Poor Sir Malcolm Rifkind – From a Welfare Recipient

24 February 2015

copied over from Huff Post Politics

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP suggests £60k, which goes up to £80k due to his chairmanship of parliamentary intelligence committee, justifies offering his services to a “Chinese company” for extra renumeriation. The sting has seen him suspended from The Conservative Party. I reflect that leaving my professional career to look after my disabled brother, saves the taxpayer the equivalent to paying his salary.

Dear Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

I can sympathise you want a professional pay package to compensate you for the sacrifice you have made in public service. I can only apologise that sacrificing my own professional career to continue the care of my disabled brother, saving the tax payer £80,000 a year, was not enough to keep you in the manner you wish to be accustomed. Read the rest of this entry »

Tweet the W&P Committee – demand DWP deaths Inquiry

3 February 2015

 

copied from DPAC

For more information see http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2015/01/ministers

 

Can you help us to tweet all opposition members of the Work & Pensions Committee to get them to demand disclose:

Esther McVey is before them on

Wednesday  04 February 2015 9:30 AM.

Witness(es): Rt Hon Esther Mcvey, Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

and Chris Hayes, Director, Labour Market and International Affairs

We want everyone to tweet to

@AnneBegg,

@SheilaGilmoreMP,

@Debbie_abrahams,

@glendajacksonmp,

@tpearce003,

@Mike4Eastleigh

– to demand that they open an urgent inquiry into deaths of DWP benefit claimants.

See more at: http://internaldpac.org.uk/Tools/Songbird/Songbird.php?TweetFile=60DeathstooMany#sthash.2oyzDZlD.dpuf

 

 

 

 

“The only time I can see my future is sadly when my mum passes away”

23 January 2015

 

 

Audio from LBC –  CLICK HERE

hands

Petrie Hosken LBC  hears from Joshua in Manor House who is too poor to properly care for his mother.

This is the reality faced by many carers. Please share

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If you need advice and support please contact admin@carerwatch.com

You can also contact the following organisations –

CarersUK

CarersTrust

Alzheimers Society

 

 

 

#SaveILF Campaign Goes to Parliament, Tues 6th Jan (and online)

5 January 2015

Join us for a Mass Action to save the ILF, Tuesday, January 6th 1.30pm for 2pm start. House of Commons, SWIA 0AA

OR

Join us Online. We have prepared a webpage with tweets on that you can use, or you can tweet your own messages to:

  • Tories:  @Mark_J_Harper, @David_Cameron, @EstherMcVeyMP, @JoJohnsonMP who closed the ILF (IDS is too much a coward to have a twitter account)
  • Labour: @Ed_Miliband, @KateGreenSU, @RachelReevesMP who have (so far) chosen not to save the Independent Living Fund

 

For full detail see DPAC website here

 

 

URGENT ACTION: #SaveILF judgement due Monday

5 December 2014

Received from Inclusion London. Please share with your networks.

URGENT ACTION: #SaveILF judgement due Monday!!!

10am – Monday 8th December 2014

As the future of disabled people’s right to independent living hangs in the balance, disabled people will not be beaten.

 

Join us to get the message out loud and clear: whatever the legal ruling, we will not be pushed back into the margins of society, we will not go back into the institutions, our place is in the community alongside our family and friends and neighbours and we are fighting to stay.

 

On 10am Monday 8th December the judgment in the most recent legal challenge against the closure of the Independent Living Fund will be passed down.

 

In November last year the Court of Appeal quashed the government’s decision to close the ILF with the Court of Appeal judges unanimous in their view that the closure of the fund would have an ‘inevitable and considerable adverse effect which the closure of the fund will have, particularly on those who will as a consequence lose the ability to live independently.”

 

In March this year the then Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning retook the decision and announced a new date of June 2015 for permanent closure of the Fund that provides essential support enabling disabled people with the highest support needs to live in the community when the alternative would be residential care.

 

In October a second legal challenge was heard in the high court brought by disabled claimants claiming that the Minister had not considered any new information to properly assess the practical effect of closure on the particular needs of ILF users. The Department for Work and Pensions mounted a defence based on their assertion that the Minister had adequate information to realise that the independent living of the majority of ILF users will be significantly impacted by the closure of the fund.

 

The closure of the ILF effectively signals the end of the right to independent living for disabled people in the UK. Whilst never perfect the ILF represents a model of support that has enabled thousands of disabled people to enjoy meaningfully lives and to contribute to society as equal citizens. The closure of the Fund to new applicants in December 2010 has resulted in disabled people trapped indoors without their basic needs being met, treated worse that animals and if they complain to their local authorities about needing more support, threatened with residential care.

 

The fight to #SaveILF is part of a much wider fight for social justice for all disabled people.

 

Whatever happens on Monday disabled people are not going away. We will be in the faces of government until our rights to live as equal citizens in society is recognised and valued.

 

What you can do:

Come down to the high court. The court have said there will be no hearing. We say we will be there anyway to find out the judgment together in solidarity. We are asking all supporters who can to get down to the high court on Monday and join us. If travel costs are the only thing holding you back let us know.

 

Organise your own #SaveILF vigil outside your town hall and invite your local politicians and press along. More and more councils are coming out and saying that if the ILF closes and funding is devolved to local authorities that they will ringfence for existing ILF recipients any money they are given from central government as part of the closure. This will mitigate against the loss of independent living for those individuals which is an inevitable consequence of the government proposals. If your council has come out and committed to ring fence then use this as a chance to congratulate them – if they haven’t as a chance to mount pressure.

 

Get involved on-line and through social media to get the message out loud and clear: disabled people are not going away until we have reclaimed our rights.

Best wishes,

Ellen Clifford                                                        

Campaigns and Communications Officer

Inclusion London

 

336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA

Tel: 020 7237 3181, office SMS: 0771 839 4687

Ellen.Clifford@inclusionlondon.co.uk

www.inclusionlondon.co.uk   

Carers Rights Day – November 28th 2014

27 November 2014

CARERS RIGHTS DAY 2014

When undertaking a new task it is vital you read the manuals first. The more information you take on board at the beginning, can hopefully be of benefit to you as you go along.

Caring can be like that. For many people they can become carers in the blink of an eye, for others it is a slow progress of offering assistance, that in time takes over your life and becomes a full time job. We always think it happens to someone else so no, or very little, preparation is taken.

Twitter header thumbnail

Yet the impact of being an unpaid carer can be felt on every aspect of your life. From finances, employment, social time, education, family life etc.

With the current welfare reforms, cuts to social care – there has never been a greater need than now for carers to be informed of their rights, to be signposted to support.

Check with your local council if your town has a local support group, or input your area here

There are national organisations online that have free phone numbers if needing advice, online forums where you can meet other carers.

CarersUK

CarersTrust

If you have any questions/ need more information please email  admin@carerwatch.com or leave a comment below

 

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Opposition Day Debate and disabled people

29 October 2014
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Parliament

There was an Opposition Debate yesterday in the House of Commons – called by Labour on a motion to condemn the recent statement by Lord Freud about disabled people possibly working for less than the minimum wage. Lord Freud has since apologised and the motion was lost.

However for those of us who have been watching the debates on Welfare Reform since 2007 – it was chance to see how far in some ways we have come and how far in others  we haven’t moved forward at all.

For the first few years of welfare reform no one had a clue what it would be like in reality. All we had was Freud and James Purnell talking pure theory.

That has certainly changed. All MP’s now have a deluge of disabled constituents coming in to their surgeries, and they have found out what it is about. So the debate is finally informed amongst MPs. Yet still they do nothing.

Fundamentally the big problem with Employment Support Allowance remains. Both Tory and Labour parties have not Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t knock armchair activism – its an important part of our work

24 October 2014

copied from DPAC

There are a lot of activists who don’t like petitions. They don’t sign them. They don’t share them. They look down on them as not being worthwhile.

And quite often they are right. Most petitions are a waste of time and energy. But just occasionally one petition will take off and it will change the world, just a little bit.

A case in point is this petition - Hold an inquiry into benefit sanctions that killed my brother

After 211,778 signed this petition the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee have taken up the case and launched an inquiry :-

Here is the press release from Change.org and an article in the Mirror about it


 

MPs set to hold benefit sanctions inquiry following 200K petition after ex soldier died when his Jobseekers’ Allowance was stopped

More than 211,000 people signed a Change.org petition started by Gill Thompson calling for an inquiry into benefit sanctions after her diabetic David Clapson, 59, was found dead in his home. Read the rest of this entry »

Carers and General Election 2015

15 September 2014

question markAre you an unpaid family carer? 

Are you worried about cuts to benefits and social care?  Have you been affected by lack of respite? …… and so the list goes on.

We are compiling a list of questions to be sent to Ministers from ALL main political parties. Any responses will be posted on this blog.

Please add your question in the comments below or send email to Rosemary at admin@carerwatch.com

Please share with your networks

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What others are saying  –

 

from Richard Hawkes  Chair of Care and Support Alliance

In the last few months we’ve heard again from local authorities about the chronic underfunding in the social care system.  Figures from ADASS show that there has been a 26% reduction in social care budgets over the last four years.

As a result, we are seeing a rapidly rising number of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.

This is placing unbearable pressure on family carers, who are simply unable to fill the gap left by care cuts. The number of people providing full-time care to loved ones is now over 1.4 million, many of who are being pushed to breaking point.

The new Care Act is bold and ambitious.  But delivering on it is dependent on putting the social care system on a sustainable financial footing.We need all political parties to be bold and commit to investing in social care, so that older people, disabled people and the families who care for them get the support they need to live well.

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 from Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research, Carers Trust

The General Election in 2015 is a crucial opportunity for carers’ voices to be heard. So many issues have impacted on carers in the last four year – changes to the NHS, in welfare benefits and cuts to the services available locally.

Carers votes count. Carers should be able to access adequate support to ensure they and the people they care for are well supported, healthy, and have a  life of their own.

All political parties should make it a priority to recognise the needs of carers. Making sure the rights won under the Care Act in England are properly implemented, including providing the funding to do this, would be a good place to start.

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from Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK

Just as more and more families take on caring responsibilities, carers are facing a combination of cuts to social care and benefits. As we approach a general election, all political parties must pledge to stop cutting carers support and urgently put in place measures to prevent carers’ financial hardship and ensure social care services can meet growing demand.

Without this we will see growing numbers of families pushed to breaking point, forced to give up their jobs to care and at risk of debt, isolation and exhaustion.

 

 

 

 

Carers pushed to breaking point

11 September 2014

Press release from CarersUK

11 September 2014

Carers across the UK are being pushed to the brink – suffering exhaustion, physical and mental breakdown as they struggle to care for older or disabled loved ones.

Carers UK’s Carers at breaking point research – based on a survey of over 5,000 carers1 – shows:

  • 6 in 10 caring for an older, disabled or seriously ill loved one have reached breaking point.
  • A quarter needing medical treatment as a result.
  • 63% suffered depression and 79% reported anxiety.

see in full here

 


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