This is it folks…this is the big one…the last day of the hunger strike.
You know all the whys and wherefores behind it – and together we’ve made a bit of a noise – and I can’t thank you enough for that.
I’d like to ask a bit more from you all.
Remember – this is not about me!
It’s about the shitstorm that is being meted out on our most vulnerable people at their most vulnerable.
I’d like you all to contact your MP in whichever way you find most comfortable, and tell them that…
1) The 42 day wait between application and delivery of Universal Credit was never acceptable
2) Reducing that time by 7 days to 35 days is a derisory reduction. 35 days with no money is still unacceptable.
3) The convoluted system of crisis and/ or advanced payments aren’t fit for purpose – they just mean vulnerable people have to jump through more hoops – and bear in mind they have to repay that money from any future Universal credit they get.
4) The maximum time people must wait is 2 weeks.
5) The punitive system of benefit sanctioning must stop. It’s punishment without due legal process – and it has no place in a civilised society.
6) People with mental health problems are hugely over represented in this Draconian system – where DWP representatives can stop a person’s benefits for anything between 3 days and 3 years – for the heinous crimes of not filling out a form correctly or missing a meeting.
Instead of finding out what happened to the applicants, DWP staff sanction our fellow citizens when they’re at their most vulnerable.
7) Tell them it’s time to break the tired old rhetoric around people who claim benefits. They’re not ‘workless’, lazy, or in need of ‘tough love’
These people aren’t just like us – they are us.
We all have to work together to start breaking down that prejudice today.
8) Finally, for Universal Credit to work, it must come from a place of love and compassion – not one of suspicion. Remind them that only 0.7% of disability benefits are claimed fraudulently – our biggest problem is that roughly £2 Billion in benefits remain unclaimed.
Let’s make our welfare system into a real safety net – a service that we can be assured is there at our times of need and one that we can all have real pride in.
Remember, we live in a democracy – and together, we can make a difference.
Go on then! What are you waiting for?
Walk a Mile