Tag: budget 2015

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

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

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

No further government assistance offered.

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

Further price increases.

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

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

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

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

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

People can’t afford to pay.

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

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

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

The problem with pre-payment meters.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s going to be a cold winter.

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

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

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

The poorest cannot be ignored anymore.

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

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

Government payments.

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

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

The poorest are already suffering.

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

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

Their plight will be ignored

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

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

They don’t care they never have.

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

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

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

It really doesn’t have to be this way.

Please share my blog it really helps to raise awareness and shows solidarity to those suffering at the hands of this cruel government.

I receive no payment for any of the work that I do and for my campaign.

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

Every penny helps me to continue with both.

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

DWP Wrongly Forces Universal Credit Claimants To Repay Entire Payments


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

Why Are The DWP doing this?

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

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

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

Why This Shouldn’t Be Happening

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



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



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

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


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

The DWPs Reaction

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



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


Conclusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you are able to and would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a massive difference.

Thank you!

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

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!

Eat Out To Help Out. Another way to discriminate against the poor and disabled.

Dear readers I’m so sorry that this blog is so late. I’m still battling the Covid 19 fatigue and this combined with the ongoing kitchen refit and insomnia has been a recipe for disaster.

My social housing provider should have started work on this in March but because of Covid 19 it was delayed.

Thankfully I’m no longer infectious and the work could continue. It’s been no fun living out of one room and having strangers in my house, but it’s finished now and I’m very grateful for it.

I’m also very grateful that I have a home when so many people don’t have one. I’ve come very close to loosing this one a few times and I’ve been homeless before.

I know exactly how you are feeling because I’ve been there.

I had a few disasters this week though, my cooker broke and was unfixable. It was around 30yrs old and I loved that cooker. No frills, it did what it set off to do and I love simplicity, it makes life much easier.

Secondly as a result of the covid 19 virus my hair has started to fall out, not loads but it’s happening. Thanks for that.

Insomnia has also hit me hard this week, and yesterday I was so exhausted that I couldn’t do much.

Anyway, enough about me. I hope that you are OK and as well and safe as you can be.

The Covid 19 virus continues to spread leaving many victims strewn behind it.

It’s a misconception that it’s only elderly people that become seriously ill and die, lots of fairly fit young people do also.

The elderly have been treated terribly though, left in nursing homes to die like their life’s don’t matter at all.

In my eyes out elders are very important, they paved the way for us to live like we do, albeit most of this has been taken away by the Tory government.

I was taught to respect and care for my elders but it appears the Tories have no regard for them.

Their cruelty appears to be never ending and whilst they’re away on holidays or spending time in their second homes, more people will continue to die and suffer.

There’s nothing more insulting than for these people to attempt to try and advise us on how to live and what to do when they come from a place of great privilege.

Talking about privilege here’s another example.

Recently the government unveiled its latest plan to benefit society and small business owners. They titled it Eat Out To Help Out, they even gave it its own hashtag.

Whilst on the surface it looks like a good idea, it’s still out of reach to so many of us. The idea is that it gives people £10 to spend at specific eateries throughout the UK.

Some businesses such as coffee shops are giving a 50% discount on some orders. This is good, however you have to have the other 50% to pay for it though.

To put it bluntly, so many of us don’t have the money to contribute towards this and we are excluded from benefiting from this by default.

I do have questions though.

Why didn’t they extend this further? Why, knowing that the majority of people living in the UK are living in poverty wasn’t it extended to them?

Why weren’t fruit and veg shops and retailers included in this? Why weren’t local shops that serve their communities by providing the means to cook their own food?

Why aren’t these small businesses included? They’ve suffered as well, but like us they’ve been swept to the side like yesterdays newspaper.

It all comes down to the government’s priorities, their priority being to keep their friends in business happy, keep the wheels of commerce going at whatever the cost to many.

The whole winding down of the social distancing rules was rushed, not because they put the safety of the public first. Public safety wasn’t even thought about.

My guess is that the government was leaned upon by their business pals and party donars. Big money won the day, sod the public.

I’m certainly not saying don’t support your local small businesses, if you can afford to you should, however you need to remember that so many people are excluded from this scheme and the very basics of what constituents a decent and happy life.

The government also unveiled their latest obesity discrimination campaign, whilst their party leader and prime minister is indeed himself overweight.

We already know that being overweight puts you at risk of contracting Covid 19, but they didn’t look into the reasons as to why so many of us are overweight.

A lot of it comes down to the lack of access to decent food and the ability to cook it.

Cooking food costs money and if you are living in a hotel room or one room with your family in homeless accommodation, you arent allowed to cook in your room.

This has been happening for years now, I’ve advised people how to cook kettle food whilst they are stuck in this position.

Kettle food has hardly any nutritious value though, it’s mostly starchy, gluteny and devoid of any vitamins. This food settles in your body for a long time.

Then we have people like myself who are dependent upon food parcels. Mostly you get tinned food which isn’t very good for you.

I know that some tinned food isn’t that bad for you, but its still very hard to cook a nutritious meal out of it. It even harder when you don’t have any cooking equipment to help you.

Then we have medication, the lack of ability to exercise in any way possible. Combined with food parcel food etc, it’s a disaster nutritionally.

How on earth can the government expect people with life changing disabilities to suddenly loose weight is beyond me. Staying alive and having a productive enjoyable life is a priority for them.

For years the government has abused disabled people in the worst way possible. They’ve taken their means of support away, their carers, their very means of support away.

Meanwhile the Tory government will continue to persecute them whilst they’re enjoying themselves in their second homes.

I don’t choose to live like I do, people don’t choose to live in poverty but the government does choose to persecute the most vulnerable on a daily basis. The government are the cause of our poverty.

So what do we do now? We try to survive in the way that’s best for us.

We need to continue to campaign against their disgusting ideals and attitudes.

Remember there’s more of us than there is of them.

Keep strong, support each other and continue to challenge the narrative.

Please keep safe and practice social distancing if you can.

I want to thank all my friends, followers and readers for all of the support that you have given me throughout my own Covid 19 battle.

I really couldn’t have got through this without you all. I’m so thankful and grateful for you all.

Lots of love and solidarity with all of you.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Poverty and DWP cruelty hasn’t gone away, it’s become a whole lot worse.

For anyone wanting to donate I’ve got a donate button at the top and bottom of this blog.

My apologies comments are blocked for now.

Dear readers I do everything that I can to ensure that my blog is a safe space for you to use, read and comment.

This week the DWP have taken it upon themselves to attempt to troll my blog, call me a liar and are telling people that Jobcentres are wonderful places and work will cure us of all ills.

I won’t tolerate their bullying anywhere so comments are blocked for now until they calm the hell down.

I hope that you understand my reasons for doing this.

If anyone would like to comment please email me at seercharlotte@gmail.com and I can add your comment to this blog piece.

Peace and much love to you all.

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

I dream about being able to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

Dear readers what a horrible week it has been in parliament, I’m certain that you’re feeling the ramifications of this.

At the moment we are having to put up with a government that throws constant hatred out towards others with absolute no ramifications at all. Their hostile environment has certainly become a whole lot more hostile.

Right wing politicians, newspapers and followers are being encouraged by the government to abuse people especially left wing politicians and individuals.

I’ve had to start carrying a personal alarm with me at all times.It saddens me greatly that this is happening, we already have enough to cope with trying to survive from day to day.

This week I will be concentrating on one conversation that I had this morning.

All food parcels were taken as soon as they arrived. It’s not becoming better it’s getting much worse.

Whilst I condone the need for foodbanks the realisation that thousands of people would have either died or become extremely ill without them.

It goes without saying that the Tory party don’t give a stuff. But we already know this don’t we.

Every week for years now I’ve had some lovely conversations with some amazing people trying their best to survive whilst dealing with the DWP system. They’re the true heroes of society not someone wearing a suit and spouting all the right words. To survive the DWP system is a massive achievement and we need to recognise this more.

This morning I had a conversation with a lovely chap, I’m probably the only person that he talks to all week. He’s always got a smile to spare for others but he’s suffering greatly.

He hasn’t been able to have a proper cooked meal for a long time, and told me that he couldn’t remember the last time that he had been able to eat properly.

Being constantly hungry and having to rely upon foodbanks is taking its toll both mentally and physically. Mentally he’s feeling completely worn down, he’s trying his best but not achieving much in the DWPs eyes. He knows that he needs to find work but it’s hard, very hard.

Physically he’s feeling terrible. He’s unable to buy fresh vegetables and fruit and his diet which mainly consists of tinned food and cheap carbohydrates is taking its toll, telling me that he dreams of being able to buy some fresh vegetables and fruit and eating them. He knows the importance of a good diet but how on earth can he eat healthily when he hasn’t got the ability to do so.

This is a massive problem in society at the moment but it’s rarely spoken about.

It’s easy to become overweight when relying upon cheap quick food yet the media fat shame just about anyone they can find who happens to be overweight.

Dieticians and celebrity chefs can have as many programmes as they want on television to teach is how to eat healthily but they haven’t got a clue about what the reality of the situation is.

We don’t have enough money to buy fancy ingredients or the next new superfood whatever that might be at the moment.

Jack Monroe appears to be the only one that does know because she’s lived the foodbank life. Check her work out she’s fabulous.

We can’t afford to eat properly we’ve only got the means to survive.

If you take any message from my blog let it be this.

We aren’t responsible for the way that the government is treating us. Poverty is extremely hard to escape from, it follows us about everywhere.

You are not to blame for this.

Don’t listen to the Tories when they say that finding work pays. It doesn’t and this has been proven time and again. Universal credit has been created to make us fail, to make us dissappear, to make us give up.

Almost every person that I spoke to today was suffering because of the system that’s intent upon making them fail.

I want to tell the man that I spoke to today who’s too ill to work but is forced too look that he doesn’t have to look for work.

Basically I want a magic wand to stop this eternal suffering felt by thousands upon thousands of people every day.

I want to bring back industry to areas like mine where there is none. I wnt suitable jobs for everyone who is able to and wants to work. I want employers to be flexible around childcare and other family duties

I want people who have a disability or are ill to be respected instead of being failed at every step and constantly punished for existing.

I want a society that understands that not everyone has access to the Internet or a computer.

I want to see the end of universal credit and it be replaced with a fair and understanding system that helps not punishes people.

I want everyone to live in decent housing, not stuck in a B&B or suchlike. Everyone deserves a good place to call home.

I want everyone to be able to have a good and varied diet without worrying where their next meal is coming from and when.

I want children to be happy, not hungry and certainly not worrying about when they’ll get their next meal and certainly not to be forced to wear clothes that they’ve grown out of because their parents can’t afford to buy new ones.

I could go on forever but you get the jist.

What I can do though is to buy some fresh fruit and veg for the chap that I was speaking to today.

I can continue to help others and advise them. I can become a friend to them and I can be a shoulder to cry on. I can do this and I will continue to for as long as I’m able to.

I apologise for this weeks rant. Today hit me very hard, we’ve now become so poor that instead of dreaming about going on holiday or suchlike we’re dreaming about being able to eat fruit and vegetables.

Sad, bad times indeed.

Many thanks to Gordon for helping today. I apologise for this weeks blog I’ll be back to normal next week.

Please read, share tweet and email my blog.

Please support my blog and campaign. Many thanks to everyone that has already. You all mean the world to me.