Joe Halewood writes on welfare (welfare writes)
I have worked in housing for over 20 years and from 2003 to 2011 I challenged local councils right across the UK when they sought to reduce or take away funding altogether from small and often specialist charities and very successfully including in the High Court. I despise vulnerable people being shafted by ALL governments.
Since late 2012 I have focused on the welfare reforms of the coalition such as the bedroom tax and challenged these policies tirelessly with a huge output of papers, arguments and standard template letters for the bedroom tax tenant who is a victim of a pernicious policy that is simply wrong and has to go. In effect I have taken over 12 months off my work to attack and get rid of the bedroom tax.
I am labelled a ‘campaigner’ and a bedroom tax ‘expert’ by those who seek to label yet I despise l such labels intensely as their use allows governments to label all those on benefits as workshy, scroungers and much worse. Policies not people should be labelled and the bedroom tax is pernicious, it is political, it is ill-conceived and ‘back of a fag packet’ and it is wrong, very wrong. It has to go and it will soon be dead.
Yet that will merely shift my focus to the vicissitudes of other welfare policies in more depth such as the benefit cap, direct and monthly payments of benefits, the oppressive and truly outrageous sanctions and more. This welfarewrites blog will have guest posts from those I regard as highly knowledgable and specialists in other areas of tenant livesand who know far more than I about ESA sanctions and many other issues. If there is an issue area you want to be covered then simply email
I dont and will not charge tenants who my posts help and I have had repeated calls from tenants to set up a donate button so they can voluntarily help to fund and sustain my output of standard easy to understand and use template letters and advice. I have decided to see if this is sustainable on a full time basis as I love doing this work and if donations rise above my expesses then any surplus will be donated on to grassroots organisations who work to help vulnerable people. If you can’t afford to donate dont worry.
I did consider a subscription button instead or selling each paper for 1p. Yet I decided not to as the most important issue is that good reliable information gets to as many as possible – all tenants should be helped to kill off the bedroom tax and get their lives back, not just those who choose to pay.
The bedroom tax campaign has proved that the humble tenant, the ‘lowly’ individual who many belive have no influence can get together rapidly and become a huge political force and can change things and God knows there is so much to change
Many tenants have said they like the way I write and I explain things in simple langage which helps hence the title welfare writes. I will continue to put out as many posts as possible and continue to put time into research of all the relevant issues as long as it can be sustained. I have set up an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to deal with enquiries and requests.
Working together we can and we will win the fight against the cuts and let’s begin by calling them what they are; they are cuts and not ‘austerity measures’ or other such nonsense and if we are all in this together lets prove that reader and get together a community here that fights for the many injustices the welfare policies of this government throw up….and the next government and the one after that.