Monthly Archives: August 2012

Boycott Workfare – new day of action on 8th September 2012 – role of charities in forced work-for-benefits highlighted


Take part in the day of action against workfare on 8th September –
charities should know better!

Last time groups across the UK got together to tackle workfare, Holland &
Barrett – one of the biggest workfare offenders – announced that they
would be pulling out. A big shout out goes to SolFed who organised pickets of Holland and Barrett all over the country.

With workfare amongst corporate companies in retreat, we are turning our
attention in September to charities who are set to receive a huge influx
of workfare as the government roll out their Community Action Programme
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/29/long-term-unemployed-unpaid-work.

We will be taking to the streets to remind charities that workfare is
never for ‘community benefit’ – as the government are trying to claim by
involving charities – and that they have a duty to stand up against such
punitive and exploitative schemes. Join an action on Saturday 8th
September on your local high street. Check the facebook group to find your
local action or arrange one on your high street. Also, keep your eyes
peeled for ’10 top reasons charities to oppose the involvement of
charities in workfare’ blog coming soon on the Boycott Workfare website.

UK wide day of action against charities’ involvement with workfare
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1544 and
http://www.facebook.com/events/488398427837296/

Actions against public organisations that are taking workfare will be
coming soon too and pressure on corporate companies will continue!


Visit website for Boycott Workfare

Nottingham group opposing threat to Council Tax benefit


29/8/2012 update – Nottingham City Council plans to make the maximum council tax benefit payable 80% of the total for working age claimants (to be based on Band B). It will be going up next year, but using this years amount, if you are in Band A it you have to pay £215 and Band B around £250, more in higher bands, instead of a 100% rebate. Details here – http://ncclols.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/council-tax-benefit-replacement.html. They also suggest to reduce the savings cap to £6000 so if you get laid off after April 2013 and end up with more than this in redundancy, too bad. There are other unpleasant changes including stopping back-dating claims.

The Con/Dem Government are cutting funds allocated for Council Tax rebates by 10%. Each local Council is being told to decide themselves where the cuts will fall. In Nottingham, a group of concerned local people are trying to organise a defence against these cuts for vulnerable people and the residents of Nottingham.
Join facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/450355785005204/

The following document estimates the effect on Nottingham City (listed as Nottingham UA – unitary authorities) which has about 2 in 3 (64%) working age claimants currently receiving Council Tax Benefit, saying,

When the new system of local support for Council Tax is introduced in April 2013 the amount provided to local authorities will be reduced by 10% relative to current expenditure on CTB, saving around £480 million a year. However, characterising this as a 10% cut is disingenuous, as pensioners are in effect excluded from the new system. In terms of the population of working age claimants, who are the only ones that can be affected by new rules, the cut is much larger than 10%.

See: http://www.solutions.entitledto.co.uk/docs/Localising%20support%20for%20Council%20Tax.pdf
In Nottingham the effect appears to mean a 16% cut in spending on working age claimants which means that councils will be put under pressure to pass the cut on to these claimants, meaning less benefits and very likely an end to 100% benefit.

A Nottingham City Council website ‘consultation‘ reflects this. This link is still active (but campaigners don’t think it is now being publicised) – http://gossweb.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/survey/ctb/counciltaxbenefits.htm
(just press ‘Next’ to look at the questions without answering).

Some news is coming in that some councils may refuse to implement the cut, so pressure should be put on Nottingham City Council not to kick low paid working age residents in the teeth. Non-payment is an option – it is likely many people will say ‘can’t pay, won’t pay’ as they did in the anti-poll tax campaign. Will the council then try and blame non-payers for cuts in services instead of the corrupt economic system?

NCC Lols has some earlier thoughts: http://ncclols.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/replacing-council-tax-benefit.html

London anti-austerity demo ‘A future that works’ 20th October 2012


‘A future that works’, anti-austerity march and rally in Hyde Park in London takes place on 20th October 2012.
Similar rallies are also planned take place in Glasgow (although with some opposition from the local council) and possibly also Belfast.

Details of the London one are here:
http://afuturethatworks.org/

Coaches from Nottingham and Notts:List of coaches: http://falseeconomy.org.uk/travel/east-midlands/all/t1

Disabled People Against Cuts week of Paralympic fun and games against Atos – 27th to 31st August 2012


Join The Atos Games!

On your marks, get set… for a week of Paralympic fun and games against Atos!

From Monday 27th to Friday 31st of August, join Disabled People Against Cuts for The Atos Games – five days of action against a company that’s sponsoring the Paralympics but wrecking disabled people’s lives.

We are calling on disabled people, disabled activists, families, colleagues, friends and supporters to come together and fight back against Atos’s attacks. Atos represents as dangerous an opponent as any government, law or barrier the disability movement has faced in its long history. It’s not just welfare, but our very identity and our place within society that is under attack.

And we are asking the whole of the anti-cuts movement to join us in our opposition to the company most responsible for driving through the government’s brutal cuts agenda. Let’s make it Games over for Atos!

We’re not against the Paralympics or the people taking part in it. We’re highlighting the hypocrisy of Atos, a company that soon may be taking disability benefits from the people winning medals for Team GB.

Ever since George Osborne announced he was slashing £18 billion from the welfare budget, the government has paid Atos £100 million a year to test 11,000sick and disabled people every week, then decide whether they’re ‘fit for work’.

Atos uses an inhumane computer programme to do the testing, and trains its staff to push people off benefits. The government has admitted the tests are flawed, and the British Medical Association wants them to end immediately.

But Atos continues to devastate people’s lives. Many have committed suicide because of its testing programme, and over 1,000 people have died of their illnesses soon after being found ‘fit for work’.

We won’t let them get away with murder, so join in The Atos Games however you can – online, on the phone, or on the streets!

· Monday 27th: A coffin full of your messages about Atos will be delivered to its doorstep.

· Tuesday 28th: Pay a visit to your local Atos office – and maybe even take your protest inside!

· Wednesday 29th: We’ll hold a spoof Paralympic awards ceremony, hopefully with some very special guests…

· Thursday 30th: Phone jam! Let’s flood Atos with calls, and generate a Twitter-storm they can’t ignore!

· Then on Friday 31st, join us in London where we’re teaming up with UK Uncut for the Grand Finale – an audacious, daring and disruptive action. Last time we shut down Oxford Circus, this time we will be performing miracles…!

Over the next few weeks we’ll give more details about each day of action. We’ll make sure that DPAC members and disabled people who can’t travel will be able to take part in different and accessible ways.

We’d really like YOU to make this week of action a great success! Let’s come together and show this monstrous company that we’re stronger than them. They’re the vulnerable ones and they know it.

Atos has offices in most towns across the country, so start organising an action for August 28th at your local Atos now!

Let the Atos Games begin!