Tag: conservatives

87 Year Old Woman Dies After Developing Hypothermia

A 87 year old woman died after developing hypothermia at home after expressing concerns that she was worried about paying her energy bills.  

Barbara Bolton, 87, had previously told relatives she had felt cold after they had visited her at her home in Bury to check on her wellbeing. Sadly as a result she was rushed to Fairfield hospital where she was then diagnosed with hypothermia.

However despite the good care given by NHS medical professionals, her condition sadly deteriorated and as a result of her worsening condition she sadly died several weeks later.

Therefore an inquest into her death was opened at Rochdale Coroner’s Court, details can be found here.

Hospital notes given to the inquest indicate that her illness and subsequent death was linked to the fact she couldn’t afford to put her heating on.

Her son, Mark Bolton, 61, said his “proud” mum had refused his offer to help to pay her power bills as reported in the Mirror. She had been heating her home by using a single gas fire in her living room and used portable electric heaters to warm the rest of her two-bedroom house.

Ms Bolton had previously worked as a pharmacy assistant at her local Tesco until the age of 82 and she had lived at her home on Dawson Street in Bury for several decades.

Her son Mark told the inquest that he spoke to his mum every night and that she had told him that she was worried about her heating bills, despite assurances from him that he would cover the costs.

Mark said “She was concerned about all her bills because she was a pensioner. She was careful, she was mindful of the prices and worried about them going up,” he said.

Mark told the coroner that he had always told her to ‘just keep your heating on’ and ‘don’t worry about the bills mum.’ “But she was very stubborn and proud about paying her own way,” he said.

He told the hearing that his mum had ‘felt cold’ when she was found sat at her kitchen table by one of her grandchildren, who had gone round after the family had not been able to contact her.

Police coroner’s officer Jane Scullion told the hearing: “Barbara was admitted to hospital on December 11, 2022, with hypothermia, and a chest infection.

“During that time she continued to deteriorate. After a discussion, she was placed on end of life care and passed away.”

Assistant coroner for Manchester North Julie Mitchel adjourned the inquest and has requested statements from her doctor and asked for a medical cause of death to be provided.

“Her death was particularly accelerated by hypothermia and there is a possibility of self-neglect due to the lack of heating so her death has been referred to the coroner,” she said.

Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures and requires immediate medical intervention. Causes include not wearing warm clothes in winter, falling into cold water and living in a cold house.

Sadly I fear that her death caused by living in a cold house isn’t the first and will certainly not be the last. Thousands if not more people are being forced by an uncaring, cruel government to live in cold and in many cases, damp houses as a result of the ever increasing energy costs.

For those saying that she should have jut accepted the help offered, it isn’t always as easy for various reasons. Admitting that you’re poor and can’t afford to heat your home is a very difficult thing to have to admit, and as a parent this can be even harder.

Society deems that parents should look after their children and not the other way round, and asking your children for help can make a parent feel like an absolute failure, and she wouldn’t have made her decision lightly.

This nightmare isn’t going to end soon, I wish it was.The reality is that thousands, including myself are counting down the days until spring arrives and warmer weather returns, it can’t come a minute too soon.

The government has absolutely no intention of changing things for the better, they prefer to spend their time trying to cover up senior ministers deception and lies rather than help those in need.

It’s one rule for them and one for us and the death of Ms Bolton and others won’t bother them in the slightest.

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I’m struggling to pay my internet bill which is due in a few days and keep myself warm like so many of you are too.

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DWP Independent Case Examiner Overwhelmed By Complaints

The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) Independent Case Examiner also known as ICE has revealed that they are overwhelmed by a huge amount of complaints from claimants.

This was revealed when they responded to an MP’s written question recently in parliament.



ICE is an organisation used by the DWP to deal with claimant’s complaints against the DWP. This is the next step when a claimant has exhausted the DWP’s internal complaints procedure and is still not satisfied with the response given.

Complaints against the DWP can be for various reasons including and not excluding others;

A failure by the DWP to follow proper procedures

Excessive payment delays for benefits

Sub standard customer service given to claimants.

It’s also noted that there has been a 17% increase in the number of complaints made to ICE in the year 2021to March 2022.

In itself may not be seen as a huge increase, however it is an increase and should be dealt with in the utmost urgency



However the huge increase in complaints arises in the proportion of cases that ICE has agreed to look into. This has increased by an astonishing 68% in the last year.

This therefore means that ICE is receiving a huge increase in complaints where it believes that there is a case to answer than in previous years.


As a result of this increase there are now 1,249 cases waiting for an ICE investigator to be allocated. The average time for a complaint to be dealt with currently takes is 53 weeks,so in total this means that it takes over a year before an investigation begins.

Personally I don’t know any person making a complaint against the DWP that can afford to wait that long albeit for financial and other complaint reasons.

It takes a great deal of courage to make a complaint against the DWP and as a result many don’t make complaints when they should do.

The complaints procedure is complex and very stressful for everyone making a complaint against the DWP and as a result it can impact a person’s health and ability to manage their daily life’s.

It comes as no surprise that legal justice that claimants are entitled to is subject to long indefensible delays without question.

It’s also noted that the DWP can make a decision to apply cruel, harsh and often unwanted sanctions on the most vulnerable and in need of help whilst their real and valid complaints.

Once again it’s one rule for claimants and yet another for their oppressors.

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Universal Credit Sanctions Back With A Vengence


It was recently announced during a Commons debate in parliament that Universal Credit sanctions (UC) are “back with a vengeance”. This comes after the figures for the last quarter have been revealed.


According to the released figures the sanction rates are now 250% higher than they were for the three months before the pandemic.


It’s extremely worrying that the figures have risen so much in such a short amount of time makes me very concerned about the welfare of UC claimants.

The huge increase allows for the ever increasing number of UC claimants. In layman’s terms it amounts to 2.5% of UC claimants being sanctioned each month which is almost double the amount when compared to 1.4% before the pandemic.


Let’s not forget that in June 2022 £34 million was taken away from claimants as a result of being sanctioned. This was followed in July 2022 by £34.9 million and then in August taking the total to over £36 million.

When you do the maths this totals to £100 million which has literally been taken from vulnerable claimants that were already struggling to pay for basic necessities.


Upon questioning these figures Guy Opperman minister for employment speaking on behalf repeatedly avoided answering a question which asked why the number of sanctions had increased so rapidly.

The only other possibility being that the DWP may have changed its policy on applying sanctions but neglecting to inform everyone that would be affected by this. After all it’s not the first time that they’ve done this.

The only answer that Opperman eventually gave was “The hon. Gentleman asked specifically about the rise in the number of sanctions. Some 98.2% of sanctions are for missing a meeting with a work coach.”


Opperman declined to give an explanation as to why twice as many claimants are now supposedly choosing to miss appointments with their DWP advisor.

Of course this makes no sense because claimants are desperate to receive their UC payments. Methinks Opperman’s not being honest which comes as no surprise at all.



However Anne McLaughlin, SNP MP for Glasgow North East didn’t hold back from being honest in informing the commons the advice that she gives every UC claimant that has come to her after being sanctioned.

She went on to say;

“If you have your benefits sanctioned, do not take it lying down. Contact me and I will fight this for you, because this is wrong and nobody should have to live on less than the minimum income.”

This is of course correct, everyone that finds themselves in this position should fight it. The reality is that many don’t because they don’t have the strength to do so.

I have spoken to many people that had taken the decision to stop claiming UC because they can’t cope with it leaving them with little or no income to live on.

More MPs need to speak up about this in parliament but I won’t hold my breath. Only a few MPs including Debbie Abrahams actually speak up about this but others need to follow.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

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A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and every penny enables me to continue with my work.

New DWP Boss Mel Stride Happy With Universal Credit Sanction Rates.


The new DWP minister Mel Stride recently announced that he is happy with the levels of UC (Universal Credit) sanction rates.

Upon taking his new job as secretary of state for work and pensions (DWP), Mel Stride, quickly proved that he will not be making any changes in any harshness inflicted upon the most vulnerable at the hands of the DWP.



Upon answering MP’s questions on the 31 October 2022, Stride made it very clear that he’s happy hat the level of UC sanctions is now double the rate it was before the pandemic.


Stride went on to say “People are sanctioned only if they fail to attend appointments without good reason, and fail to meet the requirements that they have agreed to meet.”




However stride failed to offer any acknowledgement nevermind explanation as to why claimants are now twice as likely to break claimant commitment agreements than they were two years ago.



Upon questioning Stride ignored yet another request to publish a DWP report on the effectiveness of sanctions.

As previously reported in an earlier blog his predecessor also refused to do so.



Stride also claimed there “is a long tail” of 2.5 million long-term sick claimants who want to return to work and that it will be “a prime focus” for the DWP to “support them back into the workplace.”



It’s no coincidence that this figure is exceedingly similar to the total number of claimants that are long-term sick, the majority of whom are not able to work because their condition makes it impossible.



It appears that like his predecessors Stride is either mistaken or believes that every long-term sick person could be moved into work.



Whatever happens there appears to be no plans to treat claimants better, I suspect it will become worse.

A new DWP minister certainly doesn’t bring any changes for the better and until there’s a change of government I very much doubt that there will be.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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

I receive no payment for any of the work that I do and every read, share makes a big difference

If you are able to and would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you.

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent