What We Learned Last Week (10/02 – 16/02)

kamsandhu —  February 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

1) One in seven households face eviction due to ‘bedroom tax’

A survey by the National Housing Federation has revealed that two thirds of households affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ since it was brought in, in April, have fallen into rent arrears. Further, one in seven households affected have received eviction risk letters and face losing their homes.

The survey is one of three reports all released on Wednesday, to highlight the negative impact of the ‘bedroom tax.’

The disability charity Papworth Trust, sat that a third of disabled people affected by the bedroom tax have been refused discretionary housing payments which act as emergency financial help. The government had previously promised that these payments would be given to disabled people in adapted homes needing help, as a priority.

The reports came on a day surrounding the spare room subsidy as Labour announced their promise to abolish the tax.

Image: The Mirror

Image: The Mirror

Read more about this story here.

2) Archbishop calls welfare reforms a ‘disgrace’

The Archbishop of Westminster, Britain’s most senior Catholic, has called Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms a ‘disgrace’ which remove even the most basic safety net from those facing hunger and poverty and leaves people with nothing for not filling out forms properly.

Vincent Nichols’ words follow other attacks from other prominent Church figures against the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who is a practicing Catholic.

The Archbishop said:

“But I think what is happening is two things: one is that the basic safety net that was there to guarantee that people would not be left in hunger or in destitution has actually been torn apart.

“It no longer exists and that is a real, real dramatic crisis. And the second is that, in this context, the administration of social assistance, I am told, has become more and more punitive.”

Read more about this story here.

3) FOI reveals extent of ‘sanctions regime’

The true extent of the government’s sanction regime has been revealed in an Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Minister for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, has repeatedly denied that the new system of sanctioning brought in on 3rd December 2012 does not set targets for sanctions by pressurising workers.

Yet, the FOI revealed that 85% of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants who saw their benefits slashed or removed had never been sanctioned previously.

This calls into question the motives behind the new regulations for sanctions. The Work Programme, thought to have cost around £3-5bn, has been branded a failure which lets down the sick and disabled.

Image: celebpictu

Image: celebpictu

Read more about this story.

4) Water Cannon Public Meeting – Email your opinion in NOW to stop Water Cannon reaching our streets

A public meeting will be held today at City Hall to hear people’s views on water cannon. Many people are attending in protest at this hugely violent weapon being brought to our streets.

The event page says:

“The police are working with the government to attempt to introduce water cannons across England and Wales to deal with “anticipated street protests as a result of ongoing austerity measures”.

“Water cannons don’t just get you a bit wet and cold.

“The high-pressure jet of water is capable of ripping out your eyes. (WARNING! GRAPHIC CONTENT: http://thethirdestate.net/2010/12/the-truth-about-water-cannons/). The police themselves are open about the fact that water cannons are “capable of causing serious injury or even death”.

“On the evening of 17 February 2014, a little-publicised public meeting is taking place at City Hall on the possible introduction of water cannons, hosted by the Deputy Mayor and the Met Police. We need to make sure they understand loud and clear there is NO PUBLIC CONSENT for the introduction of these life-destroying weapons on our streets.”

Tell the public consultation what you think about water cannons via watercannonengagement@mopac.london.gov.uk

Visit the event page here.

Watch the two minute video on the Truth about Water Cannon here:

by Kam Sandhu @KamBass





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