Tag: money

2021 budget announcements fails to help those most in need.

Yesterdays budget announcements were more than disappointing, all of which will in one way or another will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the most.

Whilst I was glad to see the £20 Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit extended for a further six months it is still unknown if it will be extended for a further six months.

Whilst to some £20 a week is a small amount of money, to thousands it’s literally keeping them going. It enables people to maybe buy some gas and electricity, to buy some food and to buy phone credit or help pay for their internet bill.

The £20 uplift should be increased and should be extended to everyone on legacy benefits. The refusal of the government to do this shows their complete disregard of their needs.

These aren’t luxuries by any means, they are basic necessities that people need to survive.

The DWP demand that claimants have access to the internet at all times and have a working mobile phone, if they don’t they risk being sanctioned.

To withdraw the £20 uplift in six months time will only result in pushing people further into poverty and once again having to make the decision between eating or heating. Bills wont be paid therefore they will spiral further into debt.

The Chancellor certainly didn’t make any announcements that would greatly benefit families and working people. Whilst the furlough scheme has been extended this doesn’t help anyone that has lost their job as a result of the pandemic.

At best it covers 80% of an employees wages leaving them to struggle on a lower income than they were previously getting.

No mention of help was made by the chancellor for people looking for work, for the unemployed that are desperately struggling to survive on the already failing Universal Credit system.

The government knows that Universal Credit payments aren’t enough to survive on and the £20 uplift payments given to Universal Credit claimants is their admission that they know that payments are too low.

You can bet that they’ll take away the uplift payments at the earliest opportunity rather than overhauling the failing Universal Credit system.

Zero help was offered to disabled people and people on legacy benefits, the government hasn’t even acknowledged their need for help. No care has been given to their welfare, their physical and mental health doesn’t matter to the government.

Far too many disabled people are living in distress and are still being forced to attend ESA and PIP assessments albeit some are taking place on the telephone.

Disabled people are still awaiting their ESA renewal assessments, their payments being stopped in the middle of the pandemic because theres a huge backlog of people awaiting their assessments.

How is this acceptable in any way?

The Chancellor also failed to mention the NHS, education, carers, social care, pensioners and the environment. Almost no mention was given to the affect that the pandemic has had on all of these services.

At a time when they all need cash boosts and interventions more than they ever did they were all ignored, their needs tossed to the side land forgotten about.

Yesterday’s budget was all about the rich, big business and how they will survive the pandemic.

It felt to me that the government is now actively trying to ignore and forget that the pandemic is still here, newer more deadly virus mutations are being found and everyone is struggling .

Vaccinations don’t stop the transmission of the virus but they do lessen the effect of it.

It’s extremely concerning when people are refusing their vaccinations because they believe it to be bad for us, because they refuse to accept that its safe and it will benefit them.

Schools will be reopening soon and I’m certain that this will result in the R rate increasing and the mortality rates both increasing once again.

The truth is that the country as a whole can’t move forward and rebuild properly, if ever if the above issues and problems aren’t dealt with first.

Does the government care? Not one bit because none of this affects them and it never will. Our basic needs aren’t even acknowledged.

My thoughts are with everyone struggling, with everyone that is in distress and everyone that the government is letting down.

Remember that there are lots of people that do care about you. Never forget that.

How am I coping? Just about is the best that I can say. Taking it a day at a time suits me the best.

I’m still battling long covid and I’m trying to sort my home out after being ill for so long.

My apologies if I talk about this too much. It’s the situation that I’m in as are thousands of people. One day we will be well again.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s extremely important that we continue to get the truth out there.

A massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign.

If anyone would like to donate to my blog and campaign or buy me a coffee theres a donate button at the side and top of this blog post.

Thank you to everyone that has and does support the blog and campaig

21.7 million people will be living in hardship by May despite the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit £20 uplift.

In a recent report conducted by The New Economics Foundation one in three people will be living in hardship by May despite the universal Credit Working Tax Credit £20 uplift hopefully being extended.

The New Economics Foundation also reports that 21.7 million people will still not have a decent standard of living even if the uplift is extended.

The report goes on to say that 12.9 million of the people in financial difficulty will be receiving less than 75% of the Minimum Income Standard which is defined as being £19,200 for a single person and £37,400 for a family of four, taking into account if the £20 uplift is removed.

If removed this will result in 1.1 million more people falling below the MIS by May compared with last September.

If the Covid 19 infection and mortality rates lessen it will expose the true crisis in living standards that thousands of people are forced to live in.

The New Economics Foundation report shows that by May, one in three people  which is estimated to be total of 21.7 million  will be living in families with not enough income to meet every day needs.

Despite the furlough scheme, unemployment has continued to rise over the last year. According to the latest government data it shows that unemployment has increased by 1.3% points higher than the previous year. It also also shows the largest annual decrease in employment since the aftermath of the financial crisis. This being half a million fewer people employed than there was last year. Redundancy rates have also risen from 8.4 per thousand on the year, to 12.3 per thousand employees.

This leaves millions of people that are now dependant upon our social security system to support incomes, help with housing costs and to feed people.

At the time of writing the latest government data reveals there are 5.9 million people on universal credit with 3 million receiving housing benefit, 2.5 million receiving personal independence payment, 1.9 million receiving employment support allowance, 1.4 million receiving disability living allowance, and 0.3 million receiving jobseeker’s allowance.

If the furlough scheme ends in April, the financial situation is set to worsen for many therefore making them more dependent upon the social security system.

The Bank of England has also projected that unemployment will rise to 7.8% in April-June 2021.

Although the government is likely to extend the £20 uplift for another six months, it is unknown if it will be withdrawn after six months.

To withdraw the uplift would not only push people deeper into poverty it will also hamper financial recovery for the lowest income families. If the uplift is withdrawn November there will be an estimated additional 1.2 million people living below the Minimum Income Standard.

At the very least the £20 uplift must be kept for those on universal credit or receiving working tax credit and it must be extended to those on legacy benefits who do not currently have access to it. To take it away in November would prevent any financial recovery for people having the incomes across the country.

We need a social security system that gives financial security for all and doesn’t make people choose between eating or heating and paying the rent ensuring that no one has to choose between buying the basics or heating their homes.

To do this there need what remains of the the UK’s safety net to be a reformation of the current social security system giving it the ability to protect individuals and families for the long term.

The very act of giving Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants the £20 uplift and introducing the furlough scheme was actually the government’s way of recognising that our current social security safety net isn’t good enough.

We need to continue to campaign for a fairer social security system for all.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. It’s important that we continue to get the truth out there.

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Justin Tomlinson confirms that the new DWP intergrated assessment service to be trialed in April.

The Disability, Health and Work Minister Justin Tomlinson has recently confirmed that the new integrated assessment service will be tested, trialed and developed in London initially before being rolled out nationally.

The new integrated assessment service for employment and support allowance pilot will include ESA, PIP and Universal Credit.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Justin Tomlinson confirmed in parliament via a written question that testing of this single digital platform had started in a small number of assessment centres in early 2020 . This was detailed in a written statement given in March 2020 which was paused due to the impact of Covid-19.

Mr Tomlinson confirmed this saying “We have been reviewing our delivery plans and expect the IT development to form part the work of the new Departmental Transformation Area. The new Departmental Transformation Area (DTA) will provide a safe environment to test, adapt and learn from new ideas and processes before rolling out at a greater scale, and ultimately nationally.’

He went on to say ‘This approach recognises that our claimants include some of the most vulnerable in society and it is critical that we carefully develop the new integrated health assessment service.’

This combined approach can only be disastrous for disabled people. Combining ESA, PIP with the Universal Credit system that has already been proven to be failing people will have a detrimental affect upon the well being of disabled and ill people.

It will be impossible to incorporate these three benefits fairly and it will leave so many vulnerable people in mental and physical distress.

Mr Tomlinson’s written answer is available from parliament.uk


Cleaning up after Covid 19.

Last week I updated my blog in which I told my blog readers that I have had my Covid 19 vaccination. I didn’t become ill after it except for tiredness (which I have anyway) and the feeling that I was getting a virus.

Sadly I didn’t grow two heads and Bill Gates hasn’t been in touch yet. The vaccination didn’t hurt either so thats a bonus. When you get notified that you’re eligible for your vaccination go for it.

This week I decided that enough was enough and I had to start cleaning and tidying my house after having Covid. I’ve also had long covid for almost eleven months. Thinking about it was far easier than actually doing it. As is par the course when I plan to do anything.

Last year after my first infectious bout of covid my social housing provider decided that they wanted to fit a new kitchen to replace my decrepit old one. I thought that this was really good news but then I had to empty my kitchen ready for them to start taking my old one out.

This was a complete nightmare because A I have a tiny house and I was suffering with long covid and other complications. I did ask my landlord to ask them if they could delay it but the answer was no.

I’m not being ungrateful but it was very difficult to do. We had to move everything that we could upstairs and the larger items into my living room. I was so happy that we actually managed it with the help of my older children and the kitchen that was fitted is gorgeous.

Anyway why am I talking about this?

After the kitchen was fitted I had subsequent relapses of pneumonia and pleurisy and because of this I was only able to bring the basics downstairs so that we could use the kitchen.

This resulted in my house being an absolute state for so long. Boxes, bags and other containers were stuffed in every room upstairs and the box room was full to the top with things that needed moving.

This week I decided that I couldn’t live like this any longer. Previous to me becoming ill I liked to have a clean and tidy house. It wasn’t immaculate but it was cosy and we liked it.

It was for this reason we started to sort the kitchen stuff out and put them in the appropriate places and throw away anything that we didn’t need or want anymore.

It was hard work and I still cant believe that we managed it and we were so proud of our efforts. I even managed to sort out my front garden. I also need to do the back garden but that will have to wait until I’m feeling up to it and when I can afford to pay someone to take the stuff away.

Whilst doing this I was reminded of how hard it is for anyone that is disabled or ill to keep on top of their housework. It’s a nightmare when you’re not able to tidy up after yourself and also if you don’t have a car to take things to the local tip.

When my local council decided to start recycling they swapped our bins around, the biggest bin being used for bottles and tins. Whilst this sounds like a good idea the amount of items that they accept for recycling is small leaving us with a small bin to fit all none recyclable items in. This has resulted in overflowing bins and fly tipping by unscrupulous people that are paid to take rubbish to the tip but instead dump it in local country parks etc.

I’m sure that you don’t want to read about this, but I’m truly grateful to have beaten covid and have a new kitchen fitted.

I’m grateful that I’m still here and I’m angry about the governments lack of care for people during the pandemic. This week Johnson told us that we should get used to people dying.

We should never get used to people dying because of the governments neglect. I’m furious. So many people have died and will continue to die because of their neglect. I hope that one day they’ll be punished for their neglect.

I apologise for the content of my blog this week but I like to tell it like it is from my experience of things. Even though my worries are small compared to other peoples worries and concerns they’re still important. Getting the truth out there is extremely important.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that has done and does this.

A massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I couldn’t do this without you. Physically Covid 19 has changed my life. Financially its been a big struggle.

If you would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you so much!

Is the governments proposed pandemic roadmap doomed to failure?

Covid 19 infection rates have been falling across the UK as a result of the national lockdown. Thanks to the NHS the vaccination programme is making good progress and so far appears to be reaching their expected targets.

The national lockdown has helped to stop the spread of covid-19. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of people admitted to hospital with serious Covid 19 related illnesses.

This should not be treated lightly as the threat of the pandemic and once the lockdown conditions are lifted there are still major unresolved challenges which could result in the R rate and mortality levels rising.

Many local and regional public health teams don’t have the tools available to tackle outbreaks despite large numbers of the public believing so.

The Covid 19 virus has the potential to spread very quickly which could result in the virus once again being out of control.

This is very worrying because we are now seeing quicker spreading mutations of the Covid 19 virus emerging which is a trend that is most likely to continue once lockdown conditions are once again lifted.

The government has released its roadmap, but for it to succeed, the government needs to fix the already existing problems with the way that infection data is recorded so that the spread of covid-19 can be accurately recorded.

Therefore it is extremely worrying that the results of Imperial College London’s REACT study and the Office for National Statistic’s infection survey are still not matching with the data that the Test and Trace. Records.

For public health teams to be able to take the necessary actions to prevent infection rates rising, the problems surrounding this needs to be dealt with.

Public health teams cannot be expected to react appropriately when the data that they receive isn’t accurate. Without this accurate data its very difficult to see where the localised outbreaks are and to respond accurately.

One of the downfalls of the Test and Trace system is that it can only provide infection data for people that come forward to be tested, therefore the system can only trace the contacts of those who have imputed their data to contact tracing teams.

Many people aren’t coming forward for testing as a result of the insufficient provision of economic support from the government if they are required to isolate as a result of their test and trace data. This then expands health inequalities between those that can afford to stay off work than those that can’t.

Public health teams are also facing problems in accessing the data that is generated by the Test and Trace system mainly as a result of the system being technically insufficient to provide the needed data and the information that does arrive is too slow to do so.

Despite the governments new Roadmap system it can’t be be successful unless there is improved data access for Public Health Teams for them to act upon.

Improved early warning systems would also help to alert teams to spikes in their local infection rates before they rise out of control. This would also help to identify new mutations of the virus.

For the governments new roadmap system to be successful it’s very important to have an effective early warning system to alert Public Health Teams about rises in local and national infection rates.

The NHS and public and health professionals across the country have worked extremely hard trying to tackle the spread of covid-19. Their combined efforts have lead the country to a place where we can see a way out of the current restrictions that we have faced for so long.

It’s important to remember that our exit from lockdown must be time appropriate and access to reliable data must be improved upon. without this the governments planned Roadmap will fail our hope to return to life as normal.

To avoid a fourth lockdown will requires much more than just a roadmap. It requires an effective early warning system both locally and nationally to rises in infection rates. This also depends upon effective and early action from the government in response to keep the virus under control.

Throughout this pandemic the government has been extremely slow to act upon data given thus enabling the virus to run out of control leading to mutations of the virus. We have seen the government be far to slow to respond to infection rates given which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

We need to prevent future spikes and if possible avoid another lockdown.

To achieve this the government needs to start acting quickly and more decisively, based their actions upon active monitoring of good quality data.

Source Maggie Rae president of the UK Faculty of Public Health.

Covid 19 my vaccine experience.

Yesterday I had my Covid 19 vaccination. I had the Pfizer vaccination and I really couldn’t wait for this day to arrive.

Most of you will know that my Covid 19 and Long Covid experience has been horrendous.

I first became ill with Covid 19 last April and I quickly became extremely unwell. You can read about this in my previous blog posts. I also developed Pneumonia and pleurisy and had numerous relapses.

To say that I was excited for my vaccine was an understatement, I can never forget how ill I have been and I certainly don’t want to catch it again. Not only do I have to think about myself I also have to think about my daughters wellbeing as well.

I was virtually bedbound for around a month except for the odd trip downstairs which completely exhausted me. As a result my illness really scared my daughter, she told me that she thought that I was going to die.

I’ve now got long covid, but its nowhere near as bad as having covid and my health is improving albeit much slower than I’d like it to.

So, putting her wellbeing first and then mine I gladly accepted my invitation for the vaccination. No side effects from the vaccination can ever be as bad as becoming as ill as I was again. Not an option for me.

First I had to work out how to get there. I don’t drive so going anywhere can be a struggle at times. My health isn’t up to bus rides at the moment and it would have taken two bus journeys to get there.

Luckily a lovely friend of mine offered to take me, she had already had her first vaccination and we were both masked up etc.

Once we arrived at the vaccination venue everything was straightforward in a regimented fashion. At no point did I feel unsafe or overwhelmed. I was very impressed with their delivery of the vaccine. The injection itself didn’t hurt and everyone was so friendly.

The vaccine rollout in Tameside and our local NHS area has been superb. They’re really working hard to vaccinate everyone and I can’t thank them enough.

I shouldn’t have to mention this but I didn’t jump any queues in getting my jab. I have underlying health conditions and covid has damaged my lungs.

Right now back to the vaccine. On the day of my vaccine I had absolutely no side effects to speak of, even the injection site didn’t hurt. This is brilliant I thought. This morning I woke with a low lying temperature and just a feeling of being tired, just like you feel when you’re beginning to become unwell with a virus.

I’m not ill though, I expect that I’ll be feeling much better tomorrow. This is really a very small price to pay for ensuring that I will keep myself safe and also others safe including my daughter.

After speaking to other people there has been various side effects depending upon the person, but none as far as I know are as bad as catching Covid.

Despite some people demonising the vaccinations, saying that they’re dangerous and the vaccinations have microchips in them. Yes some people really believe that we are being chipped etc. Mad isn’t it. I blame the so called alternative media for this, praying upon a persons weakness and vulnerabilities.

Ive had people tell me that the vaccines aren’t safe because they haven’t been tested enough. This is complete rubbish. They have been tested and for a change the government funded these tests, ensuring that the vaccines can be released as quickly as possible.

I have friends that took part in the vaccine trials. The difference between the vaccine trials and other trials is that this one was fully funded. They weren’t forced to literally beg for funding to do this. If only the government fully funded everything that they should do.

Of course as with any other vaccination there is a risk that comes with it but the risk is very low. Both your doctors surgery’s and the staff at the vaccination centres ensure that no one that has a risk of developing serious side effects actually has the vaccine.

So what do I think of the vaccines?

As with any vaccination against serious illnesses I think that they’re brilliant. They prevent us from becoming seriously ill from illnesses that used to be commonplace. Vaccines give us the freedom to not be scared of going out and mixing with people.

Back before vaccines staying alive was much more dangerous. Mortality levels were high and fewer people lived for as long as we do now. Of course there were exceptions to the rules, there is in a local graveyard to me. These were the exceptions and not the norm though.

So would I recommend getting the vaccinations? Yes I do. Once you’ve been ill with covid or know someone that has been ill with covid or have died from it, not having it isn’t an option.

Keep safe everyone, isolate if you have to and wear masks etc and wash your hands. Like you I can’t wait until this is all over. I can’t wait to see people again safely.

Do I think that everything will totally return back to normal? I really don’t think so. I do believe that we will create our own new normal and I’m happy with that.

Our children will grow up with more knowledge about viruses and vaccinations. Hopefully this will help them in the future.

What we can’t do though is forget about everyone that has died from this awful virus. Never mind clapping… let’s have memorials built in their memories instead. Ideally I’d like this to be done in every town.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. It’s vital that the truth continues to get out there.

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

Financially catching covid has destroyed me. Everything is so much more expensive when you can’t go out to go shopping. I’m trying to return to normal and I’m publishing more blog posts to help raise more awareness.

For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny enables me to continue to blog and campaign. Thank you xx

Home Secretary backs police with new powers to help locate human remains.

For years now Alan Bennet has been trying to access documents left by Brady to his solicitor that could give light to wear Keith is buried.

Hindleys and Bradys crimes were and are unforgivable. Despite Hindleys attempts to take any blame away from herself and to clean up her reputation failed and quite rightly so. She was equally as guilty as Brady, some argue even more so.

Bradys solicitor has for years constantly refused to hand over the briefcase despite may requests from Alan Bennett and his family. This has been extremely upsetting for Alan and his family.

It’s a sad fact that many disappearances, murders and suicides cannnot have closure because of a legislative gap which has made police officers unable to access vital information.

This has left the family of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett unable to have closure. Home Secretary Priti Patel is now backing the police with new measures to track down human remains in a move that is designed to bring closure to the families whose loved ones have gone missing.

Keith vanished in 1964, when he was just 12 years old. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley later admitted to his murder, but his remains have never been found.

Brady put several suitcases in secure storage before his death. Police have applied for a warrant to open the cases, but this has so far been refused by the courts on the grounds that any evidence in the suitcases cannot be used in criminal proceedings, as Brady is dead so cannot be prosecuted. The executors of Brady’s estate have declined to hand them over to the Bennett family.

The proposed new powers would give police the legislative basis they need to apply for a warrant to access this information. The granting of any such warrant would be a matter for the courts.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

“I can only imagine the years of pain and turmoil that the Bennett family have faced following Keith’s tragic murder – no family should have to suffer the heartache of not knowing where their loved ones are buried.

“I am determined to give police the powers they need to access all available evidence and hopefully bring some closure to families in cases like these.”

Alan Bennett said:

“Keith’s story will be known to many, but what may not be known is the struggle which our family has gone through to try and seek closure.

“I have fought long and hard on behalf of my brother to bring about the necessary changes and to ensure his case is not forgotten.

“I want to ensure a positive legacy for Keith, so I was pleased to meet with the Home Secretary and to hear about the work being done to support my endeavours.”

The new powers will empower officers to seize evidence which they believe may help locate human remains outside of criminal proceedings, subject to a warrant. This would help in missing persons cases, suicides, and homicide cases where a suspect is known but cannot be convicted – for example, where the suspect is dead.

It is hoped that these powers will remedy the gap in the law and help provide closure to families when information comes to light about the location of their loved ones who have gone missing, or where people are presumed dead and their remains have not been found.

The measures will form part of a major forthcoming Bill to reform the criminal justice system and provide better support to police, victims, and the public.

Lets hope that Alan and his family get the answers that they need soon. The briefcase and its documents are the last things that Brady had control over. He ensured that his solicitor would never disclose or hand over the documentation inside the briefcase.

Accessing the briefcase will end the decades of control that Brady has had over the families of those who he and Hindley murdered. Closure is needed and as soon as possible.

I live in an area where one of their victims lived, indeed I live very closely to the house that one of their victims lived. Their murders have never been forgotten by my local community and the communities of the other victims.

Alan has worked extremely hard trying to retrieve these documents for years. Brady when alive was almost gloating when he refused Alans demands, then he ensured that his solicitor wouldn’t hand them over.

No murderer should be able to have this amount of control over the remains of their victims and the grieving of their families, but Brady knew that he could do this and he enjoyed having this amount of control over their victims families.

I really hope that Alan and his family can find the closure that they need. I congratulate Alan for his years of hard work trying to change this. He’s amazing.

Dear readers, its been a tough week for me. My daughter was admitted into hospital but all is well now. I’m trying to update my blog more because I really want the truth to get out there. It’s important to do so because the mainstream news miss so much important information out.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that has and does do this.

Also a massive thank you to all my subscribers and to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign. It really does mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you all xxx.

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 post. Thank you xx

New report shows health inequalities and mortality rates are increasing for the poorest.

In a recent report conducted by the 2020 Marmot review it reveals that life expectancy in England is stalling, while at the same time health inequalities are widening.

According to the review in 2010 and 2018 the gap in life expectancy between those living in the least deprived areas and the most deprived areas has increased drastically. The gap increasing from 9.1 to 9.5 years and for women from 6.8 to 7.7 years.

The length of time people spend in poor health has also increased across England since 2010, going from 15.8 to 16.2 years for men, and 18.7 to 19.4 years for women.

These figures also hide an even steeper social gradient than that seen for life expectancy. Those that live in more deprived areas spend a larger proportion of their already shorter lives in poor health.

The covid-19 pandemic has also enlarged the inequalities between the poorest and the better off.

According to the Marmot review the age standardised mortality rate associated with covid-19 in the most deprived areas in July 2020 was 3.1 deaths. This is more than double the rate in the least deprived areas.

The review shows that between 2010 and 2020 that the following is vital for closing the gap between the better off and the poorest.

Every child regardless of income deserves the best best start in life, a good education and the option to undertake lifelong learning opportunities that will enable adults to widen their capabilities and employment opportunities.

It is also important that people have good safe employment with good working conditions. Working conditions have also worsened thanks to the gig economy, agency work and unstable working hours. All these makes achieving a good standard of living virtually impossible to achieve .

Instead both disabled and none disabled people are reliant upon Universal credit and disability benefits which pushes a person into a never ending spiral of debt and conditionality that they can never totally satisfy.

Despite the government continually announcing that their policies are the best and that Universal Credit supposedly tackles financial inequality there has been little if any effective policies to tackle this.

Tackling inequalities requires more than just empty words and promises said in parliament. Those that make the policies that people rely upon need to work at local and national levels whilst engaging and communicating with the the people that are affected by their policies.

Disabled people should have benefit increases to enable a better quality of life as should everyone else that finds themselves reliant upon disability benefits, Universal Credit and legacy benefits. Whilst household bills and food expenses continue to rise benefit levels don’t rise to tackle this.

Health inequalities can’t be dealt with until people have the means to financially improve their quality of life. It’s impossible to eat healthier when dependent upon foodbanks for food, making the option to eat and heat almost impossible to do.

The government has the opportunity to change the huge and ever growing health inequalities in England as described in the Marmot 2020 review. The government could reverse this inequality if they wished to do so.

The government need to look at the policies that continue to enlarge the gap between the poor and the better off. The Universal Credit system needs to be reviewed and policies changed and monies increased to enable a better quality of life.

Disabled people shouldn’t be constantly harassed by a system that continually punishes them and also deprives them of the monies that they desperately need to survive.

For the country to be able to fully recover from the Covid 19 pandemic it is of the upmost importance that the government starts to tackle and reduce the health inequalities. They should implement policies to reflect this and take away discriminatory policies that currently target disabled people.

Without this we might never recover completely post covid-19 and health inequalities will continue to widen.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. A massive thank you to everyone that has and does this. It’s so important that we continue to get the truth out there.

For anyone that would like to support my blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A massive thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign.

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.

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Government to suppress essential Pupil Premium funding.

Pupil Premium is extra funding that is given to schools by the government to help disadvantaged children and those living in poverty that attend both primary and secondary schools.

Schools receive Pupil Premiums for pupils that claim free school meals. It is currently paid at £935 per child for secondary school pupils and £1320 per child for primary school pupils.

According to data submitted last January there were 1.44 million pupils registered to receive free school meals therefore enabling schools to receive this essential funding for their pupils.

By October 2020 the number of children claiming free school meals had risen to over 1.6 million which is already an extra 200,000 children living below the Universal Credit threshold resulting in them being entitled to free school meals.

As a result of the pandemic and despite the governments furlough schemes the e number of people claiming Universal credit has increased dramatically, which has resulted in the amount of children needing to access free school meals drastically.

These numbers are set to rise due to more parents becoming newly unemployed and the eight week wait for Universal Credit claims to be processed.

On December the 17th, the government made changes to their data collection. It was announced that the government would calculate pupil premiums for schools using the October census and not the January census.

This means that any pupil that became eligible for free school meals after the first week of October 2020 would not receive any Pupil Premium funding until they appear on the census next October. Previously these payments would have started in January.

If free school meals eligibility continues to rise as it has been predicted to this could mean that up to 200,000 pupils will miss out on the pupil premium for a whole school year.

This will potentially put schools at risk of loosing around £250,000,000 in extra funding that schools would have received from pupil premiums..

This will inevitably hit the most deprived communities and schools the hardest. Many depend upon the pupil premium funding to fund school activities and other school activities for their children.

Meanwhile the government argued that “The move to the October census simplifies the school funding system, and provide both schools and the Department with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year”

Meanwhile the government continues to use January data for alternative provision schools.

Call me cynical but this appears to be a move to suppress Pupil Premium spending during a period when it is needed the most. The government clearly hasn’t taken the pandemic and the rising unemployment and poverty that is drastically increasing every day.

The government imposed these changes just before schools closed for the Christmas holidays. No notice was given to schools from the Department Of Education so therefore there has been no opportunity for schools to budget for these changes.

Schools are already struggling to find the funding for school activities and even much needed equipment.

The fact that the government has chosen effectively take away £1/4 billion in funding when poverty is rising whilst in the midst of a pandemic demonstrates is despicable. Their lack of care about our children’s education is all too clear.

Whilst the government talks about their ‘concerns’ about children’s education, and their rush to re open schools fully, they openly take away the funding that is needed for schools to do this.

The poorest children and schools will be hit the hardest by these changes and it is obscene that the government has done this when this essential funding is needed the most.



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Every penny donated helps.

Thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.