Relative Spending on Benefits across Europe

or “How tight-fisted is our government with benefits?”

After its victory in the United Kingdom general election, 1945 the Labour Party pledged to eradicate the Giant Evils of society*, and undertook policy measures to provide for the people of the United Kingdom “from the cradle to the grave.”

*The Beveridge Report of 1942 had identified five “Giant Evils” in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Beveridge recommended a national, compulsory, flat rate insurance scheme which would combine health care, unemployment and retirement benefits.

Around the same time other Western European Countries saw similar measures being taken out, and soon national insurance schemes became de rigueur across the continent.

Spending on these schemes has gradually risen over time but in many European countries the actual amount given in benefits is a hotly debated subject – generally the conservative right-wing has discouraged a welfare system, arguing that such systems are open for abuse and that they make people less independent more reliant on the state. The more socialist and liberal opinions feel that welfare systems are necessary for maintaining basic human rights and that benefits should, at the very least, provide subsistence payments to the most needy in society.

It doesn’t take much analysing to see how meagre the benefits system is in our country – considering that we are one of the richest countries in Europe. It seems that continental Europe are willing to give their citizens what amounts to a fair standard of living, whereas in the UK, we see repeated attacks on the poorest in society – taking back billions from the budget in the name of ‘austerity’.

On the continent – when workers are unfortunate to lose their jobs, or to become sick; the state are willing to continue to pay them the majority of their wage, until they are able to find work again.

Thanks to the Coalition Government, Britain now has some of the lowest benefits in Europe

benefits

Petition: Come clean about cuts affecting disabled people

Petition to Ian Duncan Smith and the DWP created by DPAC;

Disabled People have had enough…..

“I say to those watching today and who are genuinely sick, disabled or are retired. You have nothing to fear. This government and this party don’t regard caring for the needy as a burden. It is a proud duty to provide financial security to the most vulnerable members of our society and this will not change. This is our contract with the most vulnerable.”

Iain Duncan Smith – October 2010 http://conservative-speeches.sayit.mysociety.org/speech/601437

As disabled people we’ve spent the last five years enduring attack after attack-we’ve fought back in any way we can. But fear and anxiety are now part of everyday life. Over the past five years we’ve seen our support and whatever security and peace of mind we once had being slowly and methodically being stripped from us .Through a combination of ‘reform’ and the notion of austerity we have been hit by cuts and have borne the brunt of the Coalitions ideological determination to reduce the welfare state.

Basic Human Rights

There’s plenty of statistical evidence to show how the abolition of the Disability Living Allowance, the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund, the Work Capability Assessment, sanctions and savage cuts to local authority budgets have removed our basic human rights and tried to remove our dignity and fight-and these are just some of the cuts. We’ve also been hit by cuts to our rights to inclusive education,cuts to legal aid, cuts impacting on the right to a home,cuts to our travel support, NHS cuts and many more.

Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens

Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform has calculated the scale of the unfairness, saying simply that when it comes to cuts,‘Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens. People needing social care are targeted 19 times more than most citizens.’ http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/briefing-on-how-cuts-are-targeted.html

We have been dismayed at the lack of opposition to these cuts, from some politicians and from some of our fellow citizens. However, we believe the public has fallen prey to a propaganda campaign which has led them to believe that many of us are scroungers and fraudsters. Remember when Grant Shapps said that almost a million people had dropped claims for disability benefit to avoid being assessed, the implication being that they were all fraudsters? This was headline news in the Daily Mail, but when the UK Statistics Authority rebuked Shapps for completely misrepresenting the situation, there was very little coverage, so people were left with a totally false impression.

“grave and systematic violations” of the Human Rights of Disabled People

In 2014 we learned that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is said to be conducting a confidential inquiry into the “grave and systematic violations” of the human rights of disabled people in the UK. https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-weir/britain-faces-un-investigation-over-systemic-violations-of-disability-rights

Welfare Reform Deaths

Every week we learn of more people who have lost their lives due to government policies. We try to keep a records http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/ although we know there must be more, and we know that these deaths represent just the peak of a mountain of misery that is being heaped upon people whose lives are already difficult. We believe that if they knew the truth, the ordinary people of this country would be appalled at these policies and their results.

We know there are more cuts to come, both the Tories and Labour have vowed to continue their notion of austerity. The Tories have said there will be 12 billion pounds of further cuts

​The IFS have said we face cuts of 21 billion by 2020.​ Leaks say that again these will target disabled people and what’s left of the vital welfare support that many of us have contributed to so that there is a welfare state and safety net in place for all when they need it. We’ve had enough…

Its time all political parties came clean on further cuts to disabled peoples support, instead of false promises and lies

Please, oppose any further cuts to vital support for disabled people and those with chronic health conditions by signing with us below.


Money Creation should only be used in the Public Interest.

PETITION

The same banks that caused the financial crisis currently have the power to create 97% of the UK’s money. They’ve used this power recklessly, putting most of the money they create into property bubbles and financial markets. And now they’re back to their old ways.

We need a change. The power to create money should only be used in the public interest, in a democratic, transparent and accountable way. The 1844 law that makes it illegal for anyone other than the Bank of England to create paper money should be updated to apply to the electronic money currently created by banks.

When new money is created, it should be used to fund vital public services or provide finance to businesses, creating jobs where they’re needed, instead of being used to push up house prices or speculate on the financial markets.