We did everything possible to engage with politicians, lobbying MPs and Peers, writing articles, attending conferences, but at every turn we were brushed aside.
Despite serious concerns from campaigners, charities and disabled people themselves, the Government's the recent Impact Assessment (October 2011) into the proposed reform of Disability Living Allowance is almost identical to the original. Nothing has changed, almost none of our concerns have been addressed and as the House of Lords return to vote on the final stages of the welfare reform bill, we felt that it was vital we presented our own evidence.
This is the Spartacus Report. We all own it, we all created it. It is yours, use it in any way you wish. Please join in the campaign online today if you aren't already signed up:
Tweeting using the hashtag #spartacusreport "I support the #spartacus report"
Change Facebook status to "I support the Spartacus Report"
Email your MP with the links to the report and the press release using this short covering letter :
“This report into Disability Allowance Reform has been written, researched and funded by disabled people. As one of your constituents, I am very concerned by its findings and the misrepresentation of disabled people that it exposes.
Please will you read the report and support sick and disabled people in calling for a pause to Personal Independence Payments in light of this new research.
I look forward to your response,”
Finally, please keep checking the blog all day as we will be updating regularly with very exciting updates ;)
Our report shows that :
-The Government broke its own code of consultation over the DLA reform
-The Government has entirely misrepresented the views submitted as part of the consultation, giving a partial and biased view.
-The Government claim that DLA must be reformed as claims has risen 30% in 8 years - we find that these statistics are entirely misleading and give a "distorted view"
-There is overwhelming opposition to the new benefit, Personal Independence Payments
-Some elements of PIP appear to already be going ahead, despite a rejection of the plans and before legislation has passed.
-The Government are repeatedly warned that proposals for PIP may break International and UK equality and Human Rights legislation
This is our chance to be heard. This is our chance to put evidence in the public domain from our own perspective. Today, a courier will take 31 boxes or reports, all hand stuffed into envelopes and addressed and deliver them to every peer and every MP and all of the people who responded to the consultation.
We did it. I had no idea if we could when we started, but we did it.
From today, Government may of course continue to ignore us. But they can never say they didn't know what they were doing.