THIS OTHER EDEN


Ed, 'Pull on a sweater' Davey
Gas and Electricity company British Gas raise their prices by 9.2% way above the current rate of inflation, with wages stagnant and benefits rises pinned to below the rate of inflation this will drive ever greater numbers into fuel poverty, with even more people making the stark choice between heating and eating. …A government, Minister Ed Davey, suggests putting on a sweater at home to keep warm.
Queues Outside Southwark Crown Court
Thousands of people living on very low incomes queue outside Southwark Crown court in London after being summoned for non payment of the local council tax. Previously there had existed a welfare payment to cover the cost of paying the tax for those on low incomes. The government abolished this benefit last year.

The latest figures from the British Charity the Trussell Trust show that the demand for food banks is rapidly increasing…more than 350,000 between April and September this year received a three-day food package of emergency staple sustenance. This is three times more than during the same period last year and coincides with major reductions in welfare payments.  
The millionaire banker, government minister and member of the unelected House of Lords Lord Freud declared recently that the demand for food was only increasing because the “free food” was there. Another Minister, Michael Gove, blames "poor financial management."


A bill packaged as designed to deal with recent lobbying scandals is about to be sent to the House of Lords. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill 2013-14, will in truth seriously curtail charities like The Trussell Trust from campaigning on behalf of people in poverty. A whole spectrum of charities opposes the bill ‘…Christian Aid, Women's Institutes, the Countryside Alliance, 38 degrees 38 Degrees, Oxfam, vegans, Quakers, the British Legion and scores more. Even the TaxPayers' Alliance is protesting, with the rightwing Centre for Policy Studies calling it "an extraordinary attack on free speech that must be scrapped".’[1]

The government has removed legal support for the poorest people altogether respecting family law and industrial tribunals, whilst slashing the budget for legal aid; instituting ‘reforms’ that even judges say threatens the very notion of equality before the law‘…Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger said in a lecture that cutting legal aid will deprive the people who most need the protection of the courts or the ability to get legal representation.’[2]

Chris Grayling MP 
Chris Grayling the minister responsible for steering through the cuts to legal aid takes steps to deny charities the right to challenge government decisions using judicial review. He has already given out thinly veiled warning that charities should not concern themselves with ‘politics.’

According to Labour Market Statistics record numbers of unemployed people are now doing unpaid labour, the figure rose this year by 8,000 to reach 168,000.’ These all are people on some form of workfare.  It does not include people on other Jobcentre training schemes such as the Work Programme, unless they have been sent to work without pay.

"Psst Want to buy some cheap shares?"
The government minister responsible for selling off the Royal Mail has written to MPs to defend the pricing of the flotation, as shares in the service closed above 500p at the end of their first full week of trading, representing a paper profit of 52% for city investors. He blames the threat of strike action by postal workers for forcing him to price the shares too low.

The House of Commons witnesses the following scene ‘He [MP Denis Skinner] described the death of a constituent of his, a farmer and butcher, who had cancer. He had been quizzed last December by Atos…[private company that assess benefit claimants] and had been stripped of his benefits because in their view he was fit for toil. This had meant… that he and his now widow had been living on £70 a week. "His aggressive cancer took his sight, then his hearing, and last Friday took his life.”  ... At this point we heard a noise. It was the sound of Tory backbenchers…Mr Skinner ignored them. "He should with immediate effect make an ex gratia payment to his widow to cover the suffering and pain..."The jeering from the Tories grew louder…the sound of well-fed Conservatives baying at the story of the cancer sufferer who died in near-destitution fitted in with every charge made by Labour: greedy, callous fat cats, out of touch with the lives of the people they claim to represent. I found it chilling and I know how the place works.’[3]

More than 50,000 people affected by withdrawal of welfare payments for anyone with spare capacity in their house or apartment, the Bedroom Tax, have fallen behind on rent and face eviction. The statistics reveal the scale of debt created by the Government’s under-occupancy charge, as one council house tenant in three has been pushed into rent arrears since it was introduced in April.

Tax avoidance has soared under the coalition government.
'The money owed to the Treasury - dubbed by officials as the “tax gap” - has grown to an eye-watering £35 billion, HM Revenue and Customs has admitted.
It is made up of avoidance schemes, illegal tax dodging and mistaken underpayments. The government defines it as “the difference between the amounts of tax that should, in theory, be collected by HMRC, against what is actually collected”[4].

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are about to move into their new home in Kensington Palace …’as workmen put the finishing touches to the £1.5 million overhaul, the couple are returning to London to start family life in their first “proper” home.
Around £1 million of taxpayers’ money was spent to fit new wiring, remove asbestos and repair the roof of the Sir Christopher Wren-designed Clock Tower wing. [My italics] Unlike the neighbouring apartment where William and Harry grew up, 1A has a large secluded garden.
It is believed that the Queen gave Kate permission to choose priceless antiques from the Royal Collection to furnish her new home.’[5]
Their first 'proper home.'





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