This week, with temperatures plummeting to freezing so frequently the £25 cold weather payment looks set to be on the verge of being paid out to benefit claimants...
"if the average temperature in your area is 0° or below for 7 consecutive days you could be eligible "
Let's break that down..
"7 consecutive days" ???
Seems a case of more Government hand outs that aren't exactly handed out..
In all the years I've been claiming different benefits, I can literally only recall receiving this a few times..
Can't imagine why criteria can't be more in favour of the claimant rather than the Government... It's bitterly cold here in the middle of a cost of living crisis...
I've just been watching "A Christmas Carol" (the animated version from 2009) with my son, & feel the opening scenes are remarkably like the current cost of living crisis 🤔.... Fancy that? Who would have thought Charles Dickens could predict the future so accurately???
How there are people who still vote Tory after more shocking revelations from Michael Gove in the Covid Inquiry - is make me wondering what do they benefit from by voting Tory?
I'm going to respond with a poem first & foremost, given the shameless attack on sick & disabled people in the Budget. Originally written for last year's Challenge Poverty Week, I still think it has relevance today. It's called People of Worth.
People Of Worth
I felt productive today.
But the gnawing pain of Fenella,
My inner critic’s voice in my brain
Whispering guilt never quite goes away
Chronic illness is thought a drain.
The resultant disability affects my aim
Of being economically active again.
Yet I’m someone worthy of being helped
When, sometimes, I can barely help myself
As neurons, run ragged by disease
Fire up & stop me;
Feeling ill at ease,
They refuse my aching quest
To push though.
Spasticity calling all the shots, gleeful,
“Ha! Look at you!
You’re weak, you’re lame”
(Fenella’s voice, shrieking in disdain!)
“You’ll never regain
Your competence, your confidence
Your sense of wholeness
Maybe not today, brain, but here’s the thing
You forget - I still have my voice.
I’ll shout, I’ll chant, I’ll sing
(Like no one's listening!)
“So what? I’m still here!
I’ve survived every flaming obstacle that has ever come my way
I deserve dignity & respect
Just like the 14 million plus others, who
Found life turned upside down instantaneously.
You see, Fenella, dear
Adversity is the forge
Upon which my comrades & I
Will hammer out our truths to Power.
Upon their anvils of incredulity.
To those who fail to listen,
Do not mistakenly dismiss us contemptuously.
Our voices, like continuous bouts of tinnitus, will ring out
That we & our communities, are still worthy
Forever bound through hope, courage, love & unity.
Ignore us at your peril!
© SAL Widdop October 2022
It appears from the statement that the government is making positive changes particularly for those on low-income and unemployed due to health. Of course, these changes are very welcome and long overdue. This makes me feel positive about future.
I prefer to read up about all of this rather than listen on the news. I find that I can process it all better. From what I have gathered, in regards to myself, it will help in some ways.
I’m currently on Universal Credit and I get housing benefit too. My rent is high and I appreciate the help I do get but I do have to cover a lot on my own. Add that and normal bills, food, etc.
I do welcome the 6.7% increase as it will help. Does it cover everything? Will I still struggle, probably yes. But with some money management I should hopefully get through it.
I welcome the fact that all working age benefits and pensions will be uprated from 2024/25, but what I would also welcome is what the Chancellor will do for the most vulnerable members in society in the interim of this.
However, overall, I felt that proposals made in his Autumn Statement were optimistic.
Hi, good evening. Thank you for the big question of the week. I was very disappointed when I heard the news because I don't know how the government want us to cope. And I think maybe they are happy with this mental illness people are having and this kind of depression.
We don't really have a lot of money. So how do they want us to cope? Like now I am diabetic type two. I have three kids to look after. So if I have the decision to feel like I can't work for like six months, does that mean I should lose my benefit? I think the government really needs to think about it again before taking decisions. And they need to consider that we are having some kind of illness. They need to consider women. They need to consider all people as well.
Why would they take such decision? I feel that should we need to make an amendment, fine. I'm happy about the rate increasing. No one can fear that. But at the same time increasing any kind of rates they want to increase that doesn't mean they should now punish us in another way. So that is what feel and I think they need to rethink about it.
So I have to fully catch up on the full budget or the brief parts of the budget. But the bits I did pick up, which I was pleasantly surprised was is Universal Credit is going up in kind of just above inflation, I believe, or roundabout inflationary rates, which is nice, it's always good. I am disabled, dependent on benefits, although I work very minimal part time. Also, I was sort of glad in a way, but also sort of upset as well about the disability part with disability claimants being sort of able or forced to go into work.
I kind of find that good in a way because I understand myself, I'm not fully wheelchair bound. I've got osteoarthritis bilateral both knees, carpal tunnel bilateral both hands and arthritis into my fingers at my left hand. But I am able to get out, I am able to contribute to society, I am able to work. I think it's a good idea what the Chancellor said, that disabled people can work from home. My youngest daughter is disabled. She's got learning difficulties, suffered some seizures. And as I've always said to my three daughters, there is nothing that stops you getting out and working. Two of my daughters are neurodivergent, autism, ADHD and there is nothing that stops you from physically going out, either physically going out to work or working from home on a computer. So I do think that is good, as long as people are treated with respect and get the help they need.
The rise in Minimum Wage and the Local Housing Allowance unfreeze is very welcome! I cannot help but feel sceptical about the budget overall - as in; where will this money come from? And I understand it’s a budget for the impending election.
The government are now after those who are disabled and the unemployed will be penalised by sanctioning. Having been a stay at home parent and then a widowed parent of two young children, I found it very difficult to find work that fitted around the school hours and as a result I was capped on benefits. This in turn made me spiral into debt and it took me 4 years after my late husband had died to find suitable work. I’m sure there are families who will be pushed into destitution by these policies. Again we live in hope that these measures do not come into effect and that there is a new party in power who will scrap these brutal policies.
From what I currently understand about the autumn statement today, there is probably more bad news than good for those in this country on the lowest incomes and those who have disabilities or are unable to work due to sickness. Yes they did announce that benefits will rise next year, but this is far from enough to relieve some of the pressure on families that are still struggling with the cost of living, unable to buy healthy food and heat their homes. Then there is also the fact that once again those living on legacy benefits will not see any increase at all, adding even more pressure to make cut backs that will affect our mental / physical health.
On top of this millions of people not able to work due to illness or disability will have the worry of being forced into work placements that may not be suitable or face losing some or all of the benefits that they do receive, which will also have a detrimental effect on the lives of those affected. How can this be fair? How can this be sustainable? It can't get voting in the next election for a change in government and hopefully a change for those struggling to live.
Bad mental health this week.