On May 27th we had our Labour party meeting and looked at the results in our local elections. Unfortunately the candidate in Woodfield area came third, having come second before, and after having campaigned hard, as UKIP came second, but fortunately the Liberal Candidate did retain his seat. I find the turnout for UKIP frightening, as people don’t realise what policies they support, such as 30% tax for everyone, from the highest paid to the lowest tax payer!! They also don’t believe in people having paid holiday entitlement. They seem to me even worse than the Conservative and Liberal coalition, if that were possible.
I am concerned as it is that the poor will become more and more marginalised with our present government, as wages remain low and prices continue to rise. I suppose more jobs are created in the South as there does not seem to be an improvement in the North in the way of new jobs. Is everyone not getting job seekers on zero hours contracts or self employed? How can the economy be improving as there is no marked improvement around here? Even in a supposedly wealthy town Harrogate there are 2 thriving food banks, with breakfasts supplied daily for the poor and homeless from St Peter’s Church. I would love to believe the statistics on employment and for those managing on their wages with the exorbitant cost of private renting and lack of social housing.
I stand for the Labour party who now need to stand up for the poor and vulnerable or otherwise the gap between the rich and the poor will keep growing. Those who are rich don’t understand that when people say they have no money or that they have no food in the larder. I too recognise that I have never had no food or money so I cannot understand; but I own my house and have a part time job, a teacher’s pension, both of which I pay tax on, so it is not surprising I am never in that position. I have never had to rent or even receive unemployment benefit. However, when I was ill and could not work, having had to take early retirement from teaching as I had a complete breakdown in August 2003. I struggled at first to rebuild my confidence and was greatly helped by the Mental health services in Harrogate; I was on incapacity paying my pension stamp and being paid just over a hundred a month, increasing the tax I paid on my pension, whilst I retrained on the computer and learnt how to improve my job prospects, my CV, anxiety and stress management, passed CLAIT and ECDL by December 2005. Jane Hewitt a specialist helper advised me and gave me an introduction to the Links at the Job Centre who helped me with interview skills, and I was finally able to apply for some jobs.
I was so terrified when I had my first interview that my hands were shaking too much for me to type! However they interviewed me first and still shaking a little I began to show them I could type! It was a full time job and I could not have managed it, but they had apparently been impressed. I was interviewed too for working in a Vets part time as a receptionist, but although I did not get the job, I had apparently interviewed well.
Then to my surprise I heard that the job I had applied for in December, working with data processing at a doctor’s surgery was still available if I were interested. I had the interview and the rest is history! I was appointed initially for 8 hours a week, so I still received my incapacity benefit, until the job expanded to 16 hours. Then to my surprise I was given a grant of £100 to support my return to work and the reassurance that if I were unable to continue to work during the first year, I would automatically go back on the benefit! I was much more protected than those who suffer from disabilities and mental health problems are since the Coalition came in. Apparently after the first year my confidence had increased, so my employer said; now my basic hours are 24 hours a week and this is the best job I have ever had. Finally at the end of August I am retiring as I will receive my state pension in July, so I can spend more time with my beloved and work more in a voluntary ways, after I have a time of rest; I do get more tired now so it is the right time. I recognise how fortunate I am.
On Saturday I enjoyed a relaxing massage at Skin Sanctuary Harrogate; it is my special treat and Silvie knows just how to make it special. I enjoyed time relaxing with my beloved and sharing our joint love of nature and dramas and crime programs.