The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2

Jayne says :-

Last year over 100,006 people said Hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his misuse of Statistics, both The Work & Pensions Select 3rd Report Monitoring the Perfomance of DWP 2012/13 and the Public Administration Committee 1st Report Agreed.

We demand The House accepts these Recommendation and Ensures Minsters and others present statistics in a way that is fair, accurate and “unspun”.

Read more:

via The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2.

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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.

Me at age 2 with Pippy

“OMG! Why do we pay people just for squeezing out another kid?!?”

I should probably stop “reading the comments” (those under certain online newspaper articles and blog posts). My BP goes up and the acid rises into my throat.

Regarding the Philpott case and the Chancellor’s comments I’ll just say that Osborne is a creep of the first order. There’s no natural justice in the world or he, IDS, Cameron and the rest of the bastards would soon experience the pain and stress that too many of us have to deal with every day – and without the cushion of insane wealth or “friends” to ease it for them. It won’t happen, but I can dream sometimes. Hey, I never, ever said I was a nice person. I can be kind, helpful, caring etc – also judgemental, bad-tempered, angry, grudging and vindictive. But not nice – ask my husband, he’s the nice one.

So, the Philpotts received Child Benefit for 11 children (two mothers, 5 and 6 children each)? And, apparently that’s a horrible horrible thing. To some people the idea of having that many children is so alien that it can only be explained by “They did it for the money!” I’ve heard this said about families with 5 or 6 kids where both parents are working and claiming no other benefits than Child Benenfit (until recently payable to, usually, the mother of every child in the UK).

So let’s examine the amazing financial benefit of “squeezing out another brat” as I have heard it termed (I have heard other terms used, some by people I still consider friends despite their seeming hatred for children – that’s another rant for another post). One thing every single person forgets when they cry “OMG! They were getting £8K* a year in Child Benefit!” is that each one of those kids has to be fed, housed and clothed. Each one has to:

– have a bath or shower regularly (utilities bill);

– be clothed adequately, now hand-me-downs used to be the way with large families but nowadys cheap clothes barely last through one child, so clothes & school uniforms for constantly growing kids, shoes and coats being the most expensive items – oh, laundry, more on the utilities bill;

– they have to be fed regularly, preferably with healthy food;

– have somewhere to live, so rent & rates on a large enough house to accomodate all of you (note: both women worked, so may have had to pay rates & at least part of rent depending on income);

– to be kept warm in winter – unless you want to force them all into the box room to keep warm by body heat a la the middle ages.

There is a lot more, but you get my drift.

Once you’ve paid all that…. you know what? Child Benefit per child doesn’t come anywhere close to covering what it costs to raise a child. So there’s no “extra” left to fund any kind of “lifestyle”. I don’t know what sort of “lifestyle” the Tories and their sycophants think someone who has to rely on a high level of benefits has – perhaps they should each swap homes and incomes with some of those that they are trying to dehumanise and turn into hate figures for people who are scared that they might be next.

*Calculations

£20.30 /week for first child

£13.40 for each subsequent child

Now, most calculations I have seen assume only one at eldest child rate, but I suspect each mother received her own Child Benenfit.

So, per week:

2 @ £20.30  = £40.60

9 @ £13.40  =£120.60

Weekly total = £161.20

x 52  = £8382.40

Did you know that Disability Living Allowance can be claimed even if you have an income?

I wonder how many disabled people there are who, until hearing about the Welfare Reform Bill, didn’t realise that they are eligible for any assistance from the Department for Work & Pensions, perhaps because of family income of one sort or another. Because my husband works full-time, I certainly never thought that I might be eligible for anything – and why would I check for something that I had no knowledge of? For the record, I have: fairly severe Fibromyalgia – a short trip in the car, say to the doctor or the dentist, will wipe me out for the rest of the day; plantar fasciitis of the left foot – walking any distance causes severe pain in my foot; two ruptured discs in my lumbar region causing constant pain that spikes up into “unbearable agony” when I move (going on waiting list for an operation to remove the discs and fuse my spine… it _might_ work); migraine when stressed; irritable bowel syndrome (needing to “double up” with stomach cramps is really not a good idea when you have severe bilateral sciatica) that gets worse with stress; eczema on my scalp and face (my face is constantly peeling in patches); RSI in my right hand means I cannot write with a pen for more than a few words; and have suffered from chronic cyclic depression for over a quarter of a century. I’ve been getting progressively worse over the last 5 years.

Having gone through the criteria for DLA (and what has been suggested so far might be the final criteria for PIP) – which all of the publicity surrounding the WRB informed me are NOT classed as”out of work benefit” and can be claimed regardless of income – & spoken to the CAB, I should be eligible for Higher Rate of both components (Care & Mobility). So, if a millionaire like Cameron can have the balls to have claimed welfare benefits for his late son, then someone like me, struggling to make ends meet and only managing to cope because everyone else in the house (husband and son – and daughter visits to help when she can) do all of the essential stuff as well as looking after me, can certainly bloody do it.

So, as more and more people read the publicity being generated some may go “hang on a second… you mean I _am_ eligible for help?!” and put in an application. That will increase the base number of claimants.

Then add the cost of those to the figures in this post and you quickly begin to see that the government’s proposed “savings” will end up being nothing of the sort. They really, really didn’t think this through at all.

At your next election, go and vote, but don’t vote for any of the three main parties. Pick an independent or a small party that you are comfortable with and vote for them. No vote is “a wasted vote”. Every vote that they don’t get is a demonstration of the distrust the people have for party politics. Remember, politicians may tells us that “they work for us” but really, they’re working to fill their pockets and those of their mates – and for those few that don’t work like that? They will never get anywhere other that the far Back Bench because they don’t follow the party line – they’d be better off being an independent.