Tag: cost of living increases

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.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say it’s a struggle is an understatement..

If you would like to support my work and can afford to there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog page.

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.

Every penny will be put to good use to enable me to fight the good fight for much longer.

Thank you for your support and a huge thank you to everyone that shares and reads my blog posts

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.

Please read, share and tweet this article doing so makes a huge difference in raising awareness!

A huge thanks to everyone that reads, subscribes, shares and helps to keep my blog and campaign going.

I couldn’t do it without you.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and every penny makes a huge difference.

If you’d like to donate and can afford to do so there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you!

PIP Appeal Rates Rise By 119%

It has recently been revealed by Benefits And Work that PIP (Personal Independence Payments) appeal figures have risen by 119% in 2022, this is compared to the same quarter in 2021.

The rate of UC (Universal Credit) appeals has also risen by 28% the latest official figures show.

The number of cases that were dealt increased by only 18% in the same time period compared to figures from 2021.


Figures show that there were 63,000 outstanding cases by the end of September 2021 which adds to an annual increase of 96%.



The average wait time for an appeal averaged at 31 weeks. This shows that it is 8 weeks down from 2021 figures , but is likely to increase over the coming quarters as the backlog rises inexorably.

The success rate for PIP appeals remains unchanged at 68%. This shows that the vast majority of those who appeal are correct in their decision to appeal however the wait time for appeals to be heard continues to rise.



For UC claimants it is revealed that the appeal success rates are now at 49% which is an increase of 7% on the previous year.

DLA (Disability Living Allowance) success rates are now at 61% which is down 6%.

Meanwhile ESA (Employment and Support Allowance success rates are now 53%, down on the previous year at 1%

Appealing against any DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) decision is always daunting and extremely stressful. Not only is the appeal process hard to navigate, the waiting times for appeals and tribunals to be heard is increasing.

The success rate shows that those making the decision to appeal have made the right decision in doing so.

Sadly many people that are entitled to appeal fail to do so because they can’t afford to wait a long time for their appeal to be heard and also can’t cope with the stress involved, many having no support network to rely upon.

I don’t need to tell you that the downright discrimination and hatred given to disabled and unemployed people is totally unfair and discriminatory.

This cruelty combined with the increasing cost of living and energy prices is making life extremely difficult for those that are most in need of financial help.

In an ideal world this wouldn’t be happening at all but there won’t be any positive changes made to the system whilst there’s a Tory government in power.

The conservative party is doing what they do best, punishing the most vulnerable and poor for their very existence, they need to be stopped and soon before more people suffer and die as a result of their actions.

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Please read, share and tweet this article and my others to increase awareness. It makes a massive difference and I can’t thank everyone that does enough.

A huge thanks to all of my subscribers and readers for the help and support that you have given in the previous year. I really couldn’t do this without you.

I don’t get paid for any of the work that I do and it’s a massive struggle.

If you can afford to and would like to donate to keeping this blog and campaign going there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you!

Benefit Deductions Causing Financial Hardship

Deductions from benefit payments is causing financial hardship pushing people into poverty and resulting in food bank reliance and inability to pay for everyday living costs.

A survey conducted by the Trussell Trust reveals that nearly half of those being referred to its food banks are experiencing deductions being taken from their benefit payments despite the government saying that they’ve twice cut the amount that can be deducted.

The government states “We recognise people are struggling with rising prices which why we are protecting millions of the most vulnerable families with at least £1,200 of support.” Whilst at the same time failing to address the reality that being repayment amounts are still too high proving that the ‘support’ being offered by the government being not nearly enough.

Once again making statements that portray themselves as the next saviour, whilst at the same time pushing policies and failing to address already existing policies that cause hardship.

The survey goes on to reveal that almost half of respondents reported deductions from their benefits to recover overpayments, sanctions or arrears, with the amounts already deducted from monthly payments before they arrived in the recipient’s account.

To put it in layman’s terms very few people manage to receive their full payment allowances and are drastically reduced before reaching them.

Meanwhile MPs on the parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee have said this practice needed to be paused during the cost of living crisis, as it was during the pandemic.

Thousands were already struggling to put food on the table each day before the cost of living crisis which has undoubtably made their situations much worse.

This is worsened by having to repay the advance payment loan whilst waiting for a universal credit claim to be processed. This debt on its own can cripple a person financially. Many would agree that the advance payments shouldn’t come in the form of loan to be repaid.

In July, the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs said the repayments, taken from more than 2 million claimants, were pushing the most vulnerable into destitution.

Sir Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham and committee chair, said: “We think the problems are sufficiently acute now that they should be suspended again, it’s clearly not working.

“There was a university research report which made the point that the social security system is acting not so much as a safety net but more as a debt collector at the moment.” 

In a statement, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “We have reduced the maximum amount that can be deducted from a Universal Credit award twice in recent years. 

“We’ve also doubled the time period over which they can be repaid and claimants can contact DWP to discuss deductions if they are experiencing financial hardship.”

In conclusion the cost of living crisis and resulting job losses has left many reliant upon credit card borrowing which has reached it’s highest level in 18 years. Combined with benefit loan deductions has created a tsunami of debt and poverty which will undoubtably put pressure upon already struggling food banks and organisations.

Not forgetting that this will also cause irreparable damage to the economy resulting in increased inflation levels and an increase in the everyday cost of living.

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I’d like to wish all readers and subscribers a happy new year and I hope you enjoyed the festive period in whatever way you chose to. Here’s to another year of campaigning and blogging, love and solidarity to you all.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts, this makes an enormous difference and raises awareness dramatically. Thanks to everyone that does this for me it’s really appreciated!

I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do, if you would like to donate and can afford to do so you can find a donation button at the top and side of this blog post. A huge thank you to everyone that has supported my blog in the past I couldn’t do this without you!

Important News For Bus Fares Outside Of London

Thousands Unable To Go Into Work Over Hygiene Poverty Shame.

A recent report undertaken by the charity Hygiene Bank shows that approximately 3.2 million UK adults are affected by hygiene poverty, 12% of these stating that they have avoided going into work because of this.

In the original report published by the BBC, Hygiene Bank chief executive Ruth Brock said it was a “hidden crisis”.

“It’s much more widespread than we feared, it’s increasing, and it’s disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable,” she said. 

Hygiene Bank is one of many charities that supplies food banks, homeless shelters, schools, and other organisations with personal hygiene products including but not exclusively toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, nappies, period products and laundry detergent. 

Hygiene poverty often falls under the radar with issues such as fuel and food poverty coming first leaving many unable to access essential hygiene products. The reality is that once a person is dependant upon food banks they have already stopped being able to purchase said items with priority going to heating and eating. 

“I think it just doesn’t occur to people in the same way that fuel and food poverty do,” said Ms Brock. 

In a survey undertaken by Hygiene Bank that questioned approximately 2,200 people, with the assistance of polling company YouGov it suggests that the amount of people impacted by hygiene poverty equated to 6% of all UK adults, rising to 13% from lower-income households and 21% of disabled people. 

People experiencing hygiene poverty are most likely to go without shaving products, laundry detergent, household cleaning items, and deodorant, the survey found. The survey also reports that a quarter of respondents said they had gone without toilet paper or soap or shower gel, while three in ten women did not buy period products. 

The survey also reveals that people are being forced to shop local thus costing more because they can’t afford to travel to a larger shop or supermarket.

A woman that the charity has worked with described how she is forced to dilute products to make them last longer. She also has resorted to tying up her hair in a certain way to hide the fact she often had not washed it for weeks at a time. 

She also reported that she feels that she has to keep a distance from people for fear that she smells with many unable to afford to buy period products thus making them feel ashamed to go out

Hygiene Bank’s Ruth Brock is quoted as saying said that such accounts of peoples experiences may “seem counterintuitive” to some also saying: “But it’s so insidious, you kind of cut yourself off.”

The report found that 62% of people experiencing hygiene poverty with dependent children said they have had to choose between buying products for themselves or their children. 

It’s a choice that shouldn’t have to be made, families are made to feel ashamed to leave their home and avoiding social contact at schools because they feel ashamed because of their situation. 

“This is why we have mums telling us about being ashamed to leave the house and not seeing anyone for weeks on

It’s important to remember that the data in the report draws on surveys conducted between October 2021 and February 2022, before the recent surge in the cost of living. As a result the everyday pressures upon those in need are undoubtably going to worsen with more people being forced into this situation.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics the price of shampoo has increased by 8% in the last year and shower gel is up by 11%.

The price of toothpaste has risen 6%, and the price of deodorant is up 5%.

Hygiene poverty is also affecting students such as Adam, a college student whose attendance had fallen to 18%, in part because he could not afford basic hygiene products. This inevitably resulted in his grades suffering as a result. 

According to the original report by the BBC his support worker approached Hygiene Bank in the summer of 2020 and they were able to provide deodorant and shampoo. Adam’s attendance rose to 100%, and he is now attending university. 

“Hygiene is important enough,” says Ms Brock. “But the follow-on effects of making that change for people also mean that they can then start to access their life chances.”

Undoubtably hygiene poverty is having a detrimental affect on many and at the time of writing it appears to be unspoken about by many. We need to make this a very important topic of conversation both with the public and opposition MPs, after all Tory MPS are very unlikely to do so.

For anyone that can afford to as well as donating food products to food banks it’s also important to remember that donating hygiene products is also vitally important along with pets food and suchlike.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Please read, share and tweet this blog post. It’s vitally important that this subject and others that I’ve spoken about are highlighted and spoken about.

A heartfelt promise to everyone that enabled me to continue blogging about issues such as this. I receive no payment for the work that I do and I’m eternally grateful.

If anyone would like to donate and can afford to theres a donate button at the top menu and the side of this blog post. I really couldn’t do this without you. Thank you.

Less Than 4 In 10 Claims For PIP Successful

At last the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have published the statistics for PIP (Personal Independence Payments) for the time period from August 2017 to July 2022.

Revealed in the report is that just 39% of PIP claims in England and Wales have resulted in successfully receiving an award.

Also included are the statistics for all planned award reviews for the same time period.

These figures reveal that the possibility of being awarded a higher amount once it has been reviewed are only 18%, however the chances of being financially worse off are much higher at 32%.

It’s clear to see that for both new claims and reviews all details and evidence should be acted upon accurately taking both into account.

The evidence proves otherwise and often claimants are at the whim of an assessor or reviewer that may not take available evidence and details into account.

Not only is the application process stressful, the appeal process is even more so, taking into account the lengthy time period to take an appeal to tribunal which results in many applicants giving up with their appeal.

However once taken to an appeal tribunal there’s a much higher possibility that it will result in a favourable outcome.

It’s always worth taking a case to appeal and then tribunal, but with the process being stressful and lengthy many don’t do so therefore resulting in the DWP to benefit financially.

A huge thanks to everyone that subscribes, reads, and shares my blog posts. It’s extremely important to raise awareness and it helps so much!

Thanks also to my subscribers!

I don’t receive any payment for my work and as many of you know it’s a struggle.

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

The fees to keep this website going are approaching quickly and I’ve no idea how I’m going to pay them. Every penny will help me to continue to blog and help people.

I really don’t want to leave this blog platform as it does everything that I need and is easy for me to use.

Thank you!

It’s also my 8 year anniversary for this blog, time has passed far too quickly!

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New Cost Of Living payment dates folks. Remember, it's from the first date and not on that date. Like before they'll be sending them out in batches.

Latest Cost Of Living Payment Dates

New Cost Of Living payment dates folks. Remember, it's from the first date and not on that date. Like before they'll be sending them out in batches.

Untitled

New Cost Of Living payment dates folks. Remember, it's from the first date and not on that date. Like before they'll be sending them out in batches.