Archive for the ‘workfare’ Category

Life as a Campaigner – Not For Fainthearted


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I have been thinking recently about life as a Campaigner  and all the trials and tribulations that go with that task. Disability Campaigners from all walks of life /backgrounds have fought the most brutal and sadistic of battles over the last 6yrs with unprecedented tenacity even the Government themselves have been surprised that we would dare to fight tooth and nail over the Welfare Reform Bill brought in 2010 and subsequent changes since like the Welfare To Work Bill, Social Care Act, ILF Cuts, Trade Union Bill and the mighty NHS Privatisation Etc.

Endless  personal sacrifices have been made to bring this Government to task over what can only be considered, a mercenary scorched earth approach to disability and employment which is targeting the poorest in society not seen since WW2. Not withstanding their own personal daily struggles of disability, caring responsibilities, and the stagnant job market many have found themselves under sustained attack from the Bedroom Tax, WCA, Benefit Cap, Universal Credit and DLA transitions to PIP (Personal Independence Payment), Workfare, Housing Benefit ,Deaths, and all the cuts that have been implemented, with much more yet to come, they have remained steadfast in their resolve. This takes a considerable effort in both time and energy to take this government to court, raise funds for court appeals, and do research to enable this to happen in the first place, engage solicitors/barristers while offering substantial support to those in need and engage their communities to get involved and on the street, while the rest of society ignores their calls for help and support and the Press & TV have been blocked form reporting the considerable harm to many, in some cases resulting in death. The loss of friends in the campaign movement has ripped out the heart of some of us, after all ‘we care’ why else would we be doing it.

We are accused of being self-serving, when in reality different factions may have different approaches, use different models even, but the stark reality is we have Humanity, Compassion for our fellow human beings regardless, with the main ingredient of  CARING and wanting ALL to have a decent standard of living without fear of persecution from those in power who decide on changes that affect our lives on a daily basis.

Campaigners do it because they absolutely believe it should be a human right to live in a fair and equal society and be allowed the same equality as anyone else in society enjoys, not be subjected to ‘grades of worthiness’ by the rest of society.

They took to social media in various forms and took the fight right to the heart on Central Government, they took to the streets , took to courts and lobbied Ministers to stop this onslaught from happening. It hasn’t been without its problems though, many campaigners have been subjected to Hate Crime, Cyber bullying, Government Interference by closing websites down, some of this  has even come from within their own community because of disagreements in ways to tackle the issues we all face, even down to whistle blowers from those contracted to carry out these policies, and those who chose to change their allegiances and work with the perceived enemy. We also bear the brunt of people’s anger and frustration when intervening ,leading many groups to place rules within groups to try to bring some social order and etiquette to prevent members being abused or themselves for standing strong on a particular point. Sadly  the negatives of social media also brings out the worst in people who think that they can be as abusive as they like from behind a computer screen,  trading insults with each other rather than just disagree and walk away, some not understanding the difference between debating and challenging a viewpoint then going off and causing mischief across the internet or stalking an individual because they had a fallout leading to cyber bullying and harassment. Some have had to resort to calling in the police due to their nature.

Many Campaigners  have supported those all night who cannot cope and prevented some of them from taking their own lives, offered support and directed those affected to reputable sources for help and support with the disaster of all the above mentioned changes, some have even gone along to tribunals and provided a means of emotional support to someone who feels their world is a dark planet full of enemies of the state, persecuting them into what they see as the only course of action is ‘their own demise’.

Hours of toil amongst their own ill-health  and other life commitments  have made a positive impact on many  lives and now the tides seems to be turning in our favour after the recent PIP debacle which saw ministers back down for now anyway. 12billion more cuts are yet to be implemented and no doubt many will already be standing on a cliff edge wondering whether or not to jump off the cliff as  they can bear no more, while others will just store up that anger  and kick off at the tiniest thing causing mayhem wherever they go and misdirect that anger at those who are trying to do something to stop this bloody mess, which isn’t only unfair on those under fire but those around them too. Its not an easy life for sure full of stress and strain and frustration, and when you stick your head above the parapet you can be certain, someone will want to blow it off, taking you down for no reason at all other than frustration or jealousy at your new found status of being seen as a ‘leading campaigner’ which is a label placed upon you by others within the movement or externally by those reporting the news and sequence of events. Some are pushed unwittingly to the forefront, while some wishing to remain in the engine room they all work together for the betterment of the whole movement overall yet expect nothing in return except respect and dignity that should be afforded to any human being. Campaigners do not do it for personal gain they do it to prevent pain and suffering to those who cannot stand up for themselves, to make the lives of many better than before, where possible. Britain is the first country to be investigated for grave violations to sick and disabled people by both the UN and ECHR.

I will end this blog with a simple message we can fight back ,we can overcome obstacles if we stick together. What this government wants  is to divide society into sections of society each kicking  7 bells of shit out of each other as the crumbs off the table become more scarce, what we cannot do is give them their wish of divide and rule we need to pull together on common ground and stand shoulder to shoulder with each other even if we disagree, we should not fall into the trap set for us to tear each other apart for we are all fragile human beings with a range of impairments. Love & Respect each other and put differences aside.

 

That reader, is only way to beat this government unite as one, for when we do, we are one hell of a formidable foe that scares the living shit out of our government.

Solidarity

WCA Debate and #Do No Harm- Do Not Compute to those Exacting it’s Punative Policies !


 

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Yesterday the WCA debate again took to Westminster where those MP’s who can see the harm caused, presented to Minister Pritti Patel and the Committee the damaging effects to disabled people’s lives and those living with chronic ill-health. It is like they all keep repeating the same mistakes regardless of the impact while defending the indefensible consequences.

Disabled People don’t object to being assessed in a fair and just manner while taking entitlements they paid into via National Insurance, what they object to is being demonised ,vilified by asking for assistance when things go horribly wrong in their lives. Many disabled people have worked and paid their dues along with most taxpayers,yet today’s taxpayer objects to them with some ferocity  believing the government rhetoric of ‘something for nothing’ culture that has been rammed down their throats that those on benefits are somehow less worthy than themselves. Little do they realise we can all fall foul in life and one day it could be them indeed who seek assistance only to be tarred with same brush  while indignantly standing on the parapet shouting but I worked all my life and I can’t get any help. We are all an accident away,or risk losing our Jobs, or becoming terminally ill, from being labelled a Scrounger. These same people who object now are ‘Tommorrow’s Scroungers’ while turning a blind eye to the distress and harm of those they promised to protect just as the German people did in 1930 Germany. In their defence, due to government controlled media blackouts some may not have known,but many did and stayed silent just as they are now in today’s Modern Britain where they look the other way even though their streets are littered with the homeless people,those who read the papers see the stories in the press about the harm of the WCA deaths, and say Awwww what a shame that’s not right, but do absolutely nothing to raise any objection on a personal level with their local MP unless it one of their own affected. The truth is society doesn’t care and neither do our politicians using the Austerity Lie as excuse to balance the books  which was caused by the richest global elite bankers and their servants in power. Square pegs cannot go in round holes you cannot magically make jobs appear or enforce profit driven employers to take on those who maybe disadvantaged in the workplace even allowing for a full range of adjustments. We have to face facts some people will never work!

The main parties are all complicit in this lie and enacting a cruel policy that is not fit for purpose,while punishing the most vulnerable(I hate this word) in society,non of them are guilt free it just the largest level of guilt falls squarely on the Tories who have made disabled peoples lives unbearable and in many cases lead to fatal consequences.

As a Society we all have some responsibility to do our fair share to contribute,but equally we all have responsibility to help those who cannot contribute due to disability or ill health.

One thing this government prides itself on is ramming down our throats the ‘Responsibility’ argument while taking none themselves for the complete failure of the continuous fuck ups and waste of  billions of taxpayers money, let alone the deaths caused by their flawed welfare to work policies. Work is only good for you if you can compete in the workplace,which is why this government has failed disabled people and the chronically ill,the unemployed and future generations to penal servitude under their ideology,and destroying the safety net of a welfare state. The statistics below are taken from the debate which I have provided the link to while it remains. I have provided further links to highlight the damning report mentioned in the debate.

Those of you in a fortunate position to be fit and healthy and working should be taking your anger to those who caused this mess while they squander your hard earned tax contributions to the coffers, not punish those whose lives are in blighted by disability or ill -health or out of work, as you find your pay packet doesn’t go as far as it used too and their stranglehold grip gets tighter and tighter on your family purse.

When we no longer have Healthcare or Welfare State as you know it, ask yourself a question as the jackboots march into your lives……did you act or did you turn a blind eye?

 

23 weeks waiting for WCA decisons
280,000 backlogs
costs risen to @ £200 per head
1in 10 substandard reports
54% overturned at appeal
590 suicides come to light with recent coroners reports
725,000 more anti depressant prescriptions given
Rise from 3.6 % (2003) to 4.3% (2013) in deaths
In Support group 6.3% more likely to die
In Wrag group 2.2% more likely to die

 

http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2015/10/26/jech-2015-206209.full.pdf+html

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/a9a958a2-3bba-4549-80fd-86da5ac75c1b

The Criminalisation of the Working Class -Yes it’s Class War


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Observations I have made as have many other campaigners is the constant  oppression of the working class by those in power and those in the  chattering middle classes who believe this government is right to clamp down on the poorest in society and particularly those who cannot work due to disability, those who happen to be made redundant or become unemployed who happen to need support from the welfare state. Many claim Social Security Payments of one description or another that includes the so-called ‘Hardworking’ Poor on Zero Hour Contracts or Low Pay.

Most families in this country claim Child Benefit, some claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax help or Pension Credit top up for pensioners who don’t have enough to live on, yet feel this does not apply to them as they have paid their dues, well guess what -so have many claimants during their working lives! So come and get your scrounger badge here, we welcome everyone.

Claimants have become the scapegoat of society for the failings of successive governments to control the banking sector and the countries finances. They have become demonised, victimised and now criminalised for being poor and working class.  The few  have got greedier and greedier filling their pockets with profits over people with their gold spoils off the working man

The young have become victims of brutal cuts which they had no part in.We have many who are homeless living on the streets of Britain, forced to leave home in some cases rather than stay where they are to suffer abuses that most of us cant imagine, while denied any assistance to live independently with cuts to Housing Benefit, in a home of their own, forced into prostitution in some cases as means to survive, those who are able to claim some assistance are forced into apprenticeships, workfare or sanctions if not in higher education or university. Some people are homeless due to evictions  brought about by the Bedroom Tax or loss of Social Security payments many are young people but not all are. The Government has now given local authorities the all clear  for them to be prosecuted and removed from our streets as they try and brush them from sight so the public don’t hold this government to account, or are portrayed as economic migrants and beggars who are to be refused help, because they are too lazy to get off their backsides and work and pay taxes like rest of us or come from other countries seen as less worthy than our own indigenous people. Yet Corporate Multi-nationals are given tax breaks or avoid paying their fair share of taxes ,bankers are given bonuses for getting the country into the global crash of 2008 and the Conservatives do zilch about chasing these fraudsters which would wipe the national debt overnight if they did so, because they threaten to take their business  elsewhere to avoid any responsibility for their actions and successive governments capitulate as banks hold us to ransom, unlike in Iceland they throw them all in jail and are doing very well thank you.

Many have seen the Immigration card being played out which is another group who are to be blamed for societies ill’s, they’re coming here to take our jobs, they claim benefits they haven’t paid into the system for, they get free homes which is incorrect and misleading, yet in recent times the refugee crisis in Greece and across the world saw the public rush to help those caught up in wars they did not create, by sending supplies and begging their relevant governments to open the borders to let these people find some peace from the constant bombing of their country, while we the UK supplied some of the bombs and guns that they now need rescuing from because they have fallen, in some cases, into militant hands to oppress it’s people. We have seen a rise in race hate crime against anyone deemed muslim or a possible extremist.

Those with disabilities have borne the brunt of brutal welfare reforms which as seen swathing cuts to vital care packages and support and to those who care for them, those with mental health have been especially targeted by this government and many deaths have resulted in this particular group but not exclusively, and many disabled people have suffered massive increases in attacks not just on welfare but on the  themselves by those  who believe they are scroungers and not worthy of assistance. They have become targets of the false fraud tag, as criminals of taking unfairly taxpayers money, fiddling the system of billions of pounds when the truth is more is wasted by this government in error and by the DWP mistakes than in ‘actual’ Claimant Fraud 0.3% (0.9% overall if you include error) which is thrown together to mislead the public.  Various Government projects which are deemed a failure and take much more taxpayers money from the public purse than any claimant ever possibly could in a lifetime. They are brutalised by sanctions or the appalling WCA Assessment because their disabilities set them up to fail as the right provision they actually need to stay in work or start work is severely lacking both from employers and government alike. Many disabled people do work or would work if their needs were to be  properly considered, yet consistently fail to enforce reasonable adjustments on employers under the Equality Act 2010 as we are less productive than our able bodied counterparts. We also have to accept that many disabled people cannot work due to the nature of their disability and the impacts that has on their daily living.

We now have Iain Duncan Smith denying any causal links to his welfare reforms to harming disabled people but there are cases out there if you look like Michael O’Sullivan, Stephanie Botterell, Mark Woods ,David Clapson but there are thousands more who have lost their lives , yet still disabled people are persecuted not only by government but by those who really believe this governments rhetoric. Many are denied legal aid due to this government stripping away the right to justice making it impossible for most of society, whose only crime is to be poor.

To add insult to injury were are now seeing the criminalisation of the working poor who are the main clients in food banks even though many claimants whom are sanctioned or have benefit delays also use food banks, initially set up to mop up this governments mess of austerity as now being integral part of the welfare state he plans to put Welfare Advisors in them to mitigate his mess, alongside installing food banks in NHS hospitals and linking information gathered by these advisors to punish them further, this ruse is to tie in with his lifestyle choices cost the Government and NHS & Taxpayer to blame them further for being poor, so if you drink ,smoke obese or take illegal substances then your claims are at risk of being sanctioned if you don’t comply to forced treatment for your addictions, which not only is against your human rights. Not to worry though because your government is about to strip your Human Rights from you as well by pulling out of EU so they can carry on abusing you.

Workers and Unions are fighting for their lives tomorrow to stop the Trade Union Bill which is about stripping workers rights and the rights to withdraw your labour to hold your employer to account for injustices they deal upon you.

THIS IS CLASS WAR make no mistake about it, the criminalisation of the poor and working classes of this country have not been under such threat since 1930 Germany, only this time it isn’t just the jewish people at risk it is ‘all working class people at risk’ including those who do not fit into a capitalist society and are deemed unworthy by the elite ,while we will go down in history if we do not stand up and fight back, as collateral damage to benefit the deserving ruling classes. It is divide and rule tactics to divide us into two camps ,deserving and non deserving, which like the hunger games pit various factions within those two groups in a fight to the death of survival of the fittest.

You may think Im crazy  but history repeats itself more often than people think, and now is time to say enough is enough as it will be too late in a few years time and many more lives will be lost and when we have all gone, the chattering middle classes will take our place at the bottom as they cant climb to the top because the elite wont allow it.

We the people at the bottom are being criminalised for the mistakes at the top and denied justice ‘for all’ not the few, by those who inflict harm on those who dare stand up and say stop not in my name . It is time to hold them to account, the next person could be you if you happen to fall on hard times.

 

 

I Can See Straight Through Your Sick Games IDS


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We all know the suffering enacted by this twisted excuse of a man to those who claim benefits, but the only person benefitting from this is him and his cronies and Tory voters who think it is acceptable to batter into submission those at bottom of the ladder because of some ideological superior thinking of that they are more deserving than the rest of us at the bottom. The top feeders are bleeding this country of its wealth of resources in the name of a Lie…That lie is Austerity and Deficit. Recently we have had UN come over to investigate the violations of disabled people’s rights and in 2013 the un visited regarding the housing crisis and the bedroom tax and now they are investigating him again on similar matters to the first. We cannot continue to let this happen if we love our people and our country? In recent weeks the rhetoric has become so dangerous to those claiming social security benefits it become more than life threatening as the deaths caused by the welfare reforms are growing week by week and will continue to do so until this lunatic and this government are stopped. it has become a case of deserving against undeserving, the worker against claimant, the able bodied against the disabled/jobseekers in the eyes of the public, with media blackouts to truth both within press and on television. Every part of society is blind to this mans evil games while they scrabble around for crumbs off the table while they all blame each other these bastards are selling the family silver off right under your noses, while they use oppressive legislation to silence those who stand up to be counted or change the law to suit, and human rights abuses are sprawled all over place with the idea to rid us of them by removing our country from the EU to remove the Human Rights of its citizens.

Its is time to expose this government and IDS in particular  in any way we can before it really is too late and we are a few steps away from that happening, when will you all wake the fuck up!

IDS now denies all issues with welfare reforms causing deaths, homelessness, child poverty and so much more and he is such a slippery character he hoodwinks the nation by appealing to the brainwashed to support these lies. Mental health claimants have come under considerable fire due to stress and anxiety caused by the constant reassessment, target driven sanctions, the bedroom tax ,and workfare alongside their counterparts in the Work Related Activity Group who are deemed to be working towards the return to work once they have been through this dreadful process, those In the support group haven’t had easy ride either and they now have to deal with DLA to PIP transition where each benefit is used to deny any of the support they promised to protect. This government is now going to roll out another IAPT /CBT Programme to get those in WRAG to return to work telling them they are fit even if their GP or consultants say they are not, even cancer patients are being targeted by this vicious lot as if they don’t have enough to deal with, complicitly helped by GP’s who are being brow beaten under another of his schemes of ‘in work fit note regime’ if they are off ill, besides chop the amount people get by £30 a week in line with JSA. If you are not shocked now you should be, but the outcry this last week in the Lords over tax credits because it starts to affect workers was deafening, while the silence for those at bottom the last 6yrs has also been shamefully deafening  because it doesn’t affect them -YET!

Food banks have risen under this government by an alarming rate with many on low wages or on minimum wage frequenting them often as more and more hit that line where they can no longer sustain their families basic living. He now has come up with another hair brained scheme of duplicity not only to attack those with Mental Health into IAPT/CBT programmes but now wants to place welfare advisors into food banks under the guise of help ,which while in ideal world wouldn’t be bad thing, in this case it most certainly is as this will cause mistrust of food banks therefore driving down the need for food to back up his ludicrous claims people are going for a free lunch, while collecting lifestyle data and then deny them benefits until they comply with his next scheme of lifestyle changes to those with addictions or obesity issues. The evil of this scheming swine know no bounds at all, but I am on his tail and I can see right through him like a pane of glass, and I will scrutinise every mortal thing he does or says to unravel his deceit to this nation and expose his lies for what they are! He punishes the young for something they were not to blame for, he punishes the disabled for being so, he punishes the job seeker without creating many jobs, he blames immigrants for being in country, and blames workers living on poverty wages for being poor, while his government and cronies get richer off the backs of all taxpayers and rewards the guilty bankers with bonuses and tax deductions for businesses, and finally blames labour for the global economic crash. This blithering idiot spent 8.5 billion pounds on a CGI animated  fluffy cuddly monster called ‘Workie’ to tell people about pensions before he snatches their pensions away. The recent announcement that advisers in foodbanks will only feed into his data mining of peoples lives and lifestyle to deny them any support, people will not attend food banks due to fact advisors linked to DWP in situ, this in turn  will reduce food bank use to help him prove a point that people are onto free lunch and not getting jobs while the taxpayer picks up bill. It a case of told you so, that is what this is about sleight on hand.

We need to call time on this government and those who support this lie to account before it is too late. Bevan created the welfare state to support you in times of hardship creating a safety net for all and a NHS to make sure the nation’s health was bettered, yet in it function of 70 yrs long this government has dismantled it  in less than 6 yrs in the name of capitalist greed for the few while the many die like flies, and our elderly are left to rot in a cash starved NHS or Care Home or denied treatment because they live too long.in a country which has always seemed just, this is now a fight to survive, and survival of the fittest will be victors.

If you the people allow this to continue then you have blood on your hands as well as this government. It is time to act and stand and support each other and put your differences aside and stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for what little is left before it is too late!

http://dpac.uk.net/2015/10/why-are-the-un-investigating-the-uk-government-for-potential-breaches-of-disabled-peoples-human-rights/

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b992-Foodbank-Stunt-Smells-Rotten#.VjGGpitlsZl

http://www.welfareweekly.com/job-advice-to-be-offered-at-food-banks-iain-duncan-smith-tells-mps/

http://www.welfareweekly.com/tax-credit-cuts-delayed-as-house-of-lords-defies-tory-threats/

http://www.welfareweekly.com/benefit-cuts-could-leave-cancer-patients-without-a-financial-lifeline-charity-warns/

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/more-than-100-a-week-losing-their-motability-vehicles-thanks-to-pip/

http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/government-tells-employers-they-can-overrule-gp-fit-notes/

http://www.welfareweekly.com/cameron-dismisses-un-inquiry-into-grave-and-systematic-human-rights-violations/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/un-investigate-duncan-smiths-benefit-6725563

http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16667&LangID=E

http://www.thenational.scot/politics/robertsons-tenacity-praised.9340

http://www.thenational.scot/politics/disabled-should-work-their-way-out-of-poverty-says-iain-duncan-smith.8468

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/oct/28/welfare-cuts-are-now-becoming-a-matter-of-life-or-death

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/28/nhs-hospital-tameside-food-parcels-patients-risk-malnutrition

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-sanctions-are-working-the-way-they-are-supposed-to-iain-duncan-smith-says-a6712041.html

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/malnutrition-and-other-victorian-diseases-soaring-in-england-due-to-food-poverty-and-cuts/ar-BBmvrto?li=AAaeUIW&ocid=mailsignoutmd

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201510/the-myth-welfare-dependency

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/13902019.No_link_between_sanctions_and_suicide_says_Iain_Duncan_Smith/

The ‘Condition’ of Britain-We are Screwed100% by the Elite


I have been reading the IPPR  Condition of Britain report (see link at bottom) which was plastered all over the press with Ed Miliband’s speech saying what Britain  needed. Well I can tell you Ed a fair system for all , which is no easy task for anyone and no one would disagree this country is a mess, but who bloody caused it yes your Bankers, who dropped the ball, those in power while the rest of the peasants worked their fingers to bone.

I wont pull no punches as there will be upset and hardship for most of the peasants while those at the top drink the cream.Its not all bad news to be honest there are some good points  in it and that means you only need one hand to add them up. I will focus on welfare provision as this is what my blogs are generally about and this one is long but relevant.

We come to our the  future of our young;

For 18–21-year-olds, existing out-of-work benefits should be replaced by a youth allowance that provides financial support conditional on looking for work or completing education, targeted at those from low-income families.

8. A youth guarantee for 18–21-year-olds should be established that offers access to education or training plus intensive support to find work or an apprenticeship, with compulsory paid work experience for those not earning or learning within six months.

9. The National Citizen Service programme should be expanded so that half of young people aged 16 and 17 are taking part by 2020, using money saved from holding down cash benefits to families with older children.

10 The remit of youth offending teams should be extended to those aged up to 20, in order to provide locally-led, integrated support to help keep young adult offenders out of prison, cut reoffending and prevent them from entering a life of crime.

 

Again our young people who have been ignored for a very long time will have a chance of gaining some experience via the youth allowance, however I would prefer that the government promised to pay our young people a wage with real hands on experience via old fashioned apprenticeships with a job  guarantee at the end of it with the employer. It is not only beneficial to our young people but to the company too, by allowing growth of both company and market ,while allowing those coming to end of work life retiring as before, so these trained young people can take their place in job market.

Next we come to working life which relates to benefit clamiants ;

  • The National Insurance Fund should be given institutional and financial independence from government, with a responsibility for ensuring that national insurance contributions are sufficient to finance contributory benefit entitlements over the long term.
  • As a step towards reviving the contributory principle, the rate of contributory JSA should be increased by £30 a week, and those entitled to it should also gain access to help with mortgage interest payments if they become unemployed.
  • The next phase of the Work Programme should focus on supporting long-term jobseekers and those recovering from temporary health conditions, with contracts based on meaningful economic geographies and a job guarantee to prevent long-term unemployment.
  • Those with a long-term health condition or disability that reduces their capacity to work should participate in ‘New Start’, a new, locally-led supported employment programme for ESA claimants, with integrated budgets and incentives for success.
  • Small firms should be able to recover sick pay costs for employees hired from ESA. In addition, there should be greater back-to-work engagement between individuals and employers during sickness absence, matched by a longer period of employment protection.
  • An independent, non-state Affordable Credit Trust should be established to capitalise and mobilise local, non-profit lenders capable of providing low-cost loans, while also supporting low-income households to build up savings of their own.

The vast majority of people in Britain want to work, for their own self-esteem, to support their families, and to make a contribution to society.

One of the biggest tasks for the next government will be to enable as many people as possible to contribute to society through paid employment, including those who need to balance work with vital caring responsibilities. A further priority should be to improve the financial protections available to those who have made a contribution through work and care.These moves will be essential to help families secure rising standards of living, finance public services and social protections, and rebuild public trust in the social security system.Our priorities are a more focused Work Programme; a separate, qualitatively different ‘New Start’ programme for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities; a job guarantee to prevent long-term unemployment; and steps to increase the retention of sick and disabled people in the workplace and improve the incentives for employers to hire them in the first place.As well as supporting people to find employment, the contributions that people make through working or caring also need to be better recognised and rewarded.Our goal should be a social security system that offers more generous temporary benefits for people who have contributed, alongside better employment support so that fewer people claim out-of-work benefits for long periods.Our priority is an act of institutional reform that would directly connect contributions and entitlements, through a reconstituted National Insurance Fund.Finally, among the most pernicious and damaging trends of recent years has been the rise of personal debt (Lawrence and Cooke 2014). Many families, faced with falls in income and rises in the costs of basic essentials, have been forced into the arms of payday lenders who often charge extremely high fees and interest rates. Rather than helping to protect families from such dependency, the welfare system has often contributed to the problem.By the establishment of a new non-state, non-market institution – an Affordable Credit Trust – to mobilise and capitalise alternative providers of affordable credit. These local providers should also support low-income households to build up savings of their own. Such an institution would give many more people a realistic chance of building greater financial resilience and independence, and reduce their reliance on the social security system.

This institutional reform would also tap into the national insurance ‘brand’, and start to restore the sense that citizens have a stake in a social security system that offers ‘something for something’

Now where have we heard those buzz words before..oh yes the ‘something for nothing’ culture spouted by Coalition! It gets better though get this they are going to reinvent the wheel

To achieve this goal, we argue that the National Insurance Fund (NIF) should be rebuilt as an independent institution for financing the national insurance system.The government introduce a National Insurance Act that would reconstitute the NIF as an independent, ringfenced account, separate from government receipts and expenditures

In the first instance this would include: the single-tier state pension; contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA); contribution-based employment and support allowance (ESA);statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay;maternity allowance; and bereavement benefits.This would make explicit the fact that NICs finance contributory benefits and determine eligibility for them, and that they are not just an additional income tax in disguise.

A reconstituted NIF should be governed by a board of trustees representing the interests of those who have a stake in the national insurance system: employees, employers, the self-employed, pensioners and carers. The trustees should be responsible for ensuring that the fund operates in the interests of all members and maintains financial sustainability over time. The NIF should have the capacity to conduct and publish analysis and projections of its revenues and expenditure, and be required to provide regular updates on its financial position in order to improve transparency and public engagement.The board of trustees should also be responsible for making annual recommendations to parliament about future contribution rates and entitlements, setting out the implications for the NIF’s balance sheet. These recommendations should include any reforms needed to respond to economic or demographic shifts, such as further increases to the state pension age. Recommendations should represent the consensus view among the trustees, following widespread consultation and engagement.

Final decisions about contribution rates and entitlements should remain with parliament, but the government should not be able to ignore the trustees’ recommendations. If it disagreed with them, the government should have to make alternative proposals that are consistent with hitting the same target balance for the NIF as the board had sought to achieve (as well as explaining why they chose not to implement the consensus recommendations of the trustees).

Now forgive me if I misread this but trustees should make decisions  but the final decision is in parliament? Isn’t that  a contradiction in terms or are they just fobbing us off with another Quango without any teeth, where they get final say anyway?

Second, the structure of SMIcould be changed to reduce its cost. For instance, after a two-year period, further SMI payments could be recouped through a charge on the property, redeemed when the claimant is back in work or when the property is sold.This would give people time to get back to work, adjust their finances, or move to a more affordable property. Support would not be cut off after this point, but it should be reclaimed at a later date. It is not appropriate for the state to permanently subsidise families or individuals to live in a home they cannot afford – especially when they, rather than the state, benefit from any uplift in its capital value.

The Work Programme currently provides back-to-work support for those who have been claiming JSA for a year and those in the ‘work related activity group’ of ESA. It is delivered by ‘prime providers’, largely from the private sector, operating across 18 large contract areas across England, Scotland and Wales. After a rocky start, the performance of the Work Programme is now broadly in line with expectations and previous, similar employment programmes for JSA claimants. However, it is not proving effective at boosting employment among ESA claimants.

The core activity of Work Programme providers consists of tried and tested back-to-work strategies like supported jobsearch, help with maintaining a CV, and interview preparation, plus some extra help with skills or confidence-building. Participants are also required to demonstrate that they are taking steps to get back into work. This combination of support and obligation tends to be sufficient for the majority of jobseekers, but it is rarely effective for people with long-term or chronic health conditions that reduce their capacity to work, or for those with little or no record of employment.Often, the biggest challenge for such groups is finding an employer willing to take them on.

As such, the next phase of the Work Programme should continue to cater for JSA claimants who have not found work during a year with Jobcentre Plus. However, only ESA claimants close to recovering from a temporary health condition should continue to participate in it.The Work Programme’s activation strategies are likely to be appropriate for this group. This segmentation should be determined by a reformed work capability assessment (WCA), which should aim to better distinguish between temporary and chronic limitations to work capacity ESA claimants with a chronic health condition or disability that is likely to reduce their capacity to work for a long time should instead participate in a qualitatively different ‘New Start’ supported employment programme.

Contracts for the next Work Programme should be let on the basis of local enterprise partnership (LEP) geographies, matching the boundaries of combined authorities wherever possible.The next Work Programme should continue to reward providers when participants secure a job and then stay in work for a certain period. This would retain the current strong focus on employment outcomes and minimise the need for central prescription. However, providers should also receive an amount of funding for every participant (the ‘attachment fee’) throughout the whole contract period; this should not be progressively withdrawn, as it is now.

To prevent long-term unemployment, if someone has not found work after a year on the Work Programme they should be guaranteed paid work experience and be required to take it up. This would mean that no one could spend more than two years unemployed (one year on the Work Programme rather than two, plus an initial year with Jobcentre Plus). This ‘job guarantee’ should involve 25 hours a week of meaningful work for up to six months, paid at least the minimum wage, with another 10 hours a week of training and help with looking for work on the open labour market. People should not be able to continue receiving JSA if they refuse this offer. In time, a similar offer and obligation could be extended to ESA claimants on the Work Programme, consistent with their capacity to work.

Like the Work Programme, this job guarantee for the long-term unemployed should be organised on the basis of LEP geographies, with its delivery led by either a combined authority, a consortia of local authorities within an LEP, a contracted provider, or the local Jobcentre Plus. Public, private and voluntary sector organisations should be able to bid for funding to offer paid work placements that are of value to both the individual and the community.To pay for this policy, we propose scrapping the government’s Help to Work scheme for those who leave the Work Programme without a job.However, it is not certain how much this would raise – and the aim would be as little as possible, due to effective provider performance.Therefore, to complete the funding of a job guarantee, we propose raising the higher rate of capital gains tax (CGT) from 28 to 35 per cent, and devoting £220 million of the £400 million a year it would raise (based on estimates in HMRC 2014) to prevent long-term unemployment.

Despite an improving labour market, disabled people continue to face a substantial employment penalty.This suggests that worklessness among disabled people is largely structural, and not strongly linked to the economic cycle.

However, there are a significant number of people who have a long-term health condition that will affect their capacity to work for a long time, possibly permanently (in terms of the hours or the type of paid employment they can undertake), but which need not prevent them from working altogether.The notion of ‘distance from the labour market’ sets up a binary distinction between whether someone can or cannot work, rather than asking what kind of employment might be possible and what it would take for that to be enabled.Despite contrary intentions, the WCA remains a gateway to benefits, rather than to support with securing work.

We suggest that such a supported employment programme for ESA claimants with a long-term health condition should be named ‘New Start’, to indicate a fresh, positive approach that is rooted in disabled people’s own potential and capacities. New Start should also replace the specialist disability employment programme, Work Choice, when its contracts expire. To be effective, the introduction of New Start would need to be combined with reforms to the WCA that orientate it towards identifying the kinds of work that an individual could undertake, and the support they are likely to need to be able to do so, rather than simply operating as a gateway to benefits.Unlike traditional back-to-work programmes, this approach seeks to directly confront the so-called ‘demand-side’ problem, by working with specific employers to make a successful job match possible.Moreover, it would treat employment as often being an essential part of treatment or condition-management, rather than this being something that must precede entry into work.

By charting a course between traditional ‘activation’ strategies and ‘no support, no conditionality’ tracks, the aim would be for more ESA claimants to engage in back-to-work activity, and for fewer to enter the support group.

The fundamental principle of New Start should be that anyone who wants to work can do so. It should have a positive and empowering culture designed to nurture and unlock individuals’ talents and capacities. For this reason, participants should not be mandated to participate in particular activities. However, there should be an obligation on ESA claimants to engage with New Start, and to take responsibility for their own situation. This should involve regular meetings with an employment adviser, and the agreement of a personal employment plan. If a claimant persistently fails to engage with their adviser, there should be a backstop of benefit sanctions. However, this should only be triggered after a face-to-face meeting with a personal adviser to review activity, assess personal circumstances and better understand any underlying problems that are getting in the way of employment.

We therefore recommend that the New Start programme be led by local areas, tapping into local leadership and relationships. It should form part of wider strategies to integrate local services, rather than attempting to drive this process from Whitehall, which has rarely proved effective. Local councils often have far more established relationships with ESA claimants, such as through social housing or social services, than Jobcentre Plus, which has limited contact with this group.

The connection between health and employment services would be particularly important – and has been made more possible by the recent devolution of public health funding to local government, alongside the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) structure. Better employment outcomes would in turn help to improve local health outcomes and potentially reduce local health spending. The role of housing, adult social services, further education and, in some cases, probation or drug and alcohol treatment services in New Start could also be crucial.In addition, local councils should aim to draw in further capacity and resources from primary and secondary health services in their area. This could involve mobilising the active involvement of GPs, and securing agreement for the local CCG to commission occupational health and mental health services consistent with the local New Start plan. Making employment a more prominent focus within the NHS Mandate would further boost such efforts.

If this funding could be further matched by CCGs and LEPs across the country, New Start would have an annual budget of £800 million. With funding at this level, the programme could work with 400,000 ESA claimants – more than three times the number participating in the Work Programme each year.

At this scale, New Start would have the potential to make a substantial impact on the employment rate of people with long-term health conditions or disabilities, while significantly reducing expenditure on ESA and related benefits. Local areas should be free to give participants the right to take New Start support as a personal budget, and to provide a version of a job guarantee backstop to limit the amount of time for which local ESA participants were without work.Therefore, to support the New Start programme, we recommend that small firms are allowed to recover virtually all of the SSP costs they incur for individuals hired directly from ESA. This would reduce the risk of taking on someone who is more likely to take periods of sick leave.

Requiring employers to bear a small portion of the cost would retain an incentive for them to help people on sick leave return to work quickly.This change should be accompanied by ongoing efforts to confront disability discrimination, improve employers’ understanding of disability in the workplace, and increase opportunities for flexible working.Therefore, keeping more people healthy and in work could make a big difference to the number of people who enter the benefit system.With this in mind, the government is currently in the process of introducing a ‘health and work service’ to provide voluntary advice and support to employers and employees, available from the fourth week of sickness absence.

To overcome these challenges, we propose that it be made mandatory for an occupational health plan to be agreed between an employer and employee after 13 weeks of sickness absence, with the input of an occupational health expert. Employees should be obliged to engage with this plan, consistent with their health, and employers should also have obligations to consider reasonable changes that would facilitate a return to work. These could include the offer of an alternative position with the same employer, though with no obligation for the employee to accept a reduction in their terms or conditions at this stage. The aim of these plans should be to promote more active engagement between employer and employee. However, in some cases it might become necessary for an employment tribunal to test whether both parties have done enough to fulfil their obligations.At present, employees are entitled to statutory sick leave for up to 28 weeks if they fall ill or acquire a health condition or disability while in work. If people exhaust their SSP entitlement, they may then have their employment contract terminated.

Therefore, as part of the implementation of universal credit, we recommend that the ESA assessment phase be scrapped, as it automatically delays the point at which people switch their focus from claiming benefit to returning to work. For those who have exhausted employer-funded sick pay, there should instead be an equivalent period of conditional, state-funded sick pay. In such circumstances, the employment contract should be protected during this period, in order to give employees a little longer to recover and return to work, matched by obligations on them to take steps to do so. The employee should have to agree an updated back-to-work plan with their employer, an occupational health expert and a Jobcentre Plus adviser. The goal would be to exhaust absolutely every opportunity for rehabilitation and a return to work, including a requirement to accept alternative job offers from their employer.

For those making a claim for ESA that does not follow a period of sickness-related absence from work, the consequence of scrapping the ESA assessment phase would be to remove the inbuilt three-month wait before a WCA is carried out. This wait is actively damaging for those without a recent job, as it delays the point at which a person’s focus switches from benefit entitlement to a return to work.

 

I know this is long winded but  it is important to those who need to understand the thinking behind the neoliberal fuckup they face in a future government. It isn’t about you the individual its about them getting as many into work as possible (not that is bad thing if you can) and reducing the welfare bill, while handing out more contracts for others to make a mint ,in my opinion they are no better than people traffickers to make a fast buck in this case for for the 1%.

 

http://www.ippr.org/publications/the-condition-of-britain-strategies-for-social-renewal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tentacles of a Government Provider For WCA and Beyond


atos

This Company was first given a contract in 1997 and  given a new contract in 2005 by Labour to carry out the WCA to get those it felt were left on the scrap heap of Incapacity Benefit when the Tories were in power to fudge the unemployment figures under Thatcher. Well the amount of stuff since then has been mind-boggling and I have followed all the stuff I could  since the Coalition got into power to investigate who and what this company were about. In this blog I am going to attempt to put it all together in some sort of order, but  it may not be in chronological order . I will post links and also a Dropbox link to enable readers to access documents.

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Public

This will be a very long blog.

To make things clear the Coalition re negotiated the ATOS Contract and tightened up the WCA because they felt it was too soft on the workshy scroungers  who were abusing the system albeit a very small minority that ‘Actually  Did So’.

As we all know the rhetoric of  the coalition is now infamous for, using language which included workshy, scrounger, benefit cheat, sofa surfers, shirker, hard-working people, taxpayer ,handouts, something for nothing culture, to name just a few of the awful buzz words to win over the voter who genuinely believed almost everyone on benefits was on the ‘fiddle’ while those working were getting a raw deal, when actually  wages had fallen consistently  which is what caused the disparity and the ‘hardworking taxpayer’ was  working long hours while others sat on their backsides getting ‘something for nothing’ ! Reality is it was touch of ‘green eyed monster’ of those on minimum wages who could not afford  what some had, as with each family unit,   some valued the flat screen tv and sky box , while others needed those two  holidays a year a claimant could only dream of, and some of the so-called items were gained by debt, or shrewd budgeting  by those on both sides of the argument. They then set up the Benefit Fraud Line  alongside the Fraud Department which was already in place and failed to catch the real few offenders of fraud who thus far had eluded them, and actively coerced the public into reported those they suspected of fraud  so they got the public to do their dirty work for them. This led to malicious calls to this line in 98% of cases were malicous and only 137 people since this was introduced have actually been prosecuted and jailed for it ,although press headlines would have you believe otherwise.

Claimants across the UK organised themselves to form groups like Disabled People Against The Cuts, Black Triangle Campaign, Boycott Workfare ,Spartacus, and many more individual campaigners who day in day out   to fight against the Austerity Cuts falling on those at the bottom of the ladder under the guise of a non-existent deficit caused by the bankers crash of 2008.

Here is where we begin this story of a company who were given a contract which would end up being a noose around their necks and so toxic they bailed out .

When the named groups started out not much was known about them  and through hard work and diligence of them all the operandi soon became apparent it was to cut Welfare State in its entirety. claimants were the target and the disabled are the group most affected by the WCA.   The WCA is in two groups Support group for those who most need help and unable to work, and the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) for those who in the future could do some work and should work towards that according to the Government’s ideology ,when in fact it was always about making it almost impossible to get any welfare assistance and cost cutting in such a barbaric way which we are all now familiar with.

To fight back they held Direct Actions, Lobbied MP’s, wrote reports and used whatever tools they could to put it into the main public arena to let the public know what they hell was going on  for many sufferers of this new Orwellian Regime enforced upon them  and they knew this was going to get much worse for all the population of the UK eventually, and even now most of the UK are walking into a nightmare scenario  to which they can never return and most things the British Public hold dear  will have vanished in the space of 5 years, while they were all looking the other way.

The whole thing started when Schlumberger acquired Sema an IT company and developed a software programme that could be adapted to be used for almost any environment to gather information. Then Atos Origin bought  this company and LIMA was born for use  to use for the WCA Assessments  for Work Capability  used by HCP’s to conduct their work and produce reports on those claimants who were deemed fit for work, or in one of the other two groups mentioned earlier. (LIMA Documents will be in Dropbox) HCP’s were recruited from Occupational Health, Nurses, and Doctors and the reign of terror began, this is what disabled people who have endured this test feel and justly so.

http://secfilings.nyse.com/filing.php?doc=1&attach=ON&ipage=1333487&rid=23  Link to Schlumberger acquisition

http://disabilityuk.com/dla/sema_group.htm

http://www.zdnet.com/atos-origin-resumes-government-projects-3040090083/

http://unuminsurance.blogspot.co.uk/

Atos had links to Private Insurance  Company Unum who were banned in USA in 15 states due to maladministration.

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/08/28/unums-unaccepatable-influence-in-the-formulation-of-uk-dwp-atos-disability-assessment-regime-letter-to-president-of-the-faculty-of-occupational-medicine-royal-college-of-physicians/

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/10/01/unum-the-dwp-conflicts-of-interest-insider-trading/

https://www.facebook.com/SupportNurseWhoBlowsWhistleOnAtosAssessments?fref=ts

Meanwhile back in UK  many found their lives turned upside down  being found fit for work when clearly they were not, decisions where they should be in Support Group but were placed in WRAG, and Job seekers were thrown into a brutal regime of Work Programmes, Workfare, Sanctions and denial of benefits which left many penniless, and some soon faced with the Under Occupancy Bill aka Bedroom Tax which would place further stresses and strain on family life as well as individually and  some of those so grossly affected (by mental health conditions) started to DIE yes I said that awful word where some poor souls felt the only way out was the ultimate thing they could control in their lives was to commit suicide or they died due to fact they were denied benefits they were entitled too down to serious life threatening illnesses after having to fight appeal after appeal and stress that was induced by this harsh regime. On top of all this we now have Benefit Cap affecting many, Homelessness rising along with incidences of Disability Hate Crime and of course last but not least Universal Credit debacle and a redesign of DLA soon to become PIP where more people will have benefits removed  for no other reason that a money grabbing exercise unless they get pulled too, which if so means the wheels of the  governments welfare reforms come to a standstill  or car crash  would be best description. Many of our MP’s have vested interests in Healthcare Companies like Circle Holdings and IT  Software Companies too. The Blog Below has many more links re NHS.

http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/141-peers-have-financial-links-to.html

So I decided to take peak at what they were about and very little was available at the time on their website Atos Healthcare, But after a lot of digging the picture began to emerge that this global company was a lot larger than anyone knew about and my journey into sourcing Atos stuff began. I came across  Why Wait Forever site http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatoscontract.html and scoured what info and links I could get from that. It has taken three years research to come up with some of the information I will be putting in this blog, as well as any campaign work I have had to do. I’m not going  into a long drawn out blog as such, I will post documents and links and you can search into stuff yourselves but I’ll give you a decent heads up on what this company is about, but ultimately they were a business given a job to do, that was toxic from the start and ironically became victims themselves of the Governments demands which created a pressure cooker that led to their exit of WCA, while gaining new contracts for PIP and the NHS. They are not only Company who carry out this test Capita,G4S & Serco are all involved in various ways as this governments key 4 contractors, who sub contract work out to others and have sub companies themselves. Salus is operating in Scotland  but globally this company is in 48 countries inc Africa.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-24/lamb-for-12-on-400-monthly-shows-south-africa-welfare-addiction.html

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atos

http://www.atoshealthcare.com/

http://hec.campusgroups.com/gml/blog/ceo-speaker-series-with-mr.-bernard-bourigeaud/2828/

http://worktestwhistleblower.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=15609

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/HOW+ATOS+SCHMOOZED+NHS+CHIEFS%3B+REVEALED%3B+Golf+days+and+black+tie…-a0309936401

http://www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk/boards/2013-board-papers/Documents/October/PIP–October-2013-Board.pdf

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/home/your-business/government.html

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/home/your-business/government/g-cloud-services.html

http://uk.atos.net/content/dam/global/case-study/case-study-government-gateway.pdf

http://www.serco.com/about/ataglance/profiles/index.asp

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/home/your-business/healthcare/business-intelligence/gp-extraction-service.html

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/sitemap.html

http://atos.net/en-us/home/investors/analyst-coverage.html

http://www.computerweekly.com/guides/Supplier-profile-Atos

http://archive.is/LSMew FT  Story breaking news that Atos were Going

http://worldline.com/en/1/Home.html

http://atos.net/en-us/home/we-do/atos-worldgrid.html

http://www.canopy-cloud.com/

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/home/your-business/government/how-to-buy-from-atos.html

http://uk.atos.net/content/dam/global/case-study/case-study-dimpact.pdf

http://uk.atos.net/content/dam/global/case-study/case-study-abn-amro.pdf

http://uk.atos.net/content/dam/global/case-study/case-study-scottish-government.pdf

http://atos.net/en-us/home/we-are/news/press-release/2014/pr-2014_02_24_01.html

http://atos.net/en-us/home/we-are/partners-alliances.html

http://www.backbase.com/home

http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GB/uk/research-and-intelligence/deloitte-research-uk/deloitte-uk-centre-for-health-solutions/bb6e38f609817310VgnVCM3000001c56f00aRCRD.htm

http://www.performe.co.uk/OH-Assist.htm

http://www.ohassist.com/

https://www.ohportal.co.uk/helpfiles/OH_Portal_User_Guide.pdf

http://www.ohassist.com/page-sitemap.xml click each link it will take you via back door to pages

https://www.facebook.com/AtosPHWFM

Latest newspaper links

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/27/benefit-mismanagement-hurting-sick-and-disabled-atos-capita

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-has-atos-been-taken-on-to-handle-nhs-caredata-despite-the-unmitigated-disaster-of-fitness-for-work-tests-9154197.html

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2648-repeat-esa-medicals-deferred-for-two-years

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2645-all-repeat-wca-medicals-to-be-stopped

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10661359/Atos-awarded-contract-for-NHS-records.html

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/06/jp-morgan-wants-europe-to-be-rid-of-social-rights-democracy-and-employee-rights/

http://secfilings.nyse.com/filing.php?doc=1&attach=ON&ipage=1333487&rid=23 first link again

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/WTC/Salomon_Smith_Barney.html   names linked to first link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schroders
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_Thirty
http://www.sachsforum.com/vc/vc_comp.html

You Tube  and other Links

http://youtu.be/00lM-DtyZ84

http://bcove.me/ih06vydt

http://youtu.be/5I1PanpyOSA

http://youtu.be/_SEpwFBhqA4

http://youtu.be/4GwUSa63tX0

http://youtu.be/YkzHxXg0rfQ

http://youtu.be/WiCINnMXDig

http://youtu.be/IkaGlA04rkY

http://news.sky.com/story/1217380/nursing-staff-cuts-linked-to-higher-death-rates  WOW debate

<script src=”http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Embed/js.ashx?14912 460×322″></script>

If this Information don’t blow you Brains out it just a small amount of stuff other stuff in press  is available on the internet. This is  fraction  of stuff without mentioning those benefits coming in at beginning of blog or the national disgrace of the Food bank debacle which is leaving the poorest in society on their arses with no food or gas and electric a simple choice of HEAT or EAT. That’s without all  the publicty on Sanctions and Bedroom Tax which could end up being Part Two of this blog. The information is out there go and see for yourselves, just open your eyes turn into detectives and see what this and other companies are up to and your Governments. The Uprisings across the globe are not for nothing it’s because we are all  facing the global agenda called ‘Austerity ‘ . Everything you do day to day you will find this  company and many others named lurking in the background if you look hard enough.

UPDATED  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/atos-given-responsibility-for-new-childcare-scheme-despite-previous-fitnessforwork-fiasco-9203256.html

Rejoice or Despair that is the choice?


 

I am sitting here at a silly hour writing this because I Care!

I have seen the political rhetoric in the last two years in particular destroy our society, one that cared about each other and helped out where they could, where communities stuck together until Maggie put paid to those valuable qualities in the 80’s.

Why do I say this, well I will explain some cold hard facts to those who feel it is ok to attack their fellow man. Let’s make one thing clear, the banks caused this recession NOT the people.

Yet day after day our subconscious is battered with stories in various forms of media of the benefit scrounger, workshy, strivers, uncontrollable youth and the immigrant card instilling fear and dread in a once caring nation. We are encouraged to report various groups of people to various departments in government, from a self righteous standpoint because ‘it’s the right thing to do’. I call them the ‘people police’ doing the states job for them and causing untold distress to those who may have upset a neighbour or friend or ex partner etc out of pure spite, 99% are malicious, let alone the misery it can cause to children affected by this ‘dib’ thy neighbour culture. Yet many of these people police have no qualifications to do so or even make such judgements and calls on other members of society, simply put, we don’t know anyone’s circumstances just that assumptions are made because the state has told us do so to be ‘a good citizen’.

In this day and age that cannot be right or just, by any stretch of the imagination. A nation is indeed judged by the way it treats the most poorest in society. It is a national disgrace that our country is being destroyed by a few wealthy individuals who pull strings, both with politicians and banks and royalty.

Indeed they are all in it together across all main parties.

Human life is no more than a commodity to trade as stock (yes that is what they call us) and treated as collateral damage for the greater good, by those in power, while the average person struggles to survive to have any kind of job, feed the kids, and to get a decent education and decent healthcare. As a chronically sick and disabled person I have been subjected to the dreaded Atos litmus test twice, I have been called a scrounger who fakes their illness; I have been subjected to the new trend of disability hate crime too, because to look at me I look ok, my conditions are hidden except for my white cane.

While many vie for pole position in the upcoming party conferences the rest of society is wandering around aimlessly wondering what to do to survive the torrent of policies that have undone 60years of the Welfare State and the rush to privatise everything they can lay their hands on, before they get voted out even though it is suggested in polls they may actually gain a second term in office, and that all parties are squabbling within to scramble to the top lucrative job of running our country.

The people of this country need to wake up and take control of this matter with great urgency and give our country a fighting chance of real survival of its population.

The Welfare State covers many things not just benefits. Our elderly population costs the most in benefits 42.3%, our jobless cost us 2.6% of the national welfare budget (DWP), and our low income families cost 20.8%, working families 18.4% and our sick and disabled 15.5%. The train crash policies of austerity failures cost the taxpayer far more, by a government that bungles almost everything it touches, u-turns are rife and actual fraud is overall 0.7% some of which 0.2% are departmental errors. So the scare stories you read and hear in the media are in fact mostly fictional. Campaigners against austerity measures including many good disabled groups/individuals which I have had honor of standing with, have caught many a minister or media outlet telling downright lies, and challenged them at every opportunity only to be called extremists for pointing out the fact our government cost the taxpayer more money than it could ever save. They avoid taxes like the plague, they avoid punishing those who have been caught with their hands in the treasury pot with a backroom job after jail terms for fraud until they think people have forgotten about their shenanigans, they give themselves 10% pay rises when the rest only get 1%.

We buy and pay for two homes with furnishings, subsidise their sustenance in HOC Bar and Canteen, along with many other perks they get for doing their jobs for a nice fee, while taking on second incomes on various boards or corporations and in some cases getting paybacks for doing such a fab job of screwing the public over. How can that be right, that we the public allow this abuse of taxpayer’s money to continue without challenge. Some will argue it is justified, but I think it isn’t, when you compare some of the above costs for the worker to what they the Government cost us. When we have ministers who like George Osborne’s father in law Lord Howell, father of the Chancellor’s wife Frances, has previously boasted about Mr. Osborne’s influence over energy, saying he has driven the campaign against wind farms.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lord-howell-george-osbornes-father-in-law-2105433

George also believes in fracking and supports that with vested interests, from ‘daddy in law’ while many other ministers are on health boards selling off our NHS, and various other corporate boards. While they think ‘cash is king’ and will solve all our problems, the rest of society is dying, (yes literally) and starving. While homelessness with the awful under occupancy aka ‘bedroom tax’ policy, which the UN says is unlawful and should be stopped immediately and against our Human Rights, are turning many to payday lenders to survive, feeding the debt monsters and insurance giants of tomorrow. More people are in debt now and Citizen’s Advice Centres and other money advice centres are seeing swathing cuts to funding so that they can help those in need and councils are cutting crucial social care and other services to our most needy.

As we come to party conference season Tories are buoyant on getting a second term, the Lib Dem’s talk carrier bags and are back peddling so fast to save themselves from the wilderness of politics, which is too late your ‘dead’ already, and Labour the so called party of the working man has remained silent thus far playing the long game. Then we see a rise in UKIP whose fascist viewpoint seem to appeal to those who are under cover racists along with the Tories (yes remember racist van) and the Greens trying to snatch a surprise while the others are napping. Scotland however is looking at Independence with glee and Wales have Plaid Cymru who no doubt will win again.

All this jockeying about to save us from a deficit that isn’t, and if it does exist we didn’t cause it, while those who did, get fat bonuses and payoff’s for a huge balls up. I will say this though, unless we stop this abuse of power it will continue?

Here is Mr Osborne dropping the deficit out the bag.

http://youtu.be/8p5oKK5uVtk

Now I’m no politician, but I know what is right and wrong and this is so wrong it is inhumane and unjust. Our human rights are so badly abused now, people don’t even notice when they are gone. This dumbing down of the public and the rampant apathy is our biggest enemy even within our own communities.

If we really fight back we can have them running to the Tower of London for safety, they are already scared of us ‘the people’ which is why they launch attack after attack, while everyone trying to survive no one says hang on a minute! Classic divide and rule, and what grates me more and more is ‘WE’ the people ‘ALLOW’ it to happen. We are all taxpayers in one form or another and many have paid their NI stamps, yes the key ‘people police’ is insurance paid for tough times  when we were needing hand.

Time has come to save ourselves, because they wont!

Your Country Needs YOU !


kitchner

Today I am pleading to every man ,woman, child  that this country needs your help more than ever. Under the coalition government this country has faced some of the most brutal cuts in the name of austerity not seen in a very long time, some are fighting back, but many are sitting idly by allowing this to happen in the name of capitalism, which is the class war of the rich  1% via the poor. We
have one common enemy THIS Government.

Groups of people in society are turning and fighting each other fed by the government and media rhetoric of Workshy, Scrounger, etc. We the people should not be fighting each other but uniting as one to fight back against the destruction of the Welfare State, of which the NHS is part of. Every day I hear another horror story of one description or another, someone dying because their mental health can take no more so they jump under a train or bus, someone who has lost their home because they cannot pay the bedroom tax, someone who needs help with a food bank because they have nothing left after bills to feed their families, or someone who needs help with ESA or DLA, or someone who cannot find a job and is being bullied to despair by the jobcentre when NO jobs are being created, turning  nationals against immigrants.

This has to stop immediately, doesn’t matter what your politics are, or what group in society you are labelled ie; disabled, pensioner, working on low-income, young person  etc we have to stop this national disgrace and stain on our country. Around the world we have always been seen as fair country and our reputation was  built upon that, yet we are being denied access to treatments when ill, the pathway to care killing our elderly, and access to justice denied to those working and non working. forget the disagreements  you may all have and  get this dictatorship out of office before it too late. If you can’t go on a protest write and lobby your MP’s, we can all do something regardless of our personal circumstances. Our NHS being ripped apart.  Make no mistake on this they are privatising this. Many of the MP’s and the Lords have vested interests in PRIVATE HEALTH CARE COMPANIES, and so do the CCG’S please, this is your NHS, every man, woman and child uses it. We all use a GP £25 a visit is not far away for unwaged and £150 for the waged recently being reported. How much do you CARE about the NHS?

If you have a pre existing medical condition, your insurance will be loaded with exemptions, or you may not get health insurance at all.  If you have been genetically tested many will not get  insurance, if these companies think you are high risk of developing the illness etc you have been tested for.

It is an abomination to sit by and let this happen to  leaving future generations in squalor & despair not seen since Victorian England, without hope of peace around the world, without jobs, without a future of the workhouse scenario, which I am sure they will start re- building soon. This government has become part of the USA style political scenario where you will need insurance for  everything.

This government is introducing a crime and anti social behaviour bill, simply put,if we picket because a union is striking, or we protest because we want to stand up for our rights and be counted, this government will stop it from
happening.  They will make it illegal.  You can be arrested if a group of you in a public place standing up for what you believe in. This government DO NOT WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW what is happening here.  So protests/picketing will be made illegal.  They are taking AWAY YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS DAILY. THE TRUTH HURTS.  People do not like the truth, they shy away from it, and bury their heads in the sand. People attack the brave people who stand up at great costs to themselves and stand up and speak out against what this government are doing. If we do not stand up now, tomorrow will be too late, we stand up to fight for not only us, but for your children, for all men women and children to come in the years ahead.  We fight for decent housing, employment, employment rights, decent health care, education available to all, access to all services for all, for all of our basic needs education, employment, health care housing, everything we take for granted this government want to stop. And they want to stop us fighting for this and will arrest us if
we speak out against it.  That is the truth !

Time and again people have said to us, “oh we wont sign that or get involved as it does not affect us, or believe the total propaganda rubbish the media constantly publish. The government have done their job well,  but people need to challenge what they read and see behind these lies, you are being hoodwinked into compliance. Someone who is working long hours and has no rights and cannot take their company to court as they would have to pay £1200 for it and cannot afford to get justice.  ITS ALL ABOUT OUR HUMAN RIGHTS, THIS GOVERNMENT WANT TO AND ARE TAKING THEM FROM YOU…. YOU ARE NOT HUMAN TO THEM JUST STOCK LIKE A COMMODITY ON STOCK MARKET THEY BUY AND SELL DAILY. We  implore you all to please stop attacking and arguing with each other, to please put your differences aside whatever they may be, and fight the one common enemy, and that is this GOVERNMENT.  We know that old feuds  go back years, in some cases, and some views are vastly different, but we all care about this country I hope enough to rebuild  our communities  and that is a good place to start with that common purpose. Show you care about your country and lets show this government we have had enough and  UNITE. My friends WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME FAST, it is now time to act as one, SCARED,  I KNOW I AM !

THIS ISN’T A SCAREMNONGERING BLOG THIS IS REALITY OF MANY  DAILY IT IS TIME TO MAKE IT KNOWN ……….ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,  IN A NON VIOLENT MANNER AND KICK THIS LOT OUT.

For those who have power and ability to act, unions and others help us unite this country.

Co written by Blueannoyed and the Protester Poet

IS FACEBOOK SILENCING THE SOCIAL NETWORKER ?


I havent blogged for a while, but this has slightly irritated me somewhat.

It seems in the UK and USA  Facebook is censoring it’s Users  by blocking them with their spamming tools,when they are just very active users of their accounts using the pay to go algorithm whatever that maybe?  I have since the Christmas break fell foul of this nonsense, which when you use the network as it is intended to be used  ,make friends and share information with each other across the globe.

So why have Facebook done this I ask myself…  I’m aware many countries censor their people but have the UK Users fell foul of this malpractice of making a social network unsociable! Then I found this.

I first came back and logged onto my account as usual to catch up with stuff I had missed over the festive season. it was sluggish but soon got stuff posted and shared amongst the groups I help administrate and  the odd picture I thought that amused my sense humour.  I had hardly posted maybe 20 items when I get a message flash up that clicking the share button to share a news article was seen as misuse of it purpose……I’m am sitting looking rather puzzled at this message then thought as im an activist against the barbaric cuts of the Welfare State in Uk maybe  I had annoyed the Authorities, then I sent feedback/complaint to Facebook asking why this was happening.

Silence is all I have had and numerous warnings, so I decide to set up another temp profile  till this glitch is sorted I thought, within mins of my friends being added I was warned on that too for adding too many friends. I’m like  is this a joke you just cant make up can you ?

A social network that doesn’t want users to network and share information!

“We need your help piercing through Facebook’s pay-to-share algorithm! Help us reach as many users as possible by posting about the FB Declaration of Independence on your walls, your pages’ walls and any other walls you can! To avoid having your messages inappropriately flagged as spam, make sure you change one or two characters in your messages each time you post.”

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-facebook-declaration-of-independence

https://www.facebook.com/EndCensorship

 

Only thing is no cancel button in UK

warning box

In the digital age we live in where people are glued to their smart phones and other means of communication with Twitter, Stumble, and more than I care to list, how can’t we use the tools without interference from neo libertarian rulers controlling every aspect of our lives.  The Sinister side of this are just a few examples here ; Store cards track what we buy , bank cards track our income,taxes,purchases,governments lose data like water down the drain,we are told what and when and how high to jump through hoops just to live our daily lives yet we accept this generally as the ‘norm’, when it comes to free speech though I draw the line.

Why do these people think they have a right to have free reign to bully its people without some consequence,why can a countries people not criticise it government,or challenge  their practices or say to a company providing a service they are wrong,unfair etc. The people of any country should be able to say ‘hold on a minute ‘ !

We do have a choice whether to use this media source of course,but when something has what you need all in one place why should we be forced to use another service that doesnt meet our needs.

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?

Remember:

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

TODAY:

“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)

THIS WEEK:

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:

BRITAIN — HUNDREDS OF SCOTS DEAD as FOI reveals thousands DIE in UK as a RESULT OF TORY-LIBDEM BENEFITS ‘TESTS’ by ATOS Healthcare.

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 :

32 DIE A WEEK AFTER FAILING TEST FOR NEW INCAPACITY BENEFIT

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.”

http://scottishlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/hundreds-of-scots-dead-as-foi-reveals.html

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%.

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/fem/fem_preliminary_1112_revised.pdf

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/08/03/its-not-the-benefit-fraudsters-who-are-targeted-in-the-media-its-the-disabled/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/13/daily-mail-rightminds-article-graduates-nazi-auschwitz-slogan_n_1772110.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/aug/05/disability-benefits?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

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!