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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

UK government to cancel 'Welfare Benefit' payments

Unemployed & benefit claimants suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction in the UK will have their benefits cancelled or cut unless they "seek treatment" for their condition, the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith announced today.

Staff in Jobcentre Plus offices will be encouraged to cut the jobseeker's allowance of claimants who reject treatment for addiction. Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants is seeking the position of the trade union Public and Commercial Services Union within job centres with regard to the latest attack on benefit claimants. 

New rules come into place in October 2013 when the universal credit, which is designed to wrap benefits into one payment, is introduced.

Claimants will have to sign a much harsher contract in which they agree to look for work & be forced to make extra commitments some which will be hidden or not understood by the claimant. 

Jobcentre staff will have the power to decide a suspected addict is in breach of their commitments if they refuse help for alcoholism or drug addiction. Those same staff will be under pressure to 'get results' in reducing those signing on, to ease the political pressure on the government - that is the 'hidden agenda' behind this latest attack on benefit claimants !

Those with alcoholism or drug addiction do so because their lives are at a 'low moment', this government would have the general public believe their new attack is all 'about helping benefit claimants' is nothing more than contemptuous deception. 

The government no doubt will be wanting to target those who have eating disorders (anorexia), depression or those who maybe find themselves overweight - these are but a few that come to mind. This latest attack on benefit claimants has more to do with saving money & less to do with helping benefit claimants.

Some people will think .... "what's wrong with that?" -- the main problem is, what does "rejecting treatment" mean? Someone with a serious addiction, serious mental health issues, etc. suffering a relapse and being too afraid or unwell that they miss *one meeting* is probably what "rejecting treatment" means.

Threatening them with loss of benefits is only going to put them under more pressure. The last thing someone with an addiction or mental health issues needs is worrying about being unable to afford food or becoming homeless. W
ith addiction problems benefit claimants might not be in a state of mind to know the ramifications of their decisions, so suddenly finding they are without benefits, facing potential inability to pay bills or even homelessness could potentially drive them further into substance abuse.

Unemployment and economic hardship is often a trigger for addiction; but the government are presiding over a policy of structural unemployment, making their own employees unemployed, cutting benefits, driving disabled and sick people who are not fit for work into work or through the stressful process of appeal against such decisions, creating a vicious circle of uncertainty, mental and physical stress and anxiety - leading to further substance abuse.

At the same time, funding for many community projects designed to help those with addiction issues is being cut dramatically, meaning that the very help the government say these people should be taking up isn't actually available.

Benefit claimants must unite with the trade union movement & the pensioners movement, to bring pressure on this government. Our message to the trade union movement : "our fight is your fight, your fight is our fight" unity is our goal !

Lets fight with all our might !

Video: Employment Minister Chris Grayling interview on WORKFARE !

The British Trades Union Congress (TUC) is to organise a mass demonstration 'A Future That Works' - London 20th October #tuc #unemployment #poverty

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