Everyday insecurity: Life at the end of the welfare state: November 2012: interim briefing: nef – economics as if people and the planet mattered

by Julia Evans on November 1, 2012

Reason for recommending the New Economic Foundation’s briefing:

The joint advent of the Government’s Happiness Factories (IAPT) replacing both GP Counselling Services and provision within hospitals, means provision of support to those with ‘mental health issues’ is being cut down to non-existence.

And also, the provision has to comply with the Government’s safe clinic as defined by NICE, Skills for Health  (SfH or S4H) and practitioner regulation by CHRE/PSA/HPC /HCPC.

The Government’s Happiness Factories have to produce ‘wellbeing and health’ in accordance with HPO 2001 , that is the Government orders it.

The Government ensures compliance by its contracting-out processes, which ensure objective measurement processes are in place, for example, are you now in gainful employment.

The Government shows its commitment to managing its human subjects by comparing them with evidence-based, objective standards, by giving the role of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department of Health) to Earl Howe, an ex-banker, who is the Tsar of implementing standards throughout health, using top-down, abusive, Privy Council  power.  This turns human subjects into objects.

Thus this UK Government turns its back on ‘rule by consent’ and turns to the use of megalomaniac power – you will turn yourself into a standard subject of adequate well-being.

Reading the NEF’s conclusion over into Mental Health:

As public services and benefits are cut and made more conditional, people are being pushed to the edge. In the short term there is increasing pressure on crisis services and the core economy; in the long term there are likely to be negative impacts on people’s capacities and functioning, increasing social inequalities and diminishing prospects for a socially just future.

Our (nef) work has so far revealed three high-level issues facing public services:

• the offer of social security is being eroded, leaving people with less support at a time when it is most clearly needed.

• services have been reduced, but the demand for these services hasn’t gone away. In fact, changes across multiple services and benefits are intensifying needs and making demand more widespread and urgent.

• responsibility for social welfare is moving away from the state to individuals, small groups and charities. For many, this means increased financial demands and greater informal caring activity. In the long term it is likely to widen social inequalities.

The cuts, while positioned as a means of reducing the deficit and increasing efficiency, are a false economy. The reductions being made in public spending will not deliver the promised efficiencies over the medium to long term because the need for services is increasing, and will result in a build-up of intensified demand on our most acute and costly services. This problem is systemic.

& treatments within the area of Mental Health have not only been obliterated, but that which is on offer, is restricted within the Government’s risk-free clinic governed by  NICE, Skills for Health (SfH or S4H) and practitioner regulation by CHRE /PSA/HPC  /HCPC.

Now read on….

Everyday insecurity: Life at the end of the welfare state: November 2012: interim briefing: nef – economics as if people and the planet mattered : available at the New Economics Foundation, here

nef is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being.

We aim to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and social issues. We work in partnership and put people and the planet first.

Introduction to ‘Everyday insecurity: Life at the end of the welfare state

Welfare reform and public sector cuts are adding significant pressure to a system already buckling under the strain of growing demand and underfunding. This is leading to unsustainable human, social and economic costs

For the past 18 months the new economics foundation (nef ) has been working with people in some of the most deprived communities in Birmingham and Haringey to explore their experiences of the government’s austerity measures and its ambitions for building a ‘Big Society’.

Through more than fifty interviews with local people and organisations, and through peer research and capacity building workshops, we have been exploring:

•  How people are experiencing the cumulative impact of welfare reform and public sector cuts in a time of recession;

•  What the ‘Big Society’ means for people and communities in the context of this new austerity;

•  What alternative strategies might do more to improve people’s quality of life and their access to support and well-being.

In our last interim briefing we showed how unprecedented cuts to the budgets of local authorities, and to those of voluntary and community organisations, risked undermining the ideals of the Big Society. We showed how local authorities and voluntary organisations are experiencing a perfect storm of increased demand for services and reduced resources to provide much needed support. We documented how the cuts are being felt most acutely by some of the most vulnerable groups, including the elderly, those with disabilities and women. For many the ambitions and ideals of the Big Society seemed remote and irrelevant as their time and energy were consumed trying to make ends meet.

At the time of our last interim report, the main driver of increased local demand for services was the economic recession; unemployment and debt were highlighted as particularly important issues in people’s lives. Six months on, in this report, we show how changes to welfare are now exacerbating these underlying challenges and driving up demand for local services, as people’s incomes fall and access to support, such as childcare and social care, is reduced. The combined impact of welfare reform and public sector cuts are adding significant pressure to a system that was already buckling under the strain of growing demand and underfunding. As a result, in the short-term, charities and communities are under growing pressure to step in where the state has withdrawn. In the long term social crises are likely to build up leading to unsustainable human, social and economic costs.

What we present here are some of the unfolding stories, testimonies and case studies of the people and groups living and working in an age of uncertainty and austerity. They speak of mounting challenges, growing social and  economic costs, and the sober acknowledgement that the worst is yet to come.



Insecurity: the gathering social storm

A false economy: the growing demand on housing and health services

The Hardest Hit: disabled people and their families

Living on the edge: Jim’s story

At breaking point: who bears the burden of the cuts?

Life in the Squeezed Middle: Zahira’s Story