Archive for the ‘human rights’ 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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Reminder – Panorama and Dispatches Monday July 30th

27 July 2012

Britain on the Sick  channel 4 Mon 30th July 8pm  watch here

Using undercover filming, reporter Jackie Long investigates the shocking processes used to assess whether sickness and disability benefit claimants should be declared fit for work.

 

Disabled or Faking It?   Mon 8.30pm  watch here

Panorama investigates the government’s plans to end the so-called ‘sick note
culture’ and their attempts to get millions of people off disability benefits
and into work. In Britain’s modern welfare state, millions are being paid to
private companies to assess sick and disabled claimants but is the system
working? Or are new tests wrongly victimising those who deserve support the
most?

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

sign Pats Petition here  and share with others

.

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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Hardest Hit North East: Conference on the impact of cuts on disabled people

13 April 2012

Friday 1st June 2012  –    09:00 until 16:30

Banqueting Suite & Pandon Room, Newcastle Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8PP
.The Hardest Hit North East Coalition are holding a conference on 1 June 2012 that will consider ways to take action against government cuts and examine their impact on people in the region. Have you been hit by welfare and benefit cuts, or through changes to local servic…es? Are you concerned about cuts making tackling disability hate-crime more difficult, or wider reforms like changes to support towards housing cost and council tax meaning the disabled could miss out? Are you a carer, someone who works with or alongside those affected by these changes? If so, please come along to this event to help build our region’s response to an ongoing programme of cuts falling on disabled people. Listen to people tell their own stories about how the cuts have affected them and find out more about what we can do to try and stop the disabled being hit harder than society as whole. The event is free to disabled people, their carers and those from charities or Trade Unions. If you would like to attend as a visitor from a commercial or public sector organisation there is a small charge, please email Stephen Powers at northeast@hardesthit.org.uk to find out more about your organisation exhibiting or to be invoiced for a £25 Public/Commercial visitor place.
.Please visit: http://bit.ly/H8AEW5 to register your place for this event
.Join discussions on facebook here

Are you worried about cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.

Sign Pat’s Petition too and ask all your contacts to do the same. Tell them to share it also.

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.

 

End the Care Crisis – We cant afford not to

1 March 2012

Lobby 2012

We are entering a key time for our social care system. Our social care system is broken. It cannot cope with a rapidly ageing population and positive impact of people living longer with illness and disability.

Read in full here

On Tuesday 6th March 2012 we will hold a lobby of Parliament to take our message to MPs across all parties. People from up and down the country will be travelling to the Houses of Parliament in London to present their concerns and lobby their MP.

Take part in the lobby

Take part online

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If you are worried to changes in services, charges being increased, eligibility criteria being tightened – please sign Pats Petition and gather as much support as you can.

 

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.

‘They know you are vulnerable’ – plight of older people in home care

23 November 2011

Most of the women from the care agency, were, in the words of a 78-year-old, “nasty and rough”. Whatever the carers’ demeanour, the frail woman in a wheelchair did not expect attitude to translate to violence that left her bewildered and powerless.

“Rather than say ‘sit in the chair’, they’d push me back into the chair, that sort of thing, and I didn’t like that … I couldn’t do anything about it. I can’t even walk and I think they know this you see; they know you’re vulnerable”.

However, such tales were depressingly familiar in a damning indictment of council-funded home care across the country – the Equality and Human Rights Commission found evidence of a “systematic failure” in the way we look after the elderly.

The commission’s report, “Close to home”, painted a disturbing portrait of poor treatment of the old in their own homes, which breached their human rights.

READ THE GUARDIAN FOR FULL ARTICLE

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

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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