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The assault on the poor and disabled

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The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:48 am

First topic message reminder :

I reblogged this post in 'honour' of the Tory party conference and Ivan asked me to post it here, too. You can find the original post complete with links at: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Here are two true stories:

A friend of mine once picked up a hitch-hiker at a motorway service station. The bloke looked a bit down on his luck, so my friend asked what his story was. The guy said he’d been living in service stations, bathing in the shower facilities at lorry-driver stops, for several days as he tried to make his way from one end of the country to the other to where a hotel job was waiting for him if he could get there. He’d lost all his benefits and had no way to get the money to take a train or bus.

My friend gave this man all the money he had in his pocket, which was £60. The man seemed genuinely overwhelmed and grateful, seemingly unable to believe that someone would give him a fairly serious amount of money within minutes of meeting him, on the basis of the story he’d just related.

I asked my friend whether he thought the man had been genuine, or might he have been ripped off? His answer was that his gut instinct was that the man was for real – but that if he wasn’t, he’d rather be conned than be hard-hearted and risk ignoring someone in genuine need.

By contrast, the incredibly rich (some $287 billion in today’s money) industrialist Andrew Carnegie once famously said that it would be better for the world if a rich man threw his millions into the sea rather than give any to the ‘unworthy’. To be fair to Carnegie, he gave away a vast proportion of his wealth – but the rich and privileged have a long history of presuming that, from their pinnacle of wealth and comfort, they are able to decide who is ‘worthy’ and who isn’t. The concept of the ‘deserving poor‘, by denoting that some poor are by definition not deserving, has resulted in great suffering while allowing the wealthy to feel satisfied with their lack of concern or action.

The current crop of Tories are truly in line with their predecessors in this regard – except that they’re even worse. Even though they can’t possibly be ignorant of the consequences, they push this line in the most cynical way, with the aim of dividing the British public, fooling the undiscerning into allowing or even approving of policies aimed at stripping the vulnerable of crucial protections. And for the basest of reasons – for short-term political gain (persuading some people that the Tories are ‘at least doing something about something!’), and to release even more public funds that can be channelled into tax-cuts for the already-rich or even greater profits for private corporations.

With their limited moral imagination, the Tories really only know two tactics. Both are calculated to appeal to the baser instincts of the small-minded and thoughtless: fear and vilification. There may be different facets or manifestations – they might try to invoke suspicion, or envy, or to dehumanise or caricature one set of people to get another set to back their policies – but the roots are the same.

I’m working on a post about economic fear and the way that’s fostered by government spokespeople and tame media, but it’s proving to be quite a big project and I’m not going to be online much over the next few days, so it will be a little while in coming. But the other tactic – vilification or demonisation of the vulnerable or resistant – is so plain that this post almost writes itself. Whether explicitly or in the omission, the Tories are at it constantly.

Just in recent weeks, we’ve had:


  • Iain Duncan-Smith accusing Britons of not working hard enough, while bare-facedly distorting figures on fraudulent claims for disability benefit (claiming a 30% fraud rate when in fact it’s bare over one percent) to gain public support for his hateful Welfare Reform Act.


  • A smug Frances Maude announcing that the bottom 10% of civil servants has a year to improve or be fired – conveniently leaving out the fact that if everyone in the civil service was a workaholic genius, there would still be a bottom 10%. Being at the bottom doesn’t mean you’re incompetent or unproductive. He insists that this is not an ‘attack’ on the civil service, even though at the same time he’s making cuts of 25% in civil servant numbers and talking of removing any terms and conditions that are better than those of the private sector that the Tories and their pals have already robbed.


  • Andrew Lansley calling on doctors not to take industrial action and having his department and tame journalists conduct an orchestrated propaganda campaign to persuade the public that doctors are rich, privileged, selfish and uncaring of their patients (‘After all’, he might as well say, ‘we’ve robbed the rest of the public sector, why should doctors be any different?’) This in spite of the fact that the doctors’ pension scheme is not in shortfall and that the Health Secretary, having specifically abdicated his legal responsibility for healthcare provision in his new Health & Social Care Act, is really not entitled to comment one way or the other, let alone to impose new pension terms.


  • David Cameron underlining again that the Tories are on the side of ‘strivers’, thereby saying that they’re not on the side of anyone who can’t strive, or who simply wants to live a decent, balanced life.


  • Iain Duncan-Smith (again!) announcing plans to remove benefits from anyone who dares strike against the removal of pay, pensions, conditions and protection that is now the norm for the treatment of ordinary working people.


  • Claims by Communities Minister Eric Pickles, vocally supported by Housing Minister Grant Shapps and many others, and by the right-wing press, that the UK has 120,000 ‘problem families’ who cause 80% of societal problems, even though not one of the criteria used to decide who is a ‘problem family’ relates to criminality, but instead refer to poverty and physical or mental illness.


  • Endlessly repeated soundbites about ‘benefit scroungers’ to justify capping housing benefit, even though the vast majority of people receiving this benefit are working, but can’t afford outrageous rents.


  • Cameron and others vilifying transport workers for daring to plan industrial action during the Olympic Games money-making exercise, even though industrial action is really their only negotiating weapon and it’s perfectly sensible for them to aim it at the periods when it will be most effective. The Tories really do want a workforce that’s powerless to stand up for itself.


I could go on, but I want to keep this post to a readable length.

The aim of all these policies and pronouncements is very clear: persuading whichever sections of the public that are not affected by a particular measure that those who are affected are not worthy of support, and definitely not worthy of help.

The consequences of these and other Tory measures are not hard to imagine – and they’re already being played out. Disabled, ill or mentally ill people spend their days in fear at the prospect of having their benefits stopped because they’re ludicrously assessed as fit for work, while some even attempt or commit suicide. People are forced to accept part-time ‘work’ that offers few (or even zero!) hours while the government crows that it has reduced unemployment; jobless people are forced to work for free and sleep under bridges by companies who ruthlessly exploit them to maximise profit. And so on.

In this context, it’s patently clear that the Tories’ policies, attitudes, sleaze, self-enrichment and their unholy alliance with powerful corporate and media interests show that they are not fit to judge a vegetable show, let alone judge whether a vulnerable person is ‘worthy’ of help.

Fortunately, we get to choose whether we believe them. To choose whether we agree with the kind of approach to life that says that, while no system is perfect, it’s much better to err on the side of goodness than of suspicion and selfishness, that it’s better to set up or protect systems that protect the genuine many than one which might prevent a very few ‘playing the system’ but that also strands people in genuine need in a situation of despair. We have the privilege of deciding what kind of society we want to be.

From everything I’ve written, you’ll probably have guessed that I absolutely agree with my friend, rather than with Carnegie, about which side it’s better to err on. But Mr Carnegie did say something that I agree with very much:

‘A man who dies rich dies disgraced’

In our current government, and in the people who support and fund them, we have a lot of walking ‘disgraces in the making’. Let’s think for ourselves, see them for what they are, and not make it easy for them to become even bigger disgraces than they already are.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Sat May 30, 2015 4:04 pm

Desperate DWP’s last minute appeal against revealing benefit-related deaths

From a blog by Mike Sivier:-

"The Department for Work and Pensions has appealed against the ruling compelling it to disclose the number of Incapacity Benefit and ESA claimants who have died between November 2011 and May 2014.

The ruling came from the Information Commissioner on April 30. The DWP had 28 calendar days in which to submit an appeal – and it arrived via email at 3.25pm on May 28 – just one hour and 35 minutes before the close of business for the day. Clearly the cowards of Caxton House are terrified of revealing the true numbers of those who have died as a result of Conservative policies towards the sick and disabled, and have delayed their appeal until almost the last minute in order to delay, for as long as possible, the moment when they have to provide the facts.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not allow any public authority discretion to refuse a request because it fears what a person may or may not do with the information. If it holds the information, it must communicate it to the person making the request.

It seems reasonable to conclude that the number of deaths – when it is finally revealed – will be devastatingly large. The behaviour of this government department would be laughable if the subject matter was not so serious – the deaths of many thousands of sick and disabled people, due to the way this department treated them.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat May 30, 2015 4:07 pm

I can hear the sound of figures being doctored as we speak...
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by stuart torr on Sat May 30, 2015 4:26 pm

Looks like I shall be one of those statistics next time round Ivan,nevermind the tory bastards will have plenty more aswell. They are damn disgusting the money reducing measures taken against people like myself on the invalidity benefit.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by stuart torr on Sat May 30, 2015 4:29 pm

Doctored Phil, they will need a whole surgery on them I expect.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:09 pm

Figures from UNICEF:-

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:42 pm

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:06 pm

Duncan Smith is the ideal ambassador for the Tory Party : a disgusting , cruel and arrogant monster.

It is refreshing to see that Corbyn has called on him to resign. The assault on Duncan Smith should be incessant from this point on , until the tyrant goes. Such is the scale and nature of his catalogue of crimes against the sick and disadvantaged that if the Labour Party pursued him day in and day out repeating the all-too-obvious details of his shady activities , the demonization he so richly deserves would surely eventually make his fall inescapable..
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:20 pm

The loathsome IDS is there as a lightning-conductor for the Tory administration. Public opprobrium is thereby deflected from other cabinet members with similarly divisive policies.

Cameron left him in post during two re-shuffles for a reason. He's expendable. A sacrificial goat. Hardly worth the effort of a dedicated attack which allows equally odious colleagues a free rein.

A simple witch-hunt could ultimately prove counter-productive.

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by bobby on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:19 pm

If such a witch hunt might work against one, why not others?
slowly, slowly catchee monkey.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:40 pm

First ever UN disability probe heaps shame on the Tories

After two and a half years of submitting reports and responding to responses from the government, the long-awaited UN inquiry into Britain has been launched and a team of rapporteurs and staff have arrived here to conduct it. The fact that this is the first ever inquiry into any country using the optional protocol in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities simply illustrates how obscene the government’s stance towards disabled people has been.

You might expect such an inquiry in some other less industrialised nations but here in the 21st century it leaves us asking just what has gone so badly wrong and how this shameful situation has been reached in just over five years of Tory mismanagement.

Important testimonies will be collated from disabled people affected by the cuts — particularly those relating to the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and work capability assessments. Experts, academics, legal professionals, government and opposition politicians will also be asked to give evidence to the inquiry.

We hope that as well as shaming the British government internationally this inquiry will provide a formal record of the many atrocities disabled people have endured over the past five years, and will be a lasting testimony to the many thousands who have been driven to their early and unnecessary deaths.


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:05 pm

Meanwhile, back at Tory HQ:


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(Probably just a coincidence)
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:00 am

There was a lot of fuss yesterday about how new Tory MP Heidi Allen made a 'great' maiden speech, speaking up for the oxymoron known as 'compassionate Conservatism' and against Osborne's cuts to tax credits. So did she then vote against the cuts in the vote at the end of the debate? No chance, she's just another Tory hypocrite.

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:55 am

Ivan wrote:There was a lot of fuss yesterday about how new Tory MP Heidi Allen made a 'great' maiden speech .... So did she then vote against the cuts in the vote at the end of the debate? No chance, she's just another Tory hypocrite.

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I subscribe to the Aneurin Bevan school of thought, which regards any and all Tories as "Vermin", but I wouldn't have chosen "hypocrite" in this particular instance, where a Tory is presenting the type of argument which the Miliband administration should have been using, but for some reason didn't find an opportunity during five years of opposition.

The "Whip" system governs the actions of any MP on Parliament, making lobby fodder of them all. The nice little perquisites (free visits to interesting places, membership of important committees etc., and ultimately perhaps am actual Ministry) are denied to a non-conformist.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Claudine on Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:55 pm

I was disappointed in Heidi Allen. She chose her potential career over her constituents who she appeared to be passionate about.

In the end, she (as all the Tories) while caring a little about those people who will suffer, didn't care quite enough.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by boatlady on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:09 pm

Not sure what you expected - if she was really interested in fairness or equality she wouldn't have joined the Tories in the first place - 'compassionate conservatism' died with MacMillan
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:41 pm

The Tories benefit from that continuous positive PR from a Right-wing Press, which bathes them in a righteous glow.

There are nice people who suppose that others too think well of their fellow man, and who might accordingly be drawn to the public image presented by the Conservatives.

Ms Allen, and that unfortunate woman on QT last week may have had their illusions cruelly challenged. We shall see what, if anything, comes of that.


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by boatlady on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:59 pm

A week is a long time in politics - 5 years is an eternity
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:36 pm

Chancellor Osborne may deserve to be remembered as the first to recognise the existence of a new category of benefits claimant:

The "scrounging hard-working family".
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:59 pm

The Welfare Bill is a disaster from start to finish

From an article by Emily Thornberry:-

"We’ve had an awful lot of sanctimonious rhetoric from the government benches, expressing their outrage over a defeat in the House of Lords which they were framing as an affront to the elected chamber. But ministers’ actions in the Commons suggested that this is a government which holds the democratic process in contempt.

A truly nasty piece of legislation – the Welfare Reform and Work Bill – was rammed through its final stages without the time for proper scrutiny. This Bill will force the poorest and most vulnerable to pay a £12 billion part of an austerity programme which the government says is necessary, but which low and middle income families had no part in creating.  

Those who will suffer could find themselves in need of support for reasons outside their control. Perhaps the main earner dies unexpectedly, leaving their partner to raise the children alone. Perhaps a mother fleeing domestic violence takes the children with her. Or perhaps somebody loses a job through redundancy, like the steel workers in Redcar, or because of an accident which leaves them disabled. In the real world, we are not all masters of our own fates, and limiting support to two children could lock families into crushing poverty when they fall on hard times.

The social safety net was created by a united society in the aftermath of the Second World War. It came out of a British sense of fairness. I believe that people would be aghast if they really knew how many holes the Tories had made in it. This isn’t what they would want from any government.


For the whole article:-
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:13 pm

It's not exactly a new idea, but I'm inclined to think that a more understanding attitude may develop from "the young" who appear to be under-represented in voting terms, and are certainly, as a group, financially disadvantaged compared with their parents and grandparents.

When, as a group, they finally coalesce to complain about being paid peanuts, excluded from benefits and totally unable to form a nuclear family because the accommodation simply isn't available - THEN we may expect the smug Tories to feel a cold and draughty wind of change.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by sickchip on Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:46 am

Re: tax credit cuts

Osborne smarting from his Tax Credits defeat and the need to find £4.4 bn to plug gap

1 Len Blavatnik £13.17 billion
2 Sri and Gopi Hinduja £13 billion
3 Galen and George Weston and family £11 billion
4 Alisher Usmanov £9.8 billion
5 David and Simon Reuben £9.7 billion
6 Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli £9.45 billion
7 Lakshmi Mittal and family £9.2 billion
8 Kirsten and Jorn Rausing £8.7 billion
9 The Duke of Westminster £8.56 billion
10 Roman Abramovich £7.29 billion
11 John Fredriksen and family £7.24 billion
12 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho £7.145 billion
13 Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay £6.5 billion
14 Hans Rausing and family £6.4 billion
15 Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family £5.935 billion
16 Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family £5.8 billion
17 Nathan Kirsh £5.06 billion
18 Earl Cadogan and family £4.8 billion
19 Nicky Oppenheimer and family £4.55 billion
20 Sir Richard Branson and family £4.1 billion
21 Bruno Schroder and family £3.76 billion
22 Mike Ashley £3.5 billion, Sir James Dyson and family £3.5 billion, Sir Philip and Lady Green £3.5 billion
23 ...
24 ...
25 Sir Henry Keswick and family £3.275 billion

.....and that's just the top 25. The wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of £547.126 billion, up from £249.615 billion in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.

-  and I've little doubt that many people employed by companies these people own, or have a vested interest in, will be on low wages and be dependent on tax credits.


Go on Gideon....I'm sure they wouldn't mind doing their bit, and it wouldn't hurt them too much. After all......we're all in it together!
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:52 am

A great theory, sickchip, but it will not have escaped your notice that wealthy people can afford to employ clever advisors to assist them in retaining that wealth.

Some even grew up alongside the very Politicians who control the way in which a Nation taxes its subjects.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by sickchip on Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:08 pm

oftenwrong,

I'm aware of that, but it's still worth pointing out facts like this occasionally - if only to irritate the super rich, educate and agitate those who mightn't appreciate the scale of inequalities, and demonstrate the madness of the world we live in. Eventually something's got to give.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:17 pm


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by bobby on Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:03 pm

unfortunately Ivan, any Nazi worth their salt would see that as an achievement.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:42 am


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:53 am

The more that things change, the more they are the same thing:

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:44 pm

Can we expect Corbyn to be highlighting the gruesome tale in Parliament and asking the Government to account for the situation, unlike the easy ride that Miliband used to give Cameron ?

And if not , why not and what is the point of an Opposition which neglects to shine a bright light on such awful practices ?
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:04 am

....what is the point of an Opposition which neglects to shine a bright light on such awful practices ?

A good question deserves a good answer.  

The government, when challenged, falls back on what could be called the Pontius Pilate Defence:  "Our hands are clean - if you want an explanation you must ask the Company to which we have outsourced the task of dealing with the problem."

An easily-understood example of how it works in practice may be found by clicking on to the following link, which is just one of many such Opposition attempts to shine bright lights onto various activities of our esteemed DWP.


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:44 am

I can see the problem.

It might lead some to ask whether opposition is worth the bother, but it might also raise the question of what such opposition is doing in practice to make headway against those tactics.

Or should we all just pack up and go home and leave the disadvantaged to Cameron's mercy...?

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:21 am

More 'compassionate Conservatism'.......  Twisted Evil

Nearly 14,000 disabled people who rely on a specialist motoring allowance have had their cars taken away from them following government welfare changes. Many had been adapted to meet their owners' needs and campaigners warn it could lead to a loss of independence. But the government says the new process is fairer and people can appeal.

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People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:04 pm

The standard Tory line is always that "Labour can't be trusted with the economy", but Gideon's Austerity regime, aided and abetted by the vindictive obsessions of IDS is demonstrably wasting money.

The "motability" scheme provides specially-modified vehicles to enable disabled people to get about, and is paid for by the users from their entitlement to disability benefit. All very logical until you withdraw that benefit which results in the (specially-adapted) vehicle being in effect repossessed by motability. Anybody with the remotest understanding of the motor trade will know that the second-hand resale value of a specialist vehicle is 1% of very little.

Staying for a moment with self-propelled vehicles, the decision to stop issuing a paper "tax-disc" as receipt for the Road Fund Tax has, Surprise, surprise!, resulted in a sudden rise in the number of untaxed vehicles on British roads accompanied by a corresponding fall in the amount of that Duty being collected.

doh
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:03 am

The buck should stop with the Prime Minister for his immoral disability cuts

Extracts from an article by Matthew Norman:-

Whatever Harry Truman believed, any leader’s guiding tenet is that the buck stops somewhere else. Blair enforced this more skilfully than most, and it permitted him to cling to the pretty straight kinda guy facade long after it should have been apparent that he was a rogue and a charlatan.

Cameron has emulated his role model by outsourcing domestic policy almost in its entirety to an overmighty chancellor, allowing him to play the part of innocent bystander when he chooses. But where Blair’s enmity with Brown gave him genuine cover from Budget disasters, Cameron’s friendship with Osborne offers him none. These two really are in it together. And what they’re in, or certainly ought to be, is a quicksand quagmire of their own creation.

After six years as their useful idiot, prosecuting their jihad against the vulnerable in the naive belief that he was freeing them from the shackles of dependency, IDS snapped. You cannot discount wounded pride as a contributory factor with such a brittle, petulant man. Anticipating the sack after the EU referendum may have played its part. But whatever reasons lay behind his resignation, and however absurd it sounded coming from the frontman for the bedroom tax, he described these disability cuts as immoral. That doesn’t go far enough, this is transcendently disgusting. The idea of sons of privilege blithely nudging horrendously difficult lives closer towards the impossible could tease out the teenage revolutionary in a 92-year-old duke
.”

For the whole article:-
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:59 pm

The puzzle is how the Cameron and Osborne ever thought they could get away with linking welfare cuts to a tax concession for the wealthy.

They couldn't be that stupid could they?

But look who voted for them.
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:22 am


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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Sun May 01, 2016 2:06 pm

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 1.25 million people experienced destitution in the UK in 2015, of which 312,000 were children. The research defined destitution as when people have been unable to afford two of the following six things considered essential to live a dignified life: shelter, food, heating, lighting, clothing or basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste or a toothbrush.

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by boatlady on Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:31 pm

Universal Credit has been suddenly rolled out in the town where I live - I attended training recently and the estimate was that single claimants would go on it sometime next year but that full exposure would not be until 2019 - when I will be 70 and probably fully retired.
Then suddenly in April we are full on Universal Credit - which I can now say from personal experience seems specifically designed to deny social security benefits to just about everyone.
1) You have to do the claim on-line and remember a username, a password, two pieces of specific information, an email address and the password for the email address.
2) Once you have done the claim you have to arrange the first of your two (count them!) appointments at the job centre - you can't do this until at least an hour after making your claim because your information will not be available to the call centre staff for at least an hour, but you must do it within 7 days or your claim will be timed out and you will have to submit a fresh claim.
Neither of these aspects is a problem if you own a computer, are accustomed to using one, have access to a phone and unlimited credit; however, for the chap I was helping, who has been without benefits for 5 months because of problems coping with the previous system, this meant two separate appointments with me before we could even say he has started his claim.
3) At the first job centre appointment you have to regurgitate all the various passwords, facts etc that were involved in making the initial claim and prove your identity by answering a number of questions about your previous involvement with the DWP. I anticipated my gentleman might struggle with some of this, so took along a file with the relevant information, only to be informed that he must answer all the questions without prompting or his claim would be cancelled. After a lively exchange of opinions with the manager we finally agreed I could prompt him because actually none of the questions held any meaning for him.
4) You might think this would complete the claim - but no - a further appointment was required for my gentleman to complete his 'claimant commitment' before the claim is complete - in his case it involved handing over a sick note, but we had to wait another week for this appointment.
5) Finally he can have some money! - well, no - Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears and there are 7 unpaid days at the outset of the claim. If we make another call on the 0345 number and wait while the robot tells us our options for 2 minutes, then wait in the queue for several more minutes we  can talk to a very kind person who will use a calculating tool to tell us how much advance of benefit can be issued - and how it will have to be paid back. The advance will be issued immediately - it's not the DWP's fault that the account it was paid to was closed by the bank two weeks ago because there were never any funds in it. Now we have to go to another meeting at the job centre to ask for a Simple Payment!

This week so far I have dealt with two separate claimants who needed this level of support - I confidently expect to be invited to the job centre Christmas party.
If I was really computer savvy I would add a picture of IDS at this point but I leave that to all you clever coves
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Chas Peeps on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:13 am

Skwalker's excellent post in 2012 is as relevant today as it was four years ago. Boatlady's detailed account in the previous post describes in detail how we now have a purpose-designed Benefit Deterrent system which at its core makes claimants fee they are ALL the 'underserving' poor. Such is the dehumanisation process going on in our society. Greens have had a Basic Income Scheme at the centre of their social policy package for decades, facing ridicule as 'loony lefties'. Far from being loony, it is a known fact that universal benefits tick three massive boxes, firstly that they are almost guaranteed to hit their intended target recipients, secondly they are incredibly cheap to administer due to the absence of means testing and thirdly they increase social cohesion by making everyone a stakeholder.

To work, it must be introduced hand-in-glove with a progressive tax system where the rich pay more and the poor pay less. The rich would be net contributors and the poor net beneficiaries. People could move in and out of employment without the paralysing fear of destitution. Studies have shown that Basic Income only has a very low impact on people's willingness to work if it is set at a realistic level. Further, the health & wellbeing of the population rises together with a commensurate saving on the cost of healthcare provision and social services. Basic income can be a game-changer, smashing the false wall built between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor by those that wish to divide and rule us while they get richer.

Basic income is now gaining traction within the political mainstream. Natalie Bennett was asked whether she was annoyed that the Green Party's policy is being stolen by others. She replied that she was just glad that the policy was being discussed and may be taken up but added that it would have been nice if Greens could have been credited with adopting and fighting for the policy.

The Greens idea of a simple payment is clearly a world away from that of our Conservative Government which never misses a chance to crush people's spirits whenever possible to 'keep them in their place'.
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Capitalists! Don't you just love 'em?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:51 pm

Pound Strengthens as MP Killing Halts Brexit Momentum

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:02 pm

Not too surprising - it's amazing just how horrible and disgusting bigotry is when an apparent active example of it is thrust fully in one's face...
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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

Post by Ivan on Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:59 pm

This must be why George Osborne has been made a Companion of Honour...  Mad

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Re: The assault on the poor and disabled

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