Archive | October, 2014

ESA Cuts ‘Considered-‘ The Graphs The Tories Don’t Want You To See

30 Oct

Same Difference

The Mirror have published two graphics on ESA spending and what the changes would mean.

Here’s what gets spent on ESA now:

They’ve also published a graph showing what would happen if the ‘considered’ cuts became government policy.

They rightly ask: do disabled people who need supplementary income to live REALLY need their benefits cut, ahead of pensioners who make up at least 58% of welfare expenditure? No.

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Maximus Are The New Atos: Destroy Maximus

30 Oct

the void

atos-black-triangleThe BBC are reporting that US company Maximus has won a £500 million contract to take over from Atos administering the despised Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Maximus, who already have a contract running Iain Duncan Smith’s failing Work Programme, will now carry out the computer based assessments used to strip benefits from sick and disabled people by declaring them ‘fit for work’.

Atos claimed they pulled out of the WCA after staff were threatened.  But this was a fucking lie.  What happened to Atos was much more toxic.  Regular and repeated protests were held outside Atos offices all around the UK, including their glitzy London headquarters.  They were hounded off social media, whilst their corporate identity was repeatedly hijacked despite a string of petty legal threats.  Other parts of their business were affected.  The Co-operative bank were successfully lobbied to end their occupational health contract with Atos.

Everywhere Atos…

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Ministers Considering Cuts To ESA, Leaked Papers Reveal

30 Oct

Same Difference

This would be a real disaster for so many…

Ministers are considering drastically cutting the main Employment and Support Allowance sickness benefit, internal documents seen by the BBC suggest.

New claimants, judged to be capable of work with appropriate support, could be given just 50p more per week than people on job seekers allowance.

Current recipients get almost £30 per week more.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the ESA proposals were not government policy.

I have taken only a snippet of the article, because it goes on to cover many related issues that, while very important, are not new.

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Legal Review Launched Against PIP Delays

27 Oct

Same Difference

With many thanks to Welfare Weekly.

Lawyers have launched legal action against the government over “unnecessary and unacceptable” disability benefit delays, it has been revealed today (24 October 2014).

Irwin Mitchell is representing a disabled woman from Kent, who is thought to be among thousands of people left “financially and socially isolated” by delays in assessing claims for the new disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The disabled woman is said to be struggling to feed herself and heat her home, after being forced to wait more than six months for her PIP claim to be processed.

The public law experts will argue in a judicial review that delays of more than six months in assessing claimants for PIP is leading to financial hardship for thousands of disabled people.

Anne-Marie Irwin, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said:

“PIP was created to ensure that the thousands of vulnerable people across the UK…

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Private companies tortured children – now running children’s homes and services

25 Oct

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s G4S and SERCO)

Private companies G4S and SERCO have agreed to pay out £100,000 in compensation for restraining torturing kids.

This illegal “restraining” by staff working for subsidiary companies belonging to the two multi-billion pound conglomerates has even resulted in the deaths of at least two children.

G4S went on to deal with the problem of the torturing and killing of children in their care by promoting one of the members of staff involved in it to the position of Health and Safety Manager in their children’s homes.

And Serco went on to allow its staff free range to also sexually assault young women who had been put in its care.

Considering all of the above shocking facts – why are we still allowing these cowboy companies to run children’s homes and our children’s educational services?

Could it be because they have friends in high places?



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Thank you!

25 Oct

Emma Oxjam

So Oxjam Stirling Takeover has come to and end for the year, and what a year it has been. Our main aims were to raise lots of money for Oxfam, promote local music and leave Stirling with a little legacy that someone would like to continue on next year. However, we had so much fun we’re strongly considering doing that ourselves all over again! I’m writing this blog to thank as many of the people as possible who have helped over the year. If I’ve forgotten you, I’m so very very sorry, but there have been so many people I don’t think it’s going to be possible to name everyone! I even remembered someone today and forgot again, if that was you, sorry! This is a very long essay! You don’t need to read it all, just find your name in bold somewhere along the page.

I need to begin…

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Mum Shoplifted To Feed Family After ESA Stopped

24 Oct

Same Difference

BENEFIT sanctions have been dubbed as “pure evil” after a woman had to steal food and groceries to feed her family when her money was stopped.

Lucy Hill, of Westcott Road, Kidderminster, was caught taking chicken and washing powder from a Spar store on October 1, after first stealing more meat two days earlier.

The 35-year-old’s Employment Support Allowance had been sanctioned after she missed an appointment at the Job Centre and her defence solicitor, John Rogers, said it was “necessary that she committed this offence” for the good of her partner and their 18-month-old baby.

And now the public have rallied behind her agreeing they would have to steal as well in her position, with Kate Bennett from the Wyre Forest Citizen’s Advice Bureau saying sanctions are doing more harm than good.

“The whole idea of sanctions is to stop people from taking the Mickey, and that’s fine, but…

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