Tag Archives: benifits

Spam emails are rarely based on fact – more often they are based on hatred

Many of us hold irrational fears, we often dislike things but are not quite sure why. One of the most commons things people in this country seemed to be scared of/hate (use interchangeably as you wish) are ‘illegal immigrants’. When we hold onto these fears, we look for proof that they are not irrational. As a result we start to believe things that to the objective eye are flagrantly not true.

I recently had the pleasure of receiving the following spam email:

BRITISH OLD AGED PENSIONER (bearing in mind they worked hard and paid their Income Tax and National Insurance contributions to the British government all their working life)   Weekly allowance: £106.00

IMMIGRANTS/REFUGEES LIVING IN BRITAIN (No Income Tax and National Insurance contribution whatsoever)   Weekly allowance: £250.00

BRITISH OLD AGED PENSIONER Weekly Spouse allowance: £25.00

ILLEGAL  IMMIGRANTS/REFUGEES LIVING IN BRITAIN Weekly Spouse allowance:  £225.00

BRITISH OLD AGED PENSIONER Additional weekly hardship allowance £0.00

ILLEGAL  IMMIGRANTS/REFUGEES LIVING IN BRITAIN Additional weekly hardship  allowance £100.00

A  British old age pensioner is no less hard up than an illegal  immigrant/refugee yet receives nothing

BRITISH OLD AGED PENSIONER TOTAL YEARLY BENEFIT £6,000

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS/REFUGEES LIVING IN BRITAIN TOTAL YEARLY  BENEFIT: £29,900

Please read all and then forward to all your contacts so that we can lobby for a decent state pension.

After all, the average pensioner has paid taxes and contributed to the growth of this country for the last 40 to 60 years.

Sad isn’t it?   It’s about time we put our own people first. Please have the guts to forward this. I just did.

If true, then this would be truly shocking. Millions of people around the globe have read this and been so outraged that they have decided to forward it on. Significantly they have believed it to be true. People are that impressionable. Spam emails are largely created to get you to forward them on so will largely be sensationalist and what is, or is not true rarely plays a part. Just as there probably is not a Saudi prince offering you millions of pounds, nor a pill to guarantee you that extra “length”, I can assure you here and now that ‘Illegal immigrants’ do not receive more money than our pensioners.

“Illegal immigrants” are individuals who have entered the UK unlawfully, or who have stayed here for longer than they were allowed without making another visa application. They do not have the right to work. Since they are in the UK without legal status, they are liable to be removed if they come to the attention of immigration authorities. This means anyone here “illegally” cannot claim benefits in the same way someone who is allowed to be here can.

People who require leave to enter or remain in the UK, but who do not have it, are ‘persons subject to immigration control’ and as such are not eligible for social security benefits. “Refugees” – i.e. an asylum seekers whose application for asylum has been successful – are able to claim social security benefits and tax credits on the same basis as UK nationals, but may find it difficult to gain entitlement to contributory benefits since these depend upon the person having a sufficient contribution record. In other words, they will be entitled to the lower, less generous non-contributory payments.

The figures in the email bear no relation to any UK out-of-work benefit rates. The current rate of income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for example, is just £65.45 a week for a single person aged 25 or over, or £102.75 for a couple.

Asylum seekers – i.e. persons waiting for a decision on an asylum application – are not entitled to mainstream non-contributory social security benefits including income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Housing Benefit. Instead, they may be eligible for accommodation and/or financial support from the UK Border Agency. Cash support for asylum seekers is less generous than social security benefits; for example, a single person aged 18 or over currently receives £35.52 a week and a couple £70.34 a week. This has to cover, travel, food and all day to day expenses. And we wonder why people turn to illicit means to supplement this meagre income?

In contrast, the full Category A Retirement Pension is currently £97.65 a week. Pensioners whose total income – including their
Retirement Pension – is less than the Pension Credit Guarantee Credit may be able to get their income ‘topped-up’ to that level. The Pension Credit Guarantee Credit for a single pensioner is £132.60 a week, and £202.40 for a couple, but further additions may be payable for disability and/or carers.

In my humble opinion this is nowhere near enough. All pensioners should receive a minimum basic non-means tested minimum of around £150-200 a week pension (£300 for a couple). As the spam rightly points out, these are people who have paid into the system their whole lives. Equally though, I passionately believe we need to provide more for ALL of the above mentioned categories of “immigrants”. At the moment, failed Asylum Seekers are often forced into destitution, families are going hungry and we are forcing people into the hands of the criminal underworld.

What I hope to have illustrated is that not only is Spam generally not true, but it also targets the the irrational fears that many hold onto. It plays on people’s fears and drives divides within our society. Believe me when I say the EU does not regulate on the sale of cabbage, this government is not introducing Sharia law and immigrants do not receive massive handouts and live in country estates. Think before you forward on this sort of hate filled rubbish.

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Filed under Human rights, Media, Politics

Daily Mail on Disability Living Allowance – lies, damn lies and the right wing press

I am fed up of the Daily Mail getting away with exaggerating the truth, or at times simply making stuff up. I was being a good lefty and being outraged about this Daily Mail article on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) when it struck me how much of it was simple gibberish.

For example it claims, “Some doctors believe the big rise in the number of children said to have ADHD is a direct result of their parents’ right to claim disability benefit of up to £10,000 a year”. Well this is curious on a number of levels. Firstly, do ‘some doctors’ really think this, or is this just a completely unfounded comment? Secondly, £10,000 – you would be lucky. If you receive the highest DLA payment you get £125 per week. This works out at about £6,500 per year. So, a fictional source ‘reckoned’ something that turns out to be completely untrue. Nice reporting!

I have blogged before about the importance of the DLA – please give it a read and ignore what our friends at the Mail have to say on the subject.

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Filed under Health, Media, Politics