O/T David Morris popular again

Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Posh » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:28 pm

Wow Marky.

Inside first-hand evidence in a paid position.
Volunteer experience of the problems.
Consistent long-term knowledge of the issues.

They’ll deride you as an ‘expert’ and fail to believe you.

Seriously, well said and thanks. There are though a lot of fools out there who look out of the window and see people walking in the countryside and think that means everyone is fit and the whole is green and full of trees.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby shrimpnsave » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:49 pm

PIP payments seem to work in general don't they Marky?
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Posh » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:32 am

shrimpnsave wrote:PIP payments seem to work in general don't they Marky?


They’re going really well.

Courts judge them a breach of human rights
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 22861.html

3,000 in Stoke go to Citizens Advice over impact of PiPs
http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/sto ... elp-981248

There’s hundreds more articles from around the country on the impact of PIPs. I couldn’t find a single positive one, bar ones related to the forced increase in PIPs payments for a few because of the intolerable hardship.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby shrimpnsave » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:03 am

Posh wrote:
shrimpnsave wrote:PIP payments seem to work in general don't they Marky?


They’re going really well.

Courts judge them a breach of human rights
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 22861.html

3,000 in Stoke go to Citizens Advice over impact of PiPs
http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/sto ... elp-981248

There’s hundreds more articles from around the country on the impact of PIPs. I couldn’t find a single positive one, bar ones related to the forced increase in PIPs payments for a few because of the intolerable hardship.

thanks posh
I do have a personal interest on the subject
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby marky » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:21 am

shrimpnsave wrote:PIP payments seem to work in general don't they Marky?

Well, when PIP was first introduced, it was mishandled as much as Universal Credit is now. It took six months or more just to get an assessment and the DWP were taking just as long to actually make a decision. I was on a special project at my former employer working specifically on welfare reform. As a benefit, I had a good success rate in terms of awards. But too many people were getting them, so the government changed the goalposts to make it harder to score points. Last year, the government lost a court case specific to mental ill-health and PIP. Rather than adhere to the court order, they simply changed the regulations instead, making it next to impossible for people in such situations to get an award for the mobility component (half of which is supposed to be about the mental aspect of actually being able to leave the house).

It’s not just those benefits, though. The council house provider in Newcastle has seen rent arrears go through the roof since Universal Credit went full service, one of the first places to do so. It was bad enough after the bedroom tax! And do you know what, the bedroom tax is just a ridiculous thing. It hasn’t saved any money. The government has to give local authorities funding for discretionary housing payments. Different budget, so they can pretend they’ve made savings.

And people like me and other third sector and local government officers have to pick up the pieces and help people who often find themselves in impossible situations. Most benefits have been frozen for years, despite ever increasing living costs. £73.10 per week doesn’t go as far as it did just 2 years ago. Not even close. Government policy is causing poverty. I’m sure it isn’t in-your-face deliberate but be under no illusions, they know exactly what has happened. A certain IDS resigned over cuts to various Universal credit components. That tells you have bad it actually is. You wouldn’t believe some of the situations I’ve come across. There are times when it gets to you. Emotions from sadness to anger and back again.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Bare Grills » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:28 am

Some of us have family on UC who've used food banks. Might not have consistent paid experience but we've seen how things build up long before any Jobcentre, professional or otherwise became involved. How lives get screwed up through no fault of their own and how UC is helping them rebuild themselves. Do I think the system needs changing? Yes, I think we all agree on that but it's how it should be changed we will probably never agree on.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby marky » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:09 am

As a concept, UC is a good one. It simplifies benefits, though it’s deletion of the disability related premiums given in other benefits is another ‘attack’ on more vulnerable members of society. The implementation has been nothing short of sheer incompetence. The DWP were and still are woefully understaffed due to job cuts in the name of austerity. Sadly, on the daily coal face, it’s the effects of this incompetence and other benefit cuts that I have to help people with. Sometimes I can’t. That can be soul-destroying.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Bare Grills » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:48 am

From my limited very close individual knowledge of UC, it worked and it's working. The previous system capped earnings and while UC still takes chunks of earnings, it provides the ability to work more & earn more. Even the loan worked out fine, with some strict budgeting.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby marky » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:21 pm

You’ve hit the nail on the head. Your knowledge is limited. The work allowances were cut drastically by George Osborne which led to Ian Duncan-Smith’s resignation. People are often worse off by starting work, which was never the intention. Better off calculations are part and parcel of my job. When you account for loss of the housing component, the fact the work allowances for single people or couples with no children were cut in their entirety and having to pay more towards council tax, it is very easy for taking up employment to be not worth it financially. Like I say, that was never intention but it is the reality.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Christies Child » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:27 pm

Good to read that we have one fan who is able to provide more accurate calculations than expensive Government financial wizards.

Wonder if there is room for him on the accounting side of our club.... ;)
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Bare Grills » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:46 pm

marky wrote:You’ve hit the nail on the head. Your knowledge is limited. The work allowances were cut drastically by George Osborne which led to Ian Duncan-Smith’s resignation. People are often worse off by starting work, which was never the intention. Better off calculations are part and parcel of my job. When you account for loss of the housing component, the fact the work allowances for single people or couples with no children were cut in their entirety and having to pay more towards council tax, it is very easy for taking up employment to be not worth it financially. Like I say, that was never intention but it is the reality.

While my knowledge of UC is limited, I first worked in the sector in 1981 when I created the output interface of the EEC's employment forecasting system. Sat alongside some extremely clever people who understood not only the mechanics of employment but also EEC wide benefit systems which were just some of the many inputs to the forecast. I learned a lot from them, not just about the UK. Since then I've rarely not been involved with government, private bodies & prison service working with the unemployed.

I've also had personal experience of the services delivered by JobCentres but you really won't want to hear about that.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby marky » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:00 am

However, we are discussing UC, not legacy benefit systems or anecdotal personal experience of using jobcentre services. What I have is intimate knowledge of a benefit the government laud as wonderful when my experience on the daily coalface in a council area that was one of the very first to trial the benefit is very different. It’s not just me, though. The soaring rent arrears and food bank usages back me up on that. That is not to say that UC doesn’t work for some people, because it does. Nothing is ever universally bad just as nothing is universally good!
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Bare Grills » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:01 am

Anecdotal? How dare you say that! Hmm, after my personal experience, you're typical of the staff I encountered.

You've got a job, you see it differently. I see it every day from the other side, not just in working hours and it's not the picture you're painting. I'm wasting my time though trying to convince such an expert so I'm bowing out.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby marky » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:10 am

You are, because my job is helping people the system is failing. Like it or not, that gives me greater insight in to the current situation. Incidentally, I’ve been on benefits many times. I have experience of both sides.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Keith » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:17 pm

Bare Grills wrote:I'm wasting my time though trying to convince such an expert so I'm bowing out.


The way I see discussions like this one is not about convincing those who are firmly entrenched in a view, but offering views & counter-views for those people who haven't got a firm opinion. I'll never convince Ade that I'm right, he'll never convince me that he's right, but there may be some other people who will have their view shaped one way or another. Likewise, you and Marky.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby seasonsinthesun » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:03 am

I agree Keith, and I am one of those people.
I have followed this thread with interest, and have found it one of the best I have ever read on Shrimpsvoices.
I have not offered an opinion as I do not have enough knowledge of some of the things discussed on this thread.
Whilst I would describe myself as conservative in my political thinking, this thread has given me different perspectives to think about with the contributions from yourself, Ade and Marky amongst others very thought provoking.
I do agree though with the thoughts of some that in a General Election many voters would vote for the party of their choice and the candidate of that party may be a secondary issue.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby mrpotatohead » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:25 am

Certain people on here have a view that is almost Victorian, or worse regarding the the use of "society's money" ,to provide for its citizens, whatever has happened in the past with other governments is irrelevant , our poor and vulnerable are not getting enough money for food,heating and housing , it's being justified by vilification of a few benefit cheats and it's disgusting.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby New_Ground_Watcher » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:44 pm

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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby George Dawes » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:32 pm

Regarding fuel poverty.

I wish we'd follow Norway and nationalise our Oil & Gas so it benefits us the people and businesses, and other Industies so we can become more self sufficient with cheaper energy prices instead of selling it to the highest bidder, and then Energy suppliers taking the piss out of us.

We have more people(mainly our elderly) in the UK who die because of cold weather conditions than in Norway and other Scandinavian Countries.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby thedoc » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:04 pm

To paraphrase 'The Usual Suspects', the greatest trick the Tories ever pulled, was convincing the working class that the country's problems are due to the poorest people in society.

We judge our society by the help we give those least able to help themselves


Well said Keith and Posh. It’s really heartening – among the illiterate drivel which is so often posted on this site – to see that some people have a clear view of this subject. It is not about party politics. It’s not about whether or not David Morris is a good MP or not (although in my personal experience, he is utterly useless). It’s simply about what’s right and what’s wrong. We all know that there are a very small percentage of benefit cheats in this country. I don’t think anybody would defend what they do – they are parasites and scroungers. But they’re not alone in this: lots of people who would look down their noses at these people are parasites and scroungers themselves – they fiddle their tax returns; they get agricultural grants they aren’t entitled to; they commit fraud; rip off their customers; pocket the pension pots of big companies – the list is endless. The Royal Family could be perceived to be the biggest parasites and scroungers this country has ever had. How many people criticise them? In a sense, members of the Royal Family are as much victims – albeit very rich ones – of the system in this country as the children of scumbags living in filthy houses and going hungry are. It is not their fault: they didn’t choose to be in that situation. That’s the whole point: IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. But for the grace of god, those kids could have been you or me. Hitting their useless parents with sanctions punishes these kids for things they have no control over. Taking benefits off decent people who actually need them is similarly completely wrong. Again – that could be you or me. To paraphrase what Keith has said, the greatest trick played on people like you and me by Tories and plenty of other influential people is to persuade society at large that the problems poor people suffer from are of their own making. Anyone who blames a child for not having enough to eat, decent clothes to wear or for living in conditions you wouldn’t keep a dog in has lost their own humanity. They’ve also lost sight of what’s actually the problem. And that is something political parties of all stripes in this country have consistently failed to tackle: the conveyor belt of generations of people being brought-up in situations where the easiest thing to do is become like their useless parents. Until this is done, nothing will change. And people like David Morris not only won’t even attempt to do it, they don’t actually give a damn about it. So hats off to those who do…
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Ntini » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:08 pm

thedoc wrote:To paraphrase 'The Usual Suspects', the greatest trick the Tories ever pulled, was convincing the working class that the country's problems are due to the poorest people in society.

We judge our society by the help we give those least able to help themselves


Well said Keith and Posh. It’s really heartening – among the illiterate drivel which is so often posted on this site – to see that some people have a clear view of this subject. It is not about party politics. It’s not about whether or not David Morris is a good MP or not (although in my personal experience, he is utterly useless). It’s simply about what’s right and what’s wrong. We all know that there are a very small percentage of benefit cheats in this country. I don’t think anybody would defend what they do – they are parasites and scroungers. But they’re not alone in this: lots of people who would look down their noses at these people are parasites and scroungers themselves – they fiddle their tax returns; they get agricultural grants they aren’t entitled to; they commit fraud; rip off their customers; pocket the pension pots of big companies – the list is endless. The Royal Family could be perceived to be the biggest parasites and scroungers this country has ever had. How many people criticise them? In a sense, members of the Royal Family are as much victims – albeit very rich ones – of the system in this country as the children of scumbags living in filthy houses and going hungry are. It is not their fault: they didn’t choose to be in that situation. That’s the whole point: IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. But for the grace of god, those kids could have been you or me. Hitting their useless parents with sanctions punishes these kids for things they have no control over. Taking benefits off decent people who actually need them is similarly completely wrong. Again – that could be you or me. To paraphrase what Keith has said, the greatest trick played on people like you and me by Tories and plenty of other influential people is to persuade society at large that the problems poor people suffer from are of their own making. Anyone who blames a child for not having enough to eat, decent clothes to wear or for living in conditions you wouldn’t keep a dog in has lost their own humanity. They’ve also lost sight of what’s actually the problem. And that is something political parties of all stripes in this country have consistently failed to tackle: the conveyor belt of generations of people being brought-up in situations where the easiest thing to do is become like their useless parents. Until this is done, nothing will change. And people like David Morris not only won’t even attempt to do it, they don’t actually give a damn about it. So hats off to those who do…

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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby simmy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:35 pm

Well said thedoc.

Spot on.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Phil Anderer » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:46 pm

I know I started this thread, but I've stayed out of it since. It's interesting to see the different opinions, and how most have expressed a more-or-less tolerant view.

For myself, I've never had to rely on benefits, so I can count myself lucky in that respect. I did work for a few years for a local authority, dealing with some of the worst properties, often occupied by people on benefits. As a consequence, I came across the 'scroungers'. The worst of these was a single bloke who had been in a secure council tenancy for 7 years plus, and was in receipt of benefits including housing benefit. He had, nevertheless, secured himself a Big Issue salesman card, and was going into town to sell the Big Issue to fund his drug habit. I am however acutely aware that he is the exception, not the rule. By contrast, I came into contact with single mothers who had clean & tidy houses and were trying to bring up their children as best they could, as well as elderly pensioners trying to make ends meet.

As has already been pointed out by others, the money that goes to the scroungers is a drop in the ocean, and realistically, whilst it would be nice to put an end to it, aggressively targeting the right people would be disproportionately expensive, because of the number of genuine claimants you'd have to investigate along the way. The vast majority of our benefit bill in any event is the pension bill, which governments are always reluctant to target as these are the most reliable voters.

A small number of people, both on the left and the right, seem to take quite a simplistic view to such issues, whereas I have a little saying: 'there are no easy answers to difficult questions'. When it comes to the disabled, or differently able, I do think there needs to be a system of assessment, but it needs to be far more comprehensive, involving appropriate medical professionals, which should look not at the limitations a person has, but at their abilities. Preferably by working with business and industry, we should be finding out what these people can do, retraining them if necessary, and getting them into work by expressly providing them with the means and support to do so, not simply ticking a box. Yes it would cost money in the short term, but long term not only do you get people off benefits and paying taxes instead, you also give them a greater feeling of self-worth, as they contribute to society and their own mental well-being. It won't work for all, and there will always be some who must be supported by 'the system', but it's a damn sight more considerate with better long-term outcomes than the current system.
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby shrimpnsave » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:38 pm

football is a funny old game
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Re: O/T David Morris popular again

Postby Posh » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 pm

If people want to know how you fall into poverty read this. Then go down to Morecambe Foodbank, the homeless shelter, Citizens Advice and hear the same thing over and over again. The safety net has failed, has a huge hole in it and its deliberate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42789610
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