Councils in Chaos as Crisis Loans Scrapped

war-on-the-poorAt 6pm tonight (28th March), the Crisis Loan emergency phone line will be shut down.  This was the number people receiving or waiting for benefits could call in an emergency to arrange a small short term loan.

Loans were rarely more than around £60 and were recoverable by deducting a weekly sum from benefit payments. No more than three loans were permitted a year and even this was exceedingly rare.   This emergency support, often used by people who had been victims of crime, was more or less cost neutral – almost all of the money paid out in loans was recovered.

Despite this Iain Duncan Smith has ended the scheme out of little more than spite.    Whilst loans due to delayed benefits will continue – now called Short Term Benefit Advances and available through Jobcentres – the rest of the Crisis Loan scheme will be closed tomorrow.  Local councils will now be expected to support those in a financial emergency.  Community Care Grants, usually provided to people moving into independent accommodation for the first time, have also been devolved to local councils.

Such is the contempt felt by well paid Councillors for those in desperate situations, most councils in England* will adopt some form of food stamp or voucher scheme.  Some local authorities, as reported by The Guardian, will simply direct people to a food bank.

This ignores the reality of poverty for millions in the UK today, whose chief concern is keeping pre-pay electricity and gas meters topped up enough to keep the lights and heating on.  A bag of food bank pasta is of little use if you can’t boil water.

Few claimants can afford to keep prepay meters topped up for more than a few days at a time.  Many already live off the emergency credit, usually between £5-7 that the power companies grant those they judge too poor to pay for their gas after they’ve received it.  As any local shop keeper knows, the amount most commonly topped up is the minimum required to get the power back on.  These people will not be helped by  councils like Hampshire handing a few grand to local charities to distribute donated food. In very cold weather, some people may well die because of this nasty little decision.

Many local authorities have not even published details of the scant assistance they will offer from Monday, revealing just how little priority they give to their most marginalised residents.

Wandsworth Council in South London acknowledge they are likely to see around twenty five people seeking help a day, but seem to have no idea what they are going to do on Monday when the changes start.  The information on their website informs people that Crisis Loans still exist and that claimants should contact the DWP.  In fact documents buried elsewhere suggest a shambolic system, which seems to involve council staff buying white goods for claimants, whilst Crisis Loans will now be made up of a “scheme of vouchers or prepayment cards”.  Applications are to be made online or via a freephone number.  Neither of these services currently appear to exist.

The situation is equally confused elsewhere in London.  The boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster have said they will work together on some kind of voucher scheme.  These vouchers will be redeemable at Tesco, Sainsburys, and astonishingly Marks & Spencers.  Once again there is no published information on how claimants will access the scheme.  The same story is repeated across England, with many council websites barely even mentioning what services they will offer when Crisis Loans end, which at the time of writing this post, is in just under six hours.

Council Civic Centres will be the first point of call for many from Monday onwards.  Budgeting Loans for larger expenditure can also still be accessed via Jobcentres, although they are soon to be phased out.

Crisis Loans represented the safety net beneath the safety net.  A cheap, centrally funded scheme for people to get some vital cash in an emergency.  Cash that they had to pay back.  With millions of people resorting to High Street loan sharks to pay the bills any government with a trace of humanity would have extended the scheme.  Yet Iain Duncan Smith would rather children freeze in dark, unheated homes then risk a  claimant buying a pack of fags or lottery ticket with some of the miniscule sum loaned out to the desperate in a crisis.

*The Scottish Government have snubbed Iain Duncan Smith’s plans and set up an alternative Scottish Welfare Fund.  Wales will have a grant based system which they have contracted out to Northgate Public Services.  Both of these may involve some form of vouchers for some items.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

112 responses to “Councils in Chaos as Crisis Loans Scrapped

  1. Pingback: Councils in Chaos as Crisis Loans Scrapped | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |

  2. why cant you use the vouchers at any shop you choose..the 3 mentioned are the most expensive..where is lidl and Aldi in all this..a nice little earner for the shops whom no doubt some MPs are silent CEOs or on the boards in some manner..more and more is the state controlling our lives..more and more are our choices being reduced..especially if your state paid..they believe they have the right to dictate all of your life choices and where best to use their money..a socialist dictatorship in the making..

  3. Back to the days when the Parish Council decided who was ‘deserving’ of alms.

    “All Governors of Shires, Cities, Towns, Hundreds, Hamlets and Parishes shall find and keep every aged, poor and impotent person, which was born or dwelt three years within the same limit, by way of voluntary and charitable Alms, and also shall compel every sturdy vagabond to be kept in continual labour.
    1535 (Poor Law) Act

  4. “Hammersmith & City”. That’s a tube line. Surely you mean “Hammersmith & Fulham”? 😉


    E X T E R M I N A T E !
    E X T E R M I N A T E !
    E X T E R M I N A T E. T H E. P O O R ! ! !

  6. Off topic. This is a tragic case of something that shouldn’t have happened but was it really necessary for the Daily Heil to point out more than once that the owner of the dogs was a “jobless single mother” –


    80, thousand sanctions in one month 1400 on ESA sickness benefit sanctioned in one month

    • From the same article:

      “All advisers at my place of work and most in the district have been given mid-year review statements (on which performance-related pay is based)…”

      So Jobcentre advisers raise sanction doubts for the money. Profit versus “working class solidarity”. No contest.

  8. What is absolutely worst, and should receive top billing in any report, is the cruelty of putting people on vouchers instead of cash. At present only applied to people seeking emergency cash, it’s bound to be extended to other claimants, as IDS has proposed. Benefit cards/food stamps totally exclude people from society, implementing the principle that the poor should not have any pleasures or amenities at all, but should only be grudgingly kept alive by the almighty Taxpayer, in order to give them an incentive to stop being poor. (I’m beginning to hate taxpayers, even though I know some quite decent people who fall into that category.)

    Remember when the aim of anti-poverty policy was to ensure that everyone could participate as a normal member of society, i.e. social inclusion? Now the aim is to punish people for the crime of poverty, which of course is all due to their laziness and fecklessness, and to quite visibly exclude them.

  9. P.S. Unfortunately the Scottish Government plan does include vouchers and other in-kind benefits as possible methods of payment.

  10. UK going back to Victorian era

    The UK is going backwards instead of forwards

  11. Pingback: Councils in Chaos as Crisis Loans Scrapped | The Sealand Gazette |

  12. “Yet Iain Duncan Smith would rather children freeze in dark, unheated homes then risk a claimant buying a pack of fags or lottery ticket with some of the miniscule sum loaned out to the desperate in a crisis”
    Maybe this is the plan all along. Have Social Services muscle in & remove the the children from these “feckless” parents who obvously can’t look after them properly & have them forcibly adopted out to nice middle-class “strivers” & damn the consequences to either the children’s or natural parents wellbeing or feeling.
    Am I alone in seeing the possibility of this senario?

  13. A lot of people are going to start hot-wiring the electric…

  14. local government is worse than national government when it comes to controlling those that they consider beneath them and will follow central governments orders to the letter rather than compromise their jobs and pensions. – government lackeys all of them.

  15. Here are now end the myth that the Scottish political class are welfare friendly – most of the SWF monies will find its way into the harvester pockets of Civic Scotland not the pockets of Wee Rab in the gutter.

    Scottish Welfare Fund -Guidance -Sanctions and Disallowances

    6.9 Crisis Grants and Community Care grants should not undermine DWP’s sanctions and disallowances. If an applicant is subject to a disallowance or a sanction by the DWP, and their benefit is reduced as a result, a Crisis Grant should only be awarded to meet expenses which are the consequence of a disaster or the cost of food for their children. The applicant may be able to get a hardship payment from the DWP.

    • Alex McHaddock

      an weil no gie the manky scroundels a bowl of purridge either. if yi huv been sanctioned by the joabcentre yi must huv dome something wrang, yi git whit yi deserve.

      • Soft Southerner

        For the benefit of viewers south of the Border, I have ran Alex McHaddock’s comment through a Scotch > English translator: “And we will not give them dirty scoundrels a bowl of porridge either. If you have been sanctioned by the jobcentre you must have done something wrong. You get what you deserve.”

  16. As I’ve said before, if this was done to just blacks,Asains or Jewish people there would be an uproar. We have a Race Discrimination Act and a Sex Discrimination Act-clearly we need a Class Diiscrimination Act as well to stop nasty policies like these.

    If the Tories carry on like this, crime will rise through the roof and at least some of it will be directed against the rich.

  17. The problem with Food Banks is that it depends on the rules of that food bank. The one nearest to me only allows THREE, thats THREE food drops.

    You can’t call in, the door is locked and you have to be nil income to access the resource.

    Cameron pushes the idea that food banks are available to all access when in need except for not pointing out that only very few people can access them.

    • Perhaps the name food ‘bank’ is misleading & they should be renamed so more people understand the reality …. I can only think of ‘Three Stop Shop’ but they probably are mis-named (by whom I wonder?). ‘Bank’ does suggest somewhere you can call in at any time of day & which will serve you (with caveats at the money bank that you are recognised/have an account etc.) – that’s stocked from floor to ceiling. Many food banks no doubt are, but it’s far less simple than turning up and getting out whatever you need, as a general rule.

      People have latched on to their existence and it can make them feel a bit better that ‘something is being done’ or ‘there’s a last resort if all else fails’ – but really we are scraping the bottom of the barrel in every sense.

  18. Rosemarie Harris

    If you want to see what this government has in store for the unemployed, disabled and sick, look at the U.S.A. All the area’s where the poor survive are run down no opportuniy’s,crime, drugs etc. Are we going to let this happen to our family,friends and Neighbours? The U.S.A has food banks,food stamps The assesment of the disabled. Rich people pretending that they are giving something back ,if they paid a proper sum in tax they would not have to pretend ,they would be doing something!
    Film stars, popstars,bankers and sport stars all getting loads of money and yet the state of these poor area’s are a disgrace to man kind. This is what this government wants to leave us.

  19. Almost too angry now to focus on the words describing this awful step backwards. There’s an apparent disconnect between what was a ‘very difficult’ situation to be in for people, and the one that has now been invented, which is way more ugly, not to mention barbaric. New depths plumbed. Even though it’s been planned for a while, the details above are really shocking.

    (Overheard at JCP this week – at the end of a longer conversation –
    Adviser: “No, I’m sorry, I can’t refund your bus fare. Not for this time”.
    Young Woman: “Oh …” (suggesting a food bank visit may be next).
    Adviser (smiling): You know, there are packets of noodles you can get – you’re supposed to make them into soup …. They come in lots of varieties and if you heat them up .. I used lived on them as a student & they were about 17 pence a packet … “.
    Young Woman:(smiling as well, resigned but unsurprised): “Okay. Thanks.”)

    This kind of scene will soon be not quite a thing of the past but instead even more surreal conversations will be bound to be overheard (as the job centre is so very, very open plan), so if/when packet noodles aren’t an option – either they are unaffordable, or just not substantial enough – the advice given out is going to be along the lines of:-

    “Do you know, we offer food vouchers (as a loan)? These are really good.
    They’re not just food vouchers. In fact, they’re M&S food vouchers”
    (customer falls to the ground, laughing hysterically).

    • Also Overheard at Jobcentre

      “adviser” gives Nazi salute and “draws” Hitler moustache: “I vas vonly vollowing vorders.” *snigger, snigger”. Fellow “advisers” have a good chuckle.

      • something survived...

        White goods via repayable loan taken out of your ‘minimum to live on already’ benefits. White goods that are totally useless when you’ve no money for the meter, there’s a power cut, or your power has been disconnected. Dry pasta: Apparently you are supposed to suck on it.
        Packet noodles, if you eat one ration a day, it can be 50 or 100 or 200 calories, you are meant to have 2500 calories a day. If sent on workfare you need much more, like 3000-4000 calories a day depending on how backbreaking the work is.

        ‘Impoverished student days’ JCP ‘adviser’. ‘but if you called your daddy he could stop it all…’ Or that other line about ‘watching roaches climb the wall’: we are meant to be enterprising and catch and eat them. Has anyone given a present to their jobcentre ‘adviser’? To thank them for their ‘advice’ and ‘help’? Baked them a cake? A COCKROACH cake?
        Read recipes in Irvine Welsh’s’ book ‘Trainspotting’. for other menu ideas.
        (It’s the chapter where the woman with a period is a waitress and being harrassed by male customers)

        Those staff are breaking their own rule that they must refund your travel costs. How do vouchers fix cash payments? Feed the meter? Pay the bills? Keep the bailiffs away another week? How do vouchers pay for petfood or school trips? Batteries for household appliances? Need to call in a tradesman and just try paying him/her (for fixing wiring or plumbing) in food stamps!
        ‘Dear Bank, My benefit got cut again this month, so I can’t pay my credit card. Here is a can of economy baked beans I got on food stamps.’

        “Get a portable stove” – landlords of bedsits are going to LOVE this. If you’re too disabled to use it properly then it’s even more dangerous.

        Suggestion: Benefits ‘adviser’ should be decamped forthwith to a ripped tent underneath a motorway flyover. Van arrives with tons of white goods and nowhere to plug them in (presumably climbing in the freezer and suffocating yourself is still an option). Also a bill for the unusable white goods, the cost of which (after you’ve died) will be transferred to your relatives. One broken stove, no matches, no gas cylinder. One bag of dry pasta. No water. No container to hold water. No change of underpants/knickers for at least 6 months. Scabies, fleas, and several other illnesses. Chance of attacks from roaming packs of drunks. Your tent doubles as dog toilet. When you walk miles into town, every store keeper yells ‘go away you manky tramp, we don’t serve tramps or take food vouchers’. No light at night, as torch batteries are not included in food vouchers.
        (Now benefits ‘adviser’, how do you like the luxurious lifestyle of a Dole Scrounger now?)

        Food banks that want you to change your religion or they will deny you food. Christianity isn’t so strict on this point but Islam is: 1) There is no compulsion in religion. 2) Unbelievers are bad but they are not as bad as hypocrites, who pretend to believe when really they don’t. It’s better to be an honest unbeliever and a good person, than a lying hypocrite/coward or a ‘devout’ creep. 3) Forcing a Muslim to convert to Christianity is a low blow from ‘charitable’ Christians claiming to give aid. (France does this by putting distribution in the hands of rightwing religious groups that put pork in every meal, so the food bank/soup kitchen clients, mostly Muslims, can’t eat it)

        What is the ‘advice’ we get from these ‘advisers’ anyway? Has it ever been any use? This week ours is mandating men to apply to be a care worker. fair enough you might say, if they are ablebodied and can lift people. Except it’s a job for a woman only. Either they don’t bother to read their own organisation’s job descriptions in universal job-splat (crotch-rot), or worse/more worryingly they DO.

        • @something survived i just noticed something odd..e petitions that are not very well supported eg Food Vouchers and smart cards and stuff about freeing up housing for workers who contribute to economy now seem to becoming govt policy is that ‘democracy in action?

        • lol at the packet noodles, I was stood beside someone in a discount shop (Lidl lol), he had 7 packets of noodles in his hand and turned to me and said: “that’s me food for the week”. Must have been in his early teens but his hair was solid grey, and looked really malnourished. A few hundred calories of carbohydrates is all there is in a packet of noodles. Where is the protein? vitamins/minerals? You can’t live off packet noodles, at least not for long.

  20. It’s scary because if your benefits are stopped when your sick and disabled either because of error, or being told you for for work or being sanctioned whilst on ESA maybe failing to attend interview, you cannot access even this safety net.

    If I have no money, I have no electric, no electric no power wheelchair so no getting to said food bank, same if food bank miles away and need a taxi as you can’t walk there, or wheelchair battery’s will not go that far especially in cold weather that drains batteries really fast.

    If I can’t afford phone line, I could not use my textphone to even ring a food bank to ask of could help. As usual the most vulnerable and less able needs are over looked.


    I find it breathtaking, that sombody stood upto their rights yesterday and shouted at ian duncan smith whilst doing a speech. willie black called ian d smith a ratbag, its in the gaurdian!

    I have been inspired and also want to have a go at him too!
    I would like to help the disabled people with their rights, but want to know what charity i can represent. So Johny, I need to know a good charity that helps disabled stand upto their rights thats NOT part of workfare for obvios reasons!

    Who can I represent ??
    I will publically humiliate ian duncan smith.


    please reply to my above comment, I really need to know what charity to help. I am done with sitting on my backside doing nothing. I want to help peoples rights , stand up and protest…… If that means going outside of my comfort zone so be it! I would love to know how I can start protesting properly with a group. im sure the disabled wont mind me ( not disabled myself ) helping with their protests. I have to do somthing its making me feel sick to the stomache watching ian duncan smith rip there souls and lives to pieces.

    Ian duncan smith, Im coming for you too.

    Please tell me where I need to go to help. Thanks

    • You could visit the DPAC or Black Triangle site for information first. And, I know you’re probably well-meaning and perhaps its just inexperience but a lot of disabled people are doing very effective campaigns all by themselves. I’m sure they’d still welcome your support though.

    • justice_for_the_working_class

      try getting a job you lazy fucking turd

      • you need to go **** yourself and stop trying to be a qwerty gangster. im 100% certain you are a 13 year old boy with bnp parents thinking he is some aryian god like figure. i hope if do hav a job you get made redundant and then cant find a new job, so you have to become the thing you hate most ….’a benefit scrounger’ as you like to put it. you are an utter tosser

  23. @johnny void but monies paid out to CRAPITA and their subs will still go ahead for them to run (profit) from it..

  24. @ERIKA its all about ‘to be seen to be making an effort finding work’ it matters not if you are half dead..


    Kari Manovitch, project director for the outsource at Barnet Council, said a major component of £70m savings the council expects to make from the 10-year, £320m deal will come from staff cuts.

    The Cabinet is tonight expected to endorse a council report that claimed the contract would cut the costs of services by at least 45%. Yet the deal will save Barnet only 18%, a figure derived by comparing existing service costs to the fee Capita will charge to provide them back to the council after they are outsourced.

    The 45% claim, presented in a Cabinet report by deputy council leader Daniel Thomas, will not go to Barnet but to Capita. The outsourcer will make the saving by cutting staff on the acquired services and automating them with a system it also uses to serve other public authorities.

    Manovitch confirmed that Capita’s profit margin will come roughly from the difference between the 45% saving it makes in the operating costs of its acquired services and the 18% saving it passes on in contract fees to the council – making the 27% as profit.

  26. I’m currently awaiting my esa claim due to becoming too ill to work,I have 3 children under 7 I was granted a crisis loan yesterday for 33 pound for a week,that was for meters,nappies,food and babymilk,social services are as bad they don’t help you they judge you,some people on sick want to work but are to ill and I find it disgusting how there left with no option but to starve

  27. Benefit cuts: Monday will be the day that defines this government.

    Those on low incomes, after all the vicious talk dismissing them as cheats and idlers, will be hit by an avalanche of cuts.

    ‘The Guardian has revealed how jobcentre staff are under orders to find any sanction to knock people off benefits.

  28. Anomie Shrugs – good point about how much of the money will actually find its way into the pockets of the poor. The Guardian story referred to above has this:

    ” Labour-controlled Darlington council plans to invest £58,000 in a church food bank, including £30,000 to enable the charity to take on a full-time worker.”

    If this sort of thing is going on up and down the country it is clear that one person’s misery and destitution is another’s well-paid job. What money churches can’t get on the collection plate they get from taxpayers.

    • justice_for_the_working_class

      hahahahhahahah good for her, its time those so called incapacity claiments were made to work…if they were actually to ill to work then they wouldnt have a problem with the test….fucking lazy scumbags, at least they cant get crisis loans now hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahha

  29. It’s okay that 1,600,000 are being forced into unpaid work and dieing – Thick UKIP bimbo polleetickled, far-right taxpaying shitbag.


    Esther Mcvey – I promise to kill more disabled people for the daily mail lynch mob, btw here’s a blog post of the guy who posted this article:

  31. Try to google who ever comes up with these articles in the Mail next time and see if they have a LinkedIn/Facebook account

  32. Ive been a victim of theft today,Having an epilepsy seizure,in the street..All my benefit money got stolen,As i was on my pay someone,In which i owed.Now i have no food, No heating,Absolutly NOTHING!! I have neither family nor friends to fall back on..”I HAVE TO ASK MYSELF IS LIFE REALLY WORTH LIVING” Im age 51,And now have to wait,for my next benefit payment (ESA)..But i seriously dont think my Epilepsy..will last out 2..wks!! DO THE GOVERMENT CARE IF I LIVE OR DIE? OF COURSE NOT..WERE JUST AN N.I. NUMBER TO THEM.

  33. Id like to ask..useless..”I DONT GIVE A SHIT” DUNCAN SMITH..IF HE WAS IN MY POSITION, WHAT WOULD HE DO? Unfortunetly most people will turn to crap “Payday loans” To see them throgh,for a week.People will get into more debt,Hence people cos instead of having there housing benefit paid direct,they will be paid into there accnt..Hence people will use, To survive!! Which of course if they do that, There will be more homeless people,More jobless people,All this goverment is doing,Is Running Britain Down!! The Rich will get richer,But they certainly wont be living in “Run Down” Britain!!..The Loan sharks companies are loving it..Already there advertising there loans on the internet..As a “CRISIS LOAN” DONT BE FOOLED!! THEYD RARTHER SEE YOU IN THE GUTTER,THAN PAY OFF THE LOAN. ESPECILLY…NO NOT BETTER MENTION THE WORST 2,COMPANIES GOING..WHO ARE “SCUM”


    • Rob….it’s Nick Lees here from Derby…just been reading your blog on here…be great to catch up with you…My E mail address is…hope you get this mate…

      • Hi Rob you havent mentioned in all of this that you are a conman who pretends to have epilepsy. You search through websites looking for vulnerable people to rip off. One poor girl you conned attempted suicide. You have no shame. Google yourself.

        • Im with you Selina, he’s always worse off than anyone else! and a liar. Ive googled him laughable! If he’s on benefits maybe they need to look at his bank acc!!

          • @mark and selina is everyone on here a benefit fraudster then that the point you are trying to make here ?

          • @mark and selina is everyone on here a benefit fraudster then that the point you are trying to make here ? So everyone who subscribes to this blog is a benefit fraudster then. And this blog can be discredited .
            Oh I see…

            • We have not said anyone is a benefit fraudster!! We were making a point about Mr Haddon Finney who likes to shout his mouth off but fails to mention he’s conned alot of people out of money and advertises himself as a private lender, how do you do this on benefits!!

  35. why did you have all your benefit money on you when you got robbed?

    • He probably didnt even get robbed this man tells that many lies its unreal. He’s conned my daughter out of money by promising her a loan to help her he sounds very plausible ive read the txts and emails and also the very nasty ones when she questioned him about anything. He’s made her life hell and needs stopping, if he has done this to anyone else we need to stop him, he’s told that many lies. If there is anyone who has his number please let me know as he’s conveniently changed it again!!

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    “Most of the local authorities who are considering smart card food voucher payments are restricting them so people can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes. In practice this seems to mean dealing with ASDA or Tesco so a system that allows for this restriction but can be used with local retailers would be v helpful. I was doing some research yesterday and realised that ASDA/Tesco are also offering a discount to local authorities which is proving a big incentive – as it makes the extremely tight budget that local authorities are being given to take on the scheme go a little bit further. I imagine local retailers will be less keen on offering discounts. There is at least one major company (allpay) touting for business across several local authorities, and hence intending to make use of their greater buying power to secure bigger discounts.”

  37. so why are Natwest switching customers to ATM only cards?

    UK bank customers living in rural areas and those on low incomes are most likely to encounter barriers to accessing cash, according to a new survey by the Payments Council.

    The survey revealed that those who experienced problems in withdrawing cash were primarily low-income consumers struggling to manage very tight budgets, particularly those not in employment and people living on social housing estates outside towns.

    The survey found that difficulties experienced included:

    -ATMs in poorly-served areas which are sometimes out of order or may have run out of cash;
    -Limited access to free ATMs in some areas;
    -Limited availability of small denomination notes at ATMs, particularly £5 notes which many consumers find useful;
    -Security fears about using ATMs in areas of high crime or anti-social behaviour, and
    -Queues at some very busy ATMs in poorly-served areas, resulting in lengthy waits in some cases.

    Many of the respondents believed their access to cash had improved in recent years.

    The survey found that 81% of those asked said it was very easy to get the cash they needed and there were high levels of satisfaction among those who got cash using ATMs, counters or cashback.

    Compared to three years ago, 24% of consumers thought it was easier to get cash now and 71% thought that it was about the same.

    Only 2% thought that it had become harder to get the cash that they needed.

    Small and medium-sized businesses generally reported low cash use but most users had no real issues withdrawing it.

    Adrian Kamellard, Payments Council chief executive, said: “It’s encouraging that the substantial majority of consumers and businesses are able to get cash easily, but the Payments Council’s focus is on those who have reported difficulties – particularly as these customers are often those most dependent on cash to help them manage on a tight budget.

    “Using what we have learnt from this research, over the next year we will be looking to identify any practical steps to deliver improvements for them.”


    “ Prepaid cards could transform the way people interact with benefits and services.”


  39. Acknowledgements
    We would first and foremost like to extend our thanks to
    MasterCard for providing the support that made this research
    possible. In particular we would like to thank James Harborne
    and Lee Russell, for their help and encouragement, and David
    Jones and Steve Shirley, who also provided useful feedback.
    We would also like to thank the seven local authorities who
    assisted our research, either by speaking about their own
    experience of using prepaid cards, or by helping us to organise
    focus groups, so that social care users could speak about their
    own experience of direct payments and prepaid cards – these
    were: Merton, Brent, Southwark, Kent, Wigan, Bury and North
    Somerset Councils. Honourable mention goes to Stuart Woolley
    at Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd for his generous help in
    contacting several of the councils. For hosting the three focus
    groups, we would like to thank the All Saints Day Centre in
    Wimbledon, the Southwark Resource Centre and Wigan and
    Leigh Carers.
    We owe a huge thanks also to all those who attended these
    focus groups, and our three expert discussions – in London,
    Newcastle and Leeds.
    At Demos, we are extremely grateful to Ella Goschalk, Lisa
    O’Dea, Jennifer Norton, Nina Tobolewska and Ally Paget for
    research support throughout this project, and to Rob
    Macpherson, Ralph Scott, Sophie Duder and Josephine Brady
    for guiding the report through the production and launch stages.
    Any errors or omissions remain our own

    Claudia Wood
    Jo Salter
    January 2013

    “ Prepaid cards could transform the way people interact with benefits and services.”


  40. Leave your card debts to your strawman! 🙂

  41. Im on child tax credits and in collage full time, I share custody with my children’s father, I receive just over £100 a week, with this I pay fairs, gas elec food, water rates and now im gonna have to pay 13% on my extra room even though i have a two bed flat annd have my 2 children 3 nights a week, they are telling me thats an extra room!. I have gas around 4 days a week and that is when my children are with me, I have electric usually 6 days a week, again I make sure it’s when my children are with me and they are here 3 nights a week, when they’re not here I go with out gas most of the time and food most of the time, I live on porridge because it cost £1 for a Tescos value 1kg bag and I can make it with water, when I do have my children we have to buy cheap unhealthy food, fresh fruit and veg it to expensive, so we live on things like Tescos value chicken Kiev’s and Tescos value chips. I went to the food bank last Thursday and by the way you can only go 3 times a year, I have been twice now, i ran out of gas two days ago so I cant cook any of the pasta so for the last two days ive lived on tinned tomatoes!

    Im not asking for the government to give me a ton of money, I don’t want money I just want to be able to heat my water to have a bath or cook what very little food I have, and maybe feed my kids a healthy, Im walking 6 miles to collage and back 5 days a week because the £i.40p it cost on an oyster can buy a loaf of bread some really dodgy tescos value meat and that’s dinner. Life is pretty shit im not sitting on my ass not trying to better myself im in collage so I can get a good job!! but i get no extra help. Oh well 2/3 more years of this hardship until Ive finished collage and can get a job, great

  42. Im exactly one of the people its affected
    I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder after a lifelong battle with depression and suicidal incidents I finally get an answer
    I am just starting a 3 day a week intensive therapy course called dialectical behavioural therapy
    I worked and lived alone from age of 16 to 32 after I finally couldnt cope anymore and had a breakdown
    Im from a middle class family my father has a good job my brother is a policeman but as im such an embarrassment to my family they dont have anything to do with me
    I moved to london 3 years ago to see if I could get help for my disorder as the treatment is not available in most areas I ended up homeless and in a hostel which was awful I finall have a little place in hackney
    I had my benefits stopped 6 weeks ago because I didnt attend the appointment due to severe anxiety its horrible having to sit in front of a foreign pseudo doctor who unless you have some tangible disease or disability trying to explain your mental struggle
    I had a letter from my psychiatrist I sent to appeal the decision explaining I will be in full time therapy and am in no state to work they take months to make a decision I have no money I cant get a crisis loan
    Ive had to steal food from shops cant afford tampons have to steal loo roll and use that instead
    I have now starting advertising myself for sex as I have no way to pay my electric
    I have a customer coming round later I am that desperate
    All because I cant get a crisis loan which I have to pay back anyway
    So I hope youre happy duncan smith

    • atleast you’ve still got something to sell, i lost my home, parents and job within a year, Oh and then i lost my dole… got to love the system

  43. justice_for_the_working_class

    wont somebody think of the poor off licences and drug dealers that are going to lose out !! hahahahhahah you begging tramps, man up and get a job you lazy unwashed bums, personally id go further and close off a tramp city…manchester, liverpool etc and turn it into a town for the long term benefit spoungers ( re name it….trampsville!! sounds good ) , and this should include..druggies, boozers,the lazy, anyone whos claiming invalid benefits when theres nothing wrong with them other then a slight limp..then close the borders…maybe give them day passes out to visit the working class members of their familys, and if they can find a job and hold it down then they can be released back into society….

    • You idiot this is the biggest load of shit I’ve heard I work in a estate agents but how is this fair u might not have the same job forever I can’t even afford sometimes to haver electric on for two weeks after paying rent child care Etc I’m left paying money I don’t even have ?!! They need to up min wage for anyone to get anywhere , n lower the cost to live instead of investing back into banks n back to there pockets look how much they earn compared to us !! N as for drug dealers if the government wanted they could put a stop to that they get it here n they need it In order to have there system you know Nuffin do you think half the people on job seekers are whatever want to be one there ?? There probably 2in 10 that does the rest no I don’t think so !!


  45. Pingback: Protest The Council’s Decision To Make Crisis Grants Only Spendable At ASDA – Sunday 19th June | Birmingham Against The Cuts

  46. Aaron Maloney

    Absolute joke stopping crises loans, but let’s still give all the jonny foreign’s benifits!! So your going to hand out food vouchers to people with no gas or electric ,, nice 1 dickhead!!!! If the government and the local councils didn charge so much to live there wouldn be this problem,, road tax? You are taking the piss, have you seen the roads we have to drive on everyday and pay for repairs on our motors because the roads are shit!!

    • You must be joking without foreigners where would England be n what would it be this contry has always taken from people from Egyptian days to slavery , to going to afghanstian stealing oil n jellerwy , why are they here because this country feel Shame n offer then to come here as refuges for the thing they have done ruin there families life and hole place who wants to come here ?
      Do your research this country owes a lot of dept to others !! Oh n if you look around you who more than half the percentage working is forngniers whether that’s polish , Muslim . Black or whatever !! I was born here and it makes me feel ashamed when people called other forngniers we are in so much dept up others

  47. Well, were nearly 2 months on from the closure of the Social Fund, and it is clear to see that the changes are impacting the most vulnerable in our society the most

  48. Since bedroom tax more people are applying for crisis loans

  49. This is so rediclious how can they do that people it’s already so hard to survive some people can’t even make it trough the week , I don’t understand why they so this to the less fourtuante because everyone in England is on some kind of benfits whether your working or not , ( don’t argue working tax credit etc) so why make the worst of worst of , if they just increased the min wage then everything would be Lot easier there wouldn’t be council reduction scheme etc but they haven’t changed with the times its all a conspiracy , the world they want you to live in there no more middle class just poor and rich and soon there won’t be any poor!! I’m 21 and if I was in government there be so much sorted but its the fact they don’t want to people re treated so unfairly !!

  50. Wrong name,Wrong Email, im a freind of the said name get your facts right fgs

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