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Category Archives: Benefits

Oxfam in trouble after ‘politically biased campaign’

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Faux film poster tweeted by Oxfam

Faux film poster tweeted by Oxfam

Oxfam, one of Britain’s leading aid charities, is facing an inquiry by the charity watchdog after it criticised the current government austerity measures.

On Twitter, Oxfam posted an image of a faux film poster, with the heading “The Perfect Storm” and the words “Starring zero hour contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment, childcare costs”.

The accompanying tweet stated: “Lifting the lid on austerity Britain reveals a perfect storm – and it’s forcing more and more people into poverty”.

Conservative MPs reported Oxfam to the charity watchdog as they regarded their campaign against poverty as ‘politically biased’ against the Conservative government. Read the rest of this entry

Family with disabled Grandson tells David Cameron: ‘Visit our home and you’ll drop the Bedroom Tax’

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Paul Rutherford with his disabled Grandson, Warren Todd

Paul Rutherford is grandfather to Warren Todd, a 14-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder, Potocki-Shaffer syndrome.

Paul believes that David Cameron must understand what his family goes through on a daily basis, as David and Samantha Cameron’s son, Ivan, also needed constant care as he had cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, and died at the age of six in 2009.

Warren also has epilepsy, as well as severe learning disabilities and skeletal problems.

Warren’s grandparents, Paul and Sue, have made a request for David Cameron to visit their home and family, and they make this request without any malevolence, as they can only imagine what the Cameron’s went through when they lost their son.

Paul states: “We want to ask David Cameron to come to our home and visit our family.

“We think if he could see how we live and what we do, and meet Warren, he would change his mind about the Bedroom Tax.”

Read the rest of this entry

Labour’s New Party Political Broadcast – The Un-credible Shrinking Man

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liblabcon

This is the new party political broadcast from the Labour Party, named ‘The Un-credible Shrinking Man’.

The black and white video filmed in the style of a Harry Enfield Cholmondley Warner sketch, mocks Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and pokes fun at the way he is downtrodden in the Cabinet by David Cameron.

The video highlights the broken promises made by Clegg in the last election, such as the tuition fees debacle, with Clegg shrinking as Cameron introduces bedroom tax, and tax cuts for millionaires. Read the rest of this entry

Zero-hour Contracts Enforcing Poverty

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zero hours

New policies have recently been enforced which mean jobseekers must accept zero-hour contracts or face losing their benefits for three months.

There are now 1.4 million zero-hour contracts, and they have been criticised for being low paid, having a lack of stability, sick pay or holiday pay, and having unrealistic expectations of employees to be available from 6am-9pm weekdays and weekends.

More than one in 10 employers are using such contracts, and they are more likely to be offered to women, young people and people over 65. The figures rise to almost half of all employers in the tourism, catering and food industries. Read the rest of this entry

Cancer Sufferer’s Benefits are Cut and the Public Turn Against Him

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Pete Woodcock

Pete Woodcock

The government have recently cut a man’s state benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Pete Woodcock of Scunthorpe has been unemployed for around eight years, but has spent his time job hunting and volunteering for up to 40 hours a week.

When diagnosed with cancer, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) cut his benefits by 40% (from £140 to £84 a week).

Mr Woodcock stated that this was because he was unable to attend job clubs due to his numerous hospital visits on both sides of the Humber Bridge, meaning he had to claim sickness benefits instead.

Mr Woodcock states: “When a person has cancer the last thing a person needs to worry about is finances but I now have to look after my family, pay bills and finance my trips to hospitals on less than £100 per week.

“The DWP even told me that if I went back on to jobseekers and gave up my treatment I could go back on to £140 per week to live on – meaning if I decided to die, I could be richer!” Read the rest of this entry

Unions criticise new Help to Work programme for long-term unemployed

The new Help to Work programme came into effect this Monday, meaning that the long-term unemployed must meet an adviser everyday, or do community work for up to six months, if they want to avoid facing benefit sanctions.

The government have stated that the new programme will mean Jobcentre staff will have more options to support people who are struggling to find work, including ‘intensive coaching’.

The voluntary work could include gardening projects, running community cafes or restoring historical sites and war memorials. The placements will be for 30 hours a week for up to six months and will be backed up by at least four hours of supported job searching each week. Read the rest of this entry

Osborne: “Income inequality is at its lowest for 28 years”

osborne

During the tedious half an hour of The Budget I found myself watching on Wednesday, one thing really grabbed my attention.

George Osborne claimed “Inequality is at its lowest level for 28 years”.

Now, writing my dissertation on the ways in which social class influences levels of health, and the vast economic inequalities in society, I was in disbelief at what Osborne had just claimed. Read the rest of this entry