Sorry I’m wandering off in to politics again but as soon as you have a first brush with the destruction of our caring society, or you thoughtlessly believe one of the ludicrous statistical claims (made up) quoted by, say Ian Duncan Smith, and ‘leaked’ to the press then this applies to you. Come to your senses & start thinking. I’m not saying this could be you any more. If you live in the UK & you’re not rich then some of this WILL affect you, in the next few weeks, months or years. The Govt is dismantling the ‘free’ welfare state (that we finance & yes, I pay tax) in order to introduce paid for services. The welfare state includes benefits, the NHS & your state pensions. And I’m not prone to such sweeping left wing politics but there’s only so much proof that I need to believe it & I’ve seen mountains of it. I’m scared. But anyway….
This is a straight lift from a blog I’ve just come across - kittysjones.files.wordpress.com My apologies for ‘stealing’ it but I think she wrote the blog so that people would read it & I’ve had links to it sent to me from several different groups. Is all of it 100% true? I don’t know but I recognise a lot of the facts & they’re backed up by journalists on top British papers. Anyway, make your own mind up. At least I gave you a heads up.
I am the woman looking for that meaningful sex filled relationship but I’m also ill health retired & in receipt of benefits. I’m smart & I’m struggling with an appalling, single aim system. Those less well informed don’t stand a chance. I was pushed to the edge in the process & I know I’ll be pushed that far again. So now I live in fear as well as in hope. None of us is just one thing so this is also part of me now. Please open your eyes & see before you’re forced to stare this in the face by some life event or just the act of ageing. I’m not being overly dramatic. Don’t sleepwalk in to this, please.
Anyway this is what she wrote -
The Coalition’s Biggest Hits - Volume One
1. Introduced unpaid, unlimited workfare for those deemed too sick or disabled to work by their doctor.
2. Scrapped crisis loans and community care grants for the most vulnerable.
3. Severely reduced Legal Aid so that equal, fair access to justice is no longer preserved.
4. Increased VAT ensuring the poorest pay proportionately more in tax. Cut top tax rate to 45% giving millionaires a £40000 pa tax windfall.
5. Legalised state surveillance of all personal internet traffic.
6. Planning to curtail human rights, guaranteed by membership of the EU. That is written in their Program for Government, and has been planned from the very start.
7. Introduced charges for Child Support Agency, so that vulnerable single parents have to pay to get maintanance from absent fathers, for their children.
8. Introduced the Council Tax Bill, with the same unfair principles as the Poll tax Bill, sneaked in via the Localism Bill. The poorest will pay the most.
9. Sold off the publically owned and publically funded NHS to their sponsors and donors, and to Companies that many of them have financial interests in. Despite promises not to.
10. Sold off most of the Council housing stock. The numbers of homes built under the Tories are at levels lower than any time since the Second World War.
11. Rationed access to Health Services, to the detriment of patients, Closed A and E’s and the out of hours and walk in surgeries set up by Labour.
12. Halved Support for disabled children
Scrapped the “Youth Premium” for the most profoundly disabled children
13. Closed 250 Sure start centres, 124 of those closed in the first year of the Coalition.
14. Cut housing support for disabled people
15. Reduced contributions based ESA eligibility to just one year. This means many people living in households with other income lose their benefit
16. Cut Council budgets so they can no longer provide social care for some of the most vulnerable people
17. Introduced PIP to replace DLA, with the aim of cutting 500,000 vulnerable people from the figures before any assessments have happened.
18. Removed basic rate ESA for sick and disabled people for those wishing to appeal their ESA decisions from October 2013, whilst they await a mandatory review. From April 2013 for JSA.
19. Persistently lied to the public about Work Capability Assessments and failed to address the fact they are unfit for purpose while disabled people suffer and die.
20. Introduced targets – 7 out of 8 ESA claimants to lose their ESA, regardless of their significant illness and disabilities, which has meant even cancer patients have had to go to the job centre to look for work
21. Encouraged hate crime by using the “scrounger” and Nazi “burden on the State” style propaganda in speeches and in the media about the sick and disabled, and the unemployed, fed politicised press releases to the Media. Yet £66 billion goes unclaimed every Parliament in benefits.
22. Introduced authoritarian “monitoring” of the BBC, and other media , for “left wing bias”.
23. Lied about benefit fraud rates, and failed to apologise when they were rumbled.
24. Closing Remploy factories, throwing over 1500 working disabled people on the scrapheap
25. Fostering a divisive nation by using ideology of hate – low paid workers are set against benefit claimants, for example, in the speech about “making work pay”, which was simply a front for cutting welfare provision.
26. Cut respite care.
27. Suggesting in the PIP regulations that a sick or disabled person can “bathe” if they can wash above the waist only.
28. Re-classified paraplegics as “fully mobile” if they use their wheelchairs too well.
29. Lying about Workfare repeatedly to the press. The Tory Work Programme has delivered less than a 2% success rate, after they ignored NAO warnings it was a waste of money.
30. Falsifying internet documents and issuing press releases to make workfare look successful when it’s a corrupt sham.
31. Reduced employment, workers pay, and workers rights.
32. Fostered a Nation that prioritises profits over basic human needs
33. Generated more wealth for the very wealthy, and forced many others into destitution, bleak poverty and 60% of those using food banks are in work.
34. Given away a billion pounds of our assets in the form of schools, gifted to private corporations, in the name of academies, with the associated half a billion in legal costs paid out of our taxes. Sold off school playing fields.
35. Deliberately sabotaged the economy to profit a few, whilst inflicting austerity, misery and poverty on many, many others, because of a Tory ideological drive to dismantle welfare, and any other form of State support. And to support only the wealthy
36. Gap between wealthy and poor has widened, and many now living in absolute poverty as a result of policies that cut social security to below subsistence levels (JRF)
37. Are responsible for an average of 73 deaths per week of sick and disabled people as a consequence of “reform”, despite denial that is so, the Government have nonetheless refused to monitor and account for the deaths of those Atos has declared for to work, and those awaiting appeal.
38. Introduced the grossly unfair Bedroom Tax.
39. Made squatting illegal, and at a time when their own policies have led to a rise in homelessness.
40. Significantly reduced access to the provision of digital hearing aids through the NHS (again, the same rationing happened under the Thatcher Government).
41. Local Authority budgets reduced, and Every Child Matters - Labour’s comprehensive child protection and welfare policy - demolished the day after the Coalition got in office. Preventative social work is no longer funded effectively, only “crisis management” possible, and even that provision is now being rationed.
42. Introduced targets and financial incentives for euthanasia in hospitals, to “save health care costs”. This involves withdrawing food and fluids from “frail” patients, including sick babies.
43. Quietly removed key sections of the Equality Bill (Labour flagship policy) , rendering it much less protective of basic human rights.
44. Capped housing benefit, whilst private landlords are recouping a record amount of over £42 billion a year from tenants, rather than capping private rents.
45. Lost the Moody’s Investors Service triple A grade, despite pledges to keep it secure. Moody’s credit ratings represent a rank-ordering of creditworthiness, or expected loss.
46. Fitch credit rating downgraded due to increased borrowing.
47. Rail fare increased 20%
48. Public sector pensions decreased but contributions increased.
49. Reduced the consultation period for redundancies from 90 to 45 days
50. Removed the Severe Disability Premium from Income Support
51. Scrapped the Agricultural Wages Board. It was set up in 1948 to provide a fair wage and skills structure for agricultural workers
52. Tripled student fees, making higher education inaccessible to many
53. Set DWP targets to sanction benefit claimants unfairly, depriving them of a means of meeting their basic living needs.
54. Scrapped the Independent Living Fund.
55. Introduced Personal Independence Payments to replace Disability Living Allowance, with the aim of cutting benefit for more than 300,000 disabled people. Although Esther Mcvey said the Government has built ‘robust expectations of performance’ into PIP contracts with Atos Origin and Capita’, we know from that comment that this means inbuilt targets to reduce eligibility, since the anticipated saving was announced by Government PRIOR to any assessment.
56. There are now 600,000 less public sector workers than there were when the Tories came to Office.
57. The Universal Benefit Payment has forced families to move into squalid housing, typically defined as the lowest 33% of houses by rental value in an area. Given that 46% of private rental homes are deemed sub-standard, (ONS).
58. The UK Statistics Authority has rebuked David Cameron, Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith for their consistent misuse of government statistics. More than once
59. Failed to make permanent the Bankers’ Bonus Tax and profiteers in the City of London are still being rewarded, disproportionately, for taking unnecessary risks and they have also refused to cap bankers bonuses.
60. Refused to regulate the Fast Food industry. Instead, they asked their nudge unit to consider “fat taxes” on the poor. They even stopped obese people having access to some NHS operations. Unashamed of their deeds, one Tory MP said NHS Patients should pay for their medicines if they contract illnesses through “Lifestyle Choice”.
61. Guilty of blatantly sexist policies, the Tories have Tax Credits which impacts on women with children in particular that want to work, and accused feminists of holding back men.
62. The Tories have wasted more than £90 billion of taxpayers’ cash, on policy schemes that are doomed to failure.
63. The Tories have increasingly refused Freedom of Information Requests, and have changed the rules to make it easier for an FOI request to be refused.
64. The Tories have axed 5,000 fire men & fire women.
65. The Tories have axed 28,000 staff in police forces throughout the country.
66. The Tories have accepted £20 million of donations from people who have directly benefited from their corrupted policies.
67. The Tories scrapped the 50p rate of Tax, and in doing so have given a tax cut to millionaires.
68. Increased borrowing – admit they will now have to borrow well over a £150 billion extra this parliament because of their failed growth.
69. The numbers of workers paid LESS than the National Minimum Wage has grown under this government, with women being the worst affected.
70. The number of working households now relying on Housing Benefit to make their rent payments has doubled.
71. Deliberately underfunding and sabotaging the NHS, at the expense of patient welfare to justify full privatisation. Lying about funding.
71. Suicide rates have risen substantially, with links to austerity measures and government policy between 2010 and 2012 (Samaritans)
72. Cost of living has risen by 25% (a quarter) but benefits and wages have been frozen
73. When Labour left office NHS Patient Satisfaction was the highest it had ever been (73%). It has since taken a record slump to (58%). Just over half of people are now happy with what the NHS has to offer.
74. Post code health care lottery – children’s access to expensive cancer drugs now vary from trust to trust.
75. NHS treatments for cataracts, hip replacements, and physiotherapy, amongst other essential treatments, are no longer available free of charge on the NHS in some parts of England. In total, 22 treatments are now restricted.
76. Over 4,000 nurses have been axed under the Tories and thousands more have received redundancy notices.
77. Michael Gove scrapped EMA that the Institute of Fiscal Studies called ‘value for money’. His decision was not based upon the deficit since he first sought to scrap it in 2004.
78. Michael Gove has closed more than 200 schools at a time when class sizes are rising.
79. Michael Gove halved the funding on school meals decreasing the quality & nutrition and affecting childrens’ health. Increase in scurvy in children
80. Cancelled Labour’s plan to roll out free school meals for middle-class families at a time when evidence shows more families are in desperate need of the meals.
81. Infant mortality rates have started to rise again after a long period of them failing.
82. Ian Duncan Smith is forcing public sector workers to accept a 3% tax hike in their pension contributions against their will or any consultation.
83. Half of England’s Ambulance Stations are being shut down and sold off. In total, 591 hectares of NHS land is up for sale.
84. Gove refused to discuss Ofqual’s letter of concerns about the E-Bacc in front of the Select Committee. The one-off 3 hour replacement of GCSE English has been labelled dangerous, unequal, unaccountable and unprecedented.
85. George Osborne signed a record number of PFI deals in his first year in power that will cost the Tax Payer £33bn.
86. George Osborne raised an extra £41bn in taxes in 2011 at a time when the economy was struggling but cut taxes for the rich.
87. Gas Prices are up 31% under the Tories & 40% of families are on the brink of fuel poverty.
88. Food Banks have grown every year of this government and child poverty has also increased. The Tories have responded in various ways from trying to claim this as a success of the Big Society, saying that food bans provide “freebies” to denying poverty even exists in the UK
89. Female rates of redundancy are climbing at a faster rate than men. More than 80%+ of workers losing their job in the NHS are women. Huge wage differentials exist between men and women.
90. Despite violence against women climbing, and domestic abuse jumping 20%, one Tory MP drew parallels between the allegations of sex crimes, and smoking a joint. Refuges and shelters are closing because of Tory underfunding,
91. Halved redundancy notice from 90 to 45 days, the Tories persisted with blaming workers for their declining rights. One Tory MP cruelly judged that British Workers were among the ‘Worst idlers’ in the World.
92. David Cameron has now abolished Equality Impact Assessments meaning that we now have less equal services for disabled, elderly, LGBT citizens.
93. Michael Gove cancelled a plan to rebuild 715 crumbling schools thereby ensuring that all Labour’s great advancements in updating our school infrastructure were put on hold.
94. At least 570,000 more households (1.2 million people) were forced into fuel poverty in one single day when energy companies announced a massive price hike in the winter of 2012.
95. Andrew Lansley & David Cameron ignored a Tribunal Ruling to publish Risk Register.This Risk Register if published could have saved lives as it would have led to an improved mitigation response to the Tories new NHS impositions. It has yet to be published
96. The security arrangements for the Olympics, arranged by the Tories wasted taxpayers’ money, and payed a company £80 million+ for failure, a Tory MP had the audacity to mock the Olympic Ceremony as “Leftie Multi-Cultural Crap”. It has also come to light that the same security company G4 has been robbing the tax payer blind in what is now a police investigation.
97. 74% of GPs say that there has been a reduced entitlement to treatments on the NHS this year.
98. 600,000 people will go bankrupt under this government.
99. 2012 saw record high Clinical Negligence payouts totalling more than £1.2 billion. This is a £500 million increase than payouts under Labour. Each claim takes on average 1.3 years, so the 2012 payouts were for errors in 2010-11.
100. 25,000 businesses have already gone bust under this government.
101. 11,000 Hospital Beds have been axed in 2 years. We now have the lowest number of hospital beds in our NHS in living memory.
102. 10,000 students GCSE English Results were debated in a High Court as Michael Gove oversaw a belated altering of the grade boundaries that unduly punished some students by as much as 2 grades.
103. A benefit cap was brought in that will save just a 110 million a year while the Tory party still ignore the loss of 25 billion in tax avoidance.
104. Iain Duncan Smiths universal credit scheme has turned into a multi billion pound disaster with the software unable to cope on a national roll out.
105. The bedroom tax has not saved a penny and is now costing a lot more money, as those who are affected are having to claim for private rents, that is, if they are not homeless or living in caves around Stockport.
Now I am pretty sure that not every ‘fact’ here is indeed a fact. I’ve done my research & I’m pretty up to date with what is going on to the point that I cry almost every day about it. There are repetitions of claims & some are straight spouting of the more extreme type left wing bias. No side is right or wrong about everything, surely we all know that? Nobody has all the answers. But there is far more that is fact than fiction, the majority is fact, of the sort you, and I, brush off because we’re too busy living to notice or care. But that’s my point, you, we, need to be aware. I’m far from rich nor am I that poor yet these changes are already very negatively impacting my life & my anxiety levels have gone through the roof. I now live in fear. Unless you too fall in to the ‘I’m rich & I got a tax cut because I deserve it’ group then, in even the short term, the only thing you will become is poorer with fewer rights and nothing to fall back on if things go wrong.
I agree strongly that we need to provide incentives to keep the best brains & businesses living & working in the UK. I actually think we should pay our politicians more, in salary, because most could earn far more out in the real world & because most need to keep 1/2/3+ other real world jobs to allow them to work for less as an MP. These other jobs have a nasty tendency to involve working for companies that are looking for some kind of benefit from a connection to those that make the law. That’s not healthy & that’s how we got in this mess. Pay them more, ban them from holding down other jobs, paid or unpaid, that influence their behaviour as MPs.
But above all start thinking if any of the points above may ever affect you and yours. If at least one of them doesn’t have the potential to have a negative impact on your life I’d be incredibly surprised. A multitude of them are already impacting on mine. And they’re not even the beginning of the full story. Please read this and then just stop & think. And don’t believe that just voting Labour will save us, they’ve not made any serious commitments to changing any of this yet & they may well promise they will & then not do it when they’re in power. Because, if you haven’t noticed, that’s exactly how all political parties work.