I AM increasingly horrified by reports of the so-called benefit ‘reforms’ that are making life a misery for thousands of people who suffer long term health problems.
It appears that Mr Cameron’s government is intent upon driving Britain back to the Thatcher era when social inequality and deprivation rose dramatically.
The tabloid media appears oblivious to the fate of so-called ‘welfare scroungers’ and ‘benefit cheats’ – which is something that is encouraged by the pronouncements from government ministers.
The same media outlets are unconcerned by the tax ‘cheats’ in the city of London who are not paying taxes to the tune of £25bn a year.
The select committee on work and pensions has just issued a report that focuses upon the government’s attempt to reassess the 1.5m people who have been on Incapacity Benefit via the so-called work capability assessments. It makes for very sobering reading.
A French company, Atos, has been awarded a £100m contract for carrying out work capability assessments (WCA). The results of this attempt to force vulnerable people off benefits are obvious. Thousands of seriously ill people have been fallaciously deemed ‘fit for work’. Dozens of charities have complained to the government about this. Thousands of people with serious health problems have appealed against being found ‘fit for work’. The rate of successful appeals is running at about 40%. The projected annual cost of appeals has been put as high as £50m – although Atos incurs no penalty for getting things so wrong.
Surely the hallmark of any civilised country is how it treats the most vulnerable people in society?
The Government’s attempt to save money at the expense of seriously ill people is shameful. It is something that should seriously concern us all.
Dr Dylan Murphy
Cutting care costs
I WAS very interested to read the letters of Joe Froggatt and June Jones (Examiner, July 19) regarding the Kirklees Home Care Services.
As a former carer for my late mother, who was in her 90s, I must say that Kirklees Home Care staff looked after her extremely well and took a lot of pressure off me.
However, at one point the council decided to employ private agency staff at weekends. There were several problems and unreliability and I was of the opinion that their training left a lot to be desired and did not come up to the standards of Kirklees Home Care staff.
Eventually it was agreed that no private agency staff would be used. From that point on everything worked well.
If this is a cost-cutting exercise, affecting the most vulnerable in society, I’m sure that service users will be angered by the fact that Kirklees council is loaning millions of pounds to Kirklees College which is giving thousands in sponsorship to Huddersfield Town Football Club and now at Kirklees Council a £60,000-a-year deficit has occurred concerning a computerised system – a matter which is being investigated by Clr David Ridgeway.
Sheila M Hyde
Need for more schools
SO more houses are to be built on a former pub site – five family homes.
In theŠpaperŠyou also read of parents not being able to have siblings in the same school because there is not enough space and they applied late.
TheŠcouncilŠis so intent on building a certain number of family homes that they have not realised that the children of those families will have to go to school, yet a lot of schools in Huddersfield are full to bursting.
It’s not more houses we need but schools – primary andŠsecondary.
When was the last time a school was built without closing another? If all these homes are built it will get to the point where children fromŠHuddersfieldŠwill be going to school in Dewsbury.
Please Kirklees, use your brains.Š
Praise for pupils
WHILE on holiday in Salou, Spain, a party of schoolchildren came on to the beach aged between 11 and 14.
Yorkshire accents, all having a really good time even in the very hot sunshine.
On leaving the beach my wife and I spoke with the teachers in charge – three females and two males – and said that they, the schoolchildren, were a credit to themselves, the teachers and the Leeds and Huddersfield areas from which they came.
The reason for this letter is that students and teachers in this day and age get too much of a bad press.
They should give themselves a big pat on the back.
Not saving pounds
OFCOM are congratulating themselves on forcing BT to drop their wholesale tariffs to competitors.
It will mean cheaper broadband to rural users, like myself, they gush.
No it will not, not unless the others then pass some of the savings on. I would not stake my life or liberty on it.
Pay up suckers!
ACCORDING to a news report, the members of the panel investigating the phone-hacking scandal will receive £565 a day plus ‘reasonable travel costs’.
In case anyone is wondering who is going to pay for all this, may I attempt to enlighten them. ŠThe mantle will fall once again on to the long suffering British public. Š
Not only have we to put up with the disgrace and humiliation of phone hacking into the affairs of private citizens, we are required to pay for an inquiry into why all this has happened.
This is what David Cameron refers to as our Big Society – ‘we are all in this together’.
Added to all this, their Lordships in the upper chamber have just increased their daily attendance allowance to £274 per day – that is over twice the amount of my weekly pension.
At least two of their ‘Lordships’ have been, or are in jail, for fiddling and stealing from the taxpayer. There is a saying in Yorkshire, ‘you can always get out by paying’. Š
Well suckers, just carry on paying.
Heard it all before
I COULD not attend the meeting about the Holmfirth Adult Education Centre last Thursday evening because of transport problems, but from what I have read in the Examiner we are being offered two days, which is not much.
All this ‘use it or lose it’ is rubbish – we have heard it all before.
What happens after three months? Do we all go through the same thing again? I’m weary of the people from Kirklees College – they will waste money on anything but adult education and then come with the poor tale.
I can only hope that someone or some firm can offer some sort of sponsorship.
The science of speed
AS Goebbels once said: “If you are going to tell a lie make it a big one and repeat it often.’’
The lie that speed does not kill is such a one and has been told for years. Statistics show that fewer accidents occur at lower speed.
After all, at higher speeds you travel further during your reaction time, breaking distance is increased and, most importantly, if you have a collision the energy dissipated in the impact will be higher, increasing the risk of serious injury and damage.
Increasing speed to twice the previous value increases the energy dissipated on impact by four times and at three times the speed by nine times.
The force impinging on a vehicle and anyone in it will increase proportionally, other things being equal.
Ignore rogue traders
THE area where I live was designated a ‘cold calling zone’ several years ago.
But that hasn’t prevented traders knocking on our doors offering to carry out work at knock down prices (Examiner, ‘Ban on doorstep callers’, July 25).
Big companies are just as bad. Recently gas and electric companies have ignored the ‘cold calling free zone’ signs.
The answer, of course, is not to open the door to them, but that doesn’t stop private companies. Even though my telephone number is ex-directory, they ring to offer their services and ask for personal details.
As the economic crisis gets worse and worse under this government, the problem with rogue traders will increase.