Tag: debt

I’ve had no payments for 13 months. Welcome to universal credit.

Dear readers,

It appears that autumn has now merged into winter, it’s freezing out there horrific for anyone street homeless and anyone that can’t afford to heat their homes.

This cold weather worries me because so many people won’t survive the cold, many will either end up in hospital or become ill as a result.

Before the demo I always have a quick walk around the town centre to check in with people and see if they’re OK. I had some really good conversations, people are far more supportive than they were years ago.

Today was quite a busy demo, I spoke to lots of people with differing problems many of them homeless living in temporary accommodation, others street homeless having to rely on the bed for a night scheme. It helps a lot but it isn’t perfect. In reality no one should be homeless like this at all.

I had a long conversation with a young homeless man, he’s trying so hard to survive out there. He told me that he’s getting pressurised by his Jobcentre advisor to find work, according to them it doesn’t matter if he hasn’t got an address even a temporary one.

He told me that he’s been put on endless useless courses that have only promoted zero hour contract agency work, not really suitable for anyone especially when you’re homeless.

You’d think that he would be getting help with this but nope, work must come first, the DWP must come first and complying with the system must be a priority above everything else.

We as rational thinking people know the work doesn’t miraculously cure a person of all their ills and problems, zero hour contract employment makes these things much worse.

I’m sick to death of hearing the same old statements from the government and suchlike. They don’t care, they don’t have your best interests at heart afterall they have a swinging brick in place of a heart.

We spoke to a woman with four children whos universal credit had been stopped because she apparently hadn’t agreed to the claimant commitment. She hadn’t been asked to review it online and luckily she managed to get this decision overturned and they’ll reinstate her payments straight away.

This however hasn’t helped her with her problems regarding council tax and this matter is ongoing.

I spoke to a man that told me that he hasn’t received any universal credit payments for 13 months. I asked him why and he told me that the DWP insist that he’s working even though he’s provided bank statements etc to prove that he isn’t.

Guilty after being proven innocent because the DWP don’t want to give him his payments. Luckily he is still fighting this and I’m confident that he’ll win.

I had a conversation with a chap who’s in the process of claiming Universal credit. There is a problem though, he doesn’t know how to use a computer.

The system works against anyone like this, anyone with a disability, basically anyone. It’s a cruel, heartless system.

We had a conversation with a man that has recently been made homeless by his private landlord. He now spends his days trying to find somewhere to sleep and stay safe.

What was surprising today was the amount of young people, students at the local college saying that they hated universal credit and that they agreed with everything that we are doing, helping people and providing support.

For those working at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre that are telling people that they shouldn’t be listening to us, stop it right now. We help people, we feed them and provide solidarity and advice. These are basic things that you should be doing but aren’t.

Today was cold, but we helped lots of people and we will be returning again next week to do the same.

Please come and join us if you can, if you can’t please read and share my blog this really helps to raise awareness.

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

For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. I don’t know how much longer it will be there though because I have to pay my yearly subscription for this blog and at the moment I can’t afford to do this. I’ll loose the ability to put links like that on my blog but I’ll work something out.

I’ve had no payments for 13 months. Welcome to universal credit.

Dear readers,

It appears that autumn has now merged into winter, it’s freezing out there horrific for anyone street homeless and anyone that can’t afford to heat their homes.

This cold weather worries me because so many people won’t survive the cold, many will either end up in hospital or become ill as a result.

Before the demo I always have a quick walk around the town centre to check in with people and see if they’re OK. I had some really good conversations, people are far more supportive than they were years ago.

Today was quite a busy demo, I spoke to lots of people with differing problems many of them homeless living in temporary accommodation, others street homeless having to rely on the bed for a night scheme. It helps a lot but it isn’t perfect. In reality no one should be homeless like this at all.

I had a long conversation with a young homeless man, he’s trying so hard to survive out there. He told me that he’s getting pressurised by his Jobcentre advisor to find work, according to them it doesn’t matter if he hasn’t got an address even a temporary one.

He told me that he’s been put on endless useless courses that have only promoted zero hour contract agency work, not really suitable for anyone especially when you’re homeless.

You’d think that he would be getting help with this but nope, work must come first, the DWP must come first and complying with the system must be a priority above everything else.

We as rational thinking people know the work doesn’t miraculously cure a person of all their ills and problems, zero hour contract employment makes these things much worse.

I’m sick to death of hearing the same old statements from the government and suchlike. They don’t care, they don’t have your best interests at heart afterall they have a swinging brick in place of a heart.

We spoke to a woman with four children whos universal credit had been stopped because she apparently hadn’t agreed to the claimant commitment. She hadn’t been asked to review it online and luckily she managed to get this decision overturned and they’ll reinstate her payments straight away.

This however hasn’t helped her with her problems regarding council tax and this matter is ongoing.

I spoke to a man that told me that he hasn’t received any universal credit payments for 13 months. I asked him why and he told me that the DWP insist that he’s working even though he’s provided bank statements etc to prove that he isn’t.

Guilty after being proven innocent because the DWP don’t want to give him his payments. Luckily he is still fighting this and I’m confident that he’ll win.

I had a conversation with a chap who’s in the process of claiming Universal credit. There is a problem though, he doesn’t know how to use a computer.

The system works against anyone like this, anyone with a disability, basically anyone. It’s a cruel, heartless system.

We had a conversation with a man that has recently been made homeless by his private landlord. He now spends his days trying to find somewhere to sleep and stay safe.

What was surprising today was the amount of young people, students at the local college saying that they hated universal credit and that they agreed with everything that we are doing, helping people and providing support.

For those working at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre that are telling people that they shouldn’t be listening to us, stop it right now. We help people, we feed them and provide solidarity and advice. These are basic things that you should be doing but aren’t.

Today was cold, but we helped lots of people and we will be returning again next week to do the same.

Please come and join us if you can, if you can’t please read and share my blog this really helps to raise awareness.

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

For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. I don’t know how much longer it will be there though because I have to pay my yearly subscription for this blog and at the moment I can’t afford to do this. I’ll loose the ability to put links like that on my blog but I’ll work something out.

I’ve had no payments for 13 months. Welcome to universal credit.

Dear readers,

It appears that autumn has now merged into winter, it’s freezing out there horrific for anyone street homeless and anyone that can’t afford to heat their homes.

This cold weather worries me because so many people won’t survive the cold, many will either end up in hospital or become ill as a result.

Before the demo I always have a quick walk around the town centre to check in with people and see if they’re OK. I had some really good conversations, people are far more supportive than they were years ago.

Today was quite a busy demo, I spoke to lots of people with differing problems many of them homeless living in temporary accommodation, others street homeless having to rely on the bed for a night scheme. It helps a lot but it isn’t perfect. In reality no one should be homeless like this at all.

I had a long conversation with a young homeless man, he’s trying so hard to survive out there. He told me that he’s getting pressurised by his Jobcentre advisor to find work, according to them it doesn’t matter if he hasn’t got an address even a temporary one.

He told me that he’s been put on endless useless courses that have only promoted zero hour contract agency work, not really suitable for anyone especially when you’re homeless.

You’d think that he would be getting help with this but nope, work must come first, the DWP must come first and complying with the system must be a priority above everything else.

We as rational thinking people know the work doesn’t miraculously cure a person of all their ills and problems, zero hour contract employment makes these things much worse.

I’m sick to death of hearing the same old statements from the government and suchlike. They don’t care, they don’t have your best interests at heart afterall they have a swinging brick in place of a heart.

We spoke to a woman with four children whos universal credit had been stopped because she apparently hadn’t agreed to the claimant commitment. She hadn’t been asked to review it online and luckily she managed to get this decision overturned and they’ll reinstate her payments straight away.

This however hasn’t helped her with her problems regarding council tax and this matter is ongoing.

I spoke to a man that told me that he hasn’t received any universal credit payments for 13 months. I asked him why and he told me that the DWP insist that he’s working even though he’s provided bank statements etc to prove that he isn’t.

Guilty after being proven innocent because the DWP don’t want to give him his payments. Luckily he is still fighting this and I’m confident that he’ll win.

I had a conversation with a chap who’s in the process of claiming Universal credit. There is a problem though, he doesn’t know how to use a computer.

The system works against anyone like this, anyone with a disability, basically anyone. It’s a cruel, heartless system.

We had a conversation with a man that has recently been made homeless by his private landlord. He now spends his days trying to find somewhere to sleep and stay safe.

What was surprising today was the amount of young people, students at the local college saying that they hated universal credit and that they agreed with everything that we are doing, helping people and providing support.

For those working at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre that are telling people that they shouldn’t be listening to us, stop it right now. We help people, we feed them and provide solidarity and advice. These are basic things that you should be doing but aren’t.

Today was cold, but we helped lots of people and we will be returning again next week to do the same.

Please come and join us if you can, if you can’t please read and share my blog this really helps to raise awareness.

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

For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. I don’t know how much longer it will be there though because I have to pay my yearly subscription for this blog and at the moment I can’t afford to do this. I’ll loose the ability to put links like that on my blog but I’ll work something out.

Queue for food parcels, people hungry. The only way to stop this is to use your vote.

Dear readers I’m thankfully back this week and I’m almost recovered from my illness, a massive thank you to everyone who wished me well and understood why I couldn’t do last weeks demo.

Yesterday was pretty dire, a large queue for the food parcels and even more people needing them than ever before. This Tory government has bled us dry of our basic requirements to live. Having a home to live in, food to eat and hope for the future is near impossible to achieve at the moment.

Our basic requirements should be met though and without question. We shouldn’t have to worry about how we’re going to feed ourselves and our children. But I don’t need to tell you this because you already know it.

This upcoming general election is the more important than any other recent ones.

You might ask why is it? No one is going to help us and they’re all the same, they make promises and then break them.

The Tory party are viscous and cruel both with their policy making and their attitude towards the working class person. They’ve made thousands upon thousands of people suffer and die as a direct result of their inhumane policy decisions. They’ve given us the bedroom tax, council tax supplement, ESA and PIP and their cruel so called medical assessments, universal credit, homelessness, the selling of our NHS and its lack of funding, the end of adult education for many, our education system being run down do much its virtually unrecognisable, a massive lack of funding towards policing, academy schooling, the withdrawal of much needed council funds especially to labour controlled councils etc etc.

I could talk for ages about what they’ve taken from us because they’ve basically taken everything away from us.

What I do know is that we won’t be able to survive another five years of Tory rule, things won’t become better miraculously they’ll only become much worse.

Every week for over 6 years I and others have been helping people outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. I’ve seen the town that I love, my birthplace become so run down it’s not recognisable to many anymore.

It’s hard for people to feel proud of living here when there’s nothing to look forward to anymore.

I see hungry people everywhere that I go, I have people phoning me up for help, I take people shopping because they have nothing. I hand out hats, gloves and scarfs to anyone that needs them. I shouldn’t have to do this though.

I’ve seen a family eating food out of a tin as soon as I’ve handed a food parcel to them, I can’t count how many people have taken their own life’s and equally I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have died as a direct result of Tory austerity, neglect and blatent prejudice.

Think about this though, it’s awful now will you be able to survive another five years of Tory rule? I know that I won’t.

Yesterday I helped people, people who have nothing and we will be back again next week to do the same.

Please I urge you to use your vote, the vote that your ancestors fought hard for. Please vote for the Labour Party to put an end to all this cruelty.

I don’t normally write posts like this but it is literally the fight for our life’s, for our children and grandchildrens future. It’s the fight for our NHS, for our education, for everything that we need to survive.

I hope that some time in the near future I and my comrades won’t have to be stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and other Jobcentres helping people.

I’d love there not to be a need for food parcels. I want to see an end for this and more.

Please register to vote it’s never been as important as it is now.

We need to do this in the memory of the thousands of people who have died as a result of Tory policy and austerity.

Austerity was a political decision and certainly not a necessity. Never forget this.

The weather was awful yesterday, and we had to leave early. We would have stuck it out but we’re both recovering from illness but we will be staying the full two hours next week.

We have to stay because people need help. They need to know that someone cares, this makes a massive difference and sometimes a difference between life and death.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support our campaign and blog if you can.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported both already.

Queue for food parcels, people hungry. The only way to stop this is to use your vote.

Dear readers I’m thankfully back this week and I’m almost recovered from my illness, a massive thank you to everyone who wished me well and understood why I couldn’t do last weeks demo.

Yesterday was pretty dire, a large queue for the food parcels and even more people needing them than ever before. This Tory government has bled us dry of our basic requirements to live. Having a home to live in, food to eat and hope for the future is near impossible to achieve at the moment.

Our basic requirements should be met though and without question. We shouldn’t have to worry about how we’re going to feed ourselves and our children. But I don’t need to tell you this because you already know it.

This upcoming general election is the more important than any other recent ones.

You might ask why is it? No one is going to help us and they’re all the same, they make promises and then break them.

The Tory party are viscous and cruel both with their policy making and their attitude towards the working class person. They’ve made thousands upon thousands of people suffer and die as a direct result of their inhumane policy decisions. They’ve given us the bedroom tax, council tax supplement, ESA and PIP and their cruel so called medical assessments, universal credit, homelessness, the selling of our NHS and its lack of funding, the end of adult education for many, our education system being run down do much its virtually unrecognisable, a massive lack of funding towards policing, academy schooling, the withdrawal of much needed council funds especially to labour controlled councils etc etc.

I could talk for ages about what they’ve taken from us because they’ve basically taken everything away from us.

What I do know is that we won’t be able to survive another five years of Tory rule, things won’t become better miraculously they’ll only become much worse.

Every week for over 6 years I and others have been helping people outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. I’ve seen the town that I love, my birthplace become so run down it’s not recognisable to many anymore.

It’s hard for people to feel proud of living here when there’s nothing to look forward to anymore.

I see hungry people everywhere that I go, I have people phoning me up for help, I take people shopping because they have nothing. I hand out hats, gloves and scarfs to anyone that needs them. I shouldn’t have to do this though.

I’ve seen a family eating food out of a tin as soon as I’ve handed a food parcel to them, I can’t count how many people have taken their own life’s and equally I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have died as a direct result of Tory austerity, neglect and blatent prejudice.

Think about this though, it’s awful now will you be able to survive another five years of Tory rule? I know that I won’t.

Yesterday I helped people, people who have nothing and we will be back again next week to do the same.

Please I urge you to use your vote, the vote that your ancestors fought hard for. Please vote for the Labour Party to put an end to all this cruelty.

I don’t normally write posts like this but it is literally the fight for our life’s, for our children and grandchildrens future. It’s the fight for our NHS, for our education, for everything that we need to survive.

I hope that some time in the near future I and my comrades won’t have to be stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and other Jobcentres helping people.

I’d love there not to be a need for food parcels. I want to see an end for this and more.

Please register to vote it’s never been as important as it is now.

We need to do this in the memory of the thousands of people who have died as a result of Tory policy and austerity.

Austerity was a political decision and certainly not a necessity. Never forget this.

The weather was awful yesterday, and we had to leave early. We would have stuck it out but we’re both recovering from illness but we will be staying the full two hours next week.

We have to stay because people need help. They need to know that someone cares, this makes a massive difference and sometimes a difference between life and death.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support our campaign and blog if you can.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported both already.

Five year aniversary of blogging and the suffering continues.

Dear readers it’s been five years almost to the day since I started writing this blog although I’ve been campaigning for much longer.

A friend encouraged me to write it but I honestly didn’t think that anyone would read it. I was proved wrong though, it took off straight away.

Back then we were chosen to be a trial area for universal credit along with Oldham and Wigan.

Hardly anyone else was documenting the day to day cruelty that universal credit and the benefit reforms.Most likely because it wasn’t happening everywhere and lots of people weren’t aware of this

We were ignored and called liars and suchlike.

Myself and other groups continued to fight against it even though every door was being slammed in our faces. No one wanted to know.

Through perseverance and determination we continued, we weren’t letting this go. People were and are dying as a result and that was and is unacceptable.

DPAC have been consistently supportive and they’re amazing. The work that they have done and are doing is outstanding. I can’t thank them enough.

When I started this blog almost everyone that I spoke to outside Ashton Jobcentre was or had been sanctioned.

Pregnant women were being sanctioned for three years, suicides of people that we had spoken to were a constant worry. I’ve lost count of the people that we have lost.

It breaks my heart and I’ve always got them in my thoughts. Thanks to Black Triangle for their work collecting this info and publishing it.

At the the time the DWP were a law unto themselves, they still are. I’m certain that they were given orders to sanction as many people as possible (remember Sandra’s stars anyone?).

I’m certain that they still have these targets but they’re not so open and brazen at displaying them. People are still being sanctioned and it’s abbhorant that this is continuing to happen. Being sanctioned can and does kill people.

The suffering continues and every week I’m told yet more awful stories from claimants about their experiences whilst on universal credit and other benefits.

Today a man told me that he’d been barred from the Jobcentre for loosing his temper when he was told that he’d been sanctioned.

When he was allowed back into the Jobcentre he had a G4S guard to escort him to his appointment and to take him out again.

The stress of this took its toll on him and he started to pull his hair out. He can’t believe how horrible this system is. Thanks to the DWP he’s mentally scarred for life.

The system hasn’t got better the DWP and government have become more devious, constantly putting unrealistic demands upon people that they know won’t be able to keep up with it.

We’ve handed hundreds of food parcels out because people were and are literally starving. I’ve watched a family open the tins of food and eat it because they were so hungry.

It’s hard to tell you what the worst thing that I’ve seen is. Everything about this system is awful. It persecutes children, women, men, women who should be receiving their pensions but were conned out of them. The DWP won’t leave anyone alone.

The fight continues though. The Labour Party have at last commited to stopping, scrapping universal credit. They’re going to replace it with a caring system and I know that they’re going to do this. The Labour Party have been working very hard on creating the new system for quite a while now.

But the changes won’t happen overnight and until they’ve been elected nothing will change its going to become a whole lot worse.

Every week we speak to disabled people who have been found fit for work. They aren’t fit for work though and we help them to start the appeal process.

We’ve handed out thousands of copies of of our survival guides. They’ve proved to be invaluable and have helped a lot of people. Thanks to Roy for your help with this.

The blog doesn’t end after I’ve published the blog on Thursdays though. It’s become a full time job. Myself or members of the team don’t get paid by anyone either. We do it because we care.

The fight continues week after week. We’ve had abuse from G4S, I’ve been spat on called a scrounger and worse.

The DWP have unsuccessfully tried to move us from outside the Jobcentre. We aren’t going anywhere, we aren’t stopping until the suffering ends.

Whilst the suffering continues we will continue. I made this commitment all those years ago.

I want to thank you all for reading and supporting the blog for these last five years. Its been a massive comfort to know that you all support this blog and the campaign.

I’ll end the blog here this week. I know that it’s a bit different than my usual blog style but I really wanted to thank everyone that’s helped along the way whether it’s on foot at the demos or online. Both are equally as important.

To everyone that does come and help though thank you so, so much. We’ve had a lot of physical support from Stockport Against Austerity and I can’t thank them enough as well as Gordon, Roy, Carol and everyone else who I’ve met along the way.

My local Labour Party and my MP Angela Rayner have also been hugely supportive even though I’ve been a pain sometimes.

Can I ask you to continue to read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you to those that already do.

There’s also a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Every penny donated ensures that the campaign and blog can continue. A massive thanks to those that have.

I’ll be back next week with my usual blog. Thank you for the five years of support and thanks to Mike for persuading me to start this blog.

Don’t worry I’ll be writing next weeks blog in my usual style.

I’m so hungry I could faint.

Dear readers I hope that you are OK and surviving. It appears that surviving is all that we can do these days.

Even though it’s been busy in parliament our work never stops. Parliament is parogued but we aren’t. Let’s hope that there’s an end to all that madness soon.

We can guarantee that it’s going to be the poor and disabled that bear the brunt of any Brexit related decisions. The wealthy really don’t care because it won’t affect them, this really annoys me. I know that it’s to be expected though.

As usual the food parcels went as soon as they arrive. This is a terrible reflection of the government’s war against the poor. It really shouldn’t be like this after all there was no real reason for it.

The tory government would rather give their friends millions of pounds only to blame us for their mess. The price that we have paid is a very heavy one. Thousands upon thousands of people have either died or are suffering, many have become ill as a result.

I can suppose that you would have seen the fancy DWP adverts everywhere and especially in the Metro newspaper, saying that ‘work pays’ and ‘universal credit helps you into work. Despite being a down right lie I’ve spoken to many people who can prove this isn’t the case.

This morning I spoke to Ron. Ron has completed quite a few of the useless DWP courses. They didn’t help him to find work they delayed him in his quest to find a job.

Despite this Ron found a job, a well paid one. He could start within days but his new employer advised him that he would need to bring his own safety gear including proper strong work boots.

Not having any spare money he approached the DWP and asked if they could help him out with the cost of this. The DWP unsurprisingly said no, they wouldn’t do it.

Ron understandably worried then phoned up the DWP and he was told that they could help him and he should tell his advisor that they could.

Ron then spoke to his advisor who once again told him that they wouldn’t help him.

In the meantime Ron wasn’t able to start work, he lost the job but was told that he had to attend yet another pointless DWP course.

Ron’s experience isn’t uncommon though. This happens to lots of people. The DWP are actually preventing people from starting work.

Meanwhile people like Ron are forced into constantly attending the pointless courses and threatened with a sanction if they don’t attend.

The companies and organisations that provide these courses are paid very handsomely to do so as are the DWP.

Sadly we are all a commodity to be bought and sold at the governments whim.

I then spoke to Tom. Tom has been constantly appealing against ESA and PIP decisions. He has appealed these decisions and every time he’s won.

Tom has been waiting 18 months for the latest appeal and tribunal. He’s understandably angry telling me that he’s extremely frustrated but he won’t give up fighting against their decisions. Tom is an amazing man.

I then had a conversation with Debbie. Debbie hadn’t eaten for a while and she didn’t look well, telling me that she felt faint because she hasn’t eaten for a few days. She hasn’t been receiving her payments because her circumstances have changed and she’s street homeless.

I gave her something to eat, she was thankful but that’s only short term help. Because we had ran out of food parcels I advised her to go into the council offices and ask them for a food bank voucher.

It’s not acceptable for anyone to be suffering like this, I helped her out but tomorrow I won’t be there. I did advise that she visits a few local organisations for some more support. I really hope that she does this.

I spoke to two people that needed to open bank accounts to receive their universal credit payments. They’d previously used a friends bank account to do so. I advised them about what ID they would need and I wished them luck.

We spoke briefly to a man that had just found a job within a month of applying for universal credit. The experience has scarred him, telling me that he didn’t know how people survive on this system. He never wants to experience it again either.

The DWP also owe him money but I doubt if he’ll ever get it. Meanwhile he’s too tired of the whole system to chase it.

Today was quite a busy day but I had to leave 30 minutes early for the electrician to finish fitting my new boiler. I’ve waited about a year for a new one. It’s ridiculous isn’t it.

We had lots of conversations with people, thanks to Gordon for helping and thanks to Gary for the leaflets.

We will be back next week. Try not to forget us whilst the whole Brexit debacle continues. People are still suffering and its these people who will suffer greatly as a result of any decision made by the government.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Send a copy of it to your mp.

A massive thanks to everyone that does and has supported my blog.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of ti’s blog.