'The government, using the language of strivers versus skivers, argues that the current welfare system is not fit for purpose.' Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
‘The government, using the language of strivers versus skivers, argues that the current welfare system is not fit for purpose.’ Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

If you have an experience you wish to share, email: cif.editors@guardian.co.uk

AND please don’t forget to mention The Black Triangle Campaign and why you support our fight against the “skivers & scroungers” narrative and the defamation of disabled people!

Solidarity! 


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Comments
  • Claire Peach January 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Most cuts haven’t yet hit but they are scary, and that fear alone can destroy lives. Also- when my husband was made redundant at the start of the credit crunch, he used tax credits and student finance to help him retrain and start his own business whilst still being able to feed our children: I worry that will not be available now, that cutting tax credits under the guise of Universal Credit will mean that possible start ups will instead become yet another poor soul on JSA.

    Another under reported part if how it limits people it supposedly protects. For example, if a person has Carer’s Exemption they are safe from sanction but there is no scope to share that between a couple: I know several caring families who function much better having both parents working part time and sharing the caring- under the rules one of those will be subject to sanction which will mean the other will have to give up independence and stay at home. This seems silly, especially in the long term, as part time works keeps a CV active and maintains employment links.

  • Humanity2012 January 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    To Hell with Tabloid Media Demonisation of the Poor and Vulnerable

    It is Rich Feckless Politicians on the Expenses Gravy Train of Westminster who
    are the REAL SCROUNGERS

  • diana January 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for this have sent them my story

  • Jo Yelland January 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Dropped them an email – the Green Party is losing 8 hours a week per person average in free advocacy work at the moment so any idea that the cuts are acceptable and causing little trouble is immediately negated by empirical and anecdotal evidence.

  • Colin Wilson January 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    After working since I left school at the age of 16, am I now a “skiver” because my health has deteriorated to the point where I may no longer be able to return to work at the age of 43 ?

    These cuts will affect me too.

  • Brian F Kirkham January 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Perhaps the Guardian would like to join me this week….As I go back into the Jobcentre in a futile attempt to get back into the jobs market (Yes Folks, D-Day is coming closer ). When a supposed mainstream broadsheet falls for the bait laid by this government – it turns my stomach. The Government has Admitted – The Process is/was FLAWED – I fear for my fellow Service Users at BASIC in Salford – as it seems if you can lift a pen – You can work a full working week…seems medical evidence doesn’t count for much!

  • jed goodright January 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    be wary
    the labour party are doing a similar ‘event’ – asking people for their lived experiences.
    they may use them productively but me thinks this is just an information (anecdotal) gathering exercise with no real conclusion

    • jed goodright January 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      in other words, it looks like they are trying ‘to help’ when in fact it is all about their own positioning on these matters. There is no way the guardian or labour party are going to help disabled people or the poor. This is about them not you – remember they have to fashion out as policy for the next election …….

      • diana January 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

        I agree, new labour are not for the disabled anymore than they are for the poor worker. Those days have long gone. Look into things further and you will find Labour these days is far more right wing than anyone ever imagined.

  • Marion Fallon January 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Unfortunately, I’m not convinced any mainstream media publication will support us properly and fairly, though I do usually trust the Guardian among all others and possibly the Independent/i Paper, what a sad state of affairs. I’m also very wary of the “general public” in this country reading some of our stories/real life situations as they seem so gullible in taking in all the lies and properganda they are being fed and of course you worry all the time about what you do have now will soon eb taken away and you don’t want to make things worse. Saying that, I admire and respect anyone on here who gives them their story and hope it will add weight to all this? Hope(I know there’s barely any!)is all we have currently?

    On a related matter and this is mostly a rhetorical question, does anyone think that this insane, evil Government/Atos/DWP etc., actually believe that many disabled/ill people could get work if they just tried harder, or is it that they probably know they can’t/employers won’t take them on over other people, but just want to persecute us, in the hope we’ll curl up and go away/die?

    In my case, I went on Jobseekers Allowance just over 2 years after being unable to carry on in my job at DWP in one of their call centres, taking benefit claims for 5 years and despite going from 5 days a week to 4. We were treated very badly, endless changes, insane, unachievable targets, questioned over time off for illness/appointments, despite being aware I had health conditions when I started. Unsurprsingly, they professed to be “supporting” you with your disability/health, but in reality this was nonsense and you had “back to work”investigations after even 1 day off for known, documented illness. Even when I was off having 1 hip replaced at age 48, I still had to have endless phone calls at home, come in on crutches to the office(or they came to your home I think!!)to have on eof their, “chats” etc., etc., so when I couldn’t take any more and was moving area, my colleagues asked if I was going on ESA as they knew I wasn’t really fit to work and I said that not after what we were hearing on the phone lines about what people were being put through. So I thought going on JSA was the lesser evil and possibly it was for me, but this is getting more worrying as I passed the year mark and had to be put on one of those hideous private “work providers” programme, who are unbeliveably useless/patronising etc. and have no real knowledge or experience of helping people with disabilities or long term healt conditions, I know as I asked and they mumbled something about going to ask the “woman in the Jobcentre”, I asked did they mean the DEA? (disability employment advisor)they said yes, I could do that myself!

    I have digressed again, forgive me, but still on related part of this, I have numerous medical appointments I have to go to and it’s one of my big bugbears that drives me to disrtraction, as like many other “services”/schools/govt. departments/schools/courses etc., they all seem to only work/offer appointments in a very limited 9-5pm at most, monday-friday time span. This actually affects you down the years/line in many situations you are in as for years before the age of 40, when I returned to full time paid employment, I cared for my disabled son(I wasn’t disabled myself then)full time and had to attend school meeting, local Eduaction Authority meetings, Social Services,medical appointments, you had long school holidays, I didn’t have family to help and I found it impossible to work due to this, so I did voluntary flexibel work when I could.

    Just to give a flavour of recent 2-3 months, I have had blood tests at local surgery, Doctor’s appointments, Doctor phone call to me, hospital appointments and these have been anywhere from 9am to 2.30-4.50 pm and it’s quite unusual to get the very “early”9am and 4.50 pm times. But if I was “working” in a general office job(unable to do many physical jobs)9-5 pm, I would have to either go the appointment first, than depending what part of the city I was in, make my way by bus(I don’t drive)back to work at a later time, the one in the middle of the day would be much more difficult at either end of the appointment and even with the 4.50 pm appt. at a hospital on the outskirts of the city, I would have to leave earlier in the afternoon, to get to the bus stop, to get to the hospital, seems to me most if not all employers aren’t happy about this, even if you could offre to make up the time? The other, quite obvious side to this, especially in currnt climate, employers have too many people applying for all the jobs, so they usually want to take someone younger anyway(I’m 51)so they figure that me with the walking stick and appointments can sod off, doesn’t matter how reliable, great timekeeper, loyal, hard working I am?

  • Jess January 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    My son, despite being severely dyslexic, last summer achieved an upper second degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He has since applied for many jobs in the industry relating to his area of study and also in the areas like retail, bar work, cleaning etc. He is still out of work and is today having an interview with the JSA people as the money he had carefully saved from his student loans has now run out. He had expected to be in employment before his savings had gone. He is seriously disadvantaged by the system. He is either too over qualified because of his degree or doesn’t have enough experience. Jobs in the field his degree relates to require 3-5 years of paid experience so even all his volunteering means nothing-he has been volunteering with railways for several years and also with Scouts and Older People within our community. He is an assistant Scout leader, a Queen’s Scout and has Duke of Edinburgh Gold award yet he is now to be labelled a scrounger thanks to Cameron and his cohorts who have never had to worry about where their next penny is going to come from. To me he is the ultimate striver-his work ethic is second to none-however our Government thinks otherwise. What is supposed to do?

  • Jess January 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    My son, despite being severely dyslexic, last summer achieved an upper second degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He has since applied for many jobs in the industry relating to his area of study and also in the areas like retail, bar work, cleaning etc. He is still out of work and is today having an interview with the JSA people as the money he had carefully saved from his student loans has now run out. He had expected to be in employment before his savings had gone. He is seriously disadvantaged by the system. He is either too over qualified because of his degree or doesn’t have enough experience. Jobs in the field his degree relates to require 3-5 years of paid experience so even all his volunteering means nothing-he has been volunteering with railways for several years and also with Scouts and Older People within our community. He is an assistant Scout leader, a Queen’s Scout and has Duke of Edinburgh Gold award yet he is now to be labelled a scrounger thanks to Cameron and his cohorts who have never had to worry about where their next penny is going to come from. To me he is the ultimate striver-his work ethic is second to none-however our Government thinks otherwise. What is supposed to do? He is now starting to lose hope.

  • dee123 January 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm
  • damien January 25, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Hi there I just want to say I pay my tax and I have done so for the last five years. In no way do I feel punished by the welfare system.I wish my tax was used to help remove poverty not to pay overpaid ‘public servants.’

  • takebackparliament January 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    ITS TIME TO BRING THIS GOVERNMENT DOWN
    THEY HAVE LOST THE RESPECT AND CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE TO RULE
    CAMEROON THE GAME IS OVER GET OUT NOW

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