Posts Tagged ‘iain duncan smith’

Will Iain Duncan Smith turn up for Welfare Debate

4 May 2015

welfare debate

 

Twitter users  –   #WelfareDebate15

Tuesday May 5th Daily Politics debate

BBC2    2pm

BBC Parliament  9.00pm

BBC News  9.30pm

Presenters  Andrew Neil and Alison Holt

Participants

Iain Duncan Smith  Conservative

Rachel Reeves            Labour

Steve Webb                  LibDems

Suzanne Evans           UKIP

Jonathan Bartley       Green Party

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Non-attendance (see below) recently by the purveyors of welfare reform suggests that they deem themselves to be unaccountable for their actions.

Will Mr Smith attend this debate or will the quiet man become the invisible man AGAIN

Iain Duncan Smith fails to show up for General Election hustings in his own constituency

Britain asks: where is David Cameron?

Wirral West MP Esther McVey pulls out of live radio interview in Liverpool city centre

‘Ashamed’ Tories quit Newsnight welfare debate at the last moment

Many disabled people and carers will be watching this show. They have borne the brunt of these cuts and are living in dread of the prospect of the further £12billion cuts to welfare promised by the Conservatives.

Daily Politics – Welfare Debate Tues 5th May

20 April 2015

welfare debate

 

Tuesday May 5th Daily Politics debate

BBC2    2pm

BBC News  8.30pm

Presenters  Andrew Neil and Alison Holt

Participants

Iain Duncan Smith  Conservative

Rachel Reeves            Labour

Steve Webb                  LibDems

Suzanne Evans           UKIP

Jonathan Bartley       Green Party

 

 

To achieve success we must ALL take action – WoW Petition

17 February 2014

DOING NOTHING

hourglass2

 

The Coalition government have been relentless in their welfare reforms, cuts to services. Warnings taken to them time and time again have been ignored.  Many grassroot groups, charities, church leaders and  think tanks have taken numerous actions, in their attempts to show the reality of how many disabled people and carers are being hit disproportionately by the cuts to benefits and services.

YOU may be someone affected now

 It may be YOU next, if you suddenly become seriously ill/disabled and/or a family carer.

You may be campaign weary, wondering how much more you can give. However, we must always rise up that one more time than we  fall.

TAKE ACTION OR ACCEPT THE REFORMS – WHICH IS IT TO BE?

 

On Feb 27th 2014, there is to be a debate in the House of Commons. This was won by WoW petition team, and all their supporters. Full wording of the petition can be found here

It is vital as many MPs as possible attend, to participate in this debate and speak up on your behalf about how the reforms are impacting on your lives. 

Details how to contact your MP can be found here  

 

You will be able to watch the debate live on the day from approximately 11.30am, links will be provided nearer the time. Those on twitter will be using the hash-tag  #WowDebate2014

 

If you require further information, or want to inform WoW if your MP is/is not attending, please contact WoW team direct   info@wowpetition.com

 

 

 

Carers – They walk among us, unseen, unheard but ever near

1 October 2013

IDS1

This week sees the Tory conference held in Manchester. Various ministers have already spoken but today we will hear from a man, Iain Duncan Smith,  who for many carers is the biggest failure to date.

Past, and present governments, have continuously ignored the plight of carers, a group of people that give so much. Their Love, and the care they provide,  taken for granted by those in power.

So why has Iain Duncan Smith failed miserably?  

We are in the middle of the biggest shake up to the welfare system for over 60 years, changes that see many benefits changed/cut, support withdrawn, and yet the issues surrounding the LOWEST benefit of all were not addressed. Carers Allowance is just £59.75 and care must be provided to a minimum of 35 hours .

In the report Breakthrough Britain, by the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank of which Mr Smith is Chairman, they reported that…

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

Carers of elderly and disabled people are not adequately resourced or recognize for the work they do

Mr Smith has missed a golden opportunity to reform this benefit.

Carers have accepted their responsibility, WHEN will government accept theirs

 

 

 

Is the government prepared to take action? Carers Week report

14 June 2013

Carers Week logoWhen the invite came to attend a speed-networking event in Parliament with MPs I initially said no. Doing a return trip from the North East in same day is not ideal, early start and extremely late arrival home, all for a 2-hour event. However, I have always said that apart from our own MPs, those of us in the North East don’t get much opportunity to meet with other politicians, so I changed my mind and said ‘yes’.  I am now glad I did so, and appreciate the opportunity given by CarersUK and CarersWeek.

The train journey down started really well with an unexpected turn of events. A young man sat a few seats from me and I recognised him as Chris Ramsey, stand-up comedian and actor from South Shields. Those that know me will not be surprised at my next actions, which was to start tweeting him. As most people travelling were using phones, he was unaware who was relating to his twitter  followers what he was doing. Once I identified myself we spoke a little while. Talk about Big Brother is watching. Thanks for the laugh Chris, you were a good sport.

After this light relief it was over to Westminster for the event. I was met by Carers Week staff and introduced to others from various organisations, including Age UK and Carers Trust. Then it was to business.

As a Carers UK member my companions were Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy, and Chloe Wright, Senior Policy Officer. They took turns to sit with me. Also helping oversee the event was Steve McIntosh.

It was explained how the event would unfold. As MPs arrived they would be guided to tables to speak with carers, how long for was unsure, depending on if they had any other appointments they needed to attend.

I had no worries about speed networking. Those that know Geordies will know we talk fast. My main concern was how much ground could be covered when the issues surrounding carers are many. It was not just about my family’s’ circumstances, but many others out there too, struggling to cope on a daily basis.

We managed to see 8 MPs, names as follows –

Carers Week blogIan Mearns  Lab
Guy Opperman  Con
Norman Lamb  LibDem
Peter Aldous  Con
Sheila Gilmore   Lab
Grahame Morris   Lab
Stewart Jackson  Con
Caroline Lucas   Green

As well as outlining how caring has impacted on my family, other issues discussed were as follows.

1.    The issue of the Children and Families Bill and the lack of parent carer rights in it, and the concern that they would be left behind. We also talked about when the Care Bill comes to the House of Commons, to stop carers from being charged for their own services and to put an amendment, which would prevent family and friends’ support being taken for, granted.

2.    We discussed the impact of welfare reform on carers, in particular the bedroom tax

3.    The benefits system, which causes huge difficulties in trying to juggle work and care.

4.    Lack of services that are right for the people we care for, e.g. lack of dementia services and support for younger people.

5.    Lack of investment locally in carers’ support e.g. carer’s dementia work.

6.    Concerns about cuts to services and reassessments of severely disabled people and the impact on the caring support and family

7.    Concerned about the cumulative impact of different changes and cuts that are hitting families hard.

8.    Problems surrounding Employment Support Allowance process

9.    Impact on disabled people, as well as carers, re closure of Independent Living Fund.

10.   Advice and information being hard to come by but being vital.

11.  Importance of strong local advocates within local carers’ organisations.

12.  The level of Carer’s Allowance and the failure of this Government and the last Government to reform this benefit.

With thanks to Ian Mearns, Grahame Morris and Guy Opperman for the North East presence, to Norman Lamb who stayed longer than intended and was late for his next appt, and remaining MPs for the interest they showed, and the many questions asked.

Journey back took several hours and it was past midnight when I got home, extremely tired but an enjoyable day.

So, following on from the Carers Week theme of ‘I’m Prepared to Care’ – my question would be – What next?

Many of us have already been caring for as long as we can remember. Governments past and present have failed to fully address many of the carer issues.

We need action now

Give us the tools to assist us in our caring roles. It may be finances, respite, services, equipment, understanding from employers etc. Investing in us now can only strengthen the foundation we provide that prop up both NHS and Social Services.

We are ‘prepared to care’ 

 Is the government prepared to take ACTION?

Rosemary

Carers UK blog

Iain Duncan Smith on Andrew Marr show Nov 4th

3 November 2012

Andrew Marr, former BBC Political Editor, interviews key newsmakers and shines a
light on what’s happening in the world. Includes a review of the Sunday
newspapers, weather forecast and news bulletin

watch here at 9 am Sunday Nov 4th 2012

If you want to send tweets

@MarrShow

hashtag    #marrshow

 

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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.

What would be your message to government ?

28 August 2012

Are you affected by welfare reform, cuts to services, closure of Independent Living Fund, changes to Council Tax benefit, changes within NHS –  and many more…..

You have a blank canvas, can address it to any Minister of your choosing.

You can ask a question or make a statement.

What would be on YOUR canvas? Add comments below

Please note some of the comments will be used by CarerWatch

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Please sign Pat’s Petition here

Then share the link asking as many others to do the same.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

 

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WHY have family carers been failed again?

16 March 2012

For several years now CarerWatch, along with other campaigners, have fought for Carers’ benefits to be improved. However, past and present governments, have continuously failed to address both the low level of the allowance, £55.55 per week, or tackle the restrictions which bar many carers from claiming.

We have repeatedly taken our concerns to Ministers, DWP, MPs, all of which have been ignored. We were outraged with the present Welfare Reform Bill/Act, as once again carers’ benefits were overlooked.

This was frustrating as the current Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, had previously recommended an increase in the allowance when with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank he set up.

In the report, Breakthrough Britain, it was stated –

 “”Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do“”

Considering we are witnessing the biggest reform of welfare benefits in over 60 years,

WHY have family carers been failed again?

Why, on March 14th 2012, did Mr Paul Burstows answer a question from Mr Jim Cunningham and state:

 The Cross Government’s Carers Strategy “Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for the Carers’ Strategy”, recognises that carers should not face financial hardship and the Departments are working together to take forward various initiatives to support carers in their caring role, through welfare reform and in developing the White Paper on care and support. We are looking at putting the rights of carers on a firmer footing in social care so that they have similar rights to the people they care for.

The WRB received Royal Assent March 8th 2012 and there was NOTHING included that would alleviate the financial hardship being faced by many carers.

With a White paper due for care and support, can we be at all hopeful that the Dept of Health will succeed where other departments have failed. Time will tell.

A recent report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights  urges the Government to conduct an impact assessment on the cumulative impact of the current reforms on disabled people. It considers that this is required by law.

This mirrors exactly what is asked  for with Pat’s Petition – a pause to consider the impact of the ‘perfect storm’ of changes. Too many of these changes will impact on family carers and we urge everyone to sign Pats Petition, share with others.

Question to Iain Duncan Smith – Question Time Oct 27th

27 October 2011

The following was submitted to BBC Questiontime for tonights programme.

Question for Iain Duncan Smith.

The Secretary of State is leading the biggest shake up of welfare reform in over 60 yrs. Yet there is a group of people he has overlooked and that is family carers. Their Carers Allowance remains at £55.55 per week and one of the conditions is they provide care for a MINIMUM of 35 hours.

Can Iain Duncan Smith give details tonight of, not if he will increase the carers allowance, but WHEN.

In the report Breakthrough Britain,of which IDS played a major part it states – 

“”Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do“”

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform Carers Allowance to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding the Coalition say it has, no matter how many times they say Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now


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