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Think about it..

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On Fri 21 Apr at 4:39pm The Greek wrote:
Apologies for another post but I'm so angry. Someone close to me works in the housing department at a local council. They are regularly reduced to tears by what they hear and see from people who have nothing and have what they did have taken away by this cruel Tory govt. Today is no different.

So today they had to call the Police as they had a credible threat of suicide on the phone from a claimant who had disability benefits stopped after being found "fit to work", despite suffering from severe mental illness and living alone. This is not the first time in a few short months.

This happens on a regular basis. The word of doctors and medical professionals is brushed aside by a 15 minute assessment from a non-medically trained outsourced individual whose sole goal is to cut costs.

Not all conditions manifest themselves all the time. The person close to me also heard from a woman who got up to make a cup of tea when the assessor was there so the assessor assumed she could always do this. She can't. She's lost the mobility component of her benefits and can now no longer leave the house.

Think about it on the 8th June. Where has our compassion gone? Where is the humanity? Can we allow this vile Govt to get away with taking more from those who have so little? Do we want to be in a society that punishes people for being ill?

I won't be any part of it. Vote Tory and you have blood on your hands. Think about it.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 5:09pm Pedro wrote:
I won't be part of it either. Sadly we have a toxic combination of a very anti-liberal/progressive media aside from a few exceptions, and a significant percentage of the general public more interested in personalities rather than policies.

Our hope at this stage is that by 2022, the country will largely realise the damage caused by a powerful Tory government with a huge majority, a media revolution (perhaps post-Murdoch) and a united opposition party with a charismatic leader that not only presents progressive ideas and values, but is convincing, energised, compassionate and motivated in leading his/her party back into power. They can then focus on re-building the country and public institutions that have been battered over the previous 12 years of short-sighted cuts and pandering to the wealthy few, from tory rule.

Don't give up all hope The Greek and keep up the good fight! I don't have much optimism for June 9th, but surely failures/cuts/bad ideas/u-turns can't keep winning elections forever.....we hope!
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On Fri 21 Apr at 5:17pm Reality wrote:
Oh please pass the sick bucket..there are thousands getting benefit who should not. People need a kick up the backside. Soft touch liberals the lot of you. I suffer from depression and have worked every bleedin day.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 5:32pm Deja Vu wrote:
But the flip side of this are the people that aren't ill, but have managed to wrangle themselves onto disability benefits.
I do have a friend in this position, has a minor medical complaint (certainly not enough to stop him working), but through years of complaining to the doctor (and late night ambulances the night before he's due to sign on) managed to get himself onto disabilities.
Very nice, doesn't have to sign on once a fortnight, his money doubled, got a car and flat thrown in to boot (not to mention free vehicle excise duty and a parking badge).
All I'm saying is neither system is perfect, although the current system is unfair it has "reset" privileges for some people that shouldn't of had them.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 6:04pm Pedro wrote:
A minority of people clearly abuse the benefits system, and no reasonable liberal out there is defending those that do (myself included), and they should indeed be tackled and prosecuted. But this shouldn't be the most pressing priority (as it is just a minority), particularly if its at the expense of the majority of benefit recipients who aren't defrauding the country and have genuine needs then lose out because of misguided and warped perspectives towards benefits claimants as a whole. (thanks Channel 5, Daily Mail, Express etc for that)

The occasional scrounger who has managed to get a nice High Def telly thanks to the state, is not the UK's biggest challenge at the moment no matter how irksome, and is not the largest contributor to the deficit or overall debt to the country, or pretty much any other measurement of a nations biggest problems. Although they are a much more deserved scapegoat than immigrants, the country is struggling for reasons well beyond either.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 6:34pm Clifford wrote:
You're right The Greek. But remember it's not only the Tories who do this - the Lib Dems went along with it when they were in coalition with the Tories, and Labour did it when they were if power. Politicians of the major parties do this because their job is to make the poorest pay for the failures of the richest.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 6:38pm Clifford wrote:
UKIP is the only choice in this election.all the others are the same.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 6:55pm Pedro wrote:
@clifford, if you are a voter where absolutely everything revolves around Brexit and focusing on leaving the EU and cutting migration, then you may have a point (by suggesting UKIP is the only choice).

Labour were imperfect in power, but the tories offered nothing more progressive or productive in any way during those 13 years. Lib Dems were a minority partner in the coalition, and managed to achieve a few lib dem policies in their term, but had to compromise elsewhere - which seems to get the most attention, much to their detriment. Hurt them an awful lot more than the tories though. I don't see Corbyns Labour as a carbon copy of Blair or Browns Labour Party either. Whats wrong with the Green Party? They at least have more more MP currently than UKIP!
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On Fri 21 Apr at 7:06pm Lewes Voter 3 wrote:
UKIP for me and my family. They've kept their promises and succeeded where everyone else failed. UKIP prepared for leaving Europe and they did it. Vote UKIP or you'll have to answer to me and to Britain for disloyalty. Put your country first.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 7:20pm The Greek wrote:
No-one here is arguing for benefit fraud or even unemployment benefits, but the callous and vindictive methods pursued the last 7 years go way further than they need to. The safety net is slowly being chipped away by cuts to the DWP, councils and NHS so people fall out of the figures. The Govt can then claim fewer people on benefits. But then how can these people be helped to find work, reach their goals and contribute to society for the good of us all?
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On Fri 21 Apr at 7:47pm Mark wrote:
Deja vu should have done a bit more research while he was inventing his story. Decision-making by GPs for DLA eligibility went out of the window 4 or 5 years ago. Nowadays, the disabled have to travel to assessment centres to be evaluated by employees of the utterly corrupt French firm ATOS.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 7:53pm The Greek wrote:
Yes Atos do tests for the ESA, other benefits may vary but soon it will all be under Universal Credit and subject to means testing. I say abolish it all and bring in a Universal Basic Income but that's a whole new story for the "I'm alright Jack" types to throw their toys out the pram about!
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On Fri 21 Apr at 8:21pm We'vehadourfun wrote:
Greek, your false emotions are thin cover for your desire to shout over everybody. Egomaniac.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 8:40pm The Greek wrote:
Wow sorry for daring to desire a better country to live in...
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On Fri 21 Apr at 8:42pm Sussex Jim wrote:
So, how is this "Universal basic income" that the Greek advocates to be funded?
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On Fri 21 Apr at 8:50pm We'vehadourfun wrote:
We all want that. Don't be so smug. It's like a little completion between your little club to be as shouty as possible. Tedious. Repetitive. Uninformed. Pompous. Inaccurate.
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On Fri 21 Apr at 8:52pm Deja Vu wrote:
@mark, he was signed off benefits and onto disabilities about 12 years, try to use your brain. The purpose of my post was to illustrate sometimes ATOS get it right.
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On Sat 22 Apr at 2:45am Fairmeadow wrote:
Fair bit of disinformation on here.
ATOS used to have the contract to do the medical assessments for Personal Independence Payments (which have replaced DLA) but their performance was so appalling that they lost the contract. Remains to be seen whether their replacement will do any better. Some assessments are easy and straightforward. Others (depression, anxiety, bad back) are not, so that people with genuine conditions are hard to distinguish from people who have studied how to pass the assessment - info readily available via google.
Now if you are looking for high-handed action depriving people of benefits they need and depend on, on the basis of totally inadequate evidence, you should look at the hundreds of thousands of "undeclared partner" decisions made by HMRC and its commercial contractors. "Undeclared partner" usually turns out to be a former tenant at the same address or a long-departed partner, or just an HMRC error, but it takes months to convince snail-like HMRC review systems, and in the meantime the family affected will have been reduced to the food banks.
 
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On Sat 22 Apr at 6:58am Mark wrote:
Atos used to have the contract for ESA but they lost it. They still do assessments for PIP.
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On Sat 22 Apr at 5:10pm The Greek wrote:
UBI is simply a re-distribution of wealth that is already being spent. Think how much money it costs to run all the DWP's and local council schemes... in an age of automation fewer people are needed to make the same amount of money so we start to run of decent jobs. It's something that really must be considered and looked at before we fall off the precipice (and it is in Holland, Finland, Canada etc). Why are we still working the same hours as in the 70s, with the increased technology, yet productivity as an all time low, even lower than France who work 35 hours a week? Freeing people up to work shorter days/weeks in an age of more fluid employment cuts out the bureaucracy and stress of signing on/being found ineligible/signing on etc and allows more flexible working to occur and for people to do things in the community, take risks to set up businesses, pursue things they enjoy, take up a part-time educational course. Opportunities they wouldn't be able to take up if they are stuck in the 9-5 with no other options. If you don't have to worry about a subsistence basis of living you can take these risks. If anything it's about levelling the playing field so we can all "compete" to better ourselves. At the moment it is skewed...

Apologies on the Atos mistakes. One thing begs the question why is this outsourced at all? Why isn't a doctor's assessment sufficient?
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On Sat 22 Apr at 5:24pm Realisdt wrote:
Cos dr's are suckers for a hard luck story
 
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On Sat 22 Apr at 5:33pm The Greek wrote:
Even the UN has said that the UK government has been pursuing "grave and systematic" violations of disabled people's rights.

Check it out here »
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On Sat 22 Apr at 6:23pm Ahem wrote:
@Lewes Voter 3 - UKIP did not prepare for leaving Europe. They campaigned to leave which is something different. When they got their way, they panicked and ran away, because it dawned on them that they hadn't prepared a plan and had no clue what to do.


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