non-financial sanctions.

It states in its report to ministers: “[The committee], among others, has raised concerns about the increased use of sanctions, not because we believe that they are necessarily ineffective, but because we do not know for certain that they are effective, at least in terms of getting people into good quality jobs.

“We believe that the sanctions regime needs to be tested.”

read the rest of this article here:


Benefit cuts may not be as popular as we’re led to believe – Bernadette Meaden

Politics and Insights

IDS_nIn 2013, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reported that public attitudes towards welfare have “hardened.” Similarly, the British Social Attitudes Survey report concluded that public support for government spending on social security benefits has declined markedly over the last decade, and that people are also more sceptical about whether benefit recipients deserve the support they get. Seems that people forget that the majority of people claiming benefits have worked previously and paid for their own provision through the national insurance and tax systems.

However, the way questions in surveys are framed often influences the responses by introducing bias, whichaffects the validity and reliability of research findings.

Furthermore, simply adding detail, such as using examples that include real groups of people in survey questions may elicit a different set of responses.  Re-humanising groups claiming benefits tends to prompt sympathetic responses. As it is, the current government and much of the…

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