Saturday 27 August 2011

Quick but furious rant

Grant Shapps, the Housing (homelessness?) Minister has just mused that the unemployed may have to pay full council tax. I'm so jaded, I can't even be bothered to point out the utter donkey-breath-stupidity of this possibility, but a throwaway comment in the article made my fury levels boil over.

When asked how local authorities might save 10% of the council tax relief bill, he opined :

"they could take it from non-working people who don't have children or aren't disabled."

Oh, how reasonable! I've heard ministers use this "compassionate" and oh so reasonable qualification a few times recently. How nice that they wouldn't include disabled people in such a policy!! Of course they won't be evicting sick or disabled people, making them pay full council tax, taking away their benefits, cutting their care or taking away their means of transport!! Of course these tough-talking policies would never be aimed at the "most vulnerable". 

Nope, that's because they've made sure that no-one is disabled any more!! Genius! change all the descriptors, make it impossible to qualify, tell people that actually, their severe illnesses or disabilities no longer entitle them to state support - no longer even count as disabilities at all - throw millions of them off benefits then, when, in the end, only 6 people are officially classed as "disabled" offer them all the support and exemptions in the world!!

When they said they'd "protect the most vulnerable" they meant people scheduled to die before the end of next week. 

Excellent. That's OK then.  


  1. "that's because they've made sure that no-one is disabled any more!!"

    Very true

  2. This is really frightening as JSA is £67 per week - some people are already paying some of that towards rent then theirs bills to pay - if they then have to pay council tax as well - people will be homeless and starving!! Its a disgrace! Im yet to do the incap migration test but am very worried about the outcome being me ending up homeless as I know are many other people - but this is also unfair on those on JSA who are not disabled - people should be able to afford a roof over their head, food and heating and clothing and I dont mean posh clothing - just something to wear!

  3. So - hang on a minute - doesn't that mean taxing the childless unemployed?

    Yep, that'll work well.

  4. I know! Like I said, I'm getting so used to such stupid nonsense, there's hardly any point even going through why it's wrong/won't work/takes us back to Victorian times :((

  5. Arbeit macht frei

  6. I agree - if people on JSA have to start paying council tax they'll be poverty stricken. There are those who can't manage their money/budget (because they have never been taught how too!) and it will effect them the hardest. Second in line will be those who can scrimp and save - they'll have nothing left at the end of the week.

    So basically make life harder and more depressing for people. Makes. Perfect. Sense.


  7. Don't worry Cara, sarcasm is pretty much a given on my blog. There's no other way to stay sane!!

  8. 'Wants to move more people off benefits and into work.'

    Okay, here's an idea Mr. Shapps, increase the minimum wage and stop capping how much employers can pay based on someone's age. Also, fight to keep business inside the UK.

    It won't happen, nothing will change except this country being more rooked. My only saving grace will be the Scottish referendum where hopefully Scotland can break free of Westminster - although I have my worries about that, too.

  9. LOL, Thats all i can think of at this moment

  10. It's all to do with trying to move the "Nastzy Party" image so every attack on the vulnerable has to be softened by the "except the old or disabled" tag. Move a lot of the cuts no to the Local authorities or NHS etc in the hope people will blame them and not the terrible tories for the reductions in service, rising waiting lists etc. The freezing of council tax is an example so where else are local authorities supposed to get the money from so they are forced into making the unpopular decisions.
    Makes a small change from hiding behind the LDs but just as transparent.

  11. But there isn't currently a council tax benefit for disabled people is there? (I know there is the possibility of applying for a band reduction if you need an extra room for equipment, but receiving IB, DLA or ESA etc. doesn't exempt anyone from paying council tax).

  12. Anyone on an income-based out-of-work benefit is entitled to full housing benefit and council tax benefit. This includes IB, IS-on-grounds-of-Incapacity (and maybe all IS, not sure), income-based JSA, income-based ESA...

    It's sort of a short-cut to save the council doing their own means-test, as anyone can get means-tested HB/CTB if they have a low enough income. If being separately means-tested, being disabled (qualified for mostly by passporting) means more income is disregarded, effectively (AIUI).

  13. Huh? Paying that would take the income of someone on JSA into minus figures. Revive industry; as Cara says, localise our economy as far as possible, blah blah blah what's the use? We can't do any of those things because of course that would be "evil socialism".

  14. What is the point of going through why this is so very wrong, we all know it is especially with the rise in utility bills and the oh so quite dropping of the promise by Cameron that he would end fuel poverty by 2016 - LIAR!

    Grant Shapps should resign - end of story the man is an idiot.

  15. To Sam Barnett-Cormack
    I am on IB & not entitled to housing/council tax benefit,so it's not everyone.

  16. Words fail me with this government, they really do what next? Evict all unemployed, give them a cardboard box and a place to erect it, then stop their JSA because they have no fixed abode? That should sort out the unemployed after they have given all the disabled a miracle cure.

  17. I was given to understand that it applied to everyone getting cash (not just NI credits) from any of those benefits... I know it does for income-based JSA and ESA. Oh, no, I remember, cash IB was never income-based, was it, if you needed income-based (rather than contributions-based) you were put on IB (credits only) and IS (on grounds of incapacity)... I forgot IB wasn't income-based.

  18. For goodness sake Gracie, Shhhhhh!!! Don't give them ideas ;)

  19. This is repulsive. That's all I can say. I cannot believe how insane the government has got.

    Next they'll be asking non-workers to serve in the houses of the rich, for free, in exchange for a bed and a roof over their heads.

  20. Well Sue, how about after the government have given all the disabled a miracle cure they could put them to work making the cardboard boxes for the homeless? Do you think that is innovative enough for this government?

  21. You too Mary Tracy!! What's wrong with you women tonight!! I'm almost convinced we will now see these policies go forward.... ROFL

  22. Mary Tracy - sorry I think they already do this, they have a special name for these people they are called "au pairs"!

  23. "We want to take people out of being trapped out of work and get them into work and off benefit…That's how I see the 10% being saved."

    Wait... So the reasoning is that by making jobless people pay council tax they'll somehow find a job?

    Oh yes, silly me, I forgot. Being jobless is a choice!

  24. Grant Shapps, is as bad as David Cameron and over the coming years we will need to be more assertive if were not to end up like in the middle east with no sort of life whatsoever

    i know from my own experience and i can tell you it's been hell at times with all sorts of things thrown my way by the DWP
    iT MUST HAVE BEEN BAD AS I SAID TO MY WIFE I WOULD RATHER LIVE IN THE MIDDLE EAST so we must think on and like in the USA at this time with the hurricane prepare for the worst over the coming years

  25. And they wonder that there are riots?


    Most of them are supposed to have had the best education money can buy, and the best university degrees money can buy.

    And yet, and yet... they cannot see that if they take people's council tax benefit away when they have no job and are unlikely to get a job, they will make them homeless; they will remove them from ordinary society.

    And when you do that; when you take away someone's home even if it is a stinking pit in a filthy slum, you have taken away their place in society.

    They become outwith society. They may actually riot and loot to get 6 months in the pokey. 3 meals, a warmish bed, access to drugs and an education in crime.

    I think the Tories imagine that we still live in the early 19th century.

    They really are totally witless.

  26. My friend suffers severe depression and behaviour problems but failed his esa medical as they said he was neatly dressed, no sign of dribbling or rocking movements !! He appealed but they heard it without notifying him in another part of the country and he has been made to get JSA. He gets £67 per week. Next week the council will be hitting him with the single room rate where until he is 35 or 36 he gets a reduced rate of housing benefit. At the moment it is all paid for his one room bedsit. Next week he has to find £37 per week to keep his home out of his £67. He will have £30 per week which will not pay his bills let alone food !! How can he pay council tax aswell !! He is in an awful state as he is vulnerable and does not really understand what will happen. He went to see a housing advisor and they were very apologetic but said there is nothing they can do. The only advice they gave him was to try and find a friend or family member that he could stay with until he reached the age when he would be able to get full housing benefit. Surely this is age discrimination in 2011.

    This non elected government is destroying this country so quickly. It has worked hard on dividing the country against the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable while the multi millionaires are getting richer and looking down on us mere mortals and picking us all of one by one. My friend is just a statistic for them. They do not care if he lives in a cardboard box. If he starves to death he will be doing them a favour . I am ashamed to be British.

  27. Has anyone got the link to where he said this, so it can be used in evidance of hate crime and discrimmination

    the disabled, the childess, the unemployed, the economically disenfrnchised, the young, the middle aged, and the low income based working

  29. Want to know your future? Google “tent cities” and “homeless” and “99ers” the “American Dream” is on its way here.

  30. Actually I get no JSA , and therefore no other benefits including council tax, prescriptions, dental treatment, etc - why,because partner earns more than £100 pw. Not a lot. If wasn't forv good private mortgage insurance we'd have been homeless months ago.

  31. Please help me by reading my appeal on my profile

  32. As a friend of mine commented: "Anyone would think they were provoking people into re-runs of the poll tax riots and repeat scenes of what we have witnessed over the last few weeks. Punishing austerity causes riots. I get the feeling that they are using these sorts of policy measures as some sort of political brinksmanship to stir people up, so that confrontation and protest is inevitable and the government can flex their muscle and show who's boss. It's like sustained, rapid fire attack or toxic austerity policy warfare, and no one section of society can take this repeated onslaught without it brimming over. If timing is everything, I really feel that these issues are coming to the fore, precisely to stir things up.
    I just hope people can take a step back, realise that they need to get properly organised and begin to be strategic and not fall into these traps and divisive pitfalls."

  33. Verdict by the IFS when it was announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review

  34. Exelent post the comment about people about to die next week was actually bang on I would laugh but my ESA assesment was changed to the support group after being found fit for work in 18months the letter from the DWP said (and this is no joke) you are not terminally ill for the purposses of benefit entitlement it would seem you have to have 6 months or less to live I wonderd how can even the most experienced and capable consultant know for sure your lifespan.

  35. Anyone who is on JSA will have rent or council tax, well depends does it not on the savings, if a couple have £16,000 in saving is it not right that rent and council tax are then taken at £6,000.

    I have been on IB since 1996 when i had to give up work as my spine was crumbling to bits after my accident, I cannot get Rent or council tax because my savings are £16,000 in fact thats wrong last year we had a rebate of 49p

  36. it seems that as every few days pass i am ever more in despair at the state of this oh-so-great country of ours.
    i simply cannot believe that we have such an atrociously careless government in power. i ache (physically too!) for the day that this third reich, which has entrenched itself into the houses of parliament, is overthrown. but, i fear, the damage will have been done by then and those of us who are limited by one thing or another will be left to fend for themselves in the gutter or some workhouse-like instituation whilst those in power continue to delude themselves, and others, that all is fine so long as they continue to lap up the cream at the public's expense.
    the pure stupidness of some of the things that are said by those who are meant to work on our behalf is beyond my comprehension.
    closed ears are cheap, i guess?

  37. I have a largish bump on my forehead from banging it against the wall. It amazing how much power the servants of the people have over the many.
    Is it going to get better in the future? If so when?

  38. Raised a lot of issues this here blog, the main one being what the hell is happening to our country and when is someone going to put a stop to it. i wait with baited breath.
    It is up to us again to march, protest and make sure the govt are listening fully not just to our plight but the whole countrys

  39. Savings are considered for all income-based benefits (IS, JSA/ESA (income-based)). If you get any means-tested cash benefit that's for out-of-work people, you get full HB/CTB. If you have high savings, you won't get those benefits. This is how it works now.

  40. Anonymous - I'm more and more convinced that things will get better. By how much is debatable, but I'm convinced we're winning some of the more important battles.

    The more we do, especially while the welfare reform bill is still "live" the better cahnce we have, so get those tweeting fingers and blogs ready!!

  41. Actually, serious point here, if you're someone terrified and scared and despondent.

    We can achieve a lot. Keep believing and help in any small way you can. Even a share or RT can help. If we all pull together and do one small thing every day, we can do this.

  42. "The floggings will continue until morale improves" - nice to see Grant Schapps is still on message.

  43. [QUOTE]Sue Marsh said...

    Actually, serious point here, if you're someone terrified and scared and despondent.

    We can achieve a lot. Keep believing and help in any small way you can. Even a share or RT can help. If we all pull together and do one small thing every day, we can do this.[/QUOTE]

    i sincerely hope your right sue as the damage being caused through the stress of it all is leading many to breaking point which is an extremely dangerous position to be in for some
    we just have witnessed the horrors going on in Libya and it's hard to believe that we still have to deal with all of this rubbish being spewed out by the conservatives

    it makes me wonder if we have anyone outside of this blog who is decent left in this country ?

  44. Great story in comment, about welfare and what it means and how peoples opinions have changed due to the american term WELFARE.

  45. At least Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is making sense in allowing the so called Lockerbie bomber to die in piece

    And yet there are those like Cameron and co who still wont to persecute him further even while he is in a comma

    I say so called lockerbie killer in keeping with the view of the father Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the 1988 attack, said he believed Megrahi was innocent and hoped he was getting decent pain relief at home with his family.

    A man i have always admired and is a pity he is not the prime minister as he certainly wouldn't have caused any anguish to the sick and disabled as David Cameron and co have done over the past 18 months

    over the coming years you will find out just what these middle east dictators are and what they have in common with some of our own politicians you'll be most surprised regrettably i will not

  46. Hello,

    I am a longtime welfare rights worker, I am currently offering benefits advice in exchange for donations to a charitable project in my town that I am involved with. This might be useful for people who can't travel easily or queue up, so would have trouble accessing an advice agency, or for people who want a fast benefit check or reply to a question.

    My website explains what I can offer. I could also represent people at tribunal hearings in the Greater Manchester area (since I'm currently an unemployed welfare rights worker).

    I write a benefits column for Nerve magazine, you can check this out at:

    Carol Laidlaw

    I write a benefits column for Nerve magazine, which you can see at .

  47. Fourbanks:

    Cameron has to do what the Americans want. They are the senior partners.

    Alex Salmond is his own man. He goes by the law of Scotland, not the vengefulness of the American public and senators.

    Alex Salmond is a man who knows the value of human life. Cameron is a empty posh gentleman who knows which wines to drink with what meat and how to address a Sultan.

  48. indeed Tris although i do believe that Barack Obama is very different to David Cameron
    His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

    I myself have always had those views and have lived by them and served the public well at all times both in and out of work and at all times

    The senators of the USA are in the majority an exact likeness of David Cameron and also now emerging from the Australian parliament a desire to inflict hardship and pain on the sick and disabled by saying "it's all in your mind you've got a sick head your mental so get out of town"

    I had someone once say that to me at a medical by the DWP and i said to this guy that if he didn't watch his language my fist would be down his throat and then go on to tell the rest of the staff as he would be choking it's OK it's only my fist hence he wouldn't be able to speak
    needless to say that was the last i heard from that guy

  49. When I was growing up I was taught that being 'common' was wrong, it implied rudeness, and a lack of care to others and yourself; today though I think it's time to go back to being common, but this time let it stand for it's true meaning UNITY and a return to common SENSE & common JUSTICE; these things seem to have also been lost with the desire to not be common

  50. The express are still at it in there condemnation on those that don't work

    if i had my way everyone who worked for that paper i would round up and stick on an island with all like minded people from the middle east dictators so that we in the uk could get a bit of piece and quite
    or stick them in Saudi Arabia where if they spoke out of turn they'd get shot and rightly so for talking a load of propaganda

  51. Fourbanks, I agree that President Obama is a very different person from Cameron, and for the reasons you gave.

    Cameron is making the people of England's lives hell, and he's pulling the same tricks on the things he controls in Scotland.

    He drives Scotland nearer to independence with every passing day, just by being himself.

    Bravo Cameron.

  52. i wished i lived in Scotland i think the people of London and the south of England are struggling to keep going on all levels with David Cameron at the helm
    He will blight the lives of a whole new generation if he stays in power and what a tragedy that would be