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Benefits Investigation Launched As Cuts Bite For Barnsley

Thursday August 30 2012

A COUNCIL watchdog has launched an investigation into what impact national benefit cuts are going to have on Barnsley.

Representatives from the council and other organisations met to discuss how people were coping with financial pressures and whether the Welfare Act would increase poverty in the borough
The changes to how benefits are issued will be introduced in April and the council body want to know how much the public know about the changes.

Scrutiny chair Coun Margaret Sheard said the cuts could have a 'devastating affect on many people's lives.'

"It is particularly worrying that more and more people are facing the difficulties of managing increasing debts whilst their incomes, either through the current economic situation or benefit reductions are being significantly reduced," she said.

"The commission wants to see how bad things actually are in Barnsley and to fully understand the problems people are facing."

Commission members heard there were real concerns that the so-called bedroom tax could leave some older people and families unable to afford to stay in their own homes.

The number of people in debt has significantly increased over the past few years with many often turning to high interest pay day loans, it was told.

Coun Sheard said the commission needed to ensure it was in a position to provide the right level of support to families to help them to 'break out of the spiral of debt.'

"We don't want to see a time where individuals or families are choosing between paying their bills or putting food on their tables."

Public opinion is being sought from people, especially those with families, before the investigation concludes in October.

Call Lesley Glanville on 773078 or email lesleyglanville@barnsley.gov.uk

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Reply Posted by ma whittaker on Thursday August 30 2012 at 11:19
haveing to take my 19 year old registered disabled daughter to a ESA interview today absolutely shocked that this has to be done

Reply Posted by living person on Thursday August 30 2012 at 16:42
Yep.....im afraid that the council are cracking down very hard on benefit cheats, and about time too. i believe ....leave the ones that are genuine, and go look for the real cheats.....it costs thousands to catch a cheat, and the money comes from us to foot the bill.

Reply Posted by Colin on Thursday August 30 2012 at 19:43
Some things i agree with , benefit cheats deserve nothing , alcoholics and drug users also deserve nothing , genuine people who are looking for work do and genuine disables people do , the bedroom tax is a joke if they expect everyone to downsize to a 1 bedroom property , where are all these 1 bedroom properts to move into ?

Reply Posted by colin on Thursday August 30 2012 at 19:45
i also dont agree with housing benefit , if you are under 35 you dont get full rent payed for you if you living privated rented , but if you live in a council house they will pay it in full .

Reply Posted by moe on Thursday August 30 2012 at 19:56
Is any of the Council who have parents going to make them leave a home they have more than likley lived in all their married life Leave thier homes too or make them pay for an empty room. Yes there are genuine people on benifits this will effect. DO they realise it is the same goverment of the "Lady Thacher and her Amercin friend"Ruined everything in Yorkshire and broke families up then, I will not go, no but................if people put a Goverment in they should have no say but those who did not have every right to say now -- Stand up and be counted to them that did ,

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Thursday August 30 2012 at 21:10
i would love to go back to the days when i was young ,when the poorest people of this country working or not looked out for each other ,when if you saw someone struggling to live you helped them regardless of there situation,a time when people didnt judge each other dependant on there circumstances i truely believe that there is no hope left for this country there is so much greed selfishness, and government induced bitterness between the poorest people that i cant see any way back but im going to do everything in my power to make sure that my kids and grandkids never grow up resenting what someone else has regardless of how they got it never to be bitter towards them and have a good work ethic, just to be thankfull for whatever they have themselves and always offer an helping hand to anyone worse off than themselves.

Reply Posted by Kerry on Thursday August 30 2012 at 22:06
Well I'm sorry but sometimes I feel bitter I'm a mumwith two children I work for a living and after paying my bills ant a penny to scratch mi arse wi it annoys me that I have not left at end of month cos if the rising cost of living there r people out there who r getting away with benefit fraud I bet most of us knows somebody also on my Facebook I knw people who r on benefits who r always sauntering off doing great things wi there kids they don't seem to be struggling do u know y because they don't have to pay rent,council tax they get cheaper tariffs on there utility bills free school meals yes it's about time the government got tough but tougher with benefit y can't people pay a percentage towards there rent y be given somewhere free to live n yes I may sound bitter but whey hey I'm only a person trying to get by and work hard for a living

Reply Posted by TC on Friday August 31 2012 at 07:53
Just wanted to expand on the free school meals subject. I feel like I've been picked up & shaken by the ankles every time I go to school reception. If you're a working parent it costs a small fortune to school your kids. Meals, milk, trips, snack money etc etc.

Then there's housing. We really need a bigger house but until I've saved up to buy a bigger one we've no chance. Economic circumstances have seen me out of permanent work & into contracting so there's no way I'll get another mortgage. Do my kids suffer any less due to over crowding than the kids of non-working parents? Current social policy would suggest this due to council tenants & housing benefit claimants getting a lot of help to rehouse when their families grow. While I do sympathise with benefit claimants on some aspects I wish they stop sometimes & take a look at what they DO get rather than always moaning about what they don't.

Reply Posted by greenginger on Thursday August 30 2012 at 22:30
Kerry I have to agree. As a mum with kids and no benefits whatsoever I was annoyed to go for a rare pub meal with my family and see benefit scroungers in the queue in front of me. They refused to wait for a table and just jumped the queue. Then they were swearing and bragging about their benefits. Later I saw them get in a new car that was probably a disability car. After smoking loads of cigs outside the pub. We could only affford to go due to my inlaws treating us. It sucks.

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Thursday August 30 2012 at 22:58
i agree there are benefits scroungers but if you are on minimum wage with kids then you should be entitled to working families tax credits etc my sister is a single parent with 1 child and she gets working families tax credit childcare costs help with rent council tax dentist glasses medication etc and her wages are virtually doubled with everything she can claim and can i say ive always been a grafter and worked hard until i became too ill to work but i believe life is too short to spend it bitter about other people and what they do and dont have and i can honestly say i dont have any luxuries at all but i dont expect to and believe anyone on benefits should live on the minimum and not have luxuries but it doesnt work that way and im sure im not going to spend my life worrying that some one else has more than me

Reply Posted by paula on Friday August 31 2012 at 09:54
I think its about time somethings should be changed.I too am a singlr parent who works full time. In my job a daily see people who are baby making machines that have child after child who get everything given to them on a plate no rent council tax free school meals etc etc.Its about time the working class are better off than people on benefits then they mite stop having child after child and been paid for it and get a JOB

Reply Posted by Ronnie Steele on Friday August 31 2012 at 10:26
Having read the comments above... I'm going to be very controversial. The idea that benefit cheats make the country poor... is complete and utter CAPITALIST PROPAGANDA. Here are 3 good reasons why we are struggling... 1) The capitalist system of wealth production is broken and can't be mended, 2) billions are wasted on unnecessary things like war and maintaining a Royal family 3) enormous amounts are robbed from the exchequer by the wealthy tax dodgers. DEFEND THE POOR, ATTACK THE RICH... instead of working class folk knocking lumps off each other!

Reply Posted by Sharon j on Friday August 31 2012 at 12:27
yea there are people out there who know how to work the system but it seems to me its not them who get punished. and where are all these jobs? there ain't none, and before anyone has a go - yes I work full time, and have a mortgage, and still don't have any fall back of savings if things go t*** up, live from one pay day to the other, no spare cash for luxuries. but at well that's life!

my son on the other hand would love a job, any job but cannot find one, 21 years old epileptic, once got a job but whilst on induction had a fit - never invited back, now stuck in circle of not fit enough to work told to go on sick by dss office, then thrown off sick by dss doctors, every few months. someone else I know out off work almost 2 years 3-4 job applications per fortnight still no job! this government stink

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Friday August 31 2012 at 20:50
i wish some people who have this i pay my taxes poor me mentality. would think about this. how about getting up on a morning and thanking god that you are healthy enough to work and have a job to go to, a job can i say that most unemployed people would give there high teeth to have and the people who are too sick to work who would give up any amount of money to have there health back, you should be looking at these people and thinking thank god thats not me i would hate not to have a job or be unable to work cos im ill im so lucky

Reply Posted by Jeffers on Saturday September 1 2012 at 11:23
Spot on Ronnie,that's nowt but the truth.But still lots of idle sods out there,who by thatcher shutting the mines went on benefits.Then their kids went on benefits.The last labour government,(I term that phrase very loosely) then encouraged more people to go on benefits.Many of these people saw this as easy cash for nowt !!!.now we have a son with disabilities,he may never work because of his brain function,I am now fighting for his DLA because it's been stopped.I won't go into his details because thats not fair on him.But either way he was born like this,he didn't create a bad back,or walking problems,like some of the scroungers in this country and other countries who are trying their best to get in here for benefits.Rant over.

Reply Posted by james on Saturday September 1 2012 at 12:57
After reading the comments I am on benifits I would love to work but can I no and I am asking myself y its simple there aint any jobs out there for us so I know send all the immigrants back and we might be aible to work and pay our taxes

Reply Posted by greenginger on Saturday September 1 2012 at 17:21
@james If you are unemployed then get applying for jobs because there are jobs out there. However I am guessing that like most on benefits it has become too comfortable having your rent paid, your stamp paid, your glasses and prescriptions paid etc etc. It has nothing to do with immigrants Now that @ Ronnie is propaganda. There is a rich and poor divide however if you refuse to work or take an interest in politics or even attend education or get your kids to attend, then it is not surprising that labour stronghold areas like Barnsley continue to fail. Less than 30 percent on average voted in the last elections, truancy is rife and the parental responsibility towards school is poor and half the people who post on here can barely write properly. That is what is wrong with Barnsley.

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Sunday September 2 2012 at 13:34
greenginger how dare you judge a person you dont even know and for you information not every one on benefits get there rent paid and some people on benefits have actually paid there stamps for years before they ended up on benefits i for one paid my stamps and taxes for for over 30yrs and never claimed a penny. and as for half the people on here not being able to write correctly have you ever stopped to think there could be a medical reason i left school with a grade1 a level in english and could spell just about any thing, knew how to punctuate a sentence etc these days due to a medical condition im lucky if i can remember how to spell my name.so get a life you sad person and be thankfull for what you have instead of spending your life moaning about what some one else has