Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dysfunctional UK

At least 166,000 people are trapped in debt for their social care, and 1,178 people have faced court action over arrears.
The figures also show than 78,000 care users have had debt management procedures forced upon them by their local authority.
Sharon Wilde, GMB National Officer, said: “These stark figures show the UK’s social care ticking timebomb has now blown a gaping hole in families’ finances.
“The fact more than 1,000 people have been taken to court because they’re unable to pay for their own care – or that of their loved ones – shows the system just isn’t working. Meanwhile, our ageing population is creating a huge demand for care staff – but caring is still not seen as a sought after career. The lack of local authority funding often means low pay – and the sector is struggling to recruit and retain the dedicated staff needed to provide the best care to the UK’s most vulnerable people."
Disability claimants are entitled to a higher rate of PIP (personal independence payments) after the High Court ruled that Tory assessment rules were “blatantly discriminatory”, with up to 220,000 people getting extra money backdated to 2016 – but this has now been delayed by the Tory government until late summer.
“The money should have been paid in November 2016 – but it will now be late summer 2018 at the very earliest for over 200,000 people. It is a disgrace." said SNP MSP Clare Adamson, who convenes Holyrood’s Social Security Committee.
 One in eight people in the UK go hungry every day – with the neediest increasingly dependent on food banks.
Three years ago we were helping to feed 211,000 people a week – today it’s three-quarters of a million,” said FareShare’s chief executive, Lindsay Boswell. “We reported in 2015 that we provided food across 320 towns and cities – now it’s 1,500. It’s not rocket science to see there has been a massive hike in demand for food from frontline charities.
Figures show 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies were delivered to people in crisis in past year – a 13 per cent increase on last year, compared with a rise of 6 per cent the year before. Low income is the biggest single – and fastest growing reason for referral to food banks. Being in debt also accounted for an increasing percentage of referrals – at 9 per cent of referrals up from 8 per cent in the past year. The cost of housing and utility bills are increasingly driving food bank referrals for this reason, with the proportion of referrals due to housing debt and utility bill debt increasing significantly since April 2016.
 The entire board of Theresa May’s social mobility commission quit six months ago at the lack of progress towards a “fairer Britain” accusing the government of “indecision, dysfunctionality, and lack of leadership.”

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