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Found 72 results

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-the-nhs-weight-loss-plan/
  2. Hi Guys, Need some help i was on DLA mobility low rate which was due to review December 2019. My GP referred to community health support worker who advised me to apply for PIP as i have high chances getting care and mobility higher rate than low rate mobility due to my mental and physical illness. I was little bit hesitant as i heard a lot of horror stories about PIP rejection rate. Anyways my health support worker rang DWP and arranged a home visit to fill the PIP form. A lady from DWP came to my house on 13th August 2018 and filled all the paper work and contacted DWP to apply for PIP over the phone. The DWP lady also advised that i might receive another PIP form which she advised me to ignore. After 10 days i received new form which i ignored but after 3 weeks i received another letter telling me that they still not received the form. I rang DWP and told that the from already filled by DWP lady after searching on their computer the lady over the phone told me that they got the form but it still not scanned to put on their systems, the lady over the phone also advised that it should be on the system by two weeks and i should contact after two weeks to confirm. After that i was bit relaxed and i totally forgot to ring them back, now i received their letter saying that they rejected my claim is i failed to provide further information. One more thing i never received any further letter from DWP apart from the form which they sent to fill in. The date on the letter is 10th of october and i received the letter on 18th october and i am abroad seeing my parents and coming back 12th of november. The dead line will be finishing 10th of october, i do not know what to do now its not my fault they messed up with my form they also said in the letter that my DLA will be stopped from 23rd october. Thank
  3. Hi All, Possibly a hypothetical question but like to be prepared. Had an interview earlier, job sounds great but when I got home invite to interview from another employer in my inbox for next Wednesday. This 2nd job would suit me better (nearer home, more akin to my current role and better hours). I was told at this morning's interview that they would let me know either way today. If I am lucky enough to get the offer, I would be mad not to accept, but still inclined to go for next week's interview as well. What are the ethics of accepting a possible offer today, then changing my mind if I get the other offer next week? Other half says I need to do whats best for me, and if I end up needing to rescind my acceptance its not a big deal, but I hate to let people down. Might not even get the offer from today, but trying to get my head straight on what to do if it does come good ... Thanks
  4. MOD launches biggest ever mental health awareness week with new confidential support for personnel on operations READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-launches-biggest-ever-mental-health-awareness-week-with-new-confidential-support-for-personnel-on-operations
  5. Hi everyone, hoping to find some urgent last minute help in this wonderful community ------------------------ Hello everyone, Only just joined the community, but have been carefully following few threads to help with my personnal situation. So far it has been a priceless source of information and I hope to seek further help! I have my court hearing this coming Tuesday at 10am - here is a timeline of events: - Vanquis Agreement dated 05/08/2010 - Last payment made to Vanquis on 30/12/2011 - Notice of debt received by email from BW Legal/Lowell on 13/09/2016 - Letter with CCA request sent on 28/09/2016 - which was ignored - Claim issued by Lowell on 03/10/2016 - CPR18 request sent on 25/10/2016 - again, ignored - Defense sent on 05/11/2016 (copy of my defense attached in the thread) A year gone and never received the documents I asked in order to prepare defence of enter into mediation - DQ filed by claimant on 20/11/2017 - Sent another CPR18 request on 24/11/2017 - yet again ignored - Direction Questionnaire filed on 30/11/2017 Which brings us to present days, and the witness statement receive from the claimant only 2 weeks before the hearing (attached to the thread) - while I have been requesting information since November 2016 ! With the hearing happening in 3 days, I'm getting exponentially nervous about what's going to happen - and how I should prepare to defend myself. I misunderstood the notice of allocation for the hearing and didn't send a witness statement myself... is there something I should do/say at the hearing? Can someone kindly advise on the best course of action for me to get in the hearing with a bit more confidence? I'd like to avoid a CCJ at all cost and just want to settle the debt - but have missed the oppotunities to do so as they failed to send the documents I requested A few questions I have after reading the witness statement several times: - I never received the Notice of Assignment. Statement says "defendant put to strict proof to the contrary" - clearly, shouldn't these kind of documents be sent registered and/or signed for? My gut instinct is to say they should be the one proving they served me with the notice of assignment (their responsibility, isn't it?) - With my CPR requests, I have sent deadline for them to collect and send the requested documents - none were respected. I literally had to wait almost a year and half and the witness statement (just a few weeks before the hearing) to get any sort of documents from them. Is that a point for me to use in my defence? As I've been chasing documents for a while in order to prepare my defence, ignoring my requests and sending these at the last minute should play in my favour? Many many thanks in advance for any help that the community could provide me with I will make sure to keep everyone updated. BW Witness Statement.pdf BW Defence.pdf
  6. Hi everyone Went to sign on today for my Jobseeker’s Allowance and everyone was given one these piece of paper about a 3 week course to switch to UC,anyone else had one of these or know what’s its about,work coach said it’s mandatory,is this true? Thanks
  7. I've read in a few places that people who are paid weekly will earn slightly too much in a 5week month and thus end their UC claim, even though their circumstances haven't changed. This is for those in work. I presume this doesn't affect those in the support group of ESA who don't do any work when they're eventually moved over to UC? I.e. I will get a payment every 4 weeks regardless of how many weeks are in a month, which is the same way PIP is paid currently.
  8. Does anyone know whether ESA is paid one week in front and one week in arrears or is it 2wks in arrears ?
  9. Hi All, im looking for advice. On Monday 13th March a bailiff came to my door saying he had a warrant to enter and search my home with the intention of removing goods. I asked him why and was told that my son had an outstanding court fine for running a red light last summer some time and that it had not been paid so he was here to collect the debt in full or recover goods to the value of. He said he had a locksmith, removals van and the police on route but if I let him in peacefully and paid the outstanding amount he could cancel the police and locksmiths presence. I refused and said I would try to get hold of my son but he said it needed to be paid straight away and said if my son or myself could not the full amount of £561 within the next 10 minutes he would proceed with forced entry. After 15 minutes of trying to reason with him whilst also getting my granddaughter ready to go out and get my nephew from play school I said that if I found him in my house when I got back that I would call the police myself. Eventually he left leaving a card that said notice of intention to enter @ search your premises -removal notice and told me to ring him later that day to arrange payment. I told my son all about this later that evening and he says he knows nothing about any court fine and has not received any letters r notices in the past. On my return from the play group I did some research on line and found that he did have the right to force entry and remove my goods unless I could prove none of it was my sons, I tried to message him to find out which court the fine originated from and the exact date of it. He didn't reply. He came back yesterday morning with the same intention of removing goods, bringing a van, locksmith and police but this time he was able to get hold of my son on the phone and insist he pays the debt there and then or he would again proceed with entry. My son said that he had no knowledge of the debt, what it was for or when it was issued but to keep the bailiff away from my door he tried to negotiate a payment plan of half today (yesterday) and half next Thursday. This was refused he told the bailiff he would get back to him. The bailiff left after 10 minutes but said if the debt was not settled by 8pm he would be back before 9pm. Later my son told me that he had phoned the court and find out what he could do, he was informed that as he had no previous knowledge of the fine that he could apply for a statutory declaration and have the case reheard if he pleads guilty. What can I do in the mean time to stop the bailiff entering my home and taking my possessions whilst waiting to get the declaration and the court date. The bailiff as informed of my sons plan of action but insists he will be back today at some point to make an actual enforcement as he has already wasted 2 days here. What am I to do, im at my wits end, I have my 2 year old granddaughter here during the day and my 27 year old son who has a severe learning disability. Can some please advise thank you
  10. Petition Pay £350m per week to NHS or re-run EU Referendum https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171869?reveal_response=yes
  11. Hello Can anyone please tell me the amount of hours a person can work a week that is not taxable? Thanks
  12. I have got my second assessment for ESA on Thursday, presumably with Maximus this time unless they too have been sacked? I had been away for four months from the flat I've lived in for 21 years and feel a bit panicked to learn of this appointment being so near ( and this time it's due so early in the day that the train fare will be double). This is in part because I am severely stressed out because I already have another concurrent fight on my hands with the local council over its handling of a violent and antisocial neighbour (documented on another subforum here). When I was coerced back to the flats by the council I began to get heart pains of the same kind I'd got when my neighbour threatened me for making complaints. The initial period of pain died down after thirty hours but has begun again. I will go to my GP about this but I'm not happy to be reporting a more or less new health issue within a few days of an assessment, because of how it might be viewed with suspicion. Having had something very like a heart attack at 29 as a side effect of antidepressants I'm seriously concerned about this heart issue, though a visit to A&E last week showed nothing up. I am vividly aware as I type though that something is not right. There is pressure in my heart or a feeling of a knot. It's actual and not merely chemical/ psychological even if aggravated by an emotional state I'm trying to combat with breathing. But I'm more concerned about whether I have the energy for another fight over all this. I am half angry, half exhausted. I believe that if I still allowed myself to risk the involvement of professionals I would have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by now because of the extremity of the swings but it is some bind when you are utterly exhausted part of the time and full of rage the rest of it. We could say that having been through one of these assessments I know the lie of the land - and it certainly is a lie and not a lay - but I read that for example that some symptoms/sentiments that arise from mental health issues (which I've learned I cannot discuss here, which I accept) which six months ago were cause for assessors and DWP staff to treat an individual with caution, are now indiciators that an indivisual should be pushed firmly towards the workplace, despite an apparent overall impression given in the media that there should have been a moving away from the aggression of these asessments experienced from 2011-2015. I am going to ring to assert that I will be recording my assessment as last year's assessor lied repeatedly in her report, which I was going to use at the tribunal. A leaflet tells me I can use my equipment and that's how it's going to be as I have no reason to trust these people. I was put in the Support Group last year but only short term. I had applied to go to tribunal but this was cancelled without my say-so when the one year Support Group was decided upon. Someone senior in the Dispute Resolutions team actually rang me, and even by coincidence had agreed with a colleague on calling the dogs off on my birthday. I want to ask to speak to him tomorrow or am considering writing a letter to ask for this to be viewed in conjunction with Thursday's assessment. I do not have room for manouevre financially for any ESA cut. I have thirty quid in the bank to last nine days and no savings. I have nothing left to sell because the other business with the council led to me selling everything to pay to keep a roof over my head somewhere safe over the last four months, though I slept outside sometimes too. Last year as I was under attack by the DWP and my neighbour's behaviour at once I developed for the first time in my life a period of binge-drinking. In the second half of my 30s I didn't touch alcohol, and for most of my adult life I could take or leave it and went for weeks without a pint. For several months last year I was losing my memory about three times a week, falling over, having to bin clothes that became scuffed and torn. I was shocked out of it once a friendly waitress saw me staggering around, and then when a stranger approached me who'd guided me home. I'm not ashamed but it's pretty horrifying to be pushed into uncharacteristic behaviour without personal precedent, and I resent this period. I hadn't slipped back into this until Thursday just gone, and hope that was only a blip and not new stresses. Additionally, being angered by this new medical I have decided to stop being a mug over something that happened around twelve years ago. Before the advent of ATOS and the like I had a medical in the same building when I was on SDA. The doctor who did it carried out an act of aborted sexual abuse. I don't know if you can understand but at the time I could hardly believe it, and then felt fearful of rocking the boat due to my need for my benefits. Now though, feeling harrassed and angry I want to go to the police and pursue things. If a celebrity's abuse form forty years ago can be pursued then so can this. I would have no trouble identifying this person because I remember his manner vividly. At present I'm intending to go to the police station on Tuesday, will explain what happened and then ask if there are records of other complaints having been made with reference to the same building. I am not going to back out of this now but I suppose need to prepare myself. There are no doubts in my mind regarding what happened - it was nothing whatsoever to do with the medical and a clear assertion of power. I am absolutely aware that people do worse as one family member suffered horrifically and so did someone I was engaged to, but as this person has or had a position of power which has continuity with the comparatively respectable veneer of Maximus's power I want him dealt with. I will soak up anything helpful anyone wants to say here but at times I feel like walking off the grid altogether nowadays. I have thought of turning myself in to a hospital but fear losing autonomy regarding diet and medication. I spent a weekend in a particular creed's monastery a decade ago and remember they had a 'lay monk' there, a man who basically mucked in but had not adopted the garb, and who seemed to have retreated from comparable aggravation in the regular world. I've considered going there but do not really have the conviction of that creed despite sharing some agreement with it. Sick enough also, despite being aware of what I'd been put through last year several people in my family voted Conservative and didn't hide the fact. Sometimes sitting down with them and acting like they hadn't put a cross in box that could have a very dramatic consequence you do feel that family life has become farcical. Thanks for your time.
  13. Hi All, I'd really appreciate some advise please, I'm in court next week for a set aside hearing. It's in relation to a Cap 1 cc claim for just over 1k, the court papers were sent to my old address so I never received them, I'm certain I gave my new address to all concerned back in 2007/8 but cannot prove it. I don't think it's statute barred but I can't find when I last made a payment. I sent a SAR to Cabot and have received it back on a CD, there is no default notice or credit agreement on the CD, I've read that they are not obliged to send these with a SAR in their response to my request they state "We may not hold information such as your credit agreement or statements on file. In order to obtain this information, we recommend you contact the original lender. However, in the event that the original lenders have supplied us with this information, the documents will be included with your SAR. I guess my question is can I use this in my application to set aside the judgement and CCJ, as just relying on the fact the papers were sent to my old address may not help me get a set aside? Many thanks
  14. 1) My 'Actions for getting employment" doesn't stipulate a number of jobs to apply for per week (which is odd, when I claimed before I had to apply for 2). Obviously I don't want to display every single job I apply for (which would risk creating a baseline figure), but what is the minimum number that an Advisor needs to see in order to sanction me (for insufficient applications)? 2) They also included 'log into my UJM account daily' - I have NOT ticked the box that allows the DWP to view the jobs I've applied for, BUT can they still see how often I've logged in? Ta
  15. A bit about myself: I live in Scotland, am a middle aged divorcee with Multiple Sclerosis who has (or had, before now) a completely clean record. Last week I came home find a card through my door from the police informing me that they had called to speak to me and would I please contact PC Thingumajig to arrange a time to talk regarding 'an ongoing investigation'. I had no idea what this could be about and my medical condition leaves me embarrassingly prone to panic reactions in even the most innocuous out-of-the-norm situations. I immediately started panicking that I had done something illegal to warrant the police at my door but after talking it out with a friend we concluded that perhaps I had witnessed something that the police were investigating as I don't live in the best area. I phoned the PC and arranged to come in the next day to see him but completely spaced on asking why he needed to speak with me. When I got to the police station I was taken into a small room with only a table and three chairs, PC Thingumajig asked me to sit down and as he sat in front of me and pulled out his notebook a second PC came in behind him and closed the door. I started to get a little shaky as it was quite intimidating (this second PC was vaguely familiar to me as one that had treated a friend of mine particularly badly last year). I was shocked and stunned when I was told that I had been accused by the local Boots of shoplifting a mascara the previous week. I told them that I had not but as I was in full panic mode at this point I could not really digest the information they were giving me. They told me that they had witnesses who had seen me take it and had followed me out of the store and through the shopping mall, as well as CCTV footage of the incident. They were quite frankly not interested in any explanation I had for what had occurred on the two occasions that I recalled being in the store over recent weeks. When I told them of my medical condition and its effect on my memory (particularly in stressful situations) as the reason why I could not remember the day in question, the intimidating one immediately latched on to this as an explanation for my thieving ways and would not let it go. My record was checked and since it was clean I was told they could issue an official police warning or if I wanted to contest they would charge me and send it to the PF who would decide whether to take it to court or not. By this time I was so distressed and confused I was beginning to doubt my OWN honesty so I agreed to the warning in order to avoid the stress and pressure of the long drawn out legal procedure which could have had devastating consequences for my health. The warning was issued as well as a ban from Boots stores (I will never be darkening their doorstep again in any event - physically or digitally). Since that time I have been so stressed I have had panic attacks when I enter the shopping mall where I do volunteer work once a week, am prone to crying uncontrollably, have been unwilling to leave my home and unable to socialise with my friends. The stress has also had a deleterious effect on my health by worsening the symptoms of my MS. I have only recently been able to look at the warning notice and comprehend the date of the alleged incident which was almost exactly a week prior and, now that I can ponder it with a clear head, I DO recollect the day in question as I was re-starting art classes on that date. I DID enter the store more than once (a point they made repeatedly) as I had wanted to print a photo from my phone and, because their machine's USB was not recognising my device, I used the USB from my portable charger and accidentally left it in their machine. I had returned a couple of hours later to retrieve it. Since the photo printer is at the opposite end of the store from the make-up section I have no idea why they think I pocketed a mascara but since I was nowhere near that area of the shop (except to enter and leave) I have no idea why I have been accused of this crime - the only thing I pocketed in the store was my own property! Is there any way I can get the store to at least apologise for humiliating me and can I get the police to rescind the warning? Do they not have to stop me AT THE TIME instead of waiting a week to apprehend? Should I be worried as to how the police got my name and address? The only way I can think is to have accessed my prescription history at the pharmacy. They wouldn't let me see the CCTV footage either when I asked and I'm pretty sure the Data Protection Act gives me that right. I would really appreciate any advice I can get.
  16. Hi there, A year ago I took out a product with Buy as you view. I have had no problems and have paid religiously by DD every week. This week I returned from holiday to a letter saying the DD had been cancelled (my fault I was cancelling several DDs at once online before i went away). this means that the payments have mounted up to £89 owed. Due to the holiday and not realising they hadn't gone out I rang Buy as you view to advise them I could meet the back log in payments on my next payday but would continue to pay the weekly amount every Friday until then so I don't owe more. they said to do this I had to arrange for the area manager to come out (which I did for next Thursday) to reset my direct debit up rather than by phone. this evening having got home from a long day, feeling unwell and with a small child in the house and one on the way a Buy as you view rep bangs on my door. I didn't answer as I hadn't been expecting him; we had made an appointment for next week. It states on the website they can only visit by appointment. Can anybody advise me where I stand on this please? Do I have to let them in at all? Can I make the payments by phone. What has put me off answering and dealing with them in person is now that they have come round uninvited when I have specifically set an appointment. I tried to ring them but was on hold for 56 minutes then told phone lines have closed Best wishes and thanks in advance Emma
  17. I just bought a 2007 Mazda MX5, 42000 on the clock and in good nick. After having it a few days - I called the guy as its pulling to the left on acceleration. Also - Diff noise is audible too. He picked it up - took it to Mazda for a health check and the report says: Front tyres are low changed battering in key fob slight corrosion to front discs and I was spot on about the Diff so when he's back from hols in 10 days time - he's gonna get the diff fixed and sorted. to be honest - I'd be expecting him to put 2 new tyres on it at £100 a piece for Bridgestone tyres (recommended) Does that sound unreasonable? L.
  18. http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/ikea-admits-to-charging-customers-twice-due-to-computer-glitch/ar-BBuX712?li=BBoPOOl If you have been affected, you can use the following number : 020 3645 0000 This was the company that were forced to hand out bottles of water , when they trapped motorists in one of their car parks for over 3 hours, on the hottest day of the year
  19. Hi guys i work for a company who look after the virgin media contract, i am working at the moment over 70 hours a week which is tiring me out to be honest, i have a family and have very little time for myself or my kids you keep telling them about it in the nicest way possible even though its hard to keep your cool sometimes and they take Sh*t all on aboard what i have to say. I am on template pay (pay per job) now i can make some decent money when i get the big jobs like quad's, triples and duals. But lately ive been finishing my own work by 3pm ready for home and i always seem to get lumbered with other peoples because they simply cannot keep up or had worse problems than myself in the day i never seem to get any help my way when im struggling and all my manager can say is swings and round abouts, seems to be enough swings but no round abouts my way. My biggest concern is the pay im owed, i am missing money from June, August, September and October and when i keep submitting my wage query's i hear nothing back this goes on for months and up to this day i still have not received any money im owed. I have joined the cable workers union but obviously want to the company to rectify this problem first without involving the union, a lad i work with has also submitted a grievance to the HR of the company and said they are looking into it he has told me to look on google for the template letter regarding pay but not having any luck could anyone be so kind to point me into the right direction and is there any law to me doing more than 12 hours a day can i refuse to work after 12 hours ?
  20. http://tracking.findmypast.co.uk/track?t=v&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0xJmF1aWQ9Jm1pZD05ODQxNDQmbXNnaWQ9Mjg3NzYwJmRpZD0xMTI2MzMmZWRpZD0xMTI2MzMmc249MTY4MTI4MTgmZWlkPWc3Ym5mQGJ0aW50ZXJuZXQuY29tJmVlaWQ9ZzdibmZAYnRpbnRlcm5ldC5jb20mdWlkPUZNUFVLSW50NDAxMjQxNDkwJnRhcmdldGlkPSZtbj0mcmlkPTExMSZlcmlkPTExMSZmbD0mbXZpZD0mdGdpZD0mZXh0cmE9&&&2000&eu=1500&&&
  21. Can anyone tell me what I am entitled to. My partner and I booked a weeks cruise where we flew out to Barcelona with Ryanair. When we arrived at the airport, our luggage and about 8 other couples luggage were all left in Birmingham where we flew from. I explained to Ryanair that me and my partner were leaving Barcelona that night and won't be back for another week, vWe were advised that the chances of us getting our luggage to the ship are practically none. All we had were the clothes on our back and a pair of shoes in the hand luggage. We had no choice but to go to some local shops and pick up items to get us by so went and bought the essentials toiletries and about 2 tops, a pair of shorts, some underwear and my partner bought similar as and cheap dress for her to wear in the evening. We had a call 2 days later saying luggage is at the airport for when we return to pick it up. We had no choice but to go and buy some other items the next day as what we had wouldn't last for the week. We went and bought a few more things for day and evening and the ship we were on offered free laundry service to help us, which was a god send. In total we spent 547 EUROS. On our return we put a complaint into Ryanair for all the hassle and expense we had incurred along with how the holiday was ruined as we couldn't do everything that we wanted to, such as gala night etc. We heard off them this morning with a letter saying the expense is excessive and will offer 50 euro per day the bag was missing. This totals 350 euro. To me this isn't good enough as we spent £3000 on a holiday we couldn't fully enjoy and we had to clothe both of us for a week where we wore the same items over and over. Am I wrong in thinking this is not good enough and Ryanair have to compensate me for what I spent and the the holiday they ruined. I believe what we spent was not excessive for what we had to do. Look forward to hearing off you
  22. My husband asked for a ccj to be removed as he had no idea what the ccj was for upon going to court it was with hoist for an old abbey loan they didnt attend but sent a letter requesting it to not be removed on the grounds a payment was made in 2012 which i have no record of she said they would need to send the particulars and prove the £20 payment or its statute barred. After hassling them we recieved the particulars but have no idea how to file my defence. The Pc1 was the origional agreement between him and Abbey. The 4 main pages of particulars are attached please someone help
  23. A week ago I ordered a new Bosh washer from AO with next day delivery. From the first use it was obvious that something was wrong with it , it was making a very loud and not normal sound every time the drum was turning. I contacted them and they said I had to contact Bosh and use the guarantee to get an engineer to visit . At no point accepted themselves any responsibility as a retailer. The engineer confirmed straight away that there was a fault so I got a replacement. AGAIN from the first use there is the same and even louder noise. AO refuses to refund /replace without an engineer to visit again. They say that they have to make sure there is a fault and they treat me like an idiot as I wouldn't understand the noise or as I did something wrong with the installation. I said this is the SECOND time the same thing is happening and you confirmed the first time with an engineer that is a fault why do I have to go through this again? Citizens advice advised me that they are obliged to refund /replace as the washer arrived with a fault but AO replies that *citizens advice would advice me to my benefit but this is not how things work*. So TWO washers WITHIN A WEEK WITH SAME FAULT and AO still insist on engineer visiting first. All this is very annoying and inconvenient for me as I had to stay in waiting deliveries/ engineer , I still have to wait another engineer , spend hours on the phone with AO and Bosh and i still do not have a proper working washer.
  24. Here are the current court fees which take effect from today 22nd April 2014. http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex050-eng.pdf http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?421493-Court-fees-increase-from-22nd-April-2014 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111127490
  25. Criticism as £30-a-week disability benefit cuts go ahead Peers have backed down in their battle with MPs over cuts to disabled people's benefits after ministers invoked special powers to push them through. The government was twice defeated in the House of Lords over a £30 a week cut to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for certain claimants. But it is set to go ahead after peers deferred to the elected Commons. Ministers claimed "financial privilege" to assert the Commons' right to have the final say on budgetary measures. Ministers argue the changes will encourage people to get into work, but this is strongly disputed by opponents. The cuts in weekly support from £103 to £73, contained in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, will apply to new ESA claimants in the work-related activity group, bringing the rate into line with Job-seeker's Allowance. It will affect people who are deemed unable to work at the moment but capable of making some effort to find employment, including attending work-focused interviews and taking part in training. Ministers argue that too few people in the category are moving into work and that while the lower benefit rate would save £55m in the first year, £60m would be spent on supporting claimants to take steps towards finding work. 'Harmful impact' Work and Pensions minister Lord Freud acknowledged peers were only withdrawing their opposition with "great reluctance" after the Commons asserted financial privilege - its right to overrule any Lords proposal that has cost implications. He insisted that the Lords had "discharged their duty" by scrutinising the bill to remove "unintended consequences" and sending back concerns for the Commons to reconsider. But Paralympic gold medalist Baroness Grey-Thompson said she was disappointed such a "dreadful and punitive" part of the bill - which has been opposed by more than 30 charities - was going ahead. "It may be seen as a victory in terms of voting numbers in the Commons but we can't forget there are many disabled people who will lose out," the cross-bench peer said. Link
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