1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000
The National ME/FM Action Network in Canada is competing for $100,000 for biomedical research of ME and FM in the Aviva Community Fund contest. With thanks to all who helped, they made it through the first round of voting into the Semi-Finals.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Daily Mirror: "The sympathy is greater for badgers than for disabled welfare claimants"

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Firestormm, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

    Messages:
    5,824
    Likes:
    5,982
    Cornwall England
    Take from the ME Association here.

    I sadly feel that it will take disabled people igniting themselves with petrol outside Parliament before anyone really gets behind efforts to improve the fairness of the system.

    We all know that money is an issue and that some means of assessment is necessary; but it would help enormously in my opinion: if a) a definition of 'work' were to be attached to the assessment process for unemployment related disability benefits; and b) the questions were more work-related.

    Greater account does need to be taken of chronic and fluctuating conditions. It really does worry me that the move to Universal Credit (mentioned also in this article), is from the inside looking like another example of 'great idea' poor planning and resourcing; big stick small carrot.

    There is little incentive for Government to listen. Maybe if the same approach as is now feeding into the NHS were applied: where patient approval is becoming part of healthcare targets but it was linked to numerical rewards? ... I don't know.

    Who the heck can get involved to the extent they must when they are sick? Hard enough trying to keep up with the forms and requests for evidence - not to mention attendance at 'medical' interviews.

    One lives in a world of constant fear. It's far easier being at work! Talk about rock and a hard place :(
     
    Izola, MeSci, taniaaust1 and 7 others like this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,722
    Likes:
    12,638
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Firestormm , that is why I wrote this: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...fists-version-of-a-nuclear-hand-grenade.1045/

    I do not believe that most people are evil, nor that the British people are evil. I think most people are good, even in governments that are doing evil. What it takes is for something to send a message: here be evil, will the good please stand up and be counted?

    I don't think people who are well understand that. It sounds so easy to just sit back, don't work, and the government throws bushels of money at you. They don't see the reality.

    I would much rather be working. The options I would have as a worker would make all my current options pale by comparison. The stress would be so much less - and my situation is not as bad as many in the UK. It probably would not even take more than two afternoons or mornings per week for me to be better off. Yet its not an option.

    It can feel less like being between a rock and a hard place, then being in an avalanche of rocks, in the middle of a hurricane near an active volcano while a surrounding herd of rampaging dinosaurs is rioting from panic. In other words, it can be emotionally overwhelming for some, and logistically a nightmare with no options that offer much hope.
     
    MeSci, rosie26, Firestormm and 3 others like this.
  3. ~ Ariel

    ~ Ariel

    Messages:
    63
    Likes:
    95
    Cornwall, UK
    Watching the recent badgers "ooh-ah" ufold on the news, I must say, I thought the same - also , sadly (all politics aside):The sympathy seems greater for badgers than for the current civilian atrocities in Syria? -
    Back to topic:I share your indignation on the benefits testing issues in England, Firestormm ~ And I do think that the general public's attitude to the issue matters - much media spin has taken place, imo, in the last couple of years, to whip up the masses to a fenzy along the lines of benefit claimants are just lazy ,etc etc...As long as public opinion will condone the iniquity of the system, the Powers that be shall carry on these bullying, unfair tactics, methink....
     
  4. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes:
    2,849
    WA, USA
    I agree; it would be better and easier to work, and it would not take much work to be better off than presently. Yet what's not possible is not possible.

    No one would hire me even for piecework done on my PC at home because I forget stuff, I forget how to do stuff, and it takes far too long to get anything done.
     
  5. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes:
    4,944
    Who was the politician that ridiculously claimed that anyone who could watch TV is fit to work in a job? It was an eye opener when I read that the UK public believe that 27% of welfare claims are fraudulent (it is 0.7%). Helps to explain a lot.

    Indeed. Who wants to pay for several hours worth of lower quality work if a healthy person can do it in 1 hour? On the other hand, if the patient charges according to the final product, they may be severely underpaid for the work done.
     
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

    Messages:
    8,307
    Likes:
    5,250
    Sth Australia
    Well that happens where I are in Australia, those who have intellectual disability are used to do work and paid next to nothing for it
     
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,722
    Likes:
    12,638
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Yes taniaaust1 , intellectually disabled are given work here at slave labor rates. I know more than a little about that, having been to see such facilities and been involved in discussions about them, though not in recent years. In general though its seen as a way to give the disabled a feeling of being involved in the community, with a "paycheck". Many have been disabled for life and have no experience of these things. They also don't have an overseer with a whip, and participation is voluntary.

    There are deep moral and ethical questions here, and its all murky.

    Politicians world-wide are way too much into negative politics. This leads them to pick on minor, trivial or irrelevant facts, claims or suspicions, and make great mileage off it. I wonder how much this has led to the current trends in negative reporting on the disabled? In a culture of negativity, is it surprising that negativity dominates disability issues? That evidence is irrelevant for the most part? That reason has been retired?

    When I turn on the TV at the moment all I see is negative attack adverts for the election in two days. Who is giving a positive, thoughtful and statesmanlike vision of Australia's future? Nobody.
     
    MeSci and WillowJ like this.
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    I have just read what may be some good news, but more will be revealed in next Thursday's BBC Radio 4 programme The Report. You can read about it here.

    I've been struggling in self-employment for years, earning a pittance, most of my income comprising Working Tax Credit, trying to develop a less-strenuous business while still keeping the strenuous one ticking over, and still not there after 3 years due to various aspects of my illness. I'm even struggling significantly with my accounts this year due to brain fog.

    But it's still less stressful than trying to claim sickness benefits.

    I was dreading being called up for a Work Capability Assessment and losing my Working Tax Credit due to not managing to earn enough, when the Universal Credit system was rolled out.

    Now it looks as though it will be delayed. Maybe I will reach state pension age before they get to me. That's really my most likely salvation. I have finally been taken out of poverty after 18 years by the maturation of two small occupational pensions, but if I lose my Working Tax Credit it will be back to poverty again, albeit closer to the final security of the state pension.
     
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    Bother - just went to start a thread to notify people of the programme tonight, and they have changed the subject matter (as the BBC often does).

    So apologies if you tried the above link and got details of one of the suspected Nairobi bombers instead.

    This link is about Universal Credit but dates from 5th September.
     
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    Maybe it was Ian Duncan Smith.

    The BBC Radio 4 programme on Universal Credit has finally been broadcast - last night - and Duncan Smith was heard to claim in a speech that there was 'fraud on a massive scale' in the benefits system! (I think that was the phrase, but you can check by listening.)

    It's in a way analogous to the psychoquacks in that I wonder whether they really believe their nonsense or are being knowingly misleading, and in that the public take it on board without question, and that it gets vigorously fanned by the media. Result: neglect and demonisation of some of the most powerless and vulnerable people.

    One slight difference with IDS (as he is known for short) is that he comes across as not that bright, so he may be being fed this rubbish by someone else and just being the mouthpiece.

    It is very worrying, as it has hints of Nazism about it. But then the Tory party always did pick on the vulnerable. It's why they are often called the 'nasty party', an epithet that they keep trying to cast off, claiming that they have changed.

    You can hear the programme here.
     
  11. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes:
    12,600
    South of England
    In the BBC radio program, Ian Duncan Smith said: "The current system, a mess of multiple benefits, paid at varying rates, is open to widespread abuse, the result is massive error and fraud, costing our country an almost unbelievable £5bn, wasted."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03c4htq


    Here are the facts:

    0.7% of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to fraud in 2012/13.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...chment_data/file/203097/nsfr-final-090513.pdf


    Here are some interesting extracts from a blog about UK benefits expenditure:

    "In 2010/11 welfare and disability benefits (excluding pensions and housing benefit) were roughly 5.4% of national expenditure."

    "...an average earner, in 2010-11 (median income = £19600), would have paid 1.8% of their total income (i.e. £7 out of £377 per week) towards all welfare benefits." (And this figure includes paying their national insurance contributions for any of their own future welfare needs.)

    http://democracyuk.blogspot.com/2013/03/this-blog-looks-at-how-much-each-uk.html


    Here is a very interesting Guardian interactive graphic that outlines UK government expenditure for each government department in the years 2010/2011:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/oct/26/government-spending-department-2010-11
     
    rosie26, MeSci, Valentijn and 2 others like this.
  12. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,876
    Scotland
    The biggest welfare expenditure is on pensions.

    A massive amount goes on Income Support - towards topping up obscenely low wages paid by massive multinationals - who evade paying tax.

    And a huge amount goes of the wages of the staff who administer the benefits - keeping them employed.

    The actual money given to the unemployed and disabled is tiny.
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  13. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    There is a radical alternative system that some people support, called Basic Income/Citizens' Income. It's a flat-rate amount paid to everybody - enough to pay for the basics. People can earn money on top. It removes the need to pass judgement on one's fellow-citizens (wouldn't that spoil some people's sport?!), cuts expenditure on benefit staff substantially, and provides a safety net for all.

    If you do an internet search you will find more about it. I think there are a few different variations on the model.
     
    Bob likes this.
  14. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,876
    Scotland
    That's a model my OH and I have discussed often over the years. Excellent notion.:thumbsup:

    My bugbear is VAT - a disproportionately large % is paid by the poor. It's a completely obscene tax.
    Folk on low wages and/or benefits should be exempt from it.
     
    MeSci, Sasha and Valentijn like this.
  15. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    I'm old enough to remember the introduction of VAT. It was supposed to be just on luxuries, or so we were led to believe. Surprise surprise - it has crept into ever-more things, so that now it is even applied to renovating a house but not to building a new one, although some is refundable!o_O

    It is so absurdly complicated that it just looks like job creation for snowflake-counters...
     
  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,876
    Scotland
    Full VAT on female sanitary protection, right from the start.:mad:
    thanks to that vile witch.
     
  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    Are you sure that it wasn't a male colleague who reasoned that sex is essential but menstruation is optional, hence the free availability of contraception but VAT on sanitary protection? :lol:
     
    peggy-sue likes this.
  18. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes:
    4,624
    Cornwall, UK
    Some good news for anyone who hasn't been notified direct - Iain Duncan Smith is going to be questioned by the UK Work and Pensions Committee about his (ab)use of statistics. You can read about it here.

    Here is the government site page about it.

    Shame it's not chaired by Margaret Hodge - she is ferocious!
     
    biophile, Firestormm, Bob and 3 others like this.
  19. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes:
    134
    Cornwall, UK
    Thanks, will have that bookmarked to watch! As you say, shame it won't be Margaret the terrier.

    I wonder if someone will be able to ask why the stats relating to those who have died since dropping off ESA's radar have not been released. I had read that a Canadian man has been pursuing the Dept for this info but told that the previous figures were ad hoc and there was no intention to carry on collecting them.

    I wonder why........
     
  20. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes:
    12,600
    South of England
    At last, a report that skewers Iain Duncan Smith's welfare policies
    We Are Spartacus releases its 'almanac of condemnation', a devastating critique of welfare reforms backed with case studies.
    Alex Andreou.
    theguardian.com
    Monday 9 December 2013.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/iain-duncan-smith-welfare-policies



    The People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment.
    We Are Spartacus.

    http://wearespartacus.org.uk/wp-con...-WCA-Further-Evidence-December-2013-final.pdf


    .
     
    Firestormm and biophile like this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page