Self-help support vs ravages of 'welfare reform'. Never attend anywhere official alone!
This blog currently focuses on national policy matters that impact upon KUWG members.
Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group as a group focuses primarily on combating benefits injustices locally through advocacy in individuals' benefit claims, and demonstrations that emphasise that there is hope when we come together. We are more angry than frightened.
FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE CLAIMS POOR PEOPLE NEED HELP WITH THEIR DEBTS;
QUITE SO BUT THE POOREST NEED HELP WITH THEIR INCOMES TO PREVENT DEBT.
for Social Justice has just discovered that "Problem debt can have a
corrosive impact on people and families" in a report called "Maxed Out".
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)
was set up by Iain Duncan Smith while he was in opposition and
recommended the welfare reforms we now experience and that are in the
pipe line with the Universal Credit.
all government reports the CSJ refuses to acknowledge in "Maxed Out"
incomes must be raised to meet the a minimum cost of living in order to
prevent poverty related debts and their consequent "corrosive impact".
An otherwise very useful report is spoilt by "This vision rested on recognising that using money alone to combat disadvantage, as important as income is, is too narrow an approach".
is a point at which money alone must combat disadvantage and prevent
debt. That point has been passed when an unemployment benefit of £71.70
is not only 42% of the Joseph Rowntree minimum income standard but is
also being hit by the council tax, the bedroom tax, the £500 overall benefit cap and the 1% freeze in annual increases. .
The coalition was warned by others time and again in 2012 that caps, cuts and council tax would create debt.
the passage of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the Local Government
Finance Act 2012, which started the taxation of benefits with the
council tax by local authorities, the attention of Lord Freud was drawn
to the Government Office for Science in 2008 report "Mental Capital and Well being". I quote
"Debt. There is a strong case for Government to work with financial organisations and utility companies to break the cycle between debt and mental illness. Recent research has indicated that debt is a much stronger risk factor for mental disorder than low income. A range of possible interventions are suggested: a greater awareness of the link between mental health and debt by banks and financial institutions; and measures by utility companies to handle arrears better."
was present on behalf of Zacchaeus 2000 Trust when the Royal College of
Psychiatrists warned Lord Freud about the relationship between debt and
The coalition would not change their policies in 2012 to prevent the misery now reported by the CSJ.
Caps, cuts and council tax are now wreaking havoc in the lives of the poorest citizens.
FROM THE BBC NEWS WEBSITE.
"BBC home affairs editor Mark Easton said the poorest people could often
access banking and credit only at a premium, with onerous terms making
it more likely they would go overdrawn and suffer penalty charges.
Mr Christian Guy (Director of CSJ)
said the poorest people in the UK were "cut off from mainstream banking
and have no choice now but to turn to loan sharks and high-cost
The report says payday lenders have increased business from £900m in 2008/2009 to more than £2bn in 2011/2012.
says more than 26,000 UK households have been accepted by councils as
homeless in the past five years because of mortgage and rent arrears.
Chris Pond (a former Labour Work an Pensions Minister) said that "with
falling real incomes and increasing costs of basic essentials, many,
especially the most vulnerable, are sliding further into problem debt.
"The costs to those affected, in stress and mental disorders, relationship breakdown and hardship is immense.
so too is the cost to the nation, measured in lost employment and
productivity and in an increased burden on public services."