Bed-ridden stroke victim told to use food banks after DWP admin error leaves him without benefits | The Independent

The UK’s Independent reports a tragic story from Scotland. It reports that a bed-ridden stroke victim was told to use food banks after an administrative error left him and his wife facing extreme poverty. Alan Buchanan, 65, has been bed bound after suffering several major seizures since he had his first stroke 15 years ago, and the once successful businessman is now entirely dependent on his wife Heather and the occasional visits of carers. The couple, from the small Scottish town of Callander, near Loch Lomond, said they now fear homelessness after their benefits were stopped because of an administrative error.

Source: Bed-ridden stroke victim told to use food banks after DWP admin error leaves him without benefits | The Independent

Whilst this is an extreme example, it highlights the impact of austerity and what happens when the social safety nets are removed. It also questions the wisdom of outsourcing to large consulting firms like Atos, who are probably more interested in their own profitability than social care, driven by partners with massive incomes.

Of course, even if this is an isolated story, the growing dependence on food banks highlights the realities of austerity.

With a general election looming, it surprises me how few people realize that matters will get much tougher post Brexit. The media should be presenting independently commissioned risk analysis showing the worst case scenarios post Brexit with higher taxes, fewer jobs, slashed public services and limited real change to immigration. The election is about more than Brexit.


HSBC to cut 50,000 jobs in major shake-up – MarketWatch


MarketWatch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to MarketWatch, HSBC has announced worldwide job cuts of 50,000, with the UK and Turkey being particularly targeted.

via HSBC to cut 50,000 jobs in major shake-up – MarketWatch.

The HSBC cuts in the UK and Turkey are no surprise. The UK banking sector is bloated, inefficient, with broken business processes, and over-regulated, with a very high-level of customer dissatisfaction. Of course, it’s hard for the families of those who lose their jobs but candidly in other sectors they’d have been out of work way before now.

Turkey is a special case as highlighted by this weekend’s election. The country has a government that has deliberately created tension for international investors – simply the political risk of foreigners doing business in Turkey is now too high.

HSBC will be the flag bearer and expect all the other major banks to follow with their own rounds of savage cuts. This will affect suppliers and contractors to banks, as well. Market forces are alive and well. Perhaps, it’s better for the banks leaders to act before the regulators?

As for Turkey, the HSBC decision will be a wake-up call for other multi-nationals operating in Turkey.