|Issue 9 - December 1972|
Dept of Health and Social Security has joined forces with the notorious
Dept of Social Services and devised yet another scheme to grind the poor
even further into the dust.
The system they say has worked in various parts of the country (where there is no CU, likely) alright, and it probably did: for them but not the claimant.
The system called 'Centralisation' means once a week offices in the rural districts close down their pay counters and anyone in urgent need has to travel 15-20 miles to the larger SS offices in the big cities.
Claimants who haven't the money to travel to the centralised SS offices have to go to the social service department where they will receive their bus fare. Quite simple, you might think, but there's a snag. Before they receive their bus fare they have to become a client of the social services (a problem family) and receive visits from a social worker - snoopers etc.
Most people think the ordeal of waiting in an SS office with no facilities and then the heavy interview afterwards is enough to last a lifetime, but not the SS - they now want claimants to go through the ordeal twice: first with the social service and then with social security.
Of course you don't have to go through the ordeal: you can either give in and suffer hardship (which is probably what they want) or fight them if they centralise an office in your area.
Newton Abbot CU fought the plan and won the battle against centralisation in their area by getting the public behind them and letting them and the press know just what kind of a dirty game the two of them are up to. You can do it in the same way.
To finish - a tip for claimants after a grant. When interviewed smile right through it; they think you're potty - feel sorry for you and give you it.