Archive for the ‘housing benefit’ Category

South Tyneside Welfare Protest Meeting – Hardest Hit/PSA

3 September 2012

Welfare Protest Meeting – South Shields

On Friday night I attended a meeting held in South Shields Town Hall, jointly held by local Public Services Alliance and Hardest Hit North East Group.  I would say approx 100-120 people attended. They consisted of local councillors, residents, representatives from various unions.

Chairing the meeting was Tina Roche (Unison), with speeches from Iain Malcom, Leader of the Council, David Miliband MP and Peter Bennetts, spokesperson for HH North East. All outlined the huge problems ahead. Tina ensured that more time was given for questions and statements from the floor.

Iain Malcom

Mr. Malcolm covered many issues that would affect our local area. Cuts to services, impact of welfare reform. He also spoke of proposed bedroom tax and abolition of council tax. Huge concerns re social care.

Mr Miliband

Mr. Miliband spoke about 3 warnings – Awareness, Protest and Preparation.

More work needs doing raising awareness of welfare benefit changes, as so many people are still unaware of what is in the pipeline ahead.

Protest – protest voices need to be heard and more grassroots groups, charities, unions need to work together. Protests, petitions, write to MPs outlining how changes are impacting on families.

Preparation – How we need prepare for the Tsunami of change, not just locally but nationally. People will need advice, support and information.

He spoke of the impact of welfare reform on families and the fear of them using loansharks.  A place for credit unions. Impact on local services. Of Alf Morris. Local housing issues.

Note

Comment was made from the floor by Stuart Bracking (DPAC North East) that there should be a 4th point made, and that is Reflection.  Labour need look back on their policies; amend mistakes made, especially with the work capability assessment. I hope to have a statement from Stuart soon to add here.

Lady from floor said that Labour need to be a stronger opposition party, as this is not visible to people.

Peter Bennetts

Peter was excellent. He outlined many of the changes ahead re welfare benefits and held nothing back, describing the fear among disabled people regarding losing their independence.  He spoke of the Hardest Hit rallies already held and informed us of the next event to be held in Newcastle October 27th. Also there will be HH members attending the A Future that Works protest Oct 20th

Participating in the meeting meant I have only managed to note down some of the topics discussed, not all, but will hopefully give you an idea of the issues raised.

Bedroom tax was raised time and time again.

Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment

Loss of DLA could mean a double whammy for families if Carers Allowance is lost too.

Employment Support Allowance and Work capability Assessment not fit for purpose

Cuts to care services will bring added pressure on carers, many of whom are struggling now.

Those in low paid jobs and effect if lose their council tax benefit and need to find money to pay an increased charge.

Loss of Independent Living Fund

Loss of local jobs as council makes cuts

Impact of welfare reform on social care – NHS and social services departments will not be able to cope

Overall the meeting went very well. It was a great opportunity for local people to come together and realise they are not alone.

As a campaigner the biggest issue for me was Awareness. It was mentioned from the front table about how councils, and other bodies/organisations do not want to alarm people too soon about the changes. This was disputed from the floor. Marion, local resident, stood up and said people need informed now. It was waiting too long re welfare reform that meant too little time to fight.

Friday was the start of our local fight and arrangements already in place for further meetings.

Rosemary

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Please sign  PAT’S PETITION

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Disabled People Against Cuts – protest April 18th

18 April 2012

Disabled people Against Cuts

April 18th meet for 1.30 pm McDonalds Leicester Square.

Let us have text contact details if definitely coming. Access needs if any too.

Action will be around benefit cuts, care funding and Loss of Remploy jobs.

this affects older people too so bring your grannies and grandads too.

Contact mail@dpac.uk.net

Press release

Photo opportunity. Meet Leicester Square McDonalds, 1.30pm

DISABLED PEOPLE REFUSE TO SIT BACK AND BE SLOWLY KILLED

Already three-quarters of disabled people live in poverty yet the Condems seem determined to push people even further into destitution. It seems that this is a means of punishing them for daring to be or become disabled – something that can happen to anyone at anytime. This is part of the new economy and Condem society of Britain.

Linda Burnip co-founder of DPAC says  “If cuts to benefits don’t kill you slowly by leaving you starving or freezing to death in winter then massive cuts to care and support funding should finish off those Maria Miller, the so-called minister for disabled people, calls “unsustainable” a bit faster. “
Campaigners say disabled people are being unfairly picked on because they are seen as an easy target by millionaire politicians and the ex-banker Lord Freud in particular.
Disability benefits designed to pay the extra costs of disability and originally awarded for a lifetime term are being reassessed. Many who were certified by medically qualified and independent doctors are losing their meagre incomes to politically appointed and performance incentivised ATOS assessors.

Huge increases to hate crimes, cuts in housing benefits, cuts in public services, the closure of the Independent Living Fund, job losses in the public sector, closure of Remploy factories when unemployment is at a record high the list of attacks is endless.

Debbie Jolly another co-founder of DPAC says: “Disabled people will be descending on London again to tell all politicians we’ve had enough. We are fed up with being vilified as scroungers by successive governments, we are sick of hearing about disabled people who have died from neglect and lack of services or who have committed suicide because services and benefits were withdrawn from them. Debbie from Leicester says: “Disabled people will be descending on London again to tell all politicians we’ve had enough. We are fed up with being vilified as scroungers by successive governments, we are sick of hearing about disabled people who have died from neglect and lack of services or who have committed suicide because services and benefits were withdrawn from them. We are angry at the constant attacks by this government  because we are seen as an easy target .We want to make sure politicians know we will not accept these attacks on our lives any longer. “

ENDS

Contact-  Linda 0771 492 7533 or Adam 07801058235

Notes to editors:

Data from Family Resources Survey and the National Equalities Panel found that:

  • 75% of disabled women and 70% of disabled men are already at the bottom end of Britain’s income distribution scale living in poverty.
  • A tenth of disabled woman have incomes below £31 per week and a tenth of disabled men have incomes below £59 per week including earned income and benefits.
  • Under the coalition government’s economy drive disabled people are set to lose at least £140 per month through direct cuts to disability benefits (initially devised to pay the extra costs of being disabled) alone.
  • The Condems are removing DLA saying that the number of claimants must be reduced by half a million.
  • Employment Support Allowance and work capability assessments have been criticised by CAB, disability charities and Disabled People’s Organisations. ATOS healthcare failures are costing £50 million in additional appeal tribunal costs.
  • Housing Benefits for all tenants will be reduced. From October 2011 for those 2 million disabled people living in private rented accommodation and from 2013 for anyone living in social housing which is deemed too large for their needs
  • Added to that funding from the Independent Living Fund for care and support has now ceased to all new claimants and any additional needs cannot be met by them

Extra costs of disability to individuals

A Rowntree report (2004) found that the weekly income of disabled people who are solely dependent on benefits is approximately £200 below the amount required for them to ensure an acceptable, equitable quality of life’

However, even if receiving maximum benefits, disabled people still experience a substantial shortfall in income. The income of disabled people solely dependent on benefits, irrespective of the type or level of their need, is approximately £200 less than the weekly amount required for them to ensure a minimum standard of living.

Source: Disabled people’s costs of living: ‘More than you would think’ (2004) by Noel Smith, Sue Middleton, Kate Ashton-Brooks, Lynne Cox and Barbara Dobson with Lorna Reith, is published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (ISBN 1 85935 236 7,

Employment

The employment rates of disabled people are around 48% compared with around 78% of non-disabled people Source Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2,2010

 Only 20% of those with mental health problems are in employment- Source- Labour Force Survey, Jan-March 2009.
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. Please click here to sign Pat’s Petition  which calls on the government to -

“Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families”

Once you have signed share it with all your contacts asking them to sign and pass on too.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

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Topical questions – Works and Pensions

26 October 2011

Please see this link for answers to questions relating to -

Housing

Atos

Mobility Allowance

Employment support allowance……and more

Please note the following

The independent review chaired by Lord Low has been examining some of the same issues, and it is sensible to reflect on the outcome of his important work in advance of our final decision. Lord Low is due to report on 3 November and I will announce our final decisions shortly after.

CarerWatch attends Hardest Hit Protest in Newcastle

22 October 2011

Report will follow but here are some photos for now

Disabled people: guilty till proved innocent

15 October 2011

The government plans to suspend benefit for people who appeal against a decision to disallow Employment and Support Allowance (the main income replacement benefit for disabled people of working age). The New Statesman’s Samira Shackle reports that the government has noticed that 37% of those found fit for work appeal, and of those who appeal, 39% win a judgement in their favour.

The old Incapacity Benefit is being replaced by ESA, and every existing claimant is having to go through the Work Capability Assessment, the tougher test that was originally brought in by the last government. Literally hundreds of thousands of people are going to win appeals against not being awarded the new benefit. Now, you or I might conclude from this that (1) there’s something wrong with the new test and (2) given that such a high proportion of the people who failed the test are actually entitled to the benefit, it’s probably best to err on the side of generosity in deciding how to treat them while they appeal.

read in full here

Welfare Reform Bill – Letter to Peers

10 October 2011

We have been asked to share this letter below, organised by Disabled People Against Cuts.  Please take time to read through and then contact Peers with your own concerns.

You can find names and addresses here . DPAC have suggested these names in particular :

Jenny Willott MP and Ian Swales MP in the House of Commons, and Lord German in the House of Lords. Other peers who are involved are Baroness Thomas, Lord Kirkwood, Lord Stoneham and Lord Addington.

Letter already sent to Peers as follows : (more…)

Help at hand for those with benefit concerns

9 October 2011

 

BENEFIT advisers have rallied organisations and charities together for a day-long event to show help is at hand for disabled people worried about welfare reform.

Barrow District and Disability Association’s disability advice and benefit service is holding a day-long conference designed to help thousands of people in the area who are worried about the government’s changes to what they are entitled to claim.

Incapacity Benefit, Income Support paid because of an illness or disability and Severe Disablement Allowance are all being phased out.

North West Evening Mail | News | Help at hand for those with benefit concerns

Tories whitewash the many set to lose from welfare reform

3 October 2011

 

The Conservatives debated welfare reform at their party conference this morning.

Chris-Grayling-Iain-Duncan-SmithChris Grayling started by talking of the “dreadful legacy inherited by the Labour government”. No mention of tax credits that lifted millions out of poverty and supported millions in work. Or pension credits that lifted pensioners out of poverty and improved their income by 50 per cent.

As expected, the first attack is on the “incapacity benefit culture” claiming to support those who wish to work, yet no mention of the abject failure of work programmes that are only as likely to ‘help’ people as they are to find work on their own.

Tories whitewash the many set to lose from welfare reform | Left Foot Forward

IDS goes back to Victorian values

3 October 2011

 

Iain Duncan Smith’s moral crusade on welfare at today’s Conservative Party conference does not address the concerns of 2.51 million unemployed

This morning at Conservative Party conference, we saw the welfare reform team take to the stage. It was a similar to last year’s panel show format, as we heard from people who had been successfully helped back into work, interspersed with ministerial speeches, before the keynote address delivered by IDS.

There were a few early clangers – work and pensions minister Chris Grayling started the session stating the government would ‘reassess IB claimants to try and give you the right support”. Clearly the ‘right support’ in the government’s eyes is ‘less support’, as the reassessments are migrating around two thirds of incapacity benefit claimants on to JobSeeker’s Allowance (£26 less per week and on a penalty system for failing to take work).

IDS goes back to Victorian values | Public Finance Opinion

An opportunity to raise YOUR voice to break the silence

21 September 2011

This is a joint venture between CarerWatch, The Broken of Britain, Disabled people Against Cuts and ACTnow

Everyone is urged to support this.

To all our members and supporters;

The Labour party conference starts in Liverpool on Saturday. As we all know, Labour were the architects of Employment Support Allowance and the ‘not fit for purpose’ Work Capability Assessment which is so stressful and traumatic it was linked to the suicide of claimants whilst Labour were still in power. The Labour party are the official party of opposition, but they are not opposing the Welfare Reform Bill as they should be and seem to have forgotten that the 10 million sick and or disabled people plus carers, friends and family in the UK have the power to vote. It is time for us to remind Labour that they will not get any of our votes if they do not start to oppose the parts of the Welfare Reform Bill set to return sick people, disabled people and carers to a life of desperation, dependency, despair and charity.

We are asking you to help with a mass email to the Labour party to remind them of our voting power. Please include the following details in your email and send it to Ed Miliband, Margaret Curran (shadow minister for disability) and Liam Byrne (shadow minister for DWP). If you have time please also email it to any Labour MP and particularly any members of the shadow cabinet. We have provided a list of email contacts below.

Please aim to send your email at 11am tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd September) If you can’t send the email at 11am, don’t worry, just please try to send it at any time between then and the end of Labour party conference on Wednesday 29th September.

The email subject should read “Your Silence Is Deafening”

We suggest embedding a link to this youtube video “The Sound of Silence” To embed the video into your email just copy and paste the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsX03LOMhI  

Then please copy the following text into your email;

Dear (insert name here)

‘The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem disinterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled, never become a carer’, for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.’

If you would like to add a short, personal message explaining to Labour how you feel about their lack of support for sick, disabled people and carers then please include it after the suggested text. You might also like to include a photo of yourself, or perhaps a photo of what disability, sickness or caring means to you. Don’t worry if you don’t want to personalise the email, sending the suggested text is fine.

Contact details below

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Liam Byrne
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
byrnel@parliament.uk
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
margaret.curran.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
coopery@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Chief Secretary
Angela Eagle
eaglea@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills
John Denham
denhamj@parliament.uk
 
Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics
Tessa Jowell
jowellt@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Caroline Flint
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4407
Fax: 020 7219 1277
caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
Ivan Lewis
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
lewisi@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 
Hilary Benn
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Jim Murphy
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
jimmurphymp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mary Creagh
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6984/020 7219 8766
Fax: 020 7219 4257
creaghm@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator
Andy Burnham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
andy.burnham.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice
Sadiq Khan
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
sadiqkhanmp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Meg Hillier
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5325
Fax: 020 7219 8768
meghilliermp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
John Healey
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
healeyj@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shaun Woodward
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
woodwardsh@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Ann McKechin
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
ann.mckechin.mp@parliament.uk
Constituency
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Maria Eagle
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
eaglem@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
hainp@parliament.uk
 
 
Steven Timms MP
timmss@parliament.uk
stephen@stephentimms.org.uk

Karen Buck MP

buckk@parliament.uk

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