Media spin makes it impossible to know just how much of the stories they cover is real and fairly-reported.
However, we have our own litmus test here. Hub volunteers for a homeless project in the town and is heavily involved, both as a trustee and as a volunteer. Here are three stories from today:
1. A young mother misses a meeting with her agency – the first she has ever missed, and has her cash support withdrawn for six weeks – she has nothing to feed herself or her child with. When she queries it, she is told that the office has to achieve a target number of sanctions each week – and she is needed to be a success statistic for them.
2. Another guy is knocked back by the job seekers’ agency – he failed to attend a job interview. Why? – they had sent him to two interviews at the same time with different companies. He attended one, but is penalised for not being simultaneously at the other.
3. A mother has her children taken into care. She immediately has two spare rooms, so must pay the bedroom tax. Hopefully the children are now being returned to her, but there will be no refund. Had she downsized to avoid the tax, she would have lost the children permanently.
(Image from money.aol.co.uk)