Sign The Petition For An Inquiry Into The Benefit Sanctions That Killed David Clapson by johnny void

Sign The Petition For An Inquiry Into The Benefit Sanctions That Killed David Clapson

by johnny void

MAIN--David-ClapsonThe family of David Clapson – the former soldier who recently died after his benefits were stopped as punishment for missing a meeting at the Jobcentre – have launched a petitioncalling for an inquiry into benefit sanctions.

In his sister’s own words:

“My brother, David Clapson, a diabetic ex-soldier, died starving and destitute because he was penalised by the Job Centre for missing a meeting.

“David had his £71.70 weekly allowance stopped meaning that he couldn’t afford food or electricity. He was penniless, starving and alone. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his diabetes insulin chilled was not working. Three weeks after his benefits were stopped he died from diabetic ­ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin. 

“David wasn’t a “scrounger”. He had worked for 29 years; 5 years in the Army – including two years in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, during the height of the troubles – 16 years with British Telecom, eight years with various other companies, and in recent years was a carer for our sick mother. When mum went into a home, David turned to the state for help, receiving benefits while he looked for work and taking unpaid work placements.

“When he died he had just £3.44 to his name, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. A coroner also found he had no food in his stomach.

“People turn to the state when they are in need – that is what the system is for – a safety net for hard working people like my brother when they need a bit of support. That £71.70 a week was his lifeline. To withhold it from him for missing one meeting is cruel. And the heartbreaking thing is that he was really trying. CVs for job applications were found near David’s body. He had been on work placements, passed his fork lift truck certificate and had been on a computer training course.”

To read more and sign visit: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-hold-an-inquiry-into-benefit-sanctions-that-killed-my-brother

Please sign, share, tweet and blog this. Let’s make sure this tragic story does not go away.

You can also sign the petition calling for benefits sanctions to be scrapped  without exceptions.

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith by johnny void

RIP David Clapson, the latest tragic victim of callous welfare reforms.RIP David Clapson, the latest tragic victim of callous welfare reforms.

When Funghi, the unemployed alcoholic  featured in the recent Benefits Street television series, disclosed that he had been abused as a child, most of those condemning him on twitter did not even blink.  Such is the state-whipped up contempt amongst some towards people on benefits, that not even the revelation of a tragic childhood was enough to stop the bullying mob.

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Yet one of the reasons child abuse is such an abhorrent crime is that the scars often last a lifetime.  Everybody knows this.  Addiction, depression, low self-esteem, isolation, these are just some of the ways that a life can be blighted by mistreatment as a child.  Often people like this find it hard to just get a job, and often not through want of trying.  The sad truth is that employers are not rushing out to hire people addicted to drink or drugs, or those with a serious mental condition, or even people who might simply be judged to have a mild personality disorder.  In an economy based on high unemployment, and no real political will to change that, some people will be left behind.  There are over two million people currently looking for a job.

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Captitalism chews people up and spits them out.  Everybody knows this as well.  Whether the stress of a shit job or no job, poverty, lack of adequate housing and fractured communities, the pressures faced by those at the bottom are immense.  Yet the poor are now expected to be super-heroes.  Lone parents are not only expected to juggle looking after young children with endless work-related activity imposed by Jobcentres, but also to feed them healthy food, home-cooked on the fucking Aga using only natural ingredients.  It doesn’t matter that the pittance those parents have to survive on barely pays for value chicken nuggets and oven chips.  They should make do and mend, live on ten pounds a week, darn socks by the fire and be grateful that their children are just malnourished, not starving.

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Disabled people and those with health conditions are now having those conditions and disabilities magically disappeared by endless health assessments which are designed to stop their benefits.  Such is the triumph of neo-liberalism, the rhetoric goes, that there is a job for anyone now if they just try hard enough.  If you can tweet you can work as one Tory MP claimed.  The stark fact that employers are guilty of grotesque discrimination towards disabled workers is swept under the carpet at best, or at worst disabled people themselves are blamed for this prejudice.

Many tyrants claim to be helping the people whose live are demolished by their acts of barbarism.  Whether European invaders ‘civilising’ Africa by forcing the people into chains, or Tony Blair carpet-bombing Baghdad to save it, death and destruction have often been inflicted by messianic monsters who believe they are killing people for their own good.

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The latest government workfare scheme is called Help To Work.  It is nothing of the sort of course, when this type of workfare was tried in a pilot scheme it had no impact on whether people found a job.  But that hasn’t stopped gushing press releases from the DWP lying about all the wonderful new support the scheme offers.  In truth this so-called support is either forced labour or starvation and this Government couldn’t particularly give a fuck which.

Under the guise of this ‘help’, Iain Duncan Smith has re-designed the already scant support of the social security system to be a torture machine.  Slip up, just for a second, and you will be dragged down, to poverty, homelessness and destitution.  It doesn’t even matter if it’s not your fault.  People newly diagnosed with cancer now spend as much time fighting the DWP so they can have enough money to eat, as they do fighting their illness.  Victims of domestic abuse face being socially cleansed from the area they may have grown up in, instead of being provided safe, and secure housing.  Kids who’ve been in care are sanctioned, cut off benefits completely, and left beg, rob, or sell their bodies to survive.

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Today the Daily Mirror features that harrowing case of former soldier David Clapson on their front page.  This man, a 59 year old diabetic, was left penniless and without even electricity to keep his insulin chilled in the fridge.  A coroner found he had no food in his stomach.  His crime was to miss a meeting at the Jobcentre.  His punishment was death by benefit sanction.  Sanctions which ‘help’ people and according to one senior DWP official are even welcomed by those they are inflicted on.

For more click here:

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith by johnny void

Welfare reforms, food banks, malnutrition and the return of Victorian diseases are not coincidental, Mr Cameron

Welfare reforms, food banks, malnutrition and the return of Victorian diseases are not coincidental, Mr Cameron By 

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The coalition will leave more debt than all Labour governments since 1900. The current government is now responsible for £517 billion of the trillion-plus-pound UK public debt, compared to £472 billion accrued during the 33 years Labour led the country since the turn of the twentieth century.

And the figures look even worse when you adjust for inflation. When you do that, the Coalition’s share jumps to nearly half of the total debt.

But the Coalition don’t meet any public’s needs, they simply serve the wants of  apowerful, wealthy elite. Labour invested in public services, the Tories have bled them dry. So, what have they done with the money? Because the public have seen only austerity cuts. And the most vulnerable bear the brunt of the cuts.

Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Ben Phillips, said: “Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.”

“It’s deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline.”

Diseases associated with malnutrition, which were very common in the Victorian era in the UK, became rare with the advent of our welfare state and universal healthcare, but are they are now are making a reappearance.

NHS statistics indicate that the number of cases of gout and scarlet fever have almost doubled within five years, with a rise in other illnesses such as scurvy, cholera, whooping cough and general malnutrition. People are more susceptible to infectious illness if they are under-nourished.

In 2013/14, more than 86,000 hospital admissions involved patients who were diagnosed with gout – an increase of 78 per cent in five years, and of 16 per cent on the year before. Causes of gout include a lack of vitamin C in the diet of people who are susceptible, drinking alcohol (beer and spirits in particular) and a lack of a balanced diet generally.

The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show a 71 per cent increase in hospital admissions among patients suffering from malnutrition – from 3,900 admissions in 2009-10 to 6,690 admissions in 2013-14.

Cases of scarlet fever admitted to hospital doubled, from 403 to 845, while the number of hospital patients found to be suffering from scurvy also rose, with 72 cases in 2009/10 rising to 94 cases last year.

The figures also show a steep rise in cases diagnosed with cholera, a water-borne disease which was extremely prevalent in the 19th century, causing nearly 40,000 deaths.

While total numbers remain low, the 22 cases last year compare with just 4 in 2009/10, the statistics show.

Dr Theresa Lamagni, Public Health England’s head of streptococcal infection surveillance, said the total number of notifications of scarlet fever this year has already reached 12,580 cases – the highest since 1970.

Cases of measles in hospital rose, from 160 to 205 cases, with a small rise in admissions for whooping cough, from 285 to 289 cases over the five years examined.

The figures on malnutrition follow a series of scandals of care of the elderly, with doctors, remarkably, forced to prescribe patients with drinking water or put them on drips to make sure they do not become severely dehydrated.

Charities have warned that too many patients are being found to be malnourished after being admitted to hospitals from care homes, as well as from their own homes.

However, Labour have said the figures a national scandal.

Luciana Berger MP, Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, said: “This shouldn’t be happening in 21st century Britain and the Government’s response is hopelessly complacent.

“People are living under greater pressure and struggling with the cost of living”.

“Hundreds of thousands are forced to turn to food banks and sadly it’s unsurprising people are eating less, and eating less healthily too”.

“David Cameron needs to listen to what the experts are saying and tackle the cost of living crisis that is driving people into food poverty.”

Cases of malnutrition have been steadily increasing since the 2010 general election.

In 2009/10 there were 3,899 hospital admissions for this, in 2010/11 there were 4,660, in 2011/12 there were 5,396 then in 2012/13 this had risen again to 5,594.

People unable to feed themselves adequately needing hospital admission saw a significant rise to 6,686,  where malnutrition was the primary or secondary diagnosis during 2013/14.This is a rise of 71 per cent from 3,899 in the year up to April 2010.

Chris Mould, chief executive of the Trussell Trust which runs a nationwide network of food banks, said: “This shows increases in diseases related to poverty and that’s alarming.

“Our food banks see tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy.

“We know quite a large proportion of the population are struggling to get nutritious food on the table. And at the extreme end of that you get people who are malnourished”.

“We don’t believe anyone should have to go hungry in the UK”.

“The scale of the increases we’re seeing must be further investigated to find out why this is happening”.

Scurvy is a disease associated with pirates stuck at sea for long periods – has increased by 31 per cent in England since 2010. This is caused by a lack of vitamin C and is usually due to an inadequate diet without enough fresh fruit and vegetables.

Figures from January this year from the NHS indicate that there were 833 hospital admissions for children suffering from Rickets – a condition which is caused by a lack of Vitamin D, from 2012-13. Ten years ago, the figure was just 190.

The disease, which causes softening of the bones and permanent deformities, was common in 19th century Britain but was almost eradicated by improvements in nutrition. The body produces vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun, but it’s clear that adequate diet plays an important role, too, since the decline of Rickets happened at a time when we saw an improvement in the diets of the nation as a whole.

It is thought that malnutrition is the main cause, children are most at risk if their diet doesn’t include sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Low incomes, unemployment and benefit delays have combined to trigger increased demand for food banks among the UK’s poorest families, according to a report commissioned by the government and released earlier this year,

The report directly contradicts the claim from a government minister that the rise in the use of food banks is linked to the fact that there are now more of them. It says people turn to charity food as a last resort following a crisis such as the loss of a job, or problems accessing social security benefits, or through benefit sanctions.

The review emerged as the government comes under pressure from church leadersand charities to address increasing prevalence of food poverty caused by welfare cuts. The End Hunger Fast campaign called for a national day of fasting on 4 April to highlight the issue.

The report was written by  food policy experts from the University of Warwick, and it was passed to ministers in June 2013 but had remained undisclosed until February 2014, creating reasonable speculation that the government suppressed its findings.

Examining the effect of welfare changes on food bank use was not a specific part of its remit, and the report is understood to have undergone a number of revisions since early summer, ordered by the Department for Food and Agriculture and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The researchers found that a combination of rising food prices, ever-shrinking incomes, low pay, increasing personal debt, and benefit payment problems meant an increasing number of families could not afford to buy sufficient food.

In a letter to the British Medical Journal, a group of doctors and senior academics from the Medical Research Council and two leading universities said that the effect of Government policies on vulnerable people’s ability to afford food needed to be “urgently” monitored.

The group of academics and professionals said that the surge in the number of people requiring emergency food aid, a decrease in the amount of calories consumed by British families, and a doubling of the number of malnutrition cases seen at English hospitals represent “all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventative action”.

The health specialists also said:“Access to an adequate food supply is the most basic of human needs and rights”.

The authors of the letter, who include Dr David Taylor-Robinson and Professor Margaret Whitehead of Liverpool University’s Department of Public Health, say that they have serious concerns that malnutrition can have a long-lasting impact on health, particularly among children.

Tory ministers have repeatedly insisted that there is no “robust link” between the welfare reforms and rising food bank use, whilst welfare minister Lord Freud claimed the rise in food bank use was because there were more food banks and because the food was free.

It ought to be noted, not least by the government, that people may only access food banks when they are referred by a professional agency, such as social services, the DWP or a Doctor. In particular, vouchers for emergency food parcels tend to be given by benefits officials.

In all but exceptional cases, Trussell Trust food banks will only issue a food parcel to someone with a voucher from an accredited agency. Claimants are limited to emergency aid on three occasions only. This indicates that need, rather than availability, is the key reason for the increased use of food banks since 2010.

Together with the pressure created by rising prices and falling wages, there has been a marked increase in demand for emergency food aid since the welfare reforms came into effect. And this is affecting both people in and out of work.

More than half of people who have visited a food bank since April were referred because of social security problems.

The Government claimed the rapid increase in malnutrition cases “could be partly due to better diagnosis”.

I don’t imagine that it’s likely that Doctors have suddenly become better at diagnosis since 2010.

I do, however, think there is much scope for improvement in the capacity of Tory ministers for understanding correlation, basic cause and effect and simple connections.

However, Tory skills in mendacity, creating diversions and ad hominem are second to none.

 

See also:

Poverty

 An email to authoritarian Tory MPs Charlie Elphicke, Priti Patel and Conor Burns

Quantitative Data on Poverty from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

430835_148211001996623_1337599952_n (1)Thanks to Robert Livingstone for his excellent illustrations of t

Bolivia Passes Law To Allow 10-Year-Olds To Work

Bolivia Passes Law To Allow 10-Year-Olds To Work

‘Bolivia’s Congress has passed legislation to allow children as young age 10 to work as long as it does not interfere with their education and is done independently to help the child’s family make ends meet.

The legislation otherwise lowers the legal working age to 12 — again, as long the job does not interfere with the child’s education.’

Read more: Bolivia Passes Law To Allow 10-Year-Olds To Work

Glenda Jackson’s speech about Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP

Glenda Jackson’s speech about Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP

Art attack on Coalition policies that drive people to their deaths

Art attack on Coalition policies that drive people to their deaths – @MidWalesMike

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A UK artist has created an art installation as a memorial to the suicide victims of welfare reform.

Melanie Cutler contacted Vox Political regarding her piece – ‘Stewardship’ – a few weeks ago, asking, “Do you think I’ll be arrested?”

The response was that it should be unlikely if she informed the media. The artworks have been displayed at the Northampton Degree Show and are currently at the Free Range Exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery building in Brick Lane, London, which ends tomorrow (June 30).

Entry is free and the installation will be located in F Block, B5.

“I have become an artist later on in life,” Melanie told Vox Political. “I was a carer for my son and, a few decades later, my father. I have worked most of my life too, raising three children.

“Only recently, while studying fine art at University I found my health deteriorating. I have a cocktail of conditions – Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed last year), Coeliac disease, asthma, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis (currently being investigated), osteoarthritis, psoriasis and a brain tumour (thankfully benign and inactive). I have also lived with depression for almost all my adult life.

“I wanted my work to articulate how I feel about certain issues. In March this year I pitched up in Thurrock, a marginal seat which will be hotly fought-over in the run-up to the next general election. I sat in front of a blank canvas and asked the people of the town to tell me how they felt about welfare reform, the press and the 2015 General Election. I took a team of people to film and photograph the event and to explain to people what the work was about.

'People of Thurrock' in the making. Artist Melanie Cutler sits, silenced, while residents of Thurrock write their opinions of 'welfare reform' on the canvas.

“Buoyed on by the reaction to ‘People of Thurrock’, I went on to something else I felt was an important issue; I put welfare reform under the microscope and conducted research around this issue. I was struck by the amount of people who, through no fault of their own, seek to end their own lives as they feel they have no other option. My own family has been touched by suicide and one of my own children is on ESA and awaiting an interview with ATOS.”

'Stewardship': Each plaque features the name of a 'welfare reform' victim and a description of how they died.

'Stewardship': This memorial is to Paul Reekie, the Scottish poet and writer who took his own life in 2010. Letters left on his table stated that his Housing Benefit and Incapacity Benefit had been stopped. The poet's death led to the creation of the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights.

The truth about Employment Support Allowance by Mike Sivier

The truth about Employment Support Allowance by Mike Sivier

Originally posted on Carer Watch’s Blog: Pictures displayed by Street Democracy

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? Congratulations to Dame Anne Begg who has finally spoken the truth about the Employment Support Allowance  “work related activity” group (WRAG). Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Dame Anne Begg, chair of the work and pensions select committee,  said last Friday that large groups of people appear to have been “parked” on the benefit in the “work-related activity” group, which covers all those found neither to be fully fit for work nor so disabled that they cannot be expected to look for employment.

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Disability activists across the country will be as delighted as Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch that politicians are finally admitting to the false premise on which Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was based.

ESA is a failed experiment conducted live on sick and disabled people.

Sick and disabled people who are assigned to the WRAG are found not fully fit for work. Almost none of them are…

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Educating Dr Litchfield – a few facts about the Work Capability Assessment

by Mike Sivier

Ignorance is most definitely not bliss for Dr Paul Litchfield. The man was hand-picked by the Coalition government to review its hated Work Capability Assessment system of handling Employment and Support Allowance claims, amid rumours that previous incumbent Professor Malcolm Harrington had been unhappy with political decisions that ran against his findings. But he delivered a […]

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Clause 99, Catch 22 – State sadism and silencing the vulnerable

Clause 99, Catch 22 – State sadism and silencing the vulnerable kittysjones

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Here is the Hansard record of The Work Capability Assessments – Mandatory Reconsideration adjournment debate – it’s the 6th debate about Employment Support Allowance (ESA) tabled by Labour MP Sheila Gilmore, who has worked very hard to present her gathered and substantial evidence to an indifferent government about the terrible consequences of their sadistic sickness and disability “reforms”.

Section 102 and Schedule 11 of the Welfare Reform Act, (Clause 99) is the (State) Power to require revision before appeal. People who wish to challenge a benefit decision will no longer be allowed to lodge an appeal immediately. Instead, the government introduced mandatory revision or review stage, during which a different Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) decision maker will reconsider the original decision and the evidence and, if necessary, send for more information.

We have campaigned since 2012 to raise awareness of Clause 99. During the Consultation period, I wrote a response to the government’s proposals, which many people used as a template for their own responses. I remember that Black Triangle, amongst others, ran a campaign also, and I remember that we ALL RAISED THE SAME CONCERNS.

WORK AND SLAVERY ARE NOT THE SAME, UNTIL NOW.

WORK AND SLAVERY ARE NOT THE SAME, UNTIL NOW.

skwalker1964:

Work and slavery are not the same, until now.

A letter a day to number 10. No 768.

Friday 13 June 2014. Work and slavery are not the same, until now.

Shares are encouraged and welcomed. If this letter speaks for you and you wish to send your own copy please feel free to copy and paste, and alter for your own needs, the text for your own letter.

Website updated, letters and replies plus bonus material featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit.

Also on the website, download the support compilation three album set from Atona. Not to be missed.

http://www.keithordinaryguy.org.uk/

Dear Mr Cameron,

I have been reading and watching a Guardian report today on slavery in the Thai fishing industry. I note that you had a meeting with Thai billionaire, Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and chief executive of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group which was not recorded on your official list of meetings, to discuss trade and investment opportunities. The…

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True Tory British Values: Man forced to live on FLOUR & WATER – woman forced to stop chemotherapy

Man forced to live on FLOUR & WATER – woman forced to stop chemotherapy 

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A true psychopath following an out of touch psychopathic Tory main frame is the career path of Iain Duncan Smith.

Street Democracy writes:

 

The Tory British values are the darkest societal values of our modern day age.

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A fair and just British Tory infrastructure and social system, that steals wealth from the ordinary man and woman and destitute’s the poor all at the same time.

 

Allowing the poorest citizens not only to be socially cast out of main stream society, spitefully demonised as useless eaters, scroungers and other cruel name calling, but financially devastated beyond destitute for all those unable to work a full week.

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It is beyond scandalous how MP’s can excessively over use their expenses by millions of pounds heavily funded from the taxpayer and yet at the same time produce inept and slow kill policies towards the pittance of money awarded by the benefits sector.

They are malevolent policies empowered by human drones in suits who administer such brutal social policies within the benefit system.

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Sitting comfortably behind their overused battered desks they give these policies the undeserving power it needs to survive and operate, like some toxic rampage, they unleash these heartless policies to the most poorest people.

Unwittingly they reconfigure our culture to further impoverish the poor as acceptable without thinking if their position is morally right to inflict such financial pain.

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Localising financial blackmail, standardising impoverishment and amplifying misery by work programme enslavement.

Benefit agents and their colleagues within Work Programmes dig new pathways of magnificent tragedies, and this is one of many.

In Crawley I know of families where the working parent is too ill to work and is being penalised heavily forcing her to miss meals and encourage her to a new level of debt around her neck.

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The Tories unwarranted prejudice against the unemployed, their drivel of spiteful name calling is seemingly lapped up by legions of no empathy low level civil servants who don’t recognise ‘enslavement and financial blackmail’ when its right in front of them.

For more on this horrendous story, click here or continue reading further for more: 

Man forced to live on FLOUR & WATER – woman forced to stop chemotherapy 

13 Jun 2014 — Richard Bristow, the manager of Poole Citizens Advice, cited a case where a man with learning disabilities was living on a paste made from flour and water after his benefits were suspended and another where a woman with Breast Cancer was forced to stop #chemotherapy because she was assessed as ineligible for benefits. He told the audience at Bournemouth University that CAB staff regularly saw Bournemouth and Poole residents who were facing an endless battle to make ends meet.http://t.co/NeuKQJg3P9

Man living on flour and water and woman forced to stop chemotherapy - battle residents face revealed at poverty summit

Man living on flour and water and woman forced to stop chemotherapy – battle residents face revealed at poverty summit

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk

Man living on flour and water and woman forced to stop chemotherapy – battle residents face revealed at poverty summit 6:20am Thursday 12th June 2014 in News By Melanie Vass SUMMIT: Guest speakers Reverend Clare Downing, with Richard Bristow and Tom Papworth…

CONTROVERSIAL changes to the welfare system are forcing vulnerable people in Bournemouth and Poole to make life-changing decisions, a poverty summit has heard.

Richard Bristow, the manager of Poole Citizens’ Advice Bureau, cited a case where a man with learning disabilities was living on a paste made from flour and water after his benefits were suspended and another where a woman with breast cancer was forced to stop chemotherapy because she was assessed as ineligible for benefits.

He told the audience at Bournemouth University that CAB staff regularly saw Bournemouth and Poole residents who were facing an endless battle to make ends meet.

He said: “Some aspects (of the benefit system) appear to penalise anybody who requires help from the state.

“The bedroom tax in particular is having an insidious impact, especially when there’s no accommodation people can move into.