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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The DWP are rather unsurprisingly refusing Benefits and Works request to see a copy of a report undertaken that looks at 120 claimants’ experiences of receiving PIP, ESA and Universal Credit. Benefits And Work have now appealed to the Information Commissioner but this process could take many months which gives the DWP chance to find more reasons not to release the contents of the report.
The DWP have also declined to let the work and pensions committee see a copy of the report, even under conditions of complete confidentiality which leaves many to ask why this is happening and what are they trying to hide.
Benefits And Work have however viewed documents which show that either the report interviewees were knowingly misled about the research being published. It could be the case that the Secretary of state was being dishonest when she told MPs “Publication decisions are always taken upon completion of research.”
Rather interestingly Disability News Service have been contacted by a whistleblower that told them that they had been shown the first draft of the report and the DWP had ordered the authors to reduce the number of references to “unmet needs” and to delete some of its analysis.
So even the diluted final version of the report is apparently too scandalous to see the light of day.
The government have also recently published a Green Paper in order to consult on ‘how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future’.
It’s debatable if they will actually take note of the needs of disabled people and to treat them fairly. They haven’t so far and I’m not expecting them to either.
It is also rumoured that the government might propose to reduce financial support to some disabled claimants in their forthcoming white paper. Taking this into account it makes sense for them that they don’t want evidence published that shows that there is already a high level of unmet needs.
Watch this space I will report on any future updates concerning this.
From years of past experience we know that the DWP don’t put the needs of disabled people first or even anywhere. Their target is to force people into work regardless of them actually being able to do so.
In the past I’ve seen disabled people forced onto Universal Credit by deception and then forced onto DWP courses with the aim of getting them ‘ready’ for work.
Remember that claimants are still forced to undertake unpaid ‘voluntary’ work which is unfair to say the least and can cause distress too many.
We can’t let the government and the DWP get away with ignoring report requests and also implementing rules that are at best cruel.
We need to remember that the government and the DWP are masters of deception and we must continue to see past their lies. There’s more of us than there are of them and I alongside others will continue to hold them accountable for their actions.
If you live in the Greater Manchester area and would like to get involved please join Manchester DPAC over at https:\\manchesterdpac.com You will find likeminded people and you will be given opportunities to join in activities.
Unite Community is a trade union organisation specifically created for people that aren’t working. It’s well worth joining however there is a small payment to join. You can find them over at https:\\join.unitetheunion.org
A huge thank you to Benefits And Work for sharing this information and for the hard work that they do.
My sincere apologies for the delay with this weeks blog post. I was unwell due to a migraine and was unable to concentrate on much.
How am I? Not brilliant to be honest. One of my dearest friends recently died and I’m mentally preparing for his funeral.
As you will realise Christmas is quickly approaching and we must be aware that so many of us aren’t going to be able to celebrate Christmas for either financial or other reasons. It’s a distressing time for many and we must keep that in mind.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog and campaign. You have all kept me going when I was at my lowest especially when my son died. I’m amongst the many that won’t be celebrating Christmas this year.
For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!
The impact of fuel poverty in 2021 is severe and all encompassing. With the cost of gas and electric rising dramatically this year it leaves thousands unable to even make the choice between heating and eating because they can afford neither.
The reduction in Universal Credit payments and benefit levels not rising enough with inflation leaves thousands in despair, living in cold and often dark housing. Poor households being hit by a “double whammy” of energy price increases and benefit cuts at the same time.
We’ve got a saying here in the north west of England, a saying that Peter Kay made famous, but it’s one that many of us say every day. ‘Turn the big light off’ and also ‘Shut the door you’re letting the cold in’. Whilst these were said in jest, many a joke comes from the harsh reality of life.
Thousands of parents, working and not working will be worrying about how they’ll feed their children and keep them warm, when they shouldn’t have to make that choice at all.
On top of this stay at home rules caused by the pandemic have cost some households at least an extra £45 per month more in increased heating and electricity bills. I say at least because this cost will now increase because of energy cost increases. This means that the numbers of people, many not previously in fuel poverty are forced to make the stark choice between heating and eating.
Recently, Citizens Advice estimated that an extra 600,000 households had fallen into fuel poverty due to previous lockdowns and separate figures also show millions of people are already way behind on their fuel bills.
An additional concern is that fuel poverty can make respiratory illnesses worse meaning conditions such as Covid and long term health conditions are exacerbated by being forced to live in cold damp homes. This is a concern that disabled and ill people have had for a long time now, but the government are refusing to even address this, let alone help.
While the long term solution to ending fuel poverty is more energy efficient buildings and programmes such as the Government’s Green Homes Grant will help to facilitate this, there is a real urgent need for immediate energy debt relief for millions of families immediately.
Whilst we are made aware of the amount of people that have died as a result of Covid 19, the public are rarely kept informed about the excess winter deaths in England and Wales .
Since 2000, excess winter deaths in England and Wales had remained generally at around 25,000. It is estimated that around 10% of these deaths were caused directly by fuel poverty. This is a large amount of people dying as a result of being cold which I fear will become much higher due to the recent energy price increases.
To give you an example my electric is now costing me £90 a month compared to the previous cost being approximately £50, and my gas charges have risen to at least £100 compared to approximately £60. I, like so many others try to keep costs down as much as possible.
Please read my previous blog detailing my energy saving techniques.
To add to this, most people living in fuel poverty are dependant upon pay as you go energy due to previous energy debts, or having the meters already being in their home and are unable to change them.
Paying back energy debt on pre paid meters is incredibly expensive even before the price rises. Those in this position will no longer be able to afford to heat their homes because the price is too high. Once your credit has gone, its gone leaving people forced to live in cold homes,
In an idea world, the government would have stepped in to challenge the price increases and to also help the public to cope with the cost increases.
Meanwhile the prime ministers has parties in number 10 ignoring the quarantine rules and carry on as though nothing has happened and nothing has changed. One rule for them and another for us as par the norm.
If you live in the Greater Manchester area and you’d like to get involved please join https:\\manchesterdpac.com You will find likeminded people and will be given opportunities to join in activities that they are doing.
Unite Community is a trade union organisation created for those that aren’t working. It’s well worth joining however there is a small payment to join. They offer help, advice and even training. You can join them over at http:\\join.unitetheunion.org
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, likes and shares my blog posts. This not only means the word to me it also enables the truth about the reality of being poor in the UK to get out there. Every share means that awareness has been raised and people no longer feel alone.
I don’t get paid for any of the work that I do and to say its a struggle is an understatement. Yet again this week has been a tough one for me but I aim to publish at least one blog post per week.
If you’d like to support my blog and my campaign theres a PayPal donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to those that have helped, I couldn’t do this without you.
As many of you already know the DWP never miss an opportunity to sanction claimants, however it was much harder to do so whilst the country was in lockdown because of the pandemic.
The drop in Universal Credit sanctions was as a result of changes to the conditionality rules that were implemented in March 2020 because of the pandemic.
Normal service seems to have resumed sadly with the rate of Universal Credit sanctions rising 15 fold in four months according to Benefits And Work.
This all changed in April 2021 when face to face meetings returned thus causing sanctions levels to rise. This proves that the decision to sanction claimants lies firstly with Job Coaches and often is influenced by their opinion and not fact.
Theres no other reason for this when online claimant were seen to meet the expectations of their claimant commitments, yet now they apparently don’t.
Benefit sanctioning is an extremely cruel way of punishing someone for apparently not reaching the DWPs expectations. Taking away a persons financial means of survival is wrong on all levels, it’s hard enough trying to survive on the meagre amount of monies given in the first place.
I’ve blogged about benefit sanctions for many years now, and I’ve also had articles published in newspapers etc.
My opinion is this, and it will never change.
No one should be punished financially by sanctions. Sanctions do not and never have encouraged people to find work or look for work more diligently.
When a claimant is sanctioned they can only focus on keeping warm, being able to eat and how they’re going to pay their rent.
Being sanctioned and refusing to pay ESA and PIP claimants their rightful payments directly causes mental and physical distress, often leading to long term illness and depression.
Whilst quite rightly we are told to leave an abusive relationship for our own safety a person can’t leave the DWP and everything that comes with it. It’s obscene that people are treated in this manner, being guilty before being found innocent. It’s gaslighting at its worst.
Prior to the pandemic the highest sanctioning levels happened back in July 2019, when 22,566 claimants were hit with a reduction in their benefit. I have no doubt that this figure will be surpassed if it hasn’t already.
We must continue to hold the government and the DWP responsible for their actions.
Many thanks once again to Benefits And Work for their hard work for researching and gathering the data. They work extremely hard to help others.
If you want to raise awareness about these issues and more there are several ways that you can do so.
You can share blogs such as mine and likewise online of your preferred social media platform. You can also email blogs and articles like mine to MPs and other important people and influencers.
Every share, tweet, conversation etc helps to raise awareness and this is extremely important to do.
If you live in the Greater Manchester area and you’d like to get involved please join https;\\manchesterdpac.com You will find likeminded people and will be given opportunities to join in any activities that they are doing.
Unite community is another trade union organisation that is well worth joining. There is a small payment to join but you can get help and advice from them also. You can join them over at http:\\join.unitetheunion.org
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. Like I said earlier every share helps enormously.
Huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. Without you I really couldn’t do this.
How am I doing? Not good unfortunately a very good friend of mine died this week, and I’m struggling to cope with it because I’m still grieving for my son.
Financially I’m also struggling. I’m having to make the choice between heating and eating. I know that so many of you are struggling with this as well.
If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going or to help me put some electric on the meter theres a PayPal donation link at the top, side and underneath this blog post.
I am trying to update my blog more than once a week as you might have noticed this week.
Yet again the Conservative party have showed their true colours. Anyone that previously didn’t think that this dreadful excuse for a political party must surely see it now.
How low will Tory Ministers stoop? My guess is as low as they can and then some more. They do it because they can and will continue to do so because no one will stop them.
It’s classic Tory though and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that they’ve ripped up the rules to protect one of their own. It’s what they do when they get caught out and they expect every Conservative MP to do exactly as they’re told.
It also comes as no shock that they expected the Independent Commissioner to follow suit but she didn’t and sadly this has cost her her job. Their ‘reasoning’ being that they can’t see a future for her in her position.
Let’s compare this to the average person trying to get by on a day to day basis, if they decided to break a rule or even a law they’d be punished for it usually by loosing their job or in a court of law. This is what is expected when boundaries are breached.
Take for example a person claiming tax credits that fills in their details carefully and correctly. The tax credit system then decides how much their payments should be based on the details given to them.
Imagine the shock when they’re told at a later date that they’ve been paid too much and all of the overpayment will be recouped without any evidence of supposed overpayment and at a rate that would render them unable to pay their bills or indeed anything else.
Let’s also talk about the way that Universal Credit claimants are treated. From the moment of applying for Universal Credit they’re treated like criminals, without any respect and made to feel guilty for their existence. They’re also made to jump through seemingly impossible hoops to satisfy the DWP and when they complain they’re treated with disdain.
Many are sanctioned and have to try and survive on greatly reduced payments because they apparently failed to do as they were told, even though in many cases they don’t know why they were sanctioned.
To force a person to go without the very basics such as food, water, heating and a home should be in my eyes a criminal offence but the DWP and the Conservative party get away with doing this every single day of the year. These are good, honest people being punished because they’re poor.
Corruption is the lifeblood of the Conservative party, every decision that they make is backed up with a can they get away with it clause. They’re experts at it, giving handouts to their millionaire friends whilst the poor are hungry.
Not one thought about helping others is given unless they can benefit from it and don’t expect them to ever care about the public and their wellbeing. They’ll always support their own regardless of what they’ve done and to who they’ve done it.
They worship at the feet of money, corruption, sneeze and debauchery regardless of what’s happening in the real world and they’ve got no intention of stopping either. Our complaints about such behaviour will go unread and ignored, it’s what they do they’re masters of this.
The only way to stop them is to vote them out of office. We must do this even though it’s becoming increasingly harder to do so. Remember this at election times, remember how they ignored you and trampled over your rights and well-being. Use this anger to remove them from their comfortable positions] because it’s the only thing that can work.
Please read, share tweet and email my blog. This makes a massive difference, it raises awareness hugely and helps to uncover the governments wrongdoings.
Quick update on myself. I had my covid booster jab last Friday and I’ve been battling tiredness ever since. This is to be expected and it shows that my immune system is working as it should be.
I’m still struggling like millions of people are doing. This time of the year causes immense financial pressure due to my daughters birthday and Christmas coming up. This is the reality of life for so many of us.
I don’t get paid for anything that I do but if anyone would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has supported my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do it without you.
You might have heard this statement being made rather more these last few years. The combination of the cruel DWP system, zero hour contract work, low hourly pay and the pandemic have all ensured that being poor is now more expensive now than it has been in recent times.
Of course it has always been the case but the amount of hatred beaten upon anyone that’s poor and disabled is now worse than I ever remember it.
I’ve mentioned this many times throughout my blog posts over the years that I’ve been blogging and writing but at this moment in time I’ve never known such a hostile environment for anyone that’s poor and disabled.
Cruelty towards the poor has always existed and laws have been created to ‘deal’ with poor people go right back to medieval times and perhaps earlier. This does not excuse the modern day cruelty metered upon the poorest and most vulnerable at the very time when they need help.
The DWP (Department Of Work And Pensions) and the government are our modern day overlords that are hell bent on causing pain and suffering to those that are in need of their help.
To understand this we need to look at the DWP’s cruel system guised as Universal Credit, titled as such to give the illusion of help and support. Instead of monetary credit and help claimants are met with cruelty and a total lack of care given by the `DWP, the organisation that is supposed to be helping them.
When universal Credit was created the publicity surrounding it said that it was created to help those most in need and that claimants would be much better off financially if they applied for it, The truth is that it most people that have and do receive Universal Credit are much worse off financially than they were previously.
The cruelty doesn’t end there though. The government systematically put in place various punishments that ensure that claimants don’t receive enough money to live off. Sanctions given reducing a persons payments for so called ‘failing’ to comply, when quite often a person has complied but the cruel DWP system is never satisfied with anything that a claimant does.
Sanctions as well as monies garnished from Universal Credit payments for debts such a Council Tax and fines are the cause for many to have to use food banks in order to survive. It’s very difficult if near impossible to get the DWP to reduce a sanction and for courts and local authorities to reduce the monies paid back per week. This is a circle of poverty that’s never-ending. It’s torturous and cruel. Not one thought is given by local authorities and the DWP about how they’ll survive. They also don’t care as long as they get their money.
Being poor is expensive because although our incomes are much reduced we are still expected to pay the same bills that those better off financially pay. It’s extremely unfair but I can’t see this changing for the better in the future, I do expect it to worsen leaving more people living in extreme poverty.
Just recently it was announced that gas prices are increasing to such a high degree that we won’t be able to heat our homes no matter how small they can be. Eating is also a luxury these days for thousands. With retail prices increasing having a good substantial meal each day is more or less impossible. I often reminisce about the good old days then I was able to do so, it feels like a lifetime ago.
On top of this rents are increasing for thousands and thousands are being made homeless on a daily basis and organisations that help homeless people are overwhelmed and can’t keep up with the demand for their services.
Can you imagine how devastating it is to loose your home only to find yourself having to live on the streets relying upon begging and organisations feeding homeless people in city centres?
It’s very easy for those better off to say go to a food bank for help when many do limit their food parcels to three. When you’ve had your allotted amount you’re on your own again to try and work out how to survive. There are food banks that do help people long term and a huge thank you to them for doing so. They need support more than they’ve ever needed it before. This isn’t the answer to the problem though, its a sticking plaster on an open wound that shows no sign of healing.
Many forget how humiliating it is to be forced to ask for help, it makes people believe that they’ve failed everyone, both themselves and their families. To do this is to admit that they have nothing and feelings worthless is something that no one should be forced to feel.
Writing from experience of being poor and living in poverty £10 may as well be a million pounds. Having a decent set amount of money to spend on food, energy bills and personal care is a dream that many including myself have.
Maybe one day it’ll be achievable but realistically the government aren’t going to change into a caring machine any time soon if ever. With the opposition government not opposing enough except for the usual few whom I’m thankful for it leaves the government to do exactly what they want whenever they want.
Remember this… If someone tells you that they haven’t got a penny to their name they probably haven’t. They probably haven’t had cash to hold for a long time. It’s not a sentence that’s thrown around flippantly its the truth, its reality for thousands of people every single day of every single week of the year.
Can you imagine living like this? It’s a living hell.
I’ve not met a single person in all of the years that I’ve been helping and blogging that doesn’t want to better their situation. The government makes this near impossible. The government is responsible for our suffering and don’t ever forget this.
Please join my colleagues and friends over at https:\\manchesterdpac.com if you live in the Greater Manchester area. They do amazing work and they provide much needed support.
I write this blog after a very stressful week for myself. I don’t publish everything that I go through on a personal level online because some things should remain private. I’m still mourning the loss of my son especially as halloween is approaching which he loved to celebrate especially with my grandchildren.
I want to make this world a better place for everyone but sometimes it’s impossible to do more than I’m doing.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share makes a massive difference to raising awareness of the governments wrong doings to the most vulnerable,.
If anyone would like to donate as long as it doesn’t put yourself in need theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny helps both myself and my blog continue. I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do and every penny makes a massive difference.
At the recent Tory Party Conference Therese Coffey, the secretary for works and pensions declared that the amount of people that have claimed PIP has ‘grown in a way that was not anticipated’ and instead it needs to be targeted at ‘people who need help’.
This is of course ignoring the fact that the people that are claiming PIP actually do need it.
According to Coffey this is evidence that things were ‘going wrong’ and nothing due to the fact that people living with illness and disability has increased due to many reasons some being Covid 19 and poverty.
Coffey went on to say that according to her findings three out of four young people that claim PIP their primary reason being mental ill health.
According to her figures this totals 189,000 young people that receive benefit focused upon a diagnosis of depression and that these young people may also claim other benefits as well.
Thus implying that young people shouldn’t be claiming PIP at all.
Coffey also complained about the amount of people claiming ESA should have only 25% of claimants should be in the support group rather than ‘about 80%’ of those claiming ESA at the present time.
She also complained about ESA, saying that the original expectation was that only 25% and not the 80% that are in the support group now.
Coffey stated rather predictably that she wanted to change the focus to ‘what people can do rather than the benefit system being currently driven by what you cannot do’
So in essence Coffey is saying that she wants to get people with disabilities, especially those in the support group back to work without declaring any support that might be given to claimants forced to do so.
Coffey says this regardless of their disabilities and their ability to work.
This is despicable and based upon her opinion and not the actual truth which is evidenced in the claim applications given by people claiming ESA.
ESA and PIP are not benefits that are easy to claim. Most claimants are refused upon their first application and they have to appeal and often take it to tribunal to eventually succeed and receive their rightful payments.
Coffey also takes into no consideration about how disabling and serious illness such as depression are. Anyone suffering from depression has to fight hard to try and find some support for their condition. NHS funding has been cut leaving previous lifeline services taken away leaving support hard to find.
Let’s also not forget how serious an illness depression can be. It can’t be cured by forcing an already vulnerable person into work thus triggering them to an even deeper state of depression or worse.
Needless to say, Coffey has a swinging brick instead of a heart and she doesn’t care about anyone living with illness and disability. Her aim is to try and stop vulnerable people from receiving the financial support that they need to live, without a care about how they’ll be able to cope.
To add salt to the wound so to speak, Coffey has also refused to rule out merging PIP with UC, saying that ‘everything is on the table’. Meaning that if they can find a way of persecuting vulnerable people whilst doing this then it’ll happen. How dare disabled and ill people have any quality of life at all.
So, before the DWP has finished transferring DLA claimants to PIP or moving ESA claimants to UC, they’ve already started to plot another major benefits shake-up which is going to harm the well being of thousands of vulnerable people therefore putting them at risk and causing them great distress.
It appears that we will have yet another battle to fight. We cannot allow the government to target and harass even more vulnerable people. The government always takes from the lowest hanging branches whilst forgetting that there are more of us than them and we will put up a fight.
Thanks to Benefits And Work for the inspiration for this weeks blog post.
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As many others did I watched Sir Kier Starmers conference speech in anticipation… Maybe he’ll recognise the plight of unemployed, disabled and ill people. Sadly I was disappointed, his whole speech revolved around the word ‘work’ and how good it is to work.
Heres a word count of the words that he used in his speech yesterday. He mentioned the the word ‘work’ a massive 69 times, ‘care’26 times, equality 3 times, ‘security’ 6 times ‘dad 11 times, mum 17 times and ‘tool’ 6 times.
From this we can be safe to say that the main focus for him was work and how good it supposedly is for you. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. It’s much like the speeches that we heard from the conservatives that resulted in the suffering and deaths of thousands.
It’s not as simple as that though, work isn’t some kind of liberating utopia that frees both mind and body leaving you with a sense of self achievement. I do accept that certain careers such as nursing, caring and healthcare work can give people a massive feeling of achievement there are stresses that come with them.
Low pay, high rents, high childcare costs and other costs that come along with our culture of low paid, undervalued work end up taking any sense of self achievement away.
Myself like Starmer can look back upon our parents hard work but it’s much like a tale of two cities. My father worked hard for little or no thanks and without basic safety equipment. He was forced to work night shifts which prevented him from spending much time with his children and when he did he was grumpy because he was tired.
My mother had several jobs, none of them gave her any sense of achievement and all of them were very low paid. As a child it was awful seeing them become so stressed by their situation.
I was and still are proud of them, but their situations made me want to fight for more than they had. I can’t look back and say that it was inspirational because it wasn’t.
Coming back to the present day…. Most people in low paid jobs have to claim an extra benefit such as Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit to be able to feed themselves and their families. Their wages being so low that they can’t survive on them alone.
It was very disappointing to hear that Starmer is apparently refusing to support a £15 a hour minimum wage increase for workers despite him agreeing with this previously. At the same time Starmer knows that we live in a low wage economy that inevitably leads to poverty. Luckily Labour Party members voted in favour of it even though its not binding.
In summary work does not fulfil the average person and nor will it until working conditions, low pay extortionate childcare costs and high rents are dealt with. Instead it causes stress, poverty and everything that comes along with this.Homelessness is increasing amongst working people as well as the unemployed.
People try their best to better their situations but the current system prevents them from doing so. A £15 a hour pay rise would help this but the whole system needs to change before it can benefit most people to a noticeable degree.
Feel good speeches are good on the day, words are said that some wanted to hear but when you leave out the basic needs of people, ignoring disabled people and those on legacy benefits. They aren’t going to see anything that would change the lives of those that need the changes the most.
It’s greatly important that everyones voices are heard not just working people. It’s insulting to those that are unable to work and it leaves them politically homeless with no where to turn for help.
Deeds not words are needed and the inclusion of everyone despite disability, illness and age. It’s needed more than it ever was before and Starmer must act to address as soon as he possibly can.
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Thank you to everyone that does share and supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.