Posts Tagged ‘spartacus report’

‘The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment’

12 November 2012

Received from WeAreSpartacusfull details available here

New report highlights failures of Work Capability Assessment as Spartacus campaign awaits Harrington’s final review

A new report from the Spartacus campaign today (Monday 12 November) analyses the failures of the Government’s Work Capability Assessment and the Employment & Support Allowance system, which is supposed to support people who are too sick or disabled to work.

It also warns that disabled people are at risk because of the government’s refusal to consider a ‘real world’ test – where part of the test would take into account the real barriers to employment.


WeAreSpartacus have highlighted many individual cases and it’s appalling to see all these people suffering through the tests for the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

But even if people get through this system and are awarded ESA – it is not the end of their problems because ESA is not a benefit which supports disabled people.

Most people who are awarded ESA are put in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) where they have 12 months of proscribed activities, including trial work placements, under threat of sanctions. This is in all but name – Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). Although it is presented as a group for disabled people the message is that these people are fit enough to be on their way back to work.

After 12 months, they will have no further ESA benefits and if they live with family members their families will need to support them.

Are we really giving up the idea of state support for disability and returning to the idea that families support disabled people?


Reversing from Recovery – from Spartacus group

25 June 2012

Our new report, Reversing from Recovery, is set to upset the motor industry and cause ripples throughout our fragile economy.

Why? Well, under the proposals for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which under the Welfare Reform Act will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Government’s own figures project a 27% reduction in the number of working age disabled people eligible to access the Motability scheme. This equates to an approximate 17% reduction in the total number of Motability car scheme customers.

Reversing from Recovery uses information available in the public domain to show that the Government’s plans, by reducing access to the Motability scheme, will create a domino effect, including the loss of:

  • More than 30,000 new car sales each year
  • 3,583 jobs (from 21,080 jobs to 17,497 jobs)
  • £342 million contribution to GDP (from around £2 billion to £1.67 billion)
  • £79 million in tax receipts

In addition, many disabled people are saying they can’t see how they could continue working without their Motability car; they will have to stop paying taxes and start claiming out of work benefits.

Some would say that there is an alternative, such as public transport.

However, a few days ago Transport for All and DPAC invited MP’s to join them on public transport in London, to test this theory. Public transport in London is the flagship of accessible transport. Nowhere else has as many accessible buses, tubes, trains or taxis, but Londoners will assure you that the situation is dire.

If there’s a limited chance of using public transport in London, then the chances of finding it in a remote area of the UK are even smaller – many places don’t even have a bus every day, let alone an accessible bus. Without their adapted vehicles, PIP claimants will be housebound and unemployable, as many disabled people already predict.

Of course there is the Government response of Access to Work, and the vast amount of money that will become available for taxis. Except… extracting help is almost impossible in some regions. And of course, Access to Work won’t help anyone go to see their doctor, attend hospital appointments or visit friends.

To download the full report and a summary version, go to the Reversing from Recovery download page….

….but a report is no good if no-one sees it. To help get it to the people who matter, log in to the Spartacus Forum at  for simple ideas and templates to help you play YOUR part. There are also email/letter templates available on this site at Let’s make sure every MP, Motability dealer and local newspaper in the country understands the economic impact of DLA reform.

Remember: Alone we whisper, together we shout!


**  please sign Pat’s Petition

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



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.


Press release

Photo opportunity. Meet Leicester Square McDonalds, 1.30pm


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. “


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,


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.

. 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.



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 to find out more about your organisation exhibiting or to be invoiced for a £25 Public/Commercial visitor place.
.Please visit: 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.

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.


Shoot your mouth off

7 April 2012

Shoot Your Mouth Off   (SYMO) is a production company specialising in high-quality work with disabled people.  SYMO produces a vast range of work including dramas, documentaries, comedies, music videos, resource materials and much more. We have won numerous awards for our work and our films have been screened at festivals around the world. SYMO is a social enterprise and exists to provide an enjoyable, rewarding and meaningful use of time to those often excluded from traditional training and employment opportunities. We aim to raise the visibility of disabled people in the media, portraying them as they are, bona fide members of society, with hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares, choices and rights.

After months of interviewing disabled people and  travelling all over the North, SYMO is showing “Falling Through the Cracks“. Commissioned by VONNE and the Lottery, the film focuses on disabled people’s responses to the government’s spending review, highlighting their hopes and fears, and joining them in Newcastle for the Hardest Hit campaign demonstration.

Watch video here

Are you worried about cuts to benefits and services too?

Sign this petition  asking the government to Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families. Share the link with as many people as you can and ask them to do the same. Share it on twitter and facebook, blogs too.

Emergency meeting – Organising Against the Welfare Reform Bill

18 February 2012


Received from Winvisible


Emergency Meeting:

Organising Against

the Welfare Reform Bill


Monday 20 Feb  5pm-6.30pm

Tent City University,

Occupy London,

St Paul’s

London EC4M 8AD 

All welcome


Buses 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242

Tube: St Paul’s, Central Line

Overground: City Thameslink


This is outdoors, so dress warm. 

Hot drinks available and accessible loos nearby.


For more info: Global Women’s Strike

020 7482 2496, 07904 255 145


Also please sign Pats Petition here, then become an organiser. Share the link to gather as many more names as you can and in turn ask them to do the same.

Do you send out/receive e newsletters? If so please ensure the petition details are included.



Easy read consultation on the new Personal Independence Payment

9 February 2012

The government’s ideas about the points you need to get benefit, and assessment questions.

Tell them what you think. Consultation ends 30 April 2012

Easy read docs here

Send responses to –

email to      or

post a letter to

Dept of Work and pensions
2nd floor Area B
Caxton House
Tothill Street


Welfare Reform and the Financial Privilege – A MUST READ

4 February 2012

On 1 February 2012, a committee of the House of Commons resolved that the Welfare Reform Bill, which proposes to cap benefits for most families at £26,000 a year, engages the financial privilege of the Commons.  Under such a privilege, the Commons is entitled to ‘disagree’ with any Lords amendment and ultimately reject it without feeling obliged to provide any reasons other than the existence of the privilege.  By convention, the Lords will accept this determination (though increasingly with protest). I argue below that it would be a mistake to read the financial privilege so broadly, and also that the Lords have both the constitutional power, and good cause, to assert themselves in reply.



Please sign this petition  and share the link to gather more support.

Amendments to Health and Social Care Bill published

2 February 2012

The Government has tabled a series of amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill in advance of its Report Stage in the House of Lords, which begins next week.

Health Minister Earl Howe has tabled a number of amendments that reaffirm the Government’s commitment to putting patients at the heart of the NHS and handing power to GPs and nurses. Alongside the amendments, the Department of Health has also pubished a set of briefing notes.

see details in full here

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