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Category Archives: Welfare

New report from disability charity finds disabled people in Britain face ‘hidden housing crisis’

Disabled people face 'hidden housing crisis'

Disabled people face ‘hidden housing crisis’

A new report from Leonard Cheshire Disability uncovers a ‘hidden housing crisis’ experienced by disabled people in Britain.

The report finds that many disabled people are living in accommodation which is ill-designed for their needs, meaning that in some cases, people cannot even access their bedrooms to sleep.

Leonard Cheshire Disability claims that around five million people require a disabled-friendly home, and this number is expected to rise due to our ageing population.

A survey carried about by the charity found that almost three-quarters of people with mobility problems do not have an accessible door into their building, and more than half say that their buildings do not have doors and hallways wide enough for a wheelchair. Read the rest of this entry

Are under pressure doctors’ surgeries striking off the most vulnerable patients?

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Thousands of patients are being deregistered by their local doctors’ surgeries, due to a lack of GPs who cannot cope with rising demand.

This ‘recruitment crisis’ among GPs means that Britain is short of approximately 8000 family doctors, and surgeries have had no choice but to restrict their geographical care boundaries and deregister patients.

Many of the patients being deregistered are elderly, and have visited the same surgery all their lives. It has also been claimed that it is the most vulnerable or most ‘difficult’ patients that are being struck from registers. Read the rest of this entry

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

Homeless people treated like pigeons

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The inch-high studs have been installed in an alcove at the entrance to luxury flats in London

The inch-high studs have been installed in an alcove at the entrance to luxury flats in London

When I watched a video last week of a policeman cautioning a homeless man for ‘illegally’ sitting down, and stating “you can’t sit in the alleys, you can’t sit in the streets, you can’t sit on the sidewalks in Denver”, I shook my head and thought ‘only in America’ would there be a law this stupid.

However, shocking measures to deter the homeless in the UK have recently come to light, with metal studs being installed outside a block of flats in central London, to deter rough sleepers from occupying the doorway.

A woman who lives in the block told the Telegraph: “There was a homeless man asleep there about six weeks ago. Then about two weeks ago all of a sudden studs were put up outside. I presume it is to deter homeless people from sleeping there.” Read the rest of this entry

Britain’s Richest 1% as Wealthy as Poorest 55% of Population

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According to a new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Britain’s richest 1% have as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together. This analysis includes wealth in terms of property, pensions and financial assets.

Inequality between the north-south divide has also worsened, with household wealth in the south-east rising five times faster than the rest of the country. The average wealth of households in the south-east rose 30% from 2006-8 to the end of 2012, whereas the average rise in England was only 6%.

In addition, the north-east was the only region where average household wealth actually fell.

The report states that the situation is likely to have worsened due to an 18% rise in house prices over the past year in the south-east. In addition, a rush to save among richer households during the recession boosted the nation’s total wealth, with the top 10% owning 44% of the household wealth, and the poorest 50% of the country owning only 9%.

A recent report from Oxfam also showed that five billionaire families own the same wealth as 20% of the population. Read the rest of this entry

Zero-hour Contracts Enforcing Poverty

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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