Mar 18 2013
Various, with thanks to Alex Reddy
Britain went marching at the weekend to protest at the ‘bedroom tax’. Course, you won’t find much in the MSM about it, although the Daily Mirror did have a little bash.
Meanwhile, people continue to die in this country as a direct result of ATOS and benefit cuts.
The guilty government should hang their head in shame… Course they won’t since Psychopaths don’t feel guilt.
They might feel shame though. And with good reason too, judging by the photo. The cunts certainly have fuck all to brag about... G’night.
Bedroom tax: Thousands of angry protesters march against David Cameron’s hated policy
The Daily Mirror
The biggest protest on Saturday was in Manchester – one of the worst areas to be hit by the proposed new scheme
More than 1,500 people protested in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens yesterday afternoon in anger at the callous bedroom tax.
The square was filled with banners and angry chants, as some of the country’s most vulnerable people fought to halt the tax.
With Manchester and Salford amongst the worst areas to be hit by David Cameron’s new scheme, it was the biggest protest of the day.
The Sunday People joined the rally.
Pregnant mother leaps to her death with five-month-old son in her arms after losing benefits
A pregnant woman jumped to her death while clutching her baby son after her benefits had been stopped, an inquest heard.
Philosophy graduate Christelle Pardo, 32, plunged from the balcony of her sister’s third-floor flat, killing herself and five-month-old Kayjah.
Miss Pardo had been claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) since shortly after leaving London Metropolitan University in May 2008.
She became pregnant shortly afterwards, but in December her JSA was withdrawn because she was within 11 weeks of giving birth and was considered unable to work.
As a result she also lost her automatic entitlement to housing benefit.
The mother, from Hackney, east London, was advised to apply for income support but her application was rejected because the Department of Work and Pensions said she had not proved that she had been in continuous employment in the UK for the previous five years.
This was despite having worked or been a student in Britain since 1997.
In April, her application for child benefit was also rejected when officials learned she had been denied income support.
Hackney council then demanded she repay £200 in overpaid housing benefit.
Two further appeals for income support were rejected and when Miss Pardo tried to take the Department of Works to a tribunal she repeatedly failed to be given a date for a hearing.
Her last phone call to the DWP was on Friday June 12 this year, the day before she committed suicide and killed her son.
Ms Pardo’s sister, Olaya, told Poplar Coroner’s Court that she and Christelle had moved to Britain from France and had both been in work ever since.
She told the inquest: ‘Her application was completed – she had the right paperwork.
‘Also to get her student loan she needed to go through the same tests and had to be a habitual resident in the country. She received her student loan, and they could have made inferences from that.’
The court heard from DWP employees who said that Ms Pardo’s Income Support claim had been correctly rejected because she had not shown she had been working for a period of eight months from the end of 2003.
Describing her sister’s death Ms Pardo said she went out to buy some milk before returning to find her front door open.
She said: ‘I called for Christelle and didn’t hear anything. I went out to the balcony and when I looked over I could see my sister and Kayjah.
‘That day she was distant, she didn’t say much. She was upset and wanted a date for her tribunal.
‘She was stressed about her benefits. She didn’t want her son to feel all the stress that she was going through with the paperwork.
‘We talked sister to sister and she told me how she was feeling. She said she was upset because she felt that she didn’t exist.
‘If it had not been for me she would have been out on the street.’
The court heard that Christelle could not return to France because she had no relatives there, as her parents had moved away.
Her sister said: ‘Going back to France was like going back to another country. She was living here for so many years – this was her country.’
Christelle died at the scene after her plunge. Paramedics took her son to the nearby Royal London Hospital where he died later that day.
Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: ‘She was not in a position around the time her son was born to be actively seeking work, and was not in a position to claim Income Support, which eventually stopped her housing benefit.
‘In lay terms it seems a very parlous situation.’
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide for Christelle Pardo and a verdict of unlawful killing for the death of her son.
Fit to work Dad had heart attack
CALLS for the Government to improve work capability assessments have been made – after a man declared ‘fit to work’ died a month later.
Stephen Hill, 53, of Duckmanton, died in December of a heart attack.
The dad-of-two had suffered heart problems for around two years and was awaiting major heart surgery but following a ten-minute medical examination on November 17 he was deemed well enough to work.
Mr Hill’s brother Anthony, 52, said: “I think the worry put so much pressure on him.
“He knew he didn’t have any energy and was getting out of breath easily but because he had been told by a medical expert he was well he thought he should be all right.
“He said to me he couldn’t wait to have the operation and get things sorted as he wanted to get back to work.”
The assessment was carried out by Atos – which is responsible for carrying out the Government’s drive to assess people claiming incapacity benefit.
But Mr Hill’s family – and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins – are now calling for Atos’ ‘tick box’ system to be overhauled.
Mr Perkins said: “Whilst we all acknowledge that there needs to be reform of the welfare system, the cost of failing to properly identify genuine claimants when they are not fit for work is wrong and the consequences can be disastrous.
“I am calling on the Government to improve the WCA from the ‘tick box’ exercise it is now so that more families aren’t put through the anguish and loss that Mr Hill’s family are experiencing.”
Mr Hill added: “For people that are really ill, like Stephen was, the system is wrong. We want to see it changed so a report from a GP and specialist should be good enough.
“Stephen should have been enjoying time with his grandchildren. For this to happen was just terrible.”
Southfields dad committed suicide after housing benefit cut
The Wandsworth Guardian
A desperate man who lined up three kitchen knives before stabbing himself twice in the heart, blamed cuts in housing benefit.
Unemployed Richard Sanderson took his own life after writing three suicide notes which were laid out neatly on a bed in a meticulously planned act.
In one to his wife he wrote: “Don’t come into the bathroom, this time I will most certainly be deceased”.
Mr Sanderson, who said he could not face the thought of his family being homeless, stabbed himself twice in the heart with a kitchen knife on May 29 at home in Augustus Road, Southfields, after years of being unable to find work finally took its toll, an inquest heard.
The 44-year-old former helicopter pilot wrote three suicide notes – two for his wife, Petra, and one for the police – after carefully planning the suicide over several days.
This followed a failed attempt less than a year earlier.
Coroner: Man ordered by Job Centre to give up training course
After returning a verdict of suicide at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, August 23, Dr Fiona Wilcox said: “What I find particularly tragic in this case is this act appears to be pursued by a man who was not suffering from an illness and appears to have made a considered act in response to his inability to find employment.
“The fact his housing benefit was about to be cut and the family would be at risk of having nowhere to live, and being ordered to give up his training course because of the Job Centre’s rules, would appear to be especially poignant and tragic.”
In February, Merton Council estimated up to 3,000 residents would be made poorer by the coalition Government’s policy of cutting housing benefits, which will decrease by between £5 and £400 a week from November, depending on the size of the property.
“80,000 Londoners at risk of eviction”
Annys Darkwa, who runs St Helier-based Vision Housing and helps find homes in Merton for ex-offenders, said tragic cases like this would become more frequent in the coming months because housing benefit cuts would hit the most vulnerable the hardest.
Mrs Darkwa said: “We are going to see this happen more and more as we expect 80,000 people across London to be evicted due to housing benefit cuts.
“It is especially concerning in Merton where mental health provision has disappeared. What’s going to happen to people who think they’re all alone and commit suicide because they think there’s no one to help them?”
Mr Sanderson, who was also a window cleaner, met his wife while travelling in South Africa in 1995 before the pair eventually settled in Wimbledon in 2007 to find better work prospects in London.
Widow: Council cut our housing benefit by £30 a week
Mrs Sanderson got a job but was made redundant in 2009, while Mr Sanderson constantly struggled to find work and was unable to complete training as an electrician because the job centre would not continue to pay his benefit because his training stopped him from being available for job interviews.
He tried to commit suicide the first time in June 2010 by crushing up 150 tranquiliser pills which he swallowed with a glass of whisky.
He was found at home unconscious but still alive by his wife.
Mrs Sanderson, who did not attend the inquest because she thought it would be too upsetting, gave a statement to police in which she explained the first suicide bid was done so she and their nine-year-old son could benefit from a life insurance policy payout worth 2.5m South African Rand (about £210,000), which she soon cancelled after the suicide attempt.
A psychological report by Dr Joanne Turner, who examined Mr Sanderson at St George’s Hospital, said he did not exhibit any signs of mental illness or depression and claimed to be “embarrassed” by his suicide bid.
But in her statement, Mrs Sanderson revealed: “In March or April  we received a letter from [Wandsworth] Council which said our housing benefit would decrease by £30 a week, forcing us to move but leaving us with nowhere to go.”
“Despite this, I hadn’t noticed any major change in Richard’s mood. I don’t know why he killed himself. We had planned to go to Wimbledon Common the next day.”
Claim welfare reforms drove writer Paul Reekie to suicide
Edinburgh Evening Post
ONE of the Capital’s best-known writers was driven to suicide by the Government’s welfare reforms, a doctor has claimed.
Dr Stephen Carty, a Leith GP, told the welfare reform committee yesterday that letters informing Paul Reekie, right, his incapacity and housing benefits would be stopped were used as the suicide note of the iconoclastic poet and author.
Dr Carty said: “Paul Reekie took his life following a work capability assessment. He didn’t leave a suicide note. He left on his desk two letters. One was a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informing him his incapacity benefit had been stopped and the other was from the council informing him his housing benefits had stopped.”
Mr Reekie – a contemporary of Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh in the early 1990s – died aged 48 at his Leith home in June 2010. He is believed to have had a heart condition and suffered from depression.
Dr Carty is a member of the Black Triangle Campaign – a group set up to fight the Government’s welfare reforms.
He told the welfare reform committee he had been “staggered” by the DWP’s decision to judge people “who are clearly severely ill” fit for work. He also called computer-based work assessments “inadequate”.
Dr David Bell, of BMA Scotland, called £2 billion in projected savings from the reform “inhumane and unreasonable” and said: “The frequency of successful appeals seems to demonstrate the shortcomings of the mechanism. You would not have 60 per cent plus success on appeal if the system was working properly.”
Mr Reekie grew up in Leslie, Fife, and moved to Edinburgh at the age of 16 to train as a radio officer at Leith Nautical College.
He reached probably his widest audience when his poem When Caesar’s Mushroom is in Season was published on the frontispiece of Welsh’s short story collection, The Acid House.