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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

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

One in five students has a mental health problem

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 A National Union of Students (NUS) study conducted in May 2013 shows that one in five students consider themselves to have a mental health problem.

Whilst this figure is staggering, it is not hard to understand why so many students struggle at university. For most, going to university means leaving home for the first time, often hundreds of miles away from friends and family, into shared housing with strangers in a completely new place, whom they often expect to make life-long friends with in the first few weeks of uni life. On top of this, students are thrown into studies with reading and assignments at a higher level than they are used to, and have to learn how to live by themselves, including how to budget costs of food, books and nights out in fresher’s week on a student loan. 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

Trussell Trust states welfare reform is responsible for increase in use of food banks

Trussell Trust food bank volunteers

Trussell Trust food bank volunteers

The Trussell Trust, the key charity behind the growth of food banks, has recently led a campaign to try to show that welfare reforms are leaving people starving.

The trust states that between April and December last year, around 500,000 people were given three days’ worth of food at its banks. If these statistics are true, this means more than 8 per cent of the population have had to resort to charity food hand-outs.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has accused the trust of ‘political messaging’ and told it to ‘stop scare-mongering’, suggesting that the campaign linking welfare reform to food banks is politically-motivated and is not based on facts. Read the rest of this entry