Energy Price Increases- How Are Pre-Payment Customers Going To Pay?

Annual energy bills are predicted to increase more £4,200 from January 2023. This will undoubtably cause extreme hardship on an enormous scale.

So far without a fully functioning government, Johnson, his ministers and prospective prime minister candidates are refusing to meet to discuss and implement a strategy and further government financial without government intervention.

No further government assistance offered.

Instead of meeting to discuss further plans and financial help conservative ministers are on holiday blissful in their knowledge that without intervention their actions will cause unseen suffering and worse.

Further price increases.

The consultancy Cornwall Insight have already predicted that energy price caps are expected to reach £4,266 a year for the first three months of 2023.

They also predict that energy bills could rise to £4,426 in April before eventually easing.

Also predicted a week ago by the consultancy the energy price cap was expected to rise to £3,600 a year from January 2023.

It is now predicted that the energy cap will increase to £3,582 from October, an increase of £200 on its last forecast. It expects bills to begin easing next summer, to £3,810 in the third quarter and then £3,781 in the final three months of next year.

Compared to the price cap in October 2021 which was£1,400 a year, these price increases are obscene and totally avoidable.

People can’t afford to pay.

The reality is that there are already thousands of people that were already unable to meet every day household expenses, many of which are living in substandard housing, are homeless and living in temporary accommodation or renting a room or property at already extortionate prices.

There’s absolutely no way that anyone living in this situation will be able to cut costs anywhere to be able to pay for energy on top of food costs.

Whilst the idea of the don’t pay campaigns that have been created is on paper a good idea in real life it’s more complicated than that.

The problem with pre-payment meters.

Most people forced to live on extremely low incomes are already tied into pre-payment meters provided by the energy companies.

As well as having to automatically pay a daily standing charge they don’t have the option not to pay or to default on payments.

To put it simply if they don’t pay their energy supplies are cut off leaving them unable to heat and light their homes and to have any quality of life at all.

For those that pay their bills by direct debit, defaulting on their payments could affect their credit rating even if they pay a reduced amount.

Energy companies could also class them as bad payers and this could result in obtaining credit extremely hard.

It’s going to be a cold winter.

What on earth are people reliant upon pre payment meters going to do? They can’t magic money out of nowhere like the government does when they want to give tax breaks to their pals.

Their only option will be to use coats, bedding and just about anything they can find to keep warm whilst putting their health at risk.

Not forgetting that most people claiming social security will already be receiving a reduced amount due to various debts being garnished from their payments and benefit sanctions.

The poorest cannot be ignored anymore.

Alongside other campaigns the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable needs to be prioritized and help needs to be offered to everyone that require assistance.

Warm banks aren’t the answer nor is finding a warm spot to sit all day. It’s totally unrealistic to believe that this is the answer. At the very best they’re a sticking plaster that keeps falling off.

Government payments.

Everyone dependent on a low income is already well aware that the payments promised by the government offer little help when compared to the actual increase in energy and cost of living increases.

For these payments to realistically help they now need to increase dramatically for it to even start to chip away at the damage caused by the ever increasing energy costs.

The poorest are already suffering.

Food Banks are already experiencing a downturn in donations, some of them having no food and unable to offer any help to people dependant upon them.

There is also an ever increasing amount of people unable to afford to travel to food banks. For various reasons including and exceeding disability, illness and public transport costs they’re unable to collect desperately needed food. At the same time charities and organisations are unable to offer any kind of delivery service.

Their plight will be ignored

I suspect that the plight of the poorest will be ignored by those in power. After all their more concerned with punishing the poor than helping everyone that needs their assistance and correcting their mistakes.

The UK is a broken country, a ticking time bomb ready to explode. The only thing we do know is that the government won’t be there to pick up the pieces.

They don’t care they never have.

We must continue to press the government to reduce the obscene energy increases.

Instead of settling for ideas such as warm banks we need to make our voices heard.

It’s totally unacceptable that people are going to be forced into such extreme poverty that many may not survive the cold, harsh winter.

It really doesn’t have to be this way.

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UK Interest Rates Biggest Hike In 27 years. Inflation Rates Highest Since 1980

The Bank of England has announced its largest interest rate rise in almost 30 years. The UK now faces soaring inflation rates and cost of living expenses.

The Bank of England has warned that this will result in the UK economy being plunged into a recession for more than a year this autumn as the rising energy prices push inflation above 13%.

The Bank also forecasts that the combined five quarters of economic contraction, a 5% fall in real-terms living standards, and increased interest rates by 0.5 percentage points will result in the largest single inflation rate rise in 28 years.

The Bank’s baseline forecast is also forecasting the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to fall by 1.25% in 2023 and 0.25% in 2024. This will show the first example of two years of annual economic contraction since the 1960s.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy committee voted 8-1 to increase the base rate to 1.75% as an attempt to prevent the inflationary impact of soaring energy prices being compounded by domestic price and wage pressures. 

The interest rate increase will add around £650 to annual mortgage repayments for those with an average tracker mortgage. Monthly tracker repayments for homeowners have been increasing since interest rates began rising from 0.1% last December (2021) at around £170.

This relentlessly cruel inflation rate which now is going to be the highest since September 1980, is being driven by the ever increasing cost of wholesale gas on the international markets. This has doubled since May and is now on course to treble domestic energy bills.

This is a cost that the poorest and most vulnerable will not be able to meet.

The Bank also believes that the domestic energy price cap is expected to reach £3,500 per household in October. This will push the inflation rate to peak at 13.3% in the fourth quarter of this year and is also expected to remain above 10% until the middle of next year. 

However the Inflation rates are also forecasted to fall back slightly to 9.5% in the third quarter and 5.5% by the end of the 2023.

The domestic energy price cap is sadly expected to increase again when the energy regulator Ofgem will review the costs in January. The MPC (Marginal Propensity to Consume) believes that the inflationary impact will be offset by falls in other areas. It has also said that the goods price inflation costs may have peaked but commodity prices are already beginning to fall back.

Real living standards are forecasted to fall by 1.5% this year and 2.25% next year, with a 5% decline. This includes the direct government support payments of at least £400 per-bill payer. These payments don’t even scratch the surface of the real life devastating impact of increasing energy costs that less well off people are already facing.

A five-quarter recession which will end in the first quarter of 2024 would be very similar in length to the financial downturns of 2007-08 and also the early 1990s and early 1980s. However this won’t be as deep as the previous financial crisis with a predicted decline in GDP of 2.1%.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee have also stated that the ever increasing energy prices are responsible for the majority of the rise in inflation, but also keep in mind the continued COVID supply chain disruption is still playing a significant factor in rising costs.

The MPC is also forecasting that wages will rise by 6% this year but has also warned that as the recession starts to take hold unemployment will probably begin to rise next year from the current 3.8% sending it to peak at 5.5%.

The explanation given by the MPC is as follows: “The United Kingdom is now projected to enter a recession from the fourth quarter of this year. Real household post-tax income is projected to fall sharply in 2022 and 2023 while consumption turns negative.”

“The labour market remains tight, and domestic cost and price pressures are elevated. There is a risk that a longer period of externally generated price inflation will lead to more enduring domestic price and wage pressures.

“In view of these considerations, the Committee voted to increase the Bank Rate by 0.5 percentage points, to 1.75%.”

Personal finance expert Gemma Godfrey is quoted as saying on Sky News

“The Bank of England had a “tough challenge” when it came to trying to control inflation and it was a “war on all fronts”.

She said: “The Bank of England has a really tough challenge where they’re trying to control inflation, but they don’t want to tip us into recession. 

“So what we’ve been hearing for the past few months is that our economy has been slowing down. We’re not spending as much. Companies aren’t selling as much. And that obviously risks jobs. 

“But obviously, everybody is aware that our everyday living costs are rising. They’re set to rise by more than five times as much as the target the Bank of England sets.

“And it’s a war on all fronts, it’s food, it’s energy, people are really struggling. So the Bank of England will try and increase rates to try and slow this down.

“But there’s calls that they’ve been too slow or they’re being too aggressive. It’s a very tough balancing act for the many millions of families around the UK.”

Responding to the Bank of England’s announcement today, Labours shadow chancellor Ms Reeves said Tory leadership candidates were “touring the country” and announcing unworkable policies that would not help people get through the cost of living crisis. 

She said: “This is further proof that the Conservatives have lost control of the economy, with skyrocketing inflation set to continue, while mortgage and borrowing rates continue to rise. 

“Labour would help households right now by removing the tax breaks that are subsidising oil and gas producers and using that money to help people now, including by cutting VAT on energy bills.”

Meanwhile The Labour Party have failed to commit to lowering energy costs.

Conservative former chancellor Ken Clarke has warned of a “very unpleasant” winter for many households in the country.

Lord Clarke of Nottingham told the BBC: “Nothing is certain, but I’ve thought for some time we faced the risk of an extremely serious recession.”

“This winter is certainly going to be very unpleasant for many households in the country and I think it’s absolutely inevitable the Bank of England acted as it did.”

“I’d have been rather alarmed if they hadn’t put it up by at least 0.5%. I think the Monetary Policy Committee probably considered 0.75%… but decided in the present circumstances that that was too fast.

“They’ve taken the right decision and they’re going to have to do it again as the year goes on.”

Meanwhile this leaves the average person facing spiralling cost of living expenses and dramatically increasing energy costs whilst receiving little or no adequate financial help or support.

Without adequate financial help the UK will undoubtably face thousands of vulnerable people suffering or worse as the poorest always pay the highest cost for these increasing prices.

Action needs to be taken now to prevent these possible deaths by tackling OFGEM and their refusal to challenge the energy companies.

There isn’t a person with compassion that can think that it’s ok for energy companies to profit in such a manner whilst people face a long, bleak winter with no sight of help or relief.

However with the Conservative Party and probable future prime minister Liz Truss at the helm of the country, they will undoubtably find a way to profit from this situation whilst ignoring the scale of the energy and cost of living crisis that the UK is facing.

PIP And WCA Assessment Tricks Exposed Again

As many of you will already know the dirty tricks used by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) during Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Work Capability Assessments (WCA) have been a matter of conversation since they were first implemented.

Campaigners have also been campaigning against these assessments for years highlighting the way that they are conducted and the dirty tricks that the DWP use during these assessments.

Great concern about how these assessments are conducted was recently spoken about during a meeting with the Work and Pensions committee at Parliament.
Minister for disabled people Chloe Smith agreed to ‘urgently investigate’ the alleged dirty tricks used by PIP and WCA assessors during these assessments.

There are many examples that are used during the assessments including and exceeds:

Assessors dropping pens or items on the floor and asking claimants to pick them up knowing that they would struggle to do so.

Lifts broken so claimants have no choice but to climb stairs even if they’re unable to, because the fear of not attending the assessment is unbearable.

No access to water coolers in the assessment waiting areas, making claimants request a paper cup from the reception desk and a long walk to the nearest working cooler.

Years of experience taking people to these assessments has shown me how cruel and despicable these assessments are, they damage not only a claimants mental heath they damage their physical heath also.

The cruelty starts upon filling in the forms to apply for PIP and ESA payments. They include what seems like endless questions, many of them repeated about how their illness and/or disability affects their daily life and their ability to complete tasks.

Thousands of people that are entitled to claim PIP and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) refuse to make claims them because of the cruel form filling and assessment process. Some give up altogether and fall under the radar for receiving financial help therefore putting their physical and mental health at risk.

However I don’t hold much hope that the ‘investigation’ will initiate and change to the current system. It serves the government well, as it saves the government well regardless of the risk to human life.

I’ve got no doubt that the DWP and government will continue with their never ending cruelty towards the disabled and ill. It’ll be business as usual and all please for change will be ignored.


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Claimants Forced To Migrate To Universal Credit Early Will Face Financial Loss

MPs have recently accused the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) of creating ‘two classes of Universal Credit (UC) claimants.

The accusations were made as a result of uncovering the fact that claimants who are forced to migrate to UC early will face financial loss, compared to those who make the decision to move over to UC later rather than being forced to migrate.

This financial hit will happen as a result of next April’s annual uprating.

ESA claimants who choose to migrate after the uprating will keep what is estimated to be around a 9% increase in their benefits.  

Claimants who are forced to migrate before April will have any uprating payments deducted from their transitional protection. This will leave them in a much worse financial situation than claimants who migrate later.

Upon questioning, Therese Coffey DWP secretary of state was asked if she would accept that this decision would lead to inequality, Coffey dismissed the accusation saying “I am not anticipating we will have lots of managed migration by April.”

To put it bluntly she doesn’t care if a few thousand claimants are going to suffer financially and nor will she rectify it either.

As usual Therese Coffey cares only about herself and not the vulnerable people that she claims to care for. This proves once again that UC very rarely improves a claimants financial situation, but instead causes distress and harm.

Source Benefits And Work

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UK Goods Cost Rise At Fastest Rate For 40 Years. Enough Is Enough!

The UK inflation rate has risen to 9.4% in a year to June 2022. This has therefore resulted in food, petrol and energy costs rise at their fastest rate for 40 years.

This has had a very detrimental affect upon the poorest households who are according to the Resolution Foundation being hit the most by these seemingly never-ending rising costs.

Not only have these price increases hit the poorest, the higher earners that had previously managed to pay their bills, they also find themselves struggling which is undoubtably causing them distress and worry.

At the same time official figures also show that the regular rate of pay is falling at the fastest rate since 2001 when price increases and energy cost increases are taken into account.

The Labour party have announced that they are pushing for urgent action from the government, calling for it to take VAT off energy bills and have accused the government of a decade of economic “mismanagement” and has called for urgent action.

This is far from a good response from the Labour Party. It’s not good enough to just request that the VAT off the cost of energy. Instead they should be demanding that there is a decrees in not only the VAT level but the cost to the consumer for the energy that they use.

It’s unacceptable that the public are to be expected to make these costs and manage to feed themselves and their families, pay the rent or mortgage and bills.

It’s also important to remember that the increasing costs of petrol and diesel is having a massive detrimental affect upon the disabled, poorest and low wage earners, many of which rely upon a car to manage everyday tasks and the ability to get to work.

Already on social media, disabled users are reporting that they are having to make a choice of charging their electric powered wheelchairs and scooters or putting the money towards the cost of feeding themselves and their families.

It’s certainly not good enough that local councils, most of which have already seen a massive cut to their funding are now being asked to provide warm places for the public to sit in during the winter months.

What is really needed is for local authorities, organisations and the public to directly challenge the government in whatever way they can. We must not sit back and allow this to happen.

Many plan to hold a no payment protest which will hit the energy companies hard and it needs too. Non payment is one of the reasons why the Poll Tax was abolished, along with the protests. Back then we saw local communities collectively taking action, standing together in agreement saying enough is enough.

We desperately need to see similar actions like this, more marches and protests, the public, local authorities and organisations saying enough is enough we can’t allow this to continue.

A general election is needed now as a matter of urgency, because if pundits are right and Truss becomes prime minister it could well become a whole lot worse than it is now.

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Coffey Refuses To Disclose Nine Secret DWP Reports.

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey has once again remained silent about nine Department of Work and Pension (DWP) reports during a grilling by the Work and Pensions Committee..

Not only did she remain silent she added another report that she failed to disclose along with the previous nine.

This is despite the Work and Pensions Committee requesting that the information in the reports should have been posted as far back as 2017.

The reports contain information concerning DWP sanctions, claimant deaths and how people are coping with being transferred to Universal Credit (UC)



The committee did however state that they would like to discuss the matter further at another meeting on Wednesday 29 June.

They however made the huge error of giving Coffey until the 15 July to reply to their request.


Instead of answering the committee’s questions Coffey refused to do so in person saying that she would respond to the questions in her response to their letter by letter.


However during the meeting Coffey declared that the DWP have also got a secret plan to help claimants who fail to complete the managed migration process within the time limit given.


Coffey went on to say “I have added a policy that I would rather talk to you privately about, because I do not want to deter people from responding to our requests to migrate.”

As we already know her words are useless until any information about the supposed policy unless it is in public knowledge and is being acted upon.

Secret polices could well include ignoring a claimants legal rights and how would they be able to appeal decisions if the policy is indeed secret?

This could give way to yet more DWP cruelty met upon vulnerable claimants that are already struggling financially.

Only time will tell as to what will happen. The committee needs to request the publishing of the reports as a matter of great urgency and not rely upon Coffey being honest and open about the information that she has.

I do know one thing though. The reports could contain some very damaging information about the suffering and deaths of vulnerable claimants.

This could be the reason why she’s continuing to hold back the information.



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Energy Prices To Rise Again. Are We Heading For A winter Of Discontent?

Martin Lewis recently announced that energy costs are predicted to reach an all time high both in October and January. This will leave thousands of people that are struggling to pay their energy costs unable to do so.

This raises the questions:

How will disabled people live?

How will low income families live?

How will the elderly live?

How will children live?

How will single people live?

How are we all supposed to survive this?

One thing I do know is that the government aren’t in any rush to help the public, they’d rather be scrapping amongst themselves to be the next Conservative Party leader than to help the public with an ousted Prime Minister at the helm.

As soon as the predicted energy price rises were announced both Martin Lewis and campaigners such as myself have requested that the government provides more help to everyone that is eligible after October and in January.

The response was silently deafening….Radio silence, not a word and absolutely no reasoning as to why they’re allowing energy prices to rise to an unbelievable high. It doesn’t matter how much people are told to budget it’s impossible to budget with zero money to budget with.

Winter in the UK can be pretty brutal, cold and unforgiving. I predict households will be forced into desperation to heat their homes. Some might see no option other than opening up disused fireplaces, forced to do so because of the rising cost of energy bills leaving them no longer able to use their central heating.

Desperate times result in desperate measures.





Meanwhile whilst vulnerable people are already struggling theres news from the US bank Citi and Centrica the British Gas owner.

According to Centrica, the British Gas owner will be announcing a return to giving dividends. They are also planning to return £0.5-£1bn to shareholders either through shares or repayment of debt.

These plans will go ahead at the same time as energy bills are predicted to hit £3,300 in January compared to £1,971 at present. This is due largely to soaring gas prices. Citi bank also sees scope for profit from both the company’s nuclear, energy markets and trading divisions. This will be reflected in the production volumes and volatile commodity markets.

This could result in a half-year dividend of 1.1p which is expected by the bank with a 3.8p payment for the full year.

Whilst the public are struggling to pay their energy bills and keep up with the increasing cost of living crisis, Centrica have decided to give each other a pat on the back for a job well done. It’s Machiavellian and cruel beyond belief.

You couldn’t make this shit up.

This winter will truly be a winter of discontent for millions of vulnerable people. We need a general election and a Labour Party government and it can’t happen soon enough.

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Johnson Resignation. The Emperor Has No Clothes

Johnson declaring his departure and supposed resignation was a bit of a none entity much like the ministers that he’s recruiting to fill the positions of the 59 ministers that departed the night before.

Not once in his speech did he say the word resign, nor does he have any intention of leaving until October. This leaves many wondering how long will he cling onto power, desperate to keep the remnants of his position. It’s also very concerning how much chaos he will potentially create until he leaves.

His predecessor Theresa May was in office for 1,107 days compared to Johnsons 1,080. Instead of accepting defeat and having the common sense to move on and let someone else do the job he appears desperate to stay on for as long as possible, potentially hanging on for at least another 28 days to make sure that his reign is longer than hers.

Not once has he accepted defeat nor has he in my opinion put the interests of the country first. He’s continually put his own selfish needs first. As Thangam Debbonaire says: “Every single Tory MP, every single one, should take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves how we got here…they propped him up. They were complicit.

Complicit in every single decision made by Johnson.

Keir Starmer has also popped his head above the parapet, threatening to table a confidence motion if Johnson tries to cling on in No 10 after he has resigned. However as stated previously Johnson didn’t mention the word resign once in his speech, so what happens now?

The truth is that Johnsons departure cannot happen a moment too soon however it is far from good enough. We have to do everything in our power to stop such a corrupt, lawless administration into becoming in power or close to being in power again.

We have seen a government run roughshod over the rights of others whilst at the same time employing ministers accused of sexual misconduct to remain in power, have parties during lockdown whilst thousands were dying and families not able to attend their funerals.

We have also witnessed the government engaging in what seems like never ending interference from Russia putting our national security at risk whilst accepting donations from Russia and even appointing Russian oligarch Evgeny Lebedev into the House of Lords.

During the last twelve years of Tory rule we have seen our precious NHS nearly totally decimated and burnt to the ground, whilst at the same time destroying the life’s of disabled and poor people with their cruel, heartless policies.

The UK is already in the midst of a cost of living crisis which is not being addressed properly if at all. This is also leaving millions of people unsure about their future, and even employment.

This winter will be cataclysmic for thousands being forced into even more poverty unable to pay for basics such as heating, electric and food.

What is needed is for the Conservative party to trigger a quick succession process, ignoring Johnsons pleas to stay until October. A working administration is needed now and at the greatest urgency and speed.

Remember the men that wield the dagger very seldom wear the crown and it will be interesting to see if any of those wielding the dagger will remain in power. Or will Ben Wallace the odds on favourite be the next Prime Minister?

Time will tell.

First Cost Of Living Payments To Be Paid From 14th July


The DWP have recently announced that the first cost of living payment will be paid in July 2022.

This will be the first payment of £326 will be paid automatically from the 14th July 2022.

Please note that this will be paid from the 14th July and I expect that they’ll probably make these payments in batches.

Don’t worry if you don’t receive your payment on the 14th July because it will be sent to you.

The second instalment of £324 will be paid in the Autumn, bringing the total to £650 for eligible claimants.

As of publishing this the government has no plans to expand these payments in the cold winter months.

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PIP Mandatory Reconsideration Success Decrease Dramatically

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that can help with extra living costs if you have both a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability if you have difficulty doing everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition.

PIP can be applied for even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.

A Mandatory Reconsideration is the first step of challenging a PIP decision. This involves asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look at their decision again. A Mandatory Reconsideration has to be applied for within one month of the decision date (the date that is given on the decision letter).


Reports show that the latest PIP statistics give show that Mandatory Reconsiderations success rates have fallen for almost every single month since October of 2021.
The statistics go on to show that the success rates have dropped from 45% in October 2021 to just 26% in April of 2022.
When questioned the DWP have offered no explanation for this inexorable decline in Mandatory Reconsideration success rates.


In 2019 the DWP implemented a new system of contacting claimants who lodged a mandatory reconsideration in order to collect further evidence. As a result Mandatory Reconsideration success rates rose considerably.


Moving forward to 2022 the DWP are now struggling to cope with an 18% increase in new PIP claims.This has resulted in a 9% increase in requests for mandatory reconsiderations which in turn has caused significant stress on an already overwhelmed system.


There are various reasons as to what the cause is but one notable one is that the DWP appear to no longer take the time to contact claimants if they’ve failed an assessment therefore success rates have fallen back to their previous levels before 2019.

Invariably this has resulted in thousands of claimants becoming disheartened and forgoing applying for a Mandatory Reconsideration. If a claimant makes the decision to challenge the DWPs decision they often have to wait months before going through the ordeal of an appeal tribunal. This results in already vulnerable people in a distressed state unable to continue with their day to day activities that their PIP award enabled them to do.

People living with a disability or illness have long bared the brunt of the governments cruelty being neglected, ignored and often left to cope with relentless cuts to their benefit payments and help that most need to continue with their day to day activities.

The governments relentless targeting of the most vulnerable in society needs to stop but sadly its very likely that this won’t happen whilst the Tory government are still in power. Instead they prefer to have parties and sing on karaokes whilst thousands of people suffer as a result of their actions.

https://twitter.com/Debbie_abrahams/status/1542191173195816960?t=0apkY_BO5YZM-6FiDKydtA&s=19

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-yet-to-sign-claimant-deaths-legal-agreement-with-watchdog/

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Council Tax Arrears Rise Dramatically

A recent report undertaken by Money Advice has uncovered that Council Tax arrears are rising dramatically and are expected to grow exponentially.

As detailed inthe report the total amount of arrears owing now stands at over £4.9 billion, this is an increase of £521 million (12%) on last year (2021).



With the ever increasing cost of living costs and energy bills it comes as no surprise that many are struggling to pay council tax.This has been happening for years and it shows no sign of improving.

The analysis conducted by Money Advice suggests that the problem is worsening showing that in the past 5 years the average CouncilTax bill in England has risen by 24%. At the same time arrears have risen profoundly by 74% over the same time period

This leaves an ever increasing amount of households that are struggling to afford their bills and everyday costs therefore falling deeper into arrears unable to meet the payments.

The truth is that the current system of collecting council tax isn’t working, it often costs local authorities more to implement than they actually are able to collect. Households are already struggling to pay and local councils are trying to cope with the deficit of payments whilst trying to keep essential services going as many rely upon council tax payments to provide such services.

The rules that govern council tax collection are approximately 30 years old and are no longer working for today’s financial climate. The whole council tax system needs to be changed for it to work fairly both for households and local authorities.

Money Advice suggests that the Government needs to urgently take a duel approach both for households and councils.

They suggest that:

The government increases and ring-fence funding for Council Tax Support to stop people falling behind enabling more people to get help paying.

Change and reform collection rules so that households are treated fairly and not met with intimidating behaviour from bailiff sent out to collect arrears. This creates distress and doesn’t actually work to help people pay, instead it increases debt due to having to pay bailiff costs as well.

In an ideal world there would be new, fair system created that is affordable and doesn’t cause increasing poverty and spiralling into further debt.

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You can find a full copy of the report here at https://t.co/WT2vQSzLhA

Please read and share this raises awareness and is vitally important.

If you like my content and would like to contribute towards keeping both the blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the side and top of this blog post.

I work hard and I don’t receive any payments at all leaving me struggling for everyday costs and basics. Every penny makes such a huge difference and also helps to me to continue with my work.

DWP Wrongly Forces Universal Credit Claimants To Repay Entire Payments


According to a recent report from Child Poverty Action Group CPAG) claimants are being forced to repay their full Universal Credit (UC) award despite being entitled to it.

Why Are The DWP doing this?

During the pandemic the DWP temporarily changed some of the evidence rules to complete UC claims.

As detailed in the report by CPAG in January 2021 the DWP started to look into the claims that were made during the pandemic.

Whilst doing this the DWP have been changing the entitlement decisions given to claimants declaring that many claims have been wrongfully awarded.

Why This Shouldn’t Be Happening

CPAG have expressed their concerns that the process of retrospectively deciding claimants were not entitled to UC and beginning recovery is unlawful.



In addition, the DWP is asking for evidence of entitlement via the online journal, even from claimants that are no longer getting UC and would have no reason to check their journal.



Some claimants only find out about the alleged overpayment when they receive a letter from DWP Debt Management.

They therefore miss the one month deadline for challenging a decision and often don’t know that they could make a late challenge if they have good cause.


Shockingly, this process is set to be ramped up dramatically.

The DWPs Reaction

The DWP are employing a team of 2,000 staff to look again at 2 million claims over the next five years including, but not limited to, claims made during the pandemic.



The thought that a government department that tramples on claimants’ rights in this way is to be given powers of search, seizure and arrest, as revealed in our last newsletter, is truly frightening.


Conclusion.

It’s very concerning that the government gives the DWP the authority to stamp on a person’s legal rights in this manner.

Not only are they able to stop a claimants payments without any notice they are also set to be given powers of search, seizure and arrest, as detailed in an earlier blog post.

DWP decisions such as these are life changing and literally leave people without the ability to eat, pay their rent and to keep warm.

Combined with this is the mental toll that this puts upon claimants leaving them in a state of distress not knowing where to get help.

Claimants deserve to be treated with respect and should be given the right to reply before any permanent decisions are made by the DWP.

Not only is it morally wrong to change decisions retrospectively, moving the goalposts when it suits the DWP is despicable and should be challenged at all times.

You can find the full copy of the report here https://cpag.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/briefing/demands-repay-impact-and-legality-dwp-reverification-uc-claims

Please read, share and tweet this article. Doing so raises awareness of the real issues that affect the working class of this country.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say it’s a struggle is an understatement. I’d really like to be able to continue writing and campaigning.

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Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog. I really appreciate it and I couldn’t have got through the last two years without you.

UK Food Prices Set To Rise Again This Summer

Food prices are predicted to increase by 15% in the UK this summer. This is the highest level in more than 20 years. This is predicted to rise alongside inflation which could last until the middle of next year, according to a report by The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD)

This is a result of the ever increasing prices of meat, cereal, dairy, fruit and vegetable products caused by the rise in costs of wheat prices as a result of the war in Ukraine.

The Ukraine is a big supplier of wheat to the UK, combined with sanctions imposed upon Russia will undoubtably cause a hike in prices and also a probable wheat shortage. Also predicted by the grocery trade body IGD.com is a rise in costs of food items caused by production lockdowns in China and export bans on food products such as palm oil from Indonesia and wheat from India.

What does this mean?

Food costs are going to rise dramatically again making it extremely difficult for low income households to be able to afford to buy much needed food essentials. According to a survey undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there has been an increase in the number of people spending less on food and household essentials which has risen from 36% to 41%.

This figure is set to rise again in the Autumn when as predicted by The Bank of England inflation is predicted to reach to 11%, which is the highest since the 1970s.

Rising energy costs

Households are still struggling to cope with the rise in energy costs with government payments set to be sent out to household in July. This scheme is not without its faults though leaving some low income households and disabled people exempt from this scheme.

After the second payments given by the government in October there are so far no plans to extend this to the winter and beyond, leaving many forced to live in cold homes unable to cook food.

A recent survey also carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that 52% of low income households are being forced to use less gas and electricity because they can no longer afford the cost. This in turn will also affect a households ability to cook meals.

Why does this matter?

Low income households are already burdened with an ever increasing cost of living that they can no longer afford to keep up with. Already overwhelmed with these costs and the lack of affordable food this will undoubtably cause mental distress and illness as a result of not being able to provide the basics for themselves and their families.

The lack of financial support from the government in helping the public with these costs is sadly lacking. In work and out of work benefits such as universal credit, working tax credits, ESA and PIP have failed to rise with inflation leaving households with a huge financial deficit.

The poorest can no longer be expected to bear the brunt of these ever increasing costs. Permanent financial help from the government needs to be offered before winter, if not thousands will undoubtedly become ill or worse as a result of living in cold homes unable to provide food for themselves and their families.

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Please read, share and tweet this article it helps massively to raise awareness about the real issues facing working class people in the UK.

I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do, and like yourselves I’m struggling to be able to cope with the increasing costs of everything.

If you can afford to and would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a massive difference and it really helps.

A huge thank you to everyone that’s helped to support my blog and campaign I really couldn’t do this without you. Thank you.

Doctors with Long Covid Denied PIP Payments

UK doctors suffering from Long Covid have been denied PIP according to a recent report by The Guardian.

Long Covid can be very debilitating leaving sufferers unable to do the most basic tasks without some help and assistance.

The report describes how badly the doctors are being treated by the DWP.

For example a respiratory consultant has described how they were refused PIP (Personal Independent Payments) whilst having urinary incontinence, difficulty standing, preparing food, eating, washing, dressing or engaging with people face to face. They also stated that they can’t stand for more than 10 minutes, find it very difficult to prepare food.

They went on to say “I thought that I had illustrated quite clearly what my disability was.” “When I got the report back, I thought is this about me?’”



The article also reveals that the process of making a PIP claim was so hard and mentally exhausted that it worsened their symptoms leaving them feeling much worse than before making their claim.

Some describing that they’ve been forced to use almost all their savings on private treatments and have considering selling their home as a result of this process.

For example an infectious disease expert that developed Long Covid found that their claim was rejected in part because they can drive a car, the assessor stating in their report that they showed “significant physical function” and “substantial cognitive powers”.

According to the Office for National Statistics from May 1st 2022 an estimated two million people in the UK have reported having Long Covid and it also beggars the question how many people having Long Covid are being refused their PIP payments despite having these symptoms and worse.

For many years now the whole PIP testing system has been heavily criticised and is flawed against the person applying for it. Many give up and try to continue without it because the process is too arduous and painful. It is noted that approximately 70% of PIP claimants win their appeal if they choose to do so.

The whole process urgently needs a huge reform and claims need to be processed correctly and fairly whilst taking into account the true symptoms and difficulties that PIP claimants report. Many PIP claims are refused upon the basis of lies made by the assessors conducting PIP assessments.

Sadly whilst the Conservative government remains in power any changes to the system remain very unlikely.

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A copy of the full Guardian report can be found here https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/jun/13/uk-doctors-long-covid-say-denied-financial-support

A copy of the Office of National Statistics report can be found here https://www.ons.gov.uk

If you are also finding it hard to claim PIP or/and ESA for Long Covid related illnesses please comment below or tweet your difficulties via this blog on Twitter or Facebook. Let’s get our voices heard!

Please read and share it helps massively to raise awareness .

I receive no payment for any of the work or campaigning that I do and it’s a huge struggle for myself like it is for you. If you can afford and would like to donate to enable me to continue with my work theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does help support my work. Every penny makes a massive difference and enables me to continue.

Thank you.

New Regulations For Fit Note Prescribers

New regulations have been issued to enable registered nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists to issue fit notes.

This will extend the categories of people that can issue fit notes.
New statutory instrument

The new regulations will commence from 1 July 2022.

These regulations being Social Security (Medical Evidence) and Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.630/2022) amend the Social Security (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1976 and the Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985.

The new regulations also make amendments to sets of regulations which refer to medical evidence as having been signed by doctors or registered medical practitioners.

The explanatory memorandum to the regulations advises that –

‘Currently only doctors can certify fit notes. This is not reflective of modern ways of multi-disciplinary working in healthcare where alternative healthcare professionals (HCPs) such as nurses often lead a patient’s diagnosis and healthcare management.

Expanding certification to a wider group of HCPs will better enable relevant HCPs to undertake health and work conversations to issue and certify fit notes without having to refer patients to their doctors.’

Commenting on the regulations, DWP Minister Chloe Smith said today –

‘The extension of fit note certification is fantastic news for patients, making it easier for them to get the support and advice they need from the right place, ensuring where possible that they are able to remain in work.’

These latest fit note changes recognise the valuable role other professions play in helping manage people’s health, and I hope this will also help reduce unnecessary bureaucracy for doctors and general practice more widely.’

This is welcome news for people struggling to provide fit notes for the DWP which can be a struggle for many.

SI.No.630/2022 is available from legislation.gov.uk

Source Rightsnet

Thanks to Rightsnet for providing this information.

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Thank you!

UK Facing NHS Dental Crisis. Reform Urgently Needed

A recent report by Healthwatch England has revealed a huge crisis looming within the UK NHS system. The report shows that people in the Uk are struggling to find a NHS dentist or be forced to pay for dental care that they can’t afford to pay for.

It has become near impossible for many to access any NHS dental care which forces them to either to pay for private dentistry services or to go without. This leaves many left suffering excruciating pain and also worsening health conditions as an effect of not being able to access dental care.

 Healthcare Watch Report

A recent poll undertaken by Healthcare Watch revealed that of 2,026 adults based in England, nearly half (49%) of respondents, felt that NHS dental charges were unfair. 

The poll also  looked at people’s experiences of NHS dentistry revealed  the following: 

• 54% of people who had an NHS dentist appointment had problems doing so, showing that 63% respondents found it difficult to book an NHS appointment with more than three in ten people (31%) unable to access all the treatments they needed. 

The Report Also Showed That:

46% of people had  problems with the costs associated with their NHS dental care.  

Revealing that(34% of respondents said they had no option but to pay privately to get all the required treatment that they needed, Showing that 24% commented saying that their NHS dentist didn’t explain the cost before starting treatment.

Approximately one in five people reported that their NHS dentist charged them more for their treatment than the advertised NHS charges. 

21% of people that couldn’t access NHS treatment revealed that they  suffered as a result of being unable to access treatment Of this, one in three (34%) respondents said a lack of access to dental care that inevitably led to more serious health problems.

Respondents also revealed that a lack of  dental care made it hard to eat or speak properly leaving 19% of people avoiding people and social situations. 

Why is there a shortage of NHS treatment?

Accessibility to NHS dental services has been gradually worsening over the last 10 years. Some years before 2020, the National Audit Office (NAO) reported that the remuneration system for dentists ‘was purely  activity-based and had done nothing to incentivise tooth decay and care prevention.One of the main causes for the shortage being the Units of Dental Activity system. 

Under the present system dentists are only being paid for Units of Dental Activity (UDA’s)for example doing treatment on tooth problems instead of offering regular check-ups and preventative treatments.

This has resulted in dental problems being  left too long which eventually  in a general decline in oral and physical health.

This along with the fact that the UDA targets for dental practices are notably unachievable has resulted in dentists moving away from offering NHS services and operating private services and no longer NHS treatment. As a result of the present UDA system the demand for public dental services has overtook the availability of NHS treatment for years. 

In 2002, the NAO raised their concerns about the estimated shortage of NHS dentists. This resulted in approximately two million people being unable to register with an NHS dentist, unable to do so.Sadly since 2002 the demand for services  has risen but the availability of services  has reduced leaving a huge deficit. 

The solution

The need for a complete reformation of the UDA system is greater than ever. Dentists should be offered renumeration for all NHS services and the attraction to work within the NHS system should be prioritised. 

Address the funding crisis to ensure that funding is appropriate and adequate for the level of demand expected by the current population.


Attract newly qualified practitioners into the industry through apprenticeships, links with universities and advanced training programmes.


Incentivise practices to commit to NHS dentistry by reviewing targets, penalties and credit units.


Add dental health roles to the list of national shortages to ease accessibility into the industry for EU citizens.

Conclusion

The UK is experiencing a NHS dental crisis which at the same time is risking the health of thousands of people suffering from dental problems.

Not only does the lack of NHS dental services cause dental problems it can also affect a persons physical health which can deteriorate as a result of not being able to access dental services. 

Resolving this crisis is more important now than ever.

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Are you experiencing dental problems and unable to access any NHS dental services? Feel free to comment below and tell me about your experiences.

You can find a full copy of the report over at https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/news/2022-05-09/lack-nhs-dental-appointments-widens-health-inequalities

Please read, share and tweet this blog post it’s important to raise awareness.

I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do and to say its a struggle is an understatement.

If you can afford to and would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going you can find a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign going, I really couldn’t continue doing this without you.

Whilst The Queen Celebrates Jubilee Record level Of Universal Credit Sanctions Published

A record level number of Universal Credit (UC) sanctions has recently been published by the Department of Work and Pensions on the 22nd May 2022.

It is reported by the DWP that the amount of UC sanctions had reached a record high in January 2022 this is according to statistics released by the DWP in May.

This follows the restrictions during the the pandemic when the DWP had been pressurised to remove work search and availability requirements for UC claimants also suspending face-to-face interviews due to the health risks involved. Work search and availability requirements were reintroduced gradually and are now fully implemented.

According to the latest figures released by the DWP UC sanctions prior to the pandemic consisted of 2.51% of UC claimants being sanctioned. In February 2022 sanction levels had risen dramatically to 3.90%.

According to the report in January 2022 there were reported 38,200 adverse sanction decisions showing the highest number of adverse sanction decisions on UC full service ever recorded, leaving many claimants dragging claimants further into poverty.

According to the DWP statistics released in February 2022 36.3% of UC claimants were in the conditionality groups that could be subject to sanctions, this includes claimants in the “searching for work”, “planning for work”, “preparing for work” or “unknown” conditionality groups.

It appears that the DWP have wasted no time in hitting claimants with sanctions and this is what they do best. Instead of helping claimants they find it more beneficial to unfairly sanction some of the most vulnerable people.

The conditionality requirements are confusing especially after the pandemic with many claimants not realising that their requirements had returned to normal. It’ll also be interesting to find out how many of them were affected by long Covid or indeed Covid itself and of course they wouldn’t have been able to reach out for sympathy from the DWP.

Not only will these sanctions have a terrible affect upon a persons health and well-being they will also put even more pressure upon already over subscribed food banks that were already struggling before the pandemic.

Whilst the nation is supposed to be celebrating the queens jubilee, a woman with an immense amount of privilege and wealth, thousands will be left suffering in extreme poverty unable to afford even the most basic things. It’s time that we should highlight their plights instead of celebrating the jubilee.

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You can find the full report here at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/benefit-sanctions-statistics-to-january-2022-experimental/benefit-sanctions-statistics-to-january-2022-experimental

Once again thanks to Benefits And Work for inspiring this weeks blog.

Please share it really helps massively to raise awareness about the suffering of many people totally abandoned by the government.

I receive no payment for any of the work that I do and to say that I’m struggling is an understatement. Every penny donated helps me to continue blogging and campaigning and I would really like to be able to do so.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support the blog and campaign. The past two years have been a nightmare for me and I really couldn’t have done this without you.

Pre-Paid Funeral Plan Providers To Be Regulated In July

Pre-paid funeral plans are used by many people to cover the cost of funerals, they operate by paying money received either by instalments or lump sum payments to a funeral plan provider chosen by the customer. The funeral plan provider then invests the money paid into an insurance policy or an independent trust fund.

Pre-paid funeral plans are available to buy at most funeral directors in the UK.

Although the conditions of pre-paid funeral providers vary essentially the plan that is purchased should cover the full cost of a funeral paid for and should also fulfil the plan holder’s final wishes for any funeral arrangements.

Who regulates the funeral plan providers.

The current established regulator of funeral plan providers is the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). However not all funeral plan providers are registered with the FPA. There is a list at: Funeral Planning Authority, Prepaid funeral plan providers.

Registered members must follow the FPA’s Rules and Code of Practice.

When are the pre-paid funeral providers to be regulated?

The Financial Conduct Authority will start to regulate providers that provide and arrange pre-paid funerals from 29 July 2022. 

From July all providers must apply to the FCA for authorisation. The FCA provides a list which shows the status of each providerThey also provide a list of existing providers who will not be applying for authorisation or have withdrawn their applications: providers who will not be authorised.

It’s vitally important to check these lists before purchasing a pre paid funeral plan.

What will happen once the funeral plan providers are regulated?

From 29 July 2022 all funeral plan providers must be authorised by the FCA. Any providers that aren’t authorised will be committing a criminal offence if they even attempt to sell or administer a funeral plan contract. This is because they won’t be able to deliver the plans that have been paid for.

Once regulated any complaints that are made may be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The FCA saying ‘We want to make sure that you have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) from the first day of regulation, so your money is protected if the firm fails.’ 

In July the FCA will introduce a range of measures to protect the consumer which will include a ban on pre-paid funeral companies from cold calling potential customers.

Why the need for regulation?

Safe Hands pre-paid funeral plans went into Administration in March 2022, upon doing so they withdrew their application for FCA authorisation in February. Safe Hands was at one time registered with the Funeral Planning Authority but is no longer included in the FPA list of Prepaid funeral plan providers.

When Safe Hands pre-paid funeral plans went under administration its understood that they had approximately 46,000 plan holders. Because Safe Hands aren’t within the ombudsman’s jurisdiction they are unable to help any customers of Safe Hands Plans Limited.

At the time of writing the administrators estimate that the process of realising assets and issuing partial repayments to plan holders will be a significant undertaking. Thus being so it will take some time to complete. 

Is there any help for the customers of Safe Hands customers?

To help the plan holders the administrators will contact plan holders directly. if necessary for them to make a claim they will provide details of how to make a claim and what you can claim for.

Any plan holders that have paid any or of their funeral plan instalments via a credit card or have paid fully via credit card may be entitled to register a claim with their credit card provider under s75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.  

What Dignity PLC can do to help.

Dignity plc is one of the UK’s largest providers of funeral plans. They have sent a plan to the administrators that would allow them to cover some of the pre-paid funeral plans and will offer any support thats urgently needed to help families to find any solutions that will hopefully provide a solution so that any customers won’t be left without anything in place.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, expressed his gratitude to Dignity for stepping in “to provide funerals on behalf of Safe Hands’ customers in the immediate period after the firm entered into administration” and agreeing to do that “for a further six months”.

What you can do.

If you have purchased a pre-paid funeral check who you purchased it from. If you find that you have purchased it from Safe hands then follow the advice given above to see if you can get any of your payments back.

It’s despicable that vulnerable people and their families have been treated in this manner, hopefully the regulation in July 2022 will prevent this from happening again.

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A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign, I’m truly grateful and I couldn’t do this without you.

Energy prices expected to rise by £830 to £2,800 in October.

The current price cap, which is set to rise in October, is £1,971 a year which was already a £693 rise (54%) from the previous cap six months earlier.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that in October it will increase to “in the region of £2,800”.

With this announcement comes the question of how people are going to be able to afford this extortionate price increase.

Already we are seeing thousands of people unable to use their gas and electric because they can’t afford it, no longer is they’re going to be a choice of heating or eating, they won’t be able to do either.

Whilst campaigners such as Martin Lewis are questioning the government as to how the public are going to cope, their words fall upon deaf ears and are ignored by the government that clearly appears not to care.

The truth is that we are dependant upon being able to heat our homes. It’s essential to have an electric supply to get by on a day to day basis, especially if disabled and have additional needs. Being forced to live in cold dark homes puts people at a very high risk of becoming ill or even dying.

It makes no difference how much you can budget and save when every penny is having to be spent on the ever increasing energy prices, although the likelihood is that bills won’t be paid because of a lack of ability to do do.

Not only will this affect the consumer it will also affect the energy suppliers that are dependant on their customers paying their bills to continue trading. I suspect that many more will be forced to shut therefore leaving both the consumer and the economy in a very precarious position.

The truth is that yet again the obscene energy price increases are yet another devestating choice that’s been made by the government. It’s pretty obvious that they don’t care how the average person will suffer and what a detrimental affect this will have to the public and to the economy.

It’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and something has to give before we start to see the serious ramifications of the ever increasing energy costs. I and others predict that thousands are at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying. We must do everything that we can do to prevent this from happening.

Please read, share and tweet my blog posts, its essential to raise awareness and doing this really helps to do so.

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DWP To Be Given Power To Arrest Universal Credit Claimants

In a recent report by Benefits and Work the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be giving their officers the power to mass-request bank data more efficiently to enable them to conduct more spot-checks to see if people are committing benefit fraud..

The new powers to be given will enable DWP officers to make arrests, execute warrants, conduct searches and seize evidence themselves instead of informing the police and involving them.
This will allow the DWP to dish out civil fines similar to those issued by HMRC even if a case does not make it to court.


It is estimated that approximately two million claimants will face having supposed fraud cases dredged up and to be given fines for fraud even if they’re not convicted of a crime. New and existing claims could be flagged as being potentially suspicious over five years.


It is believed that Conservative ministers will be perceived to be appealing to their voter base because at the time of writing no timetable for these new laws has been made. It’s likely to take at least a year for these plans to commence. Many of these planned new powers will need an Act Of Parliament and is thought that if these plans are to commence they will be introduced from May 2023 at the earliest.

The proposed benefit fraud crackdown will have the potential to save the government £670m a year.

Giving DWP officers the power of arrest for supposed benefit fraud even if a case doesn’t make it to court has the potential to persecute innocent claimants is extremely worrying . For many years now I’ve assisted claimants in supposed benefit fraud meetings, the majority of which showed absolutely no evidence of fraud being committed.

I found these meetings to be yet another way for the DWP to intimidate and harass claimants and I have no doubt that if I hadn’t been able to represent these claimants they would have falsely been accused of fraud and would have faced their benefits being stopped or greatly reduced.

Given the fact that that benefit overpayments were estimated to be approximately £8.3bn in 2020/21 many of which were errors made by the DWP and not claimants, accusing them of fraud as a result of this would be totally wrong and immoral.

Claiming Universal Credit is already difficult and demeaning punishing claimants for being guilty before being found to be innocent. To allow DWP officers these powers would add to the pressure that claimants already feel whilst not knowing if their benefit advisor will report them for potential fraud which could result in their payments being reduced or stopped.

I suspect that the real reasoning behind these new proposed powers is yet another way for the government to save money whilst putting the well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable at risk.

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Many thanks to Benefits and Work for once again being the inspiration for this article.

Are you interested in joining a group of likeminded people for solidarity and maybe some campaigning? You can’t go wrong if you join Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). They have lots of local branches that you can join.

Head over to https:manchesterdpac.com to find out more.

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Lloyds bank Foundation Warns Against Unfair Universal Credit Deductions

The Lloyds Bank Foundation have expressed concerns about the way the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) recovers debts from claimants when they start claiming UC (Universal Credit)

The Foundation have issued a report earlier this month (May 2022) warning that automatic deductions recovered from UC payments are at the time of writing, leaving more than 2 million people already living in poverty, unable to afford basic necessities such as food, gas and electric. This therefore and drives them further into debt and poverty.  

The Foundation report discloses that 44% of all UC claimants have money automatically deducted, the amount averaging £78 a month being taken. It also notes that many Universal Credit claimants are also having much larger deductions taken from their monthly payments.

Amongst the deductions are the advance payments given to UC claimants given to them whilst waiting five weeks for their first payment.

To add to this millions of new UC claimants find that they are unknowingly forced to pay back supposed Tax Credit overpayments that had occurred years earlier which were caused by an official error and no fault of the claimants.  

The Lloyds Bank Foundation have therefore called for historic debts to be stopped and any advance payments changed from loans to grants and affordability checks to automatically be made before any deductions are taken from Universal Credit and other benefits.

It’s doubtful that the DWP will listen to any of the report or making changes based upon its recommendations in the future.

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Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts, this helps to raise awareness of the unfairness of the DWP system.

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A huge thank you to everyone that reads, supports my blog and campaign and shares my articles. I couldn’t do this without you.

Poor People Can’t Cook Says Lee Anderson MP

Lee Anderson Tory MP for Ashfield claimed that households in Britain can make nutritious meals on a budget of about 30p a day. He made these crass remarks during the queens speech debate in parliament.

He went on to say that his constituency administer a so called “brilliant scheme” where members of the public needing food donations have to register to join and are forced to attend mandatory budget cookery courses along side receiving food parcels.

Anderson claims that the scheme shows them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget and they can learn how to make a meal for about 30p a day, and this is cooking from scratch.

Mr Anderson went on to say that there’s not a massive use for food banks in the Uk despite record numbers of people being forced to use food banks every day. They can no longer afford to buy food and are having to make this humiliating decision.

According to Anderson poor people come from families that have generations of people from families that cannot cook properly. He went on to say that “They can’t cook a meal from scratch. They cannot budget. The challenge is there.”

Ironically this is coming from Tory MP Lee Anderson that himself claimed £220,000 in expenses last year. Maybe he should attend budgeting classes.

Andersons comments are very telling, they highlight exactly how the Conservative party,MPs, councillors and members regard the working class, in particular people that are forced to take the distressing step to use food banks.

The truth is not being able to cook runs right through the class divide, people that live very comfortable lives don’t know how to cook properly also even though they’ve got the resources to do so. Should they be forced to attend mandatory cooking lessons as well?

Most people forced to live in poverty are very good at budgeting the very little money they receive, trying to prioritising their families need for food above their own. They know exactly how much their food costs and how to work within their budget.

The real problem lies within parliament, decisions have been made that have seen energy prices soar massively with food costs increasing dramatically resulting the cost of living being unattainable for many.

Benefit payments haven’t increased with inflation nor have wages leaving the public already starting at a loss before they even start trying to budget.

The truth is working class people are masters of budgeting, they know how to account for every penny and do prioritise their basic needs. Being able to cook however doesn’t lie with the ability to cook good meals it goes beyond that. As energy prices have increased its becoming exceedingly difficult to be able to afford the gas and electric needed to do so, a point that Mr Anderson fails to mention.

For this very reason thousands of people are forced to eat cold food such as sandwiches or having to make the decision as to if its cheaper to buy ready made food that isn’t necessarily healthy but it’s cheaper than the cost of cooking a meal.

Doing this exposes them to judgement from others and often abuse on social media, after all its easier to make a scapegoat out of poor people than it is to criticise a financially well off person.

The right wing press relish in shaming working class people rather than the policies that the government creates that are the cause of food bank use. It’s also easy for them to celebrate the opening of food banks, and laugh about it when, like Mr Anderson you don’t worry about the need for them.

In reality food bank donations are decreasing because many of the people donating can no longer afford to do so. I predict hundreds of much needed food banks being forced to close leaving the people needing them without the food that they desperately need. No amount of budgeting can change this.

Mr Anderson and his kind can take their prejudiced attitudes and fuck right off. The opening of food banks should never be celebrated its sick, crass and humiliating for the uk as a whole.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog its extremely important that the truth of life under the Tory government gets out there. It raises awareness and we need this more than ever.

A huge thanks to everyone that likes, shares and supports my blog and campaign. I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and every penny helps me to continue helping people and raising awareness.

EHRC Breaks Promise To Investigate DWP Role In Deaths



As reported by Benefits And Work the EHRC (Equality And Human Rights Commission) has broken its promise to investigate the role that the DWP (Department of Work And Pensions)have played in the deaths of vulnerable claimants. This has left the DWP not needing to answer any questions as to the role that they played in their deaths

Instead the EHRC are now asking the DWP to create new policies in relation to claimants with mental health issues and learning difficulties. This will replace the promised investigation.

This is despite promises made by the EHRC in 2019 that they would start an   investigation into the deaths of vulnerable claimants.

The EHRC used the pandemic as an excuse to not start the investigation.



The Commission has now declared that it  only intends to enter into a Section 23 agreement under the Equality Act 2006. This will oblige the DWP “to commit to an action plan to meet the needs of customers with mental health impairments and learning disabilities.”

Keep in mind that the DWP are a much larger organisation that receive more funding  than the EHRC. 
This will no doubt result in the DWP will dragging their heels in creating so called policies that will be nothing more than good intentions that probably won’t be actioned upon.

Whilst I don’t have any details as to why the EHRC have changed their minds I can say that at best they’re very niave putting far too much trust in the DWP to do the right thing.

The DWP has an appalling track record of discrimination against vulnerable claimants, ignoring their basic human rights and making life extremely hard for them.

Despite my disappointment with the EHRC’s decision I’m not surprised. The DWP will do anything to avoid any actions taken against them making promises that they’ve got no intention of keeping whilst doing the bare minimum to comply.

Once again thanks go to Benefits And Work for their hard work and inspiring this article.

A huge thanks to everyone that likes, shares, reads and supports both my blog and campaign.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and it’s a struggle to say the least.

If you can afford to and would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you!

DWP To Start Planned Legacy Claimants Migration To Universal Credit

With much celebration yesterday evening the DWP announced that their plans to start migrating people from all legacy benefits to Universal Credit (UC) with a commencement date being May 9th. Their target completion date being December 2024. This will leave approximately 900,000 of households worse off whilst claiming UC.

Not only will thousands of claimants previously claiming legacy benefits be hit with lower payments they’re set to also face a benefit freeze leaving them in a much worse financial situation they are already in. They will also be faced with the distress of being forced to accept this whilst struggling financially to cover the basics.

The DWP claim that legacy claimants will be sent a ‘migration notice’ with a three-month deadline to make a claim for UC. If they don’t accept the migration notice or don’t receive it as is often the case with letters from the DWP their benefits will stop. This will undoubtably leave thousands of already vulnerable people not receiving any help to do so with the majority of people claiming legacy payments being disabled and ill people already struggling with day to day costs.

The DWP are quoted saying that legacy claimants will receive transition payments to ensure their income does not drop, however how many times have we heard the DWP make statements like this and don’t fulfil their promises.

As a direct result of this migration previous legacy benefit claimants payments will be effectively frozen every April with no end date given. This is because their transitional payments will abrade each year as UC rises with inflation whilst waiting for it to match up with what they’re being paid.

This is very concerning especially because 500,000 claimants forced to migrate claim ESA and are disabled and ill, causing extreme distress and worse with predictions being that they will face being much worse off financially.

We already know that UC is a cruel, harsh system that deliberately punishes the most vulnerable leaving thousands in extreme poverty and distress. UC benefits the government alone giving them the perfect opportunity to punish working class people for simply existing.

Whilst the government and the DWP are rubbing their hands in glee we must continue to support each other and campaign against the governments cruelty, it’s the only way that we will survive this.

Combined with the energy price crisis and the ever increasing cost of living I have no doubt that thousand will die as a result of this forced migration.

God help us all.

EDIT: FROM PAULA PETERS. Also will add the UC regs for legacy benefit support group claimants are not in place yet and still being discussed the white paper on work and disability is important to Keep an eye on.

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Huge thanks to Dan Bloom over at The Mirror for being the inspiration for this piece and a Twitter follower rooneygmusic for sending me the info over last night.

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Another massive thank you goes out to everyone that has supported and does support my blog and campaign I really couldn’t do this without you.

Government Refusing To Release Universal Credit WCA Statistics

It’s another week and yet more questions as to why the government still haven’t released the Universal Credit WCA statistics. Their refusal to release these statistics can only lead me to believe that they’re trying to hide them most probably because the stats are pretty dire.

This isn’t unusual for the government and the DWP they’ve got a long track record of denial and refusal.

It appears that the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) aren’t impressed with their refusal to release these stats either so they’re demanding to know why the pass and fail rates for the WCA for universal credit are still secret, despite it being nine years after the benefit was introduced.


The question is becoming ever more important because approximately 1.7 million ESA claimants are due to be forcibly transferred to UC by the end of 2024 loosing their legacy benefits and the security that comes with this.

The question is this why have the figures for claimants that have been found to be capable of work or to have limited capability for work (LCW) or for work-related activity (LCWRA) been published for ESA since 2010 and not these important statistics?

What exactly are the government trying to hide?

Unsurprisingly the same figures have never been published for UC since the benefit was introduced.


IN 2017 the government promised that the UC WCA statistics would be available for viewing. Rather predictably they haven’t been provided and there is no indications that they ever will be.


The amazing team over at Disability News Service have been pursuing the DWP over its lack of transparency for some time and eventually resorted to having to approach the OSR for help.
As a result the OSR have now written to the DWP asking why the figures have not been published.

My bet is that they’ll ignore their request as well.


The main reason as to why these figures are so important is because Universal Credit claimants could be more likely to be assessed incorrectly and placed in the wrong LCW or LCWRA groups for UC. Therefore theres no guarantee that they’ll be placed in the same groups as they were when claiming ESA despite the fact that the tests are virtually identical.

More transparency and clarity needs to be urgently given regarding this issue especially as thousands of already vulnerable people will be quite rightly concerned when they are forcibly moved onto UC.

Universal Credit is a cruel heartless machine that targets the most vulnerable. These figures are needed to help and protect those that will be forced to claim it.

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A huge thank you to the gang over at Benefits And Work for publishing this information and keeping us informed.

Are you interested in joining a group of likeminded people for solidarity and maybe some campaigning? You can’t go wrong if you join Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). They have lots of local branches that you can join.

Head over to https:manchesterdpac.com I’ve been working and campaigning alongside them for many years.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, every share etc helps massively to raise awareness and to inform people what’s really happening to real people.

Huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog I couldn’t do this without your support and solidarity.

If you would like to donate and can afford to theres a donate button at the side and top of this blog post. I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and it makes a massive difference and enables me to continue with both.

Thank you!

Energy And Cost Of Living Crisis. Basic Human Rights Being Ignored.

I’m still fucking angry, well to be honest that’s an understatement. I’ve been trying to get my head round how people are actually going to survive the constant barrage of energy costs and of course the ever increasing cost of living which is spiralling out of control.

Having food, shelter, warmth and water are a basic human right that is being blatantly ignored by the government. This despite the fact that these basic needs that are recognised worldwide.

Food shopping in supermarkets have become a thing of the past, swapping supermarket queues for food bank queues.

Heating has been replaced with wrapping up in a blanket or quilt with outside often being warmer than being indoors.

Disabled children and their parents reliant upon oxygen machines and pumps, needing a warm homes are forced to make the decision of having to cut down on their energy consumption even though it’s extremely dangerous to do so.

Thousands of disabled people are living in extreme poverty, unable to pay heating and food costs which will exacerbate their health conditions. Forced to live in mental distress because they can’t cover their basic needs.

Food-banks are quickly becoming over subscribed and now have waiting lists leaving many with nowhere to go.

People reliant upon public transport are becoming isolated because they can no longer afford to use it.leaving them unable to travel to the nearest town for appointments and to go food shopping for basic essentials.

Already vulnerable people are being forced to have to go without phone credit because they can no longer afford it. They know that if they don’t complete their job searches the DWP will sanction them.

Every day thousands of individuals and families are becoming homeless because they can no longer afford to pay their rent.

Children are hungry and cold their parents struggling financially to buy the basics for them, their parents in distress because they feel like they’ve failed their children.

The reality is for the working class they can never work enough hours to cover the ever rising costs that they are facing every day. The old Tory and DWP mantra ‘Work sets you free’ certainly doesn’t apply anymore, not like it ever did in the first place..

This leaves us with the dilemma, how can we change this? What can we do to stop it?

Truth be told it isn’t going to change overnight, we’ve got years of Tory rule approaching us and sadly I predict that things will undoubtably become worse.

There are however actions that we can do now that will make a difference towards the next general election results.

Use your vote in the upcoming local elections.

Vote labour if you have the option to or an alternative if that’s the only option. It isn’t about liking Starmer, after all we all have our own opinions about him. It’s about getting as many Tory councillors out of their comfy seats in local government. Doing this weakens their power base and ensures that less of them have a say in local government. This can only be a good thing.

Protest.

Some are of the opinion that protesting does nothing but that isn’t true at all. Protesting causes disruption and it raises awareness massively. It’s a tool that’s been proven to work time and again even if the results aren’t seen straight away.

This can be done in several ways.

Showing our disgust via demonstrations really does rattle them, especially when they take place near parliament. Maybe a weekend march won’t be seen to do anything but it does raise awareness and that can only be a good thing.

If you want to join a protest head over to http:https//thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

I’m aware that many people are unable to go out and protest, many being too exhausted, hungry and worn out to do so but there are alternatives.

Protest online.

Use social media as a platform to get your message out there. It’s a very powerful tool and it does make a difference. It now plays a huge part in raising awareness and it shouldn’t be underestimated.

Join a group like DPAC here athttps:manchesterdpac.com They do amazing effective work.

Talk to neighbours and friends.

Raising awareness this way is amazing, it raises awareness locally and maybe to people that aren’t on the internet.

Support your local food bank and community centre.

They’re often the heart of the community and once again this raises awareness.

With many long term Tory voters now changing their votes to Labour or their alternative it looks like the worm might finally be turning. Hopefully at the next general election they’ll be voted out of government.

It’s time to take action.

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Thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign, I really couldn’t do any of this without you. Your support enables me to continue campaigning and blogging.

I can’t thank you enough.

Please like, share and tweet this blog post. It raises a lot of awareness and it gets the message out there.

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Thank you

DWP Refuses To Release Secret Survey Information

Here we go again.

The amazing people over at Benefits And Work have made a simple request asking if they can see a copy of the original, unaltered survey on the unmet needs of disabled people. It’s not a big request, it’s a simple one.

Sadly their denial can only mean that the DWP are desperate to hide the survey results. This could be because it shows that the needs of disabled people are not being met. To be honest it’s no secret that disabled people are suffering immensely.

Whilst gloating about their denial to release the results the DWP have also refused to say whether they will publish a separate survey that they have commissioned which focuses on claimants’ financial situations and what support they may need.  

I can only surmise that the DWP know how important that this information is. Disabled claimants were struggling financially even before the current cost of living crisis began. I suspect that the survey results will be shockingly bad.

The cost of living crisis and the huge energy price hikes will massively increase a disabled persons outgoings, with the energy bill for a typical home set to rise £1,971 a year caused by the 54% rise in energy price cap. This already massive price increase is projected to increase even further in October, pushing thousands further into poverty.

Many disabled claimants don’t have the option of turning their heating and appliances off. Thousands need to keep their homes warmer because of health conditions or run medical equipment which will cause their energy costs to be higher than the average household.

To add salt into the wound council tax bills are increasing, water rates are rising and food bills are also inflating. This will leave many disabled people almost priced out of existence, with no way of being able to keep up with the ever increasing costs.

In an ideal world with a supportive DWP system which supported claimants they would want to release information about the inadequacy of the current social security system into the public domain. This would then help claimants and the DWP system to put pressure on politicians to increase the annual uplift and payments.They would also work alongside charities and experts to put pressure on the politicians that make the decisions.

Back to reality though, we all know that the DWP will always fight in every single way to prevent the truth of their cruel system to be revealed. They don’t care about claimants especially disabled claimants. Their priority will always be cutting costs and pushing harmful policies directed by the Conservative government.

Theres plenty of evidence to support this, people have and will continue to take their own lives as a result of unfair DWP decisions, and now with the cost of living crisis and energy price increases this isn’t going to end, and will probably worsen.

More pressure is needed to beput upon the government and the DWP is desperately needed, especially as we are facing the huge cost of living crisis that many will not survive.

Benefits And Work are challenging both refusals and will hopefully get the results that are needed.

As my friend Rick Burgess says ‘400,000 disabled people across England have been stripped of the right to free insulation, and almost 300,000 are being excluded from the warm home discount. Can you say Democide?’

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A huge thank you to Benefits And work for the inspiration for this article, they do amazing work.

Thanks to Rick Burgess for his quote over on Twitter.

Want to join a protest? Join The Peoples Assembly over at http://https//thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

Want to chat to likeminded people for solidarity and maybe some activism? Head over to https:manchesterdpac.com Theres lots that you can do there that doesn’t always mean attending a physical protest. Online support and campaigning is desperately needed.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. An online presence is needed and getting truth out there is vitally important.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and like many of you are I’m struggling financially.

If you can afford it and would like to donate to keep both the blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports both my blog and campaign. This last year has been truly awful for me and my family. My son dying really was truly awful and I wouldn’t have got through this without your support, I wouldn’t have got through it without you.

Rise In Energy Costs Will Cost Lives. It’s Time For Action.


No more. I’m fucking done. The horror stories I’ve heard over the years about people desperately trying to survive under this Tory government have angered me to the point of boiling over. My inbox is full, my Twitter feed is going crazy and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing.

I’ve heard many accounts of how people are already struggling to cope with the massive energy price rises, how the hell are they going to cope after the 1st of April?


Yesterday I heard the concerns of a young woman with a baby who is already struggling before the massive cost increase, already paying £40 for three days electric on a prepayment meter just to keep her electric on.

Another person who used to have a good job at Manchester Airport reduced to borrowing a tenner from a person they never met face to face to put their electric back on so the cheap food they bought won’t spoil.

A woman who thought she was £400 in credit actually owing £600.

Remember that this is before the April energy cost increases. So when does it stop?


When will more people stand up, come with me and my mates and march upon the corridors of power and say no?

Are we are NOT going to be letting the Tories bend us over and dry-fuck us into oblivion anymore?


You want me to be less activist? Fine. I will. When the government stops deliberately starving people of the basic necessities of life.

This is going to become much worse than anyone could have predicted, thousands of people will no doubt be either thinking of or taking their lives because they can’t afford to live and can’t find a way out of their situation.

I predict that they could be thousands of deaths caused by hypothermia and related illnesses. People can no longer afford to buy and run heated blankets. Nor do they have the money to buy warmer clothes.

Undoubtably there will be thousands of admissions to hospital because of malnutrition related illnesses and diseases. This is already happening, people are already dying from hunger thanks the cruel DWP regime. Already people can’t afford to cook meals. This is going to become a whole lot worse than it is now.

Homelessness levels will increase dramatically because people are going to be forced to make the choices of heating or eating and not being able to pay their rent or mortgage as well. It’s not a choice that should have to be made.

Can you imagine how heartbreaking it is to have to tell your children that they have to wear coats etc at home because it’s too expensive to heat their home? As you’re reading this a child and their parents will be cold and hungry due to no fault of their own.

Can you imagine being disabled or ill and being reliant upon have the heating on to help keep you alive only to find out that that you can’t anymore because it’s too expensive to heat their home?

To put it bluntly the government doesn’t care one bit, hell they aren’t even hiding their disdain of working class people. They don’t care if we live or die. Rishi Sunak could have done the right thing but instead he chose to force thousands into death, absolute poverty and starvation.

We should all be angry about this. This is the ultimate insult to the working class people of this country and we all need to challenge this in whatever way that we can.

Have you noticed that I’m angry? Everyone should be.

Not only will these price rises be extremely detrimental to the economy, which will most likely will take a massive dive as a result of people will no longer be able to go shopping for basics never-mind luxuries.

Thousands of small businesses will be forced to shut because of the rising costs as well as some big businesses, forcing workers not already claiming Universal Credit to apply for the first time. This will undoubtably cause emotional and financial distress.

For a country to grow its government needs to invest in people, normal people not millionaires to grow the economy and the wellbeing of people. Instead they do the opposite, Sunak preferring to go for short term gains for his pals whilst deliberately ignoring the well-being of the public and the economy.

Rishi Sunak whilst eyeing up his next job at num 10 has got to be the worst Chancellor Of The Exchequer that we’ve ever had. His decisions are unbelievably cruel.

People will no longer be able to afford to donate to food-banks instead becoming reliant upon them themselves. This will cause the closure of the very places that keep people alive.
People WILL DIE don’t ever forget this.

It’s already happening. The foodbank trollies in supermarkets are seeing fewer donations.

We really need to put pressure in the supermarkets to donate the food themselves and not rely upon already poor people to buy the food and then donate it.

We also have to remember the 186,000 people that have already died with Covid 19 mentioned on their death certificate. People are still dying and we must never forget this.

Remember that all this is a political choice made by millionaires designed to inflict cruelty upon the poorest and most vulnerable

It’s time to get angry, to take action and campaign for a much fairer society.

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Please read, share, tweet and email this blog post. We have to raise as much awareness as possible and now is the perfect time to do it.

Want to join a protest? Join one of the Peoples Assembly marches on the 2nd April. Find out more at https://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

Want to chat to likeminded people and join a protest? Head over to https:manchesterdpac.com Theres lots that you can do and you will find solidarity.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do, and to say that it’s a struggle is an understatement. If you can afford to and you would like to donate to my campaign and blog theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Massive thanks to everyone that does and has supported my campaign and blog. Without you I couldn’t do this.

Big thanks to my friend Lucy for being the inspiration for this article and for yesterdays tweets.

I can’t afford to live now! Sunaks Spring Budget Fails the poorest And Most Vulnerable.

It doesn’t feel real does it, so many people are struggling to live with the bare minimum of essential things such as food, heating and clothing. This was echoed in a conversation that I had outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre today.

I’ll call him Bill, obviously I like to keep peoples names anonymous, its much better that way. It stops the DWP machine from interfering and possibly targeting him. Believe me this has happened in the past, I recorded it in a blog many years ago.

Bill lives on his own after being his mothers sole carer. Sadly his mother died and he now lives alone. Bill doesn’t have a lot, a mobile phone and a television that was gifted to him. Sadly its a smart tv so he can only access the bare minimum of channels.

You might ask why this matters, after all things like this apparently aren’t important. I, however believe that it is important because it gives a person some sense of normality, maybe a bit of enjoyment. When you’re excluded from what others class as normal it has a distinct affect on your mental wellbeing, thus making life that bit more difficult.

Bill doesn’t have access to the internet at home and relies upon his mobile phone for everything. Some say that this is a luxury but it isn’t. It’s a necessity and the DWP will sanction claimants that don’t have a phone and or access to the internet.

I took Bill for a cuppa, I sometimes do this because its a nice thing to do, something that so many won’t be able to do after April, it was then when he told me about his concerns. He’s quite rightly concerned about how he’s going to be able to pay his essential bills, not anything that you could class as a luxury. It’s the bare essentials that he needs to survive.

Bill also shared his health concerns with me and how difficult its become to get an appointment with a doctor and how hard it is for him to get his repeat prescription.

Whilst many doctors surgeries in the UK offer telephone consultations as well as face to face ones its become near impossible to do this because his surgery doesn’t offer an online service and nor do they send his repeat description digitally over to a chemist of his choice. Instead he’s left to struggle collecting his prescription up and handing it to a chemist to be processed.

We discussed the spring budget and how awful it is for unemployed and disabled people, also for people on a bare minimum wage.

The truth is that Sunak doesn’t care and it this was reflected in his spring statement.

Whilst we are faced with an energy cost crisis which will undoubtably plunge at least 10 million people into fuel poverty, leaving them without the means to heat their homes.

Sunak provided nothing to support low income households and people claiming any type of benefit or pension.

On the contrary Sunak has uprated benefits and pensions only by 3.1% which was last October’s inflation rate. This is not the 7% rate of inflation which will be the upcoming over the next few months. By doing this Sunak has directly made 9 million of the poorest and most vulnerable people approximately £500 poorer.

Neither can we forget the £1000 a year Sunak took from Universal Credit recipients in the autumn when he withdrew the £20 a week pandemic uplift. This left thousands of people distraught and struggling. So far Sunak has taken £1700 of the UK’s most vulnerable and poorest households, whilst not forgetting that disabled people didn’t even receive the £20 uplift.

Sunak then announced that he is raising the threshold at which National Insurance contributions begin to be paid. Remember, most benefit recipients do not pay NI as their incomes are too low. Neither do pensioners. So once again they do not benefit from this at all. 

Sunak also announced that he’s cutting the fuel duty whilst ignoring the fact that the poorest benefit recipients do not own a car, so they don’t benefit one bit from this. Neither do they pay income tax, so will not benefit from the 1p cut in 2024.

Theres also no information given as to how and will the poorest benefit from the £500m Sunak has given local councils. 

To put it bluntly Sunak’s statement was aimed at fellow Tory MPs whose support he wants in a future leadership election if he is to take part, but this is a cruel and heartless way of doing it. He’s basically stamping his feet upon the poorest with his only concern being himself.

This is to be expected though because Sunak is a millionaire and has no understanding of what life is really like for the majority of people in the Uk, and nor does he care to learn and sympathise with them. He’s a typical Tory, selfish and as shallow as they come, after all they’re never going to care and they don’t want to.

I shall be returning to the Jobcentre next week, health permitting.

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I don’t receive any payment for my work from any organisations, and I like many of you are reliant upon food parcels etc. To say it’s a struggle is an understatement.

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A huge thank you to everyone that reads and shares my blog, and also to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I really couldn’t do it without you.

I can’t afford to eat and heat. Back outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

It feels strange to be writing this blog post this week because I’ve actually been able to return to my weekly demo and advice session outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

The DWP and local council might have mistakenly thought that I had stopped doing the weekly demos. I haven’t and dependant on my health I’m back.

This week I decided to stand outside the old Jobcentre building that had been shut down and moved to the new swanky council building. The truth is they underestimated the demand for the Jobcentre and were forced to re open the old one as well.

The old building has had a bit of a makeover, Laurence Llewellyn Bowen has nothing on this transformation. The doors have been repainted, a new carpet put down and what looks like cattle pens with numbers on installed.

Obviously this transformation wasn’t made to make the people that use the Jobcentre feel at ease, I can bet it has the opposite effect.

This week I was on my own accompanied by my daughter and two lovely men filming for french tv. They’re making a programme about the UK’s benefit system and have interviewed the amazing Debbie Abrahams, myself and they’re going to interview the dark lord himself David Cameron.

I was asked many times about my opinion of him, I answered that he’s got the blood of thousands of vulnerable and disabled people on his hands. Along with Ian (I’ll hide in car boots) Duncan Smith there’s a special place in hell for them.

Back to the demo. I chose the old Jobcentre because it’s actually very busy full of people coming and going looking rather stressed whilst doing so.

It wasn’t long until I had a conversation with a man who wasn’t far from retirement age. He had been given an appointment to attend a ‘Working Well’ interview despite being disabled and unable to work.

The DWP with all their infinite knowledge sent him a text message without an address to go to. Basically he didn’t know where his appointment was.

He walked to a building down the road and was told that his appointment wasn’t there and he had to go back to the Jobcentre.

Back at the Jobcentre he was told that he had to get back to the other building and they’d changed the time of his appointment without informing him. Typical DWP communication failure once again. Call me cynical but I’m sure that they do this on purpose sometimes.

To say that this gentleman was distressed was an understatement. He said ” Why can’t they leave me alone? I can’t work and no one will employ me”.

It wasn’t long before I spoke to a young woman that is completely fed up with the DWP. She’s started her own photography business and she’s doing her best to promote it and to find work

The DWP won’t leave her alone though. Every two weeks she still has to attend a back to work interview and she can’t cancel the appointment even if she’s working.

The DWP once again making it very hard for anyone to succeed by themselves. Her business is called WJ Photography and I think she’s on Instagram and Ticktok.

As it became notably colder, probably because we had been standing there for a while we spoke to a man that looked like he was going to start crying at any time.

His story his hard, but sadly not unusual.

As is often the case he had been living in substandard social housing. His home was full of damp and unsuitable to live in.

After a few years of struggling to get the housing association to take action they finally attempted to fix it. This left him without electricity and sleeping at his son’s place on the floor.

He explained the situation to the DWP who were totally unsympathetic telling him that he still had to look for work online for 35 hours a week.

He’s been looking for work since 2018 and can’t find a job, this isn’t without trying because he’s tried damned hard.

I then had a conversation with a chap that I used to speak to on a regular basis outside the Jobcentre. He told me that he was stressed because his mobile phone and internet are due to be cut off because he can’t afford to pay the bill.

Being aware that he needs to search for work online and has to have a working phone number for the DWP to contact him on has resulted in him feeling extremely stressed.

He told me that he’s found an old sim card that’ll work for the DWP to phone him on but he’s worried about his job searching.

I advised him to use the internet at the library or Ikea, but life shouldn’t be like this for a person who’s 60 years of age.

The universal credit system was created to punish people for being poor and for being disabled, never ever forget that.

I really hope that they’re ok , telling them that I’d be back again next week if they want some advice or someone to talk to. After all kindness costs nothing and it makes a massive difference to a person’s day.

Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

I’ll be returning again next week and I’ll be publishing a blog post tomorrow about the new Jobcentre closures.

I need your help though. I need people to share this blog post and my others as much as possible. I want to continue to report about the impact that DWP decisions have on people and how this is still happening.

It would be amazing if I could be joined by some other like-minded people. It’s a big ask I know but it’s essential that we can remind the DWP that we are still here and we are still reporting on their misdoings.

If anyone could donate towards buying someone a cuppa etc I’d be eternally grateful. It’s winter and it’s cold here. A nice hot cuppa keeps the morale going.

If anyone would like to donate towards the campaign and my blog there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

I’m intending to continue with the weekly demos which are dependant on my health. I’ve still got long covid and a lung that’s not functioning as it should be. Thanks covid.

If I have to cancel a week it’ll be for health reasons only. Apologies in advance.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. These past two years have been extremely challenging for us all and I really do appreciate it.

DWP Blocks Essential Sanctions Research



The DWP is effectively trying to block essential and possibly life-saving university research. This research undertaken by Glasgow University with it’s purpose is to find out whether there is a link between benefits sanctions, ill health and suicide.



The research involves Glasgow University linking anonymised DWP data with NHS records. This could and most likely reveal that people that have been sanctioned have been prescribed antidepressants and people that already have existing conditions have resulted in their health declining. The research will also reveal the figures for those attempting to take their own life and sadly for those that have taken their own life.



When Glasgow University informed the DWP that they were starting their research in 2019 the DWP suggested that they would support the project. However since the project began the DWP have continually placed barriers up to try and stop this research to continue.

This comes as no shock to campaigners like myself. The DWP know how badly sanctioning people affects both their physical and mental health..


The DWP have spent years giving excuses to Glasgow University demanding that the research needed tighter security which they complied with. After these measures were put in place the DWP moved the goal post again insisting that Glasgow University must apply for permission to do the research all over again.



This has caused huge delays for the project. Professor Nick Bailey stated that the research should have been completed in 2020, but it has yet to start.



The chair of the Commons work and pensions committee, Stephen Timms told the Guardian “This emerging pattern of obstruction suggests that a culture of secrecy is entrenched in DWP. It must wake up to the harm that it is doing and commit to a new spirit of openness.”

There’s little doubt that the government will either delay or prevent any project that reveals the reality of how people suffer when they’ve been sanctioned.

It will continue to be the case until politicians stop ignoring the immense suffering of thousands of people. Although there are some politicians that don’t ignore this such as Debbie Abrahams who regularly speaks and campaigns against the cruelty of the DWP and their policies.

Ignoring the suffering of thousands of people will result in thousands more deaths. What is needed is for the opposition to start actively opposing the government on DWP related issues.

This isn’t likely to happen in the near future and MPs like Debbie Abrahams are loan voices in parliament trying extremely hard to change things. In the absence of this sadly DWP related issues and problems are going to get worse.

What is needed is for the opposition instead of concentrating about the ‘world of work’ they need to also concentrate and campaign on behalf of those unable to work.

Something has to happen and soon. With energy bills set to rise again in April and people already struggling I fear that thousands will die as a result of being cold and hungry.

It’s impossible to budget money when you have none in the first place

The conservative government has blood on their hands and they’ll never be able to wash it away.

A massive thank you to everyone that subscribes, reads and shares my articles. This makes a massive difference and it raises awareness.

This week was the first aniversary of my sons death. I’ve found it very hard to cope with but I’m still here.

Thank you to Benefits And Work for uncovering this story and for the hard work that they do.

I don’t receive any payment for my work and to say it’s a struggle is massive understatement. I’m reliant upon donations to continue to blog and campaign.

If anyone would like to donate and can afford to there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has helped me. You’ve literally kept this going and I’m eternally grateful.

DWP Secret Survey To Blame Claimants For Living In Poverty.

It comes as no surprise to hear that the DWP are up to their old tricks again. Thanks to Benefits And Work for uncovering the details of a secret survey that is being carried out by the DWP. Rather than being a positive thing the DWP have decided to use this opportunity to further blame claimants for living in poverty. Whilst not putting the blame where it should go which would be the DWP and the government.

According to Benefits And Work the survey is being carried out by one of the UK’s leading polling companies on behalf of the DWP under the pretence of helping the DWP to better understand people’s financial situation and what support they may need.
The online survey asks a number of questions about claimants being in debt and kind of debts claimants have. It also questions what effect these debts have had on them and their daily lives.



This is the question that stands out from the rest. ‘What types of help or support, if any, would be most useful in helping you manage your finances?’ And to the unknowing bystander it looks fairly reasonable except it isn’t.

The list of survey answer options includes:

Help with working out what money they have left to spend each/day/week/month.Advice on how to manage spending so they don’t run out of money
Advice on how to reduce their spending
Advice on how to reduce their debts


What is missing completely are the very reasons why claimants are in debt in the first place. No mention is given as to the the real reasons why a person might find themselves forced into poverty and are then unable to live a debt free life.

As it stands the amount of social security payments are way below the rate of inflation and haven’t been increased as such, ignoring the facts that food and energy costs have already increased. Energy costs are also set to increase again in April. This will leave claimants unable to make a choice between heating and eating because they’ll be unable to do either. at a rate


The 5 week waiting time for Universal Credit claims to be processed immediately throws claimants into debt. Some can argue that claimants can apply for a loan to cover this whilst ignoring the fact that it doesn’t cover it and the loan has to be paid back. According to the DWP this loan has to go towards paying your rent costs which results in having no money for heating or eating.

It’s also pretty fair to say that hardly any claimants receive their full payment amounts due to the DWP and related organisations garnishing payments for debts such as social security debts, council tax and television licence debts and other related debts. It’s extremely hard, near impossible for claimants to reduce the amount of money garnished each week or month leaving them with much reduced payments in the first place.


There is also no option for questioning the extremely long delays for PIP assessments and WCAs. These long waiting periods throw disabled people into a never ending circle of debt and distress. They are entitled to these payments which go towards them being able to cover the hidden costs that disabled people face every day. Instead the government would rather not help them and instead choose to make their lives as difficult as possible.


With the absence of these answers the survey will no doubt give results saying that claimants who are in debt need to be able to manage their money more resulting them to be referred for budgeting advice. It’s impossible to budget more when claimants aren’t receiving enough social security payments to help them to survive. A caring government would rise payments in line with inflation because it’s the right thing to do.

As it stands this survey will allow the DWP to make the assertion some claimants are unable to eat or heat because they are failing to budget correctly, therefore fuelling the DWP and governments rhetoric that claimants are to blame for their own poverty.

This is very concerning because going off the DWPs track record they’ll share this survey as quickly as possible, after all theres nothing they like more than to punish claimants for reasons that are out of their control.

Benefits And Work have made a Freedom of Information request to find out when and if this report is going to be published.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Solidarity and support to Disabled People Against The Cuts. You can join them here at https:manchesterdpac.com

Many thanks to Benefits And work for highlighting this story and for all of the hard work that they do to help others.

For last weeks report Thousands Cold And Hungry This Winter. Also my previous report about increased benefit sanctions DWP Sanctions Set To Rise Dramatically.

A huge thank you to everyone that likes, shares, supports and reads my blog. I really couldn’t do this without you xxx.

This Monday coming is the anniversary of my son’s death, the night that he took his last breaths leaving a gaping hole where he once was. I miss him everyday and to be honest I’m still wondering how I’ve coped with his loss for this past year.

I’m hoping to be able to visit his memorial (funds allowing) and to (if I’m ready) to scatter some of his ashes at Hartshead Pike one of his favourite places.

Whilst they were unable to find a cause of death we can still remember him. He will always be in our hearts and memories until we meet again.

Solidarity to love to the Ukraine and Palestine.

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I don’t receive any payments for any of the work that I do, nor do I receive any payments for my campaign.

If you would like to donate to keep both going and can afford to do so there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you!

Thousands Cold And Hungry This Winter.

Being poor in winter has always been a costly time of year but this year we are reminded of how many more people find themselves in this position.

I’ve said it before and will say it again because the choice between heating or eating is one that thousands are having to make this year, many not having the finances to do either. As we are already faced with increased energy prices, the upcoming price rises in April will make it a cost too high for thousands.

Imagine being priced out of being able to have the necessities to keep warm and to cook food and suchlike. I envisage thousands more people living in houses without access to gas and electric, sitting around a burning candle wishing for money to put on the meter.

It’s very reminiscent of life in victorian England, the poor suffering more than ever whilst the government totally ignores the needs of its most vulnerable citizens. Whilst we don’t have physical workhouses we have digital ones that people have to comply with at all times or risk their social security being stopped. I can bet they’ve spoken about bringing back the old workhouses though.

To give some context to this over the past month its cost me £75 to keep my house warm and £70 to keep the electric on and to enable the heating to work. This is far more expensive than this time last year and I can’t afford to do it anymore. As we approach April it really will be a cost too high for me.

I’m not alone though, thousands are in the same position as I am, struggling to get by, having sleepless nights worrying about how on earth they’re going to provide warmth and electricity for their children.

Make no mistake whilst we are struggling to get by the Tory government is virtually laughing at us, placing the blame for our poverty, for our disabilities and for our low wages firmly on our feet saying that it’s all our fault.

The government talk about aspiration yet they give us nothing to aspire to, it’s hard to do so when you’re hungry and cold.

The reality is that we have a government that was born more privileged thank you or I, they attended private schools and had the best education and healthcare than the average person will ever have. They don’t know or care to know about how life is like for the working class. They’ll never care about us or even think about us after all we are just a number to them, a commodity that can be bought and sold at their whim. When we aren’t of any use to them they discard us like yesterdays newspaper making life extremely hard, subjecting the most vulnerable to countless medical assessments and compliance meetings.

Life shouldn’t be like this, We need to continue protesting, reminding the tory government that they have no right to be treating us like this.

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels.com

I apologise for this weeks blog, I’m ranting I know but it’s how I feel and it needs to be said.

A huge thank you to everyone that likes, shares, reads and tweets my blog. Every share makes a massive difference and it raises awareness.

I receive no funding for my blog and campaign. If you would like to donate and can afford to theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!]

DWP Sanctions Set To Rise Dramatically.

Universal credit claimants are going to be introduced to the DWPs new ‘Way To Work’ scheme in the very near future. The conditions for this new job searching programme will be that claimants will only be allowed to look for work in their own field of expertise cut back to one month. After one month claimants will be forced to look for any kind of job. going to have the time they can look for any Jon including work that they’re not qualified to do.

The DWPs new scheme has been introduced because the government has decided to force half a million people into work of any kind by June. Rather conveniently ignoring the fact that employers won’t just allow anyone to do any job without the relevant qualifications and work experience.

The new Way To Work scheme will apply to people that are declared fit for work and are classed as ready to work.

Instead the blame will fall upon already stressed claimants who don’t comply with the new Way To Work regime. If they refuse to look for work that they aren’t qualified for they will face having their universal credit payments sanctioned. Claimants will be forced to adhere to the new terms and conditions upon making their first claim for universal credit.

Whilst the DWP are in the mood for harassing claimants they’re threatening to ramp up the threat of sanctions. Unsurprisingly at the same time they’re refusing to publish a report which they created in 2019 into the effectiveness of sanctions.
In true DWP fashion they’ve changed their mind about publishing the report because they regard it to be of a “sensitive nature”.
Regardless of wether they publish the report or not there is a hell of a lot of information out there, published by other organisations and agencies that prove that sanctioning claimants only has a detrimental effect upon claimants and their families.



Sanctioning claimants ensures that a person will dive even further into poverty, their health will get worse. Many are left without the ability to buy food, heat their homes and pay their rent. I’ve been writing about this for years now, if you scroll down you’ll see my posts.

Given that the number of UC claimants carrying sanctions has already rose tenfold between June and November 2021, it is extremely worrying about about how many more claimants will face sanctions and how will they cope combined with the massive cost of living crisis that is already forcing people to make the choice between eating, heating or neither.

The truth is this. Sanctioning people and taking away a persons only means of financial support is yet another way that the government and the DWP punish people for being poor, blaming them for their own poverty and ensuring that they’ll have to agree with anything that the DWP tells them to do.

Sanctions also ensure that a person that has been sanctioned won’t have the energy to fight back because they’re either scared of what can happen or are too hungry, tired and worried to think about anything else.

Sadly I suspect that the DWP could also sanction people that have failed to get employment with an employer outside of their field of expertise. Will they blame the innocent claimant for not getting the job? Judging from previous experience you can bet that they could well do this.

The new ‘Way to work’ scheme won’t be welcomed by many employers either. Jobs often require qualifications and experience, sending everyone to apply for all jobs could deter employers from advertising jobs with the DWP. It’ll result in a lot of extra work trying to find suitable prospective employees through masses of applications.

It’s the perfect Tory recipe to shut up the voices of the working class, making them too scared to do anything to upset their overseers (DWP).


This isn’t surprising though, its a tried and tested tory tactic, switching the blame for any financial mess that the government has created upon those that are the poorest. They choose to take the blame away from themselves especially when they’ve been behaving shockingly. It’s impossible to forget the newspaper headline quoting people claiming social security of being benefit scroungers and also the numerous poverty porn tv programmes on channel 5.

The stigma of being poor and forced to claim social security hasn’t gone away, it’s alive and kicking online in local Facebook groups and on the streets. We need to continue to call out Boris Johnson and his cronies for exactly what they are lying scum and they’ll never have the publics best interests at heart.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/benefit-sanctions-statistics-to-october-2021-experimental/benefit-sanctions-statistics-to-october-2021-experimental

I know how awful it is to be targeted by the DWP and a very judgemental and unhelpful DWP advisor, I know how worrying it is to be threatened with a benefit section. Thousands of people have suffered as a result of this unnecessary sanctioning system. Sanctions don’t help people to look for work and like I’ve stated above they have a very detrimental affect upon a persons wellbeing.

Solidarity with everyone forced to undergo the cruel DWP regime.

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A huge thank you to everyone that reads and shares my blog posts. It really makes a massive difference and it raises awareness which is desperately right now.

A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog and campaign.

If you would like to get some support and solidarity I thoroughly recommend going Disabled People Against The Cuts (DPAC). They are a national voluntary run organisation. Here’s the link to the Greater `Manchester branch https:\\manchesterdpac.com

How am I? To be honest I’m struggling at the moment like many of you are. Being forced to sit in a cold house isn’t my idea of living. I put the heating on for my daughter and that’s it, and its not all the time. I’m dreading the energy price increases in April.

I’m not paid by anyone to do the work that I do and I would like to be able to continue to do so.

If you can afford to donate to help keep this going theres a PayPal button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has r dos support my blog and campaign, I really couldn’t do it without you.

I’m sorry.

I have to apologise for the lack of a blog post this week. I woke up on Thursday morning feeling ill. This lasted a couple of days and today I woke up with a migraine.

I know that I should have published a blog this week but I wasn’t physically capable of doing so and I will catch up with my blog in the next few days.

As many of you will understand it’s virtually impossible to do much whilst having a migraine, theyre bloody awful.

I will be publishing a blog post about the cost of living crisis etc this week. Like you I’ve been very worried about how on earth I’ll manage once April arrives.

Lot’s of love and solidarity to you xx.

Rising Energy Prices. Deliberate Conscious Cruelty For The Poorest.

This week has been brutal for the poorest and most vulnerable.

Last night Conservative MPs voted to hand bankers a tax cut worth £1,000,000,000 each year whilst at the same time they’re pushing ahead with their National Insurance tax hike on workers.

Meanwhile the energy price cap rise has been announced today at 11am, revealing a massive bills hike for around 22million households from the start of April, with the government saying that they will offer people that pay for their energy by bills £200 towards the cost of this. This won’t cover the price increase by any means and nor have they addressed people that use pre payment meters.

The predicted energy price costs are set to increase by £708 a year from £1,309 to £2.017 for those dependent upon pre-paid energy meters. For those paying by bills its set to rise by £693 a year to £1.971.

The apparent cause for this according to the energy regulator Ofgem is a record increase in global gas prices.

Where does this leave us? Millions of people including disabled and elderly people will be put in an unattainable situation. Can they afford to heat and eat? As from April the answer will be no to both for millions. Energy prices have already risen and already millions already can’t afford to pay this.

To cook food it requires the use of energy which will from April which will almost be tripled in price.. Will they be able to put their heating on for a hour in the morning and evening to warm up a little? I doubt it.

For the last ten years millions of people have been reliant upon food parcels to survive. The reasons for this vary from being sanctioned by the DWP, having to wait five weeks for their first universal credit payment and not earning enough money to pay the rent, bills and suchlike. This already leaves many living in destitution. A knock off effect of these price increases will most likely result in a decrease of food donations because people will no longer be able to afford to donate.

Not only will the energy price rises cause great distress I have no doubt that it will cause the death of thousands. Not being able to afford to eat any food of a decent nutritional value will cause illness combined with living in a cold house with no heating will exacerbate this.

Not only is this insulting its a deliberate conscience choice. As usual the poorest are being hit the hardest, like my MP Angela Rayner said ‘Don’t believe their lies about levelling up they’re busy punching down.’ They could have made the choice to make gas providers such as Shell oil pay higher taxes, nor have they offered to increase social security payments to help people pay these costs.

This is the highest increase of energy prices that have ever been recorded. Instead of helping the poorest and most vulnerable, they’ve chosen not to. It’s conscious, deliberate cruelty which will result in suffering and deaths.

I’m furious even though I was expecting this. Like many I live in poverty dependent upon foodbanks and cheap food. Whilst I was planning my sons funeral last year Boris Johnson and co were ignoring the quarantine rules and having a jolly good time. I was trying to work out who could attend his funeral. We were abiding by the rules for the safety of others.

My financial situation now leaves me unable to visit his memorial at the cemetery to pay my respects. This feels like a massive kick in the teeth. Not only could my son not be able to have all of his friends attend his funeral, I now can’t afford to pay my respects.

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Please read, share and tweet my blog. This makes a massive difference and it really does help to raise awareness.

If you can afford to and would like to donate towards my blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. I receive no payment for any of the work that I do and I’m dependent upon donations to continue.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign.

Half A Million Universal Credit Claimants Told To Find Work Within Weeks Or Face Sanctions.

Half a million Universal Credit claimants will soon be forced to apply for jobs from every sector or risk being sanctioned.

Government ministers are today announcing a new scheme to supposedly get more people into work under the pretence of helping claimants and their families. Apparently this will supposedly ‘help’ them cope with the cost of living crisis.

Government ministers are also announcing major plans today to change job searching rules to toughen up the already harsh rules about searching for work. They say it will supposedly help more people secure jobs.

“Under our new plans, jobseekers will be supported to find any job in any sector within weeks not months, putting them on the path to better jobs and progression in a career.”

This will be soul destroying for people having worked hard to gain their qualifications and work experience.


It appears that whilst the government is announcing their new job searching scheme they’ve forgotten that we are still living in a pandemic which is leaving people open to infection regardless of being vaccinated which can then put their families at risk.


Universal Credit claimants, working and not working and disabled people are already being hit the hardest with the rising cost of energy bills and taxes that are going to be introduced in April. Indeed, energy costs have already risen leaving many with having to make the terrible choice of heating or eating or neither.

It comes as no surprise that this could be the reason why the government has lowered the quarantine regulations. In their eyes everyone should be working regardless of their ability do do so.

The government also announced ‘We’re using the strength of our jobs market to tackle supply challenges and get employers the people they and the economy need’.
This will be done regardless of a persons needs therefore once again putting their ‘friends’ in business first without a thought for claimants.

Ministers are also planning more intensive face-to-face meetings for claimants which will undoubtably cause distress for claimants and will also take time away from actual job searching.

As I’ve already said in previous blog posts, finding a job isn’t as easy as the government would like you to believe.

Not everyone can apply for every job for various reasons and employers often won’t employ everyone either. There are various reasons for this ranging from the ability to undertake the work and being overqualified for the job. Not everyone has access to the internet either.

However as part of the DWPs new plans claimants will be told to look for and find a job within weeks not months. If they fail to find employment they will face being sanctioned.

There is no way that a minimum wage or zero hour job will cover the costs of living. The price of food, energy and housing is increasing every day which leaves the poorest paying the highest cost for this.

I can envision that these new rules will cause a whole new level of suffering, forcing claimants to undergo more compliance and burdening them with more pressure to find work that’s suitable for them.

Instead of challenging the minimum wage and abolishing zero hour contracts there is no way on this earth that it will benefit anyone. Instead the government and the DWP have seen the pandemic as an excuse to punish the poorest and this is unforgivable.


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How am I? Stressed as per usual. Financially I’m really struggling, this blog being my main source of income. To say that I’m struggling is an understatement.

I’m worried about the health of everyone forced to undergo this new regime and the effects of it.

So many people are already stressed, forced to live on the bare minimum but the increased threat of being sanctioned for not finding work in weeks will cause an immense amount of mental distress.

I will be there to help people as will many others, and I will continue to do this however hard it is for me.

If you would like to get some support and solidarity I can’t recommend Disabled People Against the Cuts enough. If you live in the Greater Manchester area you can find them here at https:\\manchesterdpac.com

If you would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes an enormous difference as does sharing my blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my work. I really couldn’t do it without you.

Price Of Basic Food Products Rises by 340%

Whilst we are all aware that food prices have increased dramatically over the past few years, how much is a question that I’ve been trying to answer myself. Most people that I help, including myself are struggling to feed ourselves and families. Going without three meals a day is a reality for so many. Buying enough food to make a complete, decent nutritious meal is near impossible.

To be honest I’m pretty useless at maths so you can imagine how engrossed `I was when I saw Jack Monroes tweets concerning this. Jack has been campaigning about food poverty for years, they’re not someone that’s jumped upon the bandwagon, not knowing what it’s like to go without food. Jack has experienced it also and even though their situation has improved Jack continues to help and inspire others.

Below are some tweets posted by Jack yesterday. Jack has been collecting food cost data for years now and the reality of exactly how much the price of food has increased is shocking.

In these tweets Jack reveals the true extent of food price increases and it’s not easy reading.

Supermarket pasta price increases from 29p to 79p. Rice increases from 45p to £1.
Huge price increases for basic supermarket food products.

As you can see this is exactly why buying food has become so damn hard for so many. The price of living has increased dramatically however wages for many haven’t increased nor has social security (benefit) payments. For example the £20 top up payments has been taken away from people receiving Universal Credit. No financial help was offered to disabled people leaving them in a worse position than most.

Whilst we haven’t seen a price increase for luxury meal deals and suchlike, the cost of the very basic food products that literally keep people alive have increased dramatically. This is a true example of class division and hierarchy.

Meanwhile the government and their spokespeople continue to say that food prices have increased by 5% the reality is much different.

The knock off affects of these price rises will once again hit the poorest the hardest. Donations to foodbanks will decrease because the people donating food will no longer be able to afford to do so. The ramifications for both families and people are huge. The government is literally pricing people out of being able to buy food. This needs to be addressed urgently but I very much doubt that it will be.

A huge thank you to Jack Monroe for their hard work campaigning and for supplying this data. Also thanks for giving me permission to share it.

If your’e interested in getting involves with campaigning or need support I can’t recommend DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts0 enough. It’s a fantastic network run by real people experiencing the same difficulties that you might be experiencing.

You can find them both on Facebook and Twitter. If you live in the Greater Manchester area you can join Manchester DPAC here at https:\\manchesterdpac.com

How am I? I’m really struggling at the moment. This week I had to buy some electric and gas leaving me with no money to buy food. I do know that so many of you are also in the same position as I’m in. I hate being forced to live like this.

If you like my work and campaign and can afford to theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference for both.

A made thank you to everyone that has supported and does support both my blog and campaign. I really could’t do this without you.

Where Are The Missing Long Covid PIP Claimants ?



As reported by Benefits And Work there are possibly thousands of missing Long Covid PIP claimants that appear to be missing from both the Office for National Statistics. They are also missing from the DWP latest published statistics.



New figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that 506,000 people have now had Long Covid for over a year. This number is increasing every day yet they’re missing, nowhere to be found.



247,000 Long Covid sufferers say that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities has been “limited a lot” as a result of Long Covid.



Yet according to the latest DWP statistics on Stat-Xplore record there are just 480 claims regarding Long Covid where it is the the main condition for claiming PIP. This figure has risen from 143 claims three months earlier.


However the success rate for PIP Long Covid claims has fallen from 76%, but is still high, at almost 60%.

A quarter of those who were successful in claiming PIP received the enhanced rate of both the daily living and the mobility components.



It appears that PIP claims for Long Covid do have a better than average chance of success. Despite this hundreds of thousands of people who could be making a PIP claim appear to not be doing so.


Long Covid is exhausting to live with and is likely to hinder any employment prospects. Living with Long Covid also increases everyday living costs.

The reality of having to make a choice between eating or heating, or not being able to afford either is something that Long Covid sufferers and others have to make daily.

The reason for the missing PIP claimants could be because of a distinct lack of information regarding claiming PIP for Long Covid sufferers. This is abhorrent. Everyone that is suffering from this disabling condition should be informed of their right to claim PIP to help with their everyday living costs.

Please read, share, tweet and email this blog post. Sharing makes a huge difference in raising awareness to the public.

A huge thank to Benefits And Work for providing this information. They’re amazing and work so hard.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you and your support.

For anyone that likes my blog and campaign and would like to donate towards keeping both going there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Financially I’m struggling and every penny is appreciated. Thank you.

Seriously ill claimant died after DWP forced them to leave hospital to make benefits claim.


As reported by the amazing team over at Benefits And Work a coroner has issued a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report after the DWP forced a severely ill claimant to leave hospital to make a claim, without giving him the option him to do so electronically.


Terence Talbot, who had Bipolar Affective Disorder, was at the time being detained at hospital under the Mental Health Act because he had suffered a rare reaction to the medication he had been prescribed.
This reaction had made him very vulnerable to infection and ultimately resulted in his death.


According to Benefits And Work the DWP had refused to let Mr Talbot make a claim for benefits electronically which he was entitled to do and instead insisted that he had to make the claim in person.

As a result of having to leave the hospital to make his claim Mr Talbot died in hospital.


The Coroner said in her report that the health professionals that cared for Mr Talbot had never experienced such an ill patient being forced to make a claim in person.


She went on to say “I heard from all the doctors and a senior nurse in this case who have a considerable experience across a range of specialties and across several different NHS Trusts. They have never experienced nor heard of a case where a severely ill inpatient was required by the Department of Work and Pensions to leave hospital to attend its offices in person to make a claim for welfare benefits.”


The secretary of state for Work and Pensions has until 28 January to tell the Coroner how the DWP will make sure that nothing like this happens again.

Don’t depend on this changing anything though. The DWP has a very long record of making promises that they have no intention of keeping. It isn’t important to them, nor is the welfare of claimants important as well. Sadly I expect that they won’t ‘learn’ from Mr Talbots death, instead they’ll file it away to be forgotten.

For a long time now the government has regarded claimants as stock, ready to be used and neglected at their whim. Once a claimant isn’t able to be of use for the DWP and government they more or less wipe their hands of them, making life extremely hard forcing them to complete impossible tasks.

This then results in deaths such as Mr Talbots and thousands more like him.

Sue Jones over on Twitter explains it perfectly.

I’d like to say that this isn’t true but it is. They regard people with disabilities and illnesses with such disdain and hate that many find it impossible to continue. Many refuse to make a claim for benefits because they’re too scared of doing so. Indeed, many of the people that I help and have helped have been in this position. Judged by society for being disabled or ill and then treated with cruelty by the DWP.

There is a desperate need for change in how the DWP and society views people that claim benefits and also how they treat people with disabilities. This won’t happen whilst the Conservative government is in power, but we can continue to put pressure upon them by sharing campaigns and blogs like mine. It makes a massive difference.

My thoughts and prayers go to Mr Talbot, his family and everyone that has died as a result of cruel decisions made by the DWP and their representatives.

A huge thank you once again to Benefits And Work for sharing this and for all of their hard work. You can find them here https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

How am I? Struggling this week as usual. Like so many of you I’ve had to make the choice between heating and eating. Truth be told like you I can’t afford to do either but I have to make sure my daughters wellbeing comes first.

If you are interested in getting involved with campaigning or need support I can’t recommend DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) enough. It’s a fantastic network run by real people experiencing the same difficulties as you might be. You can find them on their Facebook page and Twitter.

If you live in the Greater Manchester area you can join Manchester DPAC here https:\\manchesterdpac.com

If you like my work and campaign and can afford to would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference for both. I have to pay my internet bill tomorrow and I’m really struggling to do so.

Thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. You have all kept me going through the extremely bad past year. We are all still struggling with my sons death, he leaves a massive hole in our hearts that can’t be filled.

Happy New Year.

This year has certainly been a challenge for so many of us.

Food poverty has become the new norm as has fuel poverty and substandard housing. Living in poverty is kind of expected for the working class, especially by the government and suchlike.

The truth is that we shouldn’t be forced to live this way, constantly scratching around to try and make a meal out of the remnants of a food parcel. It’s not as if the government will do anything to rectify this after all the working class should know their place.

Despite this the past year has been also been a challenge for many other reasons. My son died very unexpectedly and suddenly this year leaving me to pick up the pieces whilst trying to support my daughters. Everything appeared to go wrong for me and personally I can’t wait until this year is over.

When I say that loosing my son broke me it’s an understatement. Some days I wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world.

I really don’t know how I’ve got through this but I did and I’m very grateful that I did. .

We’ve lost so many people due to Covid 19 and illness this past year. Whilst you won’t hear the government talking about this we must continue to remember them.

Financially we are all feeling the pinch in one way or another. I’ve found it a massive struggle getting from day to day whilst trying to make things appear normal for my youngest daughter that still lives at home. I know that you also feel the same way, it’s tiring, exhausting sometimes.

So many of us have become ill this past year, I’m still battling Long Covid and some days I’m exhausted, but carry on we must because we have no choice.

Whilst I haven’t got a magic wand to make everything better for you god knows I want one, what I can say is that we will continue to support each other in whatever way that we can do. I’ll be continuing to blog and campaigning

If you haven’t celebrated Christmas and have no plans to celebrate the start of a new year you’re not alone. I haven’t and I won’t either. Don’t let anyone pressurise you into doing something that you don’t want to do or aren’t comfortable doing. You do you it’s so important to do this.

I would like to thank everyone that has read, shared and supported my blog and campaign this past year. I really couldn’t do this without you, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to cope with the death of my son without your support.

Talking about support DPAC (Disabled People Against The Cuts) is a fantastic support and campaigning network that’s well worth joining. I’ve been campaigning alongside them for many years now and I can attest to how amazing they are.

If you live in the Greater Manchester area you can join Manchester DPAC here https:\\manchesterdpac.com

If you are unemployed and would like to join a trade union head over to https:\\join.unitetheunion.org They also do amazing work and they offer legal advice etc. There is a small cost to join but if you can I can’t recommend it enough.

Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com

I don’t receive any funding or payment for any of the work that I do. If you like my work and 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.

Long foodbank queues on Christmas Eve.

A friend of mine that volunteers at a foodbank has just sent me the below images. They asked if their anonymity is kept and of course I’m respecting this.

The photos were taken as they were arriving for their shift at the food bank. It wasn’t open for some time, but the queue was already massive, people arriving early to make sure that they’d get some food.

As you can see the queue consisted of People, all differing in their needs. What can’t be missed is the people using wheelchairs queueing for food parcels.on Christmas Eve.

Also in the queue are elderly people and families with children.

You don’t need me to tell you that this shouldn’t be happening , it’s heartbreaking.

You can always find the measure of a country by seeing how they look after the poor, young, elderly and disabled.

The conservative government is blatantly failing on this front. As a country we can’t be proud of this either.

Being proud of a country is about being proud of what it actually does right, and how it treats those in need. It’s not about waving flags and singing the national anthem.

We can however also look back on history and also be ashamed for the very same reasons. Ignoring the fact that the UK government is causing direct harm to people won’t make it go away.

Whilst the government has been focusing on ridiculous things like blue passports people are dying, thousands are becoming homeless and many are becoming ill from poverty related illnesses.

Meanwhile the public are bombarded with images of the royal family having a lovely Christmas, the people queuing at this foodbank and others won’t be able to celebrate.

Its simply not acceptable.

I messaged the volunteer that took the below images and this is what they said

It felt like a slap in the face for them too. It’s a reminder of their privilege. Because despite having their own difficulties they can sit in a warm house, with food, having just wrapped presents for their family.

They went on to say that it makes them angry and sad that this is happening, that they wished that they could do more to help. There’s more that many could do, so let’s do it.

Helping others doesn’t have to cost a penny. A kind word, saying hello in the street makes the world of difference to someone that lives alone and hasn’t spoken to anyone for a long time.

Being a friend costs nothing also, sharing what you no longer need doesn’t either. Of course I realise that many people have nothing to give to someone else.

Let’s spend the festive period and the coming year to be kind and thoughtful towards each other. We need to do this because the government won’t ever care about you.

Faces and building names covered out of respect for the people queuing.
No one should be forced to literally beg for food on Christmas Eve.

Please read, share, tweet and email this blog post. This makes a massive difference and it raises lots of awareness. Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone that has and is supporting my blog and campaign. I really appreciate it and I couldn’t do this without your support.

If anyone would like to donate there’s a donat button at the top and side of this blog post.

Poverty doesn’t end at Christmas

Dear subscribers and guests it’s been a tough year for so many of us, I know it, I feel it.

This year was probably the worst one of my whole life. My son was tragically taken away from me mid pandemic. It hurts more than anything else that I’ve experienced.

Whilst we were abiding to the social distancing rules, the Tory government were busy partying and carrying on as if nothing had happened.

This was a case of we’ll do whatever we want sod the public. They don’t care about us. My son had to have a very reduced socially distanced funeral whilst they were enjoying life.

To be honest this is a perfect example of how they treat us. They never spare a thought for us so don’t expect them to either.

Christmas is a tough time for so many reasons wether it be for financial reasons or bereavement. I’m with you, I feel it.

I haven’t put a Christmas tree up this year. My daughter and I decided that it doesn’t feel right so we put some extra lights on his memorial table.

So much pressure is put on society to have the big tree, the decorations and lots of good food. The truth is that so many of us can’t afford to buy the big tree, pay for the electric to light the Christmas lights and affording a big meal with all the trimmings is near impossible.

Poverty doesn’t end at Christmas, if anything it’s amplified for reasons that I’ve already stated.

You do Christmas how you want to do it. Try and ignore the pressure to comply to what everyone expects. If you want to turn the TV off and read a book instead then do it.

If you want to spend Christmas day doing nothing then do it. Be kind to yourself.

I used to put so much pressure upon myself to get everything right for others to see. Loosing my son has made me realise that none of this really matters.

Like many of you I’m going to find Christmas tough, but I will get through it.

So many families are going to be going without the Christmas that they were used to. The pandemic has caused thousands of people to loose their jobs and it’s also resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

Thousands of families and individuals are newly dependant upon foodbanks to keep them going. It’s not easy asking for help and the food isn’t the best. Hopefully one day it will get better.

How do you explain to your children that Father Christmas can’t come this year? It’s heartbreaking.

What we can do is be there for each other, talk to friends on social media, text or face to face (socially distanced of course).

We will get through this. Lots of love to you all.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. This makes a massive difference and it raises so much awareness.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports and has supported my blog this year. I really couldn’t do it without you.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say it’s tough is an understatement.

For anyone that would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

DWP surveillance. A step too far.

It has always been known that the DWP (Department Of Work And Pensions) surveil benefit claimants who are suspected of committing fraud. This is often based upon their opinion and reports made by members of the public, but how in depth their surveillance is was previously unknown.

In 2019 the DWP published their two part staff guide on conducting fraud investigations. Thanks to Privacy International who went through the 995 pages of the report to help people understand how these investigations happen and how the DWP is surveilling claimants suspected of fraud.

Here are some of their findings.

They found that the DWP do conduct physical surveillance of benefit claimants.

The DWP can ask private companies such as Paypal, supermarkets etc to hand over any data that they might have on benefit claimants to them.

Not surprisingly, because we have all seen the tabloid newspapers reporting stories focussing on benefit cheats and clamping down on them. This is because the DWP actively works with tabloid newspapers to share this narrative, which then creates a hostile environment that legitimises this narrative and creates a constant fear for vulnerable claimants.

The DWP are only authorised to conduct directed surveillance. and are entitled to surveil claimants in order to obtain information without contacting the claimant involved first.

How do they do this?

The DWP can claim papers, handwriting and departmental system prints.

Interviewing witnesses and obtaining witness statements.

Interviewing claimants under caution.

Intelligence gathering.

The DWP guidance states that they can examine mobile phones and tablets because of the amount of information that’s stored on these devices.

DWP officers are encouraged to approach third parties to get information.

On page 316 of part of one, the guide reads: “The Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act (CPIA) Code Of Practice (COP) makes it clear that to establish the facts about an offence you can question any person, whether suspected or not, who you think might have useful information. If a person, including a third party, has useful information you should ask for it.”

So basically a claimant is guilty before being found innocent.

The guide contains some instructions as to how DWP officers should go about approaching third parties. These instructions include that they have to be clear that they are from the DWP if they are questioned, they should also remember that the person they are investigating may be innocent. They are told to not reveal the source of the suspicion, remembering that the third party may also be involved in suspected fraud.

The guide quotes Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which is the right to respect for one’s private and family life. It is quoted on page 316 of the report and is immediately followed by an explanation on the specific circumstances in which the DWP may legitimately interfere with it.

“If DWP are to interfere with this Convention right it must be proven that all other avenues to obtain the evidence have been explored. However, in a case, which consists of various circumstantial evidence, it may only be possible to bolster the evidence to the criminal standard by providing evidence from third parties. Additional justification may be on the grounds that it would prevent or detect a crime”

Physical surveillance is also used by physically watching an individual and also using CCTV footage that can be obtained by the DWP without requiring PIPA authorisation.

The surveillance team can gather photo and video evidence.

The DWP also encouraged to use open source information such as social media, internet use, internet chat rooms, forums and websites to gain information regarding benefit fraud.

DWP officers are advised to cautious about gaining information in this way. They are told that they still need to give a claimant some expectation of privacy regardless that this very act takes away a persons privacy. This in turn causes distress for the claimant that they’re investigating.

The following advice is given: “If officers consider that there is a need to view material over a protracted period of time to accumulate private information or monitor the individuals activities, i.e. anything thing more than twice, then they should be considering an authorisation under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), as repeat viewing may constitute directed surveillance. There is a professional responsibility for individuals to ask themselves why they want to look at the material, and what they will do with the information. Single use open source will generally not amount to directed surveillance but expectation of privacy still needs to be considered.” [part two, page 80].

The DWP uses this information to;

Obtain information about a claimants activities

Obtain information to be used in a future interview

To observe a claimants movements or work pattern

To establish where a claimant lives

To obtain evidence for a possible court case.

How does this affect disabled people?

The DWP assesses if someone claiming disability benefits is disabled. They often use physical surveillance to do so. They can also use a claimants social media to assess their mental capacity too.

They do this without any medical qualifications and often without any knowledge of a persons disability and how it affects them.

The DWP are supposed to take psychological distress component into consideration whilst at the same time not describing how to do this, thus not taking it into consideration at all.

The DWP have always used used surveillance to check upon a persons relationship and to see who a claimant lives with to see if they’re claiming the correct benefits. The DWP reminds their employees that living together as a married couple is not in itself an offence whilst at the same time financially punishing them for doing so.

The DWP also has the authority to contact third party organisations such as

  • banks (including credit unions),
  • credit providers,
  • insurers,
  • credit reference agencies,
  • money transfer companies,
  • water and sewerage undertaker or authority,
  • gas and electricity providers,
  • telecommunications services,
  • educational establishment or institutions,
  • The Student Loans Company.
  • banks (including credit unions),
  • credit providers,
  • insurers,
  • credit reference agencies,
  • money transfer companies,
  • water and sewerage undertaker or authority,
  • gas and electricity providers,
  • telecommunications services,
  • educational establishment or institutions,
  • The Student Loans Company.
  • Airlines, which can hand over names of passengers and dates of travel (EasyJet is listed separately, as it falls under the “abroad fraud desk”. They can hand over passenger and booking information)
  • Bingo clubs, which can hand over membership details
  • The BBC, which can hand over TV licence holder name, method of payment and date of expiry
  • Sky, which can hand over Sky Broadband and Sky Talk subscriber details
  • Estate agents, who can hand over owner details, purchaser details, price, dates, method of payment and lettings
  • Golf clubs, gyms, leisure facilities and sports club, which can hand over membership details and activities undertaken
  • Harbour masters, who can hand over details about boat-ownership, boat-movements, dates and berthing fees
  • Legal Aid Board, which can hand over details of Legal Aid claims.
  • National Health Service Counter Fraud, which can hand over GP registration and checks of medical cards
  • National Health Service Trusts, which can hand over next of kin details and declared addresses
  • National Health Service Trusts & Hospitals, which can hand over details of admission and discharge and registration documents
  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Services, which can hand over university details and college placements

The DWP also have singled out PayPal as an organisation that is willing to provide information in response to a standard data protection letter but only if they say that the information is requested for law enforcement purposes.

The DWP also relies upon credit reference agencies for their investigations regardless of the fact that people being investigated are more likely to be in debt and have a poor credit rating. Regardless of this it’s yet another avenue for the DWP to exploit.

This is an extraordinary abuse of power given to the DWP too often target innocent people. Benefit fraud levels are 3.6% of benefit expenditure whilst many claimants are being underpaid by the DWP due to error.

Whilst claiming any type of benefit from the DWP a person also waves goodbye to the right to privacy that they should be entitled to. I’ve seen DWP officers check a claimants social media before their appointment, thus unbeknown to the claimant they’ve lost a part of their privacy.

If this was happening to a person not claiming benefits they’d quite rightly be an uproar about it. For this to happen to a claimant it’s regarded as being ok. None of this is ok and we must continue to oppose the shocking treatment of benefit claimants.

If you have a social media account make sure that it’s set to friends only. Check any friend requests first and be wary that some so called DWP help groups are used to survey people.

Thanks given to @mrfrankzola over on Twitter for sharing this information and making me aware of this report. Also thanks given to eerie.org for their hard work producing this report.

Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

This Monday was the funeral of my dear friend Karl who was also a member of my group Tameside Against The Cuts. Karl provided lots of hot drinks, lifts for claimants needing help and much needed support on our weekly demos. He was a wonderful person with a very kind heart, he will be sadly missed.

If you live in the Greater Manchester area and you are disabled please join Manchester DPAC where you will find support, solidarity and the option of joining in any activities that they are doing. You’ll find them over at https:\\manchesterdpac.com

If you are unemployed and would like to join a trade union head over to https:\\join.unitetheunion.org

Please can you read, share, tweet, email my blog and this post. Sharing helps enormously to raise awareness and it actually helps people.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and it’s a struggle. If you would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going there’s a donation button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign, You have literally kept me going through this very tough year and the loss of my son. I’m not sure if I can celebrate Christmas this year.

I will be blogging next week and hopefully it will be a festive version.