Archive for August, 2012


Not Since  WW2 and the creation of the Welfare State has Modern Britain seen such Poverty until the Tories came to power. I’m not saying it wasn’t there, it’s just reached such alarming levels since the last election that even the elite cannot continue to ignore it.

Why is this happening I hear you cry, well since this Government took office and introduced the Welfare Reforms which cruelly deprive the poorest the basic levels of sustanance and unemployment levels through the roof, and a economy about to snap in half caused by a Banking  Euro Crisis, that is why we are seeing such levels of food poverty. Unless your going through it no one seems to care in the 1% who rule this country,while the others  face the crippling realities of no longer being able to put food on table is hitting Britains familes like a Tsunami .

Not only do they face problems getting a job ,they also face the cruel assessments of entitlement to benefits  that help the most vunerable in society(which are almost impossible to get due to tightening of rules and regulations) . How do you tell your child sorry I have nothing to give you,or the baby crying for milk they dont have money for cos they need to pay a bill? Naturally I’m not suggesting babies go without because parents would miss the bill and rather sit in dark or cold. I myself have often had to do without or scrimp by on one meal a day till the next payment is in the bank,cos cash is tight.

This is the new picture of Breadline Britain created by a Conservative Government and is indefensable, where they are rumours they are telling supermarkets not to give the surplus food they arent allowed to sell because of the sell by date for H&S reasons,so they can implement their heartless voucher scheme,where people are humiliated into going cap in hand to issuing authorities to a local foodbank should you be lucky to have one within your area let alone money to get there and back. The sell by date is a guide not exacting and much of this food could be donated to help those in need locally. Most people know with certain foods it not possible but for many it is a case of it could actually stop people being seriously ill, how long before the UK is back to levels of Consumption(TB) that fill the hospitals if they are still around after being sold off to the highest bidder. Hospital Wards are going to be rammed full, levels of TB are rising now and we have Ricketts back too diseases not seen in this country for decades.

So what are we going to do about it I hear you ask,well one could grown own veg etc if you have garden and share costs and produce with neighbours like they did in the war but society today is no longer like that, we live in the ‘ME ME ME’ society where most people dont evn see ,know or talk to a neighbour,let alone tell them their personal business for fear of being dobbed in to DWP malicious call unit and scroungers and such like rhetoric from the likes of our Government Officials and the Media who have all played a part in fuelling the Hatred of the Poor.

DAVID CAMERON WELCOMED food banks is a happy emboidment of the concept of the big society

His Secretary of State for Environment said it was an excellent example of citizenship.

There is a 233 per cent increase in kids fed by local charity in london kids charity. 2 children in every class are hungry, the problem getting worse, in last 2 years, children has no idea wheere next meal is coming from.

The Trussel Trust which is a Salisbury based charity, co ordinates all the foodbanks through out the UK, as of May 2012, there are 201 foodbanks in the UK.

The foodbanks are served by local churches and local community groups, a third of food is from supermarkets, near to the end of the line produce, and the rest is from indiviudals donating, something the supermarkets need to hang their heads down in shame only a third and the money they make.

In 2011-12 40% of foodbanks clients were experincing benefits payments delays.

In JAN/FEB there are a rise of people using food banks because of high
heating bills, and the cost of  Christmas

In Jan 2010 young couple with 18 mth baby, dad off sick, no sick pay, delay in benefit payments, face eviciton from home, no money for food, living in one room and sleeping in it too, could not afford heating with ice on the windows,  the food bank helped them.

Primary school boy, skipping school lunchtime, no money for lunch, father left family, benefits in his fathers name, informed of father left, all benefits stopped because of change of circumstances, 2-4 months before money sorted, to claim free school meals need to be in recipt of benefits,no help, so relied on foodbank support.

Nutmens carried out a survery of 1146 parents this was carried out on
behaf of NSPCC and Princes Trust, 2,000 children are fed every week and in 2011
they saw 30 famiiles a week needing thier support their only meal of the day,
in 2012 its 70 families a week needing theier support as the only meal of the
day the charity were providing.


62 per cent of people know local familes where children are going hungry as there is not enough to eat, and are way under the breadline. The school meals serving are being cut and portions are tiny even though costs of meals are rising. Plus school milk has been universally cut unless you pay for it in a few places

These are just examples of what people are facing in our country NOW!

Cumbria alone has seen a 600% rise in need for assistance alone this is a national disgrace see link below.

This is an appalling legacy which has got lost in the ether because of Olympic Fever,so why are we not telling our government to stop wasting taxpayers money on such ridiculous piecemeal schemes they keep trying to tell us is for our benefit and feed our own people or do we have to put out a call to the UN for Aid?

“Falling incomes and welfare spending cuts have triggered an explosion in demand for emergency food parcels as Britain’s poorest families struggle to put a meal on the table, say charities.

FareShare, a charity that supplies millions of free meals to charities, food banks  and breakfast clubs using food donated by supermarkets, said it could not keep pace with demand, which it expected to continue growing for at least five years.

“We are experiencing ridiculous growth. The only brake is how much food we can get out of the industry. We have the operational capacity to deliver more food and the charities that want to take that food,” said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare.

FareShare said the food it distributed in 2011-12 contributed to more than 8.6m meals, benefiting an average 36,500 people a day via 720 organisations that deal with people in food poverty. Its long-term plans are to triple the numbers of people and charities it supplies. Along with charity shops and payday loans companies, food banks have become one of recession Britain’s high growth sectors. Originally set up to support homeless individuals, food banks report they increasingly serve families hit by benefit cuts or unemployment, and low-income working households who can’t make ends meet”

The Guardian’s Breadline Britain investigation revealed last week that up to 3.6m UK households were at risk of slipping into poverty as a result of spiralling living costs, shrinking incomes and welfare benefit reforms. Britain’s biggest food-bank network, the Trussell Trust charity, reported in April it had doubled the number of emergency food parcels issued over the past year and was opening food banks at the rate of two a week.

Chris Mould, director of the Trussell Trust, said: “Every day we meet parents who are skipping meals to feed their children or even considering stealing to stop their children going to bed hungry. It is shocking that there is such a great need for food banks in 21st-century Britain, but the need is growing.”

says the guardian article

It is time to get rid of this ‘Shower in Power’ and society needs to show some compassion for it’s fellow man,not hatred,which is being permeated from every corner of the media and our government ministers  who dont need to worry where their next meal is coming from and get our country back while we still have one left. you can even do your bit by just asking a neighbour are you ok can I help,or check on Old Billy down the road to make sure he has a meal!

Lastly thanks to Paula Peters who helped me collect some of the information here.


Update :

Benefit Breakdown of the Governments Spending

42.3% Elderly
20.8 % Low Income
18.4% Families
15.5% Disabled
2.6% Unemployed

Is Anyone Listening? Is this How The German People Were Fooled by Nazi Ideology!

This blog is with kind permision of Fiona Goffe

There is a campaign of hate and bullying against the most vulnerable in our society – the sick and disabled.  The changes in the system of benefits is causing people not just unneccessary suffering but people are dying because of it.

I hope that you will read this and share it.

It seems to me that unless people are directly affected they don’t want to know.  But this is something that could be stopped if there was enough of a public outcry.

My father spent time in concentration camps during WW11 and was marched through the streets of Germany.  The question he, and I, always asked was how could the ordinary German people have allowed this to happen?  Now I understand.  They were too busy ‘coping with their own lives’, trying to make themselves feel better by partying, drinking, focussing on the good things, in denial, felt powerless etc etc.  And yet they stand accused of guilt by association.  We all know they could have done more to stop what was happening.

The same applies to us, today.  And yet I find that even on FB it is only those people who have been directly affected that take an interest.  People can’t even be bothered to read stuff, let alone go to the trouble of pressing a button and sharing the stories that demonstrate the depth of this crisis, the despair that people around them are experiencing or even the horror at the number of deaths.

People seem happy to share pretty, funny pictures, to share that they care about disasters and crimes in other places, to show their concern about animals, the environment etc etc.  And so am I, don’t get me wrong.  But they don’t want to know about what is going on under their noses, in their name.

We all know that stress makes you sick.  If you are sick it makes you sicker.  If you are very weak it can kill you.  Trying to get the benefits you are entitled to to ensure you can live while you deal with illness is incredibly stressful.

The number of people who have died is horrifying and this is a crisis that could affect you, your family and anyone that you love.

Below is acouple of stories and an article that was written with some early statistics in.

I feel so frustrated that we do not seem to be getting across to the general public how serious this is.

The Motto of this government is that work makes people healthier.

Above the gates of Auschwitz is said “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work makes you free).  Pretty similar eh?


First They Came – Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me


“Paul Mickleburgh, one of the world’s longest surviving kidney dialysis patients is hooked up to a dialysis machine for five hours, three days a week. He’s also had cancer and pneumonia and suffers from spontaneous internal bleeding, brittle bones a twisted bowel and agonising joint pains as a result of his renal treatment. He’s had four failed kidney donations.

To top it all off, Paul has had 14 heart attacks in the last five years and believes his last attack was caused in part by the stress of trying to deal with the DWP. Sadly, patients with chronic kidney disease are actually more likely to die from associated heart disease than from kidney failure itself.

In spite of this, Paul has been placed in the work-related activity group,(external link) meaning that he is someone who is expected to return to the workplace in the reasonably near future. Paul’s request for this dreadful decision to be looked at again came back with the same result – he should be moving towards a return to work.

We hope that Paul is now appealing . . . and that his heart will stand the stress.”  (From the Work and Pensions website)


RIP Karen Sherlock  (From diary of a benefit Scounger/Spartacus)

I just found out that Karen Sherlock, @pusscat01 has passed away.

Here is here twitter profile : “Chronic Spoonie, lots wrong. ESA stopped by this inhumane government. Preparing for dialysis. Each day is tough.”

Karen embodied our fight in almost every way. She was desperately ill. Her kidneys were failing, putting a huge strain on her body. Ultimately it seems she died of a cardiac arrest. An operation had recently been cancelled at the last minute, though I have no idea why or if it is relevant to her death.

She had been found capable of some work by the DWP. Placed in the Work Related Activity Group, her Employment and Support Allowance was time limited to one year after the welfare reform bill went through. Not only that, but it was limited retrospectively, meaning that she only had a few months left to appeal for long term support (Support Group) before she lost everything.

I won’t go into more detail here. It’s not for me to list her complaints and trials, but there is one thing everyone in this country should know.

She was terrified. Beside herself with fear. She lived her last months desperately scared that her family would not survive the onslaught it faced. She was “the most vulnerable” whatever that is. The system failed her and she spent her last precious moments in this world fighting. For herself, for her family and for others. She was one of us. She was Spartacus. And now she’s dead and she died in fear because the system failed her, because cruel men refused listen and powerful men refused to act. She spent her last months fighting for the “security” of £96 a week and the reassurance that it couldn’t be taken away. She won her battle. Just two weeks ago she was finally put into the Support Group of ESA. After months of unbearable stress, resilient commitment and endurance beyond comprehension, she won her battle.But she lost her war and we must all make sure that whatever comes, we win that war in her name and in the names of the many thousands more fighting for life and dignity. RIP Karen. We WON’T forget you.

From Scottish Law Blogspot:


OVER ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE DIED as a direct result of ‘reforms’ to benefits payouts ordered by the Conservative Liberal-Democrat Coalition Government in Westminster, with likely to be HUNDREDS OF SCOTS also among the dead, according to information published by the media after Freedom of Information responses revealed over 32 people are dying a week after having passed through work capability assessments carried out by by private firm ATOS, on a £100million a year contract to the ConDem coalition Westminster Government. ATOS made a £42million profit in 2010 and paid boss Keith Wilman £800,000, a 22% pay rise on the previous year.

With the revelations of the numbers of dead, Scots may now be entitled to ask – “Would a Scottish Government of an Independent Scotland hire a French based firm for £100million a year to do the same to Scots citizens and cause as many deaths ?” (errm No ! – Ed)

The Daily Mirror newspaper reports :


More than a thousand ­sickness benefit claimants died last year after being told to get a job, we can reveal. We’ve highlighted worries about the controversial medical tests for people claiming Employment Support Allowance which are being used to slash the country’s welfare bill. The Government has boasted that more than half of new ­claimants are found “fit to work” – failing to mention that over 300,000 have appealed the decision and almost 40% have won. Instead, employment minister Chris Grayling says this ­”emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been”.

We’ve used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that, between January and August last year, 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the “work-related activity group”. This group – which accounted for 21% of all claimants at the last count – get a lower rate of benefit for one year and are expected to go out and find work. This compares to 5,300 deaths of people who were put in the “support group” – which accounts for 22% of claimants – for the most unwell, who get the full, no-strings benefit of up to £99.85 a week.

We don’t know how many people died after being found “fit to work”, the third group, as that information was “not available”. But we have also found that 1,600 people died before their assessment had been completed. This should take 13 weeks, while the claimant gets a reduced payment of up to £67.50 a week, but delays have led to claims the system is in “meltdown”.

Mr Grayling admitted last month that 35,000 people are waiting longer than 13 weeks. Commenting on the deaths of ­claimants, a Department for Work and Pensions official said: “It is possible that the claimant had already closed their claim and then ­subsequently died, meaning that these figures may be ­overestimating the true picture.” Of course, they’re bound to include some people who died of ­something completely unrelated to their benefit claim.

But there are plenty of tragic cases – such as that of David Groves (left) who died from a heart attack the night before taking his work ­capability assessment. The 56-year-old, from Staveley, Derbyshire, worked for 40 years as a miner and telecoms engineer but stopped on doctors’ orders after an earlier heart attack and a string of strokes. His widow Sandra said: “When Dave was called in for a medical, he felt like he was back to square one. “He was in a terrible state by the day he died. It was the stress that killed him, I’m sure.”

Stephen Hill, 53, of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, died of a heart attack in December, one month after being told he was “fit to work”, even though he was waiting for major heart surgery. Citizens Advice told us it has found “a number of cases” of people dying soon after being found fit for work. “There seems to be a clear link between the cause of death and the condition they were suffering from that led to the claim,” said Katie Lane, head of welfare policy.

“We have always supported the idea that people who could work and want to work should be helped to do that. But we are seeing a lot of seriously ill and disabled people being found fit for work. “We have serious concerns about whether the test used to decide if people are fit for work is the right test.” The work capability assessments are carried out by private firm Atos, on a £100million a year contract. The firm made a £42million profit in 2010 and paid boss Keith Wilman £800,000, a 22% pay rise on the previous year.

The response to our FOI request:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 16 February 2012. You asked:

Can you please provide me with the number of ESA claimants who have died in 2011?

Can you please break down that number into the following categories:• Those who are in the assessent phase• Those who have been found fit to work• Those who have been placed in the work related activity group• Those who have been placed in the support group• Those who have an appeal pending

The table below provides data on the numbers of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants where the Department holds information on a date of death being recorded in 2011 and whose latest Work Capability Assessment (WCA) date (or activity towards assessment) was before the end of August 2011, the latest data available.

In total, between January 2011 and August 2011, some 8,000 claims ended and a date of death was recorded within six weeks of the claim end. This represents about 1% of the total ESA caseload in May 2011 (the latest caseload data available). The table below shows the position of these claims when they were closed.

Those in the Support Group receive unconditional support due to the nature of their illness, which can include degenerative conditions, terminal illness and severe disability. Note it is possible that the claimant had already closed their claim and then subsequently died, meaning that these figures may overestimate the true picture. Care should therefore be taken when interpreting these figures.

WCA Outcome at most recent assessment and number of claimants with a recorded date of death :

Assessment not complete 1,600Work Related Activity Group 1,100Support Group 5,300Total 8,000

All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Data on the number of ESA claimants that have died following a fit for work decision is not available, as the Department does not hold information on a death if the person has already left benefit. The Department does not hold information on the number of claimants who died whilst an appeal was in progress.

We then asked for: The total Employment and Support Allowance caseload figures most comparable with the ones in the FOI request, eg Jan-Aug 2011, showing how many ESA claimants are put in support group, WRAG group, fit to work or claim ended. Clarification on whether these figures are only new ESA claims or whether they include the transfer from Incapacity Benefit? Clarification on the six-week cut off figure – why was that selected?

We were told:

“As at August 2011 there were around 730,000 people receiving ESA. In the three quarters Jan-Sep 2011, 380,000 people left ESA.

It is not possible to provide the further detail you request. These figures only cover new ESA claims – claims from IB recipients are not included. The six-week figure is used routinely within the department when looking at where people go after leaving benefits.”

further additions to this blog  are;

With this publication we now have figures for the whole of the financial year 2010/11.

They show: 0.8% of benefit spending is overpaid due to fraud, amounting to £1.2 billion, and that this proportion is the same as in 2009/10.

If we look at the estimates for different benefits, they are:

Retirement Pension 0.0%;

Incapacity Benefit 0.3%;

Disability Living Allowance 0.5%;

Council Tax Benefit 1.3%;

Housing Benefit 1.4%;

Pension Credit 1.6%;

Income Support 2.8%;

Jobseeker’s Allowance 3.4%;

Carer’s Allowance 3.9%.

While I agree the similarities are very  scary it has to be said, it thankfully has not gone that far as yet but many fear it will!

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