Food Stamps Abandoned … For Now

foodstampsThe bill to introduce a food stamps style scheme has been abandoned by the attention seeking wannabe spiv,  Alec Shelbrooke, who dreamed up the scheme.

Shelbrooke has attempted to make a name for himself by proposing all benefits should be paid on ‘smart cards’ with the Government having control over how claimants spent the money.

This ludicrous idea came despite Iain Duncan Smith’s insistence that all benefits be paid in cash on a monthly basis.  Both ideas are equally stupid.  Under Shelbrooke’s plans claimants would have been unable to access telephones, stationary, hair dressers, launderettes, and crucially internet access – making it not just impossible to look for work, but also use the new ‘digital by default’ benefits systems.  Under Iain Duncan Smith’s obsession with ‘direct payments’, even those with drug, alcohol or gambling problems will be given Housing Benefit – the payment which claimants can now have sent direct to landlords – in a monthly cash sum.

Shelbrooke’s bill was due for its second reading in early March but has now been withdrawn by the MP.  This follows revelations that Lord Fraud’s smart card and jam jar schemes for so called ‘vulnerable’ claimants have also been abandoned.

Whilst some local authorities are considering smart cards and vouchers for the soon to be scrapped Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants, it seems that any national roll out of a food stamps style scheme will not be happening this during Parliament at least.

The inept clowns at the DWP can barely manage to run a website or welfare to work scheme without fucking it up as publicly as possible.  The last thing Iain Duncan Smith needs is back-benchers like Shelbrooke trying to make a name for themselves by proposing a system that manages to be both the direct opposite of the Government’s current welfare policies, but is also equally shit.

Shelbrooke will now disappear back down the sewer he came from.  With any luck Iain Duncan Smith, Lord Fraud and the skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban, will not be far behind.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


85 responses to “Food Stamps Abandoned … For Now

  1. @johnny void. But how will these cards be used when capita start running it? Blimey they. will start looking like a bank next what with loans and cards.

  2. The bill introduced and now withdrawn by Shelbrooke was obviously just a dry run for the Government’s own introduction of benefit smart cards in the next parliament.

    I can imagine the line spun by the Tories in say 2016, “we know, from the reception received by a Private Memeber’s Bill introduced in 2012, that the principal of a benefit smart card is widely supported by the taxpayer, and we want to make sure benefit money is used only for essential items and is not wasted on luxuries…”

    We haven’t heard the last of this idea…

    • Oh, and the above is also a warning of what we face if we do get a full-fat Tory government in 2015. Make sure that doesn’t happen!


        Labour are on average ten points ahead of the Tories so at the moment we are heading for a Labour landslide. I can’t see the Tories catching up unless they do something very dramatic like deporting the ONE MILLION illegal immigrants we have in this blighted ‘country’. As we have an evil, globalist anti-British, gormless fuckwit called David Cameron mismanaging us at the moment that is unlikely to happen. Frankly, most voters have dismissed this inept shower of shite that calls itself our ‘government’ as totally incompetant and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

        • something survived...

          One million?

          If anyone needs deporting (to the moon?) it is the BNP and all its supporters.

          If we had MORE immigration (‘legal’ and otherwise) the UK *could* become a more mixed and tolerant place.

          Most people living in the UK would need to be chopped into hundreds of pieces and sent around the world in order to correctly repatriate them.
          These ideas should have died with Powell and Moseley. Hopefully they will die with Farage and Griffin.

    • Smart cards are a non-starter… doomed like the coalition to the scrapheap of stupid ideas and the Taxpayers don’t give a shit if somebody on benefits wants to spent it on Booze, Women, Betting, Drugs or other things. Reality is if that is how they spend it then they will only have themselves to blame and no recourse if they cannot buy food, pay the rent or utilities… Quite frankly all cards would do is stigmatize anyone on benefits further and also create debt where maybe once it never existed… one cannot dictate and portion in life where people should and should not spend their money.. that goes for benefits too, I know some countries adopt this scheme but quite frankly it does create more problems than it solves. And I’m sure the taxpayers will also be happy to know how much it will cost them to roll another pending disaster out… far more than would be saved under the presumption benefit users waste their money.. reality is more money has been wasted by this government since it came into office and will continue to do so than anyone on benefits… what do the taxpayers think about that?… do we like it?. Why not indeed support it so we can flush what is left of this country down the toilet before we have time to even fully understand what is said and done and hope as the last turd exits it’s followed by a second turd called Lib-Dems… some people like to polish turds by they still stink to high heaven.

      Most people on benefits have to supplement many aspect of their paying out and juggle money across the month, the restriction on such a card would make this impossible to do and contrary to popular belief many people on benefits still have their pride intact which is not foolish pride by those who support this coalitions assault on the mentally and physically disabled, not to mention the unemployed, law of averages one day they will need the help of the welfare state.. god help them. Also it’s important to see where all this is heading, the fact is people on benefits hardly spend their money on luxuries but to try and control what they spend their money on is heading into very serious territory which could lead to the kind of scenarios we saw with Maggie’s poll tax disaster.

      Tories Monetarism is doomed and you will see again the rise of the Tory wets who cast long shadows over those kissing Thatcher’s butt in the 80s and without resistance towards these insane policies we shall be right back in the 80s again… this coalition is not helping the country it’s destroying the country for every normal man woman and child under the guise of empty words… what ever did happen to the PM’s “Big Society”.. I can tell you it’s turned into a giant political kraken and if it’s constantly poked and prodded and pushed around it’s going to wake up and bite coalition heads off. There are limits on how far you can push Human Rights under the immunity of party policy whilst trying to preach democratic and so-called moral ideals when those who attempt to enforce this will are the most immoral and decadent, a case of “Do as I say, not as I do” and “Be grateful I give you an option”.

  3. Pingback: Food Stamps Abandoned ... For Now | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |

  4. If the Tories get into government in 2015 – we just might as well shoot ourselves – I don’t even want to think what will happen – it’s just to disgusting.

  5. The question is, will Labour be any better?

    • They could hardly be any worse, and you know the saying.. better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, and this coalition are two devil’s we have no desire to know for much longer. The question that needs asking if this coalition lurches to 2015 will there be any single thing left to save?. And when you have Maniacs like IDS in the cabinet you have to worry especially if he is moved to another position beyond making the tea and sweeping the floors. If he was the exception to the rule we might be fine but we know this is certainly not the case. If the Tories get in again either with an outright majority or under another painful coalition it would be time to leave the country and head somewhere maybe where us English are no longer a

  6. Labour are funded by the unions – follow this link to the PCS Union website.

    • No shit Sherlock…. and what of the wealthy coalition backers?, those men and women who dine at the top table and have nothing in common with the middle and lower classes and I use the term very lightly because I do subscribe to the theory that money does not buy class yet whilst they are looking at ways not to pay tax but live here like big fat Jabba the hutt’s, bloated by the financial excesses life affords them they will be looked after and protected like a golden child.

      The reality is all parties are financed in different ways, we can look at unions in different ways too but should one day at work you get injured lifting a server case then have to claim injury compensation then upon returning back to work you are eventually sacked on some trumped up reason.. who would be in your corner with union representation?.. remember Tories want you to have no rights!.. except their rights.. the rights of the rich and wicked to do what they choose to do to you as and when they choose to do it. You will have no points of view because the power would have acted.

  7. On Alec Shelbrookes website there is a question with a vote option asking if the ‘Welfare Cash Card’ is a good idea or not – I voted no.

    Current voting scores:

    Yes: 10.56%

    No: 88.38%

    • something survived...

      This article is FOUL. Just what you can expect from the Daily Mail.
      I feel so sorry for those people. Clearly they have a legal right to work wherever they like. We should WELCOME these people not hate them!
      And it is 2013, nobody should have to live outdoors under a water pipe on a pile of garbage.
      (Oh except tory MP’s????) There are thousands of boarded up houses that it is a ‘crime’ and ‘squatting’ to enter. There are probably easily enough of those that could be made habitable again, plus all the unused second/third/fourth/fifth/N’th homes of the rich, to house all the homeless and those waiting on lists for a house. There are unemployed builders (UK and EU and other) who would build new homes in accessible sites for a fair wage. Some of the people coming to UK have building skills, so options could include building or helping to build homes for themselves while working. Some are disabled so should get all the things UK disabled people can get.

      Another issue is that in Eastern/Central Europe there is a much more organised and visible race-hatred of Romany people, and much more active and widespread persecution. The UK would be a safer place to live. If anything did happen, ONE WOULD HOPE that our (British) police would take it seriously and take action. Police in other countries have been known to collude with attackers, carry out assaults themselves, bribe, rape, torture…
      Depending on where they live or have lived, Romany people may be Christian (usually Catholic or Orthodox), Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, even Buddhist! They as a culture have strong moral values. Romany people originated in India, they have ancient links to the ‘Aryan’ (Asian) tribe of that part of the world (Nazis should have realised but didn’t). On the Macropedia (Nazi version of Wikipedia) site (hosted in Sweden?) we were criticising here the other week, one of the groups they target for their hate is the Romany people, the second biggest target (after the Jews) of the original Nazis.
      So really we should be in solidarity with the Romany people. Nazis and fascists are our common enemy.
      The UK has a Romany Museum and several Romany organisations.

      Where is all this senseless hate coming from? Hate where hate is due, surely: towards the Tories, their policies, Nick Griffin and the rest of the far right. Hate individuals that have done bad things.

      Across Europe there are stories of arson attacks burning Romany and immigrant families alive. Most are organised attacks by the far right. Human rights are for EVERYONE. Racism should not be a part of British values.

  8. Alec Shelbrooke MP: – just listen to this idiot who clearly has no idea what he’s talking about.

    • He’s not scared of a fish supper or two, is he?

      • Ulysses:

        Yes, he’s well fed, let’s see what happens once he’s evetually sacked for siding with IDS and Hoban – ‘Soup Kitchen Shelbrooke’ – I think that one will stick!

        • something survived...

          Soup kitchens: empty as he drank all the soup
          Respect: How is it respectful to tell poor people how they can spend their money?
          Public transport: Unworkable and another way to spy on us, and stop our benefits for travelling.
          America: Whole neighbourhoods become no-go areas for cardholders because all local retailers can decide not to take the cards, or to let people known to be on cards even enter. Suspicion we are also all shoplifters. Criminalises the poor by default. If all shops you can get to refuse to serve you, how can you get food? Dumpster diving? (and risk food poisoning, blood poisoning, used needles with HIV, injury climbing in/out, broken glass, faeces….) [which since you caused it is no good for cover if you even have any health insurance]
          Kids going hungry: If your card is nicked, lost, goes missing, doesn’t work, you forget your PIN – both you and your kids will starve.
          Views of the poor: Taking away choice will not equate to making others think the poor are responsible. Responsibility needs there to be the option to choose good or bad, or it is meaningless if there is no choice of how to act.
          Australia: Runs an apartheid racist system in which Native Australians are banned from purchasing alcohol. While young white males of all classes can drink as much as they like. Australia’s welfare cards system impacts on people with disabilities, cultural and religious minorities, people with special diets eg vegetarians, etc. Access to special, or the only acceptable, foods for a particular individual can be made much more difficult or even impossible. (As it would do were it to be introduced in the UK).
          Alcohol, smoking, gambling, drugs: All these 4 things (and most porn) are legal, except for illegal drugs. Most people do these things. If they are bad then either nobody should do them, or everyone should be free to do them. We don’t ban the rich from it. If you did a job and had a habit but are made redundant then you are on JSA, and are put on cards, suddenly you are taken off a substance your body needs. Rapid withdrawal could kill you. If you want to risk dying? If you want to live, you are now banned from using your legal money to buy the substance keeping you alive, so this means you have to resort to crime. Sure, help with detox but that should be voluntary not forced.
          If alcohol is an ingredient in a cake is the whole cake banned? Or is all cake and chocolate banned? And what if you are diabetic and a piece of cake could actually save your life?
          Banning us buying cigs does not stop anyone getting secondhand smoke. Will they evict people whose housemates smoke, ‘to protect your health’? Split up couples? Cause being on the street is SO healthy. The government are too worried about the backlash and loss of profits from banning booze and fags everywhere (and illegal stuff from Prohibition) so they say just ban it for the poor. So the rich will live longer due to having more food, better secure housing, healthcare, cars, etc. But living longer they would later turn up with the conditions caused by smoking and drinking and drugs, and be a drain on the health budget. It could become a status symbol to boast that you were not subject to the cards, and to openly smoke and drink and take drugs. Rates of all three (and gambling) would go up. If ‘lager louts’ are bad, then what about all the Etonites off their face on Pimms or Merlot, who drive drunk and often crash?
          Does the substance ‘Daily Mail’ or ‘The Sun’ come under drugs? The opiate of the masses.
          Non Essential: How can they judge what is non essential? If you tried to take away anything from a rich person (eg tory MP), they would argue everything inc 6th annual holiday is absolutely essential [but of course providing water and toilets at jobcentres and work programme is out of the question!]. Clueless!

      • Let him eat HORSE!!!

  9. Off topic but good:

    Red Dwarf weekend on Channel ‘Dave’.

  10. This is what happened in the USA when Welfare Food Stamps were introduced – you really need to watch this – Our Government needs to watch this:

    • something survived...

      If your retailers get banned then you can’t shop there so can’t get food..
      Seems to be blaming the recipients. Since when did the church get to say what we can eat and drink???

  11. The point was that the stores the unemployed had to go to were swapping money for vouchers at cash rate of 50% of the voucher value – so the unemployed were being scammed and the Government were being scammed – I can easily see this happening in the UK if the ‘Welfare Card Cash’ system were introduced.

    • That’s exactly what’ll happen, how in the name of sanity can anyone cope without money? Even under the US scheme only part of their welfare is food stamps, the rest is hard cash.

    • In the US there are many who think food stamps and other “entitlements” are way too generous and should be abolished outright. The US is the country where the slogan “healthcare is not a right” is part of mainstream political discourse, and to where many of our politicians go when loking for clues on how to “reform” our benefits system.

      • Scarecrow 78:

        I was just using the US version as a REAL and CURRENT demonstation of what will happen should this system be adopted by the bloody useless DWP.

        • I understand that, I was just making the point even food stamps aren’t immune from accusations of creating a “something for nothing culture”, and for some people any state support for the unemployed – no matter how much conditionality is attached – will always be too much.

          I have no doubt the situation as demonstrated in that video will be repeated here if food stamps or smart cards become reality.

  12. I would like to know how many UK politicians have off-shore accounts, who has made payments into their accounts ?, problem is so many have secret off-shore accounts…

    • Annos:

      You email David Cameron and remind him that one of his promises in his promises to the electorate (when he was campaining back in 2010, just before the last general election) was ‘Transparancy’

      Well, this coalition Govt is about as transparent as MUD! – Espesicially the DWP!

  13. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    May they all die screaming as their syphilitic policies tear their minds to shreds and their bodies disintegrate under the weight of their unbridled greed.

  14. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    And oh, by the way, I’m overjoyed this mendacious right wing policy straight from Nazi Amerika has been sunk.

  15. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

  16. Yes I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear about this matter.

    When the UC is introduced and it is shown that people just can’t cope with the monthly payments system, the government then might be able to push it through, basing it on the fact that people aren’t budgeting the money wisely (not that the UC is just too low to live on). They’ll be seen as acting ‘compassionately’.

    They reserved the right in the welfare reform bill of paying UC and other benefits by cash cards, so it’s obvious it will become law at some point.

    But people will get around it as they did in the US. People who have good family and friends will just buy people tobacco and the odd bottle of wine in exchange for what they want. Other people not so fortunate however could be exposed to some kind of criminality that defrauds them of the amount due.

    Good for now at least that it’s been put on the backburner. I’ll crack open a bottle of real ale and roll a fag in celebration…

  17. Obi Wan 12:14

    “If the Tories get into government in 2015 – we just might as well shoot ourselves – I don’t even want to think what will happen – it’s just to disgusting.”

    Provider baked pies – not making them but in them!

    • Jeff:

      Provider Baked Pies:

      Not just in them – Jeff are you old enough to remember the Hollywood film ‘Solylent Green’ – made in 1973 – starring Charlton Heston? if not try and find it on DVD – IDS would welcome this – the sick bastard.

      • Someone asked the same question on ‘Any Answers’ on the radio this pm – the question was quickly brushed aside due to “lack of time” issues.

      • something survived...

        Some idiot on news last night said it is okay to feed dead horses to the poor and only the rich worry, or have the right to decide, what is in their food. Moron.

  18. May I remind everyone that Universal Credit ‘WILL’ be introduced in the Kancashire reigon – Including Cumbria through Liverpool down to the Greater Manchester reigion in April 2013 as a ‘TEST’ region, if sucessfull, it will be rolled out across the rest of the U.K. starting in October 2013, and County by County – full expantion of Universal Credit in the U.K. by 2017.

    We can’t let this happen – Don’t vote Conservative in 2015!

    • Landless Peasant

      Expect to see riots in Manchester & Liverpool this Summer then.

      “Don’t vote Conservative in 2015!”

      NEVER have done, NEVER will do !

      • Let the DWP (IDS) try to out manovere the people on benefits – he went to far with Cait Reilly and the High Court shot him down – but IDS is an idiot and will try again.

        Please go for it IDS you numbty – you are not bright enough to do your monkey act again, as we and Cait Reilly’s Law Firm are just waiting for you and Hoban to screw up again – go for it you two fuck up’s!

  19. My Bad – to the post above I mean’t Lancashire – with a capital ‘L’

    • something survived...

      Absolute crap. What if the dad is a drunk, junkie, wifebeating, bedhopping, rapist. paedophile, bastard? Or irresponsible and with no idea of safety? Or gambles away all the family’s money? ON UC he will be able to as the head of household lose all the family benefits on gambling, leaving nothing for himself and wife/kids to eat. Also nothing for rent.

      Why do kids need a mum and dad? You can have households of adopted or fostered unrelated kids. Or ones of kids from previous relationships of one or both parents plus the kids they then have together. Or a previous ex dies and you have to take on their kids. All kinds of other possibilities so why does it necessarily need to be a ‘natural’ parent?
      Technically anyone who used the rhythm method, pill/no pill cycle, testing mucus, pregnancy tests, hormone injections to stimulate uterus/ovaries, IVF, donor egg/sperm, turkey baster, surrogacy, screening for genetic disorders… is ‘NOT A NATURAL PARENT’ and should have their kids taken away! If you die and your sibling gets your kids are you then unnatural? A freak? The kids will grow extra toes as a result?

      What if the mum is a mental bitch who takes the kids away and lies the man harmed them? And/or takes the child benefit when not being the main carer; and then proceeds to spend it all on herself, while beating up the kids? Then snatches the kids from a contact visit with their dad, and gets awarded sole custody? (3 cases I know!)

      Or if both parents beat you up you are better off with zero natural parents.

      • Yeah, the Daily Fail has surpassed itself this weekend, it’s articles are becoming more & more ludicrous. I’m becoming more convinced by the day that the editors lock their “reporters” in a broom cupboard refusing to let them out until they’ve written at least two articles per day demonising benefit claimants/immigrants/single mothers taking their pick from any of the above & never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

  20. Reblogged this on The Greater Fool and commented:
    Stigmatising Tory attack on the poor withdrawn

  21. Landless Peasant


    • something survived...

      If you are a meat eater, and not averse to a bit of horse…
      You could try eating tory. But what if it doesn’t taste very good?
      Comments on long pig (human) as a food source:
      “A bit like chicken”.

      With the horse meat revelations, I’m so glad I’m the only person in our house who didn’t end up eating it. (except for me and 2 housemates’ vegetarian girlfriends, everyone eats meat in the house). I can’t join you in your plan to eat the tories, but you might find that it is a bit of another EU meat mountain. We could try exporting it. Need to run focus groups and consumer panels. Also to find the right way to advertise it. We could start speculating on it, like the ‘dead dogs futures market’ the Penguin and Monkey start in Peckham in Steve Bell’s ‘If’ in the 1980’s. Well they SAID get into capitalism and enterprise… (‘tories’ will include anything that acts like a tory even if wearing another label)

      -Tessa Jowell and chips
      -Eric Pickles in a bun
      -Grilled slices of Boris Johnson
      -Ed MeatBalls
      -Patriot Pork (Nick Griffin and Nigel Farage spare ribs etc)
      -Miliband Chilli
      -IDS Lancashire Hotpot (protest against Lancashire getting Universal Credit)
      -Chris Grayling Fricassee
      -Mark Hoban on toast
      -Ken Clarke BigBoy Pies
      -Jeremy Hunt (er’s) Pie
      -John Prescott Sausages
      -Ann Widdecombe and gravy and an egg on top and spam
      -Teresa May meat pie floater

  22. Landless Peasant

    Shelbrooke looks a bit of a porker, clearly he’s not living on food stamp rations:

    “Do you think the ‘Welfare Cash Card’ should be introduced? ”

    (Answer = a resounding NO)

  23. something survived...

    Things that would not be covered by the card:
    Library fines, parking fines, etc. and return of any real or false overpayment of benefits.
    Subscriptions, newspapers, magazines, memberships, social activities/groups, craft clubs, community groups.
    Shopping in charity shops.
    The internet, computing, phones, technology.
    Security items like burglar alarms, CCTV, fire extinguishers/blankets. Smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms. Temperature alarms. Fire alarms for deaf people.
    Any specialist clothing for size/disability etc.
    Consumer goods not food but that need replacing: toilet paper, kitchen roll, tissues, personal hygiene items, cleaning products, room sprays, batteries, lightbulbs, clothespegs,….
    Washing powder/liquid. Pet/animal food (and pet care). [if stuck alone a small animal could be the only thing you interact with. it could be a hamster or a rabbit or a snake, if you love it then why shouldn’t you have it?]
    Travel to anywhere other than direct sole-purpose trips to jobcentre, work programme, workfare, job interviews etc. Possibly also allowing trips to buy food but nothing nonfood? (How would that work? “Your benefit is stopped because you bought pasta and a box of matches, the matches are inedible but now we order you to eat them as we are sanctioning you for three years and that’s all we’re giving you to eat, although you allege that the matches are to light the gas to cook the pasta. You lazy scum, why not just eat dry pasta from the bag or suck on it??”)
    Condoms, dental dams (so we are meant to have unsafe sex? Or they will monitor how many we buy and say: single mums don’t buy enough, other people buy too many, “here is a nun we will fine her for buying zero condoms”, single women buying a lot are obviously prostitutes…. )
    Any products to help disabled or less able people have sex. Also the use of sex workers or sexual surrogates, which might be the only way of getting sex. (or are they saying people should be hermits or should commit rape?)
    If we are caught buying gay magazines they will out us and call it a luxury. If it all gets processed in Utah that is a centre of religious bigotry and they could stop us getting into USA or other countries.
    Any health stuff we can’t get on the NHS. Bandages, nappies, plasters, women’s monthly products, adult continence care, bedding, hoists, all non NHS medicines. Including treatment not on the NHS.
    Any costs of getting or altering the interview/job clothes we are meant to get, and the cost of maintaining/cleaning/replacing/repairing it. An issue if we are a different size or disabled.
    Costs of weight clubs if we are trying to lose weight. Gym or sports club membership. (Ironically the government keeps telling us, on less food each year, to live/eat healthily, take exercise, play sports…)
    All self-funded education, whether college or home study or online. All costs of equipment and stationery.
    Correspondence for job applications: letters, postage, envelopes, printing, photocopying, pens, CVs, internet cafe use, fees paid to bodies to get our own information. ‘CRB checks to be met by applicant’. ‘Starting fees’.
    Specialist foods including all special diets. (Even diets for health/religious reasons)
    Anti-allergy products.
    Disability aids and adaptations.
    Clothing that is not included in the list of allowed clothing. (If they only allow certain products, retailers and sizes, then many people will be unable to get clothes! Forget charity shops as they only take cash so cards won’t work, and sizes won’t be right either)
    Buying your friend coffee/juice at cafe.
    All presents and gifts, including to relatives, friends, partner, etc. All charity donations. All charity fundraising even though the money is to the charity. All debts you need to repay in money. All parties.
    Buying even a cheap secondhand wedding ring.
    Getting married.
    Christening, baptism, confirmation, divorce, funerals (and funeral plans), healthcare plans, insurance, money savings plans, school costs/uniform,
    childcare, legal separation, legal/court fees, wills, fees to access own information/documents, passports, railcards…
    Pet insurance/licence, insurance/registration to stay a legal tradesman,
    all costs of owning and running a car, season tickets, parking costs, credit card bills, debts.
    Holidays. Visits to sick family or to somebody’s funeral.
    Television licence.
    Cinema, theatre, concerts, days/nights out. Participation in any community events that cost money.
    Sweets (even to stop smoking, help your ears when flying, stop travelsickness, stop bad breath, kill germs…)
    Chocolate, cake, sweet things (even if diabetic or otherwise needing this food)
    Any DIY or home improvement, and all bills to tradesmen (even if you live in a house that is ‘uninhabitable’ or very unsafe)
    Anything like prams, buggies, highchairs, baby/toddler play equipment, learning items.
    Anything for home schooling older children.
    Cost of school trips, school projects, other random costs your child’s school suddenly dumps on you. School meals or packed lunches.
    Rent that needs to be paid in cash.
    Overseas travel, even if it is to attend a family wedding or funeral, visit dying person, friend you haven’t seen in years, crisis/emergency, etc.
    Buying a second hand car or motorbike (though it makes you more able to get to their real/imaginary jobs, interviews, work programme etc.)
    Driving lessons.
    Driving tests.
    All vocational lessons and tests.
    Getting clothing tailored from scratch because nowhere else has a size that fits your size/shape/disability.
    Getting shoes repaired or cleaned, or replaced when they break.
    Cost of fixing problems with car, phone, computer.
    Any things (like shaving/waxing) women do to make themselves ‘look employable’.
    Printer cartridges. Recharging or buying credits for phone. Phone cards.
    Travel when NHS sends you really far to see doctors.

    On the subject of food: if they stop high salt and high fat, high calorie foods: what if that is what you need? Or if they ban ready meals but all you have is a microwave, or you are too disabled to cook? Or they could say we can eat only a few economy products. These are low in nutritional value, bulked out with water, and often not vegetarian.
    Even cheap ready meals are currently too expensive. If you buy one and it is meant to be a main meal, and the only meal all day (perhaps after a day of vigorous workfare, or at least jobseeking), then you eat it and are still hungry. It might be 500 calories or less. You are meant to have 2500 calories a day. It’s easy to go a whole week without getting 2500 calories in a week. And then idiots go ‘you’re so skinny!’, or even ‘you are obviously on smack’.

  24. Kittycat 58:

    Fancy a saucer of milk?

  25. Again. the general public of the united states of Britain miss a point;
    Exactly WHEN did it become
    “NORMAL” for low wage employees to be paid MONTHLY?
    The unspoken agreement used to run Thus;
    If you were blue collar or lower, you got paid by the hour, WEEKLY.
    If you had a CONTRACT in say management,you got a ‘salary’, which included benefits i.e. BUPA and a pension, but you had responsibility to the job, not hours.
    The ‘salary’ was paid monthly.because the hours were irrelevant.
    If you are paid by the hour. you should be paid each week.
    Business types are trying to change this ancient model to suit themselves.
    The ultimate incarnation of this is benefits being paid monthly, and banks
    being involved in the process to skim off profits from the poor,
    Stand your ground.
    When I go for a job that only pays monthly, I ask what pension and healthcare I get. Do I get a loan for a monthly travel card?
    When they say no I reply they better pay me every week then.
    I do not lend money for a living, so why should I lend to my employer?
    They can pay up weekly, on time, or fuck off.

    • @Pat ato – you’re exactly right. It’s never been ‘the norm’ or thought at any time, until now that those on low (or minimum) income were paid other than weekly – & it can’t work in any sense. I think we all know that, & that your point hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone who’s lived with a weekly/monthly salary at times as well as on weekly (now fortnightly) UB/income support/JSA.

      It’s always been ‘unspoken’ but easily understood by anyone of working age, because not so long ago there was no attempt to pretend that there wasn’t a class divide (leaving aside a north/south divide). Factory workers, car mechanics – ‘manual labourers’ in general, were easily identifiable – they themselves, and those ‘above them’, knew exactly their place in society and their pay levels/status in society were clearly at the lowest end of pay levels – and they spent so much of their time fighting for better pay/conditions and regular/reasonable hours. Now, call centre workers look the same, or very similar, to all other office (blue collar) workers (even to those who could be earning a salary 3/4 times more) – but their work pay & conditions have mostly replaced the ‘factory floor’. The conditions haven’t changed much in real terms – less dust and heavy lifting perhaps, but replaced by closely monitored ‘loo breaks’ and being chained to a desk/phone rather than a conveyor belt. I’m just using this type of work as an obvious example. There are lots of others (involving sitting all day in front of a computer – not good for health & not always with the right equipment in place to guard against what were ‘industrial injuries/diseases’ now back and neck/wrist health problems).

      So things have become ‘blurred’ – and it was commonly argued for quite some time (post 80s) that ‘everyone”s much better off – or could become so – and somehow we were all going to be placed on a far more equal footing – work-wise (thanks to computers?). There would be probably too much leisure time – we’d have to think of things we could do with our time other than just going to work – there would (of course) be better working conditions and everyone’s quality of life would be improved overall. Unless I’ve just made this up I seem to remember programmes like ‘Tomorrow’s World’ covering these issues as being the real, prospective results of technology/progress.

      Instead, we have the idea that people are now going to be asked to juggle a tiny-and-getting-smaller sum of money monthly and manage. Somehow they will be able to continue to cover the basics/essentials; keep money back for both weekly and monthly costs with daily costs/any unforeseen emergencies (without any safety net/social fund) – the biggest expenditure – rent money, will be paid at the same time as the other monthly ‘all-in-one’ payment. This is morally wrong/unjustifiable and the devious way it’s been introduced was by switching from weekly to fortnightly payments quite a while ago. Everyone affected knew it would make their life more challenging but it wasn’t quite a big/bad enough change for any kind of uprising to occur (& how could it?) – there was little option but to somehow try to work within it/adjust and be resigned. This was difficult enough, but to now ‘double’ the difficulty, via arguing that it’s to get people used to the idea of managing monthly money (as if none of the unemployed have ever come across this concept) – is disingenuous (a massive understatement). Whether those who are deciding this have any understanding of the realities involved, or not – it’s going to cause untold difficulties/misery – and should be a cause for national concern. But it’s alongside (within) the introducing of wider UC plans/Bedroom Tax/Council Tax payment reductions and etc. It’s also been made to sound all very reasonable and coherent (for the public at large, not themselves affected).

      One of the hoped-for side-effects of the change could be that the tiny amounts appear less tiny when they are spread over the course of a month (they won’t) – possibly even that if it’s going to be a per calendar month amount so amounts could/will? be slightly variable – which is the one thing that those on out-of-work benefits haven’t had to account for (barring sanctions) – their amounts were paid little & often but at least they were the same and arrived regularly – a month is a long time to wait, even for paid workers, if the amount being paid barely covers outgoings.

      Alongside the introduction of this nightmare scenario in April, the ‘back to work’ grant of £250 which was available to help with the weekly to monthly transition in pay is about to be (no, not increased or protected) – scrapped. Just realised writing this that of course, it will now be possible to argue that this won’t be ‘necessary’ any more as there won’t be any transition to go through and so moving from benefits to work will be trouble-free anyway (!).

      I love the way commentators are saying that those on limited incomes will go for the best ‘value’ food (as though they have just realised) and telling us to ‘try the local butcher’ instead. We have our very own National Butchers.

      • + Not April for everyone (UC) – but from April onwards for some – to include everyone else ‘if the test is a success’ – which I think we all know it ‘will’ (won’t) be.

  26. Iain Duncan Smith is on ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ today BBC1 9:00am.

  27. The purpose of this — which is almost certain to be brought in — is to totally separate claimants from the rest of society. The yellow-star image is scarcely an exaggeration. And think of the effects on children. No pocket money, no treats, no school outings, inability to associate with other children. It is the absolute worst thing the Tories have in store for us and must be resisted by any means possible. When this comes in, we’ll have nothing to lose.

  28. Yosserian Hughes

    shelbrooke – the ‘elmet from Elmet.

  29. IDS bullying his way on Andrew Marr show, the interviewers are
    absolute rubbish on the bbc, no real challenge.

  30. Well the marr show was just great 😦

    drunken-schmidt: “most kids love this programme”

    What – the marr show? He’s completely round the bend.

  31. But I also want to say that I can’t understand the objection to HB payments in cash instead of to the landlord — it seems inconsistent with objection to benefit cards. The fewer in-kind benefits the better. And more specifically, HB in cash offers the best, perhaps the only realistic, way of resisting the bedroom tax, by withholding that sum from the rent, as is being planned by anti-poverty campaigners. The timing — monthly instead of weekly — may be open to objection, but not the cash itself.

    IDS is doing enough to object to without our needing to criticize something that, however unintentionally, could be useful to claimants.

    • The objection to a direct payment of HB (as i understand it anyway) would be that because managing available funds is now such an impossible balancing act (beyond what’s realistically do-able) – and the margins within which any failure/miscalculations could occur have disappeared – the likelihood/risk of ‘dipping in to’ (borrowing from) an ‘available’ pot of money is huge. However good at managing money anyone believes themselves to be – when the income relative to the costs they have to cover is in negative equity – it will be beyond virtually everyone’s capability (sooner or later/at some point).

      As things stand currently, I would rather not see my rent monies (currently still being covered, in their entirety, by housing benefit – though rent increase this week … so will see if that’s stays the case). This way the most crucial payment is always made – no question of accidentally spending some of the money/it not being in the account at the right time, untouched. It’s very typical if on very little money to ‘borrow’ money from oneself – otherwise known as ‘juggling’ (taking from peter to pay paul/taking money out of one envelope and replacing it from one of other envelopes later) – whether these envelopes are literal or metaphorical doesn’t really matter.

      On resisting the bedroom tax via withholding rent money – this is the only way to resist it (I think they thought of that hence it’s ‘not a tax’). Withholding rent payment in part is not going to be an easy thing to do, even for those who completely agree in principle that it ought to be fought against – but it’s a decision that’s about to be forced upon people one-way-or-another in any case – as they are left with too little to cover even the basics and a bigger proportion of their available money goes on bills/indefensible taxes. They will have to choose how to best allocate the money ‘in front of them’ – as they try to weigh up their own needs/those of their children, if they have them, whilst trying to keep a roof over their heads. This is starting from a premise of no ‘additional issues’ beyond money issues – for anyone dealing with extraneous social/medical issues, or who isn’t known to be a great money manager for whatever reasons to begin with – it looks even clearer that there will be no end of financial problems from the outset – or in time/over time.

      I genuinely think that until/unless someone has had the misfortune to try to ‘manage’ on a low, or a very low income and to live in the same world/alongside others who have very different amounts to ‘play’ with – it’s not possible to conceive of the minutiae involved in daily living – decisions taken/sums done/even risks taken, within these calculations. Certainly those in power now have no concept and couldn’t begin to have – whereas someone like Tony Benn/?Shirley Williams (used to) sound as if they could relate the the lives of the seriously less well off.

      We’ve now moved so far away from what’s realistic/reasonable (£71 and less/week) and we understand that those now taking these allegedly ‘tough decisions’ which ruin lives are not even thinking about the consequences day-to-day in their decision-making process. They are thinking about the ‘bigger picture’ – so the arguments likely to be used to try to counter the bedroom tax/UC monthly payments will appear nonsensical to them – they will come up with yet more rational reasons why we must have these ‘reforms’ ….

    • IDS just lied his way through the Sunday politics show , he was asked if pensioners will be affected by the BT, the lying FUCKING SCUM said NO, why would he not tell the truth and say YES, they will be affected by the BT if they have a working age partner
    An impact assessment published by the Department for Work and Pensions last June said couples will remain on universal credit, which applies to working-age households, until both members of the couple reach pension age. The bedroom tax, under which social housing tenants will have their benefit cut if they have a spare room, will apply to all universal credit claimants
    A DWP spokesperson confirmed such ‘mixed-age’ couples will be affected when they transfer to universal credit between October 2013 and 2017. He also said the younger person in the couple will benefit from ‘work incentives’
    through universal credit.
    The fucking Hitler also said there is no way people are getting benefits for nothing they WILL BE MADE TO do workfare

  33. I thought Sinead O’ Conner was gonna clobber the guy who introduced her.

  34. Shelbrooke’s poll seems to put no limit on the number of times I can vote. This may be a trailblazer for tory supporters at the next election? In any event I have cast my vote(s).

  35. I challenge anyone to read this lengthy article & not feel their blood boiling by the end –

  36. Katherine Perlo

    You cannot withold paying bedroom tax because it is not included in your housing benefit for you to withold – you need to understand the welfare system before you speak about it.

  37. yosserian hughes

    Andrew marr has been ill since suffering a stroke yet the bbc bring in more lightweight interviewers that uphold the status quo and do not challenge the policies of the tory government, the young should watch this show just to see how corrupt and compliant it is.

  38. annos

    of course you are correct regarding the previous government and as you say governments throughout the world all culpable regarding corruption.

  39. TheBigIanLebowski

    Illiterate minister Ian ‘Big Lebowski’ Duncan Smith doesn’t have proper CV, doesn’t know how to search for jobs while living off other peoples income like some unskilled bum:

  40. rainbowwarriorlizzie

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