The PIP & ESA inquiry report from the Work and Pensions Select Committee – main recommendations

Politics and Insights

Image result for pip esa inquiryYesterday, the government published the latest Work and Pensions Select Committee report on PIP and ESA Assessments. This is an utterly damning report, highlighting a lack of quality, consistency, transparency, objectivity and fairness from the government’s PIP and ESA incredibly expensive outsourced assessment regimes.

The report highlights failures by the private contractors, Atos and Maximus, to conduct accurate assessments, and substantial failures in the DWP’s decision-making – both the initial decisions about benefit awards and mandatory reviews were all too often found to be lacking in facts and accuracy. 

The report document says: “We heard many reports of errors appearing in assessment reports. Such experiences serve to undermine confidence amongst claimants. So does the proportion of DWP decisions overturned at appeal. At worst, there is an unsubstantiated belief among some claimants and their advisers that assessors are encouraged to misrepresent assessments deliberately in a way that leads to…

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Universal Credit bereavement run-on payments have been scrapped

Politics and Insights

For single use only on 10 March 2017

The government  claim they value “evidence-based policy”. However, no-one knows exactly what evidence was found to justify Universal Credit, or how and why it may be applied to dismantling publicly funded social security provision for the public.

A grieving family have been forced to pay their loved one’s rent for three weeks following his death.

Ronnie Cowan, the MP for Inverclyde, has spoken out in parliament about the shocking treatment of one of his constituents because of callous Universal Credit rules concerning bereavement.

The Department for Work and Pensions have decided that if a Universal Credit claimant dies, regardless of when, they are classed as having died from the start of their four week assessment period, which can result in families being liable for their rent payments. This means that the government is outrageously clawing money from people for up to three weeks before they die and their bereaved families. 

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Further PIP Delays

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DWP Rules over UC Payment After Death

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German Meat Mafia: No 1 in the world !!

World Animals Voice

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Animal Rights Watch activists released gruesome footage of the systematic killing of small piglets

It is a sight that is hard to bear. Animal rights activists from “Animal Rights Watch” (ARIWA)publish footage from a pig farm in Brandenburg. In the most brutal way, coworkers kill small, defenseless piglets with one hit on the ground, sometimes right in front of their mothers (Video).

The employees systematically go through the rows, picking out the little piglets and hitting them several times on the floor, against edges or steel bars. Some are not dead immediately, twitching and whining. Nevertheless, they end up in a ton and are transported away. In some cases, they are even simply left in the box.

Ferkel auf Fäkalien laufendjpgA little piglet runs in a steel over his dead and abandoned conspecifics.

The pigs are not really sick, but for the operation only a cost factor. The breed is not financially…

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The Conservative’s slippery slope and Allport’s scale of prejudice

Politics and Insights

Gordon Allportstudied the psychological and social processesthat create a society’s progression from prejudice and discrimination to genocide. In his research of how the Holocaust happened, he describes sociopolitical processes that foster increasing social prejudice and discrimination and he demonstrated how the unthinkable becomes acceptable: it happens incrementally, because of a steady erosion of our moral and rational boundaries, and propaganda-driven changes in our attitudes towards others that advances culturally, by almost inscrutable degrees.

The process always begins with political scapegoating of a social group and with ideologies that identify that group as an enemy or a social burden in some way. A history of devaluation of the group that becomes the target, authoritarian culture, and the passivity of internal and external witnesses (bystanders) all contribute to the probability that violence against that group will develop, and ultimately, if the process is allowed to continue evolving, genocide.

Economic…

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Secret ‘internal reviews’ show clear link between Tory welfare ‘reforms’ and suicides

Politics and Insights

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I’ve written more than one lengthy critique of Tory notions of what passes for “research” methods, and often criticised Conservative refusals to accept the research findings of academics regarding, for example, established links between the Work Capability Assessment, increased suicide and mortality, the link between sanctions and increased mortality. The Tory plea for the universal and unqualified dismissal of whatever they deem to be criticism of their policies is often based on the claim that “no causal link has been established.”

As I have pointed out previously, whilst correlation certainly isn’t quite the same thing as cause and effect, it quite often strongly hints at a causal link, and as such, warrants further investigation.

It is inaccurate to say that correlation doesn’t imply causation. It quite often does. Correlation means that an association has been established. The tobacco industry, for example, has historically…

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