Category: Steven Crabb

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of each providerThey also provide a list of existing providers who will not be applying for authorisation or have withdrawn their applications: providers who will not be authorised.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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I receive no payment for any of the work that I do. 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 article.

I really couldn’t do this without your help because I’m on a very low income.

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.

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.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share will raise awareness and we desperately need to do this.

Huge thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and blog.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and every penny really helps. Thank 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.

Please like, share, tweet and email this blog post, todays blog is extremely important and I would really appreciate it if you could do this.

I don’t get any payment for the work and campaigning that I do. If you can afford to and would like to buy me a coffee or donate to keeping this blog and campaign going it would help me immensely.

A huge thank you to everyone that is subscribed to and reads my blog.

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.

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

Thank 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.

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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!