Years ago, Margaret Thatcher got elected. Her and her gang nicknamed 'The Tories' conned loads of us to buy our council houses.
At the time people said, “Don’t do it, it’s a con”. Yet many fell for it. Some wanted to make a quick buck. Others saw it as “protecting” their housing security. Not trusting local authorities, buying seemed the best option. When huge repair bills arrived and interest rates hit the roof, many were evicted for mortgage arrears or left with huge debt.
Now, these homeowners who took housing out of the council’s stock are again realising they were conned by 'The Tories'.
- Published: 16 July 2016
The introduction of Universal Credit, which replaces many state benefits, will have a damaging effect on millions of working families, leaving the poorest running up the down escalator.
Under Universal Credit low-paid workers will be required to work with DWP job coaches to seek more work hours, higher pay, or an extra job as a condition of receiving benefits. If claimants fall short of targets agreed with coaches, they may face financial penalties.
Now this appalling government has introduced this policy in Haringey with a clear intention to sap money from the poor and making victims of anyone who needs benefits. The programme is a perfect example of the government's heartless policies.
- Published: 13 July 2016
We hear politicians claim “the NHS is safe in our hands” but do any of us believe these lies?
Go into any A&E. Try and get a GP’s appointment. If you have drug or mental health problems try and get help. Ask anyone with care needs how they cope. We all know the results.
Money won’t solve it all but cuts are killing our health care slowly. When I say “ours” I mean workers and claimants. People like politicians and “the rich” have private health care. They don’t use the NHS.
- Published: 08 July 2016
For the last two years, politicians and the media have been telling us that we are in the throes of a refugee crisis. Whenever those with power use language like this, it is worth scratching the surface in order to see the bigger picture.
- Published: 02 July 2016
Following nine months of protest from Haringey Solidarity Group, North London Hospice (NLH) has agreed to stop taking part in workfare and exploiting people on benefits. This is a victory for the anti-workfare movement and a blow for workfare provision in Haringey.
Until this month NLH was using Community Work Placements, a kind of workfare, to staff its charity shops. Under Community Work Placements any jobseeker who hasn’t found a job for two years can be forced to work for free for six months or be sanctioned - losing their benefits.
We know that sanctions leave people unable to pay for basic things like food and electricity, and we know they’ve caused deaths. Telling someone they must work for half a year, for free, or have all their money taken from them for up to three years - that’s downright exploitation, and it’s only right that NLH have pulled out.
Over the last months we have been in talks with NLH, picketing their shops to let passers-by know what they’re doing. Recently we had a few occupations of their charity shops (you can read more about this here and here), resulting in a lot of disruption for NLH and one of their shops being forced to close.
The pressure must have worked because this month their CEO, Pam McClinton, got in touch to tell us that NLH is dropping workfare. She said,
“The Board have decided that North London Hospice will no longer initiate any new placements through the CWP scheme. We are committed to honouring existing placements… The last of these placements concludes in December 2015.”
We’ll be keeping an eye on NLH to make sure they keep their word and completely leave the scheme by December. We’re disappointed that they haven’t decided to end all the placements this month, as it means they’ll still be benefiting from people’s free, forced labour until the end of the year. But their commitment to not taking any new placements on from now onwards is a major step towards ending workfare in Haringey.
- Published: 29 July 2015