Protest at Jobcentre in Edinburgh over advocate while campaigners occupy Glasgow offices of Triage

Campaigners staged an ad-hoc protest at an Edinburgh job centre on Thursday, after they complained about the treatment of a jobseeker earlier in the day.ass

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty claimed management at the High Riggs Jobcentre closed the building because of the protest. The Department for Work and Pensions claim the building was fully operational.

Campaigners say the protest started after a Jobcentre staff member questioned Michael Carmichael from the ECAP, who was accompanying a claimant to a Jobseeker’s Agreement review.

Carmichael claims he was asked for ID by staff in the Jobcentre and when he refused security asked him to leave. Staff then phoned the police.

Carmichael, who regularly accompanies claimants to meetings at the Jobcentre, said: “There is no requirement to provide ID. I’d accompanied people at this Jobcentre dozens of times before.

“The DWP have guidelines which say claimants have the right to be accompanied and represented by anyone they wish. So they’re breaking their own rules. Our attitude is that this is just to try and intimidate people into not being accompanied.”

The sit-in lasted for around three hours. A spokesman for the DWP said the protest started after the claimant was put on a community work placement: “There are near-record levels of people in employment in Scotland, with almost 60,000 more people in private-sector jobs over the last year.

“Community Work Placements help long-term unemployed people gain valuable work experience and skills which improves their chances of securing a job. The placements must benefit local communities and importantly, do not replace existing roles.”

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THE Glasgow offices of Triage, a company used by the Department for Work and Pensions, were briefly occupied by campaigners protesting at the use of sanctions and workfare, the Government’s unpaid work-for-benefits scheme.

Four campaigners sneaked their way into the office before launching the protest.

The Government’s workfare programme sees the long-term unemployed expected to work 30 hours a week for 26 weeks in return for their benefits.

Dr Sarah Glynn from the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network said Triage was “absolutely complicit in the work programme, making people work for nothing and sanctions which leave people destitute and can cause serious injuries and death”.

After the occupation the organisers then moved on to Glasgow’s Buchanan Street where a crowd formed. Anti-austerity campaigner Sean Clerkin said: “This company makes £11 million a year; 1.75 million people went through the work programme and only three per cent get permanent jobs. It’s a scandal.”


The above article is from The National.


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#austerity, #cut, #cuts, #protest, #protests, #training, #workfare

Victory: Hungary Orders The Rothschild Banks To Leave The Country

Hungary, in 2013, finally kicked out the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from its country. In July it announced its plans to repay the IMF bailout and for it to vacate the Budapest office. By August the same year, the Central European country had indeed arranged early payment of the loan.11745635_10204603452022427_4507785575538908987_n

A kindly worded letter from Gyorgy Matolcsy, the head of Hungary’s CentralBank , asked Managing Director, Christine Lagarde of the International Misery Fund, as some have fondly nicknamed it, to close the office as it was not necessary to maintain it any longer.

The Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, seemed keen to ease off austerity measures and prove that the country could go it alone. It in fact issued its first bond in 2011, borrowing off the global markets.

Hungary borrowed €20 billion loan to avoid becoming insolvent during the economic crisis in 2008. But the debtee debtor relationship has not been smooth sailing.

Many criticised the Prime Minister as making an ill-advised decision in order to win an election, which was due in 2014. He also wanted to refrain from having too many foreign eyes on their economic policies, as many reforms were criticised as being undemocratic.

Paying the loan back early has meant Hungary have saved €11.7 million worth of interest expenses, but Gordan Bajnai, leader of the electoral alliance E14-PM, claimed that they had actually lost €44.86 million by March 2014 because of the early repayment as all they did was replace the loan from the International Mafia Federation (another nickname, we’re still talking about the IMF here) with a more expensive one, labelling the stunt as Propaganda .

And what made further nonsense; another loan at high interest rates was signed to finance a nuclear upgrade, which will mean not only higher repayments but also high electricity costs. But they do have economic sovereignty now.

Many have claimed that the IMF AKA ‘Imposing Misery and Famine’, are owned by the Rothschild group, the biggest banking group in the world, having their fingers in almost every central bank in the world. This means that not only do they make money off usurious interest rates at the misfortune of crumbling economies, they also literally own Governments and people of power – I mean they have considerable influence.

Escaping the banking clutches is therefore, iconic. Iceland joined Hungary in 2014 when it paid back its $400 million loan ahead of schedule after the collapse of the banking sector in 2008 and Russia, of course bowing down to no Western puppeteer, freed itself in 2005.

The return of these three countries to financial independence has been said to be the first time a European country has stood up to the international fund, since Germany did so in the 1930s. Greece is anxiously trying to make payments but missing them as we all stand on the sidelines routing for them to stick two fingers up to the ‘International M***** F******’.


From: neonnettle.com


#austerity, #banker, #bankers, #banking, #imf-2, #img, #rothschild, #rothschilds

The True Cost Of Austerity

FOR nearly five years the public has seemingly accepted the mantra that austerity is needed.

After gaining a majority in May’s General election, the Conservative Government has a clear democratic mandate to carry on cutting back on public spending – so we can expect another five years of cuts to the frontline services and the safety net we, as tax payers, provide for ourselves and others. But these cuts come at a cost – and, at times it seems that cost can be calculated in human lives.

It would, however, be unfair and wrong to say that the 2,400 people who died within two weeks of being declared ‘fit for work’ (see Page 11) died as a result of the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision to withdraw or slash their benefits.

The vast majority of them didn’t. They died because they were sick, infirm and dying – and, therefore, were manifestly not ‘fit for work’ by any standard acceptable in the modern world.

The DWP says that: “The mortality rate for people who have died while claiming an out-of-work benefit has fallen over a ten-year period.”

This weak, mealy mouthed response to a shocking statistic completely misses the point and tells us nothing.

People will die while they claim benefits, just as they will while working, or crossing the road, or trying to do The Times crossword. The mortality rate is irrelevant.

What is relevant is how often Atos – the private French company the Government and DWP had paid to do their dirty work – apparently got it so badly wrong.

Between April 2011 and April 2012 Atos declared 203,000 were fit for work. That’s approximately 400,000 over the two year period that those 2,400 people died. In those terms, statistically, the deaths rate seems low. However, 10,600 people died within six weeks of being declared fit to work.

And how many were not dying, but genuinely were unfit for work?

Statistics suggest 30% to 40% of people who appealed their Atos assessment won their case. Shockingly, this figure rose to 70% to 80% for people with adequate legal representation.

What seems clear is that Atos clearly got it so wrong, so much of the time – a fact the Government acknowledged by changing provider and hiring Maximus to do the job.

We can only hope that they do this job far better than Atos.

For the true cost of austerity is often not human lives. It is sacrificing compassion and empathy – and if we sacrifice those attributes in the name of austerity, then we risk being dragged back to the dark days of Dickensian workhouses, and of slaves being quite literally worked to death.


From-: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/true-cost-austerity/story-27690980-detail/story.html#ixzz3k82lxYPb


#austerity, #benefit-deaths, #cut, #cuts, #death, #deaths, #dwp, #mortgage-cuts, #welfare-cuts

London architect wins award for designing shelter pods for rough sleepers

An architect from London has won an award for his innovative designs for ‘pods’ that give shelter to homeless people.

James Furzer came up with a design for small pods that can be attached to the side of any “host” building or structure to provide a safe place for homeless people to sleep at night.

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urzer said part of his inspiration came from the growing number of metal spokes which have been appearing in popular sleeping spots to deter the homeless from sleeping there.

His design won the top prize in the ‘Space for New Visions’ competition organised by Farko, a global manufacturer of roof windows and loft ladders.

Read: Spikes removed after 120,000 signature petition

The number of homeless people sleeping rough has increased significantly over the past few years; youth homeless charity Centrepoint says the number of young people sleeping rough has more than doubled over the past few years.

Homeless charity Shelter says 7,581 people slept rough in London between 2014 and 2015 – a rise of 16% on the previous year, and more than double the figure of 3,673 in 2009 /2010. Furzer says he hopes to finalise his design and get some backing to build the structure so that it can be available to homeless people across the city, and beyond.


“The concept never once states that this will cure the homeless issue, and prevent homelessness altogether. I would like to think this could be one step forward in helping the homeless. Not curing it.”

– JAMES FURZER

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Jennifer Barnes, Head of Policy and Research at homeless charity Centrepoint said:

It’s really encouraging to see talented people like James focussed on tackling the growing problem of rough sleeping in the capital.

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“Anti-homeless spikes, which have concerned James and many others, are a short-sighted response which has added to the stigma of homelessness, and failed to address the root causes.”

– JENNIFER BARNES, CENTREPOINT

The above article is from ITV News. Click here for original.


#austerity, #charity, #homeless, #poverty

Teen who makes sandwiches for Watford’s homeless nominated for Yopey

A teenager who makes sandwiches for homeless people in Watford and looks after a boy with severe disabilities has been nominated for an award.

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Keshet Dor, a pupil at Yavneh College, in Hillside Avenue, Borehamwood, is one of hundreds who could win the Young Person of the Year award (YOPEY).

Every month, the 13-year-old helps a group of adults who make 150 sandwiches which are delivered to the New Hope Trust’s Haven Support Centre, in Watford, for homeless adults.

She also volunteers for disability charity, Kisharon, in Parson Street, Hendon, and spends one day a week reading to an 11-year-old boy who struggles to walk and is unable to speak.

And when she had her Bat Mitzvah, she gave the £300 she received as presents to help Kisharon buy computer software to help an adult who has communication difficulties talk.

Keshet also runs services at Elstree and Borehamwood Synagogue for children every Saturday, often by herself without adult help She was nominated by her headteacher, Dr Melanie Lee.

She said: “Keshet gives her time wherever and whenever she sees a need to help someone.

“She loves reading to the boy – she says it makes her feel rewarded to see him so happy.

“Keshet is incredibly mature, very caring and always looking to help others. If I need any help at school she will willingly volunteers and always carries out her duties fantastically.”

f Keshet is crowned the Herts Young Person Of the Year, she will win £300.

Yopey is sponsored by Smith Milne Accountants, in Rickmansworth, Mitsubishi EElectric, Orange Amplification, Borehamwood and two housing associations in Watford.

Keshet said: “It just feels nice to give something away to help somebody. I love doing things with kids. I have done so since an early age.
“I like the fact that I’m helping to feed 75 homeless people.

“If there are any loaves or fillings left over we give them to the centre so that they can use them.”

Lara Domjan, volunteer co-ordinator at Kisharon, said Keshet is a committed volunteers who leads by example.

She said: “She is going out of her way to help a young child who attends Kisharon’s day school and who has a severe learning disability.

“Keshet has worked out ways to to successfully communicate, understand and entertain the boy, giving some respite to the parents and the rest of the family.

“She is mature beyond her years, but is also very modest.”


Last year, she spent a week of her summer holiday volunteering at a day camp organised through Kisharon’s Tuffkid Nursery, in Hendon which helps youngsters who have physical difficulties.


The above article is from the Watford Observer. Find the original here.


#austerity, #charity, #disability, #disabled, #dla, #esa, #homeless, #pip, #poverty, #teen, #young, #youth

Benefit Claimants Should Not Be Forced To Live In Fear

We all know that without any form of income via wages, benefits or savings that the inevitable outcome is almost certainly homelessness, hunger and poverty – even crime.

Common sense tells us this. So why do we believe that a person with a serious and recognised illness, who we know cannot work, should be put into the position of living in fear of this happening to them? Why are we pushing people into the position of feeling that the only way out is to take their own life?

Even the excuses used by the “I’m alright Jack” crowd will find it difficult to give a decent reason to ignore or hide what is happening. Even giving a dismissive comment will become an embarrassment; how many people have to end up on the Iain Duncan Smith’s death list before there is a public outcry?

The Mirror reported on the death of Glenn Harris on the 21 July 2015, who was so afraid his benefits would be stopped he ended his own life.

He is sadly not alone. There is a Facebook page, “National Remembrance for the DWP/ATOS Dead”, dedicated to those who have died due to welfare cuts. Anyone can google and find name after name, news report after news report, to find out about Britain’s very own ‘Schindler’s List’.

Something that strangely seems to be missing is the actual official statistics; a bit like child poverty being non-existent because the Tories want to redefine its definition.

The Guardian has questioned why the government is slow to publish benefits deaths statistics.  David Cameron stated that the figures were about to be released and in doing so he contradicted Iain Duncan Smith, who claimed the figures aren’t collected. If they do eventually publish the figures it would need to be scrutinised for errors. After all, who trusts politicians to tell us the truth?

Surely there is enough clear evidence to demand an explanation for the collateral damage caused by welfare changes? Perhaps the government’s attempts to hide the figures from the public is linked to fears of legal redress taken by families for their individual loss?

Someone must be made answerable for the tragic loss of life and the untold damage caused to victims families. Iain Duncan Smith’s directory of death will continue to grow without immediate action.

The government should be aware by now that public opinion is beginning to shift. People are not all stupid and are becoming increasingly more aware of the harm caused by unjust policies. Whilst the majority of voters may support the principle of benefit cuts, they will not sit idly by while some of Britain’s most vulnerable people are being pushed to the brink of suicide and beyond. Crimes against humanity nearly always come back to haunt those responsible.

People are dying as a direct and indirect result of the abusive of political power. No one should be dying of starvation in 2015 Britain, especially when we have the means to prevent it.

How many more will lose their lives before this abuse of the vulnerable is stopped?


If you or someone you know has been affected by the issues raised in the article, please contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website for support.


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The above article is copied. Find the original on Welfare Weekly here.


#austerity, #benefit-deaths, #cut, #cuts, #deaths, #depression, #propaganda, #suicides

The Tories’ new welfare bill attacks children, single parents and the poor

One of the Tories’ most vicious attacks on the poor and the working class passed its second reading in parliament on Monday of this week.

Most Labour MPs merely abstained on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that steals £12 billion more from the people the Tories have spent five years robbing.

Almost half a million sick and disabled people will lose £30 a week meant to support them finding work. This “saves” just £640 million a year.

Pushing down the benefit cap will raise less than half as much—a tenth the estimated cost of doing up parliament. But it will hit 330,000 children according to the Tories’ own figures.

Documents show 126,000 families will lose £63 a week.

Over half are single mothers and their children.

Tory millionaire axeman Iain Duncan Smith argued that people who don’t work shouldn’t get more money than anyone who does.

This crass attempt to stir up division is nonsense.

Any worker earning less than the benefit cap—just £20,000 for a family outside London, or £13,400 for a single person—would be on benefits themselves.

These attacks on the poorest aren’t about tackling an imagined bloated welfare bill.

They’re about using scapegoating, stigma and fear to discipline the working class.

Other cuts will hit far more people. A four-year freeze on most working age benefits and tax credits will cost 13 million families an average of £260 a year. More than half of them are in work.

And a massive attack on tax credits is going straight for working class children. One particularly vicious blow denies the benefit to any child with the misfortune to have been born third.

The bill allows for “exceptional circumstances”. But other than twins or triplets, the only exception mentioned is rape—which a woman would somehow have to prove to Duncan Smith’s officials.

The bill comes with a lot of waffle about reaching “full employment”. But it doesn’t define what full employment is, other than saying that it’s definitely not what it sounds like.

The explanatory notes point out that “zero unemployment is not desirable, as it would allow employees to demand higher pay”.

It also deletes the legal requirement to reduce child poverty by 2020—so the Tories are free to make children poorer.

Councils are being bribed to put more households in intrusive “troubled families” interventions.

The Tories are already trying to cover up the human cost of their last round of benefit cuts.

Their new bill could see a whole generation growing up hungry.


From socialistworker.co.uk. Click here for original.


#austerity, #benefit-deaths, #benefits, #cut, #cuts, #mortgage-cuts, #welfare-cuts