Changes in the UK welfare benefit system are having devastating effects on the mental health of thousands of people, charities and a senior psychiatrist have warned. In a letter to the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/31/consequences-benefit-chang...), they pointed out that flawed tests for work capability were causing great distress and hardship, and some people had even taken their own lives.
Though much of the media focus on the issues of asylum seekers and refugees (as well as migration more generally) is filtered through a prism of fear and the instinct to exclude, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) - whose 8-10 April 2011 annual delegate conference I am attending - continues to work hard for fair reporting and justice.
Many people who are refused sanctuary in the UK but are unable to return to their countries, are forced to rely on the Azure payment card. A report from Refugee Action has highlighted many problems with the card. Church Action on Poverty are encouraging thousands of people to email the Immigration Minister Damian Green now, and ask for the card to be replaced with cash.