Category: love island

Therese Coffey plans benefit shake-up

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.

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

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.

Join myself and my friends over at DPAC https:\\manchesterdpac.com and continue to put pressure upon the government to do so.

Thanks to Benefits And Work for the inspiration for this weeks blog post.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share makes a massive difference and it raises a lot of awareness.

I don’t receive any funding for anything that I do. If you would like to donate without putting yourself in financial hardship theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Every penny really does help and it makes a massive difference.

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

Your help really does make a massive difference,

This week has been another tough week for me and to be honest I wish that the universe would give me a break. Regardless of this I will continue with my blog and campaign. Thank you all for your support.

Starmers keynote speech.. Empty words for the average working person and disabled people.

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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Please read, share and support my blog if you can. I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do and every share makes a massive difference.

Unfortunately my daughters ill with Covid 19 at the moment and times are very hard at the moment and I’m still recovering from pneumonia. Every share really helps to get the truth out there.

Thank you to everyone that does share and supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.

DWP agrees to waive hardship payment debts.

Please click on the below link from the Public Law Project.

If you are told to repay back hardship payment debts make sure that you challenge this.

It is your legal right to do so. If needed quote the below article and insist that the DWP use their discretion regarding payment of hardship payment debt.

Insist that these payments are causing distress and suffering, which they do for thousands of people.

This is also essential because the majority of claimants already have monies garnished from their payments for council tax debt and suchlike.

No one should be forced to live in extreme hardship such as this.

I expect that the DWP won’t like this so don’t expect them to suggest it to you.

https://publiclawproject.org.uk/latest/dwp-agrees-to-waive-hardship-payment-debts-after-successful-judicial-review/

Please like, share and tweet my blog. It’s very important to get the truth and the reality of our life’s out there.

I don’t get paid for anything that I do but I do want to continue to be able to continue to write my blog and continue with my campaign.

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

A huge thank you to everyone that and has supported my blog and campaign. This makes such a big difference.

Maximus work capability contract extended for two years.

It has been reported this week by Rightsnet that the work capability assessment contract with Maximus has been extended by two years to 31 July 2023. The continuation of contract will supposedly ‘secure service continuity and stability’ whilst at the same time allowing the transfer of caseloads and services into a unified assessment service trial.

The DWP (Department of Works And Pensions) have also confirmed that they have extended the existing contract with Maximus UK Services Ltd to provide work capability assessments for employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit. This will continue for an additional two years to 31 July 2023.

The DWP have had plans to create a unified, integrated assessment service from 1 August 2021.

The DWPs plans to merge the separate PIP (Personal Independence Payments) health assessments and work capability assessments, ESA (Employment and Support Allowance and universal credit, were put on hold last year as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak .

This was confirmed earlier this year in a written statement to Parliament in July 2020, quoting ‘We recognise that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, my Department intends to explore options to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contracts end on 31 July 2021.’

In a contract modification notice published last week, the DWP now confirms that it has extended the existing contract to provide work capability assessments – that was awarded to Maximus for the period 29 October 2014 to 31 July 2021 (at a value of £938 million). This now continues until 31 July 2023.

This will add a further £300 million to the Maximus contract value.

The DWP have commented saying that they will -‘Secure assessment service continuity and stability beyond the current contracts end date on 31/07/21’ .This will provide the contractual flexibility needed for any subsequent changes to the ongoing service design necessitated by Covid-19 measures.

This will enable any associated policy changes made during the extension period.

It will also allow the DWP to implement pre-Covid flexibilities and to remove volume and service from the Supplier into a Departmental Transformation Area/to deliver devolution of specific areas of the service (related to specific welfare benefits) if this is required’

‘For more information, see Health and Disability Assessment Services – contract extension from gov.ukSource Rightsnet

I’m sure that we all agree that these ‘medical assesments’ are cruel and unnecessary for disabled and ill claimants. A doctors and/ or evidence from a medical consultant should be more than adequate to prove to the DWP that they are disabled and/or ill. Any government that genuinely cares for disabled and ill people would of course accept this.

This Tory government have proven time and time again that they don’t care. Instead of compassion they issue a relentless barrage of cruel tests and examinations that cause physical and mental distress to thousands of people everyday.

We have a prime minister that happily spends millions of tax payers money on decorating number 10 and suchlike whilst giving huge contracts to their friends regardless of if they can’t do the job they’ve been contracted to do.

It’s easy for the government to target the most vulnerable because they believe that they won’t fight back. However as we have seen from groups such as DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) and campaigners like myself they can and do fight back in the quest to change things. They do and have made a difference.

Its exhausting though, constantly fighting against the government machine who’s policies reflect the fact that they want to get rid of us. However they forget that there are more of us than they are of them and we will continue to fight to make changes that we need.

Photo by kira schwarz on Pexels.com

Today is my son’s inquest and as you can expect I’m upset, the pain sometimes can be overwhelming. I have to be strong for my girls and my grandchildren.

Long gone are the flowers that I used to place on the little shrine that I’ve created at home. Flowers are expensive as is everything else these days.

I hate living like this and I hate the fact that my son is no longer with us. He had plans to do lots of things including sorting my oldest daughters gardens out and to do mine that I can’t use because its a mess. Little unimportant things like this always remind me of my son and the wonderful young man that he was.

I will be ok though, it will get better but I’ll always grieve for his loss but I will learn to live with it better. No one ever gets over loosing a child.

I’ll be back next week with another blog post.

Please if you can share, tweet, like and email my blog. This does make a massive difference and it gets the truth out there which is extremely important to do.

I don’t get paid for any of the writing that I do and it’s a struggle to say the least. I want to continue blogging and campaigning because its very important to help people.

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

Thank you!

A huge thank you also to everyone that subscribes, shares and has and does help my blog and campaign to continue. It means the world to me.

My son died.. How am I?

As many of you will already know my son died earlier this year. His death was very unexpected and it was due to no fault of his own. To say that it’s been a struggle is an understatement, after all we aren’t supposed to outlive our children.

My son had plans to go travelling and to work near family in Estonia and Latvia, something that he was looking forward to. Josephs death has changed us all in one way or another.

The sudden death team over at Greater Manchester Police have been amazing, they’ve literally held my hand through it all, from daily phone calls to see if I was ok and other phone calls about Joseph and the horrible stuff that every person has to go through when a loved one dies suddenly.

The loss of Joseph hit me hard again when last week I received a phone call from the coroners office. She phoned to tell me that I would be getting a full copy of his postmortem and notification that they’ve been able to bring his inquest back to the 2nd September rather than October.

Good news I suppose but not the news that any parent wants.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I received my first copy of his postmortem via email, but I did know that reading it would be extremely hard for me. My little boy (even though he was almost 6ft tall) has gone. I had proof in the black and white print I was reading on my laptop.

I suppose that it’s easier to hold onto him before the postmortem results even though we’d already given him a lovely funeral and memorial thanks to everyone that helped me with this. It’s a totally different ball game when you’re faced with it in black and white.

So back to the Postmortem… The coroner couldn’t find a cause of death and this will be the report given at the inquest. I had been warned that this would probably happen. Privately she said that even though theres no obvious cause of death it could have been one extra painkiller that took him away.

I do know however that he fell asleep happily listening to his music after talking to his sister and myself and he wouldn’t have felt any discomfort etc.

The hardest thing to deal with physically was going to his flat and sorting things out. I did this with my oldest daughter and we were very distressed because once again it was a reality check.

We could see exactly what his last movements were. He washed his pots, got changed and went to bed. Everything was left as it was. In a corner we spotted Josephs Easter chocolates for all of us that we no longer would be getting.

Back home I made a wooden chest for Josephs clothes and belongings and I locked them all away safely. I’m hoping that he approves.

Joseph had many struggles during his short life, the most notable ones being his primary and secondary schools refusing to recognise that he was autistic and he had to learn differently to others. I know that many parents of children with additional needs are still fighting this battle.

The sad reality is that years after my son left school, thousands of parents are still forced to fight to have their children educational needs met… From autism, dyslexia and many other additional needs that they might have.

Parents shouldn’t be forced to have to fight for a decent education but still they have to.

Joseph didn’t give up though and despite the odds he did extremely well for himself and I was very proud of him. He was a very special person that is missed by so many.

Never give up fighting for your children, they deserve to be treated well and have their needs met. I did my best but absolutely no one would listen to me.

I’m sorry that this weeks blog is different than usual. I’ll be back to normal next week. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog posts it means the world to me.

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Please read, share and tweet my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, I couldn’t do it without you.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and I’m finding it much harder since my son died.

If you would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you.

Let the bodies pile high says Johnson

Yesterday was quite a busy day for Dominic Cummings the former chief aide whilst he gave evidence in a seven hour hearing regarding the governments handling of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Cummings particulally took aim at Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, depicting the chaos and failing of the government’s handling of the Covid 19 crisis, saying that the failure, incompetence at the top of government stating that Covid 19 had killed thousands that didn’t need to die.

Whilst many people had already realised that Prime Minister Johnson anti lockdown, ignored scientists advice and failed to introduce lockdowns in adequate time. This is the same prime minister that openly said that he didn’t care about people dying, saying ‘Let the bodies pile high’.

For myself and others it comes as no shock. Johnson and his ilk have no sympathy or care for working class people, even less sympathy is given to disabled and elderly people, you can see this in their policies and their attitude.

What people need to realise is that Johnson and co come from and live in a totally different world than most people. They come from a place of great privilege and they like to flaunt this whenever possible.

Their handling of the pandemic is a good example of this. for example whilst thousands of people were dying, Carrie Symonds, Johnsons girlfriend was shown to be more concerned about her dog than the pandemic and the death toll. Symonds also saw this as a perfect opportunity to try and find her friends jobs within the government.

Johnson knew exactly what he was doing though, he was warned by officials that a lockdown was needed but failed to act, taking him a further ten days to agree to a lockdown.

There was no plan for the government to use in the event of a pandemic, despite many in government believing that there was. This has undoubtedly has resulted in thousands of deaths. Ironically a plan had been created by the Labour Party which would have undoubtably helped thousands of people and would have prevented thousands of deaths.

Johnson also described Covid 19 as ‘the swine flu’ and stated that he was going to get Chris Whitty to inject him with Covid 19 live on television to prove that its nothing to be scared of.

Mark Sedwill the then Cabinet Secretary suggested that people should have Covid 19 parties like chicken pox parties, believing that herd immunity would then be reached by September. Meanwhile the government were drawing on a whiteboard asking who they can’t save with no regard for their safety nor regard for them at all.

Its very clear that the government doesn’t care and never will care. We only have to look at the way that the government treats disabled and working class people. Their policies have resulted in the deaths thousands before the pandemic and not one care has been given about this either.

It is completely normal for the government to treat people like this, we mean nothing to them. If they can’t make any use of us financially through exploitation such as their Workfare schemes, they punish people by making it extremely hard to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, ESA and PIP.

Such cruelty will continue for as long as they’re able to do so, with no effective opposition at the moment I can see such cruelty continuing for a long time to come.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share helps to get the truth out there.

I would like to thank you all for your patience, especially after my son’s death. I’m trying to get back to normal, whatever my new normal is now.

I’m aiming to get at least one blog post published every week, hopefully improving the quality of them along the way.

I also receive no funding for my blog or my campaign. Every penny counts and it will help a great deal.

A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. It means the world to me and has kept me going during such dark times.

Let’s talk about Covid deaths.

Dear readers, subscribers and friends, I hope that you are as well as can be. This week has been difficult for me because it’s the first time that I’ve been able to sit down and grieve for my son.

Everyone grieves in their own way and the time it takes for a person to grieve is totally individual. I truly don’t think that I’ll ever get over it and I’ll just learn to live with it.

It’s heartbreaking to know that thousands of people are mourning the loss of a loved one to Covid 19. No one as far as I’ve seen has spoken about their suffering and loss. I cannot comprehend their grief and pain.

The government has done a good job of hiding the true reality of the pandemic, the deaths, suffering, long covid sufferers and those already isolated because of illness and disability.

It’s very easy for the Prime Minister to open the borders, allow travel to countries overseas and to open up shops and businesses, he doesn’t have to cope with becoming ill and having no support, to be isolated in his home due to disability and illness. As most of you already know that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care about our welfare and he certainly doesn’t want to improve our quality of life.

I don’t underestimate the joy felt by many when they realised that they could come out of lockdown but I do realise that the Indian strain of covid 19 will soon be in most of our communities because Johnson once again hasn’t put much, if any thought into ending the lockdown.

Like many of you reading this I’m fully vaccinated, and many will be awaiting either their first or second vaccination, but I’m a tad worried about the Indian strain coming our way because we just don’t know if the vaccination works with this strain of COVID 19.

What I can say is proceed with caution, wear a mask, wash your hands and remain cautious. It’s a terrible indictment of our government that Johnson thinks that its ok to say ‘Let the bodies pile up’ and still be allowed to continue as Prime Minister. I remember the days when the opposition used to oppose such wrongdoings but now there’s hardly any from Sir Kier Starmer.

I really hope that we start to have some decent opposition soon because thousands of people need this now.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share is important to get the truth out there.

I don’t receive any funding for both my blog and campaign. For anyone that would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you all so much for your support, it means the world to me.

Funerals a cost too high for many.

Hi everyone as you may already know I recently had the terrible news that my son had died. It’s every parents nightmare because no parent expects to outlive their children.

My sons death was totally unexpected, he was a caring young man, loved by many. He didn’t take drugs or drank excessively either.

When I first heard the news as well as grieving, I was also extremely worried about how I could afford to pay for a decent funeral for him. I felt that this was important because he was only 26 years old and his sisters and family will be around for a long time to mourn his death.

Before my sons death I already knew that the funeral grant offered by the DWP wasn’t enough to give anyone a really decent funeral, it just pays for the very basics and anyway not everyone is entitled to it as I found out.

Call me old fashioned but I believe that everyone deserves a decent funeral. Funerals are expensive to start off with, and I can imagine how heartbreaking it must be to not be able to have a decent funeral for their loved ones.

It was pointed out to me that I could have had a direct cremation for my son because they cost less. Sadly because of my own beliefs I couldn’t do this for my son. Every deceased person deserves to have a proper funeral service if they wanted this. Personally I believe that it’s important for the deceased persons soul to have a proper funeral, to give them peace as well as the family closure.

The government however don’t regard this as being important. I’m positive that there are many deceased people left in storage and cremated because their families can’t afford a funeral. No one should be left like this. I’m surprised that the government haven’t reintroduced mass graves or likewise for the poor to be buried or cremated and their ashes scattered.

Yet still most politicians talk about this subject, whilst they’ll have no problem paying for a funeral the majority of us can’t and nor can we afford to pay for a prepaid funeral either. It’s a sad indictment of how little the Tory party regard life and death. They don’t care and neither will they ever care.

The welfare state was created to care for us from the cradle to the grave but the government has taken so much away from it that it hardly supports us anymore.

I could only afford a decent funeral for my son because of the kindness of friends and followers on here, Twitter and Facebook. I really can’t thank you enough and I couldn’t have done it without your support and kindness and both myself and my family can’t thank you enough for your kindness.

I will continue to speak out about this, because I do believe that its important and I make no apology for doing so.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

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

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

I’m still here.

Dear friends, subscribers and everyone that reads my blog.

As you know my son died unexpectedly and I’ve been away arranging his funeral and everything that goes with that. His sisters are distraught and its horrible to see them crying and grieving.

Sadly a cause of death hasn’t been asertained as there were no obvious causes, he didn’t take drugs or drink heavily and he didn’t take his own life, he fell asleep and didn’t wake up.

Because there isn’t an obvious cause of death there will be an inquest in October but I’ve been warned that I may never find out way. So many young adults die like this but it’s hardly spoken about.

As for me I’m trying to cope with my grief and the loss of my only son. Joseph was an amazing young man and he was loved and missed by so many people.

I will hopefully be able to update the blog this week, it’ll do me good and it will be a big distraction for me.

I’ll see you on Thursday with an updated blog.

Thanks for your patience

Charlotte.

No blog update this week. .

Dear readers and subscribers, I’m very sorry but there’s not going to be a blog post this week.

I was told that my son had died on Friday and I’m trying to deal with it and organise his funeral etc.

I will be writing a new blog post as soon as I’m able.

There is a crowdfunding page relating to this on both my Facebook and Twitter account.

Thank you , solidarity Charlotte.