Posts Tagged ‘Incapacity benefit’

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.

Employment Support allowance ‘easier to claim’ – joke

10 September 2014

CarerWatch and Pat’s Petition welcome the discussion on 5th September 2014 comparing the ease of access to ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) with access to the old IB (Incapacity Benefit).

ESA logo

However it is important to compare like with like. The new ESA is not equivalent to the old IB and they should not be compared directly. We would suggest that the new ESA Support Group alone should be considered as equivalent to the award of long term IB. If you compare these figures you will find that it is much harder to get in to the Support Group than it was to claim IB.

The ESA WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) is a temporary, time limited benefit, suitable for people with short term injuries or illnesses, who will get better and return to work within a year. It only lasts twelve months. It is the equivalent of the old short term IB.

We would also note other distortions to the figures including the time taken to process the initial application. If there is a short time to process, then all the short term injuries need to be counted, whereas with a longer processing period, these short term disabilities are gone before they are included.

We have pressed for a cumulative impact assessment of these changes and slowly we are seeing acknowledgement that this must be done . We cannot wait much longer.

We have always said that changes should not be brought in until the full effects are understood: they wouldn’t do this in any new transport system or construction plan so why are they allowed to experiment in this way on disabled people? .

There are many other issues involved in the comparisons – this needs serious analysis from professional and independent statisticians such as those at Sheffield Hallam University. This would all be part of a thorough cumulative impact assessment and we urge the government to ensure this is completed as a matter of urgency.

Frances Kelly

Pat Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOWPETITION pushes towards 25,000 signatories

1 March 2013

As the changes surrounding many welfare benefits come closer to being implemented, more and more people are starting to realise the devastating effect that there will be on their lives.

Also, those not affected at the beginning now understand too that the safety net they may need in the future is being stripped away.

From benefit cuts, care criteria tightened, charges increased, abolition of Independent Living Fund, loss of Legal aid, proposed bedroom tax and so the list goes on.

Grassroot groups are increasing in memberships, voices are being raised louder. Their strength growing, as are the campaigns.

CarerWatch will carry on supporting them and help raise awareness where and when we can.

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One such group is WOWPetition – you can read about some of their team here

They have submitted a petition to the governments website.

Full details here  

or click the logo below to register your support.

CLICK TO SIGN

 

and then share as wide as possible asking your own networks to do the same.

 

Disabled people will be impoverished as they face a “Tsunami” of benefit cuts – says Inclusion Scotland

18 December 2012

Inclusion ScotlandDisabled people in Scotland face the impact of several simultaneous cuts to their benefits, say disability campaigners at Inclusion Scotland. They describe the affect as being akin to a virtual Tsunami which will devastate disabled people’s living standards causing hardship and homelessness. They say that the Department for Work & Pensions has refused to carry out a cumulative impact assessment of the effect of welfare cuts on disabled people forcing Inclusion Scotland to do their job for them.

Labour MP Ian Mearns has called for a debate in Westminster Hall which will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, 18th December, on the effects of welfare reform on disabled people, their carers and families. This debate follows over a year’s campaigning by disabled people and carers who have worked hard to promote blind activist and carer Pat Onions’ petition asking the government to stop and review the cuts to disabled people’s benefits & services. In spite of restricted media coverage, “Pat’s Petition” collected over 62,600 signatures.

IS have analysed the changes using the DWP’s statistics and have calculated that the combined effect of the cuts planned under the guise of welfare “reform” will have a devastating impact on disabled people (who are more likely to rely benefits for some or all of their income than non-disabled people).

For example: (more…)

Live debate – Effects of welfare reform on disabled people

17 December 2012

Westminster Hall
Meeting starts on Tuesday 18 December  at 2.30pm

Private Members’ Debate:
Effects of welfare reform on disabled people, their carers and families – Ian Mearns

Once started you can watch live here

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The program of welfare reform and cuts is proceeding with alarming momentum and the needs of carers  and  disabled people are being lost in the fiscal crisis. 

CarerWatch urge those participating in this debate to please look past the fantasy and wishful thinking – to the reality of what these cuts and reforms are actually doing to many individuals/families.

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South Tyneside Welfare Protest Meeting – Hardest Hit/PSA

3 September 2012

Welfare Protest Meeting – South Shields

On Friday night I attended a meeting held in South Shields Town Hall, jointly held by local Public Services Alliance and Hardest Hit North East Group.  I would say approx 100-120 people attended. They consisted of local councillors, residents, representatives from various unions.

Chairing the meeting was Tina Roche (Unison), with speeches from Iain Malcom, Leader of the Council, David Miliband MP and Peter Bennetts, spokesperson for HH North East. All outlined the huge problems ahead. Tina ensured that more time was given for questions and statements from the floor.

Iain Malcom

Mr. Malcolm covered many issues that would affect our local area. Cuts to services, impact of welfare reform. He also spoke of proposed bedroom tax and abolition of council tax. Huge concerns re social care.

Mr Miliband

Mr. Miliband spoke about 3 warnings – Awareness, Protest and Preparation.

More work needs doing raising awareness of welfare benefit changes, as so many people are still unaware of what is in the pipeline ahead.

Protest – protest voices need to be heard and more grassroots groups, charities, unions need to work together. Protests, petitions, write to MPs outlining how changes are impacting on families.

Preparation – How we need prepare for the Tsunami of change, not just locally but nationally. People will need advice, support and information.

He spoke of the impact of welfare reform on families and the fear of them using loansharks.  A place for credit unions. Impact on local services. Of Alf Morris. Local housing issues.

Note

Comment was made from the floor by Stuart Bracking (DPAC North East) that there should be a 4th point made, and that is Reflection.  Labour need look back on their policies; amend mistakes made, especially with the work capability assessment. I hope to have a statement from Stuart soon to add here.

Lady from floor said that Labour need to be a stronger opposition party, as this is not visible to people.

Peter Bennetts

Peter was excellent. He outlined many of the changes ahead re welfare benefits and held nothing back, describing the fear among disabled people regarding losing their independence.  He spoke of the Hardest Hit rallies already held and informed us of the next event to be held in Newcastle October 27th. Also there will be HH members attending the A Future that Works protest Oct 20th

Participating in the meeting meant I have only managed to note down some of the topics discussed, not all, but will hopefully give you an idea of the issues raised.

Bedroom tax was raised time and time again.

Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment

Loss of DLA could mean a double whammy for families if Carers Allowance is lost too.

Employment Support Allowance and Work capability Assessment not fit for purpose

Cuts to care services will bring added pressure on carers, many of whom are struggling now.

Those in low paid jobs and effect if lose their council tax benefit and need to find money to pay an increased charge.

Loss of Independent Living Fund

Loss of local jobs as council makes cuts

Impact of welfare reform on social care – NHS and social services departments will not be able to cope

Overall the meeting went very well. It was a great opportunity for local people to come together and realise they are not alone.

As a campaigner the biggest issue for me was Awareness. It was mentioned from the front table about how councils, and other bodies/organisations do not want to alarm people too soon about the changes. This was disputed from the floor. Marion, local resident, stood up and said people need informed now. It was waiting too long re welfare reform that meant too little time to fight.

Friday was the start of our local fight and arrangements already in place for further meetings.

Rosemary

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Please sign  PAT’S PETITION

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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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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

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Barking and Dagenham Against the Cuts – community conference

31 May 2012

received from Anna…………

Hi everyone,I wanted to let you all know about Barking and Dagenham Against the Cuts, and a community conference we are having on Saturday 9 June to bring people together who want to fight the cuts and defend public services and welfare.

Do you, or anyone you know, live or work in Barking and Dagenham? It would be great if you could get involved and come to the conference – and spread the word.We are also looking for people to contribute to informal workshops on the issues of benefits, the NHS and housing. This would mean talking about their experiences of campaigning on these issues – to help participants in the workshops/ conference develop plans for local action.

Would you or anyone else you know be happy to do this? If so, please get in touch!  More information can be found on our website:   (a work in progress – and quite psychadelic at the moment!).

Please let me know if you have any questions/ comments/ suggestions.

Thanks!

Anna

anna.wolmuth@gmail.com

Further details of speakers can be found here

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Also sign this petition and share as wide as possible asking others to do the same.

Pats Petition  background here

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

 

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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