I'm a JSA Claimant

Now working part-time, volunteers part-time. Cares what happens to UK society full-time

Child benefit should be raised to £50 per child per week

Child Benefit has been changing lives for over 70 years. Eleanor Rathbone’s idea that mothers should be paid for the work of bearing and raising children was radical in its … Continue reading

May 25, 2020 · 2 Comments

The personal and financial cost of mental ill-health

Half rant, half blogpost… Most people know me through Twitter where I tweet about social issues, homelessness and austerity. At some point each day I will either tweet an article, … Continue reading

October 3, 2019 · 2 Comments

“You have to fight back.” When Capita refused to pay a grieving mother after her daughter’s tragic death, Unite Community took on the case – and won.

Susan Kemlo was still mourning her daughter, Victoria, when benefits assessment firm Capita decided to drag her through the courts over supposed “reputational damage” – sustained because a judge ruled … Continue reading

September 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

‘I’ve thought about killing myself’ Universal Credit wrecks lives – Pat and Emma were pushed to the very brink.

When Unite Community member Pat’s* husband Peter* died, she refused to leave his side for 17 hours as she held his hand for the last time. As his full-time carer … Continue reading

September 16, 2019 · 3 Comments

Joanna Young: A letter to MPs on the rise of #foodbank use in Morecambe Bay

Dear Mr Field and Ms Allen, My name is Joanna Young and I am Chair of Trustees at Morecambe Bay Foodbank. I am sorry not to be with you today but I … Continue reading

February 12, 2019 · 2 Comments

Universal Credit is built around flawed incentives that are doing real damage – fixing it is essential

  Sharon Wright, University of Glasgow; Lisa Scullion, University of Salford, and Peter Dwyer, University of York Much of the recent debate and criticism of Universal Credit has focused on … Continue reading

October 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Constant anxiety of benefit sanctions is toxic for mental health of disabled people

NB: In this article I am Charlie… Sam Wordley/Shuterstock Danny Taggart, University of Essex; Ewen Speed, University of Essex, and Jaimini Mehta, University of Essex As the UK government continues … Continue reading

October 22, 2018 · 2 Comments

#WorldMentalHealthDay should be the catalyst to scrap Universal Credit

World Mental Health Day on October 10th is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative … Continue reading

October 9, 2018 · 1 Comment

NAO Universal Credit Report – links to articles

I often get people asking for links so here is a list of articles written about the NAO report today: REPORT: Rolling out Universal Credit – National Audit Office (NAO) … Continue reading

June 15, 2018 · 1 Comment

My personal submission to the Work & Pensions Benefit Sanctions inquiry

I was going to write a much longer piece detailing what I thought was wrong with the system and what needed to be changed, but after speaking to the Committee … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · 7 Comments