Tag: fines

Long foodbank queues on Christmas Eve.

A friend of mine that volunteers at a foodbank has just sent me the below images. They asked if their anonymity is kept and of course I’m respecting this.

The photos were taken as they were arriving for their shift at the food bank. It wasn’t open for some time, but the queue was already massive, people arriving early to make sure that they’d get some food.

As you can see the queue consisted of People, all differing in their needs. What can’t be missed is the people using wheelchairs queueing for food parcels.on Christmas Eve.

Also in the queue are elderly people and families with children.

You don’t need me to tell you that this shouldn’t be happening , it’s heartbreaking.

You can always find the measure of a country by seeing how they look after the poor, young, elderly and disabled.

The conservative government is blatantly failing on this front. As a country we can’t be proud of this either.

Being proud of a country is about being proud of what it actually does right, and how it treats those in need. It’s not about waving flags and singing the national anthem.

We can however also look back on history and also be ashamed for the very same reasons. Ignoring the fact that the UK government is causing direct harm to people won’t make it go away.

Whilst the government has been focusing on ridiculous things like blue passports people are dying, thousands are becoming homeless and many are becoming ill from poverty related illnesses.

Meanwhile the public are bombarded with images of the royal family having a lovely Christmas, the people queuing at this foodbank and others won’t be able to celebrate.

Its simply not acceptable.

I messaged the volunteer that took the below images and this is what they said

It felt like a slap in the face for them too. It’s a reminder of their privilege. Because despite having their own difficulties they can sit in a warm house, with food, having just wrapped presents for their family.

They went on to say that it makes them angry and sad that this is happening, that they wished that they could do more to help. There’s more that many could do, so let’s do it.

Helping others doesn’t have to cost a penny. A kind word, saying hello in the street makes the world of difference to someone that lives alone and hasn’t spoken to anyone for a long time.

Being a friend costs nothing also, sharing what you no longer need doesn’t either. Of course I realise that many people have nothing to give to someone else.

Let’s spend the festive period and the coming year to be kind and thoughtful towards each other. We need to do this because the government won’t ever care about you.

Faces and building names covered out of respect for the people queuing.
No one should be forced to literally beg for food on Christmas Eve.

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

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DWP agrees to waive hardship payment debts.

Please click on the below link from the Public Law Project.

If you are told to repay back hardship payment debts make sure that you challenge this.

It is your legal right to do so. If needed quote the below article and insist that the DWP use their discretion regarding payment of hardship payment debt.

Insist that these payments are causing distress and suffering, which they do for thousands of people.

This is also essential because the majority of claimants already have monies garnished from their payments for council tax debt and suchlike.

No one should be forced to live in extreme hardship such as this.

I expect that the DWP won’t like this so don’t expect them to suggest it to you.

https://publiclawproject.org.uk/latest/dwp-agrees-to-waive-hardship-payment-debts-after-successful-judicial-review/

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A huge thank you to everyone that and has supported my blog and campaign. This makes such a big difference.

Television licence set to increase in April.

It was announced this week that the television licensing fee is to rise from April 1. The fee will increase from £157.50 to £159 , this being the the fifth year the license fee has been increased.

The increase in price will rise to £3.06 a week or £13.25 a month. The cost of an annual black and white licence is to rise from £52 to £53.

In 2016 the government announced and agreed that the licence fee would rise in line with inflation each year for five years from April 1, 2017.

No reductions have been announced in respect of the pandemic, nor have the BBC taken into the account the financial impact that it has had and continues to have on it’s viewers.

The television licence fee is compulsory for everyone that watches live TV or on BBC iPlayer on any device. It also applies to watching other live programmes on online TV service such as YouTube, Sky Go and Now Tv.

There is a maximum penalty of £1,000 for people that have been watching live television without a license which impacts low income people the most with fines being garnished upon Universal Credit payments and suchlike.

The government had been considering whether non-payment should be decriminalised however not surprisingly they decided not to stop the licence fee increase saying that it would ‘remain under active consideration’.

Whilst the television licence fee might not appear to be a lot to many, for low income people and families it is a cost that they can’t afford to pay. Whilst the BBC has dedicated air time for educational programmes during lockdown many can’t afford to access them. Eat or heat is a priority put before paying for a television license.

The BBC confirmed that 2.7 million over-75s had paid for their licence after loosing their access to a free television license from August 1 2020, leaving a deficit of about 1 million over 75s not applying for a licence.

It’s extremely worrying that so many people are excluded by poverty from accessing educational programmes that have been aired for children. Many families and over 75s might try to watch the television without a licence because they can’t afford to pay for it.

No one should be excluded from a vital service such as the educational television programmes that are being broadcast by the BBC, but they are and as usual the poorest will bear the burden of this more than anyone else.

The impact of fines for non payment is huge. Fines take away money otherwise dedicated to food, energy bills and suchlike, pushing people into even more poverty.

Not everyone can find childcare to go to court to face a magistrate and set a payment plan. In their absence an amount is agreed by the courts that they can’t afford to pay because the courts can’t take their income into account. These fines are then garnished from Universal Credit payments and other benefit payments.

Personally I believe that school children should be able to access their educational programmes for free. I also agree that television licenses should have remained free for over 75’s.

Whilst I agree that the BBC does need to be funded and they do make some excellent programmes, the poorest shouldn’t be the ones carrying the heaviest financial burden of this. Their payment structure needs to be re looked at and revised to enable everyone to have access to their programmes and channels.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. It’s important that the truth gets out there.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports my campaign and blog. For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my work. You mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you.