Backlash To Benefit Bashing Is Only Just Beginning

British-Social-Attitudes-SurveyThe reported shift in public opinion in favour of social security spending is likely to be just the beginning as yet more horrific tales emerge of poverty and homelessness due to Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.

The findings of the British Social Attitudes survey released this week suggests that despite this Government’s benefit bashing rhetoric, public opinion is starting to shift in favour of claimants.  The key findings are that only 51% of people believe benefits are too high and discourage work – compared to 63% in 2011, whilst 34% of people support more spending on benefits compared to 28% the previous year.  Another encouraging finding is that almost half of people (47%) believe that further cuts to benefits would damage too many people’s lives.

From the endless thunderous headlines in some sections of the press – often dripping with DWP concocted lies – it would be easy to assume that everyone in the UK is the kind of swivel-eyed, money-grabbing Jeremy Clarkson wannabe the Daily Mail would like to pretend represents the average citizen.  As the above table shows, the reality is very different, with consistent support reported for wealth redistribution (69%), a decent standard of living for unemployed people (59%), support for housing for those who can’t afford it (81%) along with nationally funded healthcare (97%) and pensions (96%).  These figures have remained constant for almost 30 years showing that support for the welfare state has remained solid even if some opinions on the finer details have become warped by the stream of propaganda.

What will terrify Tory spin doctors however is that this change in opinion is only likely to be the beginning.  This survey was carried out in 2012, before almost all of the most savage cuts to social security had been introduced.  Many of the most vicious cuts such as the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap were still distant threats that had barely made the headlines.  The shambolic unraveling of Iain Duncan Smith’s bungled Universal Credit project was only just starting to become apparent, and whilst the Work Programme was hardly setting the world on fire , no-one back then realised what an eye-wateringly expensive shambles it would turn out to be.

The impact of the Bedroom Tax is currently demolishing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but the inevitable wave of evictions is still some months down the line.  The Benefit Cap – still not introduced everywhere – has already seen homelessness in London soar, whilst everywhere else the number of homeless families creeps steadily upwards.  Atos are only half way through assessing claimants on sickness and disability benefits meaning the desperately sad tales of chronically ill people found fit for work, or driven to suicide by the ruthless regime, are set to continue.

The new claimant conditionality for unemployed people is likely to result in a huge increase in the use of benefit sanctions, which are already expected to top a million this year.  Every claimant sanctioned is someone left with almost nothing at all, and forced to either depend on foodbanks – or in the words of one homelessness charity, beg and steal to survive.

Meanwhile the lurid stories of benefit claimants living in two grand a week mansions which have been used to drive the benefit slashing agenda have now all dried up due to the benefit cap.  In reality these only ever reflected a handful of extreme cases; usually large homeless families in emergency and temporary private rented accommodation.  Now those families are forced to share a room in a grotty B&B, or face being socially cleansed from the area in which they may have lived their entire lives.  This will make for a for different kind of headline, and not one you’re likely to see in the Daily Mail anytime soon.

Unfortunately for the Tories, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and increasingly this bunch of clowns aren’t fooling anyone.  And that’s why all they have left is spite.  Even the Daily Mail loyalists seem to have been repulsed by freakish Michael Grove’s latest comments that people dependent on foodbanks have only got themselves to blame.

Meanwhile internet con-man Grant Shapps’ has dismissed UN concerns over the Bedroom Tax as a ‘disgrace’ from ‘a woman from Brasil’ – a statement which hints at the festering misogyny you might expect to come from a man who used to make his money flogging sleazy guides on how to pick up women.

It’s hard to know where the next big benefit bashing stories will come from as social security is cut to the bone.  This doesn’t mean they will stop.  Expect more drip-fed propaganda about a disabled person caught  playing golf, or a single mum who has the cheek to have a boyfriend.  As desperation mounts to maintain the hate for the very poorest they will stoop lower and lower, because without this hate – which has defined the current administration – the Tories haven’t really got much to offer.  And so they will retreat into their all too familiar world of bigotry, selfishness and naked greed.  Meaning  once again the public will see the true face of a very nasty party that should have been consigned to the dustbin of history in the last century.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

96 responses to “Backlash To Benefit Bashing Is Only Just Beginning

  1. I have a significant interest story regarding my dwp treatment by dwp


  2. oh, while on the subject of UN inspector, DWP dismissed the findings as they were based on anecdotal evidence (as opposed to ‘real’ facts they’ve got?!)

  3. And well written John! Stick this everywhere people!

  4. The govt like to advocate human rights in other countries but its a different matter for another country to tell us our human rights are crap – a woman from Brazil – a statement that can be taken as sexist and racial!

  5. overburdenddonkey

    one key statement made by this un inspector, is that the “human component” has been stripped out of the equation , this goes right across the board in/of the savage cuts, imposed without commonsense and without the consent of the people, but by the govt that weren’t elected.
    therefore we are being told what is good for us, and also blamed if we don’t agree and/or suffer the misery of these savage and savagely imposed cuts, and complain about it…
    that, people in the uk are finally waking up to the abuse imposed by these dictatorial rulers, is almost welcome, although not a warm welcome, but rather a cold welcome, a chilling welcome, but nevertheless a step back to the path of sanity…

    warning others of danger is never abuse, well done to all who ring the alarm bells…

  6. The DWP tried last week with their propaganda about fraud Covertly briefed, no-one could find out who had done the briefing or to whom, but it appeared all over the press. When challenged about the nature of the content, they stonewalled. The whole department is so full of IDS dogma it is now unfit for purpose as a part of our civil service. I would like to see the complete reorganisation of this snake-pit in someone’s manifesto, they would get my vote (except UKIP & Golden Dawn et al, of course!).

    They (DWP) are behaving like a bunch of zombies, roaming around, mindlessly destroying people & their lives in a mindless state of insatiable blood lust of the poor and ill and disabled and non-working. Oh, my mistake, they’re just Central Office spads.

    • Another Fine Mess

      I noticed meself that the recent benefit bashing stories were coming from ‘unknown spokespersons’. So I checked the quotes from ministers, they’re word for word quotes from April’13. They were completely made up stories.

  7. A government with sub zero credibility increasing in magnitude on a daily basis. Well done to that lady for exposing these crimes against humanity. Hope there is more UN involvement assisting the victims of this dictatorship!

  8. I note the BBC only reported some Tory pratt saying how she came over with a planned agenda and was obviously bias, etc. We all know what to do with our licences!

    • The BBC should be closed down altogether for their right wing bias and promotion of the scrounger vs skiver lie, then we would all have money in our pockets and no licence fee.

      • Yes, all those accusations by the Tories of the lefty BBC are just a closeted cover for the control they have over them.

        Great name by the way, he’s one of my hero’s! 🙂

      • …and no dramas like the brilliant “The Wipers Times” on BBC2 last night, one of the best things on telly all year! Steady on, Guy! As for the DWP, seeing IDS on BBC Breakfast last week after the National Audit Office wrist-slap, with the look of a ConDemned man on his face, pathetically trying to maintain Universal Credit was still on track, was TV gold. Then Grant Shapps’ hysterical outrage at the UN findings on the bedroom tax came a close 2nd. The writing is finally appearing on the wall for IDS (I predict he’ll get the bullet in a cabinet re-shuffle very soon) and the crooks at the DWP. Your lies will always find you out in the end! Raquel Rolnik (UN rapporteur) gets my Woman of the Year award, hands down! Check the latest Steve Bell classic…

  9. Another Fine Mess

    Now that IBS is being kept in the cupboard under the stairs, the rest are trying to out buffoon each other. From that DM article:

    “But Energy Secretary Ed Davey told MPs that it was ‘completely wrong to suggest that there is some sort of statistical link between the benefit reforms we’re making and the provision of food banks’.”

  10. Pingback: Backlash To Benefit Bashing Is Only Just Beginn...

  11. Matthew Oakly and his think thank chums (the name of which escapes me, there are so many awful right wing stink tanks) have some new nonsense. Apparently he, inexplicably, wants (young) unemployed people to commute 90 minutes to sign on. I have no idea what this means, the nearest JC to me is a 30 minute bus journey (and that’s expensive enough). Why would I need to forego using that venue for one another hour’s journey away? The logistics make no sense.

    • overburdenddonkey

      ghost whistler..
      they do it to wind one up and own one’s time and energy, like cleaning the barracks floor with a tooth brush…

      • It’s just propaganda. These stink tank cunts take money to spread misinformation and find evidence that fits their prejudice. They already approach the issue from the perspective of ‘people r scroungers’ so any conclusion is biased. Yet there theya are, on tv on the radio constantly spreading bollocks.

  12. A little off topic (it’s about Atos)

    Click to access Fregene.pdf

  13. sainsburys are being paid 2275 quid for each of the 18-24 year old to work at there stores for 26 weeks for nmw 30hrs then sent back to the wp for a new replacement and no job offer at the end of it just sacked and replaced.

    if a store has under 50 staff then they can get an early payment of 700 quid or a part time incentive of 1137 for 16-29hrs a week part time.

    the letter is from learn direct to sainsburys store manager cos i took it from his desk and photo coped it 😉

  14. Well if unfair benefit sanctions are bringing in public sympathy expect it to sky rocket soon because when you get put onto a Claimant Commitment you no longer have any right to appeal anything the advisers put on it (well, you can, but only to another adviser and not a decision maker!).

    “There is no right of appeal against the contents of the Claimant Commitment, nor against the imposition of requirements as recorded in the Claimant Commitment. ”

    • overburdenddonkey

      perhaps we should call back the un inspectors? ….a blatant violation of human rights, to “independent” review..

      • I find it hard to believe it’s true. Can they really impose any action on us with no appeal process? Maybe this is why many advisers have been getting cocky recently and claiming that they will soon be able to mandate everyone to use UJM.

    • I couldn’t believe a lorry driver who was on the sick after having a knee replacement, saying to our local BBC interviewer that he would not be a maggot and claim sickness benefits, he will live off his savings instead – that was just last nights local NE news.

      People who apply for benefits are not maggots, they are entitled to benefits, I’m sick of this propaganda from the fascist BBC.

      • Did he pay for his knee replacement out of his own savings, or did he just hoover up £12,000 worth of NHS funds, – about 2 1/2 years worth of benefits.

  15. Well written jv, now if we could only decide who we are going to be able to vote for at the next election, given that politics other than the mainstream parties are splintered between left and right groups, We need a new party that we can all unite under and I believe breakaway unions could start one.

  16. Today I received a letter from DWP telling me that my JSA is to be sanctioned from 13/9/13 to 26/9/13, this is because I missed an appointment at a4e on, and check the date 18/6/12,thats 15 fuckin months ago???

  17. sainsburys/learndirect
    dear employer
    did you know that buy hiring a work programme client,your businesses may be entitled to receive a wage incentive from the government through the youth contract?
    what is the new youth contract from the government?
    the youth contract gives you support to create new,sustainable jobs for young people.
    it enables you to bring fresh talent in to your organisation and build your workforces skills base.
    it is a new incentive that offers employers a wage incentive of up to £2.275 for each 18-24 year old from the work programme who is employed with you for at least 26 weeks.
    how the youth contract works
    the employee (aged between 18 and 24 when starting work) will need to be paid national minimum wage.
    £2275 is the full time wage incentive for 30 hours or more per week.
    a part time wage incentive of £1.137.50 is availble for 16-29 hours per week.
    payments are made at the end of the 26-week period, but if you are a small company of less than 50 employees then an early claim can be made after 8 weeks for a payment of £700 (equivalent to an 8 weeks wage incentive).
    the benefits of employing an 18-24 year old
    with fewer university places and the current economic climate,more and more young,bright,articulate and highly motivated people are not in employment, education or training
    these young hopefuls bring fresh perspective, energy and adaptability to growing businesses.
    having relevant training from learn direct means they are job-ready,and we will provide in-work support for up to two years after recruitment.
    how can we help you
    for employers looking to take advantage of the new youth contract, we provide:
    fee free recruitment, provide employers with a large pool of job ready clients
    pre-employment training to prepare clients for the workplace,including specific training for sectors such as hospitality, construction customer service and retail.
    pre-screening management, taking the hassle, time and risk out of recruiting. we also offer our offices to support employers to recruit in bulk if needed.
    in-work support,training and liaison to ensure both employer and employee are happy.
    a point of contact for understanding and accessing the wide range of employer support initiatives available.
    we’ve enclosed all the documentation and guidance notes youll need to enable you to make a claim.
    if you have any questions, please dont hesitate to get in touch.
    casc advisor
    the person this letter is about was sacked last week after his 26 weeks were up stacking shelf’s and a new 1 starts Monday.
    letter was taken from the store managers desk and photo copied 🙂

  18. The tide has turned, and the writing is on the wall for the lying Tory scum. Dictators who ‘swallow Gold and spew junk’ will always be rumbled in the end.

  19. The good news just keeps on commin’

    “Universal credit hits new snag as David Cameron casts doubt on timetable”

  20. its late so if this has already been said i apologise……………
    quote:….Atos are only half way through assessing claimants on sickness and disability benefits meaning the desperately sad tales of chronically ill people found fit for work, or driven to suicide by the ruthless regime, are set to continue….unquote……….the reason for this is that they constantly re-assess the same people. some every 3 months, quite often even though someone may have been told after their previous assessment that it would be a year before their next one, they still receive the dreaded form to fill in preceding the next assessment.especially once they have won their a child who has had their favourite toy taken away from them/if you beat atos you can expect them to take it out on you.they dont like you winning. result is, they dont have time to finish the job. like most bad workmen, they spread the job out as thinly as they can .the longer it lasts the more money they can fleece the govt of, only the govt are too full of themselves to see it.

  21. ……………felt slightly dishonest today. As my neighbour left his house, i looked in his bin. Could’nt believe my eyes, a full loaf of bread unopened. I took it but was careful to see if anyone was watching me. I hobbled back to my front door glancing from side to side to ensure i had not been seen.

    Upon opening the bag i noticed that around threequarters had gone blue with mould, but the rest was ok.
    The fridge is empty barring an old tube of tomato puree. I spread the puree on the bread and hungrily bit into it………

    It made me wonder, did the ATOS HCP, Emma BRODRICK,
    really understand the reality of what she was doing when she picked up her wages of sin?

    Was she aware of the sleepless nights, the worry, the anguish and the burden of not only me, but my family?

    Did she ever think for even a single moment, of the horror of her ways?
    If roles were reversed, i do not think i could do the same to her, the torment should never be placed on a human being……….

    If only EMMA BRODRICK could have experienced what i have, i am sure she would never do it again………………..

    “To condemn someone to hell is the the job of an assassin, not a registered nurse”……….

    Please forgive her as she is oblivious to the error of her ways. The money completely clouded her judgements…….

    • You have nothing to feel dishonest about.

    • Jamie Fucking Oliver

      You should have toasted the mouldy stuff, mate… 🙂 Pukka… 🙂


    • The Pigeon Family

      You were lucky to get a whole loaf, mate 🙂 Coo, coo, coo 🙂

    • in agreement with Landless Peasant, you have nothing to feel dishonest about. Just please be careful when you go through someones bin because people may be offended and verbally attack and I would hate for you to go through `that` also.
      I speak from experience I took a mirror from a skip once and was verbally abused. the man was so angry, so much so even to a point where he threatened to call the police. The fact he saw it as rubbish enough to chuck, therefore did not want himself was bizarrely no argument.

      • @elohimette the other day a box full of cutlery was left on the pavement for others to take away…no one was begrudging anything..

        • my neighbour frequently puts out things he no longer needs in the hope that someone, if only the rag n bone man, will take them away. our council have changed how many things we can ask them to take away for free from 3 to 1 per year. after that its £15 per item. but the rag n bone man comes around practically every week and takes what others have left.i had an old microwave that had blown. was put in yard till i contacted council about its removal. once i found out how much it was going to cost me i did same as my neighbour. within half an hour 2 fellas with a van were loading it in. how they knew i dont know. perhaps a little birdie told

        • @bob, there was a fork in the road? (Had to ask – it needs clearing up).

    • The Seagull Family

      We would have raided the whole bin, mate 🙂

    • If you are subjected to raking through peoples bins, I suggest you go to your doctor with this tale and ask him how you are expected to survive and see if you get a response.

      • I got some food out of a neighbour’s bin a few weeks ago, and I am on medication for Depression, but they still won’t give me a bloody sick note.

  22. i think that shit only appeals to people with a huge grudge against ceratin people or a chip on their shoulder…bloody hell a millionaire wouldnt give a fuck about anyone on the dole who may have fiddled an extra fiver anyway..

  23. Millionaires at one time were employing unemployed tradesmen on the fiddle to renovate and repair their homes.

  24. Nothing, except for the fact that the said millionaires were probably applauding governments and the media that want to expose benefit fiddlers without implicating themselves as beneficiaries of fraud.

  25. There is nothing I could wish to do more than introduce Duncan Smith, Hoban, McVey & Freud to a nice piece of hickory.

  26. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  27. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  28. If you have two JSA (4 and 13 weeks) sanctions against you, and you win a tribunal appeal against the 4 week one, does the 13 week sanction get reduced?

    • I think they will see the sanctions as completely separate and set to run “one after the other”, so I think the dwp would accept the appeal win but then just start the 13 week sanction to keep you in the shit!


    From: C Robinson

    8 September 2013

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    I am writing this FOI because I have seen many differing views
    regarding clause 99 and the catch 22 situation that it puts sick
    and disabled claimants in,

    So my questions are thus:

    Q1 When a person is refused ESA and appeals against the decision,
    what benefits can he claim if s/he has no income?

    Q2 If an ESA refusal claimant is too “fit” for ESA, but too sick or
    disabled for JSA what is there recourse?
    (i) How will they pay their bills?
    (ii) How will they be able to get medication? (as they will not be
    on any benefits to qualify for free prescriptions)
    (iii) What about their homes? Will you still cover the rent? Or
    will you be setting up modern-day workhouses?
    (iv) Where are their human rights? I refer to article 6 and 25
    respectively. Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights
    act is a provision of the European Convention which protects the
    right to a fair trial. In criminal law cases and cases to determine
    civil rights it protects the right to a public hearing before an
    independent and impartial tribunal within reasonable time, the
    presumption of innocence, and other minimum rights for those
    charged in a criminal case (adequate time and facilities to prepare
    their defence, access to legal representation, right to examine
    witnesses against them or have them examined, right to the free
    assistance of an interpreter). Article 25. (1) Everyone has the
    right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
    well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
    housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the
    right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness,
    disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in
    circumstances beyond his control.

    Q3 How can someone have a fair hearing (see article 6 above) at a
    tribunal when you have driven them into a catch 22 situation? i.e.
    A claimant refused ESA, through sheer destitution has to sign on
    and as soon as they do it cancels out their appeal, even though
    they are too ill to work and have no chance of getting a job. How
    legal is this since the UK signed the Human Rights act? Pursuant of
    this how many appeals will be made to the ECHR?

    Q4 When a person is turned away from the JCP because s/he doesn’t
    fit the criteria to sign on (their illnesses means hospital
    appointments, etc) what are their rights if any?

    Q5 What impact will Clause 99 have on the Infrastructure? i.e:
    (i) The NHS?
    (ii) Foodbanks?
    (iii) Social Services?
    (iv) The Police (people HAVE turned to crime when they have no
    income whatsoever)
    (v) Local Councils (How can people pay the council tax with no
    Q6 How long will it be before the application of Clause 99 causes
    chaos and meltdown?
    Q7 How many deaths will this cause?

    Yours faithfully,

    C Robinson

    Link to this

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