Apr 182013

By Justin Smith.

3 years ago, I was a successful IT systems Engineer earning in excess of thirty thousand pounds a year and had been in continuous employment since leaving university.

On 15th Aug 2010 I was in a road traffic accident that turned my world upside down. I was left in Critical condition in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary as a result.

According to RoSPA,  80,000 people a year are seriously injured on the road. So it could happen to anyone!

I had 3 major surgeries in ARI and 2 further surgeries including a total hip replacement up to December 2011. On the 9th of May 2012 I was assessed by ATOS to be fit to work.

This was despite the fact I was on crutches and due to have my 6th surgery in August 2012, on a leg I am fortunate still to have.

I had that surgery in August and there was absolutely no chance I would have been fit to work for several months even if everything went well. As it was, I spent most of September in ARI due to an existing infection in my leg. I needed 4 more surgeries as a result.

I was in no way physically fit to work for many months afterwards.

My consultant had said as much in a letter I had requested and that was presented at my tribunal.

In addition to my physical injuries, ATOS took no account of the effects of my head injury believing that my spending an hour at a time on FB was sufficient evidence that I could return to work!

Maybe if I worked for ATOS?

The WCA takes no account of my fatigue and the anger issues resulting from head injuries. I have since had my Tribunal – March 2013- and although they gave me 6 points, I was still judged to have been fit to work last may, at least according to the limited criteria of the WCA.

How anybody can reach the decision that I was fit to work in May 2012 and how the tribunal can confirm that decision, based on any form of reason is beyond me.

They said I was fit to work when they knew I had upcoming surgery that I obviously needed. Subsequent to that surgery I was in hospital for a month for 4 more surgeries, with a further 6 weeks of hospital visits to attend to open wounds.

Those wounds did not close until the week before Christmas 2012. That was 5 months and I was still recovering. In what way would I have been fit to work over that period?

I am currently on the Momentum pathways program for head injuries to prepare me for a return to work this summer. It has helped a great deal and I wouldn’t have been fit to return to work without it.

I plan to go back to work part time in May and build up my hours from there.

It was always a primary objective in my recovery to get back to work! If I, as a hard working productive member of society am treated like this when I need the help most, what is the welfare system for?

I am one of the lucky ones in having the support of my family and being able to get back to work. Other people aren’t so lucky and are dying or left destitute due to the actions of this government.

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Apr 052013

Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.

Spring has sprung; all is well; everything is vibrant and dynamic in the Deen and elsewhere.  (If you don’t have any benefits or are on a low income  – then welcome to what the media has dubbed ‘Black April’.  Maybe this means we’re all going to be in the black soon?)

First of all, I had the most wonderful weekend in years – if not ever – down in Chichester.  Willows Animal Sanctuary and Mount Noddy  animal centre were charity beneficiaries of a benefit concert featuring four bands.  If we had things like this here, we’d be the undisputed chief city of culture.

The opening act, Basis,  was very impressive:  not least because they were aged 12 – 15.  They were all fantastic, but the leading vocalist was great, and the girl on bass was quirky, talented and had serious stage presence for someone so young. 

If people their age are writing rock music like this, then rock lives.  They were followed by a jazzy duo called Acoustic who were again highly talented.

I didn’t know what to think in advance of the next act up, Deborah Bonham.

I always disappoint myself for expecting impossibly high standards from some performers.  By the time her set was finished, I felt as if I’d been emotionally clobbered, totally uplifted, enlightened, made tearful and joyful on a wild roller coaster ride at warp speed.

She is undoubtedly the sister of the late, great, unequalled John Bonham.  Deborah Bonham is also undisputedly a performer with a spirit and strength completely of her own making.  There is a new album out, Spirit.  Buy it.  And whatever you do, go see her live.  She should be in Kinross on 5 May.  Expect a proper album review from me shortly.

Then there was a set from Paul Rodgers.

I’d seen him in Bad Company in the 70s, in a few mega concerts in Madison Square Garden in the 80s and 90s with the Firm (Jimmy Page, Tony Franklin and Chris Slade).  The voice is still note perfect, and I genuinely think he was having a great deal of fun.

The audience was wild.  The entire place was singing ‘All Right Now’ – the final encore.  Rodgers’ duet with Bonham was astounding.  Money was raised; awareness was raised.

The real backbone and driving force behind the night was undoubtedly Cynthia Kereluk, Paul’s wife.  I’m reasonably certain she was in two places or more at any given time – on stage doing the main auction; running the silent auction; taking payments for items won, socialising and making sure things ran smoothly.  It should be noted that a main reason that Paul and Cynthia are involved is none other than local girl Sandi Thom, who grew up near Willows, and is a long-term supporter of this great charity.

these people are all committed animal lovers who gave up their time, money and possessions happily

Let’s just say Old Susannah had the time of her life while helping in some small way to help Willows and Mount Noddy.  Believe it or not, it is possible to throw a great musical event without backing dancers, 27 costume changes or artists flying around the space on wires.  You just need talent.

You may well wonder why a concert for Willows was taking place at the opposite end of mainland Britain; fair question.  The answer lies with Willows patrons, Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia Kereluk.  The Chichester concert is a yearly event, but now with the new Willows patrons on board, the artists involved graciously decided to raise funds for them as well.

Many of the auction items were the artists’ own treasured personal mementos; these people are all committed animal lovers who gave up their time, money and possessions happily.  Again, this old cynic was moved.

A lovely lady named Hazel knitted a legion of beautiful scarves and gifts; her husband ensured everyone (including me) had transport to wherever they needed to be.  The audience were treated to a fantastic evening, and responded with great generosity and enthusiasm.

I am still overloaded with positive feelings; it is only the behaviour of Iain Duncan Smith and the ConDems and the plight of Blaikiewell’s horse sanctuary that can bring out any satirical writing in me this week.

Blaikiewell horse sanctuary may be turfed out without a new home or suitable financial help to aid the construction of the AWPR.  More on this unacceptable development to follow.  Thanks to those politicians and others who are starting to look into the solution:  I am confident one will be found.

Time for a few definitions stemming from this week’s current events.

Black April: (modern Eng. compound noun) term given to welfare benefit cuts to be rolled out in the UK.

I hope you’ve not all got too comfortable and cosy with your high living standards, because things are going to change around here (well, for most of us anyway).  The ConDems have decided that simply put, there isn’t enough money to go around.

First, there are the bankers we’ve had to bail out over sub-prime mortgage and LIBOR rate fixing scandals (A National Audit Report indicates bankers still owe us now, after repayments, fees and interest a mere £456.33bn, per http://www.guardian.co.uk/credit-crunch ).

Then there is Trident and other completely essential military defence expenses (around £39 billion per year, according to a recent BBC piece – http://www.bbc.co.uk/21271670 ).  Old Susannah admits we need to spend lots on defence.  At present, we only have the capacity to blow the planet up a few times over, and we need to defend all of these spare bedrooms that invading armies will covet.

Then there are those deserving multi-millionaire individuals and companies which are having a hard time sheltering money from the tax man abroad (Vodaphone apparently avoided paying £700 million in tax (best to read Private Eye for more on that story); the amount of money Ian Wood is thought to avoid in tax by moving some employees’ payroll offshore is about £15 million per year).

Then of course, there are the people who are on benefits; this costs around £207 billion pa (according to the bbc article above). This last group is of course the largest group and the most impoverished.   Of all the above groups, someone’s going to have to start paying their fair share.  Well, it wasn’t going to be the bankers, the military or the rich, was it?

If we don’t protect the Wood Group, Vodaphone, Trident and so on, things might get bad for the economy, as opposed to how great things are now.  Here’s how the ConDems are  going to solve our problems.

Bedroom Tax: (modern Eng. compound noun) – a newly-implemented tax whereby benefit claimants in the UK will pay extra tax for having more bedrooms than they ‘need’.

Is there a housing shortage?  This seems likely – many wealthy people can’t have more than a few houses in the countryside and a few pads in big cities because of the demand for housing.  Are you one of the selfish scroungers stopping the rich from owning more homes?  Well, your hour is at hand.

A mere £14 pounds per week as a penalty for this waste of space will come out of your benefits to penalise you for your luxurious extra bedroom.  Too right.  I was speaking to the friend of an elderly woman on a bus this week; she had been assigned a  council flat with two bedrooms (and in luxurious Tillydrone as well).

At the time she was told to take this great flat or go to the bottom of the waiting list.  She foolishly took the flat, not anticipating this logical, fair tax would come in.  Finally, we’re getting her and people like her to pay up.  The country should be back in the black in no time.

Of course there are some factors to consider:  are you sharing custody of a child who will stay with you sometimes?  Are you recovering from illness and need a sick room and extra facilities?  Maybe you are disabled and have a spare bedroom used for equipment/rest/carer needs?  Well – who cares?  You’ll all be stumping up the extra tax.

Old Susannah thinks this logic should be extended.  Why have separate bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms at all?  Should older or smaller people have any big spaces at all?  Couldn’t children just be kept in hallways, or perhaps we could all go back to sleeping, eating and living all together in one big (but not too big) room?  Horses can stand sleeping up; perhaps we could build some human stabling.  The Japanese have very trendy sleeping pods for commuters; I’m sure we could do something like that here.

I think there are more savings to be made, and I’m sure as soon as Iain Duncan Smith gets his vintage car parked at his mansion, he’ll have time to think of more great money savers.  But you have to admire his greatest concept of all…

The £7 per day budget: (modern political compound noun).  The idea floated by Iain Duncan Smith that it is possible to live on £7 per day – if you have to.  Why wouldn’t we take budget information from a government which spends about £46 billion a year on interest payments?  Read on…

Are you tired of trying fad diets that don’t work?  Well, the government does want us all to avoid obesity and avoid smoking and alcohol.  All they’re really doing is making it easier for us to live healthier lives; I can’t see what’s wrong with asking some people on benefits to live on £7 a day.  All you’ll need to do is get a bit imaginative, and that also is a good thing.

It’s important to remember that almost everyone on benefits is some kind of a cheat, wastrel or scrounger.  Sure there are some retired people who have had to spend their life savings on care/medical treatment; there are people who have been disabled from birth or from accidents.  Still, it’s best just to treat everyone equally in today’s society, and it looks like Iain Duncan Smith (IDS to his friends, if any) wants to treat all on benefits equally.  Seems reasonable.

I also know of a person who lost a limb.  At a recent ATOS assessment, and despite their doctor previously spelling out the situation completely, they were made to undress to prove that they weren’t hiding an extra limb.

Obviously doctors can get things like that wrong, and the guy could have grown his limb back and therefore be fit for work and just shirking. Can’t be too careful at these assessment centres, and if such assessments are just a little bit degrading or humiliating, or if they deem people fit for work who really aren’t, well I guess no system is perfect.

Anyway, here are some  helpful suggestions; you’ll never go back to spending as much as £7 a day again.  IDS says he’s already had to do just that, and that he could do it again.  Of course he could.

If you have a pet, best to just abandon it somewhere

Work out a budget.  £7 a day is a massive £0.29 to spend each hour.  If you don’t mind sleeping say 16 hours a day, you’ll wind up with £0.87 per hour.

Eat healthy.  Water is free; make the most of it.  Water is a great drink and makes a great soup.  Add dandelions and other plants from the roadside.  Don’t boil the water though; that will cost you.   If you have a pet, best to just abandon it somewhere.  They won’t wind up injured, dead, starved, or run over, and you’ll have a delicious selection of their leftover food to eat.

Avoid the bedroom tax – get someone to take a sledgehammer to your interior walls so you just have a studio flat.

Go to shopping malls.  You’ll be warm, you’ll get to look at the latest fashions.  You can try the goods in the mobile phone and computer shops so you’ll be up on the latest technology.  Watch televisions in electrical goods shops – saves on energy at home.  You’ll save on heating as you stay in the mall moving from bench to bench.  You’ll be able to forage for food leftovers, too.

So, you’ll have food, somewhere warm to be, and entertainment.  Bus fare could be a problem though, so best walk anywhere  you need to go.

Ensure that your clothes don’t need replacing; stop  using personal grooming products to save more money, and remember – newspaper makes great insulation under your clothes.

Supplement your income – do you have any extra gold or silver to sell?   Tooth fillings perhaps?  Get to a pawnbroker and get rid of any family heirlooms.  Organ sale might not be legal here, but you can still get money for participating in medical experiments.

Better yet, or if you are IDS:  fill up the Morgan classic car before you have to go a week on £7 per day.  Get one of the staff to lend you some money.  Go stay with a rich friend.  Go on a trip representing the ConDems and get all your expenses paid.  Submit expense claims for your parliamentary work.

You see?  It’s really going to be easier than you think.

Next week:  How to either live on £7 a day, or instead demand your elected officials show a spark of human compassion towards those in need, close tax loopholes, and stop participating in a pointless arms race.

Mar 222012

With thanks to Val Sutherland.

Cash In Your Pocket, together with Homestart and the Belmont Cinema, are holding a Free Family Information & Advice Day on Friday 30th March, 9.45-2.30pm, at the Picture House, Belmont Street, Aberdeen.

The day will focus on providing help to families on matters around their finances.

This event is open to everyone with family responsibilities: parents, grandparents, carers and children – there will be something for everyone.

As well as access to advice and information from a wide range of partner organisations taking part on matters such as heating your home, savings options, benefits and keeping healthy…. and more, there will be fun for the family with free bingo, prize draws, soup packs and refreshments, free facepainting, balloons and healthy snacks for children, with the added bonus of cartoons being screened throughout the event.

We would encourage everyone to come along, to join in the fun and pick up tips on how to make the most of your money.

Val Sutherland
Cash In Your Pocket Partnership

Tel: 01224 200221
E- mail: val.sutherland@ciypp.co.uk

Mar 192012

A proposal to build a road through woodland in Ellon has come under fire from a group set up to support the management of the area. The intended purpose of  road is to provide access for the development of 250 new homes. Those opposed to the plan believe the road is unnecessary, destructive, and in contravention of a Blench Charter. Friends of McDonald Park founder member Lynn Gilbert brings Voice readers the story.

The plan is being opposed by Friends of McDonald Park, a group set up by Aberdeenshire Council in 1990 when the Council bought the superiority of the Park from the charity Barnardos.
The aim of the group is to support the management of McDonald Park for the benefit of the community. We have done this by planting bulbs, trees and a hedge as well as regularly clearing litter from the ground and from the Modley Burn.

The Park was given to the Burgh of Ellon in 1928 by Sir James McDonald and is governed by a Blench Charter.

The terms of the Charter state that the Park should be used for recreational purposes only, that nothing should be done which is detrimental to the Park and that its area is not to be reduced in any way.

In 1996, we successfully opposed a plan by Aberdeenshire Council to use part of Caroline’s Well Wood, the east section of McDonald Park, as a bus park for Ellon Academy. On that occasion we raised the terms of the Blench Charter and an alternative solution was found without destroying any of the Park.

In 2010, builders Barratt East Scotland and Scotia Homes were given Council permission to construct 250 houses in Ellon’s Castle Meadows but it was only when marks appeared on trees in the east section of the Park, that it became apparent that the plan was to construct a road through it, from the development site to Golf Road. I made enquiries on behalf of the Friends and was told that the road had been approved by councillors.

In August 2011, the Friends were informed in a Council Estates Department letter that an S75 Legal Agreement for the application had still to be signed, and were asked for their views on the proposed access. The same letter stated that legal advice given to the Council was that:

“vehicular access must facilitate/improve public access to the park and cannot be granted purely to allow development”.

The Friends voiced total opposition to a road through the Park, stating that it would be in contravention of the Blench Charter since it would not improve public access to the Park, but was solely for the development. It would also involve the felling of a large number of mature trees in an area inhabited by red squirrels, bats and spring/early summer migrating birds.

It would seem that councillors were not satisfied with the legal opinion offered and they sought further advice several times from Sir Steven Stuart QC. This was given in a privately-heard report presented at a Formartine Area Committee (FAC) meeting on 6 December last year. It suggested that temporary construction access could possibly be granted, subject to a number of safeguards and agreements being in place.

  The Friends and many others have lodged objections to the planning application

On 17 January, a report to the FAC, again heard in private, proposed a temporary five year construction access which would become a pedestrian and cycle path once the five years had elapsed. This temporary access would be a tarred road with lighting and other services and which would involve the felling of at least 99 mature trees.

It would take a fifteen metre slice of the woodland at the Golf Road end, this increasing to nearer thirty metres at the top, a significant area of the Park.

It seems that when councillors first approved this access, they were not aware that they themselves were in fact Trustees of McDonald Park. It was in this capacity that councillors had to consider the application at their 28 February meeting, and as Trustees they rejected it.

This application is to be considered at a Planning meeting on Tues 20 March.

The Friends and many others have lodged objections to the planning application, and I have asked to speak at the meeting should it be heard there. Quite apart from the effect of this road on the woodland, a precious asset to Ellon, there is another matter to be considered.

Construction traffic using Golf Road would access the Park at the rear of Ellon Academy, an area used by a large number of Academy pupils and mothers with buggies walking into Ellon. There are two other access roads to the development, but some residents along these routes would rather see part of McDonald Park destroyed than have traffic pass their homes.

Interestingly, the site of this proposed access is given as ‘Castle Meadows’ on the planning application, when in fact it is McDonald Park. This makes it easy to overlook the reality of the situation.

Further info: Save McDonald’s Park Caroline’s Well Wood Ellon : Facebook Page
Image credit: Ian Jukes 

Nov 242011

With thanks to Brian Carroll.

Teachers, Local Authority Workers, Civil Servants, Community Organisations, Pensioners, Anti Cuts Alliances and members of the general public will be taking part in a Rally on Wednesday 30 November 2011 at 12 noon in the Castlegate, Aberdeen, as part of the National Day of Action.

It is expected anywhere between 2.5 and 3 Million Union Members will be participating in Strike Action against the Government’s Pension Proposals, as well as in support of Civil and Public Sector jobs and services.

This rally has been organised by the ATUC and is being supported by all Unions affiliated to the ATUC as well as by other organisations who support the ATUC.

Consisting of members from Unions such as Unite, Unison, GMB, EIS, PCS, CWU, UCATT and others, the rally will also have representatives from Community Organisations, Pensioners, Anti Cuts Alliances and members of the public taking part. This event will be the culmination of the National Day of Action in Aberdeen, with thousands of Union members having taken Strike Action and hundreds of Union Members having manned picket lines from 6am or earlier.

Speakers will be from Local Branches of National Trade Unions, representatives of various local community and anti cuts alliances and public service users.

Commencing at 12.30pm with people gathering from 12 noon, The Rally will end some time between 1pm and 1.30pm.

Everyone taking part has the common aim of working together to:

  • challenge poverty levels and campaign for the fair and equitable redistribution of wealth across Scotland and the UK
  • campaign to protect those hardest hit by service and benefit cuts
  • challenge austerity and call for investment in the UK economy which will create jobs, put Britain back to work, therefore boosting the economy and cut the deficit
  • protect pay, pensions, jobs and services of all civil, public and private sector workers
  • challenge the government to collect the £120 Billion tax gap of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax
  • get the banks working for the benefit of the country, to free up opportunities of investment, for them to start paying back the bail out money and to use the £850 Billion of banking assets the UK Taxpayer now owns for the benefit of the country as a whole.

They say that “we are all in this together” but the bankers and owners of big business are still getting their multi-million pound salaries and bonuses and the majority of the cabinet are millionaires.

The top 50 of the wealthiest people in the UK saw their personal worth increase by 35% in the last 2 years whilst middle and low income earners saw their income fall by at least 15% in the same period. It will fall by at least another 7.5% in the next year, if the Cuts agenda continues.

Jobs and services being lost now, will be lost forever !

Wednesday 30 November
Castlegate, Aberdeen.
Commences: 12.00 noon.
Ends: Between 1pm and 1.30pm. 

Nov 242011

Brian J Carroll, a long serving Aberdeen Civil Servant takes a look at the crucial role the Civil and Public Services play in our day to day lives and argues that this should be gratefully acknowledged.

Lets be thankful for Civil and Public Sector employees !

I have worked in the public sector for over 30 years and have reason to be grateful to the public sector for employing me but also have reason to be grateful for the services other civil and public sector workers provide to me, showing that they have a dedication, commitment and loyalty second to none, in the service I and others within and in other services deliver to the public on a daily basis.
Once these services are gone they will never ever come back again!

Lets hear it for all the hard working, dedicated, committed and loyal civil and public servants who have provided me and no doubt a lot of you with the services we need to see us through life from cradle to grave:-

  • My school teachers who taught me my letters and numbers, to read and write, english, arithmetic and maths, foreign languages, history and science
  • The nurses who came round and inoculated us against TB, mumps and measles
  • The Doctors and nurses in GP practices and hospitals who looked after me when I needed them
  • The air traffic controllers who saw to it that my holiday and work flights took off and landed safely
  • The benefit officers who helped me out when I was unemployed, skint and looking for a job
  • The registrar for doing their job in respect of births, marriages and deaths
  • The midwives who helped in the safe delivery of my nieces and nephews
  • The court officials, administrators and Procurator Fiscals who ensure that justice works on a daily basis
  • The radiographers who X-rayed me
  • Those at the blood transfusion service who helped me to help others
  • The firemen who put out a fire in a flat next to mine a number of years ago and the policeman who assisted in clearing the flats next to the one on fire
  • The gardeners who keep our parks looking nice
  • The refuse collectors, without whom we would be in a terrible state
  • The social workers who help and assist people daily with their problems and issues
  • The paramedics who answer our calls for help, day and night
  • The court officials who assisted me in dealing with my fathers estate
  • The physiotherapist who helped me after breaking my foot at rugby
  • The police officers who answer our calls for help day and night
  • The HMRC staff who assist with Tax Returns
  • The DWP staff who assist us in getting benefits and finding jobs
  • The librarians who provide a reading facility and library second to none
  • The museum officials who continue our learning of this country and the world
  • The grave diggers and others who give us a place to rest and a dignified send off

All these people are to have their nationally agreed pension rights cruelly slashed. The government says:

“They have to take the pain just like everyone else.”

Just because private sector employers who make billions of pounds of profit offer their employees such lousy pensions or no pension at all, does not justify underpaying public service pensions when they are affordable, fair and actually costing the country and the taxpayer less as time goes on.

The average public sector pension is £5600. The average private sector pension is £5800, The average company directors pension is £175,000 – they still have final salary pensions; that is the real scandal and rip off of pensions in Britain today.

Nobody joins the civil and public sector to get rich. They do it to serve the public. They have a public service ethos. We should value that and thank them for it – not vilify them at every turn on the back of government rhetoric and lies.

Sep 302011

With thanks to Brian Carroll – PCS Union Branch Secretary of Scottish Courts Branch and ATUC Delegate for Scottish Courts Branch.

Civil Servants, Local Authority Workers, Community Organisations, Teachers, Pensioners, Anti Cuts Alliances and the general public are taking to the streets of Aberdeen on Saturday 1st October 2011.
This march and rally has been organised by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and is being supported by all Unions affiliated to the Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

As well as EIS Members, the march will consist of members from Unions such as Unite, Unison, PCS, CWU and others. The march will also have representatives from Community Organisations, Pensioners and members of the public taking part.

Marchers will assemble at Rubislaw Terrace (Opposite Harlaw Academy) at 10.30am, and will then march down Union Street at 11am to Aberdeen Arts Centre in King Street, where a rally will be held at 12noon.

The keynote speaker is Susan Quinn, EIS National Vice President, with other speakers scheduled to attend as well.

The rally will end some time between 12.45pm and 1pm.

This march and rally is an Anti Cuts event, coinciding with and complementing the “People First” march and rally being held in Glasgow on the same day, which is organised by the STUC and supported by all affiliated Unions.

Everyone taking part has the common aim of working together to:

  • challenge poverty levels and campaign for the fair and equitable redistribution of wealth across Scotland and the UK;
  • campaign to protect those hardest hit by service and benefit cuts;
  • challenge austerity and call for investment in the UK economy, which will create jobs and put Britain back to work: therefore boosting the economy and cutting the deficit
  • protect pay, pensions, jobs and services of all civil, public and private sector workers
  • challenge the government to collect the £120 Billion tax gap of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax and
  • get the banks working for the benefit of the country, to free up opportunities of investment. To get the banks to start paying back the bail-out money, and to use the £850 Billion of banking assets the UK taxpayer now owns for the benefit of the country as a whole.

They say that “we are all in this together” but the bankers and owners of big business are still getting their multi-million pound salaries and bonuses and the majority of the cabinet are millionaires.

The top 50 of the wealthiest people in the UK saw their personal worth increase by 20% in the last year whilst middle and low income earners saw their income fall by at least 10%. It will fall by at least that again in the next year, if the Cuts agenda continues. Not only that, jobs and services being lost now, will be lost forever.