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Conservative demolition of welfare

Book seats for coaches from #Derbyuk to People’s Assembly Against Austerity Take Back Manchester Festival | 30 Sep – 4 Oct 2017: Email mozgreenshields@gmail.com 

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People’s Assembly Against Austerity

Take Back Manchester Festival | 30 Sep – 4 Oct 2017

Take Back Manchester Festival | 30 Sep – 4 Oct 2017

Book seats for coaches leaving Derby for Torres Out demonstration by email mozgreenshields@gmail.com or text 07889274723

Planned to coincide directly with the Tory Party Conference in Manchester we will be holding 5 full days of protest, music, comedy, direct actions, meetings, events and a whole lot more…

This is will probably be the most ambitious event the People’s Assembly Against Austerity have ever undertaken. We will make sure the Tories, can’t move through Manchester without feeling the full force of opposition to their austerity policies.

Take Back Manchester Festival | 30 Sep – 4 Oct 2017

The week of action will include:
National Demonstration – Sunday 1 October 2017
Tories Out | No More Austerity | Scrap the Pay Cap
For Decent Health, Homes, Jobs & Education
Assemble: 12:00pm, Castlefield Arena, Rice Street, Manchester – March to the Conference Centre

This is the main event in the week which coincides with the opening of the Conservative Party conference. Coaches and transport is being arranged from across the country for the day.

If you can organise a group of people to travel from your organisation, workplace or community then please get in touch – we can put you in touch with people in your area and advise on best transport options.

Get Ready | Get Involved | Get Organised

The week will be packed full & we’re encouraging as many people as possible to stay for the whole week. Book time off work now – we will be arranging accommodation for people in a community centre. This will be basic but will be very cheap. Full details and booking available soon.

Other events in the week will be announced every few days so keep an eye on our website and the event on Facebook.

Please check out the Facebook page here, like it and share widely.

Also check out our transport page here.  These are the few coaches already booked and don’t forget to keep checking back as more come in… Also please send us your coach details as soon as you have them to office @thepeoplesassembly.org.uk so we can add them to the site.

Finally – we urgently need to raise funds!

To take on this task we need to raise a huge amount of money. The more money we raise, the more venues we can book, protests and demonstrations we can organise, events can take place.

We need to raise a minimum of £70,000 but once we hit that target we won’t stop fundraising – we’ll just go bigger and bolder with the events we can plan.

Please make a donation and help make this huge!

Solidarity

 

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity · United Kingdom

You can also keep up with The Derby People’s Assembly Against Austerity on Twitter or Facebook.

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Say no to Tax Credit cuts.

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Government knew about rise in mental illness long before this week’s study – but won’t talk about it

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Vox Political ~ politics for the people

Government knew about rise in mental illness long before this week’s study – but won’t talk about it

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

Yesterday (Wednesday), This Writer learned two new things about the new university study that has found 590 people committed suicide between 2010-13 after taking work capability assessments (actually, one was a reminder of something I’d forgotten):The study found that, for every 10,000 people undergoing a work capability assessment for sickness or disability benefits in those years, 7,020 were prescribed anti-depressant drugs afterwards, 2,700 reported to their GPs with mental health issues, and six committed suicide.

The reminder came from a Vox Political commenter and was that the DWP already knew there had been a huge increase in the number of benefit claimants with mental health disorders.

According to the Express, of all places: “In 2010 just 221,000 with mental disorders were in receipt of out of work benefits. But official statistics show the figure leapt to 861,000 last year [2013] – a rise of 289 per cent.

“Those with conditions like bipolar disorder, severe depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia now account for 46 per cent of those paid Employment and Support Allowance.”

So the increase of 279,000 people with mental health problems, added to the 221,000 who were on benefit in 2010, gives us half a million people – easily within the 861,000 total for ESA alone.

So figures that were published by the DWP itself totally support the new study.

The second new thing was that the Conservative Government doesn’t seem to want to talk about it.

Debbie Abrahams, shadow minister for the disabled, tried to ask an urgent question about the new study in the House of Commons on Tuesday (November 17) but was refused permission. So she made a point of order, asking the Speaker, John Bercow, how she could get the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, to make an early statement on the subject.

Again, she was rebuffed – Bercow told her to table a written question and “if she remains unhappy with the answers—or, as she sees it, the lack of answers—she can try again to deploy the mechanism of an urgent question”.

There might be a justification for not answering if the study had only revealed the extent of mental illnesses, which was known.

But there is the matter of the 590 suicides. Is the work capability assessment driving people to their deaths?

People killing themselves as a direct result of the work capability assessment – as the study indicates – is a serious issue, especially for a government that is still – increasingly desperately – clinging to claims that it is not possible to show that the WCA causes people to die, in any way.

And nobody at the DWP wants to talk about it.

Thomas More once stated: “The maxim is ‘Qui tacet consentit’: the maxim of the law is ‘Silence gives consent’. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented.”

Let’s have that question again: Is the work capability assessment driving people to their deaths?

The DWP is silent.

Silence gives consent.

#Conservative Party #Austerity PM David Cameron Mocked For Leading ‘Oxfordshire Anti-Austerity Movement’

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David Cameron Mocked For Leading ‘Oxfordshire Anti-Austerity Movement’

David Cameron was mocked by Labour during prime minister’s questions on Wednesday after he was found to have complained to his local council about cuts to services.

Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds asked the prime minister to laughter in the Commons: “As the new leader of the anti-austerity movement in Oxfordshire, can the prime minister tell us how is his campaign going?”

reynolds

Last week a letter sent by Cameron to Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council was made public in which he said he was “disappointed” at planned cuts to local museums, libraries and elderly day centres.

The council leader replied noting the cuts were a result of Cameron’s own moves to cut the deficit which had been “central to the manifesto” on which he had been elected.

Cameron’s Witney constituency is in Oxfordshire.

Cameron told Reynolds, the MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, “what I said to my local council is what I say to every council, which is you’ve got to get more for less not less for more.

“We want to make sure that every penny that is raised in council tax is well spent. If his council would like to come in and get the same advice I’ll gladly oblige.”

Labour has accused Cameron of breaking government rules by offering the Oxfordshire Council leader a meeting with the Downing Street policy unit to discuss the cuts.

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The proportion of workers not being paid the living wage is rising

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The proportion of workers not being paid the living wage is rising

  • Jon Stone Monday 12 October 2015 12:43 BST

The proportion of workers who are not being paid the living wage is actually increasing, official statistics show.

The Office for National Statistics said six million workers in Britain are paid under the hourly rate, which is calculated to cover the basic cost of living.

“In 2014, there were some 6 million employee jobs paid less than the living wage in the UK. Over half of these were part-time jobs,” the ONS said.

“Between April 2008 and April 2010, the proportion of jobs paid less than the living wage in London was stable at around 13%, but it had risen to 19% by April 2014.

“For the rest of the UK, where only 3 years of estimates are available, the proportion of employee jobs paid less than the living wage rose from 21% in April 2012 to 23% in April 2014.”

The real number of workers is likely to be higher as the statistics authority excluded people under 18 and workers on the youth, training, and apprenticeship rates of the minimum wage.

The living wage is currently £7.85 an hour over most of the UK and £9.15 in London, where living costs are higher.

The fall in the proportion of people being paid the living wage comes despite the Government’s repeated claim that it wants to “make work pay”

Read more here

 

New Statesman: Donations roll in as a woman with no money for food is fined £328 for shoplifting a Mars bar

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Donations roll in as a woman with no money for food is fined £328 for shoplifting a Mars bar

A fundraising campaign is helping a benefits sanction victim who had not eaten in days pay her £328.75 fine for stealing a packet of Mars bars worth 75p.

A Mars bar wrapper. Photo: Flickr/free photos
Louisa Sewell was fined over 438 times the value of her theft. Photo: Flickr/free photos

Two months ago, after benefits sanctions left Louisa Sewell with no money for food, she shoplifted a pack of four Mars bars. It was the cheapest food in the shop, at 75 pence for the packet. She hadn’t eaten in days.

Sewell was caught stealing on the Kidderminster convenience store’s CCTV camera, and then fined £328.75 by the magistrates’ court. This fine was the sum of £73 for the theft, £150 in court charges, £85 for prosecution costs, a £20 victim surcharge – and 75p in compensation to the store for the Mars bars.

The fine is over 438 times the value of the theft.

Sewell’s solicitor told the court: “She fully accepts this offence of theft. She said she was really hungry. She had no money. She took the lowest value item she could find.” She also informed the court that Sewell’s benefits had been sanctioned.

The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that the magistrate said it was unacceptable for her to steal “just for being hungry”.

This case is a symptom of the government’s increasingly severe welfare reforms. Using the proportion of all those penalised over the course of a year (rather than in each month, which is how the government presents data on benefits sanctions) shows that annually, one in six of all jobseekers have had their payments temporarily stopped. The Department for Work and Pensionshas itself admitted that one in five benefit-related deaths have involved sanctions.

Reverend Stuart Campbell, who runs a website on Scottish politics, spotted Sewell’s story online, and decided to begin a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her to be able to pay her fine. His aim was to raise £500 – but in four days, he has raised nearly £14,000.

“You see stuff like this every day,” Campbell tells me. But the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for him was that he had recently read a news story about a young investment banker who glassed someone in a nightclub and was let off punishment by the judge, who noted that the man had “a lot going for him”.

“It was quite hard to ignore the contrast between justice for the poor and justice for the well-off,” Campbell adds.

Read more here

Britain’s rich are thrust into the future. The poor get kicked back into the past

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One of the most important experiments of modern times began in Bradford on 17 April 1907 – and it centred on porridge. Officials went into one of the poorest parts of the city, picked about 40 of the most deprived schoolchildren and began feeding them breakfast and dinner for free. The group got oatmeal porridge every morning, made with milk and treacle, followed by bread and dripping and more milk to drink. The Boer war had turned the malnutrition of working-class British soldiers into a scandal, prompting the government to allow local authorities to give free meals to poor children. And one of the world’s great industrial metropolises was also becoming a birthplace of the free school dinner.

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