False Economy ran from 2010-2015. This site is no longer being updated, but the False Economy research team continue to report at Sentinel News.
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Topic: Local government

Barnet careworkers fight pay cut with strike action this week on 24 & 25 February

23 Feb 2015: Low paid careworkers at private company Your Choice Barnet strike again this week in protest at a harsh 9.5% pay cut.
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Growing funding crisis in local government threatens public services

18 Jan 2015: A growing funding crisis in local government is threatening the future of local public services in England.
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False Economy exclusive: Campaigners say low income households cannot afford council tax charges

27 Aug 2014: Local authorities were unable to collect up to 40% of council tax due from low-income households that had the charge imposed on them for the first time last year.
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Public sector strikes on 10 July: solidarity!

9 Jul 2014: This week’s strike by public sector workers is a manifestation of the anger and frustration about sustained attacks on pay and pensions.
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Save the Independent Living Fund - join the campaign!

21 Apr 2014: The Independent Living Fund is used by severely disabled people to pay for the extra carer hours they need to live independent lives. The government wants to close the fund. The fight to save it is on.
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“A Tale of Bob in Barnet” - Barnet Unison video on the perils of privatisation

16 Apr 2014: For six years, Barnet Unison has been fighting Barnet council's plans to mass outsource council services to Capita. The union branch has made this video to show the challenges facing the union and its members.
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Barnet careworkers in their own words: how a 9.5% pay cut will destroy services

13 Apr 2014: Your Choice Barnet, the company which run care services for disabled adults for Barnet Council, cuts careworkers' wages by 9.5%.
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Our research with the Guardian: Poorest homes face £120 council tax rise as safety net goes

31 Mar 2014: A joint investigation by the Guardian and False Economy found that from April, 83 local authorities are reducing protection for vulnerable residents.
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Support the teachers’ strike: 26 March 2014

25 Mar 2014: "I’m striking on Wednesday, March 26 to indicate just how desperate the situation is for the concept of an equal, universal education in this country."
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Exclusive: How councils pay millions for discredited lie detector tests on claimants

10 Mar 2014: It says a lot about council outsourcing – and the benefits-bashing agenda – that this pseudo-scientific gimmick is now making its way in through the back door
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Video from the protest: Focus E15 mums take their petition for social housing to City Hall

23 Feb 2014: Boris wasn't in. The women left him a signed greeting card as well.
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An important survey on the social care system

14 Feb 2014: Carerwatch is running an important survey on people's experiences of the care system, which is under real attack as austerity cuts continue.
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UK outsourcing expands despite high failure rates

30 Jan 2014: In this article, outsourcing analyst Dexter Whitfield shows how Public-Private Partnerships have continued to grow - even as they have continued to fail.
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Good update from Joe Halewood: about the bedroom tax – the issues for 2014

30 Dec 2013: Joe Halewood with key points for people fighting the bedroom tax in 2014.
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Campaign launched against employer which refuses to pay careworkers minimum wage

20 Dec 2013: Low paid staff have very bad working conditions - zero hours contracts, no travel time paid - while boss has luxury boats and cars.
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#CareBill: this film shows the daily reality of a severely disabled person’s care

16 Dec 2013: Over 24 hours, Mary shows what round-the-clock care looks like. Mary needs carers to cook for her, feed her, shower her and to take her to the toilet.
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From Leeds: an excellent case study-based report on the devastating impacts of the bedroom tax

5 Dec 2013: The report draws on evidence from 60 case studies of affected tenants and Leeds City Council statistics (acquired through Freedom of Information requests) to provide a detailed picture of the impact on the bedroom tax.
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Our latest Guardian research: bankruptcy and repossession threat as council tax benefit cuts hit

2 Dec 2013: The number of households threatened with bankruptcy and repossession has increased at double the rate in councils that passed on government cuts to council tax benefits, leaving 670,000 facing bailiffs in the first six months of this year.
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An amazing article on the destruction of Barnet services for disabled people

1 Dec 2013: Barnet blogger and journalist Mrs Angry on the fallout from Barnet council's attempt to make a profit out of services for people with learning difficulties.
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Why is Capita’s mass-outsourcing contract with Barnet council costing even more?

10 Nov 2013: More privatisation warnings: Barnet Bloggers ask why the mass-privatisation of Barnet council services suddenly involves expenditure it was not supposed to...
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How Capita boasts of its close relationship with government

4 Nov 2013: Quotes from a Capita statement which show just how close private companies are to government and how they exercise their lobbying powers.
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#TeacherROAR: why teachers are striking today

17 Oct 2013: Today, teachers in the'North East, Cumbria, London, South East and South West'will go on strike. This is the third in a series of rolling strike action by two teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT.
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Vigil to save the Independent Living Fund

13 Oct 2013: On Monday October 14, join Disabled People Against Cuts in support of disabled claimants challenging the government’s consultation on the closure of the Independent Living Fund.
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Birmingham council lobbied on the unfair, unworkable #bedroomtax

10 Oct 2013: Campaigners lobby Birmingham City Council for a no eviction policy, so that those who are caught by this unfair charge do not risk losing their homes.
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Your discretionary housing payment has run out. Pay the #bedroomtax yourself.

22 Sep 2013: More evidence that evictions are on the horizon and the bedroom tax needs to be scrapped right away...
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Councils using zero hours, casual staff and the work programme

15 Sep 2013: Numbers from councils and working arrangements that make employment and wages insecure.
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On the bedroom tax…

11 Sep 2013: Video testimonies from bedroom tax tenants about the effect of the bedroom tax on their lives.
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Latest research and data by False Economy

3 Sep 2013: Our research in the press and the databases of public sector privatisation and outsourcing information we're compiling.
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Money wasted in council privatisation fiascos - and how those companies are eyeing up the NHS…

18 Aug 2013: How much does it cost councils to get out of private sector contracts, or to deal with contract disputes and cost overruns with private companies? How much of this will we see as private companies race for NHS contracts?
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The mass sleepout - 24 August!

12 Aug 2013: There already events planned as part of the national day of action on August 24 in over 40 towns and cities across the UK.
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Information for people summonsed to court over council tax

9 Aug 2013: Reducing spending to wipe out the debt left by irresponsible bankers was the excuse but it is those who can least afford to pay who are picking up the bill.
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The handing of a whole council to Capita: this is how they’ll come for the NHS

7 Aug 2013: A judicial review decision will allow Capita to take over almost all our Barnet council services and use them as a source of huge profit for their shareholders. Read this to see how residents' concerns were ignored.
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The fight against council tax benefit cuts

30 Jul 2013: Haringey resident Reverend Paul Nicolson is refusing to pay his council tax in protest at the cuts to council tax benefit and other government welfare ‘reforms.’ Support him at court on Friday.
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Top ten private sector commissioning failures

21 Jul 2013: Barnet Unison has put together its top ten list of privatisation failures. Some extraordinary ones in here. We might add more.
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Layers of inequality: impact of public spending cuts on black, asian and minority women

9 Jul 2013: A new report demonstrates the far-reaching impacts of public spending cuts and social security "reform" on BAME women in Coventry.
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Fight the bedroom tax: community deputation to Leeds city council

30 Jun 2013: On Monday 1 July, Hands off our Homes in Leeds will give a community deputation to the full Council meeting of Leeds City Council calling for an end to the bedroom tax.
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Bedroom tax and the ‘tenant power bloc’ forming – landlords and IDS beware!

30 May 2013: Joe Halewood on the rise and rise of tenant mobilisation against the bedroom tax and what that will mean for Iain Duncan Smith and social housing landlords
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Saturday 1 June: national day of action against the bedroom tax

28 May 2013: On Saturday 1 June, local protests against the bedroom tax are being called all over the UK. Here are some details of the protests and contact information for organisers.
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Our latest research in the Guardian: bedroom tax could make 1000s homeless

27 May 2013: Our latest numbers show that a severe shortage of one-bedroom properties will hit tens of thousands unless new homes are built.
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Barnet council to hand regulation to the private sector… Remember the horsemeat scandal?

20 May 2013: Today, Barnet council staff were told that Capita Symonds is the preferred bidder to deliver a range of regulatory services to Barnet residents and businesses - the latest step in the council's plan to mass-privatise services.
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The high court and the future of the bedroom tax

16 May 2013: Sue McCafferty from We Are Spartacus on the inconsistency, confusion and hardship people are enduring with the bedroom tax.
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How the bedroom tax unfolds: the letters and home visits people are getting

5 May 2013: We're talking to people who have been told they must pay the bedroom tax and we're following their stories, to see how this frightening tax unfolds. It isn't good.
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Bedroom tax research: call for evidence

2 May 2013: The We Are Spartacus campaign is running a project to find out how the bedroom tax is affecting sick and disabled people. Please crosspost and share this information!
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Independent Living Fund recipient interviews in the Mirror today

1 May 2013: The videos on this page are interviews we made with people who are affected by the government’s atrocious recent decision to close the Independent Living Fund.
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One Barnet: the Judicial Review finding - a moral victory, out of time

29 Apr 2013: The excellent Mrs Angry on today's Barnet council outsourcing judicial review application decision - and why it is vital to fight on to save public services.
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How the bedroom tax is unfolding: Birmingham council report shows impact

27 Apr 2013: A report presented to this week’s Birmingham City Council Cabinet puts numbers and places to the horrific impact of the bedroom tax and benefit cap in Birmingham.
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How the bedroom tax is unfolding

21 Apr 2013: People are already getting calls and letters about paying the bedroom tax. We're talking to a few of those people, following their stories and asking questions of their landlords.
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This Saturday: demonstrate in Leeds against the bedroom tax!

16 Apr 2013: This weekend, people in Leeds will say No to the bedroom tax and No to evictions!
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Public meeting to bring Your Choice Barnet back inhouse

10 Apr 2013: Barnet Alliance for Public Services calls on Barnet Council to bring services for adults with disabilities back inhouse after its Your Choice "support services" company runs into financial trouble.
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Tax cut for the richest, tax increase for the poorest and social security attacked

7 Apr 2013: Birmingham against cuts on the unfairness of tax cuts for the rich and tax increases for the poorest.
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Bedroom tax, council tax benefit cuts, DLA to PIP: a perfect storm all right

31 Mar 2013: As the Independent says today, "Britain's poorest will be hit by a "devastating" barrage of new cuts and taxes tomorrow, as a range of government welfare changes are introduced."
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After their court action this week, Barnet residents march for public services

23 Mar 2013: Barnet residents, campaigners and their many supporters march today in defence of public services and against cuts and the One Barnet outsourcing programme.
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Vigil to support legal challenge against Barnet council privatisation

18 Mar 2013: Starting with a vigil tomorrow, there's a week of action against privatisation in Barnet.
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Independent Living Fund users deserve respect, not contempt

17 Mar 2013: Stuart Bracking on the reasons why people with severe disabilities must continue to be supported in independent living.
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From Birmingham: of short breaks and eligibility criteria

15 Mar 2013: The West Midlands Social Work Action Network on the growing issues in Birmingham with council proposals for short breaks for children with disabilities and their families.
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From bedroom to ballroom to courtroom: fighting for independence

14 Mar 2013: Writer, performer and Independent Living Fund recipient Penny Pepper on the first day in court to fight government plans to close the ILF.
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One Barnet - worst fears about outsourcing are being realised

10 Mar 2013: Barnet Unison branch secretary John Burgess on the effects of outsourcing in Barnet as jobs are cut and low-paid careworkers bear the brunt of privatisation ideology.
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ILF closure and the levels of care support disabled people with high support needs can expect

5 Mar 2013: How the closure of the Independent Living Fund puts the problems of council care funding into sharp focus
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More from disabled people on the closure of the Independent Living Fund

4 Mar 2013: More testimonies from people who will lose much-needed carer hours if the ILF closes.
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Your Choice? Bad choice: care services to take another hit at Barnet

3 Mar 2013: Barnet slashes careworker jobs and salaries: the real stories behind the provision of care to people who desperately need it.
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Our council tax benefit cut research and ILF videos in Guardian

28 Feb 2013: Our latest research and stories in the Guardian
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Bimingham: a bitter fight against austerity measures

27 Feb 2013: Scores of protesters block Birmingham council house and demand that councillors stand up and fight austerity.
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Debates on issues like food regulation rage: Barnet privatises regulatory services

19 Feb 2013: More from the fight against privatisation in Barnet - and a petition to stop the outsourcing of regulatory services.
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Birmingham cuts: protest days organised for next week

18 Feb 2013: On 26 February, Birmingham City Council will meet to vote on the cuts amounting to £102m this year and £625m by 2016 to 2017.
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Report back from Armley Stop the Bedroom Tax Meeting

17 Feb 2013: Last week, Hands off our Homes in Leeds held another successful bedroom tax meeting in Armley.
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What is a bedroom?: significant new bedroom tax challenges emerge

16 Feb 2013: Joe Halewood asks: what is the legal definition of a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes - and is there even one?
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Discussions with people affected by the closure of the Independent Living fund

6 Feb 2013: The social care crisis will not be improved by the government's decision to close a fund for people with complex care needs.
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More meetings, more protests: Seacroft Stop the Bedroom Tax meeting

5 Feb 2013: Campaigns against the bedroom tax continue across the country.
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More on the rotten maths and misinformation used to justify the bedroom tax…

3 Feb 2013: Joe Halewood on more of the real numbers behind bedroom tax and why the housing benefit bill will rise and rise with it.
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Barnet: a judicial review upsets the council and its privatisation plans

1 Feb 2013: A court action in Barnet is clearly troubling councillors as they try to push through their privatisation plans...
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How the homecare “system” fails people who use it and work in it

29 Jan 2013: In a new Unison report, homecare workers talk about the many failings of the current system.
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View from Barnet: Will council tax benefit cuts force even more people into poverty?

28 Jan 2013: Barnet blogger Mr Reasonable looks at the worrying numbers behind council tax benefit cuts and collection in the borough
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April will be a very cruel month……if you are on welfare benefits!

27 Jan 2013: Louise Whittle on the crisis that we are well on course for with the bedroom tax, council tax benefit cuts and other cruel "welfare reforms."
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More problems with the bedroom tax and why it will add to the welfare bill

25 Jan 2013: What is an acceptable bedroom size? What definitions of underoccupation is the government working to? Will the courts be flooded as the government gets this wrong?
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The impact of benefit cuts: a Birmingham perspective

23 Jan 2013: A few reasons why Birmingham is seeing a growing resistance to "austerity."
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Falling through the cracks in Britain 2013: a CAB adviser reports

19 Jan 2013: In this excellent article, CAB advisor Deborah Padfield maps the appalling real-life fallout of Britain's dying welfare state.
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Occupied Friern Barnet library: ‘The Council’s position has changed’

14 Jan 2013: More on the fight to keep Friern Barnet library in community hands and how community pressure can wrongfoot a council.
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Birmingham Law Centre faces closure as council refuses funding

10 Jan 2013: Access to legal advice threatened even further as more and more people require it.
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The overall benefit cap should be abandoned, not just delayed

3 Jan 2013: Joe Halewood on the many, many holes in the government's overall benefit cap theory.
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Taking the fight to the government in 2013

24 Dec 2012: Fighting the government and cuts to social security in 2013 - we'll see you there.
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More distress for people with disabilities: Independent Living Fund to close

21 Dec 2012: Government decides to abolish a key source of independent living support.
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Calls to set deficit budgets: anger and passion at Birmingham council meeting

19 Dec 2012: Birmingham council is to make further massive cuts: residents responded with fury at a meeting last night.
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The Friern Barnet people’s library and their day in court

18 Dec 2012: Blogger Mrs Angry on the occupation of Friern Barnet library and what the protest means for all.
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The new austerity and the end of the welfare state

26 Nov 2012: Will we have a social security safety net left at all by 2020?
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We’re making a list: council budget and service cuts 2013-2014 and beyond

21 Nov 2012: We're collating information about council budget, service and jobs cuts around the country. Add yours too.
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Barnet council’s mass outsourcing plan and the perils of privatisation

14 Nov 2012: Why Barnet council needs to rethink its big and bad privatisation plan.
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Why not to privatise council services: Barnet council (and others…)

8 Nov 2012: A short film with more on why not to outsource public services to the private sector.
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Speak Up for Libraries conference this week

6 Nov 2012: Library campaigners to meet to continue the battle to save local libraries.
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Council tax – the reform that is needed and the cuts that will actually happen

2 Nov 2012: In this excellent post, Richard Exell explains the inequalities of council tax and the problems that cuts to council tax benefit will cause.
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Lost arts: recording devastating cuts and putting the case for arts and culture

19 Oct 2012: Introducing a three year project to catalogue the effects of art cuts.
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Benefit cuts will force thousands to default on council tax – new research

16 Oct 2012: False Economy research shows local authorities preparing for huge losses
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Unison guide: using NHS structures to block privatisation and cuts

10 Oct 2012: With the Health and Social Care Act already affecting NHS services, campaigners can still make a difference.
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The Billion Pound Gamble - new film about cuts and privatisation in Barnet

5 Oct 2012: Come to the premier of a brand new film about life in Barnet as the council moves towards a mass-outsourcing project.
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Keep up the fight for libraries at November’s Speak Up For Libraries Conference

2 Oct 2012: Followup event to this year's lobby of parliament on the severe cuts facing public libraries in the UK.
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Exclusive: Local authorities set to cut council tax support to poor by a fifth

21 Sep 2012: Our research shows people on low or no incomes hit by council tax hike
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A morning at a foodbank: queues, crisis and running out of food

20 Sep 2012: Izzy Koksal debates the role of foodbanks as the economic crisis continues.
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Women’s refuge network in the UK could be “decimated” by universal credit

18 Sep 2012: How a toxic combination of Universal Credit and benefit caps could trap people in abusive relationships.
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From Birmingham: welfare reforms make child poverty target “unachievable”

16 Sep 2012: A look at how Universal Credit and welfare "reform" affects Birmingham.
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100 reasons why Barnet council’s mass-outsourcing plan is high risk

14 Sep 2012: Barnet residents, bloggers and union members list failed privatisation deals and proposals around the country.
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Ethical Consumer event on tax justice: How do we stop corporate tax dodging?

6 Sep 2012: Tackling tax havens - from the Cayman Islands to your local council: getting corporations to pay their fair share of tax.
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Factsheet: cuts and changes to social care and disability benefits

14 Aug 2012: At-a-glance information about obtaining care services, Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
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The Localism Act: is it a threat or an opportunity?

6 Aug 2012: A useful guide: a new publication looks at the Localism Act and the implications as its powers take shape.
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Help us create a factsheet on social care and welfare “reforms”

24 Jul 2012: We want to create short factsheets for at-a-glance information on care and social security changes.
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The disproportionate effects of service cuts on older women

19 Jul 2012: A new report challenges the myth that pensioners are ‘getting off lightly’ with spending cuts.
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Councils’ lack of cash hits 7,000 elderly and disabled people

8 Jul 2012: Our FOI research into social care cuts is in the Independent today.
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There is a fundamental systemic flaw in Universal Credit

21 Jun 2012: How differing rent, benefit and average earning increases will lead to problems housing larger families.
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Women in unions map cuts across the country

18 Jun 2012: More evidence of the disproportionate impact on women of cuts to jobs, public services, and welfare
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Disability hate crime, benefit “fraud” campaigns and the hardest hit

13 Jun 2012: Press campaigns against people on benefits and responses from a Hardest Hit conference.
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Putting austerity in the dock: how to fight cuts by legal means

16 May 2012: Lee Godfrey explains how the Surrey Libraries Action Movement successfully challenged library cuts.
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Keep our NHS Public Gloucestershire campaign guides

1 May 2012: How to get information from NHS decisionmakers and how to influence them.
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Video: The battle over Derbyshire county council youth services

29 Apr 2012: Service users and local people fight a Derbyshire county council proposal to cut youth service budgets and outsource.
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NHS and social care cuts - False Economy updates

24 Apr 2012: An update on some of the cuts information we've entered into the site recently.
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Latest Housing Benefit figures – £4bn over target and PRS largesse

20 Apr 2012: Joe Halewood argues that it is time for a radical rethink of housing benefit policy and the private rental sector's role
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This week: Commons considers Lords amendments to Legal Aid Bill

16 Apr 2012: We need to contact MPs to make sure the Lords' amendments are backed now.
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Video: why we need the NHS and why we need DLA

12 Apr 2012: More service users talk about the NHS, care, failing Atos assessments and welfare reform changes
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Action continues as people fight for libraries

9 Apr 2012: How campaigners continue to fight for local libraries.
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New report: MPs will struggle to help constituents after legal aid changes

2 Apr 2012: Young Legal Aid Lawyers visit MPs and constituents to find out how changes will impact
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The ongoing fight for care

21 Mar 2012: As the cuts bite, people with disabilities face challenges to stay in their own homes.
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A Tale of Two Barnets: film premiere

15 Mar 2012: A documentary about people in Barnet trying to cope with public sector cuts.
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The chaos for families caught in care cuts

13 Mar 2012: The first in our series of interviews with those dealing first-hand with swingeing cuts to benefits and local services.
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Speak Up For Libraries: lobby parliament on Tuesday

11 Mar 2012: Join library users from across the UK and tell MPs that supporting libraries is essential.
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Birmingham council to decide cuts

28 Feb 2012: Birmingham City Council to vote through £100m in cuts. Here's what we won and what we're losing.
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Living on the edge: pay in local government

22 Feb 2012: Women and part time workers are the majority of local government workers - and most vulnerable to the pay squeeze.
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New report highlights effect of cuts on services for domestic violence victims

1 Feb 2012: False Economy data shows impact of funding cuts on vital services
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February and March protests at NHS changes, welfare reform and council cuts

29 Jan 2012: Where people are organising against cuts and why.
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Council cuts deepen in 2012

16 Jan 2012: Kate Belgrave's essential survey of upcoming local government budget cuts
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Legal challenge to West Lancashire council cuts

4 Jan 2012: Ground-breaking action would challenge whole cuts process rather than just the effect on an individual service.
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My gym has hiked fees for disabled users by 2000%. It will save nothing

13 Dec 2011: Exercise plays an important part in preventing me from breaking my bones – but I can no longer afford my gym
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Don’t be old, don’t be ill: one year of council cuts

25 Nov 2011: Kate Belgrave surveys a year of council cuts that have often hit society's most vulnerable
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One in five council-run bus services have been cut

21 Oct 2011: Freedom of Information requests reveal scale of damage to public transport
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Photo essay: Barnet’s disastrous privatisation of elderly care

18 Oct 2011: How low-paid careworkers fought for decent conditions and a better service.
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The myth of a ‘community right to buy’

13 Oct 2011: The Localism Bill makes no mention of a ‘community right to buy’ threatened local facilities – but the right to bid is under threat
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Union fights bizarre council’s plans to “privatise the cuts”

9 Sep 2011: Things are getting weird at Barnet council, even for Barnet council.
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Exclusive: More than 2,000 charities and community groups face cuts

2 Aug 2011: Exclusive False Economy research reveals how cuts are choking the Big Society one year on from its launch
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Government scraps duty to inform, consult and involve local people

25 May 2011: Cameron's Big Society vision promised people more power over their lives and communities. But he's scrapping a law that does just that.
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The government’s silent bonfire of the safeguards

5 May 2011: Cuts mean councils can no longer fulfil their statutory duties – so ministers want to tear them up
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