Posts Tagged ‘welfare reform’

Countdown to end of WOW petition – Have YOU signed

13 November 2013




Daily we read stories informing us of the impact of welfare benefit changes, on many disabled people, carers and families. Campaigners have worked tirelessly to raise these issues with politicians and media.


There is one month till  WOW petition ends ( sign here ),  time to give this another push. With YOUR help they can achieve the required number of 100,000.

Tomorrow, Thursday 14/11/2013 there is to be mass tweetathons at –

9 – 10 am

12 – 1 pm   and

7 – 8 pm

All details, including which hash tags to use can be found on WOW blog here

Monday 21 October 2013 House of Lords – Short debate on benefits

14 October 2013

Time not known as yet but towards end of the days proceedings.

Short Debate

Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 – Lord McKenzie of Luton/Lord Freud

Employment Support Allowance – the elephant in the room

3 October 2013


This statement contains a message that no disability campaigner wants to hear – let alone campaign on. At first sight it appears negative and discouraging. However we believe that the best way to overcome a barrier is to name it and address it. And if it isn’t named, it leaves the government an open goal to take away safe, secure benefits.



With thanks to Grace Collins

With thanks to Grace Collins

CarerWatch and Pat’s Petition are concerned that Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) uses PUSH economics to take away safe benefits as a means of forcing disabled people in to work. But many disabled people can’t compete in the open job market and ESA is pushing them up against a brick wall. They have nowhere to go. The failure of the Work Programme is the result.

This is because many sick and disabled people have residual impairment, even after all adaptations are made, and are not as competitive in the open labour market as anyone else. Jobs are acquired through open competition: it is like asking disabled athletes to compete in the mainstream Olympics.

This is a very hard thing for disability campaigners to admit. We want to encourage people and talk up their strengths, not their weaknesses.  To admit that some disabled people are less competitive in the open labour market sounds like defeat. But the Social Model is about overcoming barriers. So far the focus has been on individuals overcoming their own individual barriers. But the competitive job market presents a structural barrier that also needs to be named and then addressed.

Of course there are many disabled people who, with adjustments and adaptations, can overcome their individual barriers to work and are just as competitive as everyone else. Talk about being less competitive is the last thing they want to hear.   But for many others this just isn’t the case. They are less competitive. And the relentless can do approach taken by ESA pushes them up against a brick wall.  ESA denies the can’t do. These people do not want to be written off as being unable to work (Support Group) but they can’t compete in the open labour market (Work related Activity Group (WRAG)). So there is no ESA group for people who have difficulty competing and they have nowhere to go. And these people have lost the security of safe benefits.

Let’s face up to and overcome the structural barrier in the job market. Because someone is less competitive it doesn’t mean they can’t work and contribute and there are still lots of options that might help them. Quotas, subsidies, campaigns, lots of opportunities for permitted and voluntary work. The government could intervene in the job market to make it a level playing field. Perhaps this needs a name – Supported Work. And being pushed down to work for less money below your level of competence is not a level playing field.


Meanwhile stop the unfair PUSH economics that is pushing less competitive disabled people up against a brick wall. They need the return of a safe secure benefit while they negotiate this impossible situation.   ESA is not fit for purpose. It has two groups. The Support Group provides long term safe support for disabled people who are not expected to be able to work. All other disabled people are put in the WRAG and classed as being ‘on their way back to work’ and they are expected to compete in the open job market. Some can compete but there is no group for the many who can’t.

A new structure is needed that recognises the reality of disability and the job market and provides safe, secure support for all disabled people.

Carers and Welfare reform – phone in Money Box Live

1 October 2013

carers_uk_logo2Head of Advice and Information Carers UK,  Jean French,  will be answering your questions on applying for welfare benefits as part of BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live.

If you would like to ask a question call 03700 100 444 from 1pm to 3.30pm

on Wednesday October 2nd 2013


or e-mail

You can listen to the programme live tomorrow at 1pm at this link:

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

1 October 2013


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




VIAS AGM 2013 – Exploding the Myths!

19 September 2013
Start:  06/11/2013 10:00
End: 06/11/2013 15:30

The 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of VIAS will take place at Hillington Innovation Centre, Glasgow on Wednesday 6th November.

As well as the usual business of the AGM, Simon Duffy, The Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform, the architect of individual budgets and self-directed support, will present and facilitate sessions on

  • welfare reforms
  • employment.

We hope that you will come along to support our work and contribute to discussion on these important agendas. A light lunch will be provided.




Benefits Britain 1949 – Monday 12th Aug Channel 4 at 9pm

7 August 2013


Benefits claimants volunteer to live by the rules of the first year of the welfare state. This first episode asks how the state should support disabled, long-term sick and elderly people.

WOW Petition team take welfare campaign up a notch

1 August 2013

Received from WOW Petition team



#wowpetition & #BeddingOut  Mass Tweet

Friday 2nd August     –     7pm

We are hoping to get the hashtags  #wowpetition#BeddingOut trending on twitter by tweeting it on Friday 2nd August at 7pm – including our own short messages about welfare reform, benefit cuts, what WOWpetition is (Resist the War On Welfare), the 3 phases of action and how to help.

The overall aim of the tweetathon will be to raise both awareness of what we’re doing, as well as signatures for the petition and publicise Liz Crow’s Fringe show which WOW is part of. Ultimately this is to save lives.

For full details read here

Sign the petition here    then share asking others to do the same.







MEPs back Green call for EU-wide Carers’ Leave law

9 July 2013


EURO-MPs have voted for a raft of measures proposed by London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert to  prevent care for vulnerable groups falling victim to government cuts – including a proposal for a new EU law granting ‘informal carers’ time off

The European Parliament voted by a clear majority today to adopt Ms Lambert’s report – ‘Impact of the Crisis on Access to Care for  Vulnerable Groups’, originally drafted for the Employment and Social  Affairs Committee, of which Ms Lambert is a member.

The  report, which will now be considered by the European Commission as ‘official’
European Parliament policy, sending a clear message to all EU governments that austerity measures and cuts should be evaluated to ensure they do not prevent the most vulnerable from being able to access healthcare, care services, and basic living support.

It calls for (more…)


18 June 2013


Following Carers Week, a debate on carers will take place in the House of Commons on Thursday 20th June

Full details can be found here  and you will be able to watch it LIVE via this link

It is vital you contact your MP , ask them to attend – and raise any/all issues that you are concerned about. Time is of the essence, so it may be worth phoning their office and following up with an email outlining your worries.

Questions can be asked on benefits, juggling work and care, social care, support from the NHS and all the other policy areas which affect carers.

Please share this with family, friends, contacts. The more MPs we have there, the more issues that can get discussed.

Share via Facebook and Twitter too. Hashtag during the event will be #CarersDebate


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