So The Welfare Reform Bill Doesn’t Affect YOU!?! #WRB

As the deadline for the Government to haul the Welfare Reform Bill through parliament draws dangerously close and its implementation looms large I want to make sure that YOU know how it might affect your life.

It is a government and media peddled myth that this bill is about the unemployed. It’s not. This bill will affect millions of employed people as well as millions of disabled adults and children. This bill is not designed to solve the problems of worklessness and benefit dependency as I will explain. this is about money, money for the treasury that none of YOU will see a penny of.

The Welfare Reform Bill will pave the way for Universal Credit which will replace the following benefits (of which some of YOU will be in receipt of)

Income Based JobSeekers Allowance

Income Support

Income Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Housing Benefit

Child Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit

Disability Living Allowance DLA will be replaced with PIP (Personal Independence Payments)

If your household has a higher rate tax payer you will no longer be entitled to Child Benefit.

Council Tax Benefit will be the responsibility of your local authority who will be required to save 10% of the budget annually, therefore reducing the amount of people who claim that particular benefit. Pensioners are protected.

The Social Fund will be abolished. Funds for this kind of financial help will be the responsibility of local authorities. The funding will not be ringfenced so councils are free to use it in any other area. Currently anyone can apply for a crisis loan, even YOU.

So, if you use any of the above the government are after YOU!

It’s you they want to move out of the area, it’s your children they want to go to another school, its your shopping money, rent money, bill money they want to take away, not just mine.

Don’t forget the benefit cap. £26,000 a year, that’s £500 a week and £18,200 or £350 a week for a single person without children. (read the equality impact assessment) I can hear you screaming now, regurgitating that rubbish ‘hard-working families don’t earn that much!’. You are absolutely right because if you were earning £26,000 a year you would also be receiving child tax credits if you have children, working tax credit, perhaps housing and council tax benefit as well and of course child benefit, so in reality your income would be a lot higher than £26,000 and your child benefit can’t be taken away if you naughty people dare to receive more than £500 a week. Get the calculator out and work out how much YOU get or should get in benefits!

I’d like you to remember that when thousands of families are forced out of other areas into yours you will have real problems finding cheap accommodation because there will be more people and less available houses. There will be more children in the schools, more strain on local services including the NHS. When you scream that those ‘scroungers’ should move out of London, remember, they’re coming to your town or city sweetheart. It’s also worth noting that many people who currently live in rural areas will suffer and have to move as well. You’re local authority will also be paying for the cost of temporary housing and the other costs that come with homelessness if anyone in your area is evicted because of these changes.  It’s far cheaper to just scrap the cap. Housing benefit was capped a little while ago anyway. at a maximum of £400 a week for a 4 bed property,  £250 a week for a 2 bed property. Single people under 35 only qualify for the shared room rate, which previously applied to under 25’s. That has already seen people evicted from their homes. The ‘family friendly’ Tory party have also made it a lot harder for non resident parents to have overnight access to their children by reducing the housing benefit available to single under 35’s. A far better solution would be to cap private rents, that would save the government a fortune in benefits but some of them are landlords so maybe not.

God help you if you or your relative is disabled or ill. The Government don’t like you. They don’t like your disabled friends or neighbours either. If you are unfortunate enough to get cancer the government have decided that you have 12 months to be cured, otherwise, if your partner earns the enormous sum of £7,500 a year they’ll cut your ESA completely. (That applies to anyone claiming it by the way but we hoped cancer patients might at least be exempt from this nasty condition)

They will replace DLA with PIP which most people wont be eligible for even though they have serious illnesses and/or disabilities. Those people will be told they’re simply not ill or disabled enough and will be left either appealing, which is a very long distressing process, or left without. Just in case you read the daily mail I can tell you, hospital visits, additional aids to manage with illness and disability and day to day living requires extra financial help for many people in that position. I know from experience with disabled and seriously ill relatives that these things cost money many simply don’t have. Also the ‘free cars’ you have read about aren’t free, they’re paid for with the mobility component of DLA so people are actually paying for them with the money they get to help them. I’d say that’s fair, wouldn’t you? It’s worth bearing in mind that DLA is not means tested. An unofficial, simplified summary of the regulations of PIP has been created by the Spartacus Report team.

The Government also decided it would be a lovely idea to cut the disabled element of tax credits (Universal Credit when it switches) in half for disabled children who receive the lower rate of DLA. Delightful. That means people like one friend I have won’t be able to afford the petrol for her car. Her son can’t use public transport for various reasons, her car means she can take him out instead of staying in all day. It means she can safely take him to school and the family can lead a normal life. No petrol means an extremely difficult time doing the everyday things YOU take for granted.

On the subject of disabled children, the Government have decided it’s a good idea to prevent young people who have never worked due to disability from being able to claim contributory ESA. Currently they can.

There will now be a penalty for ‘under-occupation’. If you have a spare room and you receive housing benefit you will now be penalised for it, even if it’s for your kids who stay at the weekend, or to store any equipment you need to help you live a full life, such as a wheelchair or a commode. You’re going to be charged for that even if you’d like to downsize but can’t because there are no available properties in your area.

There are a few other gems in the Welfare Reform Bill that haven’t been very widely publicised. Yes, I’m a geek, I read the entire bill, twice actually.

When your youngest child reaches 5 years old you will have to get a job. You will no longer just attend a work focused interview, you will sign on and get a fortnightly interrogation, so if you have a full time job, hang onto to it dear.

Such things as work focused interviews will look like a fairytale compared to the conditionality in store for you under the Welfare Reform Bills proposals.

Being in work is not a safeguard against DWP intrusion. There will be in work conditionality as well.

If you do not work enough hours or earn enough money DWP will be well within their rights to haul you into the jobcentre and tell you to increase your hours, get a second job or beg your boss for a pay rise. Yes really! If you do not comply you can be sanctioned (I’ll get to sanctions in a minute). So be afraid, be very afraid.

Now, sanctions. For a first sanctionable offence you can have your benefits stopped completely for a month (4 weeks). You can ask for a hardship payment but you will have to pay that back, it’s not free and won’t be as much as what you would normally receive. For a worse offence you starve for three months, for a serious offence you lose everything for three years. Yes, that’s right, three years! You should also be aware that DWP staff on the frontline are given a quota of how many people they have to refer for a sanction currently, whether those people have committed an offence or not, so you could be completely innocent and still lose out for a month, three months, or three years. Sanctions don’t actually work anyway. There has been much discussion in the commons. Chris Grayling says the Government plan to exclude child and housing costs from any sanctions but still, three years is a long time.

Conditionality does not stop there either. You can be required to improve your personal appearance. Quite what that could entail I do not know. It could be anything from have a bath, washing your clothes or remove your piercings, cut your hair etc. There are no specific details in the bill:

6C Work preparation requirement
(1) In this Act a “work preparation requirement” is a requirement that a
claimant take particular action specified by the Secretary of State for the
purpose of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State
that the claimant will obtain paid work (or more paid work or betterpaid
work).
(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be
devoted to any particular action.
(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in
particular—
(a) attending a skills assessment;
(b) improving personal presentation;
(c) participating in training;
(d) participating in an employment programme;
(e) undertaking work experience or a work placement;
(f) developing a business plan;
(g) any action prescribed for the purpose in subsection (1).

The section above also states you can be forced to undertake work experience/placement. That, I assume, means the work programme. Working for your benefit, essentially for free. (If there’s enough work available for the work programme there’s enough work for a proper job).

There is a clause in the bill which states:

Vouchers
6 (1) This paragraph applies in relation to an award of universal credit where the
calculation of the amount of the award includes, by virtue of any provision
of this Part, an amount in respect of particular costs which a claimant may
incur.
(2) Regulations may provide for liability to pay all or part of the award to be
discharged by means of provision of a voucher.
(3) But the amount paid by means of a voucher may not in any case exceed the
total of the amounts referred to in sub-paragraph (1) which are included in
the calculation of the amount of the award.
(4) For these purposes a voucher is a means other than cash by which a claimant
may to any extent meet costs referred to in sub-paragraph (1) of a particular
description.
(5) A voucher may for these purposes—
(a) be limited as regards the person or persons who will accept it;
(b) be valid only for a limited time.

So ladies and gentlemen, if you are awarded Universal Credit DWP are well within their rights to pay you in vouchers for ‘particular costs which a claimant may incur’. Someone else may know better but as far as I know that could be food, clothing and rent. I had no idea I lived in America. I don’t know if this only applies to special circumstances.

We should not forget changes to the way the CSA works. This applies to those of you who may become a single parent in the future or who have a precarious personal arrangement with a non resident parent (NRP), whether you work or not. The Government originally wanted to charge you £100 up front to access the service (£50 if you’re on benefits). They ‘promised’ to change that to £20. They also want to take between 7% and 12% off every single payment destined for your child(ren) from the NRP. So if your child receives £100 a month from your ex, they will, in reality, only get between £93 and £88 a month instead. The Government will be pocketing the rest. No one knows what’s round the corner, any of you could find yourself bringing up children alone.

Also, if you make a claim while in a couple, an error is made and repayment is required, any claim you make either alone or jointly with someone else will be liable for the repayment if it has not already been repaid.

Being part of a couple does not exempt either of you from conditionality, in work or not. You will both be required to conform to the same rules or face sanctions when your child(ren) are a certain age and when your youngest is 12 you will both be required to work full time, there will be no option for one of you to have part time hours. Welcome to the end of one of you staying at home to care for the children, or being there when they leave for school or return home, there will be no designated care giver, you both have to go to work now.  Of course your long hours and lack of family time will be blamed for the ‘feral youth’ but only after lone parents have received a good dose of demonisation first.

No one is sure how childcare will work. Currently working families can claim a childcare element of working tax credit which allows for up to 70% of your childcare costs. The details of future arrangements are not clear.

Personally, I’m bricking it. My plan was to try and work part time when my youngest started school (providing there’s an actual job to have!) but part time is out of the question now to avoid the in work conditionality. I have a 2 choices, pay for childcare (providing I have sociable shifts, I don’t know any childminders who start at 5am!), or I make my oldest child sacrifice her own future to become a substitute parent to her younger brother and sister. That’s the girl who wants to go to college and university and really make something of herself. I could ask her to stop all that and please Mr Iain Duncan Smith by being my unpaid childcare. Or`I could find a rich man willing to take on me and the kids, sell my soul for money. That might please the Government. Decisions, decisions.

So there you have it.

Is there anything I’ve missed?

If you know of anything else please comment below so I can add it to the list.

I also urge you all to read the comments below, some extremely good points being made down there and advice if you’re in difficulty too.

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Posted on February 5, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 68 Comments.

  1. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if it will ever affect me, it’s just morally wrong and that’s all there is to it. The least advantaged in society should not pay for the mistakes of the most powerful!

  2. You didn’t mention the bit where all those who are aged 35 and under will now only get housing benefit to cover the cost of living in a room in a shared house with other people, i.e they will no longer get enought benefit to be able to afford a one-bedroom flat.

  3. Thankyou so much for writing this. If more people realised what wrb actually means they would think a bit differently about it. When I was taking on trolls for celebrating the votes last Wednesday I wish I’d had this post to show them. I wish every ignorant gloating bastard that celebrated the benefit cap could be forced to read this and see what a price we’re all paying for that cap.
    Well done.

  4. You sort of covered this, but when your child becomes 12 you have to work full time. Both of you. Latch key kids as our government decide for us how old our children must be to be left alone.

    Also, the gov DID back down on taking 10% of jobseekers if out of work for a year or more.

    And (this is a personal and very geeky point( It drives me MAD when the Gov refer to the youth condition (NI payments for profoundly disabled children) It has very little to do with Support groups, ESA and stuff,it is simply about the NI credits. That will affect EVERY support a disabled child might need on becoming an adult – social care, income support, independent living fund – basically, what the policy ACTUALLY does is remove an entitlement – yes entitlement to any benefits in the disabled person’s own right.

    This was agreed cross party for decades. If we don’t believe anyone has an actual entitlement to benefits in their own name, then surely children born or who become so profoundly disabled that they will never work have that entitlement? Surely they should not be means tested based on the income of their parents? Surely they have the right to a life as independent as possible, just like everyone else?

    IF NOT THEM THEN WHO?

    Really great article though xxx

  5. “and those who are jobless will see their housing benefit cut by 10% for every year they remain out of work and claim jobseeker’s allowance.”
    That was scrapped ages ago.

  6. Benefits of £26k aren’t like earning that, they’re like earning £36k. Someone on that doesn’t get much, except CB. So tax credits are eventually being scrapped. You say this as if it’s a bad thing. Yup. All those benefits are being rolled into the universal credit. But you didn’t mention the rise in the personal allowance. This is lying by omission.

    “I wantz money, Waaaa!” And it appears you’d rather beg for it off bureaucrats than earn it.

    • How exactly is the new system encouraging people to earn it? Stepping away from the actual WRB bill for a moment, putting people into Workfare schemes that don’t lead to work does nothing for anyone apart from the huge company that gets the free labour. And, more than that, how are people with certain difficulties supposed to get into a workplace when the unemployment figures are rising steadily? As discriminatory as it is, people who may need flexible hours for personal reasons or an adaptable workspace are going to be overlooked in favour of ‘cheaper’ labour. What about those terminally ill people forced to try and get back into work? Would you employ someone in that situation? No.

    • jack arse,there is no art in your ignorance of what caring for disabled relatives is like.

  7. i failed an ATOS medical in Dec, appealed, they stopped my benefits on 5 jan, despiite the fact they should have continued while i appeal, I have had no income since then, ive lost my housing benefit etc, i risk losing my home now and i cant pay my bills, How can they do this? No-one anywhere will help, i have no idea what to do, if it wasnt for my adult kids id have no food. This great welfare state doesnt actually give a toss, There must thousands i the same position……..

  8. Jackart – man, honestly I applaud that you’re able to work while going through chemo although if you’re sneezing blood everywhere you’re being rather irresponsible to other people in your office. But bully for you, you’re working, congrats. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean that everyone is as capable of working as you are. I did it, I tried, I crawled out of bed to do it and damn near killed myself doing so.

    Hurrah for you that you’re able to hide how ill you are behind bravado because if you didn’t the firm you work for would have you out on your ear; I worked for law firms for five years, I saw how they treated people who weren’t top earners due to illness. That’s nice.

    So right, you think we should go out and work? Fine. Give me a job. I’ll be your PA; I worked in litigation, transport litigation, IP law and corporate, so I know the ropes. Here’s the CV and requirements: I will need specialist childcare for my son for seven hours a day. I will also require a chair which I can move in and out of every half hour so my joints do not seize. I may also have days where the pain medication I take will not allow me to travel – and I don’t have a car yet either as I still need to learn how to drive as a disabled person…so I will need to claim transportation costs. Have I mentioned I am unable to walk very well, if at all? My
    hands are actually in poor shape and I may not be able to type or lift anything heavier than a cup of tea some days – do you have speech to text software for dictation?

    May I ask that a cot be installed in my cubicle so I can sleep? Since it’s likely my son was awake at 2am I will probably only have 4 hours of sleep a night. If I have taken tramadol that day for pain I will need a two hour nap before I can continue duties but it may be my confusion level is so high I won’t be able to file anything with the courts that day or answer phones.

    When my son has a meltdown in school, I will need to leave work immediately to take him home. This happens about twice a month, and he may end up excluded, so I will also need time off when he is. Working at home when my son is home is not an option as he requires my 24/7 care – he has been known to grab the phone off me and start singing down it and I’m sure your distinguished clients don’t want to be inconvenienced.

    My arthritis flares three times a year which puts me in hospital for skin infections, eye
    issues which last year made me blind for a month minimal time, can make
    my hands and feet swell to the point I cannot tie shoes to get ready to work. I apologise for the inconvenience but will be ready for work again after a month…possibly. Hopefully you’ll have someone to fill in.

    In order to make “work pay”, and to cover costs of equipment, higher heating, clothing which will not damage my skin and that I can secure if my hands do not work that day, higher electricity, food which I need to eat to keep from getting ill and covering my son’s issues with food, extra costs with meltdowns and losing time working (I expect I would only be able to work about 2 weeks out of four). My son- in preparation for his own “working life” will require full education with special needs autistic children in mind – and saving for his work at
    university (since now we have to pay fees for this), by my estimations I’ll need a yearly salary of £35,000, the magical number which you assume we all get but I’m pretty sure by my own calculations I get nowhere near. However, since that number would take me out of poverty level, I wouldn’t be able to get private healthcare since I already have four pre-existing conditions. As a result I predict I could probably keep working for you for about a year before I eventually collapse.

    So…since you think it’s so easy for us to do, I’ll bite. Give me a job, I’ve worked for many an associate and thankfully that prepared me for the demands and unrealistic behaviour of autism so I’m able to deal with my son. I’m sure I could deal with your attitude no problem.

    • Dreema , i really want to commend you on your tact , diplomacy and clear sense of determination…I was very humbled by what you wrote and touched…one thing that comes to my mind instantly is you should work in politics….you would put more into it in the short time you were able than any of them fuckwits currently up there making these inhumane decisions on our behalf….x

  9. Fantastic – Welfare Reform Bill, the act of Parliament that will increase homelessness, the number of children in care, crime (as desperate people steal in order to eat) and take wheelchairs and other specialised equipment away from the disabled…

    If Britain wasn’t broken before this bill, it sure will be once these measures bite.

    Yes, David Cameron and the ConDems, the men who really broke Britain.

  10. Don’t forget that, even if you qualify for the ESA Support Group, as I recently did, following a process which severely worsened my mental and physical health, you’ll be made to re-apply about twice a year. Well, I suppose there is an offchance I will suddenly become sighted, and that my hands and limbs will miraculously start working properly and the feeling of total persecution will go, but I think constant re-examination may just be a punishment for being sick. A bloody expensive punishment.

    Oh and I was considering asking the EHRC to look at how the assessment process discriminates against people with certain disabilities, for example, by ot being very good at providing stuff in accessible formats, but I see they are being stopped from taking up cases unless you qualify for Legal Aid.

    Bless them, those cheeky Lib Cons think of everything.

  11. Great post. One thing to add is that of those made homeless by these changes only a handful will be given accomodation. If they’re single they will end up on the streets.

  12. This is a disaster for the people and it must be stopped

    • The last party to take an all out attack on the worth of disabled people with the view that in the wild only the fit survive while the disabled are abandoned or killed by stronger adversaries was The German socialist party along with the Nazis.
      When are the conservatives and lib dems going to stop medical treatment for us worthless dregs of society and leave us all to die so the fit and healthy people have more money,services and an air of superiority we less fortunate health rejects can ever achieve. Who said the aryan race was dead?
      if ever there were close allies, determined to create the perfect race.It has to be the coallition goverment that none of us voted for.
      This is as near to ethnic cleansing that one can get in this big society. I like many other disabled people did not phone or even be asked if we wanted these changes to be taken.
      Give the whole country a referendum so as to shoot down this despicable lie that all of us recipients on DLA were in favour of.
      God help us all because one lie becomes many lies.

  13. Thanks for this much-needed reference tool. I feel I should have this on a little card to hand out to people I talk to about the Coalition’s welfare reforms.

    I believe that Universal Credit may turn out to be the Coalition’s “Poll Tax” moment. Some contacts of mine who are in the know about these things have told me that, from the perspective of administration, the actual implementation of UC will be a disaster. The aim is the simplicity of one umbrella benefit but one of the reasons why we have all these different benefits is because each one requires its own rules of application; attempting to bring this level of complexity under one single benefit is a recipe for systemic breakdown.

    Meanwhile, we need to use the Boycott Workfare campaign to make the Work Programme impossible to implement. Let us assume that a business would rather NOT take on unpaid labour if the price of doing so is the negative publicity of a picket line manned by activists standing outside its doors. This means that in any particular town, a well-organised campaign could drive workfare out almost completely. Organised local campaigns in each and every town, across the whole country, would create the kind of crisis for the Coalition that non-payment of the Poll Tax eventually created for Thatcher.

  14. You’ve forgotten the 3rd or possibly 4th level of losses here. You see vulnerable and disabled peoples spend their money on all sorts of things. Cabs is one of them. Workmen to do jobs we can’t. Makers of aids to help us get around and do things, car adaptors, landlords of homes be they independent or residential that have been adapted or have a warden on call, bed makers, mattress makers, rubber sheet makers, nurses, overnight attendants, carers, meals on wheels, stair lift fitters, wheelchair makers, and all manner of people and things which we need just to keep our independence. And who do you imagine are the home owners, the agency owners, the factory owners, the landlords and employers of those who we have to pay? Tory voters. They’re going to see lower profits because we won’t have the money to spend any more. This will mean fewer jobs amongst their employees because to a Tory voter that is preferable to asking them to take a wage cut or paying themselves less or even reducing their pricing. So there will be more unemployed putting an even greater strain on the services available, which will mean more cuts – I think you can already see the circle that will happen. And eventually Cameron will get what he *really* wants. You see, we won’t be dumped into residential homes because those are being closed and their funding is being cut, too. So we’ll end up in hospitals. A burden to State and man alike, taking up beds in institutions that are already understaffed, over subscribed, under funded and pretty much at breaking point. And then we will see the coup de grace. Cameron’s attempt to make the milk snatcher nothing more than a comedy side kick to his stage villain. He will declare the NHS untenable and close it. So the lower level of Tory voters may lose out in the short term, because we won’t have the money to stuff their pockets, but the higher levels, the doctors, dentists, surgeons and others, they will be delighted because yet again you will struggle to find the money to get your child vaccinated. A doctor visiting will only be for millionaires, an appointment at their plush offices will cost more than two months wages, our teeth will fall out, our eyes be strained, and we will not be able to afford to declare ourselves too ill to work, so he will win again, because only the rich will have such a luxury. His intent is to take a thick black marker to society and delete an entire class from it in one fell swoop. A coup de grace indeed. No different to the gas chambers of nearly a century ago, but without the advantage of hiding it behind a war this time it’s being hidden behind financial expediency. And every one of us who dies, commits suicide or stops fighting this dreadful future is as good as giving their approval for it to go ahead as far as Cameron is concerned. Frankly the gas chambers were a damned sight more honest.

    And if you think I’m being cynical, you come up with another path that this current action could take that doesn’t involve little green men from outer space or a Dickensian visitation.

  15. some of the lesser publicised things – about PIP. At the moment fi you get DLA mobility component before you’re 65 you continue to get it once 65 this won’t happen with PIP. When you reach 65 you won’t be entitled to PIP and will have to claim Attendance Allowance which has no mobility component so any of you older disabled people living say in South Warwickshire who voted Tory it’s you they’re attacking too.

    – No information at all about how long PIP will be paid if someone goes into hospital. If it’s removed after a short time disabled people could have cars and wheelchairs repossessed for being ill.

    – Severe Disability Premiums.going,going,gone with Universal Credit. Currently about £46 a week for those on Income Support and a uirther £46 a week towards needs allowance for Housing Benefits.

    – If you’re both disabled and a carer you can’t claim both premiums just one. Again a loss of about £50 a week for people.

  16. Shocking. Both my husband and I work part time – he’s a self employed gardener, I’m an administrator. He works part time to be home for our son, and also because he has back problems. Working more hours can aggrevate that. I work part time for my mental wellbeing as working full time just isn’t sustainable. We get both Working and Child Tax Credits at the moment. I can see the reintroduction of the workhouse …

    • You are in the same situation as my family. Husband used to work full time (Joiner), I was housewife to two children. After 8 years suffering with prolapsed discs (and the NHS refusing to operate), he lost his job. We decided the best option would be for him for find part time work in the hope of his condition stabilising (will never be better). Ironically he now works part time for the NHS!. I then took on a cleaning job (part time, term time) so am always able to take/collect children from school. How can they insist we both work full time?. Even if I was fortunate enough to find full time work, my husband simply couldn’t for very long. It would (again) result in his back condition returning (usually spends 3+ months on an air bed downstairs, drugged up), and me having to resign to be his carer. I’m terrified that they’ll insist he finds full time (or more hours) work. I’ve applied for many jobs recently, and keep landing interviews, to no avail. How long will they give us to find better/more hours work etc?. We’ve never taken any handouts before, and if my husband was a fit man, he’d still be supporting his family. How on earth are they getting away with this?. Where are all the jobs going to come from for us all to `improve’ our working pay/hours etc?. it took both of us 6 months to land the jobs we have now. My son is 12 now and I’d hate for him to have to leave an empty house every day and come home to darkness etc., during the winter. Come on folks, lets get this publicised as I’ve only just heard about this so it’s being pretty much kept quiet. As for disabled people, well I’m scared for my family, but you guys must be terrified. Who voted them in?.

  17. You have to find work when your youngest child is 12.

    Your youngest child then aged between 12 and 16 (soon to be 18) gets a bee in their bonnet and refuses to go to school, no matter what you do to entice them to go, or the skip school as soon as you have left them at the gates.

    You get hauled before the courts because it is your fault your child has refused to go to school.

    You get a criminal record and possibly sent to prison.

    You lose the job you have fought hard to get because your child – who may well be bigger than you – really doesn’t care that their not going to school is going to get you into trouble.

    You lose your home because you have lost your job (because of your criminal record) and you and your children become homeless.

    It will all be your fault (accordingto the stupid laws) even though your child knows right from wrong and you have done everything in your power to get them to attend.

    If you have no close family living with you, child could end up in care if you end up in prison.

    You can not then get a job because you are considered a criminal because your child (not you – you tried your hardest to get them to go remember), has decided they will not go to school.

    This has happened to people I know and very nearly happened to me – if it had not been for CAMHS proving that I had done everything in my power and saying they would represent me in court, I could have been one of those statistics – I do not drink, do drugs and before I was too ill to continue working, held down 2 jobs at once to pay my own way – yet because she refused to go to school, it was MY fault!!!

    These crazy proposals are going to make things much much worse, and it will result in even more destitute and starving families, and a lso, for those with moderate mental health probs who have tried to work, it will send them over their tipping points meaning they will never be able to work again or for a very long time due to the physical and mental damage done by this crazy system (rant over)

  18. Excellent article and superb responses. Below is a link to the Universal Credit factsheet on the Disability Alliance website which outlines what is currently known about Universal Credit and how it will effect carer’s, disabled and those in the “conditionality” clauses > http://www.disabilityalliance.org/f55.htm Please share this information and fight the “Coalition” with every inch of your being. Join 38 Degrees > http://www.38degrees.org.uk/ Don’t get angry, get organised. My care-giving is worth £39,420.00 a year. Does this surprise you? I don’t feel carers get a decent return on the massive contribution they make to society. Carers deserve better. My care-giving is part of a massive £119 billion that all carers contribute and save the taxpayer across the UK. If you are a care-giver and/or wish to support carers or calculate your worth as a carer go here and use the Care Calculator > http://www.carersuk.org/ Thank you.

  19. PS: This is the 38 Degrees link to fight the proposed Welfare Reform cuts > http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/cuts-to-support-email-mp A lot of MPs are uneasy about the cuts – a final, people-powered push from thousands of 38 Degrees members could convince them to do the right thing and back the Lords’ changes to the bill. Can you take 2 minutes now to email your MP and ask them to back the changes made by the Lords? Enter your postcode on the right of the webpage after the click to get started.

  20. Cameron is on a par with Saddam Hussein.. he committed genocide we know..But what is the difference between getting rid of a specific generation of people and a specific cross section of people because they are Ill, disabled etc.. in my mind nothing.. he is as bad as any dictator out there today, or in the past..Our parents and grandparents fought in 2 wars and died so we did not have to live in a fascist state!!!! well I was always lead to believe they did!! but this is fascism surely, or at least communism or a combination of the 2. The top and bottom is if you are in receipt of benefits for being Ill or have a Disability, David and his rich cronies don,t want you.. its like the aristocrats from bygone days when they used to walk around with pot pourrie under their noses when they came in contact with the Ill peasants!!!!
    I find it very distasteful that any human being can agree with any of these recommendations its criminal its in humane and the facts are people are commiting suicide ( i know of one person personally ) people are dying.. because they have been told they are fit to work and their money has been stopped .. the mental torture that ensued was too much to bear. I know this sounds too drastic to be true to you unbelievers (that no one should be exempt from work and certainly not getting handouts!! on the back of their taxes!!!) but its a sad fact of today.
    I worked for 32 years fulltime in the hotel and pub trade..I have been unable to work for the last 3 years due to a degenerative disease that was caused by me working 60 to 85 hours per week every week for 20 plus years..I am a fully paid up member of the UK and now well!!! oh the irony .the government of today don,t want to know me.. even though over the years me and my husband have paid in hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxes and NI contributions.and most disabled people still work today.. and most have worked in the past like me and contributed to the country in one way or another..now it has become acceptable to treat us as the lowest of the low and whoa betide any of us should have a half way decent life.!!! But on the plus side.. I suppose the miracle forms we are asked to complete on a regular basis should be the only thing the sick and disabled people should need.. because they are impregnated with a magic potion right!! that automatically makes them all fully recovered and ready for work…aren,t they??? that’s what the DWP thinks we will all miraculously get better!!! what part of the word DEGENERATIVE do they not get..Will the arms and legs which have been missing since birth regrow!!!! WELL
    ANSWERS ON A POSTCARD PLEASE.

  21. Would you mind if i printed a few of these off and left them round my local Work Programme office? lol

    Really great reading. I had heard of the WRB, but never gave it any thought. Since reading this, i’ve read the bill three times and shaking my head at every bit of it.

    Great post once again 🙂

  22. … and I might add this this is wrong too “There will now be a penalty for ‘under-occupation’….or that even if you’d like to downsize but can’t because there are no available properties in your area.”

    If there aren’t suitable local alternatives then you’re exempt. However, I believe it remains to be seen what’s considered a suitable alternative so we’ll have to wait and see on that one. There’s always the tactic of boarding up the window too; according to (the Dark) Lord Freud in the House of Lords, a spare room is a bedroom if it’s got a window in it. Block off the window then and it’s not a bedroom any more. I don’t know if a temporary blocking off would count, or even what would count as a temporary arrangement but nor does anyone else as like so much recent legislation this is rushed through without any proper thought so no-one knows how this is going to pan out. There’s no case law been developed for this aspect yet. But a good first move for anyone penalised for under-occupation would be to ask their landlords to block off the window, or maybe just move a wardrobe in front of it so it can’t be used then claim since it can’t be used ipso facto it’s got no window so it isn’t a bedroom. This situation is very dark I know but it isn’t black or white. The fat lady ain’t sung yet! 🙂

  23. are they building more prisons then iam on benefit married with 6 children and live in the south east of england i think if it gets as bad as it looks people will just take what they wont then live for free in jail for a few days only to be discharged and start all over again “up en @ em” ps i am in private rented house

  24. Just been with my partner to appt where she was referred for assessment for Aspergers after a life of struggle with mental and physical ill health and on Incapacity for last 12 years mostly,with breaks of low paid charity work. She has been called in for ESA ‘medical’ which i am sure will ignore this entirely and attempt to give her a mental health crisis, and god knows if she will ever get DLA/PIP even when diagnosed.
    We have a son,Francis,who is 6 tomorrow,and has,finally,after over two and a half years of struggle,got his assessment for Aspergers on Weds. This has probably finally arrived months after his GP was promised it,because the DWP have stopped his DLA and demanded more reports,unlike the previous two years strangely enough,cant think why. This of course means my carers allowance is also stopped. I am just starting part time work after years of caring for them both after my own breakdown,which is great,even though i only get £20 out of the £40 i earn after deduction from my Income support, because i feel good to be working even a bit.BUT, how is it going to help me back in to work to force me to have to fight two appeals,cope with £600 less a month,and most of all support a woman with Aspergers who is struggling to be a parent as it is,as she is bullied and abused by petty officials who know full well she has a history of self harming and suicidal depression resulting from undiagnosed Aspergers and more. This is not going to save money either because if we can’t cope,or if i have to work full time,Francis will have to leave his part time Steiner kindergarten where he is doing very well,(thanks to the DLA money),and go to state school and cost thousands in classroom support and endless meetings of officials for me to battle with to get his basic needs met and stop him being bullied to the point of breakdown,in an attempt to make sure he can actually succeed in life. The policy is utterly flawed,it is going to be a social and financial disaster, and i will fight it to the end with every other angry carer and all those affected,we have nothing to lose now,you have cornered us, it wont be pretty, and you won’t like it,CONDEMLABs…..

  25. I hope people will write to their MPs and draw their attention to these extremely worrying concerns. My own MP was unaware of some the aspects mentioned in this article and asked me to cite where in the Bill the work preparation requirement was mentioned! And he’s supposed to be scrutinising this damned legislation.

  26. Brilliantly written. Breath-taking in how far-reaching this all is. The Coalition disgust me. Some of you may already know that.

  27. And for those who have had £12pw knocked off your Housing benefit, which has been cut because firstly the Govt stopped building houses and put the housing problem in the hands of private lanldords, secondly having given endless grants and tax concessions to landlords never thought to regulate them , so they charge what they like….will think you can apply for some of the millions put into Discretionary Housing Allowance…well, be prepared..this is means tested by your councils…and they want proof..original copies of ALL your bills…including every receipt for every bit of food shopping you do…original copies of ALL loan agreements…and they don’t even send you an envelope, never mind a pre paid one…in other words, just forget it, cut down on your bills (turn the heating off, eat less) but still have the energy to go looking for work.

    Whoever voted Tory must be ruing the day…just remember…tories are for people who are MILLIONAIRES…tell your mates…stop it EVER happening again. When it all goes tits up, they’ll all bugger off the soem sunny island with their cash and have a right laugh at you /us all….

  28. i want to cry…. for all of us. what complete scum the government are. hitler springs to mind, he just got on with it and “got rid” of anyone he didnt want! whats next here for us……. how can they say GO TO WORK MORE HOURS? ASK FOR MORE SHIFTS/PAY??!! yeah,we can force the bosses to do this for us…….. sickening

  29. everyone should read this bill. Just remember who not to vote for in the next election.

  30. I recently noticed that in the past anyone over 60 could tick a box for free prescriptions, just take a look now, a very hush hush change is that now you need to be over 60 AND on guaranteed pension credit. Although it only says this in the notes. How many pensioners are claiming free prescription and are doing this leaving themselves open to prosecution.

  31. “If your household has a higher rate tax payer you will no longer be entitled to Child Benefit.”

    Is that the one where if you have 2 earners of £40,000+ each, ie Dave & Sam Cameron, they get the benefit but if you’re a single parent earning less you don’t?

  32. I have Asperger’s Syndrome and the only job offer I ever got was one to be a money mule, that is, to launder money illegally. I turned it down of course, but under this government at worst I could be forced to money launder as no honest employer knows I exist and my only attempt to change that filled my computer with spam.

  33. Steven Wiggins

    Nice writeup. One thing, Clause 54 in the WRB gives the government the power to send sick and disabled people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) to work for free with no time limit. They’ve said that they won’t use this power but that they need it, just in case. In Dave we trust?!?

  34. Reblogged this on anotheravenuetocomplain and commented:
    Another post from DarkestAngel32. If you read this, pass it on – this is the reality you aren’t supposed to see.

  35. is it actually the family, relatives and neighbours that are ignoring those effected by welfare reform? everything has to be pared back.

  36. There is one major change which is wrapped up in political language.You have missed, it as have most disability organisations including Disablilty Alliance and Benefits and Work. As well as time limiting the contributory element of ESA for those in the work related activity group, and ending the entitlement of younger disabled people, the welfare reform bill will also ‘align’ the earnings rules for contributory ESA to those of universal credit. In plain language this means that for ANYONE with either a partner earning or an occupational pension – even a small one – they will likely lose most or all of their contributory ESA entitlement.

    Currently, the earnings disregard for contributory ESA is £85 per week – this is for some types of supported work and also applies to occupational pensions. Partners earnings are not currently taken into account. The welfare reform bill is set to end this. Universal credit rules take earnings into account at a 65% taper rate – for each £1 you earn, you lose 65p in benefit – also applies to partners income. For those with occupational pensions they are taken into account pound for pound. These are the rules to which contributory ESA will be aligned, so for anyone with permitted earnings,or a partner earning (or in receipt of a pension) or on even a small occupational pension it will virtually wipe out contributory ESA entitlement, and I’m sorry everyone, but this applies just as much to those in the support group as anyone else.

    The government has not said when these changes will take place – only that it will be in the run up to implementation of universal credit. Much is being made of the fact that the government have ‘pledged’ that no-one will be worse off as a result of universal credit introduction – they are promising top up payments to maintain current levels of benefit for those who are ‘migrated’ by the DWP on to universal credit – these top ups will remain in place until the claimant has a change of circumstance of any type and then payments will be aligned with universal credit normal rates. What the government has not made clear is whether contributory ESA claimants subject to the new earnings rules will be protected in the same way.

    Now before you all jump on me for trying to defend those with other means, can I give you an example of my own circumstances. I have spina bifida and worked for 22 years – the last five of which were a living hell due to the worsening of my condition. I worked for a government department and I was sent for medical after medical, and early retirement on health grounds was mentioned several times – I fought it as I loved my job. Eventually I had to take it, and the doctor who signed off on it commented that he didn’t know how I had coped thus far. I receive a small pension (around £300 per month) and without contributory ESA (or incapacity benefit as it was when I began claiming) I would have either had to continue working or claim income related benefits.

    I know that people with even modest other means are very lucky, but my point is that I and others like me worked for as long as I could possibly manage it, and are now to be kicked in the teeth for that effort. I paid my taxes and national insurance – still paying tax on my pension because contributory ESA is taxable. I don’t know what I will do when my ESA finishes because with an occupational pension – even a tiny one – I will not qualify for anything under universal credit. When the chancellor proudly announced that he would ease the burden for higher rate tax payers by tapering the loss of child benefit, so that there was no benefit cliff, it made my blood boil. All you people out there who believe disabled claimants are scroungers, would do well to remember that under the tories even a measly pension means a massive benefit cliff edge in relative terms, while those in receipt of £50,000 a year salaries can still claim £80 odd a week in child benefit. How exactly is that fair ? The welfare state is supposed to be a safety net for when you need it most. This is what I thought it would be for me – not so. I will lose benefit along with countless others. So how come the safety net is still there for higher earners ? In my view those who can earn these kinds of sums have no business claiming ANYTHING from the welfare state. If we’re going to have massive cuts, lets be fair and start with cutting out this kind of expenditure on people who are perfectly able to look after themselves more than adequately.

    The only hope I have is that when it dawns on people that they are going to be affected in this way, they will make enough noise to be noticed, but I fear it will be too late to do anything about it by then. The government seems determined to have us all in the workhouse before long.

  37. In reply to phil feb 8 – it is not only the tories who have millionaires in their ranks so too does the liberals and new laboour. Because of the inadequacies of our labour run council and labour mp, I would be reticent to ask them to do anything on my behalf if past visits to civid centres and mp surgeries are anything to go by. I am no lover of the tories and am myself on work related esa even though I have agorophobia and rely on my family to take me out, perhaps they can suggest some work from home I can do?

  38. I would just like to add to my last posting that it was under a labour govt that sold off the council housing and if elected to power very rarely undo any of the policies put in place by the tories.

  39. whats happened to .the law states you have to have so much to live on .. surely if you get sanctioned its affecting your human rights i would take it to a eec court itl be like a muslum state with thousands begging on the streets …refugee camps thing is where are all these jobs coming from to give to disbled .and people on gov schemes .community service forieners etc

  40. This just makes me want to cry. I live rurally and realistically speaking when my son is at school my available hours for work will be 10-2, not including school holidays. The ideal job for me I suppose would be a lunch time escort and by that I mean the kind of escort that has sex with people for money. I cant think of any other job that would pay me enough given my available hours. Cheers tories, forcing single mums into prostitution. I dont even know if escorts work in the daytime so maybe even that job is out of the question!

  41. Reading this just makes me feel like ending it all, there will be nothing left for people like me by the time this set of bastards are done meddling. NOBODY will be safe, if you are ill or disabled, you will be left to starve on the streets, if you work part-time, you will be bullied into taking a second job or begging your employers for more money (I’m sure that’ll go down REALLY well with them, I can just see the unemployment figures rising even further), even full-time workers can be hauled into the job centres if the DWP see fit and the standard of living will crash through the floor as virtually everyone faces the prospect of being sanctioned if they aren’t seen to be “trying hard enough”, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it, because the government can rush through retrospective laws to undermine court judgements, employment laws and human rights legislation designed to protect ordinary citizens from people like Iain Duncan-Smith. What’s next? Workhouses for the poor? Benefit claimants banned from voting? We are being dehumanised bit by tiny bit, until we get to the point where we will have NO rights at all!

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