Nurses turning to food banks and seeking debt advice due to NHS cuts

Nurses are increasingly turning to food banks and pay day lenders after years of public sector pay freezes, a union has warned.

Undervalued nurses are forced to seek advice about debts, bankruptcy and homelessness, according to new figures from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).11745635_10204603452022427_4507785575538908987_n

More than 1,200 nurses called the union’s member support helpline between January and July, needing advice on welfare, ill-health, disability and other issues.

This included 231 asking for help with debts and bankruptcy.

The figures come as Janet Davies, the union’s new general secretary and chief executive, told the Guardian of anecdotal evidence that nurses are increasingly turning to food banks and payday lenders.

She said years of public sector pay restraint was leaving nurses feeling undervalued and could push some to leave the profession.

The union’s counseling service has also seen a rise in the number of nurses needing help with stress.

Problems filling rotas is also leading to an even greater reliance on expensive agency staff.

Ms Davies said: “These huge agency bills, nurses going to food banks – this is not a great place to be.”

She said more nurses were choosing agency or bank nursing because they could earn more money.

And she said a further pressure on pay was the increasing prevalence of “downbanding”, where a senior nursing post is re-evaluated and downgraded.

Read more here:


#cut, #cuts, #debt, #foodbank, #nhs-2, #welfare-cuts

The story of how one man died soon after the DWP’s benefit tests found him ‘fit to work’

The Department for Work and Pensions has released statistics showing that thousands of people have died soon after being found fit to work by its disability benefit tests.

The DWP says the figures alone “provide limited scope” for understanding why people died. Here is one case study from 2014.

Trevor Drakard was found dead in his Sunderland home a few months after his incapacity benefit was stopped. He had killed himself.

Mr Drakard, 50, who had recently been assessed as “fit for work” and ordered to find a job, was in the process of appealing against the decision with assistance from Citizens Advice Bureau when he took his own life in July 2014.

An inquest in September of the same year in Sunderland heard how Mr Drakard, who had suffered with epilepsy from the age of six, was left feeling depressed “due to the stress of losing his benefits”.

Mr Drakard was described as a “lonely man” with few acquaintances who had recently lost two of his closest friends. He had suffered from meningitis at five months old which left him brain damaged, causing severe epilepsy when he was six.

The hearing was told how Mr Drakard would meet his parents for a meal three times a week.BANS1

His parents explained that they were unable to contact their son to ask him to sign some documents relating to his benefit appeal. They visited Mr Drakard’s home and found their son’s body in his bedroom.

Tests found that he was still taking his epilepsy medication and the senior coroner ruled that Trevor Drakard had taken his own life.

From- The Independent

#benefit-deaths, #cuts, #death, #deaths, #fit-for-work, #welfare-cuts

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.


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

#micro-chip, #vaccines, #welfare-cuts

Attacks on Social Security- USA

#america, #cut, #cuts, #propaganda, #social-security, #usa, #welfare-cuts

Homeless Charity Slams Welfare Cuts As Figures Show 47% Rise In Evictions

Homeless charity Shelter has slammed “relentless rent rises and welfare cuts”, which they claim “has contributed to thousands of hard-pressed families losing their home”.

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show a 47% increase in evictions by bailiffs since housing benefit cuts were introduced in 2011. More than 10,000 households lost their homes between April and June 2015.

The data shows that the majority of landlord repossession claims came from social landlords. Between April and June 2015 there were 21,160 (58%) repossession claims from social landlords, compared to 5,038 (14%) from private landlords.

10,014 (28%) claims were made using accelerated procedures, The proportion of repossession claims made using these provisons increased from 7% in 1999 to 22% in 2014. As much as 64% of these in 2014 were made by social landlords, while only 14% were made by private landlords.

All but one of the top twenty local authorities with the highest proportion of repossession claims were in London. The London borough of Newham came top with 552 per 100,000 households.


Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “These figures are a stark warning that relentless rent rises and welfare cuts have contributed to thousands of hard-pressed families losing their home.

“Every day at Shelter we see the human cost of the country’s unfolding affordability crisis with growing numbers of families finding themselves on the verge of homelessness, and petrified that any small drop in income could leave them with the bailiffs knocking at the door.

“More cuts to housing benefit, while doing nothing to tackle the ridiculous cost of housing, is short-sighted at best.

“If the government really wants to fix the housing crisis and bring down rents so people can afford them without needing support, the only answer is to invest in building genuinely affordable homes.”

#cut, #cuts, #evictions, #homeless, #homelessness, #welfare-cuts

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 Click here for original.

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