About Govt Newspeak

I am a carer of two-disabled relatives and we have been through hell with the DWP.

All articles not written by me are fully sourced and I never claim authorship and all images are either from the article/twitter/photo share sites. I’m not paid for this blog nor do I EVER ask for any money.

Articles with comments in bold-red type are written by me and not part of the sourced article.

If by any chance I should add any unsourced articles [by mistake] or copyrighted images please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will immediately delete them.

The [main] purpose of this blog is to share my experiences of dealing with the DWP and if I can help with any advice, I will do my best.

Benefit claimants face mounting debt – You Think!

Resolution Foundation study suggests over a third of people who claimed universal credit after pandemic began have seen their debts grow. More than three in 10 people who began claiming universal credit after the start of the pandemic last year have acquired new debts, or seen their existing debts grow, according to a new report by the independent Resolution Foundation thinktank.

The study – which will add to pressure on the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, not to cut levels of support in his budget next month – finds that of almost 6 million people who are currently claiming it, about three in five made a new claim in 2020.

These new claimant families have taken a major income hit, the report finds, even after the vital £20 a week uplift to universal credit was introduced by the government in the first Covid-19 lockdown last year.

Based on examination of polling evidence by YouGov, the Resolution Foundation found that 45% reported seeing their income fall by at least a quarter, while 34% said it had reduced by at least two-fifths. Almost a third (31%) of new claimant families had either acquired new debts or gone further into debt, while about 21% had fallen behind on paying essential (non-housing) bills. With the £20 increase due to be dropped in the budget, 61% of claimant families say they will struggle to keep up or will fall behind on bills, around twice the proportion of families in the economy as a whole (31%).

The foundation said these would be people who had either lost their jobs and gone on to benefit or who had suffered a large reduction in pay – including many who had been furloughed – meaning they were newly entitled to an element of support because of their income levels.

Last week tensions within the cabinet over levels of support surfaced when Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, appeared less than enthusiastic about a plan by Sunak to give a payment of at least £500 to claimants rather than extend the weekly uplift beyond April. The Treasury is concerned that paying people an extra £1,000 a year in benefits – an extra £6bn on the welfare bill over the course of a yea r – will require more painful cuts to Covid-19 support in other areas.

Coffey told the work and pensions select committee that a one-off payment did not seem the best way to proceed. “Previous experience is that a steady sum of money would probably be more beneficial to claimants and customers. “I wouldn’t say no to a one-off payment if, in the end, that was the decision that was taken because it still would be financial support. But as I say, there’s a variety of ways we continue to try and consider the financial support to help people during these times.”

Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “As the pandemic reaches its 11th month – a depressing duration few expected last March – the income shock from moving on to universal credit has evolved into mounting debts and arrears on essential bills. The chancellor was right to raise universal credit to support families through tough economic times. And with tough times set to continue as unemployment rises through 2021, this vital boost to family incomes must be maintained.

“Cutting the incomes of 6 million families in just two months’ time, when public health restrictions are still likely to be widespread, makes no sense politically, economically, or in terms of raising people’s living standards.”

source

How many more DWP deaths will there be?

Mum, 27, took fatal overdose after litany of 28 failings in DWP benefit claim, I don’t call it failings I call it culpable manslaughter! Time and time again we saw death after death and the DWP refused to act or denied that there was a problem, whilst we saw death after death because of the DWP’s negligence. Sadly, I have written/reblogged many articles about DWP deaths and they never fail to upset me, mainly because my own husband truthfully admits he’d have been one of “collateral damage” if I hadn’t have fought tooth and nail for him

Apart from the more famous cases, like

Tory “welfare reforms” are estimated to have killed a quarter of a million people in the last decade and don’t tell me the Tories didn’t know what they were doing, just as some thought Covid 19 was an excellent opportunity get rid of elderly bedblockers



Philippa Day, who suffered from agoraphobia and anxiety, was found collapsed in bed in August 2019 – next to a letter warning her she must attend a face-to-face appointment. A 27-year-old mum took a fatal overdose after a litany of 28 “failings” over her disability benefit claim, an inquest has ruled.

Pip was "in despair because of the depths to which she had sunk", her sister Imogen said
Another sad DWP casualty

A coroner issued a damning verdict today on the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after the death of Philippa Day, known as Pip, from Nottingham. Assistant Coroner Gordon Clow issued a rare Prevention of Future Deaths report against the DWP and Capita, which it pays to run disability benefit assessments.

Outlining 28 “problems” with the way Pip’s claim was handled, the coroner said: “Given the sheer number of problems in the handling of Philippa’s claim, I am unable to conclude that each of these was attributable to individual human errors.” Issues caused by the problems in handling her benefit claim were “the predominant factor, and the only acute factor, which led to her decision to take an overdose,” the coroner added.

Capita apologised to the family for the “mistakes made” in processing her claim. The DWP said it will “carefully consider” the findings of the coroner. CAPITA SHOULD BE FACING MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES WITH THE DWP!!!!

Pip’s sister Imogen said tonight: “We believe that Pip’s treatment by the DWP had a direct impact on her mental state and in the end is the reason for her death. “She was in despair because of the depths to which she had sunk. “She could see no way out of the debt and the poverty in which she was living. “Pip’s poor mental health meant she was not able to handle the battle with the DWP for the reinstatement of her benefits. “The stress of the conflict with the DWP made her even more ill.”

Pip’s family say her weekly money was cut from £228 a week to just £60 in 2019 as she battled to switch from old-style DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a lengthy back-and-forth with the DWP and Capita. That June she told the DWP she was £5,000 in debt, the coroner said, telling them in a phone call: “I cannot survive, like physically survive, for another eight weeks, six weeks, four weeks whatever, without any money.” Pip, who the inquest heard had a history of self-harm and suicidal ideation, said the situation was “a hole I cannot get out of. It has affected my identity, I have not had a haircut in over a year”.

The inquest heard Capita asked Pip to attend a face-to-face appointment in June 2019 to be assessed for PIP. That was despite “a number of medical reports stating that this was not safe and appropriate” due to her mental health, which included agoraphobia and anxiety.

Pip was found collapsed in bed in August that year – next to a DWP letter warning her she must attend a face-to-face appointment – and taken to hospital.

Two weeks later, Capita determined it could determine her case without an assessment and in September 2019 she was awarded PIP after all, the coroner said. But by then she was in a coma from which she did not recover, the coroner said. Just over a month later she died of a brain injury.

The inquest heard that a “distressing and factually inaccurate letter was sent to Philippa” before her death, advising her that if she failed to attend the appointment “without good reason”, her claim would “likely” be refused.

The coroner said: “It is significant she had the letter by her side at the time she took her overdose.”

Reaching his conclusion, the coroner added, according to Nottingham Live: “The administration of Philippa Day’s benefits claim was characterised by multiple errors. “As a result of errors made, Philippa Day’s income from benefits more than halved for a period of several months, causing her severe financial hardship.

“A decision was made in June 2019 to require her to attend an assessment at a centre. “The distress caused by the administration of her welfare benefits claim left her suffering acute distress and exacerbated many of her other chronic stresses.

Were it not for these problems it is unlikely Philippa Day would’ve taken an overdose on August 7 or 8 2019.”

Mr Clow said he had been “made aware” of changes which will be made at the DWP and Capita. The inquest heard that both organisations had completed internal reviews.

Areas of concern for the coroner:

  • Mental health training did not form part of the mandatory training of call handlers before they are required to handle such calls
  • Record keeping at the DWP
  • Additional support markers for vulnerable claimants – already ‘clear evidence’ of improvement
  • The institutional working assumption the DWP documents which are not on file are missing because the claimant failed to send them in
  • The wording of the reminder letter – the DWP agreed to review this
  • The training provided to disability assessors by Capita – Capita said it is committed to creating online training including emotionally unstable personality disorder

The coroner concluded that Pip took her own life, but was not satisfied that it was “more likely than not” that she had intended her own death.

In a narrative verdict, he said she “could see no way forward” and faced a “dreadful catch-22 situation” by being asked to attend a face-to-face appointment.

The coroner will issue a Prevention of Future Deaths Report directed to the DWP and Capita requiring them to consider and address the following areas:

  • The need for training of mental health training for call handlers (previous training for personality disorder was ‘limited to a fact sheet’)
  • Ensuring correspondence is accurate and does not create unnecessary distress
  • Change in the assessment process including pausing the process when there is a need for a review
  • More record keeping at the DWP

Leigh Day solicitor Merry Varney, who represented the family, said the case left “no doubt that the DWP and Capita through its flawed handling of Pip’s disability benefits claim materially contributed to the death of a much loved mum, sister and daughter.

She said: “My clients hope the changes the DWP and Capita have committed to make are done so promptly and thoroughly to protect other families.”

Fazilet Hadi of Disability Rights UK said: “An independent Inquiry into benefit-related deaths is long overdue. YOU THINK!!!

“Philippa’s story is heartbreaking and reveals gross incompetence by the DWP and Capita.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “This is a deeply tragic case. Our sincere condolences are with Miss Day’s family and we will carefully consider the Coroner’s findings.”

A Capita spokesperson said: “We extend our sincere condolences to Philippa Day’s family over her tragic death. We would like to apologise to them for the mistakes made in processing her claim and the additional stress which was caused to Philippa.

“We have strengthened our processes over the last 18 months and are committed to continuously working to deliver a high-quality, empathetic service for every claimant. STRENGTHENED OUR PROCESS!!! AT WHAT COST!!!! OVER 250,000 LIVES!!!!!!!

“In partnership with the DWP, we will act upon the coroner’s findings and make further improvements to our processes.” TOO LATE FOR PHILIPPA DAY & THOUSANDS OF OTHERS!!!

The Samaritans are there to listen if you have been affected by this story or have any other concerns. Call 116 123 for free day or night.

SOURCE

FINALLY AN ADMISSION OF GUILT!

A Tory minister told Piers Morgan the truth – and then ran away. The DWP Secretary finally admitted that a decade of Tory policies has killed almost 100,000. Too bad the telly motormouth didn’t hear it, says Fleet Street Fox.

SHE NEEDS TO GO ON A FOOD BANK DIET!

It’s only Monday, and already Therese Coffey will be considering her job prospects. The DWP Secretary went on national telly this morning and effectively stamped 100,000 dead people with the Conservative Party logo.

She might as well have given a fisherman with a dumper truck of rotting mackerel directions to Downing Street, or reported Boris Johnson to the police. Blame, and the dodging of it, has been the main concern of those in charge since, ooh, they left the womb, and now one of their own has smeared them with doo-doo. So it is a pity that the nation’s only remaining TV attack dog failed to spot it.

Piers Morgan is, at time of writing, the only person still allowed to throttle politicians in a television studio. Andrew Neil, Emily Maitlis, and Jeremy Paxman have all been retired, resigned, or reined-in, which leaves us in a situation where the toughest political interviews with the biggest audiences are done by a former Britain’s Got Talent judge who didn’t get enough sleep.

That the government boycotted Good Morning Britain for eight months is a disgrace. That its ministers now go on the programme to risk the journalistic equivalent of the red buzzer is worth a sarcastic clap. But if Piers is too busy bing them to notice a confession of corporate manslaughter when it is uttered then what, the audience may well ask, is the point?

 HYPOCRITE; PEOPLE ARE TOO OLD AND TOO FAT! | image tagged in fat hypocrite | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

When Coffey said Britain had the highest coronavirus death rate in the world because its people are too old and too fat, he interrupted to ask if she meant it was the public’s fault. It’s like stopping Susan Boyle after she sings “I dreamed a…” and demanding she explain what she was dreaming: shut up and listen, for the love of Pete!

There are fatter nations, and older ones. They managed the pandemic better than us. Countries like Japan and the Cook Islands – which have the oldest, and the fattest, populations on the planet – both exploited their island status, and shut their borders early. But Japan boasts 13 hospital beds for every 1,000 people, and in the Cook Islands it’s 9.7. Here in the UK, the figure is 2.5.

Since 2010, the Tories slashed the number of hospital beds in England by 20,000. In the past 5 years alone, the Tories have cut public health spending – the sort of preventative work that prepares for pandemics, provides community health teams, runs anti-smoking and obesity initiatives, among other things – by 22%.According to the King’s Fund, it would take £1billion just to get the NHS back to where it was, never mind where it needs to be.

In the 21st century, in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and after 10 years of Tory rule, we had a public health crisis that meant if you were deprived you would die a decade earlier than if you were rich. Then coronavirus hit, and it did the same thing as the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, and the Great Plague, and in fact every disease ever – it killed the poorest first, because poverty moves you closer to death.

It killed the oldest and frailest first, and now doctors say those in ICU are younger, but are in minorities, people who can’t work from home, cannot isolate, don’t get sick pay, and support multi-generational families.

And these are not people who seem poor only if you compare them to Piers Morgan or a Cabinet minister. These are people who cannot afford to eat. They are people who are on breadline benefits, despite working. They are people doing the jobs the rest of us can’t live without – for example, 1 in 4 NHS staff are obese. It’s not because they don’t know it’s harmful, but because they’re in jobs where the pay is low, the work is long, and food is junk.

And the rest of us are fatter. In the general population, the obesity rate is 1 in 3. The gap between what the NHS needs to provide an ageing, fattening population with the help it needs and what the government actually spends on it is £30billion a year. And since the Tories came to power, they’ve trumpeted the billions they spent while in real terms the budget flatlined and then dipped. We now spend less on it, as a proportion of our GDP, than we did in 2010.

We are old, we are fat, and we are spending LESS. Of course 100,000 people have died. That’s what happens, when you a slice a country’s legs from underneath it.

SOURCE

IMPORTANT: DWP Telephone Interview, screenshot & record everything

I am a member of Benefits and Work and I received this email [below] yesterday.

I’d like to share what I do when we have dealings with the DWP.

Firstly preparation is the key, I wrote to the DWP [via recorded delivery] and told them I may have to take over the call because of my husband’s breathing difficulties. So to prepare I:

  1. Wrote to the DWP [via recorded delivery] and told them my husband’s needs [e.g convenient times and medical needs or someone to speak for him]
  2. dug out the dictaphone [my son gave it to me when he graduated university], you can also record on a mobile and record every word that they say.
  3. Insist on them calling you on your mobile and [IMPORTANT] on the recent calls menu on your phone take a screenshot of who called that particular day, it is evidence if they say they have called and they didn’t.

As it says in the email, some never got the call, so evidence is crucial, I know it’s a bit James Bond, but I am very long-in-the-tooth dealing with the DWP, I have appeals as thick as the bible. Their job is to deny as many claims as possible, no matter how sick/disabled that you are, we learnt that lesson big time, my husband is wheelchair bound, heart disease, skin cancer and many other ailments and was found “fit for work” by a corrupt ATOS nurse that was under investigation by the NMC at the time of the “assessment”. I was very “green stick” dealing with the DWP’s “welfare reforms and I took the the internet to get help and I got invaluable help/advice from DPAC, Black Triangle, Self Help Forums, Benefits and Work, CAB.

With the help/advice of the above and innate sense of fairness and rage, I took the DWP on with every appeal, one appeal I took to the Upper Tribunal and won [it’s 110 pages long]. I was able to help my husband, but I felt for those that have no help and for some years I volunteered on a self help forum and wrote this blog, as well as supporting other disabled groups.

Please don’t feel you are alone is dealing with the DWP, there is help out there, sadly I’m very limited what I can do right now because I’m a carer of two-disabled relatives and I’m battling health problems that need surgery, which is why I haven’t been blogging lately.

To everyone that’s helped us in the past I say thank you and to everyone reading this blog that has got to have dealings with the DWP I say: treat them like the enemy and protection/prevention is better than a pound of cure, because my husband was without money for months and some have suffered terribly because of this

Here’s the Benefits and work email

FAILURE TO ATTEND PIP TELEPHONE ASSESSMENT
Claimants who fail to attend a PIP telephone assessment will face having their claim ended, in spite of the pandemic, the DWP revealed in its pre-Christmas edition of Touchbase.

When telephone assessments were introduced for PIP last March, the DWP said it would not to take any action against claimants who did not attend a scheduled assessment.

However, from the week commencing 14 December the DWP have warned that:

“PIP telephone assessment appointment letters will make it clear that claimants must attend their telephone appointment. FTA [Failure To Attend] action will apply, e.g. benefit may be stopped for those who have been issued with this letter and fail to attend without good reason.”

The DWP have said that no-one will have their support stopped without being contacted first to ask them to explain why they didn’t attend.

But if the claimant cannot show a good reason why they didn’t attend, or didn’t take part in, their assessment then their PIP is likely to be stopped. SHOW YOU ATTENDED BY TAKING A SCREENSHOT OF THE CALL & RECORDING IT

There is a right of appeal against any such decision. AND I ADVISE YOU APPEAL EVERYTHING

Worryingly, Benefits and Work has heard from claimants who never received a call from the assessor, in spite of waiting by their telephone at the correct time. WHICH IS WHY I SCREENSHOT MY CALLS ON MY PHONE AS EVIDENCE, DON’T GIVE THEM YOUR LANDLINE OR ASK THEM TO RING YOU ON YOUR MOBILE BECAUSE A MOBILE IS EASIER TO COPY EVIDENCE

In some cases the assessor then claimed that they had repeatedly called the claimant but not received an answer.

For example, one member told us:

“Capita did not call. My appointment was at 11.45, I waited and no call was received. I phoned them at 1215hrs and was told that I had failed to attend for my assessment and that they had called 3 times!”

Another member told us:

“Appointment at 11.45am. Called capita at 12.05 an was told assessor had rang 3 times and no answer, no missed calls on my phone. I didn’t receive any and was told assessor no wrote no show . . .”

These are both claimants who, under the new procedures, would have faced the possibility of their claim being ended through absolutely no fault of their own.

There is detailed advice in our PIP claims guide on how to prepare for a telephone assessment, including how to ensure the assessor’s call isn’t blocked, what action to take if the call doesn’t arrive and how to obtain evidence from Capita and IAS (Atos) that will help to show whether any calls were actually made.

We have updated our PIP claims guide to warn about the change in DWP policy.

We strongly advise anyone with an upcoming PIP assessment to be fully prepared for the possibility that they may not get called, but still be blamed for having failed to attend their assessment. SO PLEASE PROTECT YOURSELF!

  1. Be prepared beforehand
  2. record all phone calls and use your mobile to screenshot incoming calls
  3. record deliver ALL mail
  4. don’t give them your landline number or ask for the call to be on your mobile

PLEASE DON’T GO THROUGH WHAT WE DID, TO USE THE SCOUTS MOTTO ‘BE PREPAREDGN

Headteacher gives Tories a lesson in decency

Hero teacher gives Tories a lesson in decency by delivering 7,500 meals for kids
EXCLUSIVE: Dropping off lunch and laptops to his pupils, hero teacher Zane Powles gives heartless Tories and their profiteer chums a lesson in decency.

Zane drops of the meals to Pheobe Kesson, 5, and her two brothers L-R Paul and Alfie, who also received a laptop to help them with their school work

Hero head, Zane Powles, 48, had knocked on Lewis’s front door and left five paper bags of food for him and his four siblings. Mr Powles takes a moment to check they have all been doing their work online during lockdown before heading off down the road to his next pupil.

The dad-of-three is loaded down with two massive rucksacks and a black bin liner full of packed lunches. He is clutching 12 paper bags full of school lunches topped up with extras he’s bought himself from Tesco because he was “horrified” at the rubbish allocated to their kids. And this morning Mr Powles, in shorts and trainers despite the biting cold, is also carrying an even heavier bag. One full of donated laptops for struggling families.

The assistant head from Western Primary School in Grimsby was given an MBE for his amazing efforts, delivering 138 meals a day to children – walking a total of 550 miles during last year’s first lockdown. He delivered 7,500 meals.

Now, with the school gates once again closed, he is back doing his special rounds, albeit with a limp, that he needs knee surgery to correct. The former Grenadier Guard, who used to protect the Queen, is now busy protecting the children of Grimsby.

This week we joined dad-of-three, Mr Powles, 48, on his special tour of duty. We’ll take you back to little Lewis’s doorstep, where he places the five packed lunches down and knocks, before retreating to the gate to keep a safe social distance.


Maria Tebbutt, 34, answers, surrounded by her children Lewis, Reece, six, Connor, five, Kayden, three and Mayzee, one. All still in their dressing gowns they are keen to say hello to their favourite teacher and grab their paper bags full of goodies.

Instead of just a ham roll, five or six carrots sticks, a piece of fruit and a small cookie, Mr Powle’s has added a yoghurt, a packet of raisins and a bag of crisps. “The original packed lunch they provide is rubbish in my opinion. I would be horrified if my kids were getting that!” he tells The Mirror.

“I can’t believe a company is profiting from our vulnerable children.”

Lewis’s mum, Maria, tells The Mirror how Mr Powles has been helping them survive lockdown. “What he’s been doing is amazing, he’s our hero. It’s a big help and we’d struggle without him,” she said. “The kids are missing school so much, it was a big shock when they closed them again.”

Lewis, holding his packet of crisps (the sneaky extra treat), says: “I think everyone should be more like Mr Powles. “He’s 100 per cent nice and really helpful. It’s been scary with everyone suffering from it (Covid) but it makes me happy to see Mr Powles. Most mornings I wait for him. “I like to thank him for saving the world and bringing our packed lunches and saving lives.”

Mr Powles next stop is mum-of-three, Joanna Kesson, 36, who bursts into tears when he tells her: “I’ve got a present for you. I’ve got a laptop”. Her youngest Phoebe, five, jumps up squealing with excitement and gives her upset mum a big hug. Her two boys, Paul, 11 and Alfie, nine, come to find out what all the fuss is about and grin with delight when they spot the laptop Asked why she’s crying, she says: “It means my kids are not going to get left behind. “That’s my main worry, so this laptop is a tremendous help.” But the mum explains she still has no internet, so Mr Powles promises to bring a dongle the next day so they can get online.

“My partner is on a zero hours contract and including my stepson. I have six to provide for. It’s a bit overwhelming. “What Mr Powles does is outstanding, he’s served the Queen and now he’s serving the children in Grimsby. “Everyone at the school has been amazing.”

Mr Powles is touched by her reaction and explains: “Some families have been trying to educate six children using one phone. “But other parents can’t even read and write and some haven’t got internet access. “Some parents have been struggling with the technology so I am able to help with that too at the gate. It can be a lifeline for them.” He also carries a list of names given to him by teachers, of pupils they worry are not working hard enough.

At one house where the child has made the list, he asks about their work and is told: “She doesn’t want to do it!” He says: “Tell her I want to talk to her”. A few minutes later the young girl reluctantly comes to face the music and promises to try harder. But it is the parents too, who seem to be getting some much needed support from Mr Powles.

One tearful mum blames herself and tells him she’s dyslexic and says: “I’m finding out I’m really, really not smart”. He tells the worried woman “that’s not true” and reassures her she is doing really well and to take regular breaks to make it less stressful.

Further down the road, mum Lisa Jones, 38, has seven children to cater for with her own and her teenage niece. Her children’s names are not on Mr Powles ‘list’ but says they are struggling. She tells Mr Powles of one son: “It took him six hours to do one piece of work, he just doesn’t know how to focus when he’s not in school. Home just isn’t school for them.” She tells us how I they start playing up, she warns them “Mr Powles is coming in the morning. I’m going to tell him.’

Tanya Leonard 44, who has five kids, was another to get a laptop. She has been struggling to help them learn using a broken tablet and one which is painfully slow. She says: “This is amazing because it has been really frustrating for them” and explains they have lost work when they’ve tried to send it. “It’s certainly given me more sympathy for teachers. I take my hat off to them.”.

Mr Powles has developed a huge fan club in Grimsby and during his rounds, a pensioner calls him over and hands him a bar of chocolate “to keep him going!” After hearing about the lockdown last Tuesday night, Mr Powles drove straight to Tesco and loaded up a trolley with school-funded food, ready for their “amazing” team to help package them up.

He said without these supplies some families would struggle to feed their children. “Poverty is just round the corner for us,” he says. “Some homes I’ve seen have no furniture in them, with a mattress on the floor. “I am worried about the effect this pandemic is having on some of our most vulnerable children.”

Mr Powles, who served in the guards for ten years and did four trooping of the colours, trained to become a teacher in his 30s. “I left school with no qualifications aged 16 and joined the army,” he explained. “So I tell our kids it’s never too late. “I’ve been a bin man, a milkman, an HGV driver, a factory worker”.

As we chat he spots one of his former pupils, now 17, having a cigarette on the doorstep and shouts: “Why you smoking Lizzy? That’s bad!” Moving on with a wave, Mr Powles, says he’d like to see more schools following their lead: “I hope other schools will do the same.

“I’m so lucky to work in such an amazing team at Western and I’m proud we are a local authority school that goes over and above every time for our children. “Our motto is ‘It is the school that cares’ and I think we’ve proved that!”

source

The Price of Hunger

I [GN] haven’t been very well of late, hence no posts for some weeks, notwithstanding the former, I had to write about Jacob Rees-Mogg, if only to cool my temper down.

IT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH that Mogg and his ilk, who have NEVER KNOWN A DAYS HUNGER IN THEIR LIVES, are allowed to deny the UK poor any kind of help. People like Marcus Rashford’s mother, who went hungry to feed her kids – even though she had three jobs, would have appreciated help, even more a living wage.

Mogg told the Commons that UNICEF should be “ashamed of itself” for providing food parcels to children in deprived areas of London. He claimed it was a “scandal” that Unicef was “playing politics” by granting £25,000 to fund breakfasts for vulnerable youngsters in Southwark.

You don’t want to read my [the writer’s] response about Mogg! Suffice to say it will be a tirade that will send my BP soaring!!! Besides Mr Coyle’s response is better than mine would be!

The Labour MP for the area, Neil Coyle, has written to Mr Rees-Mogg accusing him of a “lack of shame”. Mr Coyle wrote: “Charles Dickens used his memories of living in Southwark as inspiration for ‘A Christmas Carol’, which I’d recommend you read in order to observe the striking resemblance you bear to Scrooge before he amended his ways.” Mr Coyle offered to be the “Spirit of Christmas Present” and reveal the reasons for Unicef’s intervention by inviting him to a site supporting Southwark children.

And Labour MP Zarah Sultana denounced the “grotesque inequality” in the Commons, as she said the wealthy few were enjoying “obscene riches” while children go hungry. Addressing Mr Rees-Mogg, she said: “From Tory donors handed billions in dodgy contracts to people like the Leader of the House, who is reportedly in line to receive an £800,000 dividend payout this year. “So will (he) give Government time to discuss the need to make him and his super-rich chums pay their fair share so that we can end the grotesque inequality that scars our society?”

With “Christians” like Mogg in power what chance have the poor

“You live among this ridiculous wealth and you get lost. You worry about nonsense like spirituality and inner health and satisfaction and relationships.You have no idea what it is like to starve, to watch yourself turn to bones.” ― Harlan Coben

The promise of a WCA inquiry

Disabled advisors to the equality and human rights watchdog have secured a promise that its planned inquiry into the work capability assessment (WCA) and its links with the deaths of benefit claimants is still a priority. The promise came after the commission decided earlier this year to delay and “deprioritise” the inquiry because of the extra workload caused by the pandemic.

Disability News Service (DNS) has been told that members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s disability advisory committee (DAC) secured a promise from the commission that the delay was not a “reduction in priority” for the inquiry, despite it being taken out of this year’s business plan.

EHRC has also agreed that the advisory committee will have input into the commission’s work to design the scope of the inquiry.

DNS only discovered the promise after the publication of minutes of a meeting of the committee that took place on 16 July.

continue reading at the source

Have you receved this email?

We are writing to ask for your help with important government research. Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation, are conducting a survey on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The aim of this research is to find out about people’s experiences when dealing with DWP to help the Department improve the services it provides. Participation in this research is entirely voluntary and will not affect any benefits or payments you are claiming, making or receiving, now or in the future.

How can I help?

It is quick and easy – the survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete and it asks about your recent experience with DWP because of your responsibility for contacting the department on behalf of Mr ***** *****

You can complete it on a phone, laptop, computer or tablet – whatever is easiest to you.

Please click here to take part

Answers are private and confidential

There is more information about the survey, and confidentiality below. If you have any questions about the survey, or need help filling in the questionnaire, you can contact Ipsos MORI on 0800 141 3659 or CSES@ipsos-mori.com. You can contact the DWP research team for more information at customer.survey@dwp.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Finlay, Research Director, Ipsos MORI

Yvette Hartfree, Department for Work and Pensions


  • Participation in the survey is voluntary. Should you not wish to participate in this survey please click here and we will not contact you again
  • Should you wish to read Ipsos MORI’s Privacy Policy, please click here

Additional information

Who is carrying out the survey?

The survey is carried out by Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Further information about Ipsos MORI can be found at http://www.ipsos-mori.com

How was I chosen for the survey?

You have been chosen at random to take part in this important survey, from a database held by the Department for Work and Pensions containing all those who have been in contact with DWP in the past three months. The legal basis under which DWP and its contractors process personal data and ‘special category data’, such as information about your health/disability, racial or ethnic origin, is to fulfil DWP’s public authority duty and for research that is in the public interest. Your personal data collected in this research project will only be used for research.

Is it ok to ask someone to help filling in the questionnaire?

Yes, that is fine. If you need any help filling in the questionnaire, you can ask a friend or a relative to help. But the answers should be about you.

The survey link isn’t working?

If the survey link does not load try refreshing the page or using a different browser. Make sure you are typing the link directly into the URL bar and not through a search engine.

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If you would like to take part in the survey, but do not have access to the internet, please contact Ipsos MORI and we will contact you via telephone to complete the survey.

Started the survey but need to pause?

No problem, you can close the questionnaire and continue at any other time. Just log back in with the details provided.

Your privacy

This research fully complies with GDPR. Ipsos MORI will store your personal information securely and keep it confidential. Your name, address and other personal details will not be passed on to any other organisation and will be deleted by 28 February 2022. You will not receive any ‘junk mail’ as a result of taking part.

Your answers to the survey will be used for research purposes only and anonymised survey responses will be sent to DWP. Your answers will be combined with those of others that take part in the survey and only anonymous statistics will be reported. All of the research is carried out in line with the MRS Code of Conduct and everything that you tell us will be treated in complete confidence. You have the right to contact the Market Research Society (MRS) or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you wish to complain about any aspect of this research. The ICO (https://ico.org.uk/) is the independent body responsible for regulating data protection within the UK. They can also deal with any complaints you may have regarding our use of your data. You can withdraw your agreement for us to use your answers within 3 months by contacting us either my email or telephone using the details at the end of this letter. Ipsos MORI’s privacy policy for this research can be accessed here: https://ipsos.uk/19015589

I still have further questions

If you have any questions please contact Ipsos MORI or visit the website.

How far can you stretch a Tenner?

The title of this blog reminds me of when I was a child and my grandparents telling me what they were able to buy with a few pennies.

My son was awarded DLA [now PIP] back in 1997 and as long as I can remember the Christmas bonus was £10, so how far does a tenner go now? GN


Woman on Universal Credit explains what you can buy with £10 Christmas bonus after criticism
The bonus has been mocked for being “nowhere near even slightly helpful”, A woman has explained what it’s possible to buy with the Universal Credit Christmas bonus – after it came under fire for being “nowhere near even slightly helpful”.

Thousands of people are set to receive a one-off tax-free payment of £10 next month in time for the festive season. However the amount has been criticised, with one person branding it “nowhere near to being considered even slightly helpful to people who actually need money”.

Now one woman has outlined the extra food she can buy with the bonus and says it will make a difference, Plymouth Live reports.

Self-employed April Jane, who started receiving the benefit during the first lockdown, said: “I just did a quick shopping list on Tesco just to prove what difference £10 can make.

“This list includes, a loaf of bread, 15 eggs, four pints of milk, ham, cheese, margarine, pasta, pasta sauce, six apples, two tins of baked beans, a bag of potatoes and rice. “It does help and as someone who is on Universal Credit I appreciate it.”

Many praised April for being “positive” and showing people how to use the money to benefit them. She added: “It’s really helped me out, I’m self-employed and it’s topped up any money I haven’t made. “As I proved with the shopping list, you can provide food with £10. Eggs makes an abundance of things, omelettes, scrambled eggs etc. “Add some flour and milk and you have a batter mix.”

April acknowledged that while the £10 top-up won’t help put Christmas presents under the tree, it can be the “difference between eating or not” for some.

A DWP spokesperson confirmed to The Mirror that the payment is typically paid to people claiming benefits in the first full week of December. It won’t affect any other entitlements you have – so the added money won’t increase your income during an assessment for Universal Credit.

Who can claim the Universal Credit Christmas bonus?
You can claim if you live in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland in the week when the payment is due. However, people on Universal Credit won’t automatically get the extra £10 unless they also receive one of the below benefits:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate
  • Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
  • Mobility Supplement
  • Pension Credit – the guarantee element
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
  • Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
  • War Widow’s Pension
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

The DWP site states: “If you haven’t claimed your State Pension and aren’t entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits you won’t get a Christmas Bonus.”

Couples who both qualify will both get the extra payment.

The Christmas Bonus should automatically be transferred into the bank account your benefits are normally paid into – showing up as “DWP XB” on your bank statement.