Monday, July 21, 2008


The labour Govt. can be congratulated for it’s announcement that the elderly and infirm will be targeted to make sure that they are receiving their full benefits entitlement.
These congratulations come along with severe criticism of them and previous Governments for allowing this absolute scandal to continue for decades.
Some of these elderly people have worked all their lives and paid their way, some have fought wars, some have seen hard times and most of them would reject any thoughts of charity, just like my own parents, this pride and determination unfortunately makes them vulnerable when the state allows this to happen.

Recent reports suggest that as much as tens of billions of pounds have gone unclaimed by people who were entitled to the money, in many cases the procedures for claiming are so convoluted that old people are intimidated by them and too embarrassed to seek help, this situation is damning and should never have been allowed to develop or continue. I have written about this before and I’m glad that it is being addressed at last. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

Meanwhile another initiative is trotted out to beat the scourge of the benefit cheats or ‘dole scroungers’ as the right wing press used to call them, far more words are written about them and successive governments compete with each other to flex their muscles and act tough while ignoring the elderly in need.
What we have is the same intentions wrapped up in ever more aggressive language but there is very little that is new here, the system already allows for benefit cheats to be pursued and this is posturing, the Tories predictably support this with their faces tripping them as it shoots one of their foxes.
Is it too much to ask that our society does the decent thing and tackles the real benefits scandal, that’s the one where needy people who are entitled to help are being missed out, we know about it why can’t we stop it ? No Govt. can claim the high ground while this goes on, look out to see if the other parties sign up to this.

End the real benefits scandal now, show respect for our elderly and vulnerable citizens ASAP. Pay them their due and back date the unclaimed money, forget about whether this is a socialist or capitalist argument, this is about justice, just do it.


Anonymous said...

And just think - there would be even more cash for us needy pensioners if all the workshy spongers in Glasgow were were whipped in to work.

A touch of the knout is what's wanted.

There should be more like you Terry - a Singing Waiter, Distillery worker, Kissing Bandit probably and now at ease, a well respected Councillor.

You took Tebbit's advice, got on your bike and hunted jobs down, too proud to go on the dole. Well done

Templeton Peck said...

The elderly and infirm could get a lot more help if Mr Marshall (ret.) paid back the £500k he snouted out of the public purse.

I'm hardly surprised you are championing pension and care rights, you'll be needing them yourself fairly soon.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Templeton Peck) 14:53

There are members of our society who enjoy riches “beyond the dreams of avarice” who
cheat and steal using methods learned at their mother’s knee. Huge amounts lost in tax avoidance, laundered money etc. and most of them speak like ‘little Lord Fauntleroy’ of ‘Dry Wretching Under Lyme’ or some such place. Try starting with the British Monarchy, open your eyes.

I don’t need money, I’ve told you before after 40 yrs. In politics I have enough, I’m writing this from the Bahamas.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10:21

I spoke to a guy at the Glasgow East By Election and his take on the ‘work shy’ spongers was this, if the Queen and all her dodgy relatives can get millions from the state for doing “hee haw” then why can’t I get my very modest amount ?

I couldn’t find an answer, can you ?

Anonymous said...

'I couldn't find an answer'

Try this: HM turns up for work every morning and therefore earns it.

Conversely, your kind of Glasgow toe-rag has never turned up for work in his life and whilst ever idiots like you see nothing wrong with his take on life, isn't likely to start now.

Changing the subject to one closer to your home, have you sent a 'Get Well' card to Mr Marshall?

Mags said...

No Terry anand neither can I. I'd much rather support a few scroungers than let millions of genuinely needy folk go without. That's why I'm baffled by your your stance on the latest policy to kick 90% of claimants off Incapacity Benefit and enforce below minimum wage work for dole!

Unless of course you're suggesting that all these people are workshy scroungers?

You of all people cannot support this policy can you???????

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Mags) 23/07/08

“You of all people cannot support this policy can you”

I don’t agree with a policy that would do as you say but, the point I made was that this is nothing new, it’s posturing to show that we are tougher than the others.

“kick 90 % of people off incapacity benefits” that’s a nice neat figure and turn of phrase but it suggests that you are not really up to speed. For you it’s just another chance to attack Labour.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 23/07/08
Firstly, try this, your majesty turns up, she’s not my majesty you creep.

Where can I apply for a job as a monarch, where can I get a job description, if Big Phil and Betty and their wretched family can do it well ! As Yosser Hughes once said “I can do that, gissa job”

Anonymous said...

Sadly for HM Terry, she is your Majesty. She's got her picture on the money under your bed and everything.You cannot simply opt out, you silly man.

You, God Save Her, are one of her trusty and well-beloved subjects.

Mags said...

"kick 90 % of people off incapacity benefits"
It's not an excuse to attack Labour

These are the figures put forward by the Labour gobernment for the numbers taken off Incapacity and put on to the employment support allowance. Unless of course you're saying the government papers on this are untrue.

Yescthey are gilb but it wasn't me that dreamt them up. Sadly it was the Labour government.

Surely Glasgow East is a message -I don't believe it reflects rral SNP support.

The Labour Party has gone too far in trying to court Tory votes.

It's time to get back to it's roots.

I want to vote Labour. Stop making it so hard!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Mags) 25/07/08

Everyone who can work should work, that means better training, better jobs, adaptations for those who need them etc. Being in work does wonders for self esteem and it should include everyone. Those who can’t work should be given every opportunity to be self sufficient and should be treated with respect and decency, that’s the socialist way not to have people losing their determination to work, socialism is harder not easier than capitalism but it is more rewarding.

I have never left my roots.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 24/07/08

Get off your knees you creep.

Mark T said...

'It is envisaged that about 90% of claimants will go into the Work-related Activity Group and they will be paid an additional amount of ESA, known as the Work Related Activity Component. Claimants in this group will be required to attend Work-focused interviews as well as participating in work-related activity such as drawing up action plans for improving their condition in order to enable them to return to work. Failure to attend work-focused interviews without good cause will lead to cuts in benefit.'


For those out of the labour market for a long time or who are playing the system, the Green Paper tomorrow will suggest people should do full-time work for their benefits, to get them back in to the work habit.

The longer people have been unemployed, the more we will expect of them. All this will be backed by tough sanctions including loss of benefits. It will be the end of the idea that people have a choice between a job and a life at the taxpayers' expense'

-James Purnell Work and Pension Minister

'But the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents the Jobcentre Plus staff that would have to implement much of the plan, said the proposals were “draconian” and go “further than even Margaret Thatcher dared”, while the TUC warned that proposals to make benefit claimants do community work could threaten the jobs of those already in employment.'

Tribune 25/07/08

'Since these are Conservative proposals we will certainly support them. I know you will have some difficulties getting them through your own party. Can I assure you we will help you get them through this House even if you have a backbench rebellion to contend with.

-Chris Grayling Shadow Work and Pension Secretary

Other than Chris Grayling I can't see why anyone quoted above would wish to make Labour look bad. Criticism of a policy doesn't always mean hostility to the party.

Seriously do really support this policy?

Incidentially why do you think the tories are supporting it?

Mags said...

'Everyone who can work should work, that means better training, better jobs, adaptations for those who need them etc. Being in work does wonders for self esteem and it should include everyone. Those who can’t work should be given every opportunity to be self sufficient and should be treated with respect and decency, that’s the socialist way not to have people losing their determination to work, socialism is harder not easier than capitalism but it is more rewarding.'

I agree entirely with your sentiments but I really don't believe this policy is the way to do it.

I'm particularly concerned at the work for dole after two years part of the policy. What is to stop employers using it a source of free labour? This used to happen with the YTS and it will happen with this.No wonder the Tories are in favour of it.

A far better and more constructive approach would be to offer incentives for unemployed folk who do voluntary work, raise income disregards to make it worthwhile to take on part-time work if that's all thats available, better training opportunities and help to access them. I've been on benefis and take it from me work is better. I wouldn't wish that life on anyone.

I'm also concerned at the proposal that private firms be given up to £61,000 to help people find work. The quality of training currently provided by private sector training firms to the long term unemployed is nothing short of a disgrace. I've no objection to private training but the quality has to be very strictly monitored as do abuses of the system.

Whilst I would support everyone's right to work, being realistic I just don't see where the jobs for all those who will be expected to find work are going to come from. I was unemployed in the mid-eighties recall only too well just how demoralising it was being treated like a scrounger by DWP staff when the plain fact was that there were few jobs available. Despite being a qualified and experienced worker it took me nearly five months to get a job as a cleaner and a further year aftyer that to get back into my chosen career. With the global economy as it is it is unfair to treat victims of the downturn like scroungers.

The plans to force drug addicts into treatment in exchange for benefit are risable. There aren't enough rehab places for the people who want them just now -where are the places for them and the unwilling going to come from? In any case what will be defined as treatment? The methadone programme? If anyone doubts what a failure this is I'd advise them to take a trip to one of our many drug blighted communities and see the results for themselves.

The ESA is not a bad idea in itself but will only work if fair medicals are carried out. ATOS - a very profitable private firm are nothing short of a joke, if their contract is continued all we'll have more costly benefit appeal hearings.Private sector contracts funded with public money must be treated with the same rigour and suspiscion that we currently treat the poorest and most vulnerable. In my experience the private sector is the biggest welfare ueen of all.

Like I say I agree with your sentiments but it's this particular policy that I don't like. I am pleased to see the goverenment trying to tackle welfare dependancy and the social problems it feeds, I just wish they hadn't come up with such a bad policy.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Mark T) 25/07/08

“Failure to attend work-focused interviews without good cause will lead to cuts in benefit” This is regurgitated crap, nothing new.

“those playing the system” being made to work. Again we have been here before it didn’t work then and won’t work now.

“Seriously do really support this policy“ ? I’ve explained what this is and no I don’t support it but I think it’s posturing.

“Incidentially why do you think the tories are supporting it” ? Forgive my language but I had to ask myself, is this guy really this thick ? This is a game which parties play, you stole our policy, no we didn’t you stole our policy and the never ending attempts to embarrass each other.

James Purnell is now a whole lot better known than he was last week, right ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Mags) 25/07/08

I agree with what you have said. As I said earlier most of this stuff is now in use or has been tried in the past, it’s dressed up in different language and the more extreme elements such as work for dole and cutting people off after a certain time will simply not work, nor do they deserve to work.

Are you prepared to work a full week at a miserable job for £150 / week or carry on on the dole for £120 / week. ? That is what has to be sorted out, training and decent jobs are the answer, anyone who thinks that people prefer to be on the dole rather than have a good job, nice house, car, holiday abroad etc. is talking rubbish, a proper redistribution of wealth would sort it out.

Someone has already benefited from this, how many people knew who James Purnell was a week ago ?