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Poorest And Most Vunerable The Hardest Hit : Especially Those NOT Able To Work !!! Half Of The 8.4 Million Carer Army ? - Page 20 - Carers UK Forum

Poorest And Most Vunerable The Hardest Hit : Especially Those NOT Able To Work !!! Half Of The 8.4 Million Carer Army ?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
216 posts

Not comprehensive enough nor factors in the lone carer / caree figures.

However , best quick guide around that can be manipulated to fit most situations.

Housing element ... I would need to see the basic assumptions before commenting further.

Post code lottery would definitely come into play ... as would the average gap / chasm between the Housing Allowance and Housing Benefit !!!
PiggyBank owner collapses into administration.

Demise of payday lender leaves 45,000 customers facing financial uncertainty.

The payday lender PiggyBank has collapsed, making it the latest short-term creditor to fail in recent weeks amid a fresh crackdown by the City regulator.

HJS has been appointed to carry out the administration of PiggyBank’s parent company, DJS, leaving about 45,000 customers facing financial uncertainty.

PiggyBank was forced to stop trading in July after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) raised concerns about poor affordability checks. The lender, one of the UK’s 10 largest payday operators, was forced to carry out an assessment to make sure it was lending to customers who could pay back their loans.

Administrators did not go into detail about the cause of the company’s collapse. However, the Guardian understands that PiggyBank’s financiers – most of whom were high net worth individuals – were not willing to put more funds into the company after the suspension was lifted in September.

It is not clear how much money customers who lodged compensation claims over issues including affordability will receive after the company is wound down.

PiggyBank offered loans of up to £1,000 to new customers for up to five months. A PiggyBank customer would pay an interest rate equal to an annual percentage rate (APR) of between 1,255% and 1,698%.

The company’s failure comes weeks after the UK’s largest payday lender, CashEuroNet, collapsed in October, taking its brands QuickQuid and On Stride off the market. Weeks later, another payday lender, 247MoneyBox, was put into administration.

The sector is still recovering from Wonga’s collapse last year. Most of the failures have been caused by a surge in compensation claims by customers who say they were mis-sold loans they could not afford.

The FCA imposed affordability checks and capped payday loan charges in 2014 to stop lenders charging more in fees and interest than the amount borrowed. The changes, designed to protect vulnerable consumers, reduced the lenders’ income and triggered a flurry of customer complaints.

Peter Tutton, the head of policy at the debt charity StepChange, said there had been a drop in the number of people struggling with payday loans debt after the spate of administrations. “While this reduction in harm is welcome, lower income households will still need access to safe, suitable and affordable credit from time to time.

“Whoever forms the next government needs a comprehensive strategy that provides greater access to affordable credit safety nets for the most financially vulnerable, including the full introduction of a no interest loan scheme.”

Jason Wassell, the chief executive of the payday loans industry body the Consumer Finance Association, also called on the next government to consider access to credit.

He said vulnerable customers could turn to less credible sources of credit, particularly over the holidays. “We are not necessarily suggesting this will lead to a rise in loan sharks, but we do suspect we will see an increase in unregulated borrowing, possibly from hard-pressed family members, and on occasion, it will be from individuals with links to criminality.”
Number of tenants facing rent hikes almost DOUBLES in a year - as landlords pass on the cost of the great buy-to-let squeeze.

46 per cent of tenants saw a rent hike this year compared to 26 per cent in 2018.

Four out of every five letting agents expect rents to continue to rise next year.

This comes as one third of all landlords say they expect to sell up next year.

There is a supply and demand issue in the rental market, and figures suggest that it's getting worse.

The rate at which new tenants are entering the market is speeding up, while the number of new landlords is in decline.

This squeeze in supply and increase in demand naturally leads to higher rents.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/buyto ... -2019.html

DEFINITELY a post code lottery ... the poorer the manor ... Worksop a good example ... the less pressure on landlords to increase the rent.

THAT gap is REALLY biting in poorer areas.
" Many of our children don’t get presents " : schools open over Christmas for families with nothing.

Headteachers tell of the challenges brought by 10 years of austerity – and their hopes and fears for the new year.

Sammy will wake up on Christmas morning with little hope of a visit from Santa. He didn’t get a present last Christmas and it is unlikely he will get one this year, because his mother struggles just to put food on the table.

But it is not all gloom for the lively eight-year-old.

Next Monday, 23 December, his school will reopen and the teachers and support staff will return, unpaid, to organise a huge “Christmas Eve Eve” party for the 350 pupils and their families. Kitchen staff will serve 800 Christmas dinners and each child will see Santa and get to unwrap a present bought by the school with money donated by businesses.

“We’re having unicorns and that’s what I’m looking forward to, as well as Santa and the dancing,” he says.

Sammy is a pupil at Parklands primary school in Leeds, which serves one of the biggest council estates in England, an area in the top 1% in England for deprivation. Only a third of working-age adults have jobs and three-quarters of pupils qualify for the pupil premium, the extra money given to schools to support the poorest children.

Chris Dyson, its headteacher, says Christmas can be a confusing time for some children. “They see everyone making Santa lists and yet they don’t get anything they asked for,” he says. “We have children here who don’t get a present at Christmas or on their birthdays. When I came here five years ago I found very few children had been to see Santa. It broke my heart. I wanted to give them a dream, a hope, and show how invested I am in them, even in holiday times.”

Headteachers say that supporting families living in long-term poverty and finding help for children with mental health and welfare issues are among the biggest challenges they will face in 2020. Other challenges are the urgent need to improve the provision for children with disabilities and special educational needs, teacher shortages, tackling poor classroom discipline, reducing exclusions, and the need to reform the unfair funding system that allocates between 50% and 70% more “per pupil funding” to some parts of the country than others.

Over in Blackpool, Stephen Tierney, executive director of a small multi-academy trust consisting of St Mary’s, a Catholic secondary school, and two primary schools, Christ the King and St Cuthbert’s, says schools have become “the fourth emergency service” for families in crisis – because there is nothing else. The trust’s primary schools will open for five days during the Christmas break to provide shelter, food and warmth for vulnerable pupils. This week they are giving out hampers, funded by a charity appeal.

“A decade ago schools wouldn’t have had to do it, but we have had 10 years of austerity. There are consequences for those at the bottom who are bearing the brunt,” he says.

“It’s heartbreaking for some of our families. Children are going back to homes with no carpets, no heating, no food in the fridge, the place is cold, it is not in great repair, and Christmas will be about surviving. We were thinking of providing the ingredients for a Christmas lunch – but then some homes won’t have enough money for fuel to cook it and some don’t even have an oven.

“Heads in Blackpool will tell you stories of family after family who make it clear there is no money for Christmas presents this year and there were no presents last year,” he says. “It is hard to comprehend the hopelessness these parents feel. That is where schools come in. Should we have to? No, but if we don’t, then who will?”

Tierney’s staff are volunteering to come in without pay, and local organisations are providing food at no cost. Unless children get help, “what will they eat this Christmas?” he asks.

“The boxes will be going out and they are not what you would expect in a Christmas hamper – they will have staples such as pasta and rice and tinned tomatoes, because Christmas is survival for these families, not a bonus.”

Back in Leeds, the most expensive gifts are matched to those most in need. The reality of survival on the Seacroft estate kicks in, however. “The last three bikes we gave away ended up on eBay within hours,” says Dyson sadly.

The headteachers are not exaggerating.

Official statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions for 2017-18 show an increase to nearly one in eight – 12% – of children living in low-income homes and suffering severe material deprivation. The finding is based on a survey of whether households can afford things such as a warm winter coat, celebrations on special occasions, and separate bedrooms for children of different genders over the age of 10.

Families living in poverty are more likely to suffer breakdown, ill health and mental health issues, but headteachers in more affluent areas of the country say they, too, are having to provide welfare services that were once supplied by local authorities and the health service.

Mark Anstiss, headteacher of Felpham Community College, near Bognor Regis, in West Sussex, says teachers are coping with an increase in the number of children with mental health issues – on stretched budgets that, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, have gone down by 8% in real terms since 2010.

“We are a typical comprehensive school in terms of socio-economic profile and ability intake and we are seeing a big increase in challenging behaviour and students with emotional health issues coming up from primary school,” he says.

“It’s partly to do with changes in society but also because of the loss of help and support from local authorities. We are coping with challenges around anxiety about school, as the curriculum has become more academic, plus pressures from home. That manifests in a higher level of eating disorders and self-harm.”

Fairer funding is top of Antiss’s Santa wishlist, as he struggles to afford enough specialist teachers and is having to cut down on teaching assistant numbers. Schools in West Sussex are the 10th-worst funded of England’s 152 local education authorities, because of a per-pupil funding formula that awards pupils more in some authorities than in others.

Antiss points out that a similarly sized school in Hackney, east London, gets 70% more for each pupil than his school does. That is more than £3m a year lost to the education of his students

Phillip Potter, head of Oak Grove college, a special school for 11- to 19-year-olds in Worthing, West Sussex, says funding to provide higher salaries for teaching assistants, the “unsung heroes” of special education, is at the top of his letter to Santa.

He says he is struggling to buy essential mobility equipment for his high-needs students. “My dream for 2020 is that the high-needs block will be funded properly and there will be an integrated health, social care and education system to deliver joined-up services for our most vulnerable youngsters, without having to have arguments about who will pay and take things to what feels like 400 panels to get agreement,” he says.

While headteachers all have a long list for Santa, they are likely to agree on one thing. “Every teacher’s dream is that politicians keep out of education,” says Potter. “We don’t tell doctors how to do heart surgery, so let 2020 be the year that politicians stop telling us how to teach and give us the resources.”

Back at Dyson’s school in Leeds, money is not the problem, however. “I raised £350,000 last year from businesses and have just secured £150,000 to open the school at February half term, and in the Easter and summer holidays,” he says.

Through the extra funds he has been able to employ more teaching assistants to give one-to-one support to the most vulnerable students, reduce class sizes and buy in support from specialists for conditions such as dyslexia.

He has concerns about what is happening in education generally, however, particularly over discipline and the number of children other schools are excluding. When he arrived at Parklands, more than 150 children a year were being excluded; now it is down to one – and that is one too many for Dyson.

“I’ve started to take children excluded from other schools to give them a chance,” he says. “I’ve built this school on love. I’ve banned teachers shouting at children, I’ve got rid of the dreaded padded isolation cell, played music and given children respect.”

He is concerned about the current “warm-strict” approach to discipline coming from the Department for Education and its behaviour tsar, Tom Bennett, who has defended a “zero-tolerance” approach to behaviour and the creation of centralised detention systems and internal inclusion units.

“That way of thinking is that the only way to sort out discipline is to exclude them, to put them in isolation, ban them and put them in boot camps. No! You can do it another way,” Dyson says. “‘Warm-strict’ is having lots of rules but trying to put a warm spin on it by saying that as long as your discipline is strong and tough, you can afford to smile at children.”

Dyson, a father of three, says he is not afraid to hug children. “We are a huggy school; if children are upset we give them a hug.”

The school is a happy place where children are allowed to wear trainers and joggers, and are not told how to wear their hair. Travis, a pupil excluded from another primary school for violence, appears now to be a model student. “Don’t run in the corridor because you might knock over someone who is disabled,” he warns some younger students. “Open the door for visitors,” he tells a girl who pushes past. He then rushes off to comfort a boy in his class who has suddenly broken down in tears in the corridor.

“At my other school I used to get into fights and they put me in isolation,” he says. “It was come into school, go into isolation, come into school, go into isolation, come into school, go into isolation. Every day. When I came here, Mr Dyson spent a lot of money on me – £150 I think – to get me help for dyslexia three times a week and I really like it here. It’s magic.”

Poorest die most often from emergency surgery, research finds.

Patients from most deprived areas in England have 29% greater risk of dying than those from wealthiest parts.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... y-research

The researchers’ findings are published on Tuesday in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. They analysed data relating to 58,790 people who had the procedure between December 2013 and November 2016 and whose details were held by the national emergency laparotomy audit. They found that patients from the poorest socioeconomic backgrounds were in greatly increased danger of dying than those from wealthier ones.

Overall mortality among the wealthiest quintile (fifth) of the population was 9.8% but it rose to 11.2% among those from the most deprived quintile. However, after adjusting for patients’ existing health conditions the researchers found an even greater correlation between deprivation and mortality that meant the worst-off were 29% more likely to die.
Council tax bills are set to rise by an average £70 next year ( A 4% rise which is more than double the rate of inflation. )

Ministers will give town halls the power to put up the levy by 2 per cent in April.

On top of this, they will be able to add a further 2 per cent to pay for social care.

This combined 4 per cent increase could see the bill going up by £70 next year.

Housing Secretary Robert Jendrick revealed the plan in a statement yesterday.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -rate.html


... And festive greetings to Rebecca Hanway on behalf of the DWP ?

An individual ... as opposed to the benefits system ... makes a welcomed change ?

If spending time in one of HM's residential hostels , probably better off than a few million others out there ???

Eat / heat / roof ... all three ... many millions cannot achieve that !

( Turkey for Christmas dinner ... as opposed to baked spam with a couple of feathers on top to convince the kids ? )
Excellent article !

A tale of two cities : London’s rich and poor in Tower Hamlets

Canary Wharf’s corporate towers look down on food banks in " Borough of contrasts. "

Jane and Noel have never met. They probably never will, even though they go about their lives within sight of each other.

Jane is a 30-year-old mother of five. On the Thursday before Christmas, Jane walked through the pouring rain to a food bank in a Salvation Army church in Poplar, east London. She is unemployed and has had her benefits stopped as she waits to be transferred on to the government’s “simplified” universal credit system. She won’t get her first payment until 20 January.

Noel Quinn is the interim chief executive of HSBC. He spent his Thursday morning running one of the world biggest banks from his office on the top floor of HSBC’s global headquarters in adjacent Canary Wharf. Quinn is the frontrunner to be appointed permanent CEO. His predecessor, John Flint, was paid £4.6m last year, and was in line to collect a maximum of £11.9m this year.

The panoramic view from Quinn’s luxurious office suite takes in the Salvation Army church, where Jane is telling her life story to case workers at the First Love Foundation food bank as other volunteers pack up bags of food to help her through the next month with no money coming in. She turned down some of the more expensive foods on offer, saying: “There are people more in need of it than me, save it for them.”

Jane, who recently had a miscarriage and suffered years of domestic abuse, is living in a two-bedroom flat. “The two little ones are in with me,” she says. “The boys share the other room, and my eldest daughter is on a pull-out bed in the lounge.” Her daughter suffers from congenital incontinence, and hasn’t had a dry night in a decade.

The father of her 10- and nine-year-old boys took his own a month after the younger boy was born. Jane says he was struggling with self-esteem issues because he thought he couldn’t properly provide for his family. The father of her youngest two children subjected her to years of domestic abuse, and stole child support income to feed his heroin and crack cocaine addiction. He is now in jail.

The local authority, Tower Hamlets, began public law outline (PLO) proceedings, the start of the formal process to consider taking her children into care. She fought back, and has kept custody of them, but social workers still make regular assessments.

When Jane is switched over to universal credit she is likely to be hit by the benefit cap and see the total she receives fall by £346 a month. Jane will also be hit by the two-child limit on child benefits. She is already struggling to pay her rent and is thousands of pounds in arrears.

She is on the council’s waiting list for a four-bedroom home, but has been told to expect a 14-year wait. More than 20,000 families are on the waiting list in Tower Hamlets – almost one in six of all households in the borough. A more realistic option, for Jane and others with larger families, is to arrange a housing swap with a council outside London.

Jane had stopped eating in order to scratch together enough money to feed her children. It shows. She is painfully thin and has lost several of her teeth, a sign of malnutrition. “I go without food,” she tells Denise Bentley, the co-founder and chief executive of the First Love Foundation. “You’ve got to sacrifice to ensure your children don’t go hungry.”

Jane tells Bentley that she has gone for weeks at a time only eating bread, because it momentarily makes her feel full.

Tower Hamlets has the capital’s highest level of child poverty, at 43%. This is despite hosting many of highest-paid people in the world, working in the headquarters of banks including HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan in Canary Wharf, a 10-minute walk away from the food bank.

More than 3,500 bankers – mostly working in Canary Wharf or the City of London – are paid more than £850,000 a year, according to data published by the European Banking Authority (EBA). Thirty bankers were paid more than £8.5m and one asset manager collected £35m.

HSBC said it supports community investment programmes across the UK, including the East London Business Alliance and Cardboard Citizens, which are based in Tower Hamlets. It did not state how much money or time it contributes. Barclays said its staff volunteer for the First Love Foundation and had donated 50,000 food items.

Bentley, who founded the First Love Foundation in 2010, used to work in the City. “I was one of them,” she says gesturing to the towers. “I worked as a forex [foreign exchange] trader until I was made redundant in the [2008/9] financial crisis,” she says. “What is happening to people here is horrendous, and I had to do something.”

The First Love Foundation provides food to 150 people in crisis every month. An additional 200 people will receive a cardboard box Christmas hamper and presents for children. “But our mission is to not have any more clients to feed,” Bentley says. “We want to solve the underlying problems that have led people into crisis.” Most of the problems, she says, are caused by the introduction of universal credit and public spending cuts. At the centre, clients are given help and support with housing and ensuring they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to.

Rachel Blake, the Labour deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets, says the crisis facing Jane and thousands of others in the borough and across the county is due to “the Conservative government’s decade of austerity and cuts”.

“The benefit system is completely and totally broken, and we have a housing crisis,” she says. “Universal credit should be scrapped, now.”

Blake says the council is “taking a stand for our residents” and has pumped £6.6m into a “tackling poverty fund” supporting 834 people with housing payments and with cash to help those struggling with the five-week wait to switch to universal credit.

“The food banks are papering over the cracks, but residents should not be reliant on the kindness of strangers,” Blake says. “We need a social security system that works for everyone.

“We know we are a borough of contrasts,” she says when asked about the proximity of the global banking headquarters to the food bank. “The characterisation of London being wealthy doesn’t ring true to our residents – the inequalities could not be starker.”

Jane hasn’t really considered the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf that are literally casting shadows over the food bank as she makes her way home with a trolley full of food. “I know they must be making a lot of money up there, but they must have worked very hard to get there and have good qualifications,” she says. “Good luck to them, I say. Merry Christmas.”

CUK's a.g.m. ... from one of the corporate skyscrapers or ... one of the local food banks ?

Guess which ?

Need a clue ?

Do CUK's hierarchy gaze out of the window and wave down to the carers in the food bank queues ?
Spare a thought to our soon to be departed European cousins ?

EU accused of seeking to cut funds for poor in post-Brexit cost savings.

Plan to drop dedicated fund while defence spending rises dismissed as false economy.

Under the proposed 2021-27 budget there would be no such dedicated fund but member states would be encouraged – although not obliged – to devote a minimum of €2bn in total to food and basic material assistance. The commission has said it hopes member states will allocate twice that minimum amount.

Vandenschrik, whose organisation helps food banks across Europe to distribute surplus produce to where it is most needed with the assistance of cash from FEAD, said the commission’s proposal was a “false economy”.

He said: “I think we must do better for the poorest of the poor. We cannot accept that we must deliver half or 60% of the food that they receive now.

“The explanation is that the overall budget of Europe needs to be tightened up. Brexit is one of the arguments. The other is the need for the strengthening of the defence of Europe. But this will have an impact on health and social cohesion. It is a false economy to save on the poor.

“It is far better to increase their purchase power by giving them food so that the little money they don’t spend on food they can spend on the economy.”

Food banks represented by Vandenschrik’s umbrella organisation fed 9.5 million people in 2018 and distributed 781,00 tonnes of food, accounting for 4.3m meals per day.

Vandenschrik said the poorest people in eastern European member states were likely to be hit hardest by the commission’s proposals. Around 33.1 million people or 6.6% of the EU population are estimated to be suffering from severe material deprivation.

Vandenschrik said: “The consequences will be an increase in instability and incivility. If people and their children are hungry, they will make plans. And this might not be very nice for society. We cannot make progress by leaving the poor on the side. This is not the way to make our society better.”

A commission spokeswoman said they would be “vigilant” in encouraging member states to hit the target of spending €4bn on the most deprived.
216 posts