Archive for the ‘cuts’ Category

Sad news from DPAC

10 November 2016

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you one of our co-founders, Debbie Jolly has died following a short hospital stay. As disabled people everywhere we’ve lost a friend and advocate and a fighter for our movement.

Debbie has played a hugely influential part in the development of DPAC since 2010 and she and I have worked together virtually every day since dealing with the day-to-day things that needed to be done to make DPAC the successful campaign group we have become.

Read in full here

CarerWatch would like to extend our deepest sympathies to those that knew Debbie, both personally and through her campaigning work. RIP

 

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Reverse the Employment Support Allowance disability benefit cut

13 March 2016

ScissorsPLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION, THEN SHARE AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE

The House of Lords has been unable to stop a planned £30-a-week cut to disability benefits forced through by Government MPs. This will cripple those in receipt of these benefits, leaving many in literal poverty.

The government must reverse this decision. Lives are at risk.

Sign this petition HERE

 

 

Last stages of the Legal Aid bill – time to stand up for access to justice

11 April 2012

Guest post from

Natalie Sedacca – a member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers.

Carers, and those they care for, are facing a series of attacks by the Government, such as the closure of day centres, tightening of care criteria, and threats to carers’ grants. The already low level of benefits paid to carers is not helped by the Welfare Reform Act. The blog has already reported how this does nothing to alleviate financial hardship for family carers, and how the move from DisabilityLiving Allowance to a “personal independence payment” will impact carers as well as disabled people. In this context, access to specialist legal advice to challenge poor decisions about benefits is more vital than ever.

But this help is under threat if the Government gets its way on a law about to go before MPs. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill sets out Government plans to make sweeping cuts, severely restricting free advice for many types of legal problem. The Bill has gone through Parliament and is now at its final stage, returning to be considered by the House of Commons after April 17th.

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I need your support to save local Alzheimers services

10 March 2012

Personal post

When coping with disability, illness, caring, have you ever met someone that you just know understands what you are going through, but more importantly knows what is needed to help you come to terms with a serious diagnosis. Someone who looks to the family as a whole.

I met someone just like the above last week. Her name is Liz Williams and she works for our local Alzheimers Society organisation. She visited our home for the 1st time, and in those few hours we received advice, support, understanding,  but also something more. She gave us Hope. This was to be ongoing long term support. That is now under threat.

Last night our local paper, The Shields Gazette, ran a story outlining how through funding cuts she may lose her job at the end of this month. Both local MPs, David Miliband and Stephen Hepburn, are onboard to try stop this happening.

The number of people with Alzheimers/Dementia is increasing at an alarming rate. It would be irresponsible to cut local services.

Having been involved with CarerWatch  for some years, this is only time I have used it in a personal capacity. However, I am asking for your help

You may or may not have experience of Alzheimers but you will know some one who has. Will you help me with this campaign to save Liz Williams job?

send comments to Alzheimers Society here   include any concerns you have in your area too. Help them build a wider picture of where the cuts are happening

you can tweet them  @alzheimerssoc  or our local paper @shieldsgazette

email the journalist covering this story –

gareth.crickmer@northeast-press.co.uk

Through the use of the internet I know where the online support networks are.  Talking Point  and Carers UK support forums  have helped me so much. However, it is vital that face to face local services remain.  It was one of the reasons why I supported Pat Onions and her petition and many other campaigns.

It will take 2 seconds for you to help raise awareness. Do a brief blog post, add to twitter and facebook. Share with family and friends.

These cuts are coming fast, getting deeper each time. This time it is affecting my family, it could be you next.

Enough is enough.

Rosemary

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Have your say about how caring has affected your health

1 March 2012

Carers Week 18th – 24th June 2012

In sickness and in health

Every year we ask thousands of carers to tell us about their lives. We use the survey to generate interest in the press and media. 

Our theme for 2012 is “In Sickness and in Health” and your answers will help us to highlight;
– How does caring impact on your health and wellbeing?
– How much have the cuts to local services impacted on your health and wellbeing?
– What could really make a difference to your life as a carer?

Take the survey here

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If you are worried about cuts to services please sign Pats Petition too and then gather as much support as you can.

 

PM urged to take action on social care – Carers UK

3 January 2012

Carers UK has joined other charities, care providers, health bodies, employers, and unions to sign an open letter to Prime Minister calling for cross-party action on social care reform

see in full here

Further articles can be found :-

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Legal aid bill goes into the Lords committee stage today – Dec 20th 2011

20 December 2011

Guest post by Carita Thomas –  a member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers.

It’s Christmas, and I don’t know about you, but pennies are tight, and I’m only halfway down my shopping list! Austerity Britain is not much fun at the moment, and all this talk of “tightening belts” and “tough choices” is not creating much festive cheer. Then I read that the City is due to take home £4.2 billion in bonus cash this Christmas, instead of saving that to stave off another bailout from the state.

Helping the City through the credit crunch has meant bankers now cost us more than bin men, so a nice bonus on top of all that seems a bit wrong. We are going through the worst cuts of a generation – doesn’t everyone have to prove their value for money nowadays? I’m sure those bankers will get a firm talking to in 2012…. But for now the Government has other priorities.

This week its plans to reform legal aid are in the spotlight. Like so many public services, the Government wants to cut free legal advice back as far as it can, and on 20th December, the bill containing the proposals will be debated by the committee of the House of Lords.

Now, some might ask why anyone would object to plans like these. The Government’s proposals for legal aid would save £350 million. Who can argue with that sort of money?

Well, that’s small change out of £4.2 billion. And I don’t believe these cuts will save money, at least not in the long term. Studies have shown that legal aid can save money for the state, with Citizens’ Advice estimating this could be up to £8.80 for every £1 spent.  Getting help with a problem in the early stages stops things snowballing, leading to more public costs later down the line, like paying for homeless assistance if someone gets evicted because they get into debt and stop paying rent. Let’s talk one year after the cuts and see how bright the plans look then, when more people have had to turn to the state without basic help to let them fix their own problems.

Also, where is the talk of alternatives? The Government has either been unlucky in a game of cuts roulette or deliberately chosen policies that home in on people who have most to lose. At the moment, 80% of those who use legal aid are in the poorest 20% of the population, and 650,000 people will lose help each year if the cuts go ahead. You can do the maths about who is coming off worst. This bill is a travesty as it takes away the right to equality of arms from the poorest, making them stand alone against opponents who can pay for help, not least the state, whose pockets are deepest of all.

The Government admits the bill will have a disproportionate impact on certain groups, and one of these is disabled people. Just take benefits advice, which the Government wants to cut completely. 58% of clients here are disabled – which means 78,000 disabled people will lose out each year in this one area of law. Other important changes include a plan to only allow debt advice if your home is at risk. And for both debt and community care you will have to call a telephone line to get help, with no guarantee you’ll see someone face to face. This comes just as local authorities have to make tough choices about what they spend money on so it will be harder to get basic advice if you think you are not getting the social care service you deserve.

With all the other government “reforms” we have seen rolled out, it’s not a pretty picture ….  Tanni Grey-Thompson got it right when she said welfare reform plus a lack of appropriate legal advice is a “double whammy” for disabled people.

If we go back to what is value for money, I’d say carers beat the bankers hands down. Care provided to family and friends saves the state an unbelievable £119 billion per year, which deserves more than just a pat on the back. Pat Onions said it best when she asked the Government to stand by its duty to disabled people and carers and review the cuts to benefits and services that will affect them.

There is a Christmas message for the coalition if ever I heard one – if you have not signed Pat’s petition already – do this today. (click here!)

People like Pat get my fighting spirit back. There is still loads we can do and lots of peers with principles who can be encouraged to stop the worst of the bill. If you want to take action against the cuts to legal aid, join the campaign.

You could take a seat in Scope’s “virtual parliament” or tell them your story about how legal aid helped you. Check out these websites for more ideas and information: Save Legal Aid, Justice For All and Sound Off for Justice.

You can still make a huge difference, so please get involved.

Who will speak for the old and disabled, trapped in their homes?

21 November 2011

 

You lie in your own mess. You are cold. You are hungry and confused. You can’t remember whether you have taken your pills. You feel ashamed. You feel angry. It is still five hours before someone will knock on the door, let herself in, and wash you. You hope for a few minutes’ talk but you know that it won’t happen. She only has a quarter of an hour for your appointment …

This is how it ends for many people now. This is how it may end for you, your parents, your siblings, your loved ones. Social care isn’t sexy. But it is perhaps the greatest avoidable crisisfacing British politicians – certainly bigger than immigration, energy supplies or bad schools.

Who will speak for the old and disabled, trapped in their homes? | Jackie Ashley | Comment is free | The Guardian

Growing fears over disabled charging by Stirling Council

18 November 2011

 

PARENTS caring for their adult disabled children at home say they are disgusted by emerging details of new charges for care services being introduced by Stirling Council.

And one irate parent said: “As far as I am concerned the council is stealing from our children and more interested in money than in the care of some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

A number of carers contacted the Observer to say the council is in many cases demanding 75 per cent of their children’s Disability Living Allowance for services such as daycare – but ignoring a wide range of disability related expenditure they incur which DLA is intended to help fund.

Growing fears over disabled charging by Stirling Council – Stirling Observer

What’s your Christmas message to the Government? | The Hardest Hit

18 November 2011

 

The Hardest Hit are planning to send a giant Christmas card to the Government to let them know that we are not asking for gifts, but we do want our basic rights protected and the support to enable us to live independently and with dignity.

You can sign the card and leave your message by following the link below:

Sign the card!

What’s your Christmas message to the Government? | The Hardest Hit


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