Camden United for Benefit Justice
Invites you to a Community Speak-out
Welfare Reforms –
what they mean for us
and how we can oppose them
Come and have your say
7pm Thursday 14th February 2013
at Camden Town Hall, Council Chamber
Judd St, WC1H 9JE
Rev Paul Nicolson from Taxpayers Against Poverty
who are backing legal actions against the cuts in Camden, Islington and Haringey
Followed by DISCUSSION and OPEN MIC w ALL WELCOME
If you need translation, please let us know
Are you a council or private tenant, a two-parent or single parent family, on a low income, disabled, unemployed, a pensioner, a carer, receiving working tax credit or other benefits, cut off benefits, in debt, struggling to heat your home, dependent on food banks, an asylum seeker, trying to escape domestic violence with nowhere to go . . . or a resident concerned with the welfare cuts?
Speak out against the cuts and how they are affecting you …
Join the borough-wide campaign to stop them …
Stop evictions … Cut rents not benefits …
CUTS WILL AFFECT:
*Housing Benefit (including Bedroom Tax) *Council Tax Benefit *Sickness & Disability Benefits *Carers Allowance *Social Fund & *emergency help *Sanctions *Workfare *Service cuts & closures *Child Benefit and more
For more information contact:
Camden United for Benefit Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
Camden Association of Street Properties (CASP)
Camden Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations 020 7383 2227
Single Mothers’ Self-Defence / WinVisible at Crossroads Women’s Centre 020 7482 2496
Changes proposed to benefits are already hitting people in Camden and will get much worse from April 2013. They are forcing more of us into poverty, choosing between eating and heating, or to move into more overcrowded and unfit homes. In London, 63,000 households with children could be left unable to pay their rent and evicted.
Food banks – are already replacing benefits and subsidising insecure jobs and low pay.
Caps to local housing allowance (LHA) – Will restrict the level of support for rents to the lowest 30% of rents. This makes most private rents in Camden unaffordable for those of us who are low waged or unwaged. 17,400 households in London will be affected by this change.
The benefit cap – Will restrict the total amount of support received by a household to £500 a week for families with children and £350 for single people. The current estimate is 761 households in Camden will lose up to an average of £91.34 a week – or all their Housing Benefit.
Under-occupation penalties – Will reduce support for council or housing association tenants deemed to have an extra bedroom. Anyone who has a room used by visiting children, foster children, a carer . . . will be affected. Two children of the same sex or under 10 who have their own bedrooms will be considered to be under-occupying. Over 2,000 in Camden will lose an average £16-£32 a week.
Council Tax Benefit changes – Up to 16,800 Camden households could lose an average £2.50-£3.00 a week, however low their income.
Sickness and disability benefits – Over 7,000 sick and disabled people in Camden will face a review and Atos work capability exam. Nationally 2,500 people have already died after being cut. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is already less than incapacity benefit. Disability Living Allowance is also being replaced – at least 23% lose benefits.
Young People – Under-25s are threatened with loss of all housing benefit: in Camden this would hit over 900 18-24 year olds, nearly half of them bringing up children. Already under 35s can only get Housing Benefit at a ‘shared room’ rate.
Single parents (92% mothers) and other carers – Dismissed as ‘workless’ rather than valued as carers, mothers unable to get a job will be forced into working for your benefit (Workfare) i.e. for well below the minimum wage. Child Benefit is no longer universal, for the first time since its introduction in 1946. Like Carers Allowance, Child Benefit is not exempt from the overall benefit cap.
Pensioners – Many cuts target those of working age, but pensioners are affected by wider cuts in benefits and services, homecare charges, rent rises . . . Millions can’t afford to heat their homes: 6.5 million people are expected to be in fuel poverty this year. In the past five years as fuel bills soared, the number of (older) people dying of hypothermia doubled.
The 1% cap to benefit increases while inflation is officially 3% (and higher for those of us on low incomes) is a further cut. Nurseries, after school clubs, community, day and youth centres, gyms, libraries, law centres and legal aid we depend on for help, are also being cut or closed. CABx and other advice centres are overwhelmed.
Nationally Councillors Against Cuts have said: “We are a new network of local councillors formed to support the fight against cuts. We believe that instead of implementing the Coalition’s cuts, councils and councillors should refuse to do so and help workers and communities organise in resistance.”
What you can do:
* Come to the Speak Out on 14 February and have your say!
* Join the campaign organising group
* Invite a speaker to your meeting, organisation, workplace, school . . .
* Sign the pledge
* Circulate to your networks and get their support