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Poor People 'Demonised' As Benefit System Changes Bite

Wednesday April 24 2013

Demonised for benefits Demonised for benefits

POOR people in Barnsley are being 'demonised' as sweeping changes to the benefits system begin to bite, a council watchdog has said.

The claim was made at Barnsley Council's community and well-being scrutiny meeting last Wednesday.

Councillors and representatives from groups such as Citizen's Advice, DIAL and the Methodist Circuit met to discuss the impact benefit changes, council service reductions and the economic climate is having on the borough's most vulnerable people.

They also looked at whether enough is being done to protect those people.

Pat Heath, the chief executive of Barnsley CAB, said a big concern was the growing negative attitude towards poor people who, he said, are being demonised for claiming benefits.

"One of the biggest causes of anxiety at CAB is the demonisation of poor people, and the language used to describe them by politicians, the media and people on the street themselves," he said.

"I have lived through hard times myself but it wasn't as vile and vitriolic as it is now, blaming the poor for the situation they're in. We need to change this concept that they are 'scroungers'."

Cllr Tracy Cheetham, who sits on the watchdog, also has 'a real issue' with the labelling of people on benefits.

"People aren't defined by the benefits they claim and that's something we need to get away from," she added.

Cllr Joe Hayward, said: "The people paying for all this is the bloody poor people, not the rich. It is going to rip communities apart."

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Reply Posted by Gemma on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 11:01
I agree and disagree! I know there are people out there on benefits with the aim to do their best not to work. They say they are earning over 1,000 a month which in comparison with myself is lots. On the other hand I have a mother in law who is struggling to find work despite having interviews and is being hit by the benefit system and is living off £14 a week for food after paying bills as a single person. Isn't it time we investigated these people that say they are looking for work but blatantly don't want to. My heart goes out to those incapable due to health reasons. But I am sick of paying for folk who have every reason not to yet labelling them is wrong :/. Everyone are affected by the economy in some way. But those who simply fiddle the system are nothing but scum!

Reply Posted by Wendy on Friday April 26 2013 at 12:07
Well said Gemma!!!

Reply Posted by Sarah on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 11:33
People on benefits are having to take the cuts like the rest of us. Our household income has been severly lowered through paycuts by thousands. The Gov are just suceeding in what they want, divide the country. I do feel for genuine people who are claiming but we all know people who are playing the system. Mums in the playground who think they have the right to stay at home while the tax payer supports them. I know of a lot who think its a god given right to be a stay at home mum, its not. If all those unwilling to work were taken of benefits just think how the country could help those who genuinely can't work. There are jobs just people choosing not to take them because they only pay the minimum wage.
While this carries on there will always be a divide between tax payers and benefit claimants.

Reply Posted by Grimstone on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 17:22
Smells like sour grapes there.

What about the genuine stay at home mums or mums on maternity leave? Are they scroungers because they are not willing slaves to the governments demand to make all women go to work?

I worked full time until I had kids then left work and a very well paid job to bring up my kids. I have never claimed a penny in my life and I am in my 40's. I get no tax credits nothing and yes I take my kids to school instead of paying a stranger to do it.

Just because benefit scroungers are slack enough to have unwanted kids and use them as an excuse to not work do not tar all stay at home mums with that brush thankyou.

Reply Posted by jus on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 11:49
I agree there are scroungers out there and they deserve to feel the pinch. But this is due to housing. I was given a 3 bed house. WHen I asked to move to another area and down size. I was told I had to wait on the list. 4 yrs I waited in the end I did a swap to a 3. If there are families out there screaming for housing because of over crouding. Why won't they go to another area. Its the council who's to blame for this. They sell houses and don't replace it. The council need to stop people from other countries getting houses and make Barnsley people priority. Also if bedroom tax is kept in. It should only apply to people working with wages enough to buy their own or private rent. In the end the tax payer will foot the bill, because council tennants will be forced into rent private which is more rent and if people have to live of £14 a week they will find other means to survive legal or not. Costing the tax payer. Being in prison is a better kiving than people on benifits and in council housing. Sorry for ranting on.

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 21:43
Jus, are you for real, just apply bedroom tax to people who work!!!! Firstly there is no such thing as 'bedroom tax' it's simply a reduction in benefits for people whose rented accommodation is larger than there requirements. Your quote ' I was given a three bedroom' says it all. In the real world I took a mortgage to buy a 2 bedroom house, when I needed a larger home I remortgaged to pay for an extension ! I pay for my mortgage with my wages which are taxed heavily to pay for the benefits of those who don't. Something is not right. The tax payers will soon be in the minority which can only lead to the collapse of the country!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Fred not Fred on Tuesday April 30 2013 at 17:00
Brother Fred I feel your pain, it was hard when we re-mortgaged wasn't it, but don't worry we'll make sure we pay our mortgage,come on here everyday and post about Council House dwelling scrap collecting scrubbers.
The country has already collapsed, it was doomed they day we were born, but don't worry we are the elite in this country, all the rest are just scruffs.

Reply Posted by King Fred on Tuesday April 30 2013 at 17:00
I am with you brother.

Reply Posted by The real not Fred on Tuesday April 30 2013 at 17:01
Mee too!

Reply Posted by x on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 14:34
if the only thing some of you people have to worry about is if your neighbours are getting more money than you then count yourselves lucky, theres some people going through hell on earth right now and money is the least of their worries ,just be damned gratefull you have a job and reasonable health and stop feeling sorry for yourselves

Reply Posted by Reaper on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 17:25
Most of those people who you are talking about with such disdain and nastiness are the poor souls who work and pay private rent and mortgages and who are struggling financially and are heartily sick of people like you moaning about them.

Without them you would be in the poorhouse or on the streets so I suggest you stop bleating and know your place.

Reply Posted by sarah on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 18:01
@ Grimstone why so defensive. I was talking about single mums choosing a lifestyle. I am a stay at home mum have been for the last 10 years. As you said I choose to take my children to school not a stranger. I have never claimed a pennny from the state and had a career that I chose to give up to raise my children. My point was that some people including some mums choose a benefit lifestyle. If they were made to work along with others who choose not to then there would be more money to support the genuine struggling people and the disabled.

Reply Posted by stevo on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 18:49
Lets be brutally honest here, the large majority of benefit claimants have always been "labelled" as "scroungers "

The reason the label is so prevalent in todays society is because gutter tabloids like the Sun, Daily Fail and the BBC are all arms of the Tory propaganda machine.

What a lot of people fail to realise is that a large proportion of benefit claimants are actually IN work.
Claims for Tax Credits have risen exponentially since they were introduced, all down to the minimum wage being the "benchmark" for employers in this day and age.

Class warfare on a massive scale, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and are "demonised" by the rich.
Everyone is at each others throats, benefit claimants viewed as "scum" all good vote winners for the out of touch Tories and their cohorts.
But don't worry yourself, Gideon will be alright sipping his claret in his £2 million pound mansion.

Reply Posted by Charles on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 23:04
The BBC being an 'arm of the Tory propaganda machine.' You must be joking.
The BBC is clearly left wing (both radio and television). I suppose this is because most of the overpaid people working there can afford to be left wing.

Reply Posted by stevo on Friday April 26 2013 at 14:44
The BBC has always "favoured" the Tories, on the day of Thatchers funeral there were 20,000 people in Trafalgar square protesting, did the BBC give them any coverage?
There was a Lords vote on NHS privatisation a few days ago, did the BBC give it any coverage?
Atos - The Tory "murdering" arm have just been fined £10,000,000 for using medical equipment to carry out "experiments" on benefit claimants,the medical equipment concerned did not meet current legislation, was outdated technology which was deemed not fit for purpose,did the BBC give that any coverage?

Reply Posted by x on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 20:19
i happen to be one of those people you class as poor soul's who struggles every week to pay my bills but lets get one thing straight reaper im not a poor soul im a very fortunate person to be in reasonable health and have a job to go to and im heartily sick of some people giving the impression that everyone who works thinks everybody on benefits are scroungers, some of us although we may well be in the minority feel for people who are not as fortunate as ourselves.and as a woman who does work i happen to believe that the majority of problems with this generations kids is in part as a consiquence of kids not being able to have quality time with their mums ,coming home from school to empty houses,not having the same type of stability and guidence we were fortunate to have as youngsters, left to their own devices for hrs on end parents just not having the time or energy for their kids anymore,and before everyone jumps on the band wagon yes i know in todays climate that mums dont have much choice but to go out to work,but not all stay at home mums are scroungers

Reply Posted by Ged on Wednesday April 24 2013 at 22:45
Don't blame 'Gideon', he's one of the 10% in this country who have 90% of the wealth and want to maintain their lion's share.

10% of the electorate won't win an election so it's the working class who vote for them who are really to blame. The Tory clique will always look after their own and share a few crumbs amongst their 'working class' voters to keep them sweet.

On the face of it, it could be a fair statement that the country is only asking the unemployed to take their share of the burden of getting the economy back on an even keel. But hold on, it's not just the unemployed, these career benefit scroungers so often quoted who are being hit, it's the disabled, the sick, people who don't have the opportunity to get a job or put in a bit of overtime to make it up. Not only is the burden not being shared equally, but the 10% have decided that their share is to give themselves a nice tax break, lovely.

Reply Posted by x on Thursday April 25 2013 at 10:43
well said ged when are people going to realise benefit scroungers who have no intentions of going out to work don't give a monkeys what anyone thinks about them,and cutting their benefits will not make them go out and get a job they will just o out and find other ways of subsidising their income and in most cases it probably wont be anything legal ,on the other hand the sick disabled and vunerable are left to suffer,and made to feel even more worthless by peoples comments than they already feel

Reply Posted by Wendy on Friday April 26 2013 at 12:13
There are far too many ppl on benefits who dont need to be on them, but then again where are the jobs for these ppl??? Unless you are a carer or got a trade behind you, no one wants to know WHY? because we have far too many foreigners working in England, because most of them are cheap labour, so they dont want English ppl no more. N b4 anyone comments i do work!!!

Reply Posted by king louis on Friday April 26 2013 at 12:20
(FRED) With regard to bedroom tax. Yes a couple should have a one bedroomed place but in the real world builders and authorities don't build them because they know people have children. The council do however build them for OAPs because they don't have children. That is just how it is!

Reply Posted by nicola on Friday April 26 2013 at 12:45
Excuse me but i am a young single mum of two. I lost my job a month ago due to cut backs. There aren't many jobs out there at moment as i am appkying qnd job hunting everyday. I am left to struggle to support myself and two young children because the benefit system is beyond a joke. I have to claim income support and its been a month since i made the claim and i still havent had a penny due to the fact i lost my job and they dont care that a family faces being homeless. There are people that have to claim through having no choice while others do it to cheat the system to pay for second homes etc. Not everyone has the luxury of a job and nice things. Until you have been in the situation of having to claim through no fault of your own then keep your opinions to yourself.

Reply Posted by Jon on Friday April 26 2013 at 12:59
And the people of Barnsley will still vote labour next time even though they ran up the bills that the Tories are trying to pay back

Reply Posted by Another Wendy on Friday April 26 2013 at 13:14
Demonising people is just a part of our lives and is so wrong - the elderly , the disabled, the unemployed , legitimate immigrants young people - who next I ask ? Who starts it all off ? Well I don't know - ......Chorus ....."it ain't ME " !!!!!.........

Reply Posted by x on Friday April 26 2013 at 13:56
well said nicola and your damn right jon i for one will definitely be voting labour,before this government ship all the poor people of this country off to a desert island and forget about them

Reply Posted by stevo on Friday April 26 2013 at 15:47
X, do you seriously think Labour will repeal the bedroom tax legislation if they get into power at the next election?
If you think that then you have serious issues.

Reply Posted by Neil on Saturday April 27 2013 at 10:45
Thats right x because previous Labour goverments have done wonders for this town in the past, NOT!

You sir live in cloud cuckoo land!

Reply Posted by Wendy on Friday April 26 2013 at 14:54
I think no matter who gets in, they all cock it up n make promises they never keep!!!

Reply Posted by x on Friday April 26 2013 at 16:09
im under no illusions about what any government in power will and wont do stevo at my age iv'e seen all the governments make cockups but i think its disgusting that this government have targeted the most vunerable people in society and i believe which is only my opinion that if they get in again that the very same low paid workers whom i also class as the poorest people in this country will be next

Reply Posted by stevo on Saturday April 27 2013 at 10:43
I'm actually going to agree with that post X.
The millionaires in their mansions show no pity for the vulnerable.
Yes the low paid workers will be next
There is already a bill (yet to go through the Lords) about the scrapping of Tax Credits.

Reply Posted by Mick on Saturday April 27 2013 at 11:10
Can you remember the note stuck on the treasury door by a former Labour minister." Dear Tories, sorry we spent all the money".

The previous Labour Goverment have a lot to answer for x. The coalition Goverment is picking up the pieces of a Labour Goverment.

Reply Posted by stevo on Saturday April 27 2013 at 12:12
It was actually a drawer....

The Tories and Thatcher effectively signed the death warrant for the uk by relaxing regulation in the financial sector and that sir is why the banks had to be bailed out to the tune of £200 Billion.

The Labour government had to pick the pieces up from the mess they had inherited from the Tories after years of neglect.
Under the Tories (now and then) the rich got richer, the poor got poorer.
Under Labour the rich got richer, the poor got poorer.
They are both exactly the same.

Under Blair and Brown we had "casino" spending, that's what socialist governments do, spend money from the people for the people.
Unfortunately there wasn't any peoples money to spend so they saddled future generations with a ridiculous amount of debt, con-dems are trying to remedy the situation with "austerity" measures but are targeting the WRONG people.

If it wasn't for rich party donators wanting to keep hold of their vast fortunes then the Tories wouldn't exist.

If it wasn't for Trade Union members subsidising labour via the union political fund then Labour wouldn't exist.

Same old s*it different day and different government,but both EXACTLY the same

Reply Posted by x on Saturday April 27 2013 at 12:01
how many people in this country mick do not have debts mick,how many would have their own homes if it had'nt been for borrowing spending money they didn't actually have,how many would have a car if it wasn't for finance,how many would have an holiday every year or nice things in their homes if it wasn't for maxing out credit cards i dare bet the majority of us live on borrowed money, spent money we dont have its a sad fact of life in this day and age that to get anything you have to borrow.and yes labour made some major cock ups,but this government is still borrowing and for what trident,rail systems etc which are not essential and could quite easily have been put on hold until this country was in a stronger financial position but instead they chose to gring the poorest people of this country into the ground and nobody will ever convince me that what they are doing is right

Reply Posted by stevo on Saturday April 27 2013 at 13:12
X not all people have debts, some people live within their means.
Gone are the days were parents instilled their values and educated their children that if you cant afford it, save up or do without.

The thing is times have changed at an unprecedented rate, at one time of the day you would have to go and see your bank manager and literally BEG to get a loan.
You can now turn on your computer, get a loan and have funds in your account within 15 minutes these days, with 14,000% interest mind.

You can get a credit card and spend as much money as you want on it then when it comes time to pay it back you can just declare yourself bankrupt.
I know a lady that has done this TWICE!

HS2 is a strange one, it is going to cause a lot of anxiety for the people who will lose their homes and effectually will only get people into London quicker.
However, you have to look at other major countries who have HS rail links and the impact it has on their economies, it does stimulate investment and this is statistically proven,not saying that its a good idea mind.

As for Trident, we have to have a nuclear deterrent while ever we have tyrants like Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-un, to name a few.

As for your comment about the Tories grinding the poor into the ground, did you expect any less?
They are all multi millionaires with business interests and the only way for them to keep their multimillions and business interests is to demonise the poorest people in society to "cover" up their own blatant corruption, wrongdoings, vested business interests and downright evilness.

Ian Duncan-smith, who by the way, was christened George Smith but changed it to IDS because it didn't sound Tory enough, is the epitome of the word evil, his "policies" (I use this term loosely) are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, but as you would expect the Tory Propaganda arm, the BBC have never given the deaths of said people as a result of said IDS policies any news coverage.

Don't you find that somewhat strange?

Remember, where all in this together - the biggest lie in the entire history of the world.
The Tories will always look after their money rich toff chums and will starve the poor if necessary.

Reply Posted by x on Saturday April 27 2013 at 14:11
i didnt say all people had debts stevo but how many people do you know who own their own home were able to buy it mortgage free and how many normal working class people do you know who can go out and buy a new car without some form of finance.i was also raised in the if you cant afford it you do without era but saddly in this day and age if you want things these days the only way is to take out loans. and i had a pretty good idea what this government would do which is exactly why i did not help to put them in power i agree with the hs2 line at some point stevo i just think the country needs to be more stable and i find it almost impossible to believe that this country does'nt have nuclear weapons we dont know about i just think it is such a shame that the least well off in this country are turning on each other like animals in a way that this government is already treating us

Reply Posted by stevo on Saturday April 27 2013 at 14:43
X I am debt free and have a couple of years left on my mortgage as I have paid extra over the years to ensure it was paid off quicker.
I also saved up and paid cash for my car and have never had a loan or credit card because I don't believe in them.
I personally think getting a loan is a false sense of economy, you get a loan you still have to pay it back at the end of the day, plus interest.
Same goes for credit cards, you still have to pay the money back and if you don't pay the amount on time you get penalised by way of extra interest and if you fail to pay that extra interest you get further interest and if you fail to pay that extra,extra interest you get the debt collectors at your door.
if you fail to pay the debt collectors then you go to court and declare yourself bankrupt, all too easy in this day and age.

Unfortunately people want to keep up with the jones's and will do everything they possibly can in their power to do so.

There's loads of things we don't know about but if you look in the right place you can find whatever you want.
We live in the internet age there are no secrets anymore, although the Tories like to snidedly enshrine legalisation into law to stop people releasing information.
Still doesn't work though, the truth always comes out in the end.

Ever heard of divide and conquer? That's what the Tories and their cohorts are all about, supress the poor souls, keep them subservient whilst the cream of the crop rich Tory toffs live the life of riley.
Demonise benefit claimants, the elderly and disabled by using nefarious propaganda arms like the Sun, Daily Fail, Torygraph and the biggest Pro -Tory Propaganda machine in the entire history of the world the BBC.

If you look on these very pages you will see the people that think it is ok to criticise the less well off in our town and society in general.
Gutter press tell them that they need to tar every benefit claimant as a scrounger, they also tell us that immigration is good for our economy, they also tell us the moon is made of cheese.

The sad unfortunate fact is that these idiots actually BELIEVE everything printed in the papers and the gullibility of these people genuinely astounds me.

Reply Posted by sean on Monday April 29 2013 at 19:51
well said stevo

Reply Posted by x on Saturday April 27 2013 at 14:53
couldnt of put it better myself stevo like lambs to the slaugter

Reply Posted by sean on Monday April 29 2013 at 19:49
the cuts are hitting us that are unemployed hard i myself am trying everything to get back in to work but its real hard im dyslexic i have health issues and 2 children to look after this week my budget for shopping was £30 how do you feed 4 people on that for 2 week ?

living is impossible on the budget i have im in debt up to my ears and barely sleep at night i will take any job up to and includeing picking poo from public parks and walk ways but getting a job isnt that easy now every one wants qualifications and money up from for crbs etc etc what are we supposed to do starve for 2 week to pay this fee the government needs to stop not cut foreign aid and make any one not a citizen of this country living on benefits go home so we can focus on spending to help people in to work like extra education and finance for travel etc until people can stand on there own feet labeling the people on benefits as scroungers helps no one it only causes class wars and thats what the government seem to be aiming for work doesnt even pay the bills on minimum wage due to inflation so get off your high horses because you work and you can afford to live doesnt give you a right to demonise people who are actualy trying my children are 11 month and 2 i dread to see the day they try to get a life for themselfs it pains me to see the future set out for children in the poorer communitys roll on election time by by mr cameron

Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Monday April 29 2013 at 21:13
The old Tory way of dividing up communities. Now where have we seen that before???

the last tory that did that has just been put in ground as a hero to a cost of millions to the tax payer. Don't believe all the media print, they have a nasty habit of leaving just as much sensational stuff out of the tabloids/news

Reply Posted by x on Tuesday April 30 2013 at 11:28
well said sean if people put as much effort into fighting for a decent living wage as they do into slating people on benefits maybe they would'nt feel so bitter,but this government has done such a good job of brainwashing people they can't see that they are being used as slave labour,fight for a decent wage instead of wanting other people to have their money reduced