Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Noos Just In ...

Whilst investigating the message of Christmas this disturbing report from our interpid reporter, who was investigating claims made, intimated and portrayed.
Some readers may find this shocking...

Our reporter:

" yes Meanwhile back in the cam-cave.... rugs pulled back reveal Pentangles and weird squiggly symbols.
 ... and he starts rocking and chanting kcuf ffo Kcuf ffo
 Amongst chantings in the cam-cave: xat moordeb , and snoitcnas (sitting in midst pentangle rocking) - I often heard "bring my dagger & a goat."

We havent heard from our reporter for a few hours..... Hope hes okay.

Friday, 19 December 2014

I wrote to MY MP re Fracking

as a constituent, i hope you dont mind me writing to you about public health.

Im particularly directing this communication as related to what is in common parlance called Fracking.
I ask you directly as a constituent that i will not be affected by fracking under this social estate/ and that noones health will be worsened by effects of fracking.
I will note US drive is to ban it. New York clearly exhibited their disdain by announcing a ban in their area,
Im sure its not area specific but moreso a condemnation of process itself and there are many existant examples stateside of the detriment it can cause to individuals and communities. Backed by scientific fact existant on search evident that unfortunately i cannot give you in this email . I would if i could.
I would ask you that this open license fracking remit this govt have given.. will it affect me as a constituent . and will it affect all your constituents with this renegade permission granting by this govt? And should the open licence that appears to exist be revoked and current contracts be taken back as null?

Many Thanks

 Update 22nd December:

He wrote back with this as part...

"I have long been opposed to fracking, and a little while ago took part in a parliamentary debate on this matter. I do not know to what extent it will affect you directly, but it will affect all of us in general. "

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bedroom Tax And Foodbanks

Well today i watched two debates and personally I feel the Labour representation to the people was phenomenal.



Today's House of Commons debates - Wednesday 17 December 2014

Version: Uncorrected | Updated 21:31

Opposition Day

[11th Allotted Day]

Housing Benefit (Abolition of Social Sector Size Criteria)

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Dawn Primarolo):
Before I call Rachel Reeves to move the motion, I can inform the House that the Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister.
1.48 pm
Rachel Reeves (Leeds West) (Lab):
I beg to move,
That this House believes that the housing benefit social sector size criteria, otherwise known as the bedroom tax, should be abolished with immediate effect.
Today, Members of this House have a chance and a choice: a chance to put right one of the worst injustices we have seen under this unfair, out-of-touch Government; and a choice to make about where they stand on the question of how we treat some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society. In just a few hours, we could vote to abolish and repeal the bedroom tax, an extraordinarily cruel and unfair policy that has hit half a million low-income households, two thirds of them including a disabled member and two fifths of them including children, with a charge of more than £14 a week, on average, which most cannot afford to pay, simply because they have been allocated by a council or a housing association a home that the Government now decide has too many rooms.
One week before Christmas we have a chance to bring hope and relief to hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling to stay in their home, pay the bills and put food on the table by scrapping this cruel and punitive tax on bedrooms, which is yet another example of Tory welfare waste.

After much admirable input to the debate by Labour,and much ludicrous counter the motion distraction, obfuscation and downright disregard for human suffering, the Conservatives coupled with the Liberal Democrats , amongst which MUCH abhorence of this policy has recently been stated, probably as popularist soundbite,  Voted AGAINST the motion.

I ask that if you wish you explore all statements from Hansard on this motion debate. Housing Benefit (size regulations) Debate.

I think i shouldnt tell you how to make your minds up. You will, if you look, see abhorrent disregard for welfare of those suffering the consequences .

Moving on , the next motion is following. . 

Food Banks

4.43 pm
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood) (Lab):
I beg to move,
That this House notes that the number of people using food banks, according to the Trussell Trust, has increased from 41,000 in 2009-10 to 913,000 in 2013-14, of whom one third are children; recognises that over the last four years prices have risen faster than wages; further notes that low pay and failings in the operation of the social security system continue to be the main triggers for food bank use; and calls on the Government to bring forward measures to reduce dependency on food banks and tackle the cost of living crisis, including to get a grip on delays and administrative problems in the benefits system, and introduce a freeze in energy prices, a national water affordability scheme, measures to end abuses of zero hours contracts, incentives for companies to pay a living wage, an increase in the minimum wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament, a guaranteed job for all young people who are out of work for more than a year and 25 hours-a-week free childcare for all working parents of three and four year olds.
I welcome the Minister for Civil Society to his place in what is, I think, his first debate from the Front Bench, but I note that the Environment Secretary is not taking part in this debate. She transferred a question about food poisoning away from her Department just this week. She does not want to talk about food aid today, but she is—[Hon. Members: “Welcome!”] I would like to welcome the Environment Secretary to her place. She transferred a question about food poisoning away from her Department last week. This week she does not want to take part in a debate about food aid, yet hers is the lead Department. I just wonder what part of food policy she thinks she is responsible for.
Since the last Opposition-day debate on food banks a year ago, things have worsened. Over the past six months, there has been a 38% increase in the number of people seeking food aid from the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks. The Trussell Trust expects the full-year numbers to be over 1 million. The report of the all-party parliamentary inquiry into hunger in the UK, entitled “Feeding Britain”, published last week, said that 4 million people are at risk of going hungry, 3.5 million adults cannot afford to eat properly, and half a million children live in families that cannot afford to feed them.
Nobody would choose to go to a food bank if they had any other option. Let us be clear about that. Research conducted by Oxfam, the Child Poverty Action Group, the Church of England and the Trussell Trust and published in November, entitled “Emergency Use Only”, indicates the truth of what many of us who have visited our local food banks have seen. People are acutely embarrassed to have to go to a food bank. They feel ashamed to have to accept such help, but the research is clear: people turn to food banks as a last resort, when all other coping strategies have failed.
The Trussell Trust says that 45% of people who visit the food banks that it operates do so because of problems with the social security system, a third because of delays to determining their benefit claims, and the rest because of benefit changes and sanctions, often unfairly applied, which have left them with no money.

I would ask you to consider my own MP's input to this debate: 

6.10 pm
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab):
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (John Hemming) talked about Members of this House who have been around for some time. Well, I have been around for some time and I have never known a situation like this.
Last Saturday, I attended a Christmas lunch for pensioners at the Trinity House community centre in my constituency. It was a lovely occasion, but I did ask myself what kind of lunch some of the people would have been having if they had not been there. I went to a school and the head teacher told me that the meal provided for children there was the only proper meal they had all day; I had to ask myself what happens during holiday periods.
I went to the New Covenant church for a carol service last Sunday in another part of my constituency. I had a chat with the pastor and I was told of the things that were done at that church. He told me about its food programme and its food bank. He told me that the church has volunteers who work there and in the community but cannot find jobs when they have left the volunteer period.
That night, I went home and saw on television a commercial that said, “Help Unilever and Oxfam fight hunger in the UK”. I found it utterly shaming that a commercial such as that had been made, where people were saying that there was so much hunger in this country that action against it had to be organised. Despite the damage done by this Government, this is one of the richest countries in the world, and it is utterly humiliating that people should have to go to food banks to get a meal.
Kerry McCarthy:
I do not know whether my right hon. Friend has yet had a chance to visit the excellent FoodCycle Manchester. I am a patron of the organisation and was at FoodCycle Bristol on Sunday. It uses food waste—surplus food—to provide meals for people who cannot afford them. For the 60 or so people I met there on Sunday, it was probably the only nutritious cooked meal they were going to get that week. I urge him to visit.
Sir Gerald Kaufman:
My hon. Friend has got it right, because one sees this again and again. Why? It is because of poverty. The figures show that in my constituency 42% of children live in poverty. Mine is the 10th worst constituency for that in the whole UK. The city of Manchester is fourth in Britain for poverty, and that is according to the Department for Education’s own definition. Children are said to be living in relative poverty if their household’s income is less than 60% of the median national income.
Manchester is a target for this Government. They have taken away more Government funding from my city than from anywhere else in the country, whereas in other parts of the country, such as Surrey, they are actually increasing the amount of Government funding. It is a cynical political trick. They know that they cannot win seats in Manchester, so why make life comfortable for people there? By contrast, in Surrey they do have some hope of winning constituencies. It is a political manoeuvre and my constituents suffer because of it.
The Government’s policy can be summed up:
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given…but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
Benefit sanctions are spoken of again and again. Heaven knows I have a case load, as the Secretary of State knows from his correspondence with me, but people should not look for benefits other than those to which they are entitled by family circumstances. They should be able to have jobs. In Manchester, we have the Manchester living wage, but it does not prevail. If people do not have incomes or jobs they cannot buy food. It is terrible that we have in this country—a progressive western European country—hunger that is categorised by Unilever and Oxfam. The people who provide food banks are fine, decent people. They are good people—valuable people—but we should not need them.

Read the whole debate if you wish.
I was particularly impressed with Maria Eagle and her clearly researched and well held views . Her speeches taken in whole actually stands for people before profit, and that highlights just how bad this govts actions have continued to be. Sir Gerald Kaufman was spot on, and i will leave you to disparage those that werent for the people.

The whole foodbanks debate is linked here FOODBANKS DEBATE

Not much intros/ comment from me on this blog piece. Its your mind. I present considerations on both these emotive subjects. Read into it or not. Its completely your choice. 

Helping people Costs nothing or does it?

Now i help people with "admin" type stuff when theyre stuck.
Thats about how I shall describe it.

Sometimes it costs NOTHING.
Others theres bus fares / post/ phonecalls / bits and bobs..

Usually i dont mind and build that in.

You can only build so much in though.

I rescued myself from the always help to the can i do this realistically - even if say its four quid or even a quid.

Because contrary to what some believe im not an affluent philanthropist.

The odd loaf of bread / potatoes.. or have you got an envelope, or envelopes used or phone calls on behalf of, and other stuffs I need not mention because you know.. etc they all add up. Its hard to make it not do so.

This impacts usually without me having any qualm whatsoever.

Then theres times where i scream internally as in Why did I do that, im now short, ah well.

I found Mobile data on 3g was eating me. (money actually) So found the BT Basic deal to get broadband...  then Just found  id used nearly 3gb of 10gb allowance in five days.

Something DOESNT have to give. Just that I have to look at it differently.

Whether I like it or not helping people costs money.

NOW this is where i start a thing....

The Big Society thing Cameron harped on about? Everybody for everbody etc etc... It was never defined. Why? Because it costs money. How does it operate without? The spin on it was spin alone and some swallowed it whole.

Am I making a point here? Am I?

Probably am.

I know people that HAVE and continue to say I'd love to help but cant afford it - theyre everywhere those people.
How much poorer do people in general have to be to see what is going on around them?

Why dont more people help. I'll tell you.
Theres a default setting of placation in loads of minds.
Theres ah "i dont have to because x is already doing that"
Reliance on the few do-ers. Expecting the do-ers to carry on do-ing without making a sound about it.

And theres the "but we all help people where we can"  case - acknowledged.

Is this a ramble? Yeah sort of.

...and yet theres people who offer to help me with probably same issues I have, and I say no - YOU cant afford it. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights says...

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

"Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

HOWEVER there have been people starve to dealth / suffer malnutrition / worsened health due to draconian attack on sickness and disability rights and income by the DWP and this GOVT.

How can this be acceptable to ANY ONE , Universally?

Is Welfare Dead? Author J.P thinks so

From J.P.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Where I email My MP on The ILF High Court Decision

Closure of Independent Living Fund Legal Judgement


8 December 2014 at 15:31

The Independent Living Fund must affect several people within your
constituent base Sir Gerald.

Its closure is a shock to many people requiring it to facilitate their lives.

The further shock is highlighted by the knowledge of its closure
impact being deemed as reasonable within lawful process and the
relevant minister was awarded a lawful status of his decision by the
judge in the High Court.

In all common decency this is an abhorrent part of this draconian
governments actions.

This is extract from Kate Whittaker's comment acting on behalf of Mr
Pepper and Mr Aspinal on the Judicial Review case at the High Court.

However there is a really significant point arising out of the
decision. Essentially the legal challenge was to the process of
decision-making and specifically the question of what information the
Minister had available to him about the likely impact on disabled
people so as to be able to properly exercise the public sector
equality duty.  What the judgment highlights is that, in the judge's
view, the Minister clearly believed that the impact of closure on
disabled people and their ability to live independently will be really
severe, and many or most ILF users will be at risk of losing their
ability to work, study or live independently in the community as a

For the purpose of the legal challenge, that meant that (in the
judge's view) the Minister had sufficient information to make a lawful
decision - and that was end of story as far as the court's role went.

But in wider terms it really begs the question of why, in that case,
the Minister decided what he did:

    How can it have been justified if he thought the impact would be so severe?
    What is the benefit of getting rid of this tried and tested system
of protection for those people who are most at risk of losing their
independence? There has never been any suggestion that it will save
money overall - indeed there is evidence that it may cost far more
than it saves because of (a) the false economies of people losing good
support then getting into crisis and being institutionalised, (b) the
ILF system being such good value for money (extremely low running
costs as it uses trustees) and (c) the double benefit of the ILF
system which not only provides a funding top-up but (crucially) puts
leverage on local authorities to put their contribution towards proper
independent support packages instead of institutional care.
    How can  this decision to cause such a negative impact on such a
large number of the most severely disabled people in the country be
squared with the need for the Government to actively advance equality
of opportunity for disabled people, including meeting needs better and
increasing participation in public life rather than the other way
    Similarly how can it be squared with international obligations the
UK has signed up to such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which stipulates that contracting states
must move forwards not back in realising rights such as that under
Article 19 - the right to live independently in the community with
choices equal to others.

These I think are very fair questions and I would like you to address
them to the Minister Concerned for considered reply.

This is written in the faith that you are aware of people in the
constituency affected by this horrendous situation.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Samuel Miller - Update on UN / Labour dealings regarding Welfare reform debacle

@Hephaestus7 Samuel Miller: 

Early this year, I attempted to have the personal files of the late Mark Wood (see sent directly to Jorge Araya, the UN's Secretary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). I was thwarted by UK's Data Protection Act. Apparently, the estate executor must make the request. According to Mark Wood's sister, with whom I have a correspondence, her mother is his executor and she'll strive to get his files via her. (personal correspondence, October 13 2014). The British government has admitted to wrongly terminating his benefits (

The DWP has seriously breached its duty of care: See A public inquiry into benefit claimant suicides is also urgently needed; the Work and Pensions Select Committee has launched an investigation into Britain's sanctions policy (, but is prohibited from investigating individual cases.

In my opinion, the DWP needs to re-examine its policy which puts the onus on benefit claimants to procure medical evidence from doctors attesting that they are not fit for work, and the Department must be less inflexible when circumstances warrant. The DWP must also recognize that this responsibility of medical evidence procurement is beyond the capability of some claimants, especially those living with mental health conditions.

In the tragic Mark Wood case, his GP Nicolas Ward was not contacted by Atos or the Department for Work and Pensions about his patient’s medical history. Dr. Ward told the court that, had he been asked, he would have ruled him unfit for work.

In the tragic case of epileptic Trevor Drakard, his family struggled to gain detailed medical records of his multiple hospital visits down the years to make a second appeal. He was given a month to get the information, and, as the deadline approached, Trevor became more and more worried. His GP had just retired and so had his consultant in Sunderland, making it hard to get his history. (

I have made a FOI request to the DWP, asking that the 60 peer reviews following the death of a customer since February 2012 ( be mailed to my home address. I have given the Department permission to redact personal information in order not to trigger the Data Protection Act.

Most of my statements on Britain's benefit sanctions regime are contained in this recent post (; and today, I have
called on UK's Labour Party to make an election campaign promise to pause benefit sanctions to the sick and disabled, in view of the soaring use of sanctions against claimants of out-of-work disability benefits—and this significant legal judgement (, which has found the Claimant Commitment 'unlawful'.

The Labour Party has announced that, if elected, it intends to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit and ask the National Audit Office (NAO) to review the cost effectiveness and implementation of the new benefit. It must also pause and review benefit sanctions to the sick and disabled, otherwise there will be many more tragic additions to my list of welfare-related deaths (

Thursday, 4 December 2014

You dont look ill/ Its a lifestyle choice/ A brilliant look at this

Another LU Blog that literally has read my mind....

"I have this neighbour and.."

I have this neighbour who receives full disability benefits, gets a free car, a blue badge, and full carer support and there’s NOTHING wrong with them!!!
Okay, I don’t. But sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only people who doesn’t.  The above urban legend has been doing the rounds for a few now and created an atmosphere of suspicion surrounding people with disabilities and the care and welfare they receive. It’s one of those things where half of the people know someone who knows someone and it’s been used as a justification for the massive cuts which have severely, negatively harmed disabled people.

Read more: Click here >

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The media ignore our voices

from a great blogger. About *That* hashtag and media stacked up against vox populi ...

I’ve been following the #CameronMustGo hashtag with great interest. It’s been an opportunity for those of us who have been negatively hurt by the coalition’s policies to amplify our voices. Of course there are a few people who will just throw insults, but I would not like to question their validity in doing so. I’ve met some great people over the last week. Most of whom have heart breaking stories about the hell they’ve been put through....


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ubiquetous? No. Accessible? Possibly. Digital Inclusion

So you know I believe that everyone should be given access to the web on a ubiquetous basis? YES.

This isnt about Ubiquetous access, its a step towards it though.

Those on very low income might think that broadband isnt affordable or even grantable to them because of low income?

That changes now.

With a few conditions and qualifying by income related benefits BT have an including you package.

That gives you 10gb of data on broadband , access to wifi out and about and a phone line.

And its under a tenner a month.

Its not highly visibly promoted either hence this blog. 

If this sounds like it could help you or someone you know - heres the link

BT BASIC <click here

Monday, 1 December 2014


 This South African story was told me as a kid.... theres so much socialism thought in it .. 

Once upon a time in southern Africa, a terrible drought hit the land, and the animals searched far and wide for food and water. They came upon a magnificent tree they had never before seen, and from every branch dangled a piece of fruit riper and more fragrant than any they had ever seen.
"Who can this tree belong to?" the animals asked each other, and at last they learned that the owner of the tree was a chief who lived far away, near the sea. They decided to send a messenger to ask the chief if they might eat the fruit.
"We'll send the hare," the animals decided. "He's very fast." And so the hare sped through the villages, across the bush, down the mountain, all the way to the sea.
"Excuse me, chief," said the hare as he bowed before the owner, "we were wondering if we might eat the fruit of your tree."
"Certainly," said the chief. "My tree will bear fruit all year round, in all kinds of weather. And when you eat a piece, a new one will grow."
Hare's mouth was watering at the very thought. "Thank you," he said.
"There's just one thing," the chief explained. "In order to eat from the tree, you must state its name. My tree is called Uwungelema. Just say the name, and you will never be hungry again."
"Thank you, thank you," said the hare, bowing deep. "We are forever in your debt." And with that he turned around and raced as fast as he could back to the animals who were gathered at the tree.
"It is ours!" the hare cried. "And this tree will bear fruit all year round, in any kind of weather. All we must do is say the name, and the name of the tree is "
The hare looked puzzled for a moment. He shook his head, and the others gathered close. "What's the name?" they cried.
"Umawumagamba Uawuraree Umawumumumu " The hare kept trying to say the name, but try as he would, he could not remember the name of the tree.
"Never mind the name," one of the elephants cried, and he reached up to grab some fruit, but he could not pull it from the branch. "We must send someone else!" the elephant roared. "Let us send the springbok. But this time we will send two so they can remind themselves of the name."
And so two springboks streaked through the villages, across the bush, down the mountain and raced to the sea. "Chief," they panted heavily as they reached his home, "please, won't you tell us the name of the tree of fruit?"
"The name is Uwungelema," said the chief. "Say the name `Uwungelema,' and all the fruit shall be yours."
"Uwungelema," the first springbok said to his brother.
"Uwungelema," echoed the second.
And they turned toward home, running fast, for they could almost taste that fruit.
"Uwungelema," they said in unison as they rushed toward the mountain, but as they scrambled up the rocky side, the first springbok tripped on a rock, and the second, close on his heels, fell over him. They bumped their heads against each other. "Ouch!" they said in unison, and nursing their sore heads, they stood up and began the trek home across the veldt.
"What is the name?" the animals cried when the two arrived back home.
"Uwuwgoo," said the first springbok. "Oh no, I cannot remember."
"Uwugaa," said the second, and he rubbed his head. "My memory is lost!"
"Oh no," the animals cried. "What will we do?"
And so they sent the lion, but he too forgot, and they sent the mongoose, and he could not remember, either. They sent the buffaloes and then the zebras, and they too forgot. "What will we do?" they cried.
Suddenly a little voice from the ground called, "I will go."
Everyone turned to look down at the tortoise. They began to laugh. "You're far too slow," they chided him.
"I'll go anyway," said the tortoise, and with that he ambled off. Walking slowly but steadily, at long last he reached the chief.
"Thank you," the tortoise said to the chief after he learned the name of the tree. Then he began his long, slow trek back home. As he trundled along, he remembered a lesson his mother had long ago taught him. To remember something important, you must repeat it over and over, and so, as the tortoise trudged along, he said out loud, "Uwungelema, Uwungelema, Uwungelema."
"What is that you're mumbling?" the monkeys chattered from the treetops. "Why do you talk to yourself?" They howled with laughter.
The tortoise did not care. "Uwungelema, Uwungelema, Uwungelema," he said, over and over. Even when his children saw him on the road and cried, "Father, say hello to us," he shook his head and said only "Uwungelema."
Finally he reached the tree. "What is the name?" the animals cried. They were faint from hunger.
"Uwungelema," said the tortoise, and at the sound of the word, the fruit began to fall from the tree. All the animals cheered and sang their praises to the slow, steady tortoise who had saved their lives. And never again did they tease him for his lack of speed.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Support, who why when or what

A friend of mine gave me this mac with a birthday card that had

A picture of a guy on wearing a white raincoat with pictures of apples on .

 The tag phrase was "when andrew asked for an apple mac this wasnt what he expected"

The mac is old - ive had to do loads to keep it working, But because new kit is not an option on esa support group.. ive done it .That helped me immensely.

It would technically exceed what a lot can do.

 I also dont have on ESA ANY credit status, but i do have friends. They cant provide all I need from the shortfall.

The computer , however tough to run was a godsend (btw im not religious)

Now my friend that did that was awesome in that one action and has been awesome all the times weve had contact. I support him he backs me up . now ffs if you dont do that in life or find that.. speak to me Im not adverse to friendship......... unlike the selfish gits that deny people a life and say you must prove `NO LIFE before you get support (which in popular opinion is the DWP) . This govt sucks. find people wherever you are.

This govt dont give a damn about society. Notice they DROPPED the big society phrase cos they couldnt deliver, and they never defined what it was? I wont blag on but yeah. remember people matter.

And you know what? i find a co-joined will amongst ill and disabled ive not seen before. Regardless of the Platforms and Egotistical self promoting people .

Therein lies a thing. Who supports us apart from each other? Which party will counter all this UNDESERVING, AND CONDEMNATORY rhetoric? YOUR CHOICE BUT IT ISNT THE TORIES

There is a daily mirror thing crying out to sick and disabled to make their vote count. I wont share it here - look it up. 

Its not the mirror that should be shouting. its you, what you believe, who will support you. and no.... in telling you not who to vote for im telling you VOTE according to what your conscience says.  If you dont thats your choice too.

Well read this, dismiss it, embrace it, or whatever. My thoughts before you.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Parliament Square

Someone asked me what can and cant be done in Parliament Square... They said its a public space.

Hope this link clarifies (Ive sent them this )

Cloud Stored Factsheet (PDF)

Parliament Square

Blogged so If anyone asks again its there.

Monday, 17 November 2014

I talk a lot about fairness i think..

Ive blogged a lot about fairness, rhetoric and stuff like that - distortions exist all the time . Im pretty aware of injustice.

I hope regular readers see the fact that sometimes my blog is personal sometimes helpful info, comment, justice, reporting and sometimes guested examples that i will bring in.

Im not recognised as having a platform, thats not why I do this.

I probably have a pre primed readership that will agree with what i write? who knows.

I dont write in a phenomenally complex academic style, but complex sometimes, and yet i hope people see what I mean.

Enough of the diatribe.

I found a thing in the guardian . It says what Ive always thought so I wont write anything more than this article says .

It says that TORIES have consistently LIED about their opposition. 

And in the spirit of FAIRNESS that i subscribe to I share that article here

Click : The Tories Lied About Labour's Economic Record

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Do the DWP say cant deal with anyone but you?

Actually they try to.

But theres always rules and if you are stuck either representing someone or getting DWP to allow someone to represent you ....

heres their rules that you should draw to their attention if they are being obstinate.

Its a cloud stored link of a PDF ...

DWP Rules For Working With Third Parties on behalf of claimants

This question needs asking ...

 "Pretty strong and shocking stuff, and stuff that has apparently slipped under the radar of the UK’s free press, and also more unusually, slipped under the radar of the opposition Labour Party. If there was any bad news to bash the Government with, then you would have fully expected the UK’s main political opposition party to the Government, willing to do it. But no, not on this occasion."

Is the UK Under UN Investigation for Human Rights Abuses Against the Disabled? - Paul Dodenhoff - (2014-08-20)

Friday, 14 November 2014

When you send it Can they see your info?

When you communicate – does your audience actually get to see what you want them to?

Digital inclusion is a big thing. and so digital comms are growing exponentially in housing.
Heres a rub/ a hole/ a whatever you wish to call it..

The issue is your tenants may not have the kit to cope with the latest whizzbang graphics or special requirement software.

This may sound like a “no shit sherlock” statement.

BUT i came across a landlord that put out info on twitter that was called a Prezi.

Presentation. Of info.

But think of what that means deeper. A lot of people are getting tablets as their go to IT kit, and smartfones. And mainly Android.

Prezi requires the very latest flash player. Android doesnt support the flash required to view a prezi. Even some computers cant upgrade to it because people are running the kit , whatever kit , they can afford with older operating systems too.

Not all of them will be able to do huge workarounds to see a Prezi. Theres an Unofficial work around for android to view prezi . but lots wont want unofficial workarounds on their tablets or phones.

The Landlord concerned thanked me for the feedback and hope will take on board what I highlighted.

So think very carefully about denominators – who can see the info?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Tax leaflet or Targetted Anti Welfare Propoganda?

The announcement by CCHQ , HM Treasury amongst other govt departments that for the first time ever a leaflet was going with Tax Summaries for income tax payers seemed rather suspicious when :

Certain universal taxes duties and charges creating govt income from the UK population were not included .

It is based around Income Tax.

The summary of spending is only to be given to income tax payers receiving summaries.

When welfare is prevalent message "where do your taxes go - ooh look - welfare"

This reinforces previous rhetoric of "Looking after people costs too much money"

There are many media examples of this shameful rhetoric.

Theres a backflow from Welfare payments through VAT and other charges, which would if being fair, significantly reduce effect of welfare on income tax payers when considering net spending impact .

Its highly selective.

Oh MP expenses and Salaries come from tax revenue? Why is no percentage given for that? Is that because theres a HUGE payrise due?

The slant to this leaflet disturbs me as continuance of negative rhetoric, and also if:

Theres approximately 60 million in this country and only 24 million leaflets... does that make it seem like party propoganda based on distorted message and delivered by a nudge psychology method?

AND if it is Party Messaging shouldnt CCHQ pay for it and not as assumed so far the HMRC/ Treasury ?

These are questions.

Heres one glaring anamoly:

Ah but there is an election coming... 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Quiet Man Said.. By Mr "H "

The lazy man said "work makes you free"
The lying man said "in all honesty"
Immoral is moral
Necessary is spare
I believe

"Change your behaviour"said the man who wouldn't change
"You're ill-educated" said the man who knew nothing
Nothing of value that is
"You're  sinners" said the sinner
"Repent" said the unrepentant one
I believe

Removal is support
Lifestyle choice to be ill
It's in your head
The law is an ass said the ass

Death,destruction,misery and uncertainty
"I'm proud of that "

The quiet man said.


Mr H there thinking on circustances many can see. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Found this whilst ....


Thinking on the promises of parties...

This Lady Jayne found some alarming thoughts.

Wonders what you think on her thoughts too.. I couldnt possibly guess YOUR thoughts or really duplex what Jayne wrote so here it is linky >>>   Parties Plans post-2015/

Saturday, 11 October 2014

More thoughts on fairness.

I was thinking on fairness as I quite often do and give you this..

In the Uk the average salary is £26500 pa , even though we know this is distorted average due to some very high city salaries. I won't explore that. I'll take that average as a comparator.

Then look at MP . CURRENT BASIC SALARY BEING £67060 pa , rising to £74000 from 2015.

And think.

Non MP on average salary ...
Most have to find their transport, food , child care and many things from that salary.

Many of what average salaried people have to find from salary are not having to be found by MPs who get those items many times covered by Expenses.

And yet they have £40560 more money than those on average salary. Rising soon.

When you look at that.... Is it fair?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

one is too many

Trigger Warning.

The list accessed through click is a list of people no longer with us.

It appears that each one is a welfare related death, as people are calling deaths that appear related to changes to benefits or welfare.

May they  all RIP

Monday, 6 October 2014

Means Tests are controversial.

I collected my thoughts currently...

IDS SAYS WANTS TO MEANS TEST DISABILITY BENEFITS. We must ask how? How many that claim are well off enough to have reduced or no awards due to financial status? And those people, have they applied/ Been awarded? Would those possibly mythical not needy people have put themselves through the application processes? And how much is reasonable income? Because if the means test is to be designed to slice into a strata that has need then that's wrong at all levels. Can you see what I'm saying? It's a populist statement to say we will check they actually financially need award. But from a wrong footing is disastrously dangerous.

Means test is there across unemployment. Maximum savings, hours worked , ancillary income. Yes precedent embedded.

In PRINCIPLE it has precedent. In principle if done right there can't be objection. Devil in the detail. I know this may sound very strange. But the whole post war creation of welfare system was based on means. Without detail of proposal be careful.

Confusingly by driving away from means test you weaken the basis of the whole net.

So to conclude.. Means testing is confronted by many, yet is an important core to current welfare system as a whole.
How do you know need without assessing means?
But means should be set fairly, not on basis of "they get too much," or "how can we save money" which I suspect current proposal includes both.

Hope this makes some sense.
I'm not prepared to comment further on means test to disability benefits at this time as these are current thoughts.

Friday, 3 October 2014

where did I put that 6p?

When you hear the media state figures or stats it's always worth remembering what is put to you is for impact.


"Prices only up 3%"

This three per cent makes more difference the less money a person has.

Say an item costs 2 quid and it goes up 3% that's 6p.
But if you compare impact to someone with a tenner against impact of someone with a hundred quid. The relative impact gets visible. Then compare that to impact on someone with a grand.
There's even less impact.

This basic thing may sound easy,

Relative impact is very important.

That's how you arrive at other measures that are important , like...

How much of your income goes on food...

Example someone with a grand spend 20 quid. And then someone with a hundred quid spend 20 .

See that?

Why am I explaining so simply?

Because then I can start talking in terms of this basic seemingly simple impact understanding...

And then say that is where the more difficult analysis of regressiveness.

"We will introduce a fair uniform tax of 30%" could be said by a party.
Now how is that fair..

It isn't.
Flat income tax rate is regressive in impact.

Other regressives are VAT. There are more.

So see?

Now where did I put that 6p?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

National Scandal? If not why not?

Sent 13th Aug...
> Hi Sir Gerald
> Many thanks for your correspondence of the 12th August.
> I have just read with dismay that sanctions on sick and disabled people - removing money they are entitled to for erroneous and sometimes ludicrous reasons- has increased unacceptedly.
> Sanctions for disabled and sick on ESA have risen by 346% (compared to the same quarter last year), new DWP figures have shown.
> Mr Iain Duncan Smith says this is returning fairness.
> In all fairness, it appears to be abhorrent.
> I do note that the coalition appear to have accepted albeit in intent, the Wednesbury Principle - I think this negates their holding any acceptance of this principle.
> Now is this a DWP questions item to raise? Or a Prime Ministers Question Time issue to be raised? Or both?
> It is in the nations interest that the current government is called on its appalling treatment of vulnerable citizens as often and as strongly as possible.
> I hope you will ad this to the considerable quiver of arrows existing, and ask when are the archers of truth, such as yourself, going to release their bowstrings and let fly?
> Many Thanks
And of course my MP directly approached IDS
I was sent copy of the reply to this from IDS to my MP .. As follows....
28th august 2014
Dear Gerald
Thank you for your letter of 15 th august on behalf of .... Redacted.... Regarding Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .
We do not sanction ESA claimants for not finding work and do not require them to apply for or take up specific jobs. Sanctions are only imposed where a claimant does not engage with the support on offer which is designed to improve their chances of finding or preparing for work. Sanctions only occur in a  small minority of cases and in any month, only around 1 per cent of ESA claimants are sanctioned.
We know sanctions play an important role in this system. Department for Work and Pensions research suggests that the majority of ESA claimants, around 61 per cent , say they are more likely to follow the rules due to threat of a sanction. Sanctions are there to drive compliance and it is right that Work Coaches set requirements that will help to move claimants towards work.
Evidence shows that work and work-related activity is good for disabled people and people with health conditions. The Government does not believe it is right for the majority of ESA claimants, those in the Work-Related Activity Group, to be able to remain on benefits indefinitely. It is important that people who are capable of moving towards employment are not left to spend years written off by the benefits system. In the current fiscal climate, the Government needs to review the balance between contributions paid and unlimited entitlement to support.
The numbers of ESA claimants referred to the Work Programme have increased over the last two years by more than 60 per cent and, as such, we would expect to see a consequential increase in sanction referrals as more people join the Programme. In addition Providers are increasing the support on offer to ESA claimants to help them to improve their confidence and skills to help them move closer to work. With this increased support claimants will be expected to take part in more activity, which must be reasonable given the claimant's circumstances.
I can assure ... Redacted... that we would not sanction vulnerable claimants, such as those with learning difficulties or mental health conditions, without making every effort to contact them or their carer/healthcare professional first.
A claimant's medical circumstances are taken into account when considering requiring them to undertake a specific activity. Claimants are encouraged to discuss the impact of their condition on their support needs, and specialist advisers are well-placed to understand and reflect the needs of claimants to help them successfully moved towards employment.
We have put safeguards in place to support potentially vulnerable people. For example, good reason provision and appeal rights, an ability to waive and defer any requirements and reminders to claimants of when appointments are due. Claimants will not be sanctioned if they have good reason for failing to meet their requirements.
Finally, it should be noted that we have introduced hardship payments to prevent destitution as a consequence of sanctions. This is to ensure that ESA claimants in greatest need receive the right level of financial support to prevent them suffering hardship. Claimants who meet the criteria for a hardship payment will receive 60 poet cent of the personal amount for a single person. We have set the level at 60 per cent because claimants will already be in receipt of the work-related activity component and any premiums during the period of the sanction.
The Rt  Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Shenanigans. And stuff..

It may have come to your attention in the past that I've mentioned my illnesses...

Well also since 6 th of July
I've had a broken femur and several broken bones in foot.

The recovery phase is the most frustrating thing I can think of as it's eclipsing everything I do.

I'm off wheelchair, away from airboot and under hospital physio instruction.
And crutches.

And when they said 6 to 8 weeks in a&e ..... I knew somehow they were probably talking only of bone knitting estimate.

The cost of this to me has made several bills late or unpaid. Taxis aren't cheap on limited budget.

And the deterioration of tidy in the flat? That's a said thing. It has gone.
Everything is structured for can I reach it? Do I need it? And if I've used it do I need to put it away or would that mean difficulty when needed again?

Fatigue? Yes from the illnesses. Also the drain of pain from injury is shattering.

Do people see all this? No.


They see crutches. And me. When out. And that's at a highly planned mission each time. More so than normally.
They see the interfaced determination. Not the difficulties.

Why am I touring in writing what most ill or injured people know?
Probably because people need reminder, as often they sit in the "I'm alright jack" zone. .

And after saying everything and yet nothing, I close.

*grabs coffee *,*swallows painkiller*

Excuse my rambling.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Importance Of Being Earnest,, or Sammy, Sue, Steve, John, Jules,Or Bob..

Will you sign ALL 17 petitions on this link? Thats up to you. I cant tell you to. I'd like it if you did. BUT. Virtual Gherkin has ALWAYS been about individual voices, and making as many voices heard as possible, and enabling everyone to HAVE a voice, and if you have the energy write or email your MP about any of these issues raised in this link. And , If you can, do face to face and TALK about these issues. Which ever way you use your voice, I encourage that. Jules . Heres the link

17 petitions in one link

I have always said Voice is important.

So if you COULD do more than sign, your voice MATTERS .

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So another Arrow to Opposition's Quiver?

So - seeing latest sanctions figures, I wrote again, to my MP...

Many thanks for your correspondence of the 12th August. 

I have just read with dismay that sanctions on sick and disabled people - removing money they are entitled to for erroneous and sometimes ludicrous reasons- has increased unacceptedly.

Sanctions for disabled and sick on ESA have risen by 346% (compared to the same quarter last year), new DWP figures have shown. 

Mr Iain Duncan Smith says this is returning fairness. 

In all fairness, it appears to be abhorrent. 

I do note that the coalition appear to have accepted albeit in intent, the Wednesbury Principle - I think this negates their holding any acceptance of this principle. 

Now is this a DWP questions item to raise? Or a Prime Ministers Question Time issue to be raised? Or both? 

It is in the nations interest that the current government is called on its appalling treatment of vulnerable citizens as often and as strongly as possible.

I hope you will ad this to the considerable quiver of arrows existing, and ask when are the archers of truth, such as yourself, going to release their bowstrings and let fly? 

Car Insurance in Blue Badge Parking

Myself and Adam Lotun were both researching this .

From our findings:

Greater Manchester Police said : Unauthorised Blue Badge Parking users were still insured, but breaking traffic regulations.

More interestingly Adam had response that indicated   If you use a blue badge bay unintitled your insurance wont pay for any third party damage to your car you have to seek it from the third party it seems..which was the direction of both of our enquiries... but....

"Answer: If the car was damaged by a Third Party when parked in a disabled parking bay, with or without displaying a blue badge, then the responsibility and liability still remains with the Third Party. The parking issue would be a matter for the local council."

So there is no difference in insurance with or without badge.

Thanks to Fish Insurance, GMP (via twitter) , and

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Where I Write to my MP about Parliament Bar Subsidies

email to my MP 11th August.

Hello , etc, etc

Today it is revealed the subsidy to parliament bars costs £6million.

In times of austerity, which to be frank I think is pure ideology, however thats another issue entirely, in times of austerity a subsidy of this nature and at such a cost seems diametrically opposed to the message being sent to the public of "all in it together" .

Will you agree this point at least? And at best put to the House that this figure is disgracefully distanced from sharing any burden the nation faces... and there must be better use of six million pounds? I'm sure you can find examples of better use of such a significant sum.

It should be stopped. 

Thank you etc etc .

He repled 12th August, salient extract...

"With regard to bars in the Houses of Parliament, I have never used them, This is not because I am a teetotaller, but because I have enough to do with work when I am in the House of Commons. I do not believe that this subsidy is necessary or, indeed, desirable"

I wish there were more Sir Geralds. 

Why is DWP CHAOS so under-reported?

Via DWP CHAOS unreported. WHY?

Well over one million people await 
correct benefit payments

Chaotic Department for Work & Pensions fails to process people's claims, leaving tens of thousands of claimants destitute & impoverished for months on end.....

This is an unreported national scandal....

It is only the mainstream media's failure to bring this state of chaos to the public's attention which prevents it from being plastered all over the front page of every single national newspaper.

If this was people stuck in NHS waiting lists, awaiting their passports, unable to travel by train, stranded abroad, struggling to get money out of cash points, marooned in the channel tunnel, affected by adverse weather conditions or by striking public service workers the national newspapers would ensure it was in print for all to see. 

Yet here in the UK we have a crisis of unprecedented proportions as thousands upon thousands wait month upon month to get the benefits to which they are entitled to and hardly a word appears in any of the big hitting papers. The British public are being deceived into believing that government's welfare reforms are achieving the desired results with no unnecessary human suffering.

The mainstream media has a duty to report the mayhem which exists within the chaotic Department for Work & Pensions and must expose this mass maladministration of thousand of benefit claims. What makes this all the more deplorable is the victims are by and large thousands of sick and disabled people who desperately need the right amount of cash to live on. 

On the 23rd June 2014, the then disability minister Mike Penning admitted in Parliament that the number of claimants awaiting an assessment for Employment & Support Allowance had stood at a staggering 766,000.

On the 5th June 2014 the DWP quietly produced statistics relating to the government's new Personal Independence Payment statistics which showed that from April 2013 to March 2014 out of 349,000 new claims made, just 83,900 had reached the stage where a formal decision had been made on the applicant's claim - a backlog of 265,100 claims where the claimant hasn't received one single penny of the benefit for which they have applied. 

Between the two benefits, Employment & Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments, an eye watering 1,031,100 claimants have yet to receive the legal decision which determines their claim. It leaves claimants in absolute turmoil and completely unable to access the help they need.

Problems aren't limited to ESA & PIP assessment chaos

This one million claimants does not include those who have had a decision, but are in embroiled in thousands of disputes with the DWP & Local Authorities over long drawn out battles which need independent determination by one of Her Majesties' Courts & Service's Tribunals. 

Since April 2010 no less than 1,698,321 benefit appeals have been lodged with Tribunals, of which 939,100
relate to the Employment & Support Allowance. Nearly 1.7 million benefit appeals is just part of this much bigger chaos. 

In March 2014, 78,347 benefit appeal cases remained outstanding. In 2012/13 the number of benefit appeals received by formal tribunals was 507,131 against 465,497 cases which had been dealt with. By 2013/14, whilst the number of appeals had fallen to 401,197 against 545,843 disposals, the fact remains that thousands are still trapped in a chronic backlog of appeal cases which saw 77,931 adjournments and a further 44,021 postponements, collectively accounting for some 22% of all benefit cases. It's mayhem on a scale which has spiralled out of control. The DWP's answer is to implement restrictive measures to access Tribunals with the introduction of its new 'mandatory internal review' procedure; a procedure which has come under fire for causing even further delays with thousands in limbo awaiting decisions. 

One MP in particular stands out, Sheila Gilmore is to be commended for her non stop persistence in calling for government to publish the figures relating to thousands of disputed decisions which are subject to the DWP's internal review procedure. Sheila Gilmore MP (with a little help from ilegal) has pressed this issue time and time again. Following several complaints to the UK Statistics Authority and calling the government to account at several debates which she has called, she got the then disability minister to admit how he would "love the data to be published now, but it is not ready. As soon as it is ready, I will publish it." - seemingly we will need to wait until the end of the year to see whether Government keeps its word.

Meanwhile, thousands of sick and disabled people await the right decision for months on end, often having to rely on food banks to survive.

On top of the one million awaiting assessments, who knows how many more thousands are stuck in a cruel and heartless system, having to wait week after week for the DWP to resolve their disputes? - my guess is many thousands await decisions; it's in the nature of the chaotic epidemic which has broken out in the DWP. 

The chronically stretched Department is quite obviously under resourced to deal with reforms of this magnitude. The Public and Commercial Services Union are saying, in the wake of staffing cuts within the Department, that the DWP "needs more staff, not less." 

On top of all this, the DWP have been applying sanctions on a level never seen before. As refute report: "Under the new sanctions regime, introduced on the 22nd October 2012, a total of 1.35 million sanction decisions have been made up to June 2013, of which, 580,000 were adverse decisions".

Local Councils in meltdown 

What few people outside of the benefits system appreciate is how all of these delayed assessments, appeals and sanctions impact upon cash starved Local Authorities. Councils such as Birmingham are struggling, to put it mildly, to see how they can come up with a budget plan when they know they are expected to make of 28% cuts from central government funding by 2015. 

1 million delayed assessments, 1.7 million appeals and nearly 600,000 adverse sanctions all have a knock on effect as local councils grapple with revised Housing Benefit awards, Council Tax Support and decide how best to administer limited Discretionary Housing Payment awards. Every delayed assessment can affects other benefits, sometimes tax credits and the worst nightmare begins when an appeal leads to everything being retrospectively awarded. It means going through umpteen awards and re - revising them to reflect the new entitlement. There is also the knock on effect of the bedroom tax, localism of Council Tax support as well as the social fund now being dealt with at Local Authority level. 

Few Council's will speak out for fear of having their funding cut further or being labelled as 'inefficient' when compared against authorities in more prosperous areas where deprivation is less of a problem. 

A national scandal 

The mainstream media is doing no one any favours by glossing over the worsening chaos within the DWP and Local Authorities. Failing to print a the real story as to the true extent of this crisis doesn't make the crisis go away, the media owes a duty to the wider public to give way to propaganda and needs to out this scandal for what it is. 

1 million delayed assessments/decisions, 1.7 million appeals & 1.3 million put through the sanction regime is a collective 4 million exposed to some degree of benefit decision related chaos. How can 4 million people locked in government backed chaos not be a national chaos? 

Government's answer is something it has the raw nerve to call 'Universal' Credit. By April 2014, the Secretary of State had promised that 1 million claimants would be on the new 'single streamlined benefit' system. He has consistently misled his fellow Parliamentarians and the British public in to believing his flagship benefit system is 'on track' to transform the lives of 8 million households. The reality is that the latest DWP figures confirm how between May 2013 and April 2014 6,960 claimants have made a new Universal Credit claim with 5,880 remaining on benefit - an overall reduction of just 1,080. As always with the DWP, there's no indication as to how many of them found work. 

What should worry us all is how the mainstream media, particularly the right wing tabloids, continue to pretend this crisis doesn't exist. 

Burying this outrageous crisis behind good news is no answer, the media has a duty to tell the truth. They should do so without any sense of allegiance to those who have got these welfare reforms so horribly wrong. 

Urgent regarding DLA tp PIP transferences

URGENT for ALL DLA recipients awaiting PIP

URGENT Information to ALL DLA recipients awaiting PIP

Back in March I received a notice from DWP, informing me of two thing:
  • I needed to claim PIP
  • My DLA award (ending this month) would continue until PIP assessment was complete
I duly completed and returned my PIP form; today I phoned DWP DLA section, requesting how to  manage the imminent renewal of blue badge/bus pass & car tax given the above; further I received a letter yesterday from the DWP office dealing with my Carer’s allowance informing this award was also ending at the end of August.
I was pleasantly surprised to be informed that due to the delays with PIP my DLA had automatically been extended for a YEAR – to Aug 2015 (subject of course to a possible PIP assessment in this time).
This is great news, but here is further evidence the DWP is not only failing claimants, but is in fact creating further chaos, with one section making decisions and failing to inform colleagues!  If I hadn’t have phoned I would not have known of this decision which, could have left me housebound and destitute;
They are now sending a letter with this decision not only allowing me to renew my mobility support with their supposed partners, but will also demonstrate to other DWP employees, I’m still entitled to Carers.
strongly urge anyone in a similar situation to call DWP today and GOOD LUCK;

Friday, 1 August 2014

Horace is dead

So wednesday I got Horace ( a chair to help me get out) as With a no weight broken ankle/ broken foot injury , crutches over distance are impossible.

I was so pleased to get out, cos the injury was on 6th of the month. Id only been on hospital transport in that time (theres a whole story with that side of things too) - here he was whilst i took a picture...

But Horace popped a clip, and started a breakdown, I think he wasnt very well when he arrived with me. 

He was unusable and so taxi and all sorts of yuk getting back as i didnt have crutches with me. 

Today Horace was taken back by a courier , bless him. I think he signed donors card though.

Horace is dead. Another one will arrive tuesday or wednesday. ... Horace 2? 

Anyway , I was helped greatly on this by a very great genuine person, and I havent named them at all, because I dont think thats what they want. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

A Message To Esther McVey from Samuel Miller

Samuel sent this message via social media to Esther McVey , MP (Cons) ...

The government's admission that the DWP is removing essential funding support for individuals with genuine health conditions and disabilities and genuine need: 

"This was recognised from the outset. In developing the PIP assessment we were aware that the vast majority of recipients of DLA were individuals with genuine health conditions and disabilities and genuine need, and that removing or reducing that benefit may affect their daily lives. However, we believe that these impacts can be justified as being a logical result of distributing limited resources in a different and more sustainable way…”. DWP

At least 400,000 disabled persons will not quality for PIP and consequently lose their independence, jobs, and Motability vehicles—effectively destroying their lives.

How is that, to use your words, "encouraging and supporting claimants back into work"?

The recent court judgement on PIP buys into the government argument that DLA is not a sustainable benefit. But in my opinion, DLA would be a sustainable benefit if the government combated tax evasion and avoidance by collecting all—or even a partial percentage—of taxes owed.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Afraid of losing car under PIP rules? MOTABILITY TRANSITION

One-off transitional support for customers who lose eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme From

Their Chairman States :

One-off transitional support for customers who lose eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme

Since 2010, Motability has maintained a close dialogue with DWP as they developed their plans for the introduction of PIP through a number of public consultations. Over the last two years, Motability has also consulted disability organisations including Disability Rights UK, Disabled Motoring UK and groups representing customers with specific impairments, as well as undertaking considerable research with our own customers, to discuss what help would be most useful for those customers who are no longer eligible to use the Scheme. We are very grateful to all of the organisations and individuals who have helped us in developing and prioritising proposals for how we support these customers.
In order to ensure that the Motability Scheme is sustainable for the long term to continue to help the disabled community for at least another 35 years, we have the responsibility to identify risks, long term as well as short term, especially in these uncertain times. Taking account of these considerations as well as of our customers’ needs, Motability and Motability Operations have concluded that the following support can be provided to customers leaving the Car Scheme as a result of a PIP reassessment:
  • DWP has already announced that they will allow DLA payments to continue for four weeks after they make their decision regarding PIP. In addition to this, the Scheme will allow customers to retain their vehicle for up to a further 3 weeks from the date the DLA payments end. The customer will therefore be able to retain their vehicle for close to two months after the DWP decision is made.
  • Customers will need to return the car to the dealership in good condition and within the agreed timeframe in order to qualify for the following transitional support:
  1. For customers who entered into their first lease agreement with the Scheme before January 2013 and therefore could not have been aware of PIP and the associated risks when they joined (the vast majority of customers), we will provide transitional support of £2,000. For many customers, this will enable them to continue to have mobility by purchasing a used car.  
  2. For customers who entered into their first lease agreement with the Scheme with an awareness of PIP being introduced and of the risk that they could lose eligibility following a future PIP reassessment i.e. after January 2013 and up to December 2013, we will nonetheless provide transitional support of £1,000.
We will review these levels of transitional support during 2015 to take account of economic conditions and of any possible changes the Government may be making to PIP at that time.
  • For customers who have made an Advance Payment (an additional upfront payment to lease a larger or more complex vehicle on the Scheme), the Scheme will continue to refund any Advance Payment on a pro-rata basis. No further costs will be applied to customers whose leases end early as a result of a PIP reassessment.
  • We will work with our Scheme suppliers, including RSA and RAC, to provide general information on motoring, insurance and other motoring services outside of the Scheme. This will include information, for example, on buying a new or used car, and arranging insurance and other services such as breakdown cover. In particular, we are working with a leading UK insurance broker who will offer insurance quotes to former Scheme customers that will recognise their no-claims history on the Scheme. We are also working with manufacturers and dealers to ensure that they are aware of the issues faced by these customers and are able to discuss possible alternatives to maintain their mobility once they have left the Scheme.
  • The Scheme will offer customers an opportunity to purchase their vehicle following the end of the lease. The payments that they would otherwise have received upon returning the vehicle can be directed towards the purchase price.
  • We will work with customers who have Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles on the Scheme on a case by case basis to understand and assist with their future mobility arrangements including, where appropriate, enabling them to retain their current vehicle.
  • For customers with adaptations, we will help them with the costs of fitting the same adaptations to a non-Scheme vehicle.
The Motability Scheme will also provide a package of support and advice to customers currently leasing a scooter or powered wheelchair, with the objective of allowing them to retain their current product wherever possible.
As the DWP plans to begin reassessments of existing DLA recipients in October 2013 and each reassessment will take several months to complete, we do not expect any Scheme customers to become eligible for this support until early 2014. We will monitor customers’ feedback on the support and advice we provide and we may make changes to it based on experience. We will also formally review all aspects of our support package in Autumn 2015, to take account of economic circumstances and any possible changes the Government may be making to PIP at that time.
In the years to come, the Motability Scheme will receive applications from recipients of PIP as well as from recipients of DLA and we will continue to meet the needs of disabled people, as we have done since 1977.

Lord Sterling
Chairman, Motability Board of Governors
September 2013