Poverty

I’m thinking of last winter, a snow-blurred  landscape and my agonisingly permanently cold blue feet, painful hands, the shaming underweight lecture from my  consultant: “eat much more and you must keep warm with raynauds” she said. I told her I couldn’t do both, and she looked at me uncomprehendingly, though she usually understood me.

via Poverty.

DWP tries again to stop release of Universal Credit reports

“The reports could show, without ambiguity, that the DWP misled Parliament in 2012 and 2013 by saying the UC programme was progressing successfully when officials knew this was not the case.”

via DWP tries again to stop release of Universal Credit reports.

An email to authoritarian Tory MPs Charlie Elphicke, Priti Patel and Conor Burns

The Tories use the old tactic of “If You Have No Defence, Attack” against Oxfam.

Kittyjones shares her email to Tory MPs castigating them for their behaviour.

via An email to authoritarian Tory MPs Charlie Elphicke, Priti Patel and Conor Burns.

The depth of corruption in the Conservative Party’s new, privatised health system

Mike Sivier writes : –

According to the Daily Mirror, Circle Health has been given £1.36 billion of health work after investors gave £1.5 million to the Tories; and Care UK – who bankrolled former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley with £21,000 during the seven years he was secretly working on the Health and Social Care Act while Tory leaders were denying any plans for the top-down reorganisation it would authorise – has won £102.6 million in contracts and its chairman John Nash has been made a lord, in return for a £247,250 donation to the Tories.

Read more here:

via The depth of corruption in the Conservative Party's new, privatised health system.

The French view of Welfare Reform

French readers of Le Monde get to read an interview with three disabled people regarding the Work Capability Assessments by Atos and the fear it engenders in those who are at risk of being forced to attend them. I think the translation of the article into English has been done with one of the online text translation tools but, as Jayne says in her intro, it is still readable and understandable even if a little difficult to parse because of grammar and pronoun irregularities.

via The French view of Welfare Reform.

Techniques of neutralisation: Cameron says keep calm and carry on climbing Allport’s ladder

As ever, an excellent piece of writing. If you’re not reading her blog, why not?

via Techniques of neutralisation: Cameron says keep calm and carry on climbing Allport's ladder.

Marks and Spencers’ Leading Ladies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Dear “Leading Ladies” (Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson, Rita Ora, Rachel Khoo, Lulu Kennedy, Baroness Lawrence, Alek Wek & Roma Agrawal),
Let me ask you, is your contract with Marks and Spencer on Workfare conditions? Or are you getting paid? Are M&S actually able to pay you because they are getting free labour? Did you know that Workfare is NOT voluntary? Unless you deem loss of any income at all and your family starving to death as a valid alternative. Did you know that Workfare is indefinite for sick and disabled people who the DWP deem “may” be fit for work in under a year (“may” be fit by then but are being sent on Workfare schemes anyway). Would YOU accept a position paying under £2 per hour (for 35 hrs/week, with all the extra expenses employment brings & also complying with DWP rules to look for paid employment for another 35 hours per week)?

Dear Marks & Spencer, How many paid, entry-level, positions have you made “redundant” because you’re filling them with unpaid “slave” labour via the Workfare scheme and others like it? Voluntary “work experience” in an appropriate employment sector for a couple of weeks is one thing, but this? This is so close to slave labour you could barely get a fag paper between them. Taxpayers’ money going to fund corporate wages.

Leading Ladies, you should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting a corporation that participates in this scheme.

Marks & Spencer, I refuse to shop with you until you stop, completely and utterly falling in with these scheme to exploit the unemployed, sick and disabled.

When we have half a million vacancies and 2.5 million unemployed (and that’s after the DWP faff with the figures and hide those on sanctions and Workfare schemes from the stats) surely it would make more sense to actually employ people than to throw more onto the job queue. If you want to “do the right thing” and encourage unemployed into work, why not offer more traineeships at (or preferably above) minimum wage with a guaranteed job at the end if certain tests/assessments are acceptable. If you can take on free labour you have the capacity to take on paid.

This goes for all large corporations who are benefiting from public funds instead of paying their staff.

Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks

Of course Raab knew he was misquoting the Trussell Trust (aka lying). It’s a pity there’s never anyone on the panel (including the presenter) with either the knowledge or the guts to challenge him and his ilk when they spout rubbish. I’ve given up on watching Question Time or listening to Any Questions on R4 now, both given me an unwanted increase in blood pressure and put me in a bad temper.

via Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks.

Charging for benefit appeals is no accident: it is the neoliberal way

Oh No! Too many people are winning their appeals against the DWP! Whatever shall we do?!

Ah! There’s the answer… force them even further into debt and destitution for daring to disagree with their betters! What? Most of them can’t afford to pay for an appeal? Result!

Charging for benefit appeals is no accident: it is the neoliberal way.

Let’s be clear – Tory and Lib Dem MPs have decided terminally ill patients should work or starve

You might think that you’ve seen the lowest this coalition will stoop in its war on social security. But telling a terminally ill cancer patient that she is not able to have her Disability Living Allowance renewed because she is not expected to live for the full amount of time it would be renewed for… What the ever-loving FUCK? “You’re going to die soon so you can’t have any money.”

via Let's be clear – Tory and Lib Dem MPs have decided terminally ill patients should work or starve.