Newspapers cuttings about, or quoting, CASE…
25 November 2015. Argus article on the unaffordable rents in Brighton and Hove and Housing Benefits levels. The article quotes ‘CASE Central which advises low-income residents and welfare claimants’: Click here
28 October 2015. Letter to the Guardian:
‘Many of our clients, mostly families with young children, have followed the news on proposed cuts to tax credits in a state of dread (Report, 28 October); so the vote in the House of Lords is a respite. Last week we received a call from a disabled mother, who had heard about the plan to refuse tax credit for a third child. She was pregnant with her third child and told us that a decision to terminate depended on the government’s plans. It is not just about new cuts. Draconian cuts and technical decisions already implemented must be reconsidered. We are now receiving families reduced to extreme poverty by harsh methods of recovering tax credit overpayments, applied more systematically since April 2015.
One parent told me that her diabetes had gone out of control as she now does not eat properly to make sure that her children eat. And the issue of cuts to tax credits should not make us forget the suffering and deaths of ESA (employment and support allowance) claimants, who are kept in a state of continual anxiety by a regime of “medical assessments” and by the upheaval caused by unfair and superficial decisions. There are many cases of benefits sanctions for very minor offences, which often hit individuals with mental health problems or communication barriers. Even after we obtain swift reassessments of such decisions, our clients are left in a state of fear for months.
Last but not least, recent cuts to housing benefit and the abolition of council tax benefit have meant that families on low incomes have to decide whether to pay rent and tax, or eat. The government’s decisions on welfare are not simply about people’s money: they also torment, harm and scar the minds and bodies of the weakest in society. They have become an issue of life or death – whether for sick claimants, or their children or, soon, their unborn children. It is time for a revision of many years of unfair primary and secondary legislation, as well as government’s guidance.
Welfare rights adviser, Brighton
(Circulated also by the Taxpayers Against Poverty).