Saturday, 26 February 2011

Weekly Round-up

For months - and in fact years - sickness and disability campaigners have used every method they possibly can to highlight how unjust, ill-thought through and dangerous some of the changes to their support and care are.

We've opposed the Work Capability Assessments of ESA (Employment Support Allowance, previously Incapacity Benefit) unremittingly. They are unfit for purpose, distressing and degrading. More recently, we've opposed the consultation on DLA and plans to reduce it by 20% before a single claim is reconsidered. We oppose removing mobility payments from adults in residential care and we oppose replacing DLA altogether with PIPs or Personal Independence Payments.

Well, this week the government's policies started to crumble and like so many of their other incoherent schemes, the judgements were brutal.

First - and crucially - this Compass Report confirms what disabled people have been saying all along. There are not millions of people lounging around on sickness benefit who should not be. Figures and theories, first put forward by James Purnell to justify forcing millions of sick and disabled people into work are finally being exposed as flawed, ignorant and based on assumptions that are just plain wrong.

Next - and this one is delicious - the governments own advisers, the statutory social security advisory committee have expressed exactly the concerns over DLA that we have. They conclude that cutting DLA by 20% appears to be no more than a cost cutting exercise.

And most triumphantly, The Broken of Britain have achieved yet another success with this beautifully eloquent open letter in the Guardian. Where just a month or two ago we had no friends, where previously we were just a few voices calling in vain, now you will notice we have MPs, Lords, Ladies, Scientists, Lecturers, Disabled Campaigners, Think Tanks and CEOs all speaking as one. As The Broken of Britain have been saying for months; "Alone we whisper, together we shout"

Our message is finally being heard and we are making progress. As momentum grows and more people join us, headlines like these will become more and more commonplace. We urge the government to reconsider now and engage with us to reform welfare in a way that will "first, do no harm"

6 comments:

  1. I do so much appreciate you fighting for us - You have no idea how much I love you at this moment!

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  2. I love that saying 'alone we whisper, together we shout' - you have no idea how much your blog lifts my spirits, Sue!

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  3. Spirits lifted = Job done!!
    I shall now "sit down to enjoy my holiday" (Devon)
    cyber chocolate prize for anyone who can name the film that quote is from.....

    Incidentally Yell, I was getting a bit worried about you, you hadn't blogged for ages, you OK?

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  4. we still need to shout louder

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  5. Oh Riven, we SOOOO do. Until everyone can hear us.

    Still, nice to know it's not just us totally alone any more xx

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  6. Sue - thanks for your concern. It's been a rough couple of months and the past week has been especially so, but I think I'm on the mend a bit now. There might not be light at the end of the tunnel just yet, but at least I can feel the breeze on my face!

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