29 October 2017




“You can’t get blood out of a stone!” We’ve all heard this saying.

South Tyneside council are expecting a £3m shortfall following the rollout of the Universal Credit benefit system, which is due to begin in February.

This government has chosen to impose an austerity programme, chosen to allow utility costs to rise, chosen to reduce funding to local councils, chosen to force people to wait 7 weeks for a benefit. Why? To force people into any job. Even those who are unfit for work. Almost everyone who asks for help has to attend a tribunal. If they attend then they fail to be awarded any help. Also, if they don’t attend they fail too. Even if they are incapable of attending either through ill health or physical disability. A letter from a medical doctor carries no weight. Not only is it taking valuable time to prove a need for benefits, but as an extra cruel blow they then have to wait 7 weeks for that first payment. By this time bills haven’t been paid, people have gone hungry, people have been humiliated by a system that has had all humanity trained out of them. What is this country coming to? Shame on the well fed, well shod, well housed Tories who treat British citizens thus.


Lesley Kay Hanson - South Tyneside Green Party