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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 February 2015

Welfare cuts kill!

Simon Carter

Last summer a retired gardener from Newham, east London, killed himself. 66 year old Malcolm Burge had been driven to this desperate act because the government had slashed his housing benefit in January 2013, leaving him in his own words: "Depressed, stressed and suicidal".

To compound his difficulties Newham council were relentlessly pursing an 800 overpayment caused by its bureaucratic bungling.

Mr Burge wrote letters to the Labour council pleading for help but these were ignored. Instead they insisted on the repayment even though he couldn't afford it.

In a final plea to the council Mr Burge wrote: "I cannot remember the last time I had 800. I am not trying to live, I am trying to survive."

According to the coroner, the council "didn't fully address Mr Burge's queries and their tone was not appropriate. It seems clear that he was a man who needed help and was in distress. Unfortunately, Newham borough council were unable to give it to him."

In response the council blithely replied: "We are sorry if this contributed to his death in any way."

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In The Socialist 11 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Take the wealth off the super-rich!

Is Labour anti-big business?

Welfare cuts kill!

Azure Card: isolation and stigmatisation of asylum

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Conflict between Syriza and EU escalates

Is Podemos the Spanish Syriza?

Political vendetta against water charges activists


2015 elections

"I've taken off the shackles" of the Labour Party

'TUSC has my values and principles'

A working class party needed

Appeal: Back the real opposition to brutal austerity


Socialist Party workplace news

London buses: Same job - We want the same pay

National Gallery strikers march down Whitehall

ICO staff take strike action over pay

Lewisham: support anti-academy dispute

Wales FE workers accept 1% offer

Unite: elect fighting socialist reps

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaign saves Bury Sure Start centres

Rotherham: Farage humiliated by protesters

Give tax avoidance the Boots!

Gateshead: Pensioner 'bundled off' by bureaucrats

Campaigns news in brief


Socialist history

1918: When German workers entered history


 

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Related links:

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triangleEast London Socialist Party: How do we defeat academies in Newham?

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

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triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Cuts:

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triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

Anti-cuts:

triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

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