Thursday, 3 May 2012

My first foray into the bloggosphere...

All the main political parties have promoted the myth that the benefits system provides over-generous handouts which destroy the will to work among recipients, half of whom are on the fiddle.  The constant stream of skewed stories in the media, many of which emanate from the DWP's Press Office are largely responsible for creating the folk demon of the benefits scrounger.  it all helps lubricate the wheels of welfare reform and to justify the punitive benefits system which millions have to endure.

Welfare rights advocates spend their working lives challenging the reality of the system - the all too frequent delays, incompetence, errors and off-hand attitudes of too many benefits officials.  Absurd decisions which flout the rule of law and deny people what they are entitled to.  Barmy, illogical rules which defy any logic.  Call-centre based services with their endless waiting-music which ruin one's appreciation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  Daft poverty-traps and scary rules which prevent people from improving their lives.

And even when the system works properly, we then explain to our clients, "Yes.  £71.00 a week is what you are expected to live on - pay all your food, fuel, water, travel, replace clothing and worn-out household items out of it.  Any by the way, as many of you also won't get all your rent met by housing benefit, you'll have to make up that shortfall as well."

So this blog shares a few personal reflections about the reality of the welfare reform juggernaut now hitting our streets.

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