Archives For December 2013

RealFare: Back Soon

kamsandhu —  December 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

RealFare will be back next year. In the meantime, we will be using the holiday period to strengthen and put in place some new ideas and projects ready for 2014, to make us a better site and voice.

If there’s anything you would like to know, suggest, contribute or if there is something you want us to investigate, do get in touch at – we’d love to hear from you.

While we are gone, check out the articles from the past 8 months. Thank you for visiting RealFare. We will be back in early January.

We will still be Twittering & Facebooking, so follow and like us if you haven’t already, and you can stay updated.

Thank you!



Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

kamsandhu —  December 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

Image: The Guardian

Image: The Guardian

George Osborne is expected to give the Autumn Statement at 11.15 AM. Watch live by clicking here.

George Osborne Image: The Mirror

George Osborne Image: The Mirror

This excellent post from Same Difference explains how the DWP set targets for ATOS for the outcomes of the Work Capability Assessment. The DWP and Iain Duncan Smith have been able to use ATOS as a blaming tool and remove themselves from responsibility – but it IS the DWP setting the targets, demonstrating that this process is ultimately a culture inside government which needs to be removed. Labour may have promised to sack ATOS, but unless they halt the processes and target setting from inside government, then the problems will continue with another healthcare contractor.

Same Difference

Cross posted with the permission of the brilliant campaigner Kaliya Franklin, who wrote the report.


Why are so many sick and disabled people being failed by the Work Capability Assessment and who is to blame?

1. The contract between DWP and Atos Healthcare specifies all costs and solutions MUST be based around an artificially imposed ‘statistical norm’ for the Support Group of 11% (which has since been allowed to rise slightly). This ‘gears’ the whole WCA system to deliver that ‘desired result’.
2. The manner in which the audit system is used within Atos Healthcare, including whistle-blower evidence of ‘punitive auditing’, means there is insufficient latitude for assessors to freely use their professional judgement about an individual’s true fitness for work.

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA), used to determine eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaces Incapacity Benefit, has been dogged with problems since its inception. Department…

View original post 1,105 more words

Boycott Workfare have called for a week of action against government policy and companies supporting workfare, and the use and abuse of benefit claimants for free labour. Yesterday they held a Noise Demo outside a workfare conference:

Workfare puts pressure on wages and reduces paid jobs. Take some action this week by writing to companies, MPs and government and join the protest. Keep up to date with what is going on through the Boycott Workfare website this week. There is plenty of action planned.

To find out more, read our previous articles:

Workfare: The Facts

Workfare: What You Need To Know – An Interview with Boycott Workfare

Unfair Workfare: The Stories

Media: Workfare In The News

Corporate Benefits: Workfare



1)   WOW Petition hits 100,000 signatures


Image: WOW Petition

Image: WOW Petition

The WOW petition, calling for a re-assessment of welfare reform and an end to the Work Capability Assessment, sanctions and forced work for the sick and disabled has hit its 100,000 signature target.

This means that it shall now be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

The petition was started by comedienne, writer and disability rights campaigner Francesca Martinez, and has been branded as the petition to stop the War On Welfare.

The WOW petition also calls for independent inquiries into ATOS, care home charges and the closure of Remploy factories.

This follows the news of another successful petition which calls on Minister for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith to answer MPs on the failures and problems of welfare reform, which he is due to attend on 9th December.

Read more about this story here.

2)   NHS must be preserved from commercial interests who want to privatise, says Stephen Hawking

World famous physicist, Stephen Hawking has called for protection of the NHS from privatization, insisting he would have died without it.

Hawking, who developed motor neurone disease at the age of 21, said during filming of a Channel 4 film:

“Only last summer, I caught pneumonia, and would have died, but for the NHS hospital care. We must retain this critical public service, and prevent the establishment of a two-tier system, with the best medicine for the wealthy, and an inferior service for the rest.”

The film will be shown on C4 this Wednesday.

Image: Christian Medical Comment

Image: Christian Medical Comment

Read more about this story here.

3) Workfare Week of Action

Boycott Workfare will begin a week of action on Monday 2nd December against the government policies that force benefit claimants to undertake full time work for no pay or under threat of losing their benefits.

The week of action kicks off with a noise demo outside Senate House where a government workfare conference is taking place, alongside the potential ‘employers’ of workfare.

Find out more about the week of action here.

4)   Boris Johnson defends the rich and greed, but not the sick, disabled or unemployed

In the Margaret Thatcher lecture, Boris Johnson defended the super-rich again and insisted that greed was a valuable ‘economic spur’ whilst also adding that where success is measured, we should not ignore the IQ levels of those in high places.

Well, we had a lot to say about that.

Read our open letter. 


Image: One World Chronical

Image: One World Chronical

by Kam Sandhu @KamBass