Tuesday 11 September 2012

Join Tomorrow’s Protest At DWP – Stop Attacks On Poor

Today Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith faced questions in the House of Commons about the Universal Credit system which will begin replacing all benefits from next year.

Most benefits are currently paid every fortnight, but Universal Credit will be paid monthly.

This will be a massive strain on those on meagre benefits. The growth of payday loan firms, that charge exorbitant rates of interest, is due to the fact that many people in work find that their wages do not stretch to the end of the month, never mind those on benefits.

The benefit has to be claimed online, which will make it difficult for those in need as community charity Citizens Advice warns that the Universal Credit system “risks causing difficulties to the 8.5 million people who have never used the internet and a further 14.5 million who have virtually no ICT skills”.

Former Labour minister Frank Field said that Universal Credit was on course for disaster  with the IT project already delayed and more problems encountered. But he had a more fundamental objection:

“Means-testing only encourages dependency, and the universal credit is, in one sense, the ultimate form of means-testing.”

The mood against the attacks on the poor is rising and was reflected in a number of speeches, not least that of PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka:

“We heard this morning about the full extent how the government’s austerity agenda represents the biggest attack on working class people this country has ever seen.

“But PCS believes as we come to this conference that we need a sense of urgency. We need a sense of urgency to turn these words into actions before it’s too late.

“On jobs: 700,000 public sector jobs to go, unemployment predicted to reach three million, record levels of youth unemployment bringing real despair and destitution to our communities…And we have a welfare state that is now under siege: cuts to disability benefits, compulsory workfare, benefits being reduced in a way that we haven’t seen for decades and now Save the Children telling us that 25% of kids in the UK live in poverty.

“The situation is appalling – what are we going to do about it? We need 20 October to be the biggest demonstration we have ever seen. But PCS believes we need to follow up the demonstration as quickly as we can with mass co-ordinated strike action across the public and private sector.

“Imagine what we can win if we march together, strike together and consign the government’s austerity to the dustbin of history and give hope and inspiration to the millions that look to us.”

Unite Community have called a protest against the attacks on the poor tomorrow:

Jobs Not Sanctions

Protest Called By Unite Community London

Wednesday 12th September – from 9am

Department of Work and Pensions
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London SW1H 9NA

Invite your friends on facebook.

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3 comments

  1. Wullie said:

    I find it hard enough going from weekly wages to being unable to work through an injury at work. To have to go on benefits after 4 failed back operations I now have a spinal cord stimulator fitted to help control pain as to which is does not cover all my pain only in my lower back it does not touch my hips or leg joint pain. Your now going to change this to monthly its a joke as it is without being forced to struggle by this government. It seems to be the sick and poor your targeting left right and center when will this stop when we have nothing but rags on our back and raking the bins and fighting for scrap’s Britain is turning into a third world country !! You seem to think more of giving money to other countries to help there poor out before helping your own people who have paid taxes and insurance in this country. I worked for 24yrs up until I injured my spine at work yet I apply for help from the Goverment and I get refused then ATOS falsify paperwork by saying I attended a medical when I was no where near the place neither did I receive any paperwork to attend any interviews, I have my local MSP LOOKING INTO THIS AND HE HAS ALL THE RELEVANT PAPERWORK. I also have to travel 196 miles round trip to the hospital for treatment and I have to rely on others friends and family to help pay this as I don’t get any help with travel cost’s SHAME ON YOU.

    12 September 2012 at 8:36am
  2. mike said:

    I will be there tomorrow I was there after the Atos protest when the police got heavy handed with the wheelchair users.Great to see that resistance is growing to the in-human government

    12 September 2012 at 1:11pm
  3. lou said:

    Right behind u, unfortunately I cant afford to travel to london but if I could I would. It feels like people on benefits are all viewed as workshy scroungers and as such are being punished for being unemployed, a small minority of jobseekers are workshy but the majority of us are seeking employment but are just getting nowhere apparently when seeking employees alot of companies accept unemployed jobseekers as a last resort. I feel ashamed to be on jsa, even tho I jobsearch and go for interviews regularly, am studying part time at college and am working voluntary, because of the stigma attachef to beinh ‘on the dole’ and its time that perception changed.

    12 September 2012 at 1:36pm

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