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ukbix

Impact of the NEW replacement for incapacity benefit.

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As some of you may know, the plans are to replace incapacity benefit (IB) with Employment Support Allowance (ESA), new claimaints are already having to claim ESA, and its only a matter of time before existing claimaints on IB will be migrated to ESA.

 

The new test has been mentioned several times in the press recently, as its been reported up to 9 out of 10 people in some areas are failing the test.

 

Some argue its because the majority of people on incapacity benefits are indeed fit for work, and are just swinging the lead so to speak, others point out its more to do with the fact is a completely new test.

 

The DWP have released a 'impact assessment' document for ESA, its very, very worrying stuff, you can read more at the link below

 

 

[EDIT][/url]

 

It cleary shows the test is *designed* from the outset to fail more people, including people who are now genuine IB claimaints, even some of the most seriously ill (currently exempt from medicals) will be affected.

 

Anyone got any thoughts on this? (ps you can 'digg' the article at the link below if you think its worth trying to get this to the attention of people)

 

[EDIT]

 

Im having trouble coming to terms with how they can do this to genuine claimaints, and why the public and press are not kicking up a stink, instead they seem to be supporting the idea that most on IB are not genuine cases!

Edited by Rooster-UK
UInauthorised links removed.

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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Trouble with press is they like to show the minoirity cases which stink the best. As in fraudulant exposes, fair enough on one hand, but they dont like genuine fights of this nature.

 

For instance me, I have epilepsy which affects me severly and mental health problems. I get dla for care and mobility and have two arms and legs. I am going to on this test appear a problem I think. Unless I literally collapse on one in front of them as I do regulary, but of course not on cue, what will they think of me. I think I know the answer. Thats why I am going to record the interview secretly with me answering what happens to me for record.

Edited by stardust_john
makes more sence

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I know what I do have, but it gives me the creeps. Ive not been able to go near a certain camcorder for a while. I although know what I am told have never been able to understand what happens to me, so a while ago my son recorded me having a bad fit. It was good on one hand me seeing it but mentally turned me the other way. Its the feeling of being not able to control what happens and thats quite disturbing to me. I as said could march that along to the interview, he'll certainly meet the true me if I have to watch it.

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It's not about "setting people up to fail" at all.

 

It is about focusing on what a person can do rather than what they cannot do. If a person is completely incapacitated and unfit for any form of work, they should have no problem with the medical.

 

Before if a person had for example, a severe back injury which meant they could no longer work in the construction industry, they could claim IB under the old rules of incapacity. Under the new rules, it's more a case of "Right, you are incapable of working in construction. We accept that. However your injury would not prevent you from undertaking employment in X,Y, or Z sectors."

 

Although I appreciate long term IB claimants may not see it that way. The world of work is a scary prospect when a person has not worked in as many years and have been afflicted with incapacity. They are used to taking life at their own pace, resting and taking things easy when need be. The thought of not being in control is frightening. What will I do if my illness presents a problem at work? Will my employer be understanding? All of these things are scary to someone who suddenly finds themself the subject of a medical assessment which may render them capable of work, without scaremongering on websites added into the equation. It's even worse for people who suffer from mental illness, scaremonging like this does little to help people.

 

It's not what the DWP are stating. Nowhere do they say "these tests are designed to deliberately deprive people and force them into work" It is your interpretation on what the DWP are stating. Those are two very different things. I respectfully suggest that you stop plugging your website on other sites that are designed to help people and shedding your scare stories on people who are already petrified of these upcoming assessments. People who are completely unable of undertaking ANY type of employment should have nothing to worry about in regard to the assessments, and they still carry a right of appeal as with most benefits.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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It's not about "setting people up to fail" at all.

 

It is about focusing on what a person can do rather than what they cannot do. If a person is completely incapacitated and unfit for any form of work, they should have no problem with the medical.

 

Before if a person had for example, a severe back injury which meant they could no longer work in the construction industry, they could claim IB under the old rules of incapacity. Under the new rules, it's more a case of "Right, you are incapable of working in construction. We accept that. However your injury would not prevent you from undertaking employment in X,Y, or Z sectors."

 

I dont think you understand how the existing system (IB) works fully, the old system, incapacity benefit requires claimaints to undergo medicals on a repeated basis (apart from the most ill who are exempt from medicals).

 

Nowhere in the medicals, or the legal 'descriptors' which are used to see if you pass/fail does it actually care about what type of work you were doing, ie working in the construction industry for example.

 

The tests (if conducted fairly, which they many times are not, and thats not just claimaints stating that, or even doctors and welfare rights advisors and charities, even the tribunal service has complained officially about them) are supposed to decide if a person is affected by a number of problems that basically render them unsuitable for the workplace in general.

 

They are meant to pick up on a wide range of problems from physical ones, to mental issues that would make a person basically unable to hold down work in their current state.

 

People passing have therefore been legally entitled to benefits as they satisfy the descriptors which make them unsuitable for working in general.

 

The new test changes this, it does not look at the same genuine reasons a person would not last in the workplace, and if you read the report, it clearly does state many will now fail who were able to pass before.

 

Im curious how you would interpret the report, how would you interpret its meaning when it states how many more will fail, and that a significant number of people will leave the benefits system entirely - with only some of those leaving benefits entirely going into work? What do you think is going to happen to them if they are not working, and not on benefits?

 

Why do you think they are not working, and not on benefits? Can you explain the reason?

 

 

Although I appreciate long term IB claimants may not see it that way. The world of work is a scary prospect when a person has not worked in as many years and have been afflicted with incapacity. They are used to taking life at their own pace, resting and taking things easy when need be. The thought of not being in control is frightening. What will I do if my illness presents a problem at work? Will my employer be understanding? All of these things are scary to someone who suddenly finds themself the subject of a medical assessment which may render them capable of work, without scaremongering on websites added into the equation. It's even worse for people who suffer from mental illness, scaremonging like this does little to help people.

 

Yes, they are used to resting when required, and many will be frightened (more likely terrified/anxious/depressed) over the issue.

 

I dont think its scaremongering to quote the article released by the DWP, if you have a different interpretation of the easy to understand sentences,please post them - I would be really interested.

People have a right to be informed, its better to be scared now, and prepare, than get hit by suprised on the day, and be totally unable to cope.

 

People are free to state if they disagree, the DWP are free to argue even, but I cant see them disagreeing...

 

The national press even reported peoples concerns back in 2007 that the new test would fail many genuine claimaints (source), its not like I am the only one, its a ongoing issue, and what people said would happen is starting to happen. However the press are spinning it so instead of the reports about the suffering re-surfacing and 'we told you so' being the case, its getting mainly reported that ib'ers are really fine to be in the workplace.

 

It's not what the DWP are stating. Nowhere do they say "these tests are designed to deliberately deprive people and force them into work" It is your interpretation on what the DWP are stating. Those are two very different things. I respectfully suggest that you stop plugging your website on other sites that are designed to help people and shedding your scare stories on people who are already petrified of these upcoming assessments. People who are completely unable of undertaking ANY type of employment should have nothing to worry about in regard to the assessments, and they still carry a right of appeal as with most benefits.

 

Try telling that to the people who understand only to well just how bad the current system is, with many having to appeal over and over again. Crazy reports from ATOS, 0 points for people with genuine illness etc, and now in some areas 9 out of 10 people claiming illness are being told they are fine for work?

 

Again, I would love to read your take on each of the quotes from the DWP article, and how it does not mean what I think it means (although in general, Im just stating under each qoute what each quoute says!), and what you think will happen to the significant number of people who leave the benefits system entirely, but who dont go into work.... As per the report.

 

People also need to remember that the report that all the welfare reforms were started from, the one by Lord Frued (before he was a lord) was written by a man, who in his own admission didnt know any thing about the benefits system when he started the report, wrote the report in a short time frame, and made numerous very serious factually incorrect statements about how incapacity benefit operates (for example stating people on IB are simply granted it by their own gp and dont have to undergo medicals etc etc - the guy really didnt have a clue....for more on the mistakes see http://www.cpag.org.uk/press/020208.htm (child poverty action group press report on David Freuds innacurate report))

 

If still interest, try reading the debates on hansard about the welfare reforms, they make interesting reading, here is a starter, that mentions some issues, but there are many more pages (it was a long debate over many days)

http://services.parliament.uk/hansard/Lords/ByDate/20090618/grandcommittees/part001.html

 

one quote from Lord Skelmersdale

Again, I have to declare an interest in that I have a son-in-law with severe ME. He finds that at moments he is able to do quite normal things. But then, a few hours later, he will collapse for another two, three, four or five days. If you have an assessment in a good period, it is extremely difficult—this was the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Ashfar—to come to a realistic conclusion of what may happen in the rest of the week or month. How you train people to have proper observation or realisation of that fact is beyond me. But there must be better brains than mine around the system who could get to the bottom of it. Until we do, all hope for the people whom the noble Countess has been talking about is lost.
If you read all the hansard reports, you should find the statement from one lord where he stated that there would not be a problem sanctioning (stopping benefits basically is one of them) mental health claimaints and them not understanding the rules, as they would read the rules out twice....

Cant recall the hansard section, but its what this page mentions

 

The problem with these changes, apart from the design of them to start with, is even if they were or are fair, there are so many things, so many problems, so many points missed or not covered properly that it will take years to sort out, in the mean time, its the sick and disabled who will suffer great problems, appeals, hardship, anxiety, worsening of their condition etc. Its estimated by the DWP that an additional 20 thousand people will now appeal due to ESA (source) - it has to be remembered the amount of stress a appeal puts claimaints under, not to mention the fact they are usually on reduced benefits during appeal (on IB its usually income support reduced by 20% - ie 20 percent less than the meagre amount the law says you need to live on.....).

The waiting list for appeals is usually around 6 months, its probably going to get even longer with even more people appealing, and a more complex procedure to appeal against. Although if I recall the DWP has allocated a extra 4 million a year for ESA appeals (which based on simple calcs) indicates they are now spending considerably more (more than double after it settles down, about 9 times at first) fighting ESA appeals than they did for IB appeals...

 

Plus - they rely on the system working properly, all the time, - which only a madman would think is possible.... The new system has many,many more layers and different organisations/departments involved the system is very, very complex.

 

Some more reading if anyone is still interested here

 

Is the guardian scare mongering, AND the child poverty action group, AND the lords and ladies/barons and baronesses in the house of lords? Are all the campaigners just doing it for fun?

Edited by ukbix
added little bit about 20 thousand appeals.

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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I understand perfectly well how benefits work, thank you, as is demonstrated through my assistance to people on CAG.

 

I haven't read most of your post because to be frank it's tripe, designed to scare people.

 

It's no secret that the system is flawed, each and every part of it. But that is no reason to ram your thoughts down the throats of others scaring them witless in the process.

 

There are many people who come here with mental health problems seeking advice. They don't need opinions thrown at them. Opinions do nothing to help them, and this is not the place to discuss opinion on government policy. This is a place designed to help consumers with their rights, and deals with the law as it stands, not as people would want it to be.

 

Everyone has an opinion on benefit legislation. Everyone. However those opinions do not change legislation and do not help people. I have my own opinions but I keep them to myself for that very reason whilst on CAG. I come here to help people and advise on whether or not they are likely to receive the benefits they are interested in applying for - that is what CAG is for.

 

If you want to shout your opinions from the rooftops either go to your own site and do it, or do it in the bear garden, not the part of the site that is designed to assist people with their benefit situation. You are entitled to your opinion, granted. However it is not appropriate to be in here with it where we have people who are very easily scared. If anything it puts them off claiming because it bloody well scares them.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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I understand perfectly well how benefits work, thank you, as is demonstrated through my assistance to people on CAG.

 

I haven't read most of your post because to be frank it's tripe, designed to scare people.

 

How can you know its tripe if you didnt even bother to read it?

 

I suppose pretending everything is fine is going to help people more?

 

Its not like the story has not been covered with a worse spin in multiple national newspapers (calling IB'ers fraudsters that are really fit for work).

 

Im putting my opinion - based on sources that I am showing, citing evidence, your just stating your opinion, with zero evidence, zero sources, and not even bothering to read in full, just assuming things.

 

If its tripe, then try going through all my points, and disproving them, put everyones mind at rest, it should be easy to do.....


Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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I will do no such thing, because as I have said, CAG is not here for that sort of thing adn I will not be any part of that. Your posts can be very helpful, and you raise good points on other posts but opinions do not help people. I have no interest in proving or disproving your "points". If you want to start a campaign, do so by all means, but in the appropriate place.

 

 

 

My interests lie with helping people with their current and personal situations, and providing advice based on current legislation. In the appropriate place.

 

There are plenty of websites to spout opinion, your being one of them. This website is for helping people with things the way they currently stand.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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I haven't been able to read the links on the original page because they have been removed but I definitely have to agree with Erika in that the new system of ESA is meant to focus on what a person can do, not what they can't do. Of course there will be people who will never be able to do any sort of work at all and they should receive the full support of the state. I am sure there are also many people who cannot work at the moment or who will never be able to return to their previous work but their health condition does not preclude them from doing any sort of work at all. There should be support in place for the people who have not worked for a very long time and they should be fully prepared for employment before they are expected to take it up. However, if one can do SOME sort of work, even if it isn't the same type of employment as before or the type of employment one would choose, the new system is designed to help the person move towards that sort of work, if and when they are able. My understanding is that the article you have posted is based on opinion and supposition, not fact. The new system is flawed, the old system is and was flawed. Mistakes are made and that is to be expected because everyone makes mistakes. I just find this whole thread completely unhelpful to people who are already fretting about what this new regime might mean for them and it isn't actually true.

 

:)

Edited by sandysue103
To correct grammatical errors!
  • Haha 1

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"Its estimated by the DWP that an additional 20 thousand people will now appeal due to ESA (source) - it has to be remembered the amount of stress a appeal puts claimaints under, not to mention the fact they are usually on reduced benefits during appeal (on IB its usually income support reduced by 20% - ie 20 percent less than the meagre amount the law says you need to live on.....). "

 

To the best of my knowledge this is no longer correct, at least for ESA appeals. If a person appeals against a decision that states they do not have enough points to pass the WCA, then benefit should be reinstated at the full rate as soon as the appeal is received and should remain so until the decision is made.

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I've read the whole thread, and it has put me off claiming for anything now. I'm in a situation where I get completely crippling gout, and as I type this, my ankle and knee are swollen to twice it's size. I've eaten that many painkillers my taste buds aren't working. A light bedsheet resting on my leg is like a ten ton hammer with razors digging into me, and I've been crying in such agony that every now and again the thought of ending it all entered my mind.

 

I've not been out of the house for 17 days now, and I am already on medication for depression. Was taken off IB after the DR's report looked like they interviewed a totally different person. Appealed 3 times, then told I couldn't appeal anymore. Tried to apply for Dla, on any tier, and told there is nothing wrong with me, plus, gout is not a constant and ongoing pain, so DLA doesn't apply.

 

I have to go into the jobcentre and say I've been looking for work, when most of the time, I'm crippled. After reading this whole thread, it makes me even more certain it's not worth applying for anything. What's the point? In the meantime, i suffer horrendously, with the gout, the depression, and after the last 2 months of gout, more than likely addicted to painkillers, as they sure don't work now.

 

I'm sorry if I hijacked this thread, it was never my intention. I only posted to show that now I know it's not worth claiming for anything, as presumably I won't get anything. I don't even want to be on the sick. I want some sort of DLA that will cover me if I got a part time job and would be covered with being off with the gout, which is under hospital review as we speak. They say it's one of the worst cases they have ever seen, and I'm only 35.

 

Where I live, in Liverpool, there are a hell of a lot of people on the "sick", and there's nothing wrong with them. All the drug addicts and drunks are on it, and a lot of lazy people who just can't be bothered about working when there is nothing wrong with them, and they pass all their medicals! yet, here's me with a condition that sometimes makes me consider taking my own life to stop the pain, yet am told that it isn't part of the DLA. I just can't win either way.

 

Sorry for the long post and hijacking again. Once I started typing, I just got carried away. Feel free to edit or move the post.

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Skonk, no harm in applying, better to try and hope, than never try at all- you never know you may pass,if not there is the usual appeal route, although I can guess where you coming from with the wanting to give up on it all, repeated appeals etc are very distressing. Your experience with IB reports sounds familiar, had similar before (multiple times) with reports that are just so wildly crazy you start thinking they must have examined someone else instead of yourself.... Although in my case, I won the appeals.

 

Remember my post was about the test being made harder for some people and the dwp admission that x number more would fail on the new test who would pass on the IB test - its not stating everyone will fail, many still will pass without problem.

 

Im curious when you say you could only appeal three times, was that three different medicals you were appealing, or did you request a reconsideration that went to appeal, then you appealed the appeal sort of thing? As there is no limit I know of for the number of appeals (for different medicals/decisions) but obviously there is a limit on appealing one single decision.

 

If you can find a welfare advisor to help you claim, that would be best...

 

Sandy, thanks for the update that money is paid at full rate on esa appeal, at least thats one improvement by the sounds of things. However,the other point, the original linked to article was based on fact - the DWP's own statements in the ESA impact assessment, with my opinion of the implications of many of the quotes added, however if you google for it you will probably find it, and would welcome other peoples opposing views - as I really cannot see how a easy to understand sentence in the english language that states a fact can be misinterpreted... Perhaps it can, perhaps others can explain how the report stating more will fail, means more will not fail?

 

Bearing in mind the IB assessment is a test of being capable of working in the workplace, as stated only very recently in the press by a DWP spokesperson

 

DWP spokesman Katie Ellison said claimants were assessed on their capability to work and not solely on the medical condition that they write on their application forms.

"To qualify for incapacity benefits, claimants must take part in a medical assessment which will assess an individual's ability to carry out a range of activities which are required for the workplace," she said.

 

and the dwp are also admitting some people who pass that test, wont pass the new one, so despite them one minute being incapable of any work the new test decides they are.... Perhaps someone can explain the logic.

Edited by ukbix

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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Hasn't Skonk's post just proved Erika's point?

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Not really, no.

 

If saying me posting about a DWP report is going to affect what people do, then you may as well lobby to get all the newspapers to stop printing even worse stories about benefits claimaints, even worse stories, based on assumptions, not clear statements from the dwp, about claimaints etc.

 

Ban television also, its got lots of depressing things on it.

 

Go around all the forums including this one, banning all of the horror stories about the DWP/ATOS etc, as they could put someone of claiming too.

 

Not to mention action should be taken to stop the DWP publishing reports like the one I was talking about, after all - going by your logic the DWP's own statements are enough to put people off claiming (actually, the report even talks about people who will leave the benefits system, and not get work either, so they know its going to happen)

 

If the truth is depressing, then so be it, but hiding it is not going to help anyone, also both of you state categorically that what I have said is not the truth, yet both of you categorically refuse to post your proof that shows what I say is not true.

 

If I am wrong, then why dont you? After all, you could discredit the whole thing by pointing out all these so called untruthes quite easily, as you are both adamant its not true.

 

This is the consumer ACTION group forum after all, if it was just about accepting a situation, and passively reacting then no one would be on hear fighting to expose banks practices etc, and would spend all day just telling people the best way to save up to pay all those bank charges without question.

 

The minimum wage scandal (posted by staff) would not be a sticky in this very forum if this was not somewhere to discuss problems and solutions etc.

 

People make their own minds up, perhaps it is offputting to some people, but then again so would be picking up a national newspaper and reading headline news that 9/10 people are failing the new test, or another paper that claims the majority of ib'ers are fakes etc etc.

 

Plus whats worse, people who are going to be affected not knowing, and not being able to prepare themselves, or knowing there may be a problem and preparing themselves?

 

Also public opinion, just read the typical comments in the press after people were reporting about how many people were failing the new test, its pile of people showing hate and loathing - because few are speaking up and pointing out its got nothing to do with them being skivers, its the system that has changed, and that some genuine people are going to be let down on purpose.

 

Pretending things are fine, and saying its not the case (if you have proof its not, please post) is simply reinforcing the publics opinion, and causing more hate and distrust towards claimaints and the sick, because it makes people believe the papers are right.....


Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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I haven't refused to do anything. I merely expressed an opinion as you have been doing and it just that, my opinion. If you start a discussion you have to expect people to reply and we all have different views and interpretations for everything in life! I don't know where you got the comment about my logic would dictate that things like this shouldn't be reported at all. I haven't said anything of the sort. I assume from the way it was written that you are including both Erika and myself in that. On the one hand you want to start a discussion, on the other you don't appear to want anyone else to have a differing point of view? I am not going to post further on this topic because it seems to be getting a little silly as I am not about to post a long and detailed explanation of every small comment I make for it then to be disected and misunderstood or misquoted. Again, that's down to interpretation! So I happily withdraw from this thread and I'm not going to waste my time posting on something that, in my personal opinion, is probably not very helpful.

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