Posts Tagged ‘guardian’

Employment Support Allowance – the 2 groups are flawed

29 September 2012

copy of letter sent to the Guardian

With regards the article by Amelia Gentleman about Labour’s call for review of sickness benefits assessment. At CarerWatch, this is something we have fought for since 2008 under the last government, and we still fight to this day.

Initially we concentrated on issues surrounding mental health, as that is where our members were informing us the problems arose. However, during the last 4 years we have witnessed a huge increase in problems, that cuts across most disabilities/serious ill health.

The fact remains that no amount of tweaking the descriptors of the Work Capability Assessment will ever make it fit for purpose whilst the 2 groups, Work Related Activity group ( WRAG)  and Support group remain as they are.

The WRAG is a harsh group involving threats, sanctions and time limits. It is not a safe place to help disabled people deal with the enormous barriers they face in finding and keeping work. It is the coercive nature of the WRAG that is causing the fear and causing the problems. Paul Farmer knew this when he stood down.

February 2009 we used an article from your newspaper to make an appeal to Ed Balls to speak up when James Purnell was overseeing Welfare Reform.

The truth about the harsh realities of reforms were plain to see even then.

Purnell was wrong re ESA in 2008/9, so is Iain Duncan Smith today. His vision of a new welfare system is dangerous. It is an experiment played out on people with real lives, not statistics on a piece of paper. The speed with which he is pushing changes to welfare through is alarming. As is his attempt to bring forth the new Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment, when so many issues still need addressing regarding ESA.

We are in the middle of a crisis as all benefits are being changed around us. Being done under the guise of ‘reform’, it is really cuts, falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.

We welcome Labours call for a review. However, they must not stop there but go back to the drawing board and start with the 2 groups of ESA, which are flawed.

There is no time for further mistakes to be made. Welfare reform will also have a massive impact on social care, and possibly limit what the new Care and Support Bill can achieve.

Budget fightback – Save DLA

24 June 2010

Please come join us build this campaign to to protect Disability Living Allowance here

Support from groups

Responses already coming in include…


Means-test welfare reform is a costly waste, says Peter Beresford

29 October 2009

Once, when people talked about welfare reform, it meant trying to improve the lives of people as service users, citizens and claimants. Now it is more likely to mean another attack on people on benefits or a search for an easy way of making public spending cuts. But we can expect to hear much more about welfare reform in the coming months, with a general election pending and politicians on the lookout for easy targets for party-political points scoring and economies.

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