Write to your MP NOW

PLEASE SEND THIS WEEK BEFORE THE SPENDING REVIEW ANNOUNCEMENTS ON OCTOBER 20th.

 Example letter/email

Send also to

Ministers at Department for Work and Pensions Caxton House, Tothill Street London SW1 9DA or ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

 Your Name

                  House,

                  Street,

                  Town,

                  Post Code

                  Phone Number

MPs Name

House of Commons,

London,

SW1A 0AA

 DATE  2010

Dear NAME OF MP/ MINIISTER

(As one of your constituents) I am concerned about the cuts to disability benefits, cuts to housing benefits and cuts to general benefits and the activities of ATOS

 This affects me because I am disabled/ support disabled people

 The cuts to benefits will affect the already poor living circumstances of many disabled people. The National Equality Panel report (Jan 2010) found that three quarters of disabled people live in poverty, ten percent live below the poverty line with some trying to live on less than 31 pounds per week. The cuts to housing benefit, tax credits and rises in VAT will impact severely on disabled people and all on low incomes.

 In addition the wholesale reassessment of disability benefits adds to the fear of many. ATOS have been severely criticized for their practices and many see the target driven company as failing. Seventy per cent of their refusal decisions are being overturned at appeal (UKDPC 2010).

 I am also aware of a number of suicides by disabled people who fear that they will be unable to manage under the new rules imposed by the emergency budget of June 22nd. These cuts will kill more people.

 Please could you let me know your thoughts on these issues and raise these issues in the commons?

Please sign Bob Russell’s Early Day motion 706 ‘Spending Cuts and Disabled People.’

 Yours sincerely

   Your Name

 An Anatomy of Inequality in the UK (2010) National Equality Panel

Response to WCA Consultation (2010) UKDPC

 Find your MP at www.parliament.uk scroll to bottom of page and put in postcode.

Early Day Motion

EDM 706

SPENDING CUTS AND DISABLED PEOPLE

09.09.2010

 Russell, Bob

 That this House welcomes the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensuring that the public spending cuts will be fair; is concerned that the Government has not adequately assessed the impact that spending cuts will have on disabled people and their families; notes that nearly a quarter of individuals in families with at least one disabled member live in relative income poverty; further notes that only 50 per cent. of disabled people are in paid employment; recognises that millions of disabled people rely on state financial support to help meet their social care needs and the extra living costs associated with their impairment; seeks assurances that the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review proposals will be subject to a robust disability impact assessment; and urges the Government to take steps to ensure that spending cuts will not further compound poverty and social exclusion experienced by disabled people.

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11 Responses to “Write to your MP NOW”

  1. malka Says:

    we really need to step up the pressure now, as we all must realise that the cynical consultations were just a paper pushing exercise so that the government can be seen to do the right thing. They had made their minds up long ago to cut benefits to all, and push people onto lesser benefits or on no benefits at all.
    Whe i hear minister such as IDS and Grayling talk about protecting the vulnerable it makes me so angry, when they are the architects of all the misery to come.

    • Paul Says:

      I wonder what pressure we can apply? They have the whip hand. We, on the other hand face losing money and even housing. What’s more, people are being told it’s okay to express prejudice towards us. So it is we who are under pressure. They don’t listen to reason, they ignore petitions and they treat protestors like terrorists.

  2. Kate Says:

    I’ve written to my MP lots of times. I was furious with her first response (when she finally got round to making it) as she’s a GP and she didn’t seem to know the difference between DLA and Incapacity Benefit/ESA. Emails went backwards and forwards several times, she did say she didn’t sign Early Day Motions because of the cost. This was her last reply to my lengthy response to her previous one:

    “You are absolutely right that this is a serious issue and I do not feel that those who genuinely need DLA should lose this important allowance. I just do not agree with you that everyone in receipt of DLA continues to need this in the long term. Your attachment of course highlights many genuine cases but I could highlight many others that are not.
    The use of the expression ‘agree to differ’ does not imply that I don’t take this seriously, only that I am aware that we are not likely to agree on the fundamental question of whether there are occasions when some continue to claim allowances for which they are no longer eligible and whether it is ever reasonable to review the situation.”
    Yours

    • Paul Says:

      Well when I first claimed DLA they ignored everything my GP wrote and I have since learned that this is common, so she should be aware that many of those denied DLA actually deserve it according to their doctors… I imagine that this figure far outweighs those on DLA who she thinks shouldn’t be on it. Odd how this injustice isn’t at the forefront of her mind.

      I’d like to know how they all psychically know that these interviews and appeals will not result in MORE people getting DLA, or higher awards etc. Of course it’s rigged and we all know it.

  3. malka Says:

    i have also contacted many mps and they all respond with the same platitudes, my feeling is they all support the welfare reform and have no regard for the disabled of this country. Or for that matter the long-term sick and elderly, who are also neglected and and vilified by the press and media. All the parties agree there is no opposition, apart from child benefit and student grants, the rest of the community can go hang as far as they are concerned. what a country, so neglectful and cruel to it’s most vulnerable people, so much for the BIG society and compassion………….

  4. Alan Wheatley, Green Party of England & Wales Spokesperson on Disability & Social Care Services Says:

    I believe that we really need to:

    look beyond what the NeoLiberal politicians say,
    consider what is really going on that they want to distract our attention from? and — in this Comprehensive Spending Review atmosphere especially —
    consider: If this rhetoric is to be believed, what might be the consequences?

    What is really going on that they want to distract our attention from?
    As a lifelong disabled person who claimed jobseeker benefits for decades before making the bold step of claiming Employment & Support Allowance, I know from first hand experience that it has been possible for a person with invisible disability on jobseeker benefits to be so under-supported by the system that no matter what the disabled jobseeker does to improve their prospects, and how many hoops and hurdles they jump or crawl through as directed, it is possible to wind up with a total of only 17 months cumulative waged employment from November 1977 to March 2009. March 2009 was when I saw sense and better prospects in applying for ESA.
    The last eleven months of that waged employment had been as a social care worker doing only cover duties while keeping my Jobseekers Allowance claim fresh. After one Christmas/New Year week of just over 16 hours on cover duties, JSA admin wrongly stated that I was no longer eligible for JSA. While trying to get through to the culprits who had not done their sums right, I almost went homeless while no benefit money was coming in, only about £25 to £50 per week of declared part-time income was, and Housing & Council Tax Benefits were about to close my claim, and the Jobcentre Plus callcentre was constantly engaged.
    But was I the only person in that predicament? No! See Neil Bateman’s incisive report of JCP meltdown brought on by downsizing in the early years of the 21st Century — Jobcentre Plus: Poor service continues. A major root problem in the systemic meltdown has been that the ‘earnings disregard’ for single JSA claimants aged 25+ has remained at a mere £5 per week since 1988. The ‘earnings disregards’ for IB and ESA are much higher.
    Of course, we who are associated with Carer Watch know of the machinations of Atos Origin and the DWP, but many tabloid readers are hoodwinked into viewing benefit claimants rather than bonus claimants as the real cheats.
    If the NeoLiberals’ rhetoric is to be believed, what might be the consequences?
    Of course, with huge public sector job losses expected, and with the collective name of ‘claimant’ dragged through the dirt by emphasis on smear stories, as Prof. Peter Beresford has e-mailed me in relation to the ‘Jobcentre Plus: Poor service continues’ account, “A climate will be created in which even greater inefficiencies are tolerated.”
    In conclusion, if the NeoLiberals are sincere about wanting to protect the vulnerable, I believe they need to heed my report to the Harrington inquiry as given on this website.

  5. R.Harding Says:

    My wi9fe has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer has had surgery to remove the growth & is now on a course of chmotherapy.We were given a booklet to read giving details of benifits we could claim.Onebeing attendance allowance, we are both over 65, the other being a blue badgeto ease parking problems the first has been refused by the DWP the second by South Glos. council none of these organisations have asked for a medical/ doctors note. do they think they have a better knowlege of this illness then the medical profession

  6. malka Says:

    If we didn’t need any further evidence that these measures are out to get the poorest, and most vulnerable, the deduction in housing benefit of 10% after 1 yr on JSA, is aimed to make people take any job regardless of suitability, (if there are any of course for the many disabled people who haven’t been able to work for years, but suddenly cured by ATOS (the lourdes of the coalition) . They are not prepared to cut the payment of mortgage interest for people on JSA after a year and hit the professional classes who haven’t been able to find work…..I did a scenario in my mind about my disabled relative and in theory he could go from IB and DLA via ESA to
    JSA and housing benefit reduction to the street or if he’s lucky some institution may take him in……this is not fanatasy it could happen…….In the space of a few months it is open season on the disabled, and no-one is watching out for them apart from people like us……..how can these people sleep at night? answer because they don’t give a damn, that’s how..

  7. Paul Says:

    My point is that these cutbacks won’t work, and I don’t believe they’re designed to…I’m convinced that the “fiscal crisis” is being used as an excuse to attack the vulnerable. Please see my comments here:-

    (https://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/please-write-to-your-mp/#comment-412)

    Some of the things that are regularly in our newspapers and on our TV screens these days would have been considered completely stupid by civilised people only 50 years ago (e.g., there was a time when we welcomed political refugees). But there’s been a dumbing down and too many people seem unable to think for themselves and can’t detect weak arguments.

    For instance I know of ‘professional people’ who find it acceptable to say (behind closed doors) things like “Well I’m a racist”, “I’m a racist too!” I think they’re are taking a lead from the major media on what is acceptable to say and because they’ve been brought up to prefer reaction to thought they enjoy blaming other people for their perceived problems (ranting is a hugely pleasurable pastime for many people in the UK).

    If people would think for themselves they might conclude that the global financial problems were not created by allowing vulnerable people a fairly decent quality of life… I think this point is obvious and I can prove it, but if you accept this for a moment then it’s clear that taking resources away from disabled people will not solve anything, no matter how ‘righteous’ it makes these mean-hearted people feel.

    But what will happen when things don’t get better? Will there be a period of reflection, or will the cries to “attack the disabled!” become even harder? Where will it end?

    It’s at times like these where you find out who your true friends are…and just as true to say we are now finding out how many people really despise society’s vulnerable. I invite readers of this post to consider that we’re opposed by people who derive physical pleasure from attacking us. How is it possible to successfully challenge that?

  8. Paul Says:

    One other thing to mention. I don’t know if it’s still in operation, but over three decades ago I was told by an associate of Gerald Kaufman that everyone who writes to their MP automatically has a file written on them by MI5.

  9. Paul Says:

    I posted some pretty depressing, almost fatalistic comments earlier, but I believe a chink of light has started to appear.

    I’ve been wondering just what pressure we can bring to bear, and my immediate thoughts have been “not a lot” because what our opponents really dislike is bad press.

    To be effective we need journalists on our side.

    Think back to the anti-sleaze campaign spearheaded by the Daily Telegraph. If you remember, this attacked members of Parliament (from all parties) over fiddled expense claims. And it had a really big effect – MPs like to see themselves as members of ‘the great and the good’ and to have a newspaper as closely allied to establishment mores as the Daily Telegraph go after them, really struck home.

    Until this morning I doubted journalists would ever write anything positive about these attacks but the latest “Benefits and Work” newsletter shows I was wrong. Here’s a quote:-

    “And, astonishingly, the Telegraph is beginning to turn its nose up at the ugly and deceptive propaganda against the poor being peddled by the coalition.

    Their chief political commentator is angry that Osborne misled the nation about the level of benefit fraud in his spending review speech and is now ignoring calls to correct his ‘error’, in breach of the ministerial code which Cameron endorsed so enthusiastically on becoming prime minister.”
    (http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1264-3-november-newsletter)

    You can find more on the Telegraph’s website:-

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100061653/george-osborne-must-correct-his-claims-about-benefit-fraud-and-his-portrayal-of-the-poor-as-mean-minded-and-cheating/

    I think this is significant partly because the Telegraph journalist Peter Oborne was instrumental in starting the ant-sleaze campaign I mentioned. In fact Oborne, who has ties to the UKs intelligence services, fired several shots across the bow of MPs well before the anti-sleaze campaign started. In one Daily Mail article, three years before the start of the anti-sleaze campaign proper, he wrote that if they didn’t mend their ways they would be forced to…

    I strongly suspect there is a growing faction within the British establishment that believes in civilised values. Oborne (along with others such as John Le Carre) is a figurehead who literally telegraph their views and intentions, and they are starting to wake up about this.

    So please don’t be put off writing to your MP if you think it will do some good, but please also consider writing to newspaper editors and journalists.

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