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New Survey Reveals Worrying Statistics

Monday October 21 2013

A NEW survey has revealed that Barnsley residents affected by benefit changes have run out of money to pay for food and utility bills over the last 12 months.

Barnsley Advice Network, who have collated the information, is made up of various organisations such as Barnsley Council's welfare rights service, Citizens' Advice, DIAL, Age UK, the Romero Project and Yorkshire Housing.

They've all seen a rise in clients in recent years and believe the recession, coupled with the overhaul of the benefits system, have had a significant impact on demand for their services.

The network decided to carry out research on 125 people who received advice between May and July to try and understand the impact welfare reform is having on clients.

At a council watchdog meeting Pat Heath, the chief executive of the Citizens' Advice Bureau, told members the survey had yielded some interesting results.

He said: "A number of findings came to light, with 82 per cent of clients saying changes have made them more worried about the future, 76 per cent thought it had made them feel more stressed and 69 per cent said the changes had made them depressed.

"With the rising cost of living affecting clients, 58 per cent said over the past 12 months they had run out of money to pay for food at some point and 57 per cent said they've been unable to pay utility bills at some point over the last 12 months. Only 50 per cent said they could afford to keep their home warm enough."

In addition Pat said 89 per cent of those asked said they couldn't afford to save £50 a month for a rainy day or retirement and 84 per cent stated they couldn't afford to replace a large electrical item if it broke down.

The survey also found 24 per cent of people said they would use door step or pay day lenders if they needed a loan and the majority of those were aged 25 to 34 or 45 to 54.

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33 Showing 33 comments

Reply Posted by Richard on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:35
Was this survey carried out in a pub or a betting shop?

Reply Posted by T on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:40
This is just not right in the 21st century. What really 'grinds my gears' is that we pump millions if not billions into charities for other Countries when we should be using it within the UK with genuine British people queuing up outside food banks regardless whether they receive benefits or are earning (low income). It's just not right. The GOV needs to sort our own Country out before 'trying' to help anyone else.

Rant over.

Reply Posted by bob on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:46
you nasty little weasel richard i hope you lose your job

Reply Posted by Richard on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:13
You personify it and wish misfortune on me and have the ordacity to call me nasty? Pot and kettle springs to mind.

Reply Posted by Sal on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:52
How about a survey of all us that work and receive no benefits. I think you will find there's plenty of us that have fallen behind with utility bills, council tax etc and are struggling too. I'm sorry but if those of us working are taking paycuts, losing hours etc and have now less income, those on benefits need to take the cuts too. I know of plenty of families who receive no help ie. Housing benefit etc. Are really struggling too. Also 125 people its not really and indepth survey is it. I'm afraid to say while workers are suffering there will be little support for those who don't work. While the countries divided the Gov and any future Gov, whatever party they are will always win.

Reply Posted by .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:26
Didn't take Bob long to get you're number dickie boy, and it's AUDACITY. Oh super clever one

Reply Posted by To .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:32
I make one spelling mistake and you are all over it? You are clearly desperate trolling WAB to find my posts and hide behind your keyboard using a mysterious pseudonym. A sad and lonely existence, I am now feeling sorry for you.

Reply Posted by 2R on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 09:25
Don't have to troll through WAB that Richard guy has nasty posts on nearly every story. He must be the one with the sad and lonely life. It seems that this makes him feel good. Shame it has to be at Barnsley's expense.

Reply Posted by Mick on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:41
The problem with quoting dramatic statistics like this is that the survey only covers people who were seeking help from the organisations mentioned rather than a random sample of all benefit recipients. If you are using citizens advice or council welfare rights you are more likely to be doing that because you are in some difficulty. I'm not saying the problems listed don't exist, they definitely do, but this survey is misleading.

Reply Posted by .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:45
Yes that's right dick desperately searching WAB for your posts or just clicking on the first story as i would call it. You really are quite ridiculous, as for hiding that's probably more your department. Am I supposed to put my full name up? Maybe my address as well? Because everybody knows who Richard is there's only one in the whole world. You silly silly boy

Reply Posted by Richard on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:16
My name is Richard. My name is not Dick or anything else. Your childish attempts at antagonising me is embarrassing. I didn't ask for your full name or address, but seen as you are using my name (on every occasion) to antagonise and at the same time hiding yours, then it is clear that you are a simpleton looking for an easy wind up, but not getting it, because you're not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation or debate. That is obvious.

Reply Posted by Richard on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:30
You thought I preferred dick? You don't know me, we have never been acquainted yet you make a foolish assumption, as your best attempts at simply being irritating.

You say I post the same stuff every day, if you don't like it, then don't waste your time reading it, let alone responding to it! How foolish and idiotic does that make you?

Reply Posted by ..... on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:38
if you don't like be called dick short for Richard,dont act like one,

Reply Posted by Richard on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:43
Ha ha, it looks like you're high fived your own comment. Oh dear. More name calling from you. You still can't raise your game, but I'm not going to bother with trying to lower myself to your level.

Reply Posted by ---- on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:47
why do you reply,dick or Richard,

Reply Posted by .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:33

Reply Posted by .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:48
I hate to burst your bubble yet again but the last one wasn't me, you're really not the brightest.You need to raise your game live they're flying straight over your head

Reply Posted by ---- on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:51
oh yes it was,you imposter,

Reply Posted by .... on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:54
2 dicks now oh what joy

Reply Posted by x on Monday October 21 2013 at 18:55
if you work and recieve no help what so ever sal,ie housing benefit then your not on minimum wage. the majority of people on minimum wage recieve some sort of tax credits unless there are 2 wages going into the home,or there are no children and you live alone and even then you automatically get 25% off your council tax.and can i also state the obvious, you ,i or any other working person struggling is not the fault of someone on benefits its the diabolically low minimum wage we recieve,

Reply Posted by Fred on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:48
Whilst I appreciate the minimum wage is very difficult to live on, it's almost always paid to unskilled workers. Most of the minimum wage earners have a very low appreciation of education and training, In order to escape the minimum wage trap you have to dig your self out of it not wallow in it !
I would be very interested in knowing what percentage are actively trying to improve their prospects and how many just moan and do nothing !
The welfare state was conceived as a temporary stop gap to help people in times of trouble, not to provide multiple generations of life long benefit claimants. We need to help all people in society, in particular the elderly, but surely people must do everthing they can to help themselves.

Reply Posted by jak on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:57
fred.but were are these skilled jobs,dont make silly statesments,when a lot of people in Barnsley are to overskilled and are on the poverty line,me for one at some point,,when I went for jobs,all I heard was to overskilled,i was lucky I moved when I found employment.but please writing it on a peace of paper or typing on the ketboard makes it look easy.but mark my words,today it is very hard,,

Reply Posted by Fred on Monday October 21 2013 at 22:03
Jak, actually you prove my point! you moved to find work, a lot of people struggle to move to pick up the TV remote !

Reply Posted by jak on Monday October 21 2013 at 22:08
fred,agree with some points,but people have got to realise the government is bleeding the poor dry,all the tories do is look after there own,rich get richerrrrrrr,poor get poorerrrrrrrrrrr,,sad

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 21:10
Fred, have you tried to get any type of work in and around our town over the last couple of years?

The minimum wage is "the" benchmark for the large majority of employers in our town even for skilled jobs.
Even fork lift driver jobs which were at one time classed as "skilled" are now almost exclusively minimum wage.
The employers know they can get away with just paying the MW for any jobs that could be deemed to be skilled as they know if a person turns that job down then there are HOARDES of Eastern Europeans that will quite happily take that job on minimum wage.

To put things into perspective the minimum wage for a 40 hour week works out as follows:
£252.40 a week (top of note)
£1009.60 per month (top of note)
£13124.80 per annum (top of note)

Not exactly a "living" wage is it?

The other problem we have in our town is that the large majority of jobs available are via employment agencies that do not comply with the legislation that is in place.
These "agencies" will do absolutely anything to save money.
Classic example - The agency legislation states that a person who has been employed at an employer (or via an agency) for 12 weeks MUST receive by LAW the same terms and conditions at the "normal" employee who is directly employed by the employer.
Hardly surprising then that a Major employer in our town, namely ASOS, has one of the largest staff turnovers in Western Europe!

These so called "agencies" actively discriminate against people born and bred in this country by almost exclusively employing Eastern European Financial Migrants, Symphony at Grimethorpe being prime example.
At last count the percentage of Eastern European Financial Migrants employed at Symphony at Grimethorpe was 92%, Yes you read that correctly NINETY TWO PERCENT EASTERN EUROPEAN FINANCIAL MIGRANTS!

Not only is this OBSCENE ,but is fundamentally, morally and highly discriminatory against people born and bred in this country, not to mention UNLAWFUL!

How can anyone possibly compete for jobs when employers will ONLY set on Eastern European Financial Migrants on the minimum wage?

Another example of "unscrupulous" agencies is as follows:

A good friend of mine works for a haulage company on a zero hours contract delivering parcels etc, he is employed via an agency and doesn't actually receive an hourly rate, he receives £60 a day and has to deliver multiple drops / items.
He HAS to ensure that he delivers everything on his work schedule or they may not give him any hours the following week.

He regularly works more than 12 hours a day for £60 a day which is LESS than the legally enforceable minimum wage.

He daren't say anything to the agency as he is worried that they will just lay him off or reduce his hours.
Tell me, how can this possibly be right in this day and age?

As far as I am concerned, then the sooner these zero hours contracts and agencies are brought to book the better.

Back to the topic in hand, if the minimum wage was a more respectable £8.50 - £9.50 an hour (ambitious I know) then that would take millions out of the poverty trap, not only that, it would save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds in Tax Credits.

I do agree in principle in what you are saying and as I have previously mentioned I was the class clown at school and only received a qualification in maths at school, but I have since gone back to learning in middle age and have received many additional qualifications as a result.
These additional qualifications haven't really helped me gain a better job per se, but my CV does look better as a result.

The old adage "you are never too old to learn something new" is very apt.

You also have to look at the larger employers, especially the supermarkets.
The large majority of supermarket employees are part time , some people like to work part time as it fits in around their families.
However, supermarkets employ a large proportion on a part time basis as it saves money.

Back to benefits, again I agree with the sentiment that "benefits should be a stop gap not a lifestyle choice" but to get people off benefits into reasonably paid jobs then the jobs have to be there in the first place.
The stats tell us that wee need a further 30,000 jobs in our town, personally I would think that figure is on the low side.

Yes there are always going to be people that are never going to work and if they are fit and well then there is no reason that they should not go out and earn a crust.
I also agree (in principle) with what the Tories are doing by "encouraging" people back to work via their various (hair brained) schemes, what I do not agree with is is they way they are doing it.
Especially the disabled, but that is another story for another day.

On the other side of the coin, multiple generations of families have been allowed to live a life on benefits due to government policy and especially Labour in particular but this has to stop and NOW.

Get the jobs in first, then sort the rest out I say.

Reply Posted by Christine on Monday October 21 2013 at 19:43
Well said x,at least theres a decent person out there that nos abit more that goody 2 shoes,who havent a clue x

Reply Posted by me on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:20
Now now boys or girls do some growing up, alot of us don't want to find your silly slanging match.

Reply Posted by Fawkes on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:24
Just to enlighten you SAL . Most working people in Barnsley receive benefits working tax credits/child tax credits.Its not just the unemployed.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 00:14
Fred - I think you have made some valid points in your post and I genuinely believe in training and education to get a better job but there will always be people who are stuck working for a minimum wage. Maybe they cannot return to training and education for reasons such as lack of childcare, a poor ability of reading and writing, low self-esteem etc. Do you understand where I am coming from. I aren't slating your views but I do know there are barriers to education and training x

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 00:18
Jak - I too moved away from Barnsley for economic reasons. To London! (I always get slated on this site cos I live in London) It was very hard at first and I am pleased to say it was the best decision I ever made. I have job security, a lovely home and smashing friends of varying nationalities. But those early days were tough. Good on you kid!

Reply Posted by crazygirl on Thursday October 24 2013 at 20:44
I'm absolutely gobsmacked to read this. How can we not afford to live? What's going on here? I can understand everybody suffers hardship at some point in their lives, myself included. My husband has worked full time for various companies and paid into the system for over 30 years. Recently having being made redundant, we asked for help, went into the jobcentre to make a claim for benefits while we found another job and were treated like something we had just stepped in. How people can carry such stigma is beyond me. Where's the support? Where's all these jobs that's being promised. We don't want to be on benefits', we want to work, like everyone should be willing to do. But to think we are struggling to such a degree that we cannot afford to feed our families, now that's ridiculous! Everybody struggles, but summat needs to change......and fast! :-(

Reply Posted by me on Thursday October 24 2013 at 21:00
Its like sat in a nursery listenin to a set of todlers argu its pathetic and if all these imagrents didnt keep gttin let into barnsley we b able to gt a job it dosnt matter how educated u r the still isnt any thing around so befor u all start slaggin all those of on benefits u wanna sit and think that could b u 1 day so a think sum of u wanna grow up and have a long hard think about ur jobs r the still gunna b here for u in 10 yrs time or wether u gunna b on bread line sum of them owt there coss a dont think every 1 likes to b on doal bt they have to
rant over :-)

Reply Posted by yyy on Thursday October 24 2013 at 21:17
Wherever do you work @me? The library? Go back to your nursery and learn to write. Then you might stand a chance.

ipso Regulated