It’s often been said that being poor is an expensive way to live and this weeks British Gas price hikes prove this. Keeping your home warm is always a challenge when you’ve got a low income, indeed many are forced to rely upon pay as you go meters to provide their energy.
Keeping a home warm enough to live in is a basic human right and it shouldn’t be regarded as a luxury but sadly this is soon to be the case for even more people that could barely afford to keep warm already.
On the 1st October British Gas are increasing their prices dramatically.. Heres one example of how much more its going to cost
To put it bluntly no matter how much we scrimp, how much food we won’t be able to buy anymore this will be too high a cost to meet by many of us myself included,. At the same time the government are refusing to permanently increase the £20 uplift payments and nor have they got any intention of extending it to people claiming legacy payments, many of them already vulnerable and living in poverty.
To say I’m furious is an understatement. As I type this smaller energy companies are being forced to close because they too can’t afford the British Gas price increases. It’s obscene. Meanwhile the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has announced that the government will not be bailing out energy companies. The very same energy companies that people on lower incomes rely on.
It’s no surprise to hear this though but its still awful to hear.
This winter is going to be horrific for many of us as the means to keep warm are being taken away from thousands of people with no opposition from within the government.
I was a child during Thatchers awful government, I had holes in my shoes, often lived in a cold home and had no luxuries at all. It’s shocking to see how much worse the present governments rule is. Thousands of people have died as a result of the decisions they make towards the poorest and most vulnerable.
How many will survive this winter? I really dread to think.
How am I?
Still recovering but feeling a lot better. Still coughing but I’ve been told that it might take a while to go, but I’m alive and very grateful for this. Not exactly living but existing like so many other people.
I’m very concerned that I’m going to catch Covid 19 again because its running riot in my daughters school now their mask wearing policies and hand sanitising policies have changed. Children are being constantly sent home from school because they’ve got symptoms and it won’t be long until the whole school is shut as a result. I will write a further blog post about this.
I’m still struggling, a short walk is flooring me but the good news so far is that I’m managing to keep my sats at 94%. Not brilliant but much better than it was.
I shall also keep you informed about this.
Please take care, keep safe and please wear a mask and sanitise your hands. It’s important to stay healthy even when the government doesn’t give a shit.
Please read, share and tweet my blog posts. It’s important to get the truth out there and to as many people as possible.
I don’t receive any funding for any of the work that I do and to say its a struggle is an understatement. Every penny makes a massive difference. For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I really couldn’t do this without you. Thank you xxx.
DPAC (Disabled People Again Cuts) are holding a series of rallies starting on Friday 24th September at 7.30 to 8.30pm to protest against the terrible treatment metered against disabled people by the government and their allies. They will not be silenced and will be heard.
Join these days of action to see how you can become involved in a full array of resistance demos taking place over the next few weeks including The World Transformed, Peoples Assembly,Manchester DPAC and the Campaign Against Empty Homes.
They will also hear from experts by Experience Commission on Social Security and the New Economics Foundations Living Income Coalition about building towards a better social security system.
Tuesday 28th September at 9.00am there will be an online Twitter storm for everyone to join in online.
Audio riot protest will be taking place at 11.30 am meeting first at Kings Cross Station London and will be live-streamed for everyone to join in. Hashtags to be used are #AudioRiot #20More4All #CancelTheCut
Hashtags to use are #AudioRiot #20More4All #CancelTheCut
It’s hugely important that as many of us attend these days of action as possible in any way that we can albeit online or in person. DPAC are long time friends and supporters of myself, my campaign and this blog. They want change, and they need to be heard by everyone.
DPAC have an amazing track record of holding effective online and physical demonstrations, they aren’t scared of making a noise and being heard.
Please support them if you can.
Please note, a normal blog post will be following this important post. I’ll be updating it with how I’m coping etc.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. Its very important that we continue to get the truth out there.
A massive thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.
I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and to say its a struggle is an understatement.
For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
As many of you will already know my son died earlier this year. His death was very unexpected and it was due to no fault of his own. To say that it’s been a struggle is an understatement, after all we aren’t supposed to outlive our children.
My son had plans to go travelling and to work near family in Estonia and Latvia, something that he was looking forward to. Josephs death has changed us all in one way or another.
The sudden death team over at Greater Manchester Police have been amazing, they’ve literally held my hand through it all, from daily phone calls to see if I was ok and other phone calls about Joseph and the horrible stuff that every person has to go through when a loved one dies suddenly.
The loss of Joseph hit me hard again when last week I received a phone call from the coroners office. She phoned to tell me that I would be getting a full copy of his postmortem and notification that they’ve been able to bring his inquest back to the 2nd September rather than October.
Good news I suppose but not the news that any parent wants.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I received my first copy of his postmortem via email, but I did know that reading it would be extremely hard for me. My little boy (even though he was almost 6ft tall) has gone. I had proof in the black and white print I was reading on my laptop.
I suppose that it’s easier to hold onto him before the postmortem results even though we’d already given him a lovely funeral and memorial thanks to everyone that helped me with this. It’s a totally different ball game when you’re faced with it in black and white.
So back to the Postmortem… The coroner couldn’t find a cause of death and this will be the report given at the inquest. I had been warned that this would probably happen. Privately she said that even though theres no obvious cause of death it could have been one extra painkiller that took him away.
I do know however that he fell asleep happily listening to his music after talking to his sister and myself and he wouldn’t have felt any discomfort etc.
The hardest thing to deal with physically was going to his flat and sorting things out. I did this with my oldest daughter and we were very distressed because once again it was a reality check.
We could see exactly what his last movements were. He washed his pots, got changed and went to bed. Everything was left as it was. In a corner we spotted Josephs Easter chocolates for all of us that we no longer would be getting.
Back home I made a wooden chest for Josephs clothes and belongings and I locked them all away safely. I’m hoping that he approves.
Joseph had many struggles during his short life, the most notable ones being his primary and secondary schools refusing to recognise that he was autistic and he had to learn differently to others. I know that many parents of children with additional needs are still fighting this battle.
The sad reality is that years after my son left school, thousands of parents are still forced to fight to have their children educational needs met… From autism, dyslexia and many other additional needs that they might have.
Parents shouldn’t be forced to have to fight for a decent education but still they have to.
Joseph didn’t give up though and despite the odds he did extremely well for himself and I was very proud of him. He was a very special person that is missed by so many.
Never give up fighting for your children, they deserve to be treated well and have their needs met. I did my best but absolutely no one would listen to me.
I’m sorry that this weeks blog is different than usual. I’ll be back to normal next week. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog posts it means the world to me.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, I couldn’t do it without you.
I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and I’m finding it much harder since my son died.
If you would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you.
Charities such as Women’s Aid highlighted their concerns about the increasing risk of domestic violence due to isolation when the first lockdown was announced in March 2020
Refuge, a charity that helps people suffering from domestic abuse recorded an average of 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021.
This figure is a 60% increase on the average number of monthly contacts at the start of 2020, they report..
Between January and March 2020just before the first lockdown in the UK, the charity recorded an average of 8,176 calls and messages per month.
Between April 2020 and February 2021, it logged a total of more than 131,000 such contacts.
Refuge also reported that 72% of these were from women who said they were experiencing violence and abuse, and nearly a fifth said their abuser had threatened to kill them.
They also say that many calls were from women who were being terrorised in their own homes, and who were afraid to seek treatment for their injuries in case they overburdened hospital staff.
Many women were also making plans to flee their homes, while others had no home to go to, leaving them at a high risk of becoming homeless.
Lisa King Refuges director of communications and external relations, said “home is not a safe place” for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
She also went onto say “Lockdown measures, where women have been isolated and confined with their perpetrators, have compounded their exposure to violence and abuse.”
Refuge report that the largest number of calls and contacts had come from women in their 30s.
Many 16- to 25-year-old women as well as their concerned family members, friends and neighbours, reached out via the helpline’s Live Chat facility to report worries of domestic abuse taking place. The live chat facility enables people to communicate with helpline advisors online and, crucially, in anonymity.
It was reported that in 2020, Refuge made almost 4,500 referrals to refuges across the country, enabling women to flee abusive partners.
When the first lockdown was lifted last year, refuge also reported there was an increase in women seeking emergency accommodation. Refuge have shared their concerns that this could be repeated during the latest lockdown easing.
Respect, a charity that runs an advice line for male victims of domestic abuse, have also reported a 70% increase in calls, emails and webchats in 2020 compared to 2019. And during the latest lockdown, appeals for help continued to increase.
The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the period from March to June 2020 there was a 7% rise in domestic abuse offences recorded by the police in England and Wales.
Police figures report that in the four weeks to the middle of January, covering the first two weeks of the last lockdown, there was a 4% fall in recorded incidents of domestic abuse.
But the National Police Chiefs’ Council said not all such incidents would result in a crime being recorded and hidden abuse was not captured in this data.
Charities have always stressed that many victims do not report to the police so the figures are likely to be much higher than reported.
The Home Office said the government had given more than £27m to domestic abuse organisations to help them deal with the effects of the pandemic.
A spokesperson added: “Our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will bolster the response to domestic abuse on every level, strengthening protections for victims whilst also ensuring perpetrators feel the full force of the law.”
The Domestic Abuse Act
In February 2021, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, told the Home Affairs Committee that the “tail” of the pandemic’s impact on domestic abuse would extend “well beyond” the easing of lockdown, and that survivors depended on these services.
The Commissioner welcomed the Government’s emergency funding throughout the pandemic but said this was nowhere near “the kind of sustainable foundation” needed.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which came into force on 29 April 2021, aims to make changes to better protect victims of domestic violence.
.Organisations such as refuge and Women’s Aid have also welcomed the Act, but they stress that it’s effectiveness relies upon the correct implementation and adequate funding to ensure that it succeeds and meets the needs of people suffering from domestic violence.
On 11 April 2020, the Home Secretary announced £2 million to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support. By July 2020, £1.2m of this funding had been allocated to service providers.
A further funding announcement followed On the2 May 2020 the government announced that it had pledged £76 million emergency funding to support vulnerable people.. £25 million of this was allocated to domestic abuse services including £10 million to fund safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence.
The Government also launched a public awareness campaign aiming to reassure survivors of domestic abuse that police and specialist services remained open.
On 18 November 2020, midway through the second English lockdown, the Ministry of Justice provided £10.1 million to boost funding for victims of rape and domestic violence with a further £683,000 from the Home Office for domestic abuse organisations.
In January 2021, shortly after England entered its third lockdown, the Government announced that it had partnered with pharmacies across the country to launch the ‘Ask for ANI’ ‘Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) to help survivors.
Pharmacies participating are supposed to display material to let survivors know that trained staff are available to offer a safe and private space, with the option to call the police or other support services if needed.
Whilst the government has given extra funding to domestic violence organisations and charities it still doesn’t cover the amount of funding that has been taken away from these organisations throughout the years since the Tory Party were first elected.
The safety of everyone that is a victim of domestic violence, including children and men should be a priority for any elected government. For that to happen we need to continue to campaign with and on behalf of these organisations to try to get the government to accept that they’re failing victims of violence and abuse.
Personally I believe that the funding given should be increased and extended to exceed the full funding that they were previously given. If not the government will continue to fail those most in need of help and support.
Please like, share and email my blog posts. Every single share and like does make an enormous difference and it enables others to see that this is actually happening.
I don’t receive any funding for my blog and campaign. I’m worried about my ability to continue to do this.
If you would like to make a donation theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I literally couldn’t do this without you x.
I’ve spoken to many people and helped hundreds of people over the years since Universal Credit was first implemented in my local town, which incidentally was one of the three ‘trial’ areas for Universal Credit introducing it to an unbeknown community.
Out of all the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years, not one of them has told me that their payments provided them with a large enough income for them to survive, indeed the opposite applies.
Everyone that I’ve helped or spoken to were and still are living in poverty, unable to provide the very basics for themselves and their families.
Then the pandemic hit us, killing thousands and resulting in survivors battling with Long Covid. The government decided that they’d throw a lifeline to Universal Credit claimants which was an extra £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic.
The uplift was and is providing Universal Credit claimants the means to actually survive, to buy some food or to pay a bill that they were an unable to do before.
Whilst £20 isn’t a lot to some people, indeed it isn’t a lot of money at all, it has enabled people to survive.
This lifeline will be taken away in October if the government don’t respond to calls from campaigners, politicians, and even some Tory party politicians.
Universal Credit was created under the guise of making claiming a benefit easier, to help more financially and to make it easier to find work whilst claiming Universal Credit.
It wasn’t long before myself and others saw the reality of claiming Universal Credit, the poverty that it forces upon people and the punishing regime that they are forced to comply to.
The truth is the system was designed to be unfair and designed to be cruel. I have no doubt that it was introduced to force people to comply otherwise loose everything. I’ve been documenting this for years, I’ve seen the terror in a persons eyes when they’ve just been told that they’ve been sanctioned and didn’t know why.
With Universal Credit came cruelty like I’ve never seen before. Claimants being gaslighted by so called work coaches, being spoken to as if they’re the worst thing in the world and that nothing that they do is ever good enough.
I’ve seen people loose their homes and families because they can no longer afford the rent or provide for their children. I’ve helped hundreds of people throughout the years dependant upon food parcels to survive, all of which is documented in this blog.
I cannot see any justification in removing the £20 uplift, we are still living during a pandemic, still becoming ill with Covid 19 and people are still dying from it. The £20 uplift is literally the choice between living or dying. Only a sadistic government would do so.
To put it bluntly Universal Credit doesn’t provide enough to live on, it’s highly prejudiced against claimants and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to find employment. What is needed is a system that actually helps people instead of making them much worse off.
We can only pray for the government to give in to demands to cancel the cut and to continue giving the uplift or making it permanent.
Please like, share and tweet my blog. I don’t receive any funding and I want to be able to continue to blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I couldn’t do it without you.
The DWP has recently backed down on their high pressure pre-tribunal tactics the day before they faced a judicial review initiated by a disabled woman. Her case concerned the way the tactics that the DWP has been using putting extreme pressure upon PIP claimants via telephone into accepting a lower PIP payment offer rather than attending a tribunal to hopefully receive higher PIP payments.
The claimant known as ‘K’ had been approached by the DWP who made a low offer and told the claimant, known as ‘K’ that they had just one hour to make up their mind. During this conversation the DWP also warned K that tribunals ‘are not very nice to go to’ and if K took it to tribunal they could lose her whole award.
The DWP are well known for their bullying tactics, particularly towards disabled and vulnerable people. K explained that they felt extremely pressured to make a quick decision and wasn’t given the time to make a decision or to seek advice upon this from others.
Needless to say the DWP should not be putting pressure upon people like this, using fear as a tactic to manipulate disabled people into accepting a lesser payment that they are entitled to.
Unsurprisingly the DWP refused to accept it was doing anything wrong for a year until the day before the hearing, when it suddenly agreed to make a number of changes.
These changes being;
Advising staff its essential that they inform claimants that even if they accept a revised offer they still have the right to appeal against it.
Telling DWP staff that they must ensure that benefit claimants do not feel ‘pressured’ into making a decision.
Introducing mandatory training to all staff involved in ‘lapsing’ appeals by the end of October to ensure they understand the updated guidance.
The DWP unsurprisingly, refused to agree to end the practice of making pre-tribunal offers to claimants .
We shall see if the DWP continue to use their intimidatory tactics, or if they agree to the actions agreed upon in the court case.
As you all know the DWP like nothing better than to target the most vulnerable and disabled people, knowing that they might find it hard to appeal decisions made towards them by the DWP, and personally I do think that some DWP workers do get a kick out of doing this.
It’s never ok to treat people like this. No one should have to fight for the very means to survive especially in times like these when everyone is struggling even more because of the pandemic.
Can you imagine how awful it is to receive a letter from the DWP that you are no longer entitled to the very monies that have kept you going? Your very means of survival taken away at the push of a button and an uncaring letter sent to you?
This is the reality of life for thousands of people every day, it sends people into mental and physical distress. It’s a never ending circle of abuse metered upon them by the DWP initiated by the government.
No one should ever be forced to go through this cruelty and we must continue to fight to end this. You can do this by sharing my blog posts and other campaign groups posts. Write to your MP to share your disgust, share posts on Twitter and Facebook. Join a campaign group, share your worries and concerns.
Your voice matters so let’s make sure that you are heard!
This week is a very difficult week for me. As you know my son recently died and it is our joint birthday this weekend on the 1st of August.
The pain of loosing a child, even though they were an adult is unlike any other pain that I have ever felt before. A part pf me wants to run away for the day, hide and speak to no one. Another part of me says sensibly that I can’t do that because his sisters will probably want to do something.
To put it bluntly I’m a mess but I’ll be ok, that’s what I keep telling myself. It feels like two minutes ago when Joseph entered this world at 7.40am .
Joseph was autistic, dyslexic and he also had a few other conditions, but he was an extremely brave, high functioning individual. He loved living on his own in his flat, and he was the local odd job man, always helping others.
Joseph did also have to fight the DWP every time his PIP and ESA was up for renewal. He attended tribunals and was helped by local organisations and myself. I know that he found this extremely hard to cope with but he did and I’m so proud of him.
This blog post is written in remembrance of Joseph, and all the good that he did in this world. He would have been very happy about this decision.
Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about this blog post and the issues surrounding it. This makes a lot of difference and it helps lots.
Please support my blog and campaign and blog. I don’t receive and funding for what I do and I am still helping families locally with food etc. I really couldn’t continue without your support.
For anyone that would like to donate towards my campaign and blog theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has previously supported my campaign and blog.
Personally I’m trying to make my front garden into a memorial garden for my son and any advice etc is more than welcome!
Many thanks to Benefits and Work for being the inspiration for this post.
A new report recently conducted by Covid Realities at The University of York has revealed that parents and carers are struggling to cope with the costs of school uniforms. The report finds that parents are having to take out crisis loans and other loans in order to pay for their children’s uniform. Other parents are forced to make decisions like having to make the choice to go without healthy food in order to pay for their children’s school uniforms.
In the report it gives examples of how a families father was placed on furlough from his job at the beginning of the pandemic which dramatically cut the family’s income enough so that they qualified for universal credit. Reporting that trying to make ends meet became “a constant battle day by day,”.
The report also states that this family had previously relied on second-hand uniform fairs at their son’s school to buy items for £1 each, but with those fairs were cancelled in lockdown so they were forced to ask family for “a couple of pounds each” so she could buy uniforms.
“He wasn’t going to get uniform otherwise, The kids’ clothing is essential. But when it comes to school uniform, it’s such a high cost for so little time.
“You get a whole list of what they need for PE, which they’re doing once a week. And they’ll grow out of those clothes in three months.”
The report published by Covid Realities quotes that the practice of schools requiring badged uniform from approved suppliers has drastically increased school uniform costs for families. Uniform costs had been driven higher for those in poverty, especially when charity shops were closed during lockdown.
This isn’t the only increase in living costs during the pandemic though, families have faced soaring electricity and gas bills due to families isolating at home. The report reveals that a family of five were forced to go two weeks without heating in the middle of winter just to ensure they could still afford hot water for washing.
At the time of the report an extension was given for the £20 uplift payments for Universal Credit payments saying that facing the cut was “a hell of a big worry, stating “I didn’t know how much more I could take.“We were already not covering the essentials. Taking that £20 away, it was going to be just another thing that we needed in order to live but couldn’t have.
“They’re just delaying the inevitable,” she said of the extension until September. “You’re going to cut it right before winter, when there are extra costs? Leading up to Christmas? The financial problems are going to last a lot longer than the pandemic.”
Now facing the cut their fears are likely to become a reality.
The researchers at Covid Realities and The University Of York are asking that the Government increases monies for families with children plus national guidance on school uniform cost to lessen the financial impact on struggling parents.
A bill which could address this is currently being debated in Parliament.
“Uniform costs often cluster at the start of an academic year, and so for families on a low-income it can be a source of acute anxiety and worry,” said Dr Geoff Page, a research fellow on the Nuffield Foundation-funded Covid Realities programme. “Uniform can be hard to accommodate in precariously balanced budgets, where almost every penny is meticulously accounted for.
“Our participants described a sense of the unmanageable – of living with unmanageable expenses, with school uniform representing another turn of the financial screw.
As the schools break up for the summer holidays, the financial worry of having to pay for children’s school uniform, as well as for food and wellbeing increases. I also feel this stress and to be honest I don’t know how I’m going to manage it.
Many families are as the report states having to make the decision wether to feed their children a decent meal or pay for a piece of their expensive uniform.
The pandemic and the way that the government has handled it has had a detrimental effect upon families and children, causing them to live on a much lower income but still forced to provide the same things.
It’s not always possible to find school uniforms in charity shops or at school swap or donation sites. Each and every child needing school uniform are different sizes which is virtually impossible to replicate in donations and charity shops.
As the report states there needs for it to continue to be debated and acted upon in parliament, otherwise our children and their parents will continue to be let down and made to feel like they’re not good parents.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. It’s important to get the truth out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog and campaign. I have plans to continue to hand food parcels and help for people in the community and outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.
I don’t receive any payment for this blog and anything that I do.
If anyone would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
I’ve been campaigning against the cruel system which is Universal Credit since it’s conception. I have with friends held weekly demonstrations against the cruelty of said system and have been told countless accounts of how Universal Credit has affected people, how it has caused many people to end their life’s, split families up and has Rendered people ill, depressed, stressed, hungry and feeling that they can never satisfy the demands of the system which was created in order to ‘help’ people.
The truth is that Universal Credit doesn’t help many, it leaves people in a much worse financially than they were before. It wears people down until they can’t cope any more.
It doesn’t discriminate though, it treats everyone in the same manner, making some people feel like a criminal for asking for help because they need it and deserve to be helped.
if you look through this blog you will read many stories of how this system has treated people, how its worn people down and has for some been a massive contributor into people taking their own life.
We’ve handed out hundreds of food parcels, literally fed people that haven’t eaten for days. Indeed, I wrote in an earlier blog post I documented that I gave a woman and her children some tinned food and goodies, and how they walked across the road and ate the food out of the tins because they were hungry and hadn’t eaten a real meal for a long time.
I’ve spoken to people that had been discriminated against by the DWP because of the way they looked. If you scroll down my blog posts you will read that a man was discriminated against because he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie and proper shoes for his appointment at the Jobcentre.
This was blatant discrimination because they knew how poor he was, how he’d had no money for over a month and only possessed one pair of canvas shoes and a thin summer jacket.
The demands that the DWP make to people can be completely ridiculous like this, if he had’t spoken to us he would never have found out that he didn’t have to do this.
I also helped a woman with a young baby who was told by her advisor that she couldn’t come to the Jobcentre with her baby. This is completely unfair and also untrue. Children are allowed to attend appointments but the DWP like to make the rules up as they please.
I’ve spoken and helped people that were very close to taking their own life because they couldn’t cope with the DWP bullying anymore. I’ve also helped people that became homeless when Universal Credit was first introduced into my town and two other local authorities. I’ll also never forget being told by a police officer that a man that I had helped but was later let down by the system, that he had taken his own life because he couldn’t see any future for himself.
I really could talk forever about this, please scroll through my blogs and my media posts to see more. It’s cruelty certainly ignited a fire inside of me to make me determined to fight these and other injustices throughout the DWP and other systems.
Universal Credit was introduced under the guise of supposedly making it easier to claim and that people would be better off financially. It wasn’t long before it was shown to do anything but this. It can virtually destroy people.
Years ago I made a promise, prompted by my friend Michael to document everything that I see, hear and experience in this blog. I really didn’t expect it to be read by anyone at all but it was because it wasn’t being spoken about back then.
Although I can’t be there today to take part in the day of action because I developed Potts Syndrome which comes and goes, but today it’s here after having Covid and Long Covid I am there in spirit. Covid nearly broke me but it didn’t and I’m very grateful to have survived it.
I stand in solidarity with everyone that’s campaigning against Universal Credit whilst also demanding that the government introduces the £20 uplift to disabled people as well. Disabled people have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, many haven’t been able to leave their homes because of quarantine restrictions and also the lack of carers being able to help at home. It’s absolutely shocking that the government treats them in this way.
The DWP systems aren’t good enough. They don’t help people, instead they punish people because of their own existence. I fear that this will continue to worsen because they hate poor and disabled people, and they don’t care if we suffer either.
I also experienced the death of my son which was totally unexpected and through no fault of his own. He went to bed and didn’t wake up. Joseph was disabled and he had to fight for every penny that he got from the DWP. I’ve lost count of the amount of appeals that he had to make to get his rightful payments.
When I first learnt that my son had died I didn’t know how I would continue, grief can take you to some very dark places. Despite this I think that I’m learning how to cope with it, knowing that it’s ok to have an off day or to feel sad sometimes. My daughters and everyone that reads my blog and supports both the campaign and blog have really helped me. It’s ok to cry and there shouldn’t be any shame surrounding this.
My son shared the same birthday as me which is coming up very soon, so I know that’s going to be a tough day for us all.
I want to do more though. I don’t think that I’m doing enough to raise awareness and to help people. Despite this I do know that I do need to keep this blog going because despite everything I still need to get the truth out there. If anyone would like to donate towards the upkeep of this blog and my campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Let’s get the truth out there!
This week Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced that the government has no plans to continue the £20 Universal Credit uplift, confirming that payments will be ending in late September.
Coffey also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be contacting claimants so they are aware that their payments will change in late September whilst at the same time and they will be directed to budgeting advice.
The £20 a week uplift was increased for six months in March after charities and organisations had warned the government that it and would damage the mental health and physical health of those living in poverty.
The government’s answer to this is to announce that they’ve doubled the amount of work coaches and organisations that they work with, meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that the well being of thousands of people depends upon the £20 uplift.
Their plans obviously don’t include how to feed themselves and their families when their vital £20 is taken away from them. it might not be a lot of money to some, but it has enabled people to buy some food, get some glass and electric and to top up a mobile phone or internet if they have access to these.
Having a good internet connection is requested by the DWP and failure to have this can, and has ended with claimants being sanctioned.
The announcement to end the uplift payments was made after ignoring the advice of six former Conservative work and pension secretaries whom have requested that the Chancellor to make the £20 uplift permanent. They warned that if they failed to extend the uplift it would cause immense damage to living standards, health and the opportunity to improve their lives.
Indeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson whilst talking to the Commons Liaison Committee had requested to reconsider any plans to end the uplift and also said that higher skilled jobs are the best way forward.
Therese Coffey then announced that a collective decision was made to “shift the focus strongly into getting people into work” as the economy opens up. She also announced that this will ‘help’ when the country reaches step four of the Covid 19 road map and ‘more opportunities’ will be created for claimants.
Conservative MP Nigel Mills is quoted as saying “It sounds like this is a ‘dates not data’ decision, that we’ve just chosen to end this at the end of September and not going to review that based on any data at all.“’We’ll just kind of assume it will all be OK’ – that seems to be a pretty fair summary of what you’re saying: ‘We haven’t got any data yet that you don’t need this uplift, but we’re going to take it away regardless because that’s what we planned in the Budget’.”
Needless to say this is a terrible decision made by the government, fronted by Therese Coffey Work and Pensions Secretary. This decision has been made whilst ignoring the evidence given to her by charities, organisations and felt conservative Mp’s.
Not only will the refusal to extend the £20 uplift cause immense suffering and stress, they still fail to recognise that disabled people are struggling to get by and haven’t been included in any £20 uplift plans.
Along with the governments blatant discrimination against disabled people, the government is also still ploughing ahead to end lockdown and mask wearing whilst covid 19 cases and deaths are increasing.
Many disabled people have been housebound unable to go out for fear of infection and in many cases a lack of help. I’m very concerned that demands will be made of them to travel to assessments and DWP appointments when its obviously not safe to do so.
The government have blood on their hands for more than one reason.
Personally I’m going to continue to wear a mask and social distance for many reasons, one being that I’m still battling with Long Covid and other health conditions. Catching covid again, even though I’m fully vaccinated isn’t something that I want to go through again.
I’m also extremely worried about my children and grandchildren catching this new variant of Covid 19 also.
How am I? Today is another migraine day for me, yippee. I hope that it passes asap.
I really hope that you are all ok. Lots of love to you all.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share etc makes a massive difference in the truth getting out there.
A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog, it means the world to me.
If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
It’s been debated by many including myself about the fairness concerning PIP telephone assessments. It’s extremely triggering and stressful to attend these ‘medical assessments’ in the first place but at least you could see the assessors in person which can make appeals easier.
It also is extremely difficult to attend a telephone ‘assessment’ for those that have phone anxiety and limited, if any access to a telephone to conduct a telephone assessment.
The government are still ignoring the fact that not everyone has a telephone and not everyone can use a telephone hence my worry that telephone assessments could be harder than face-to-face assessments.
As reported by Benefits And Work the latest quarterly PIP statistics suggest that almost 2,000 fewer new claimants a month are getting an award since assessments switched from face-to-face assessments to telephone assessments.
These statistics also report that record numbers of people are now applying for PIP, but less applicants in proportion than ever receives their PIP payment.
The figures show that the overall average success rate for new PIP claims since PIP was introduced is 55%.But this has averaged over the last six months that the the success rate for new claims is just 48.5% since telephone assessments have been introduced.
Compare this to the same six months in 2019-20, before telephone assessments started, the success rate was 52%.
This decrease may seem small to many but in reality it means that 5,950 disabled claimants who would have previously been awarded their PIP payments were refused when the telephone assessments were introduced in the last quarter.
Whilst it can’t be be conclusively proved that it is the telephone assessments that has caused this, indeed PIP award rates have been falling for a long while, I can say that having a telephone assessment is going to reduce claims being successful.
I can also say that the government never misses a chance to deny a person their rightful payments to enable them to survive.I can bet that the same Tory MP’s implementing these policies and decisions never miss a chance to claim a so called expense when they get the chance to do so. Whilst they see that it’s ok for them to claim for just about anything that they can do, they see a disabled persons quality of life as an expense too much for them to pay.
The cruelty that the government dishes out to the poorest and most vulnerable appears to be never-ending. My fear is that the same government is going to refuse people with Covid 19 and Long Covid their rightful disability payments. Myself and others will be watching this situation and reporting on it.
For anyone that is or has made a claim for PIP and has been refused, it is essential that you appeal against a refusal. I know that its a horrible, arduous process to undertake but its worth doing.
I still intend to start my podcasts asap. I totally lack confidence in this area though. I will start it asap though.
As for me it’s been a tough week. I received a phone call today telling me that my son’s memorial has been put in place and is now ready to view. Honestly having a child die, no matter what age is a pain unlike any other. He was my only son and he was dedicated to helping his family.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok to grieve even when I feel that I shouldn’t. My son enjoyed the summer weather but not the hay fever that comes with it. His favourite thing to do was to help others and he’s missed by so many in his community.
Even though he’s no longer with us I will still be campaigning on behalf of my son, he was autistic and he also had to fight for his rightful payments.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog, I really couldn’t do this without you.
If anyone would like to donate towards the campaign and my blog a donate button is at the top and side of this blog post.
Thousands of claimants claiming PIP for mental health conditions are missing out on PIP payments because their reports appear to be manipulated.
Research conducted by Benefits And Work has shown that although the award rates rose for a year they’ve now dropped down to their previous levels which have started to rise again.
This is appalling because award rates should not have been shown to fall, they should have continued to rise and staying at a higher level.
Benefits And Work have also looked at the award rates for all conditions that the DWP consider would be affected by mental health and surprise, surprise they’re the same.
According to the DWP’s own estimates regarding mental health conditions approximately 6% of the entire PIP caseload should have moved from no award of the mobility component to enhanced.
Indeed a further 6% should have been moved from no award to a standard award.
Also 2% of awards should have moved from standard mobility to enhanced mobility.
The increased award rates regarding mental health should have been immediate and also should have been sustained once it was implemented. This would have resulted hundreds of thousands of additional essential mobility awards in place by 2023.
As usual the DWP are reluctant to comment upon this despite Benefits And Work submitting Freedom Of Information requests and the DWP giving them the runaround.
Sadly the DWP will do anything to prevent people from receiving their essential payments. I have absolutely no doubt that they do this because they know that vulnerable people are less likely to fight back.
I fully expect the government and the DWP sleep soundly at night because they believe that they’re doing the right thing by denying vulnerable people with the means to live a decent life even though its cruel and inhumane.
Thousands of people have lost their lives whilst fighting cruel decisions made by the DWP regarding their payments, I reported upon this last week.
Everyone deserves to live a good life and they should be given the support that they need to have a good quality of life. I will continue to fight for this alongside DPAC and other organisations.
PIP is Personal Independence Payments.
DWP is the Department Of Work And Pensions.
Source Benefits And Work, check them out they’re amazing.
As for myself, its been a tough week for many reasons, one being that I’ve undertaken the task of sorting out old photos of my son when he was little. Its so sad looking at the photos knowing that when I took them I thought that he would outlive me.
I hope that you are all ok and surviving the best that you can do. it’s such a tough time for so many of us for many differing reasons.
Lots of love and hugs to you all, I couldn’t do this without you.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Each share raises awareness and helps others to cope in such hard times.
Once again a huge thank you so much for everyone that supports my blog and campaign, I really couldn’t do this without you.
If you would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. If you’d like to buy me a coffee I’d really appreciate it. Thank you xx.
It has been revealed by Benefit And Works that more than 100 people a month are dying whilst fighting for an award of PIP even though they have less than six months to live.
A recent report by the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie has sadly revealed that in the 18 months between April 2018 and October 2019 1,860 people died within six months of being refused benefits.
One person who is terminally ill reported that her benefits had reduced after being forced to move from DLA to PIP.
She told the Guardian: “The assessor didn’t recognise that I was terminally ill. He didn’t want to see the doctor’s letters, the consultant’s letter or the letter from the hospice. He didn’t want to know. I have Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, brittle bone disease and intestinal failure.
“I have been receiving end-of-life support from a hospice but had to cancel my other care after the review as I couldn’t afford to pay for it. I was forced to appeal and only then did I receive a higher rate.”
It is also reported that a consultant neurologist was questioned no fewer than three times by Capita about their assessment that a claimant with motor neurone disease was terminally ill.
This has caused huge distress to those concerned at a time when they shouldn’t be forced to worry about the DWP and their financial situation.
This has also delayed any access to much-needed benefits, but not only are they harassing claimants they see fit to also harass consultants thus taking time away from dealing with parents.
Meanwhile the DWP is still delaying any reforms of the rules for terminally ill people for benefits.
Can you imagine how stressful it is for terminally ill people having to fight for their payments and care knowing that they might not ever receive their rightful payments? People are literally dying whilst doing exactly this and still the government blatantly fails to support them.
We must also never forget that everyday terminally ill people are forced to end essential care that they need because of the above reason.
Everyone deserves proper care and dignity but still the government continues to persecute them, but let’s be honest they don’t care and never will because they regard disabled and ill people as deserving of nothing.
We all need to continue this conversation and highlight the seriousness of this. No one deserves to die with this stress and worry. Its inhumane and horrific that this is indeed happening at all.
The DWP needs to stop delaying their delaying tactics and start to actually start making the essential changes to the terminal illness rules but we all know that this isn’t going to happen is it.
Once again huge thanks to Benefit And Works for their hard work revealing this report and making thousands of people aware of the DWP cruelty that appears to be never-ending. They work extremely hard to get the truth out there.
At times like this you’d expect any organisation to be sympathetic and caring but as has been proved time and time again the DWP fails to show even an ounce of care and compassion.
As for me, I’ve had a tough week, bereavement isn’t easy especially when you loose a child. My apologies for being quiet this week. I’ve struggled but I’m still here trying to raise awareness.
A huge thanks to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog. It really has made a huge difference in my life and I cannot thank you all enough.
As usual please read, share and tweet my blog, it makes a huge difference and really raises awareness.
I receive no funding for the work that I do, theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post for anyone that would like to donate or even buy me a coffee. Thank you!
Research led by Inclusion London reveals that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted thousands of disabled people.
As reported by Disability News Service who have seen a draft version of an interim report based on the research titled Abandoned, Forgotten and Ignored.
The report conducted by Inclusion London is based upon more than 300 online survey responses from across England including a small number of people living in Scotland and Wales.
The report concludes that “Despite the government’s rhetoric about protecting and supporting Disabled people, the reality is that they have been treated less fairly and discriminated against across all areas of their lives.”
The report also warns that many disabled people most affected by the pandemic will not have had access to its online survey resulting in the findings of the report likely to represent only “the tip of the iceberg” due to lack of access to the internet for many disabled people.
Inclusion London have reported that disabled people have been suffering from increasing levels official isolation, mental distress, lack of decent if any care and support during the pandemic, also finding that there has been difficulty for many to access food and also difficulties accessing healthcare such as prescriptions and suchlike.
The report discloses that the actions of central government, local authorities and service-providers have continued to fail exclude and marginalise disabled people which in turn has resulted in discrimination.
It also finds that disabled people in high-risk groups have been unable to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE), and have also had had their vital care packages cut and important social care assessments delayed.
Indeed it reports that a quarter of the people that have responded that receive direct payments for their care were left unaided to cope with staff issues and sourcing their own PPE.
One disabled person responding said of their experience “My care agency are not getting adequate PPE, and they are so short-staffed at present that I’ve been lucky to get a shower once a month (and cannot have a strip wash at all due to them sending male care workers to me eight times out of 10 instead of female), and am not getting one in three of my daily care calls.”
More than three-fifths of people that responded to the survey said they had struggled to access food, medicine, and other necessities.
Respondents described how supermarkets had refused to make reasonable adjustments for them when they tried to shop in-store and how they were unable to order home deliveries.
Many have not received the support they vitally need to prepare meals for themselves also, this resulting in being forced to spend more money on food by having to shop in more expensive stores or having to order their meals online.
More than a third of those surveyed spoke of increasing levels of mental distress during the pandemic.
One respondent saying that they had been inside their home for three-and-a-half weeks without going out resulting in them feeling that they were losing their mind, going on to say that have a pre-existing mental health condition, and it is causing a big relapse.“I feel trapped and controlled and claustrophobic.
This had left them too scared to leave the house because if they get sick that they knew that, as someone with pre-existing conditions the doctors will leave them to die in favour of someone who has a better chance of surviving.
Several people that responded to the survey also said they had been asked to agree to having ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ orders placed in their medical records. Others told they would not be admitted to hospital if they fell ill or would be denied life-saving emergency treatment.
One person responding said: “I can’t access the government scheme for support because apparently I’m not disabled enough.“However I’m disabled enough to get suggested to sign DNR [Do Not Resuscitate], and inferred I’d be left to die if hospitalised.”
Inclusion London concluded the report by warning that there will be a much higher demand for advice and support from disabled people after the lockdown is lifted. This leaves many organisations needing to increase their funding to provide these essential services.
Its a terrible indictment upon the government that disabled people have had to resort to legal action because of the discrimination that they have faced from the government.
This report has reinforced the view that the government and society looks upon disabled people as a burden on the state and are second class citizens.
It is very disturbing however not surprising that disabled people have been treated in this manner throughout the pandemic. The government clearly regards them as unimportant and not deserving of any quality of life, which to be honest is very clear to see. We cannot allow this inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable in society to continue.
Last month the DWP minister Justin Tomlinson informed the Commons Work and Pensions committee in parliament that face to face ‘interviews’ are set to return although he stated that some telephone and video assessments will still continue.
There has been no concern from Tomlinson about the safety of vulnerable claimants and the fact that there is still a pandemic and most people forced to attend these ‘assessments’ are indeed vulnerable and are still having to shield.
Tomlinson however claimed rather confusingly that they had ‘Lost all of their health professionals’ because they apparently have gone to work for the test and trace system instead.
It isn’t clear yet how the system is going to return to normality when, as he said the health professionals that were employed have now left. Maybe Tomlinson will pay them even more money to do this, therefore tempting them away from their current employment. Who knows, I expect we will find out sooner rather than later.
It does however take a particularly cruel mindset to conduct these ‘assessments’ and to declare vulnerable people fit for work when they clearly aren’t.
Tomlinson went on to say that the work capability assessments (WCA) will begin shortly and PIP (Personal Independent Payment) ‘assessments’ will follow a few weeks later although they will keep video and telephone assessments. Tomlinson wasn’t clear in what capacity this will be, clarity isn’t his or the Tory party’s strong point.
As I write this I expect many people will have had their much dreaded letter from the DWP regarding their assessment, thus causing distress and panic for already vulnerable people.
Whilst the Covid 19 vaccination programme is going well there are people that are unable to have the vaccinations for health reasons. The Covid 19 strain from India has now started to take a hold in the UK, putting thousands at risk.
I urge Tomlinson and the government to rethink their assessment strategy and to put the health and well-being of disabled and vulnerable people first.
Once again thanks to Benefits and Work for their hard work in researching this and publishing this information. You can find them over at http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk
WCA is the Work Capability Assessment and PIP is Personal Independence Payments.
I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and for my campaign.
Please help me to continue to do this, there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and tweets my blog. It makes a massive difference and it helps to raise awareness.
It appears that the DWP are back to their old tricks again. The pandemic isn’t even over yet they continue with their obvious discrimination against disabled people.
Theres nothing that the government and the DWP appear to enjoy more than target vulnerable people with impossible targets to meet and to basically make their lives ask difficult as possible.
You might remember that a recent court hearing that the DWP had been wrongly using the law in relation to PIP mobility based on mental health grounds. (Personal Independence Payments)
The DWP although not admitting any wrongdoing, they did say that this would result in an increase of approximately 14% of the PIP mobility component. You can bet that they didn’t like that.
Meanwhile the brilliant team over at Benefits And Work have looked at the figures for claimants that claim PIP for anxiety and depression, this being listed as being the most likely to be affected by the court ruling.
They discovered that immediately after the DWP started implementing the new ruling, the award rates for mobility for depression and anxiety rose quite dramatically rising from 14% to up to 25% .
As if by some cruel feat of magic, the PIP award rates started to fall again, resulting in an all time low which is now far greater than before the court ruling.
Once again the DWP had most likely thought that they could ignore the ruling, thinking that no one would notice their deception. After all it’s easy to target the most vulnerable and the people that will find it extremely hard to fight back.
It’s very easy for the DWP to do this though, indeed it’s taken them just over a year to achieve this gross injustice.
They know that they can ignore court rulings because they’re accountable to no one. Knowing that this will result in the suffering of so many people they continue not caring and denying people their rightful payment awards.
Whilst the pandemic had opened up lots more access to online meetings and events, those without the internet cannot access help this way. Can you imagine being awarded such a meagre amount of money that leaves you unable to leave your home? Unable to pay or find internet access?
It’s cruelty beyond belief, and I don’t for one minute doubt that the DWP know exactly what they’re doing.
At a time when society should be helping each other the DWP decided to make disabled peoples lives even harder, which is no surprise and they will continue until they’re physically out of government.
What can we do to help each other? We can give help, advice and solidarity to anyone that we know that needs it. This makes a world of difference. I will continue to campaign against the ugly DWP machine and the government for as long as I am able to.
A huge thank you to Benefits And Work for all the hard work that they do. If you haven’t checked them out yet `I urge you to because they’re amazing!
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. Every share really helps to raise awareness which in turn helps people. We need to get the truth out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I’m slowly trying to get back to a new normal for me. Loosing my son has devastated me, but as a disabled person himself he would want me to continue to fight for fairness and equality for all.
I don’t receive any funding for either my blog and campaign. Theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my work and a massive thank you to everyone that has supported me and shown me kindness throughout this awful time.
Yesterday was quite a busy day for Dominic Cummings the former chief aide whilst he gave evidence in a seven hour hearing regarding the governments handling of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Cummings particulally took aim at Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, depicting the chaos and failing of the government’s handling of the Covid 19 crisis, saying that the failure, incompetence at the top of government stating that Covid 19 had killed thousands that didn’t need to die.
Whilst many people had already realised that Prime Minister Johnson anti lockdown, ignored scientists advice and failed to introduce lockdowns in adequate time. This is the same prime minister that openly said that he didn’t care about people dying, saying ‘Let the bodies pile high’.
For myself and others it comes as no shock. Johnson and his ilk have no sympathy or care for working class people, even less sympathy is given to disabled and elderly people, you can see this in their policies and their attitude.
What people need to realise is that Johnson and co come from and live in a totally different world than most people. They come from a place of great privilege and they like to flaunt this whenever possible.
Their handling of the pandemic is a good example of this. for example whilst thousands of people were dying, Carrie Symonds, Johnsons girlfriend was shown to be more concerned about her dog than the pandemic and the death toll. Symonds also saw this as a perfect opportunity to try and find her friends jobs within the government.
Johnson knew exactly what he was doing though, he was warned by officials that a lockdown was needed but failed to act, taking him a further ten days to agree to a lockdown.
There was no plan for the government to use in the event of a pandemic, despite many in government believing that there was. This has undoubtedly has resulted in thousands of deaths. Ironically a plan had been created by the Labour Party which would have undoubtably helped thousands of people and would have prevented thousands of deaths.
Johnson also described Covid 19 as ‘the swine flu’ and stated that he was going to get Chris Whitty to inject him with Covid 19 live on television to prove that its nothing to be scared of.
Mark Sedwill the then Cabinet Secretary suggested that people should have Covid 19 parties like chicken pox parties, believing that herd immunity would then be reached by September. Meanwhile the government were drawing on a whiteboard asking who they can’t save with no regard for their safety nor regard for them at all.
Its very clear that the government doesn’t care and never will care. We only have to look at the way that the government treats disabled and working class people. Their policies have resulted in the deaths thousands before the pandemic and not one care has been given about this either.
It is completely normal for the government to treat people like this, we mean nothing to them. If they can’t make any use of us financially through exploitation such as their Workfare schemes, they punish people by making it extremely hard to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, ESA and PIP.
Such cruelty will continue for as long as they’re able to do so, with no effective opposition at the moment I can see such cruelty continuing for a long time to come.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share helps to get the truth out there.
I would like to thank you all for your patience, especially after my son’s death. I’m trying to get back to normal, whatever my new normal is now.
I’m aiming to get at least one blog post published every week, hopefully improving the quality of them along the way.
I also receive no funding for my blog or my campaign. Every penny counts and it will help a great deal.
A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. It means the world to me and has kept me going during such dark times.
Dear readers, subscribers and friends, I hope that you are as well as can be. This week has been difficult for me because it’s the first time that I’ve been able to sit down and grieve for my son.
Everyone grieves in their own way and the time it takes for a person to grieve is totally individual. I truly don’t think that I’ll ever get over it and I’ll just learn to live with it.
It’s heartbreaking to know that thousands of people are mourning the loss of a loved one to Covid 19. No one as far as I’ve seen has spoken about their suffering and loss. I cannot comprehend their grief and pain.
The government has done a good job of hiding the true reality of the pandemic, the deaths, suffering, long covid sufferers and those already isolated because of illness and disability.
It’s very easy for the Prime Minister to open the borders, allow travel to countries overseas and to open up shops and businesses, he doesn’t have to cope with becoming ill and having no support, to be isolated in his home due to disability and illness. As most of you already know that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care about our welfare and he certainly doesn’t want to improve our quality of life.
I don’t underestimate the joy felt by many when they realised that they could come out of lockdown but I do realise that the Indian strain of covid 19 will soon be in most of our communities because Johnson once again hasn’t put much, if any thought into ending the lockdown.
Like many of you reading this I’m fully vaccinated, and many will be awaiting either their first or second vaccination, but I’m a tad worried about the Indian strain coming our way because we just don’t know if the vaccination works with this strain of COVID 19.
What I can say is proceed with caution, wear a mask, wash your hands and remain cautious. It’s a terrible indictment of our government that Johnson thinks that its ok to say ‘Let the bodies pile up’ and still be allowed to continue as Prime Minister. I remember the days when the opposition used to oppose such wrongdoings but now there’s hardly any from Sir Kier Starmer.
I really hope that we start to have some decent opposition soon because thousands of people need this now.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share is important to get the truth out there.
I don’t receive any funding for both my blog and campaign. For anyone that would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.
Thank you all so much for your support, it means the world to me.
Hi everyone as you may already know I recently had the terrible news that my son had died. It’s every parents nightmare because no parent expects to outlive their children.
My sons death was totally unexpected, he was a caring young man, loved by many. He didn’t take drugs or drank excessively either.
When I first heard the news as well as grieving, I was also extremely worried about how I could afford to pay for a decent funeral for him. I felt that this was important because he was only 26 years old and his sisters and family will be around for a long time to mourn his death.
Before my sons death I already knew that the funeral grant offered by the DWP wasn’t enough to give anyone a really decent funeral, it just pays for the very basics and anyway not everyone is entitled to it as I found out.
Call me old fashioned but I believe that everyone deserves a decent funeral. Funerals are expensive to start off with, and I can imagine how heartbreaking it must be to not be able to have a decent funeral for their loved ones.
It was pointed out to me that I could have had a direct cremation for my son because they cost less. Sadly because of my own beliefs I couldn’t do this for my son. Every deceased person deserves to have a proper funeral service if they wanted this. Personally I believe that it’s important for the deceased persons soul to have a proper funeral, to give them peace as well as the family closure.
The government however don’t regard this as being important. I’m positive that there are many deceased people left in storage and cremated because their families can’t afford a funeral. No one should be left like this. I’m surprised that the government haven’t reintroduced mass graves or likewise for the poor to be buried or cremated and their ashes scattered.
Yet still most politicians talk about this subject, whilst they’ll have no problem paying for a funeral the majority of us can’t and nor can we afford to pay for a prepaid funeral either. It’s a sad indictment of how little the Tory party regard life and death. They don’t care and neither will they ever care.
The welfare state was created to care for us from the cradle to the grave but the government has taken so much away from it that it hardly supports us anymore.
I could only afford a decent funeral for my son because of the kindness of friends and followers on here, Twitter and Facebook. I really can’t thank you enough and I couldn’t have done it without your support and kindness and both myself and my family can’t thank you enough for your kindness.
I will continue to speak out about this, because I do believe that its important and I make no apology for doing so.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.
If anyone would like to donate to either the upkeep of my blog or campaign there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.
Dear readers and subscribers, you I get have realised that Ive been pretty much out of action this past week. I apologise for this, I feel awful about it and I hope that it doesn’t happen again.
Ive been struggling to get through this last rebound due to needing more meds and waiting for them to be processed.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m feeling pretty low at the moment. This past year has been a complete nightmare and so far it doesn’t appear to be easing.
My health is pretty rubbish at the moment, it takes me much longer to do tasks that I didn’t used to think about. My daughters more than fed up with me being ill and I do feel like I am to blame for this. Being a single parent is tough when you’re ill.
Yesterday I learnt that the support that I was getting will be ending next week. This was very difficult for me to process because I’m still needing help.
Ive noticed that many essential support networks and general support services locally are ending next week because apparently everything’s going back to normal.
It’s rather foolish to believe that because this latest lockdown is ending that Covid 19 has ended as well. So many people are still ill with it and are suffering from long covid.
It’s very neglectful of any support network to believe that this latest lockdown ending is the last lockdown that we are going to have.
Already the numbers of children that are infected with covid 19 are rising along with the schools re opening. Combine this with the majority of the population have only had one vaccination leaving others still waiting for their vaccination dates it arrive.
Not long ago Boris Johnson declared that we would ‘have to get used to people dying’. I for one can never get used to that. He should never have uttered those words.
To be honest the only things that have been keeping me going recently are this blog and your support. I need your support more than I ever have before.
I want to be better, maybe these latest meds will work. I don’t want to be in the position that I’m in now. It’s pretty dire tbh and I expect that thousands of other people are feeling the same as I am now.
If any organisations are reading this blog post, please reconsider stopping support just because the latest lockdown is ending. So may of us are, not by choice dependent upon this help.
I feel that Ive been totally honest with you, I needed to get this worry off my chest so to speak and I want people to realise how tough it is for long covid survivors.
One day, hopefully soon this nightmare will be over and I’ll be back to my normal self. It’s been so long since I’ve been there.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. I really want to get the reality of our situations out there for everyone to read.
For anyone that would like to donate to keep both my blog, myself and the campaign going theres a donate button at the top and bottom of this blog post.
I really need your support and I thank everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign.
Dear readers and subscribers, you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet this week. My aim is to produce at least three blog posts a week. I want to provide more newsworthy content as well as my weekly blog which is personal to me.
I have failed to do this because once again I’ve rebounded. I’ve got yet another chest infection that has hit me extremely hard, not only physically but mentally.
I really thought that I’d beaten my long covid symptoms, and for the most part I have. What I didn’t count on was that I could get another chest infection which has made me feel so ill.
I felt the symptoms up to about 14 days ago, I get pains in my right lung which are hard to describe. I stupidly ignored these symptoms because I didn’t want to be ill again, I didn’t want to have to say that I’m ill again because I’m sure that everyone is fed up of me saying this.
I carried on as usual until last Sunday when my body told me that I couldn’t continue like I was doing. My sats dropped to a low level and just doing the most basic chores made me breathless and tired.
I admitted defeat and spoke to my doctor. They diagnosed another chest infection and advised me that I should really go to the hospital. Easier said than done though when you’re a single parent and your child is totally dependent upon you.
I explained my situation and I was prescribed anti antibiotics and more inhalers. My consultant has been notified and I’m waiting for an appointment to see him.
There’s no doubting that I was extremely foolish to ignore my symptoms, don’t ever do this. For anyone in a similar situation to me, please act upon your symptoms and get help. I can’t believe that I was so stupid.
I think the main reason as to why I ignored my new symptoms is because I had such a long run of better health. I wasn’t struggling as much and I was seriously considering the fact that I would be well very soon.
I wanted to hold onto that hope, to become normal once again, to be included in future plans and to have ambitions of achieving my goals.
My goals aren’t particularly hard to achieve for an able bodied person. I love walking, I used to walk miles everyday and I so wanted to walk to Hartshead Pike once again with my daughter. Maybe one day I’ll achieve this.
Luckily I think that my antibiotics have started to work and my sats are much better than they were. Not perfect, far from it but acceptable for both myself and my doctor and consultant.
I know that the Covid 19 virus has damaged my lungs, especially my right lung and I have to accept that I’m more vulnerable to getting chest infections, but it’s impossible for me to live in a covid free environment. My daughter returned to school and with that came the spread of viruses brought home through no fault of her own.
So yes I’m struggling, yes I’m fed up of complaining about my health but this week has certainly been a big challenge for me. I want to do more, to eat more healthily and to have a better lifestyle but it’s impossible when I’m dependent upon such a low income.
I’m not only worried about my physical health I’m worried about how on earth can I juggle things around to provide everything that I need to get healthy again. It’s bloody impossible but I’ll try my best to do this.
For now my goals are low. I would first like to once again achieve my goal of more blog content because I love to write and I love to hear from all of you, because you are important.
As for my health, I’m back to taking it a day at a time, hopefully achieving small goals along the way. I’m grateful to be alive, to have survived Covid19, and to still be here talking to all of you.
Please keep safe, wear a mask and don’t for one minute think that this virus has gone away. It hasn’t and we still need to be careful.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every time that my blog is shared results in more people reading about the truth of our life’s, our struggles and how shitty life is for us at the moment.
I don’t get any funding for writing my blog and at the moment I’m really struggling financially. For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog piece.
Every penny enables me to continue to blog and it really helps my campaign. I want to be back to normal again I really do.
A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without your help. It would be impossible. Thank you all so much.
Most people that claim Universal Credit find themselves in debt through no fault of their own. The five week wait for a new claim to be processed ensures that they’re going to accrue debts.
At the time of writing the DWP can automatically take high level deductions from a persons universal credit payments personal allowance for court fine payments, council tax debts and suchlike.
The DWP has a blanket policy of always cutting benefit by the maximum amount possible which is given regardless of personal circumstances. This leaves already financially vulnerable people struggling to buy food and to pay bills.
Yesterday the High Court has today ruled that this policy and practice of taking high amounts of payments from a persons Universal Credit is unlawful.
In February 2020, Shelter launched a legal challenge on behalf of four people, all of whom had a history of rough sleeping and therefore are hugely impacted affected by deductions being taken out of their Universal Credit payments.
Shelter challenged the DWPs deductions policy and all decisions to apply the ‘maximum deduction rate’ to universal credit. They also challenged this for all court fine payments regardless of the claimant’s personal circumstances.
The DWPs policy of deducting the maximum amount of 30% from the Universal Credit standard allowance leaves claimants with as little as £51 per week to live on., that is unless they have more deductions taken from their payments for other debts such as DWP loans etc.
These payments ensure that claimants cant afford to heat and or eat, pay for transport to get themselves to appointments and to buy essential phone credit to fulfil their required Universal Credit job searches.
Shelter argued in court that the DWP’s deductions policy and approach to deductions unlawfully removes an important discretion prescribed by law. Regulation 4 of The Fines (Deductions from Income Support) Regulations 1992) provides the DWP discretion to deduct a minimum of 5% from peoples’ UC to pay back court fines (and a maximum of £108.35).
The DWP’s blanket policy removes this discretion by setting a fixed maximum deduction of 30% and doesn’t allow claimants to request a lower deduction even in exceptional circumstances where they’re facing hardship.
The DWP’s defence of this policy is that in theory Universal Credit claimants can return to the magistrates’ court to request a direct repayment plan.
In reality this is impracticable. Most claimants aren’t aware that they can do this and the DWP aren’t exactly helpful if a person wants to do this.
The deductions regime is an effective means of repayment of debts, however as it stands the high level of repayments pushes a claimant even further into debt and poverty because repayments aren’t set at a reasonable level, taking into account a claimants financial circumstances.
Shelters case was heard at the High Court before Mr Justice Kerr via a remote hearing on 12 and 13 January 2021. Shelter’s claim was also heard together with a second claim brought by Hackney Community Law Centre acting on behalf of a disabled UC claimant.
The court found that DWP’s deductions policy is unlawful because it ‘fetters discretion’: i.e. it prevents decision makers from taking a UC claimant’s personal circumstances into account when setting the deduction rate.
The court ruled that by setting a fixed rate for deductions from UC for fines, and the DWP’s inflexible approach in making decisions on these cases, removes the discretion provided for in the relevant legislation. This is unlawful.
Responding to the DWP’s defence of an ‘alternative route’ through the magistrates’ court, Mr Justice Kerr states:
‘The deductions regime is paternalistic: the debtor cannot be left to pay off court fines voluntarily; they must be made to do so, for their sake and society’s. The Secretary of State’s passivity leaves unperformed the duty upon her to make that happen in appropriate cases.’
The High Court ruled that the DWP’s policy and practice in its present form was not lawful. The judge ordered that the relevant section in the deductions policy relating to fines be amended to reflect the judgment.
This judgment means that the DWP will have to change the deductions policy and their guidance must include discretion for DWP decision makers.
This will mean that Universal Credit claimants will be able ask the DWP to lower the amount deducted for court fine payments if they are struggling financially to pay them.
In reality nothing is changing regarding this legal decision yet because the DWP are as usual appealing the courts decision, but I will keep you posted about this.
This ruling has the opportunity to change Universal Credit claimants financial situations for the better, but you can bet that the DWP will drag this out for as long as possible.
My apologies for the lateness of this weeks blog. Yesterday was so busy for myself and my daughter and I’m once again unwell again.
I will endeavour to do my best to not let this happen again.
I’m so fed up with being unwell, not only does it impact me health wise it impacts my relationship with my children and it hits me hard financially.
I am doing my best to get well again because I hate feeling like this.
Please take care, keep safe and be kind to yourselves.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. Every time that you do this helps the truth to get out there which is extremely important.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports both my blog and campaign.
For anyone that would like to donate toward my blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every donation makes a huge difference and enables me to continue with both my blog and campaign.
Once again Thursday has crept up again so quickly and I hope that you’re all as ok as you can be.
Health wise I had a couple of bad long covid days most likely brought on by sorting my house out after being ill for so long. I am trying to do it in stages but it got the better of me this week.
Anyway enough about me. This past year has been a huge struggle for so many of us. We are still having it choose between eating and heating and more and more of us are dependent upon food parcels..
The need for food banks is growing every day. More and more people are being pushed into a never ending spiral of poverty, and they might not ever be able to get out of this situation.
Living in poverty isn’t exactly living, its about existing, trying to struggle through each day whilst hoping that the next day is better for them.
This week I’ve spoken to some of the people that I’ve been helping for a long time now. When we first met almost all of them had that spark of hope that they’d find a job and wouldn’t be dependent upon social security for long.
Sadly this didn’t happen. Being dependent upon a system that was created to systematically take away any self esteem that you might have isn’t easy, nor is it conducive to a good healthy life. Hence why I say that this isn’t living, its existing.
For me the word living implies that there still is some joy, being able to eat healthier and not having to make the choice between eating or heating.
Ive lost count of the amount of times that I’ve bought people some prepaid gas and electric, handed out food parcels and when we ran out of them taking a person shopping to help them get through a very difficult time.
This is what really annoys me, angers me and and at the same time upsets me. No one should be forced to live like this, to survive from day to day with no hope. The Universal Credit and ESA and PIP systems were all created to make people suffer, to make people be grateful for every crumb of hope given to them.
No one should be forced to endure the awful ESA and PIP medical assessments. Not only are they extremely damaging to a persons mental and physical help, they are also conducted by a so called medical representative that often hasn’t got a clue about how hard life is for the claimant. They also really don’t care about how damaging their false reports can be for the person being assessed.
There’s no excuse for such cruelty. The government chose to do this because they don’t care about us, working class and disabled people. There’s also little point in appealing to them for help because they often refuse to.
As I write this blog the gap between the have’s and have nots is widening hugely every day. Self isolating when you have the financial means to do so is much easier than when you haven’t.
Worrying about how you can feed your children and how to keep warm and safe is what’s worrying most of us.
I’m concerned about everyone forced to make the horrible decision between heating and eating, trying to make clothing last because they can’t buy anymore, walking in shoes that have holes in the bottom of them.
This is the reality for so many of us and we do need to talk about it more than we do. This is exactly why I started to write this blog and also why I started campaigning against this cruel, heartless system.
We can get through this though. Never, ever forget that you are important and you are loved. I’m always here if you want to talk.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. Every time that this is done raises awareness for so many. There are still people out there that don’t realise how cruel the system is.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you and I can’t thank you enough.
I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and to say its a struggle at times is an understatement.
If you would like to donate to keep the blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
The pandemic has hit the poorest extremely hard both health wise and financially pushing the financially insecure into a seemingly never ending spiral into worsening poverty. Financial and social inequality highlights health inequalities which prevents people from living with both security and dignity that they deserve.
From the 2008 global financial crash, which was followed by the ten years of cuts that followed this fortified proved beyond all doubt that there is a strong link between peoples health and their social circumstances.
In February 2020, the Marmot review reported the impact of the public health crisis in great detail. It reported that life expectancy in the UK had stopped improving for the first time in 100 years.
The government’s responses to Covid 19 pandemic highlights and continues to exacerbate this cruel injustice.
Thousands of people are still being forced to work whilst have Covid 19 symptoms because they can’t financially afford to take time off work.We must not blame someone who continues to work, despite having symptoms of covid-19, because of financial difficulties.
The blame lies at the feet of the government who are still excluding so many by not recognising their financial worries.
Without adequate financial and practical support for self-isolation, not everyone can afford to do this. Their needs are still not being met proving that being better off financially Wealth can be the best shielding strategy from the pandemic.
More than a million people who have applied for Universal Credit since March 2020. Many have waited months for their payments to start which barely covers basic necessities. Leaving them in a much worse financial state.
The government is still continuing to not commit to extending the £20 weekly uplift which is extremely worrying for millions of people that are reliant upon these payments.
The government has failed to keep people safe during the pandemic which has in turn affected the economy. This has resulted in the UK having one of the highest Covid 19 mortality rates in the world, coupled wit one of the biggest economic recessions amongst the G7 nations.
The government fails to understand that both physical health and economic wellbeing are intertwined.
Instead of prioritising the welfare of the public, the government prioritised schemes such as the ‘Eat Out To Help Out which failed to help the economy but also resulted in the ill health and deaths of so many.are impeccably encapsulated by the £849 million “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.
As a result of countless governments cuts and benefit reforms the UK now the weakest safety nets in its own post-war history, yet public support for an improved welfare system is, according to The Guardian newspaper the highest for twenty years.
The government needs to give people greater social protection and to give people the means to live healthy and dignified lives.Those that need to self isolate should be given the financial means to do so.
It’s a terrible indictment of the governments attitude that millions of people are now forced to rely upon food parcels and making the choice wether to eat or heat.
Will the government answer our calls for this to happen? I doubt they will but we should never stop reminding them of this need.
Please read, share and tweet my blog and my articles. It’s extremely important that we continue to get the truth out there which os important for so many.
I don’t receive any funding for both my blog and campaign. If anyone would like to donate to enable me to continue with both there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign.
I really couldn’t do this without your support and you have all helped me to get through this tough time in my life.
It’s Thursday again and where has the time gone? I hope that you’re all as ok as you can be. The government certainly doesn’t make it easy for us do they.
You may have noticed that I’ve started to upload more articles. I want this blog to remain relevant to our struggles and I’m trying my best to get our truth out there.
I will however still be uploading at least one personal blog piece like this one. I truly believe that our voices do need to get out there and we need to be doing this as often as we can do.
Like you I struggle and yesterday was a particularly hard day for me health wise. Long Covid hit me hard again, most likely because I’ve been busy this week. I’ve learnt that when this happens its best to just go with it and not to fight it.
I also realise that I’m one of the lucky ones. I survived and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone suffering with Covid 19, and for everyone that has died and their families and friends.
I’m sure that many of you are feeling the same way, there are many similarities between Long Covid and other long term illnesses that cause tiredness and other symptoms.
Whilst I welcome the research into Long Covid with open arms, I find it disgusting that other long term illnesses like this haven’t had the same amount of research. Everyone despite their illness are important therefore are deserving of the same treatment.
As you’ve probably seen in my last blog I explained my frustrations with the budget announcements. I really do wish that the £20 Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift had been extended to legacy benefit claimants.
I do believe that this has been done purposely to try and make legacy benefit claimants move over to Universal Credit. Not only is this dangerous to their health and well-being, it would also ensure that they’re worse off financially.
Call me old fashioned but I believe in equality for everyone, its simply not fair to exclude people especially those that are extremely vulnerable both health wise and financially.
Of course the government doesn’t want equality though, they want the working class to suffer and therefore they devise policies to ensure that they’ll always be worse off both health wise and financially. They want us to become so desperate for money that we’ll do everything that they say so that they can keep their benefit payments.
The DWP created ‘Workfare’ specifically designed to make big businesses and charities better off financially whilst dragging vulnerable people into a viscous cycle of subservience and poverty.
Long gone are the days of job security and financial independence. The pandemic has highlighted this fact more than ever. We are seeing record numbers of unemployment, thousands of workers having to rely upon furlough pay that only pays 80% of their wages and thousand of people forced to wait five weeks or longer for their first Universal Credit payments whilst we are still in the midst of a pandemic.
Absolutely no thought was given to the effect of the pandemic upon new Universal Credit claimants. It’s hard enough to survive on UC as it is without having the worry of waiting so long for their first payment.
So far theres been radio silence about this issue, and of course I didn’t think that they’d change this because this would admit that they were wrong and the five week wait isn’t the right thing to do.
I could write about this for hours so instead of subjecting you to a lengthy blog post I’ll keep updating this blog on a regular basis.
I’ve said this before, but I wish that I had a magic wand to make everything better for you all but I don’t. I only have this blog, my Facebook and Twitter accounts and the odd TV appearance to help to highlight your struggles.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. Everyone that reads my blog and shares it helps others to hear our voices. It shows others that they’re not alone and that we do care.
I don’t receive any funding towards my blog and campaign and its been a struggle to say the least. If anyone would like to donate or to buy me a coffee theres a donate button at the side and top of this blog post.
Every penny makes a huge difference and I’d like to thank everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. It means the world to me.
Yesterdays budget announcements were more than disappointing, all of which will in one way or another will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the most.
Whilst I was glad to see the £20 Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit extended for a further six months it is still unknown if it will be extended for a further six months.
Whilst to some £20 a week is a small amount of money, to thousands it’s literally keeping them going. It enables people to maybe buy some gas and electricity, to buy some food and to buy phone credit or help pay for their internet bill.
The £20 uplift should be increased and should be extended to everyone on legacy benefits. The refusal of the government to do this shows their complete disregard of their needs.
These aren’t luxuries by any means, they are basic necessities that people need to survive.
The DWP demand that claimants have access to the internet at all times and have a working mobile phone, if they don’t they risk being sanctioned.
To withdraw the £20 uplift in six months time will only result in pushing people further into poverty and once again having to make the decision between eating or heating. Bills wont be paid therefore they will spiral further into debt.
The Chancellor certainly didn’t make any announcements that would greatly benefit families and working people. Whilst the furlough scheme has been extended this doesn’t help anyone that has lost their job as a result of the pandemic.
At best it covers 80% of an employees wages leaving them to struggle on a lower income than they were previously getting.
No mention of help was made by the chancellor for people looking for work, for the unemployed that are desperately struggling to survive on the already failing Universal Credit system.
The government knows that Universal Credit payments aren’t enough to survive on and the £20 uplift payments given to Universal Credit claimants is their admission that they know that payments are too low.
You can bet that they’ll take away the uplift payments at the earliest opportunity rather than overhauling the failing Universal Credit system.
Zero help was offered to disabled people and people on legacy benefits, the government hasn’t even acknowledged their need for help. No care has been given to their welfare, their physical and mental health doesn’t matter to the government.
Far too many disabled people are living in distress and are still being forced to attend ESA and PIP assessments albeit some are taking place on the telephone.
Disabled people are still awaiting their ESA renewal assessments, their payments being stopped in the middle of the pandemic because theres a huge backlog of people awaiting their assessments.
How is this acceptable in any way?
The Chancellor also failed to mention the NHS, education, carers, social care, pensioners and the environment. Almost no mention was given to the affect that the pandemic has had on all of these services.
At a time when they all need cash boosts and interventions more than they ever did they were all ignored, their needs tossed to the side land forgotten about.
Yesterday’s budget was all about the rich, big business and how they will survive the pandemic.
It felt to me that the government is now actively trying to ignore and forget that the pandemic is still here, newer more deadly virus mutations are being found and everyone is struggling .
Vaccinations don’t stop the transmission of the virus but they do lessen the effect of it.
It’s extremely concerning when people are refusing their vaccinations because they believe it to be bad for us, because they refuse to accept that its safe and it will benefit them.
Schools will be reopening soon and I’m certain that this will result in the R rate increasing and the mortality rates both increasing once again.
The truth is that the country as a whole can’t move forward and rebuild properly, if ever if the above issues and problems aren’t dealt with first.
Does the government care? Not one bit because none of this affects them and it never will. Our basic needs aren’t even acknowledged.
My thoughts are with everyone struggling, with everyone that is in distress and everyone that the government is letting down.
Remember that there are lots of people that do care about you. Never forget that.
How am I coping? Just about is the best that I can say. Taking it a day at a time suits me the best.
I’m still battling long covid and I’m trying to sort my home out after being ill for so long.
My apologies if I talk about this too much. It’s the situation that I’m in as are thousands of people. One day we will be well again.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s extremely important that we continue to get the truth out there.
A massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign.
If anyone would like to donate to my blog and campaign or buy me a coffee theres a donate button at the side and top of this blog post.
Thank you to everyone that has and does support the blog and campaig
In a recent report conducted by The New Economics Foundation one in three people will be living in hardship by May despite the universal Credit Working Tax Credit £20 uplift hopefully being extended.
The New Economics Foundation also reports that 21.7 million people will still not have a decent standard of living even if the uplift is extended.
The report goes on to say that 12.9 million of the people in financial difficulty will be receiving less than 75% of the Minimum Income Standard which is defined as being £19,200 for a single person and £37,400 for a family of four, taking into account if the £20 uplift is removed.
If removed this will result in 1.1 million more people falling below the MIS by May compared with last September.
If the Covid 19 infection and mortality rates lessen it will expose the true crisis in living standards that thousands of people are forced to live in.
The New Economics Foundation report shows that by May, one in three people which is estimated to be total of 21.7 million will be living in families with not enough income to meet every day needs.
Despite the furlough scheme, unemployment has continued to rise over the last year. According to the latest government data it shows that unemployment has increased by 1.3% points higher than the previous year. It also also shows the largest annual decrease in employment since the aftermath of the financial crisis. This being half a million fewer people employed than there was last year. Redundancy rates have also risen from 8.4 per thousand on the year, to 12.3 per thousand employees.
This leaves millions of people that are now dependant upon our social security system to support incomes, help with housing costs and to feed people.
At the time of writing the latest government data reveals there are 5.9 million people on universal credit with 3 million receiving housing benefit, 2.5 million receiving personal independence payment, 1.9 million receiving employment support allowance, 1.4 million receiving disability living allowance, and 0.3 million receiving jobseeker’s allowance.
If the furlough scheme ends in April, the financial situation is set to worsen for many therefore making them more dependent upon the social security system.
The Bank of England has also projected that unemployment will rise to 7.8% in April-June 2021.
Although the government is likely to extend the £20 uplift for another six months, it is unknown if it will be withdrawn after six months.
To withdraw the uplift would not only push people deeper into poverty it will also hamper financial recovery for the lowest income families. If the uplift is withdrawn November there will be an estimated additional 1.2 million people living below the Minimum Income Standard.
At the very least the £20 uplift must be kept for those on universal credit or receiving working tax credit and it must be extended to those on legacy benefits who do not currently have access to it. To take it away in November would prevent any financial recovery for people having the incomes across the country.
We need a social security system that gives financial security for all and doesn’t make people choose between eating or heating and paying the rent ensuring that no one has to choose between buying the basics or heating their homes.
To do this there need what remains of the the UK’s safety net to be a reformation of the current social security system giving it the ability to protect individuals and families for the long term.
The very act of giving Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants the £20 uplift and introducing the furlough scheme was actually the government’s way of recognising that our current social security safety net isn’t good enough.
We need to continue to campaign for a fairer social security system for all.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. It’s important that we continue to get the truth out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign.
For anyone that would like to donate to the upkeep of my blog and campaign or if anyone would like to buy me a coffee theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!
The Disability, Health and Work Minister Justin Tomlinson has recently confirmed that the new integrated assessment service will be tested, trialed and developed in London initially before being rolled out nationally.
The new integrated assessment service for employment and support allowance pilot will include ESA, PIP and Universal Credit.
Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Justin Tomlinson confirmed in parliament via a written question that testing of this single digital platform had started in a small number of assessment centres in early 2020 . This was detailed in a written statement given in March 2020 which was paused due to the impact of Covid-19.
Mr Tomlinson confirmed this saying “We have been reviewing our delivery plans and expect the IT development to form part the work of the new Departmental Transformation Area. The new Departmental Transformation Area (DTA) will provide a safe environment to test, adapt and learn from new ideas and processes before rolling out at a greater scale, and ultimately nationally.’
He went on to say ‘This approach recognises that our claimants include some of the most vulnerable in society and it is critical that we carefully develop the new integrated health assessment service.’
This combined approach can only be disastrous for disabled people. Combining ESA, PIP with the Universal Credit system that has already been proven to be failing people will have a detrimental affect upon the well being of disabled and ill people.
It will be impossible to incorporate these three benefits fairly and it will leave so many vulnerable people in mental and physical distress.
Mr Tomlinson’s written answer is available from parliament.uk
Last week I updated my blog in which I told my blog readers that I have had my Covid 19 vaccination. I didn’t become ill after it except for tiredness (which I have anyway) and the feeling that I was getting a virus.
Sadly I didn’t grow two heads and Bill Gates hasn’t been in touch yet. The vaccination didn’t hurt either so thats a bonus. When you get notified that you’re eligible for your vaccination go for it.
This week I decided that enough was enough and I had to start cleaning and tidying my house after having Covid. I’ve also had long covid for almost eleven months. Thinking about it was far easier than actually doing it. As is par the course when I plan to do anything.
Last year after my first infectious bout of covid my social housing provider decided that they wanted to fit a new kitchen to replace my decrepit old one. I thought that this was really good news but then I had to empty my kitchen ready for them to start taking my old one out.
This was a complete nightmare because A I have a tiny house and I was suffering with long covid and other complications. I did ask my landlord to ask them if they could delay it but the answer was no.
I’m not being ungrateful but it was very difficult to do. We had to move everything that we could upstairs and the larger items into my living room. I was so happy that we actually managed it with the help of my older children and the kitchen that was fitted is gorgeous.
Anyway why am I talking about this?
After the kitchen was fitted I had subsequent relapses of pneumonia and pleurisy and because of this I was only able to bring the basics downstairs so that we could use the kitchen.
This resulted in my house being an absolute state for so long. Boxes, bags and other containers were stuffed in every room upstairs and the box room was full to the top with things that needed moving.
This week I decided that I couldn’t live like this any longer. Previous to me becoming ill I liked to have a clean and tidy house. It wasn’t immaculate but it was cosy and we liked it.
It was for this reason we started to sort the kitchen stuff out and put them in the appropriate places and throw away anything that we didn’t need or want anymore.
It was hard work and I still cant believe that we managed it and we were so proud of our efforts. I even managed to sort out my front garden. I also need to do the back garden but that will have to wait until I’m feeling up to it and when I can afford to pay someone to take the stuff away.
Whilst doing this I was reminded of how hard it is for anyone that is disabled or ill to keep on top of their housework. It’s a nightmare when you’re not able to tidy up after yourself and also if you don’t have a car to take things to the local tip.
When my local council decided to start recycling they swapped our bins around, the biggest bin being used for bottles and tins. Whilst this sounds like a good idea the amount of items that they accept for recycling is small leaving us with a small bin to fit all none recyclable items in. This has resulted in overflowing bins and fly tipping by unscrupulous people that are paid to take rubbish to the tip but instead dump it in local country parks etc.
I’m sure that you don’t want to read about this, but I’m truly grateful to have beaten covid and have a new kitchen fitted.
I’m grateful that I’m still here and I’m angry about the governments lack of care for people during the pandemic. This week Johnson told us that we should get used to people dying.
We should never get used to people dying because of the governments neglect. I’m furious. So many people have died and will continue to die because of their neglect. I hope that one day they’ll be punished for their neglect.
I apologise for the content of my blog this week but I like to tell it like it is from my experience of things. Even though my worries are small compared to other peoples worries and concerns they’re still important. Getting the truth out there is extremely important.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that has done and does this.
A massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I couldn’t do this without you. Physically Covid 19 has changed my life. Financially its been a big struggle.
If you would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you so much!
Covid 19 infection rates have been falling across the UK as a result of the national lockdown. Thanks to the NHS the vaccination programme is making good progress and so far appears to be reaching their expected targets.
The national lockdown has helped to stop the spread of covid-19. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of people admitted to hospital with serious Covid 19 related illnesses.
This should not be treated lightly as the threat of the pandemic and once the lockdown conditions are lifted there are still major unresolved challenges which could result in the R rate and mortality levels rising.
Many local and regional public health teams don’t have the tools available to tackle outbreaks despite large numbers of the public believing so.
The Covid 19 virus has the potential to spread very quickly which could result in the virus once again being out of control.
This is very worrying because we are now seeing quicker spreading mutations of the Covid 19 virus emerging which is a trend that is most likely to continue once lockdown conditions are once again lifted.
The government has released its roadmap, but for it to succeed, the government needs to fix the already existing problems with the way that infection data is recorded so that the spread of covid-19 can be accurately recorded.
Therefore it is extremely worrying that the results of Imperial College London’s REACT study and the Office for National Statistic’s infection survey are still not matching with the data that the Test and Trace. Records.
For public health teams to be able to take the necessary actions to prevent infection rates rising, the problems surrounding this needs to be dealt with.
Public health teams cannot be expected to react appropriately when the data that they receive isn’t accurate. Without this accurate data its very difficult to see where the localised outbreaks are and to respond accurately.
One of the downfalls of the Test and Trace system is that it can only provide infection data for people that come forward to be tested, therefore the system can only trace the contacts of those who have imputed their data to contact tracing teams.
Many people aren’t coming forward for testing as a result of the insufficient provision of economic support from the government if they are required to isolate as a result of their test and trace data. This then expands health inequalities between those that can afford to stay off work than those that can’t.
Public health teams are also facing problems in accessing the data that is generated by the Test and Trace system mainly as a result of the system being technically insufficient to provide the needed data and the information that does arrive is too slow to do so.
Despite the governments new Roadmap system it can’t be be successful unless there is improved data access for Public Health Teams for them to act upon.
Improved early warning systems would also help to alert teams to spikes in their local infection rates before they rise out of control. This would also help to identify new mutations of the virus.
For the governments new roadmap system to be successful it’s very important to have an effective early warning system to alert Public Health Teams about rises in local and national infection rates.
The NHS and public and health professionals across the country have worked extremely hard trying to tackle the spread of covid-19. Their combined efforts have lead the country to a place where we can see a way out of the current restrictions that we have faced for so long.
It’s important to remember that our exit from lockdown must be time appropriate and access to reliable data must be improved upon. without this the governments planned Roadmap will fail our hope to return to life as normal.
To avoid a fourth lockdown will requires much more than just a roadmap. It requires an effective early warning system both locally and nationally to rises in infection rates. This also depends upon effective and early action from the government in response to keep the virus under control.
Throughout this pandemic the government has been extremely slow to act upon data given thus enabling the virus to run out of control leading to mutations of the virus. We have seen the government be far to slow to respond to infection rates given which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
We need to prevent future spikes and if possible avoid another lockdown.
To achieve this the government needs to start acting quickly and more decisively, based their actions upon active monitoring of good quality data.
Source Maggie Rae president of the UK Faculty of Public Health.
Yesterday I had my Covid 19 vaccination. I had the Pfizer vaccination and I really couldn’t wait for this day to arrive.
Most of you will know that my Covid 19 and Long Covid experience has been horrendous.
I first became ill with Covid 19 last April and I quickly became extremely unwell. You can read about this in my previous blog posts. I also developed Pneumonia and pleurisy and had numerous relapses.
To say that I was excited for my vaccine was an understatement, I can never forget how ill I have been and I certainly don’t want to catch it again. Not only do I have to think about myself I also have to think about my daughters wellbeing as well.
I was virtually bedbound for around a month except for the odd trip downstairs which completely exhausted me. As a result my illness really scared my daughter, she told me that she thought that I was going to die.
I’ve now got long covid, but its nowhere near as bad as having covid and my health is improving albeit much slower than I’d like it to.
So, putting her wellbeing first and then mine I gladly accepted my invitation for the vaccination. No side effects from the vaccination can ever be as bad as becoming as ill as I was again. Not an option for me.
First I had to work out how to get there. I don’t drive so going anywhere can be a struggle at times. My health isn’t up to bus rides at the moment and it would have taken two bus journeys to get there.
Luckily a lovely friend of mine offered to take me, she had already had her first vaccination and we were both masked up etc.
Once we arrived at the vaccination venue everything was straightforward in a regimented fashion. At no point did I feel unsafe or overwhelmed. I was very impressed with their delivery of the vaccine. The injection itself didn’t hurt and everyone was so friendly.
The vaccine rollout in Tameside and our local NHS area has been superb. They’re really working hard to vaccinate everyone and I can’t thank them enough.
I shouldn’t have to mention this but I didn’t jump any queues in getting my jab. I have underlying health conditions and covid has damaged my lungs.
Right now back to the vaccine. On the day of my vaccine I had absolutely no side effects to speak of, even the injection site didn’t hurt. This is brilliant I thought. This morning I woke with a low lying temperature and just a feeling of being tired, just like you feel when you’re beginning to become unwell with a virus.
I’m not ill though, I expect that I’ll be feeling much better tomorrow. This is really a very small price to pay for ensuring that I will keep myself safe and also others safe including my daughter.
After speaking to other people there has been various side effects depending upon the person, but none as far as I know are as bad as catching Covid.
Despite some people demonising the vaccinations, saying that they’re dangerous and the vaccinations have microchips in them. Yes some people really believe that we are being chipped etc. Mad isn’t it. I blame the so called alternative media for this, praying upon a persons weakness and vulnerabilities.
Ive had people tell me that the vaccines aren’t safe because they haven’t been tested enough. This is complete rubbish. They have been tested and for a change the government funded these tests, ensuring that the vaccines can be released as quickly as possible.
I have friends that took part in the vaccine trials. The difference between the vaccine trials and other trials is that this one was fully funded. They weren’t forced to literally beg for funding to do this. If only the government fully funded everything that they should do.
Of course as with any other vaccination there is a risk that comes with it but the risk is very low. Both your doctors surgery’s and the staff at the vaccination centres ensure that no one that has a risk of developing serious side effects actually has the vaccine.
So what do I think of the vaccines?
As with any vaccination against serious illnesses I think that they’re brilliant. They prevent us from becoming seriously ill from illnesses that used to be commonplace. Vaccines give us the freedom to not be scared of going out and mixing with people.
Back before vaccines staying alive was much more dangerous. Mortality levels were high and fewer people lived for as long as we do now. Of course there were exceptions to the rules, there is in a local graveyard to me. These were the exceptions and not the norm though.
So would I recommend getting the vaccinations? Yes I do. Once you’ve been ill with covid or know someone that has been ill with covid or have died from it, not having it isn’t an option.
Keep safe everyone, isolate if you have to and wear masks etc and wash your hands. Like you I can’t wait until this is all over. I can’t wait to see people again safely.
Do I think that everything will totally return back to normal? I really don’t think so. I do believe that we will create our own new normal and I’m happy with that.
Our children will grow up with more knowledge about viruses and vaccinations. Hopefully this will help them in the future.
What we can’t do though is forget about everyone that has died from this awful virus. Never mind clapping… let’s have memorials built in their memories instead. Ideally I’d like this to be done in every town.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. It’s vital that the truth continues to get out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. It really does mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you.
Financially catching covid has destroyed me. Everything is so much more expensive when you can’t go out to go shopping. I’m trying to return to normal and I’m publishing more blog posts to help raise more awareness.
For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny enables me to continue to blog and campaign. Thank you xx
For years now Alan Bennet has been trying to access documents left by Brady to his solicitor that could give light to wear Keith is buried.
Hindleys and Bradys crimes were and are unforgivable. Despite Hindleys attempts to take any blame away from herself and to clean up her reputation failed and quite rightly so. She was equally as guilty as Brady, some argue even more so.
Bradys solicitor has for years constantly refused to hand over the briefcase despite may requests from Alan Bennett and his family. This has been extremely upsetting for Alan and his family.
It’s a sad fact that many disappearances, murders and suicides cannnot have closure because of a legislative gap which has made police officers unable to access vital information.
This has left the family of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett unable to have closure. Home Secretary Priti Patel is now backing the police with new measures to track down human remains in a move that is designed to bring closure to the families whose loved ones have gone missing.
Keith vanished in 1964, when he was just 12 years old. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley later admitted to his murder, but his remains have never been found.
Brady put several suitcases in secure storage before his death. Police have applied for a warrant to open the cases, but this has so far been refused by the courts on the grounds that any evidence in the suitcases cannot be used in criminal proceedings, as Brady is dead so cannot be prosecuted. The executors of Brady’s estate have declined to hand them over to the Bennett family.
The proposed new powers would give police the legislative basis they need to apply for a warrant to access this information. The granting of any such warrant would be a matter for the courts.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“I can only imagine the years of pain and turmoil that the Bennett family have faced following Keith’s tragic murder – no family should have to suffer the heartache of not knowing where their loved ones are buried.
“I am determined to give police the powers they need to access all available evidence and hopefully bring some closure to families in cases like these.”
Alan Bennett said:
“Keith’s story will be known to many, but what may not be known is the struggle which our family has gone through to try and seek closure.
“I have fought long and hard on behalf of my brother to bring about the necessary changes and to ensure his case is not forgotten.
“I want to ensure a positive legacy for Keith, so I was pleased to meet with the Home Secretary and to hear about the work being done to support my endeavours.”
The new powers will empower officers to seize evidence which they believe may help locate human remains outside of criminal proceedings, subject to a warrant. This would help in missing persons cases, suicides, and homicide cases where a suspect is known but cannot be convicted – for example, where the suspect is dead.
It is hoped that these powers will remedy the gap in the law and help provide closure to families when information comes to light about the location of their loved ones who have gone missing, or where people are presumed dead and their remains have not been found.
The measures will form part of a major forthcoming Bill to reform the criminal justice system and provide better support to police, victims, and the public.
Lets hope that Alan and his family get the answers that they need soon. The briefcase and its documents are the last things that Brady had control over. He ensured that his solicitor would never disclose or hand over the documentation inside the briefcase.
Accessing the briefcase will end the decades of control that Brady has had over the families of those who he and Hindley murdered. Closure is needed and as soon as possible.
I live in an area where one of their victims lived, indeed I live very closely to the house that one of their victims lived. Their murders have never been forgotten by my local community and the communities of the other victims.
Alan has worked extremely hard trying to retrieve these documents for years. Brady when alive was almost gloating when he refused Alans demands, then he ensured that his solicitor wouldn’t hand them over.
No murderer should be able to have this amount of control over the remains of their victims and the grieving of their families, but Brady knew that he could do this and he enjoyed having this amount of control over their victims families.
I really hope that Alan and his family can find the closure that they need. I congratulate Alan for his years of hard work trying to change this. He’s amazing.
Dear readers, its been a tough week for me. My daughter was admitted into hospital but all is well now. I’m trying to update my blog more because I really want the truth to get out there. It’s important to do so because the mainstream news miss so much important information out.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that has and does do this.
Also a massive thank you to all my subscribers and to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign. It really does mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you all xxx.
For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you xx
In a recent report conducted by the 2020 Marmot review it reveals that life expectancy in England is stalling, while at the same time health inequalities are widening.
According to the review in 2010 and 2018 the gap in life expectancy between those living in the least deprived areas and the most deprived areas has increased drastically. The gap increasing from 9.1 to 9.5 years and for women from 6.8 to 7.7 years.
The length of time people spend in poor health has also increased across England since 2010, going from 15.8 to 16.2 years for men, and 18.7 to 19.4 years for women.
These figures also hide an even steeper social gradient than that seen for life expectancy. Those that live in more deprived areas spend a larger proportion of their already shorter lives in poor health.
The covid-19 pandemic has also enlarged the inequalities between the poorest and the better off.
According to the Marmot review the age standardised mortality rate associated with covid-19 in the most deprived areas in July 2020 was 3.1 deaths. This is more than double the rate in the least deprived areas.
The review shows that between 2010 and 2020 that the following is vital for closing the gap between the better off and the poorest.
Every child regardless of income deserves the best best start in life, a good education and the option to undertake lifelong learning opportunities that will enable adults to widen their capabilities and employment opportunities.
It is also important that people have good safe employment with good working conditions. Working conditions have also worsened thanks to the gig economy, agency work and unstable working hours. All these makes achieving a good standard of living virtually impossible to achieve .
Instead both disabled and none disabled people are reliant upon Universal credit and disability benefits which pushes a person into a never ending spiral of debt and conditionality that they can never totally satisfy.
Despite the government continually announcing that their policies are the best and that Universal Credit supposedly tackles financial inequality there has been little if any effective policies to tackle this.
Tackling inequalities requires more than just empty words and promises said in parliament. Those that make the policies that people rely upon need to work at local and national levels whilst engaging and communicating with the the people that are affected by their policies.
Disabled people should have benefit increases to enable a better quality of life as should everyone else that finds themselves reliant upon disability benefits, Universal Credit and legacy benefits. Whilst household bills and food expenses continue to rise benefit levels don’t rise to tackle this.
Health inequalities can’t be dealt with until people have the means to financially improve their quality of life. It’s impossible to eat healthier when dependent upon foodbanks for food, making the option to eat and heat almost impossible to do.
The government has the opportunity to change the huge and ever growing health inequalities in England as described in the Marmot 2020 review. The government could reverse this inequality if they wished to do so.
The government need to look at the policies that continue to enlarge the gap between the poor and the better off. The Universal Credit system needs to be reviewed and policies changed and monies increased to enable a better quality of life.
Disabled people shouldn’t be constantly harassed by a system that continually punishes them and also deprives them of the monies that they desperately need to survive.
For the country to be able to fully recover from the Covid 19 pandemic it is of the upmost importance that the government starts to tackle and reduce the health inequalities. They should implement policies to reflect this and take away discriminatory policies that currently target disabled people.
Without this we might never recover completely post covid-19 and health inequalities will continue to widen.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. A massive thank you to everyone that has and does this. It’s so important that we continue to get the truth out there.
For anyone that would like to support my blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A massive thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign.
It was announced this week that the television licensing fee is to rise from April 1. The fee will increase from £157.50 to £159 , this being the the fifth year the license fee has been increased.
The increase in price will rise to £3.06 a week or £13.25 a month. The cost of an annual black and white licence is to rise from £52 to £53.
In 2016 the government announced and agreed that the licence fee would rise in line with inflation each year for five years from April 1, 2017.
No reductions have been announced in respect of the pandemic, nor have the BBC taken into the account the financial impact that it has had and continues to have on it’s viewers.
The television licence fee is compulsory for everyone that watches live TV or on BBC iPlayer on any device. It also applies to watching other live programmes on online TV service such as YouTube, Sky Go and Now Tv.
There is a maximum penalty of £1,000 for people that have been watching live television without a license which impacts low income people the most with fines being garnished upon Universal Credit payments and suchlike.
The government had been considering whether non-payment should be decriminalised however not surprisingly they decided not to stop the licence fee increase saying that it would ‘remain under active consideration’.
Whilst the television licence fee might not appear to be a lot to many, for low income people and families it is a cost that they can’t afford to pay. Whilst the BBC has dedicated air time for educational programmes during lockdown many can’t afford to access them. Eat or heat is a priority put before paying for a television license.
The BBC confirmed that 2.7 million over-75s had paid for their licence after loosing their access to a free television license from August 1 2020, leaving a deficit of about 1 million over 75s not applying for a licence.
It’s extremely worrying that so many people are excluded by poverty from accessing educational programmes that have been aired for children. Many families and over 75s might try to watch the television without a licence because they can’t afford to pay for it.
No one should be excluded from a vital service such as the educational television programmes that are being broadcast by the BBC, but they are and as usual the poorest will bear the burden of this more than anyone else.
The impact of fines for non payment is huge. Fines take away money otherwise dedicated to food, energy bills and suchlike, pushing people into even more poverty.
Not everyone can find childcare to go to court to face a magistrate and set a payment plan. In their absence an amount is agreed by the courts that they can’t afford to pay because the courts can’t take their income into account. These fines are then garnished from Universal Credit payments and other benefit payments.
Personally I believe that school children should be able to access their educational programmes for free. I also agree that television licenses should have remained free for over 75’s.
Whilst I agree that the BBC does need to be funded and they do make some excellent programmes, the poorest shouldn’t be the ones carrying the heaviest financial burden of this. Their payment structure needs to be re looked at and revised to enable everyone to have access to their programmes and channels.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. It’s important that the truth gets out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my campaign and blog. For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my work. You mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you.
Pupil Premium is extra funding that is given to schools by the government to help disadvantaged children and those living in poverty that attend both primary and secondary schools.
Schools receive Pupil Premiums for pupils that claim free school meals. It is currently paid at £935 per child for secondary school pupils and £1320 per child for primary school pupils.
According to data submitted last January there were 1.44 million pupils registered to receive free school meals therefore enabling schools to receive this essential funding for their pupils.
By October 2020 the number of children claiming free school meals had risen to over 1.6 million which is already an extra 200,000 children living below the Universal Credit threshold resulting in them being entitled to free school meals.
As a result of the pandemic and despite the governments furlough schemes the e number of people claiming Universal credit has increased dramatically, which has resulted in the amount of children needing to access free school meals drastically.
These numbers are set to rise due to more parents becoming newly unemployed and the eight week wait for Universal Credit claims to be processed.
On December the 17th, the government made changes to their data collection. It was announced that the government would calculate pupil premiums for schools using the October census and not the January census.
This means that any pupil that became eligible for free school meals after the first week of October 2020 would not receive any Pupil Premium funding until they appear on the census next October. Previously these payments would have started in January.
If free school meals eligibility continues to rise as it has been predicted to this could mean that up to 200,000 pupils will miss out on the pupil premium for a whole school year.
This will potentially put schools at risk of loosing around £250,000,000 in extra funding that schools would have received from pupil premiums..
This will inevitably hit the most deprived communities and schools the hardest. Many depend upon the pupil premium funding to fund school activities and other school activities for their children.
Meanwhile the government argued that “The move to the October census simplifies the school funding system, and provide both schools and the Department with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year”
Meanwhile the government continues to use January data for alternative provision schools.
Call me cynical but this appears to be a move to suppress Pupil Premium spending during a period when it is needed the most. The government clearly hasn’t taken the pandemic and the rising unemployment and poverty that is drastically increasing every day.
The government imposed these changes just before schools closed for the Christmas holidays. No notice was given to schools from the Department Of Education so therefore there has been no opportunity for schools to budget for these changes.
Schools are already struggling to find the funding for school activities and even much needed equipment.
The fact that the government has chosen effectively take away £1/4 billion in funding when poverty is rising whilst in the midst of a pandemic demonstrates is despicable. Their lack of care about our children’s education is all too clear.
Whilst the government talks about their ‘concerns’ about children’s education, and their rush to re open schools fully, they openly take away the funding that is needed for schools to do this.
The poorest children and schools will be hit the hardest by these changes and it is obscene that the government has done this when this essential funding is needed the most.
I was pondering on how long my Covid and Long Covid journey has been, it’s completely crazy that in April it will be my year anniversary of first becoming ill with it.
I wish that I could say that it’s been easy, that I felt looked after by the government and we both received the emotional support that we needed. However I can’t because they didn’t.
Lets start with following government advice that left me not receiving the medical help that I needed. Back then the advice given was to stay at home and phone 111 for advice. I did this and the phone operators over at 111 didn’t have a clue what to do with me.
Looking back I should have gone to the hospital but I didn’t because I was told to stay at home and coupled with the fact that I didn’t want to infect anyone and I had no one to care for my daughter left me stuck in bed at home.
Whilst I was in bed unable to get up and take care of my daughter she was sat downstairs worrying about my health and praying that I would get well again. She brought me drinks, checked if I was ok and she became my nurse.
Sadly I developed pneumonia and pleurisy as a result of having Covid 19 and I had to see a doctor. I had no choice, I was really struggling. I was given an appointment at my local covid clinic where they diagnosed me and started me on my first course of antibiotics.
I should have gone to the hospital in the first place.
I can’t remember how many courses of antibiotics to treat the above that I have taken. It took a long time to shift and resulted in me being admitted into hospital at last because I should have gone there in the first place. I didn’t because I was following government advice.
Whist I’m a lot better than I was, I’m still struggling with fatigue and breathlessness but I’ve come a long way from where I was. Because my daughter is doing her school work at home she isn’t bringing any viruses home with her. Before this I’m sure that I was rebounding because she was bringing said viruses home with her.
Being a single parent isn’t easy when you’re well and its even harder when you’re not well with a highly contagious virus. No one is allowed anyone to come and help you either because you’re contagious. Everything is a struggle and you have to put a brave face on for your children because you don’t want to worry them.
No one is talking about this and I think that the public assume that support is out there and no one is left on their own. I often wonder how many people and single parents have died as a result of becoming ill with Covid 19, forced to stay at home and unable to go to the hospital because there was no one to look after their children.
Government ‘advice’ has always been poor, thats if you can call it advice in the first place. It was more like lets ignore everyone thats ill because we have to ensure that the economy comes first. We only have to see how long it took the government to shut the schools, even though they’re still not fully shut.
To evidence this you only have to look at the supposed government press conferences to see this. They’ve never given up on their herd immunity plans. Thousands of people have died and will continue to die as a result of their incompetence.
Every day people are dying and the public are becoming normalised to it. The government certainly doesn’t care so why should we many would say.
Personally the deaths of thousands of people never leaves my thoughts. It could have been so different if we had followed New Zealand’s example. Thousands of people wouldn’t have died and the economy would be on its way to returning back to normal.
Meanwhile I’ve got to do everything in my power to get well again, to awaken my brain from its slumber and to free it of the brain fog thats been plaguing me for months.
Yesterday I set myself the task of tidying my bedroom. This is the room where I spent most of my time so I had to tackle it and make it nice again. I did my best and its much better but not perfect. I’m not expecting perfection but it’s frustrating that I’ve not been able to do this before. Still, I was proud of myself for doing it.
When you’re recovering from an illness like this it’s important to set yourself little goals not massive ones. If you fail to do this then it results in disappointment.
I do realise that I’m so lucky to have survived but I won’t stop telling people about the truth about our situations. You can feel grateful and campaign for the rights of others at the same time.
My heart goes out to everyone that has died, to their families, friends and work colleagues. It must be extremely hard to be grieving whilst themselves trying to stay safe.
My thoughts got to every single person forced to work through the pandemic, putting their life’s at risk everyday.
Financially the government has knowingly left so many people in poverty that many haven’t experienced before. Applying for Universal Credit isn’t easy and its obscene that the government hasn’t scrapped the five week waiting time for a claim to be processed. They love to make people suffer.
I won’t apologise for writing about this again because it has changed my life as it has for thousands of other people. We can get through this and one day we will be able to return to ‘normal’ whatever that means for us.
I’ll end it here but please read, share, tweet and email my blog. This does make a difference and it means the world to me.
I don’t get paid for writing this blog and if you’d like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the bottom and side of this blog post.
Financially Covid 19 has destroyed me. I can’t just go to the shops because most days I’m not up to it and I’m also scared of becoming ill again. Every penny helps.
A massive thank you to everyone that has helped my blog and campaign. Xxx.
This week has been fairly interesting not only for me but for so many of you. As the government quite rightly is vaccinating the most vulnerable people theres still a lot of shit being thrown at the poorest and most vulnerable.
We said goodbye to Captain Tom and quite rightly theres been lots of publicity surrounding his death. Captain Tom should never have become a public name in the first place. The NHS should be properly funded by the government . So whilst Captain Tom was doing laps around his garden and raising money for NHS support services, the government was clapping him on knowing that this would detract from their wrongdoings.
Captain Tom starting fund raising for all of the right reasons , and I’d like to thank him for doing so. Meanwhile the government saw it as an opportunity to distract people from their faults, . The NHS and NHS support services will continue to be massively underfunded which during a pandemic is a dangerous thing to do.
The government never misses an opportunity to jump on charitable acts and deeds especially if the money raised will help to fund an area that they’re failing to fund correctly. Take for example food banks, the Tories like to turn up for photo shoots when a new foodbank is opening whilst ignoring the fact that we shouldn’t need to have foodbanks in the first place.
It also never fails to amaze me how quickly they are to turn up for these photo shoots outside foodbanks etc. They really like to rub peoples noses in it and they certainly don’t care about people being hungry. Neither do they care about elderly people fundraising for the NHS support services. It takes the onus off them to be a responsible government and fund these services themselves.
There’s nothing that the government likes more than deflection. One minute they’re praising the charities for helping people, the next they’re calling disabled and vulnerable people as ‘useless eaters’, whilst at the same time constantly attacking them through the lack of funding for essential services that they need. Lets not forget that they and the DWP are constantly punishing them through the evil DWP system, making them attend DWP ‘medicals’ etc.
Disabled and ill people are put under more scrutiny than any other social group. Their every movement is judged both by the government and by members of the public that believe the right wing benefit scrounger rhetoric. Every day is a battle for so many, a battle that they shouldn’t have to fight.
Whilst the government called upon the public to clap for Captain Tom, they failed to address the over 100,000 people that have died after contracting Covid 19. They also failed to address the thousand of people that have died as a result of the governments pernicious and punishing social security system.
I see it like this, everyone that has died as a result of Covid 19 is worthy of a memorial and a day of remembrance. The government won’t keep them in their thoughts. The nation is in mourning over the loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues. Where’s the publicity about their life’s? Meanwhile the government is busily scrambling to hide the mortality rates surrounding this awful virus.
Every day NHS staff are being abused by members of the public because they’re caring for people suffering with Covid 19. Where was the governments opposition to all the Covid deniers and conspiracy theorists? I can’t believe that I still have to tell people that Covid 19 is not like the flu, and it presents itself very differently.
No one deserves to be abused in this way for doing their jobs, it’s bloody wrong. The government have done a fantastic job dividing and conquering people. They’ve destroyed communities, stripped local authorities of essential services and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
I can and will never forget the thousands of deaths that they’re directly responsible for. The only way that we can get through this is by being there for each other albeit in a socially distanced way. Our campaigns haven’t stopped, we have had to adapt to the pandemic.
Flag waving doesn’t solve anything either. if anything it antagonises people. Whilst the opposition should be points ahead of the Tory Party they’re lagging behind with no clear plan. Put the flags away and start opposing, its what the public need them to do.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has lost a loved one either through Covid 19 or otherwise. Their life’s were and are important and we must never let the government forget this.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.
For anyone that would like to donate to the campaign or blog, theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny does count and it does make a difference.
This year has already set off to be a bad one for so many of us. For many people like myself suffering with Long covid are fast approaching our year anniversary since first becoming ill with Covid 19.
There’s still a perception by many that if you become ill with Covid 19 that in a week or so you’ll be better and ready to face the world agin.
The truth is that it isn’t as simple as this, even a mild case can make you extremely unwell, forcing you to feel guilty for being ill and you don’t want to complain too much because friends can get sick of hearing about it.
So many covid and long covid sufferers are forced back to work before they’re ready. This is often because of pressure to return put on them from their employers, and financially they’re not able to stay at home and recover.
The pandemic has highlighted the gap between the haves and have nots and the economic inequalities are very clear to see. For someone with no financial worries they’re able to stay home and spend their time at home starting hobbies and being able to have good quality shopping delivered to them.
Low income workers are most likely to have to go into work despite lockdowns because they can’t afford to stay at home and isolate. The relief packages that the government are inadequate and many still cant access these because they’re excluded from doing so.
The government has failed to support the poorest and most vulnerable throughout the pandemic. The extra £20 that they offered to universal credit and working tax credit claimants was and most likely wont be extended to people that desperately need the top up. Whilst £20 a week is still extremely low its helping people enormously. It’s been the difference in being able to buy some gas and electric, pay a bill, buy some food or put credit on their mobile phones.
They’ve also systematically failed to protect the nation especially the poor and disabled. They’ve entered lockdowns far too late with lockdown rules being complicated and unclear. They’ve also instructed the public to come out of lockdown far too early ensuring the spread of the pandemic.
Lets be clear, decision to lift restrictions isn’t because the government believes its safe to do so, its driven for financial reasons. The economy must come first at all costs despite the thousands of people that are still dying.
The decision to reopen schools isn’t because they believe its safe to do so either, its because they want parents to return to work even though its not safe.
Schools aren’t safe places despite the government still trying to say that they are. Teaching staff and school staff are dying because they have to go into work to teach children. It’s a huge misconception that all schools are shut. They aren’t and never have been.
The truth is that the UK was already in poor health before the pandemic arrived. Adults and children were and still are hungry, many are forced to live in poor quality housing that does nothing to benefit the health of the tenant.
Homeless people were and are still forced to sofa surf, become street homeless or having to live in hostels that are often dangerous and impossible to keep covid safe. The pandemic didn’t end these problems instead its exacerbated it.
Disadvantaged children are also suffering. Many parents and children are still going hungry despite the offer of free school meals in term time. The government is still determined to take their free meals away from them in the February half term. It’s shocking that they want to take food away from children, but its the Tory way and they’ve got a track record for doing so.
Unemployment levels are rising every day and the DWP and government are still determined that claimants should be actively seeking work and fulfilling their job search commitments. This is hard enough without the pandemic but the government never fails to miss an opportunity to punish the poor. After all they still think that its ok to sanction people in the midst of a pandemic.
This week Tory MP Therese Coffey the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions declared that the public are to blame for becoming ill with Covid 19, stating that we are all overweight and unhealthy. To blame the public for this is preposterous. It’s impossible for many to go shopping to buy the best foods for many reasons including food bank dependence and not enough money to do so. People eat what they can afford to, thats quick to cook because they’re living in fuel poverty.
The real blame lies at the feet of the government. They’ve totally failed to protect the public, putting their needs over that of the nations safety. The government has consistently failed to declare lockdowns early enough and the lockdowns that are declared are inadequate. Also forcing the public out of lockdowns too early because commerce is more important to them than safety.
Whilst many are living in psychological distress, the government appears to be continuing with their inadequate plans without a care for the nation. We need an independent public inquiry into the governments failing to protect the public.
We deserve to be treated much better than this. Whilst the government fails to put any importance to a persons life, many of us do. We need to take collective action and lead the way forward, supporting each other because the government will never take responsibility for this.
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I feel like my brain is working a tad better now, and hopefully the awful Covid fog is leaving. I appreciate your kindness and patience throughout my covid journey.
As for me I’m plodding on, trying to raise awareness and helping others.
For anyone that would like to donate or buy me a coffee theres a donate button at the side and bottom of this blog. I really do appreciate it and every penny goes into helping others.
I have a goal this week of being able to order a Morrisons food box for a family that’s struggling. Some fresh food would do them the world of good.
Well its Thursday again and I’m here hoping that with the departure of Trump will start to heal the wounds that he blatantly opened.
Prime Minister Johnson regarded him as being positive, a good thing. I really hope that his departure also eventually sees the end of the confidence that Johnson had regarding him and maybe his departure.
The inauguration was so uplifting, and seeing Kamala Harris take her oath as the Vice President of the United States was amazing to see. Well done to her, she’s so inspiring for so many women.
Now I’m not so naive to think that America will change overnight, it won’t and nor will they be perfect. It is now clear that we now have a lesser evil in charge and a president that appears to want to right the wrongs of the Trump era.
The memorial that they held for everyone that have died as a result of the pandemic was poignant and the right thing to do. There’s no way that the uk government would do this, most likely because they want the public to forget about the deaths and the suffering.
Today I woke up to the news that Gavin Williamson wants schools to reopen as quickly as possible, stating that they’re safe places when they’re clearly not.
It’s impossible to social distance children in an effective way because classrooms are full and they aren’t designed for children to social distance in. Also the government so far haven’t offered schools any help or funding to do so.
Before schools reopen the government needs to vaccinate teachers and teaching staff has been made from the government to teachers and teachers.
So many teachers and teaching staff have died from Covid 19 that they caught in the schools that they worked at. No mention of this is ever given by the government and the uk press either.
As a parent and a Long Covid sufferer I’m extremely concerned that Gavin Williamson once again wants schools to fully re open far too early. It’s also very telling that he cares not one bit about the welfare of our teachers, teaching staff and children.
Lets also not forget about family members that will catch Covid 19 from their children. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Meanwhile whilst we won the battle to keep the £20 uplift for Universal Credit and Working Tax credits, the victory isnt legally bound. Johnson wont commit to extending it either so we really need to continue to keep the pressure on the government to extend the uplift.
Calls have already been made for both Boris Johnsons and Gavin Williamson’s resignations because of their shambolic handling of the pandemic. Un surprisingly the opposition haven’t spoken out about this. That’s shocking in itself.
Apparently Matt Hancock has been told to self isolate, and I’m sure that many are happy about this. No more Mr Creepy interviews for a wile. My question is will his staff that have been near him be self isolating also? No mention has been made of this.
As a parent and as someone that has had Covid 19 and now long covid, I can truly say how lucky I am to have survived this virus. I also know how ill it makes you even when you have a mild dose.
Keep safe everyone.
The government on the other hand are relying quite wrongly that the vaccination is the answer to eliminating the virus. It isn’t. The only way to eliminate the virus is to isolate, have the vaccination, stay at home, isolate and then wait for the second dose. The governments shambolic handling of the pandemic is very telling.
How am I doing?
I’m ok, plodding on but I had a three day migraine which hope is lifting now. I responded well to the latest course of antibiotics so everything crossed that I don’t need any again for a long while.
I’m also trying to wake my brain up after its long slumber. The brain fog can be awful but I’m doing everything that I can to fully wake it up again.
Right now I’m grateful to be alive albeit in reduced circumstances.
Please look after yourselves because you’re all important and you are loved.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign it really does mean the world to me.
I don’t get any funding for writing my blog and also for the campaign. It’s a struggle but I’ll never give up the good fight.
For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog.
💥 Government Ignores Medicine Regulator on School Testing
Our Political Editor @charlotteh71 has uncovered the Department for Education is acting against the Medicine Regulators advice by using Lateral Flow tests in schools. READ MORE https://t.co/gLoc06SE2g
Dear readers, its Thursday once again and I hope that you are as well as you can be.
I was struggling to decide upon what to write for this weeks blog. It’s hard to get it right sometimes and we have had such a big news week because of the pandemic and the events in America.
This week I thought that I’d tell you how I am this week, I haven’t done this for a while and I hope that you don’t mind.
As you know I’m now suffering from long covid, after becoming ill with covid 19 in April. Looking back at how ill I was I should have gone to the hospital, but I didn’t mainly because I didn’t want to burden my local hospital when it was already struggling.
Since then its been an uphill fight to recover, basically its varying types of shit days. Bad shit day, medium shit day and a good shitty day. I laugh about this because its exactly how it is.
Today is a bad shit day because I didn’t sleep well last night, I’m in pain like many of you probably are, and I’m worried that the brain fog is going to return again. I’m stressed, fed up, is it bedtime yet? I rushed out of bed because the electric had gone so now I’m going to have to try and stretch the emergency credit out.
Long Covid, like Covid is a very strange illness, you don’t know when its going to hit you and how hard. Personally it hit me the most in my right lung, the bottom of my left lung and a bit on the top. This means that my breathing isn’t brilliant but its better than many others so I shouldn’t complain.
As we entered into another lockdown, myself and many others were already self isolating. Physically it really takes it out of me when I go shopping and I haven’t stepped into a big shop since before Christmas. I wish that I could, it would be great to see people again but I can’t, I need to keep myself and my daughter safe. I really don’t want to catch it again.
The downside to having to stay safe is that most of my shopping has to be done online. This week I’ve not been able to do this because it was bill week, and every penny was gone as soon as it arrived.
Online shopping isn’t cheap though. At best you can buy some things for the same price, maybe a few quid cheaper or basically you have to pay more. I’m in agreement that we shouldn’t buy things from Amazon because of how they treat their employees, but its been one of the only places that I can do my shopping on. Needs must, and I cant afford to take the moral high ground with this. It is what it is.
The good news is that we now have two vaccines available and hopefully we will be able to have our vaccinations soon. It’s important to realise that you can still transmit and catch a milder form of covid when you’ve had the vaccination, so keep safe until you’ve had all the vaccinations and keep this in mind.
This week I’ve been ranting about the governments refusal to state that they’re going to extend the £20 uplift that Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants now get. Boris Johnson said yesterday that he wants to get everyone working… Yes in the middle of a pandemic. People are dying, more and more people are catching covid 19 and many more are now suffering with long covid.
Johnson hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing though, he didn’t even know that people are working and claiming universal Credit. People are dying, we need to keep safe and all he whitters on about is that he wants us all in work…
I’m sure that returning to work isn’t the primary focus of someone recovering from Covid 19, recovering is and trying to survive on the pittance that we get are our main topics to focus on.
The government wont extend the uplift and include everyone that was excluded the first time unless we fight for it. They don’t want to give poor people any money at all, so be prepared to fight for this. If it doesn’t get extended its going to be disastrous for so many of us.
£20 isn’t a lot of money in the scheme of things, but it does make or break you though. It can pay for a weeks shopping or it can be used to buy gas and electric. It’s a no brainier isn’t it. Personally I’m all for increasing it so that we are able to eat better, heat our homes more and spend money in the local community.
I’ll end it there, this weeks blog has been a bit of a rant and I apologise. It’s how I’m feeling at the moment and I’m sure that it will get better.
Dear reader, I’m writing this blog upon hearing that another lockdown has been announced. My first thought was that it was about time that they did this. Deaths had been spiralling out of control because the government is failing to protect the public in any way.
When the lockdown was announced, they also announced that schools should remain open. Their attitude being a complete denial of the risk of catching covid for children, teaching staff, parents and vulnerable relatives.
Thankfully the NEU and Unison stepped in and took action straight away and took action to keep both teaching staff, families and children safe.
It’s a misconception that children don’t catch Covid 19, they do and many have become seriously ill and have died. Children also unintentionally spread the virus with their family members whilst at home. With approximately thirty children per classroom its impossible to avoid.
Thankfully the government were forced to do a u turn thanks to the hard work of the NEU and Unison. Children apart from vulnerable and parents who are key workers are now being home educated which is a massive relief.
Children of nursery school age are still being expected to attend schools and nurseries. They must keep the workers working, never mind anyone’s safety.. I’m hoping that the government does a u turn on this also.
I must add that this is their victory, along with ardent campaigners they pressured the government to do the right thing. Shamefully they had no help from the opposition although a few labour MPs did come out in support.
The government has also promised to give each child a laptop to work on whilst they’re home learning, and some mobile phone operators are offering data to do this.
I’m betting that they fail on these targets, and just about every target that they announce, going by their history they always do. It’s down to the individual schools to find the children in their schools that needs a laptop, then to get the laptops to each child in need.
Every day their announcing that they’ll reach their vaccination targets, but with no mention of help to transport people to the vaccination centres. They’re already delaying the gap between the two vaccine injections against scientists advice.
Will this be their biggest failure? Maybe. The public are expecting this to happen, and I expect that they’ll be a lot of pressure on them to deliver.
The government are refusing to help accommodate homeless people and their also refusing to restart the Everyone In scheme that helped to house rough sleepers during the first pandemic. It’s January, freezing cold and the government refuses to help the very people that are at most risk of becoming ill with covid 19 and even worse dying.
Once again kicking the most in need to the floor like yesterdays newspaper.
No promise has been made to extend the extra £20 to universal credit and working tax credit claimants either. Every time they’re asked they say that they’ll keep it ‘under review’ double speak for no… But if you continue to campaign for it you might get it.
It will be devastating if this support isn’t continued.
Zero promises and protections have been offered to those excluded from any financial help during the last lockdown, even though they’re in great need of this. Already suffering and many living in poverty, they urgently need help but will the government deliver?
I expect other announcements to be made in the coming days but I do know one thing… They’ll fail to reach their targets, for all of their grand speeches, they’re not the ones trying to make this happen.
They’ll continue to ignore the needs and wants of the most vulnerable in society. For all the bluffing that Johnson is making he really hasn’t got a clue what to do. Surrounded by Tory MPs, many of which will be working out how to profit even more from the pandemic. He’d rather be on holiday, happy in the knowledge that his government is and will continue to fail those that need help the most.
A huge thank you to my readers for supporting both my blog and campaign throughout last year. You all mean the word to me and I really mean that.
If I could change the world I would do, but I just do my bit from my kitchen table.
Health wise I’m not brilliant atm and I’m struggling. Long covid is bloody awful, and I relapsed again. I can tell you that covid 19 has changed my life forever.
For anyone that would like to donate towards the blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of the blog. Every penny counts and helps others as well as ensuring that I can continue to blog by paying my internet bill.
Lots of love to you all. Remember, you are important, you are loved and you are needed. My inboxes are open to anyone that wants to chat.
Dear readers I write this blog on New Year’s Eve, a time when we are supposed to be celebrating and welcoming the new year with open arms whilst saying its going to be a good one and suchlike. This year its going to be completely different. The new strain of Covid 19 has ensured that many more people have caught it, and many are also dying.
I really wanted to write this blog today with cheer, hope and the optimism that things will be better, but I’m a realist and I can’t do that.
Myself like many of you reading this have lost friends because they caught Covid. Many more have lost much loved family members, people that they’d normally celebrate the new year with, and losses such as these are highlighted at this time of year.
Yesterday the government put most of the country in tier four, because we are now right back with the daily death rates being as high as they were at the beginning.
Personally I don’t think that this is enough. Why? Because the rules are so complicated and many people find it hard to follow them. And lets not forget that the government has still ordered that schools remain open, blatantly ignoring the advice from SAGE and the teaching unions.
Tier four doesn’t mean anything until the schools are shut. Ive said previously on my blog and in articles that I’ve had published. Its impossible to control the spread of covid whilst the schools remain open. It’s impossible to social distance properly in classrooms, you only need to ask a teacher or a child and they will say the same.
Boris Johnson claims that schools are safe, as usual he’s lying, he knows that he’s lying and teachers and parents are furious. The government has systematically refused to support parents and children correctly, and they’ve also failed the NHS. They’re evil and callous with no regard for a human life.
Yesterday I woke to the news that one of my friends is seriously ill and is in hospital with covid, and another is at home trying to cope with having Covid the best that they can. It’s bloody heartbreaking.
I do believe that a full lockdown is needed, including schools to prevent the rise of covid cases, and to give the government chance to vaccinate people. I also have my doubts about the governments handling of the vaccine. They’ve messed everything up so far and I’ll believe it when I see it.
This year has been an awful year for me personally, I certainly didn’t plan on catching covid 19, and I was careful. It’s changed my life so much and the recovery is long and slow. I have damage to my left lung, and I suspect part of my right lung also because of the pains that Ive been getting there. I’ll know more once Ive had my next ct scan in January.
It’s bloody tough, especially when you’re trying to be a parent as well. It certainly has been an eye opener for my daughter. For weeks she virtually became my nurse, helping me to do the most basic of things. When she wasn’t looking after me she was praying that I’d get better. I’d say that it was more scary for her than me.
Financially its been a bloody nightmare not only for me but for so many people. Thousands of people have lost their jobs as a direct result of the pandemic and the government has failed to compensate them at all. Meanwhile the DWP still expect claimants to do full job searches both online and in person.
I also have another worry. Will the DWP recognise long covid as an illness, preventing people to look for work? I doubt it. This week I asked them this and they didn’t answer.
Meanwhile we still have to continue the best that we can, in the hope that things do get better.
This new year my wishes for you are
That you all remain safe,
You cope with the pandemic in whatever way that you can do,
That our struggles become easier,
That you are all able to have enough food and warmth
And that you remain the fabulous people that you are.
Remember that you are loved, you are important and you are all worthy of a good life despite what the government tells us. My inbox remains open if you want to talk as does my Twitter and Facebook inboxes.
Lots of love and keep safe xxx.
A huge thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and my blog this year. I really couldn’t do it without you.
For anyone who would like to donate there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
As Christmas approaches the worry and stress of the festive season arrives with it. Thousands of people have become unemployed as a result of the pandemic, many won’t be able to celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is meant to be a time of great joy, love and meeting family members that we might not have seen for long while. Sadly, for people shielding this isn’t going to be possible, and its not wise to do so.
The government and their lack of action towards the pandemic is all too evident. One day they’re telling people that they can see their families over the Christmas period, the next they’re saying keep this time limited. They’re still not committing to a direct order, a full lockdown even though 612 people died from Covid 19 yesterday.
If people take the governments advice and travel to see their families either it be locally or a journey away theres going to be a huge rise in Covid 19 related deaths and people ill with Covid 19.
612 deaths is nothing compared to what it could become if people unknowingly spread the virus to loved ones. Expect the death rate to become much higher. The sensible thing to do would be to stay at home, but not everyone can.
Please can the media start sharing the death rates again? Sadly so many people have normalised the covid deaths and we cant allow this normalisation to continue.
For people like myself that don’t mind staying at home and postponing Christmas it isn’t a big deal, but for others it isn’t. The series of lockdowns and self isolating can be horrific causing extreme mental distress and suffering.
The media are telling people, quite rightly that they should check on their neighbours but this isn’t always possible due to self isolating, disability and illness. Not everyone has access to the internet and not everyone wants it.
The lack of leadership and advice from the government has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, not only from covid but also from problems surrounding covid. Does the government care about these deaths? Nope not one bit. They’re openly taunting us, insulting us with their lack of action.
I do believe that a full lockdown is needed, including all schools and educational facilities. But we also need people to be supported, listened to and their needs met. We desperately need to prevent the deaths that will undoubtably happen after Christmas when families return to their respective homes.
We also need to prevent people becoming infected with Covid 19, so many of them will suffer for many months from long covid and related illnesses caused by the virus.
Unemployment levels will continue to rise, homelessness will increase and more and more people will be plunged into poverty.
All of the above could have been prevented if the government had taken proper and responsible action when the pandemic first hit the England. It’s almost as if Johnson and co were sitting with their fingers in their ears shouting ‘I can’t hear you’.
I have no doubt that they saw the pandemic as an opportunity to kill people that they deemed not worthy, empty feeders, people they can’t profit from. It’s shameful and downright disgusting that they categorise people like this. Every life is important and no one should be made to suffer like this.
The pandemic could have been a time for the government to shine, show some positive leadership, but their arrogance and attitude towards the working class prevented that. Instead they leave a trail of death and destruction.
So what do we do now? We need to be sensible, not putting yourselves and others at risk. If we are all sensible then we might be able to enjoy next year properly.
Please spare a thought for everyone that are now finding themselves out of work as a direct result of the pandemic. Many of them will be experiencing the horrific Universal Credit system for the first time. Lets help them in any way that we can.
Please take care everyone and keep safe.
Apologies for the quality of this blog, I’ve had awful Covid 19 brain fog all week, and i woke with a headache this morning.
I shall be blogging next week as I find Christmas hard as well for so many reasons. I’m here if anyone needs to talk.