economic justice

1,645 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP for Hastings and Rye, Rt. Hon. Brandon Lewis MP

Grant Police Widows Pensions for Life - Don't Make Them Choose Between Future Happiness and Pensions

My husband Colin was a police dog handler and served with the West Midlands Police for 21 years. On Sunday 29th November 1987, he was dispatched with a number of his colleagues to deal with a disturbance; having performed this duty Colin suffered a heart attack and died at the scene – he was 40 years old.  At 24 I found myself a widow, and our 4 year old daughter Kelly lost her best friend in the world.  In 2001 I was faced with a very difficult decision: to keep my police widows' pension, or move in with my partner; although I could ill afford to lose the money living apart was becoming intolerable. Our financial lives have been a roller coaster ride since then but we have been happy. 2006 saw Police Pension Regulations change for new entrants and serving officers eligible to transfer to the new scheme. Should the most awful thing happen, they know that their survivors' benefits are now payable for life, irrespective of whether they remarry or form a new partnership. Changes have also taken place in Northern Ireland: 'Following a change to the Royal Ulster Constabulary Pension Regulations 1988, widows whose widows’ pension ceased on remarriage under the RUC Pension Regulations 1988 will now have their widows pension reinstated from 1 July 2014. For those of us forever overshadowed by the 1987 Police Pension Regulations, we have been told by the government - that in order to make public service pensions affordable for the tax payer, we will not be able to keep our pensions for life should we remarry or cohabit, and those of us who have already chosen love over money will not have our pensions reinstated. They say that the financial cost is too great.  I think that you will agree that our husbands have already paid the ultimate price and given value for money in serving and dying within their communities. If you agree, and think that all police widows should keep their pensions for life – then please sign this petition. Thank you. Cathryn L. Hall Update As a direct result of this campaign the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006) were amended; the amendment came into force January 18th 2016. The widows, widowers and civil partners of police officers killed in the line of duty and covered by the 1987 Police Pension Regulations, will now receive their pensions for life if they were in receipt of a special or augmented pension and remained unmarried and were not living with a partner by 1st April 2015. The survivors of firefighters killed on duty will also benefit from these changes. On October 5th 2015 the Scottish Government announced the same amendment to the pensions paid to the survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in Scotland. Scotland differs from England and Wales in that the survivors who were entitled to a special or augmented pension before they remarried or moved in with a partner - have had their pensions reinstated and back-dated to 1st October 2015. We continue to campaign for parity with the RUC widows in Northern Ireland and lifelong pensions for ALL police widows, widowers and civil partners.  

Cathryn Louise Hall
115,635 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to David Cameron

Hold an inquiry into benefit sanctions that killed my brother

My brother, David Clapson, a diabetic ex-soldier, died starving and destitute because he was penalised by the Job Centre for missing a meeting. David had his £71.70 weekly allowance stopped meaning that he couldn’t afford food or electricity. He was penniless, starving and alone. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his diabetes insulin chilled was not working. Three weeks after his benefits were stopped he died from diabetic ­ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin.  David wasn’t a “scrounger”. He had worked for 29 years; 5 years in the Army – including two years in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, during the height of the troubles – 16 years with British Telecom, eight years with various other companies, and in recent years was a carer for our sick mother. When mum went into a home, David turned to the state for help, receiving benefits while he looked for work and taking unpaid work placements. When he died he had just £3.44 to his name, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. A coroner also found he had no food in his stomach. People turn to the state when they are in need - that is what the system is for - a safety net for hard working people like my brother when they need a bit of support. That £71.70 a week was his lifeline. To withhold it from him for missing one meeting is cruel. And the heartbreaking thing is that he was really trying. CVs for job applications were found near David’s body. He had been on work placements, passed his fork lift truck certificate and had been on a computer training course. Like many others I believe that benefits sanctions (penalties by the government for things like missing Jobcentre meetings) are completely out of control and putting those most in need at risk. A million people have been sanctioned in the last year – many of them are extremely vulnerable like my brother was. I want to know how the Department of Work and Pensions can justify welfare sanctions that are driving people to foodbanks and leading to starvation and death. The DWP were aware of my brother’s  diabetes and insulin dependency, and, if as they say, they followed procedures and no errors were made, then why did my brother die? Questions need to be asked of how Iain Duncan Smith is justifying benefit sanctions. What is the full impact of these sanctions? Are they working or simply putting the vulnerable further at risk? I don’t want anybody else to die like this.  Please sign my petition for a full independent inquiry into the DWP’s sanctions regime.

Gill Thompson
211,122 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn, , , , , , , , ,


We believe that council estates are an important part in the solution to the housing crisis and they should be preserved. The destruction of council estates and their replacement with private, more expensive housing will only exacerbate the housing crisis and will increase home prices. Residents in council estates are workers necessary for the proper functioning of our cities. They are waiters, taxi drivers, clerks, shop assistants, nurses, train drivers, bus drivers, etc. If they are forced to live in areas further away, our cities will eventually grind to a halt. Please do something and stop Regeneration by Demolition. The current housing crisis is a serious problem that needs to be addressed urgently and this has prompted many politicians to come up with all sorts of solutions. One idea that has taken hold in recent years is that council estates should be demolished and redeveloped in order to provide more homes. This is a profoundly pernicious idea which will have very negative effects for all UK residents, not just council estate residents. If you don’t live in a council estate, you may think that this does not affect you and that, in fact, you would prefer to get rid of all those “unsightly” council estates. But this does affect your wallet very much indeed. With the introduction of the right to buy policy, excouncil properties have become a reservoir of “cheaper” properties that helps to keep the prices of the other properties lower. If you remove these cheaper properties from the market and replace them with more expensive private ones, the obvious consequence is that the prices of the other properties will go up. This will affect everybody and most people will agree that it’s not good that property prices go up at the fast pace we have been seeing during the last years. Even if you are a homeowner and think that the increase in prices is increasing the value of your own home, think again. It’s very unlikely that your salary or other means of income increase at the same rate as property prices. This means that If you want to move to a bigger house, it will be more difficult for you to secure a mortgage because the amount to be financed (value of the new property minus equity of your current property) will be a higher proportion of your salary now than when you secured your current mortgage. In other words, the financial effort you’ll have to make to get the bigger or better house will be bigger now than when you bought your current property. You’ll always be stuck in your property or a similar one in a similar area. And if you have children, the higher the prices the more difficult it will be for them to get their first home. You have to ask who benefits the most from demolishing and rebuilding council estates. The obvious answer is, of course, developers, not us. At a time when the tory government is banging the drum of austerity, councils of all political colours all over the country are planning to demolish and regenerate their council estates. It’s not necessary to be a rocket scientist to know that demolishing and rebuilding is many times more expensive than just maintaining and repairing what is already in place. Moreover, the quality of construction of most council estates built in the 50s and 60s is much better than the quality you can find in new developments. For example, quite recently it was reported that blocks of flats in a new development owned by Wandle Housing Association are going to be demolished and rebuilt just six years after they were built. Councils are ignoring alternative proposals by local residents and are bulldozing their way into the estates and demolishing them, with the silent acquiescence of all of us. This was very well documented in the excellent BBC documentary “The Estate We’re In”. There is something extremely patronising about your local Council telling you that your home is not in good condition and needs to be demolished. Many council residents are proud of their homes, they like the area where they live and have developed communities in their estates which will be destroyed if local council plans go ahead. Regeneration plans are approved by people who don’t live in council estates, who don’t know about their communities and who don’t seem to care much about the council estate residents. For all of this, we are asking you to sign this petition, which we intend to address to the Prime Minister, the leaders of all political parties with representation in Parliament and the mayor of London.

Alton Regeneration Watch
259 supporters