Commit a crime and get treated far better than you do by the DWP.

The poor side of life

A while ago I wrote about the governments war against the poor. Indeed, I said that they treat you worse than a criminal. Well I was right. I know people that I have talked to outside the Jobcentre who have said that they’ve had to steal to eat. Getting caught was a bonus because they would get a bed for the night and some food. And sympathy from the police officers. Compare that with the distinct lack of sympathy and compassion from the DWP. The polic aren’t happy with this either. The crime levels have risen as a result but police staffing has been cut to the bare bones. I speak to the PCSOs that sometimes attend our demos, and they say the same thing. They say that their workload has got much harder and they are dealing with alot more suicides and attempted suicides than they have ever known…

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Homelessness. An issue that needs addressing immediately. The hidden secret on our streets.

Once again, Seercharlotte77 hits the proverbial nail on the head with this great blog post. Here in Southport, in common with many other towns; large and small, we have our own community of homeless people. Many of these remain hidden, surfing between friends, doorways and passages. To add insult to injury, many encounter hostility towards them from passers by on a daily basis. By the same token, many passers by also try to help. Indeed, a group of students recently held a fundraiser for our local soup kitchen, I will post some Southport tales on this subject soon. In the mean time, Charlotte’s blog is well worth a read.

The poor side of life

lve been very concerned by the rise of homelessness for a long time now. It’s an issue that won’t go away, infact its increasing at such a rapid rate that is unbelievable considering that we are the 6th richest country in the world. What is astonishing is the fact that many local authorities including my own don’t even attempt to fix it or even attempt a temporary solution. This government has made a sustained attack upon the poor for such a long time now that the poorest in society are too weak to fight against it.

The way that local authorities count the number of homeless people is wrong. If you have a cardboard box over your head or a blanket, if you are sofa surfing then you are not considered homeless. If your a single man or woman your not a priority for housing or help. Finding has been…

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New tactics from the DWP workers. 

What follows would be beyond belief in any sort of civilised society. Sadly, this is happening in our society. Civilised is not a word that springs easily to mind, really, when thinking of the post Thatcher UK ……

The poor side of life

Every week we hear new stories of how the DWP workers try to trick people into receiving a sanction. We aren’t easily shocked anymore but if you haven’t heard of these tactics in your area please watch out for them. Here’s a few read and note. These aren’t unusual but it’s good to highlight them every now and then.

Only apply for jobs that you know you will be successful in getting on the universal job match website. Now we know that most of these jobs are fake jobs but yes this was a nugget of advice given yesterday. If you apply for jobs that you won’t get then we will sanction you. It’s a no win situation for the client and he got illegally sanctioned. Don’t fall for this one folks unless you possess some kind of clairvoyant ability then how would you know if you are going to…

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National day of demonstrations against sanctions and attempted suicide by man who attends Ashton Jobcentre.

What is the purpose of the regime of sanctions, workfare schemes and the whole punishing slant of the increasing conditionality attached to claiming welfare support these days? The mainstream press, in general, fill the canvass of public opinion with negative “benefit cheat & scrounger” stories; whilst trumpeting the favorite political mainstream mantra of the “hard working family” or hard working “tax payer”. But, what is all this about? Many of the stories you might find published in the press are fabricated, taken out of context and in any case, even where a grain of truth is present, only representative of a tiny minority of welfare recipient. Also, in comparison to the eye watering sums involved in Corporate tax avoidance and high level fraud, not even qualifying as a drop in the bucket. I grow sick of hearing normally reasonable and intelligent people parroting the right wing, divisive shite spewed from the bowels of the DWP and their numpty Ministers. I am not religious, but if I was, I would now be praying to the vengeful god of the fallen walls of Jericho fame to pay Westminster a visit real soon …..

The poor side of life

Yesterday was the national day of demonstrations against sanctions organised by unite. We of course have been doing these demonstrations every week since August. August was the turning point for us, we saw how inhumane these sanctions were and we were determined to do something about them. Sanctioning a pregnant lady for no legal reason and then saying when she asked how she would feed her unborn baby “tough your not Ill you are pregnant get on with it” still haunts me.Without the help that she got both her and her unborn baby could have been yet another statistic for this government to use in their “return to work” statistics. Make no mistake the Jobcentres aren’t there to find you work anymore. Unlike the old days. They are now used to take people off the unemployment register in any way possible. It doesn’t matter how. Then this cruel government can…

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On probation, sanctioned and hungry and the case of the invisible man.

This blog post is especially illustrative of the disjointed nature of our frankly, increasingly nasty society – inevitable, just so long as the present neo liberal free market nonsense consensus is adhered to by our political leaders. Incompetence? deliberate cruelty? Recruitment policy leading to DWP staff without the wherewithal to use discretion in applying the rules? I have no idea which option is the most likely – perhaps a combination of all three …..

The poor side of life

One issue that people don’t seem to talk about is the people who are on probation for whatever reason and are sanctioned. One gentleman came to us yesterday when we made an impromptu visit to Ashton Jobcentre. He was angry and quite rightly so. This man had been in trouble with the police in the past and was now trying to get his life on the straight and narrow. He attends probation which he said that he likes, they are helping him. The only problem that he has is the Jobcentre. He’s been put on universal credit and the Jobcentre staff are refusing to a knowledge his probation terms and conditions. They are saying that he has to go out of the house when his curfew is on and they have told him that they expect him to have the Internet at home. As a result this man has been…

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Sanctioned for not writing long enough sentences and new shiny windows at the Jobcentre.

The commitment needed to maintain this vigil outside the job center is very high; and can only inspire great admiration for those involved. Once again, Charlotte has produced a blog post that exposes a little of the genuine hardships and entirely un -called for suffering which is, apparently, routinely imposed on job seekers by staff within this particular job center. Similar scenes are repeated with distressing regularity right on up and down this land of ours on a daily and weekly basis. It is wrong, Nothing else, just WRONG.

The poor side of life

Yesterday when I arrived at the Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre I thought I was seeing things. They had taken down the paper that was covering the windows. Great I thought, the claimants will feel much more secure knowing that they can see outside now. I would have thought that they would have felt very intimidated upon entering a building that you can’t see out of. I walked. Up to the building and I noticed that they had placed some kind of reflective film on the glass, presumably so we can’t see inside. We don’t look inside anyway we are too busy helping people and handing leaflets out. My question is this. At what expense was this decision to put up reflective coatings on the glass? And who’s decision was this? Once again we come in peace and this is not needed at all.

Whilst standing outside a young woman approached…

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