Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Can you help Today with Research?

Just a little crowd-sourcing post.

It would be awfully helpful if any of you have the time or energy to pull out quotes from peers who have spoken during the passage of the welfare reform bill.

In particular, I need quotes mentioning democracy, the social impacts of the bill and anyone expressing concern over Financial Privilege being used.

Anything from Conservative peers would be helpful, but also Lib Dems and Cross Benchers.

If you find anything good, (not too long if possible) could you post them here in the comments thread? I don't have time to go through links, so a cut and paste job straight to the best bits would be perfect.

More cryptic plotting from Suey but we did OK with the Spartacus Report ;)

xxx

112 comments:

  1. The deputy leader of Labour peers, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, accused the government of "hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments" passed by peers on the Welfare Reform Bill.

    "If the government continues to do this on these bills our role as a revising chamber is effectively undermined," he argued.

    Baroness Hollis said that if any bill involving expenditure could be ruled as a money bill - therefore preventing the Lords from changing it - then "we might as well go home".

    Both quotes taken from http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9692000/9692041.stm

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  2. Lord Newton of Braintree, a former social security secretary, said the matter "raises real questions about the relationship between the two Houses of Parliament", as they briefly debated the issue on 2 February 2012.

    "I do think we're entitled to an opportunity to hear a statement and ask questions about just where that relationship is now going," he added.


    Lord Cormack, a former MP, also backed calls for a statement, telling ministers "there is a fear...that there is an over-assertion of privilege, and that there may be reasons behind that".

    Tory former Scotland Secretary Lord Forsyth of Drumlean said there had been "a series of events which give the impression that the Commons, which increasingly sends legislation up here which is not properly considered and debated, is treating this place with some contempt".

    It was time the Conservative Leader of the Lords, Lord Strathclyde, had a "frank chat" with colleagues in the Commons on the issue, he said.

    Shadow Lords leader Baroness Royall of Blaisdon called on Lord Strathclyde to make a statement on the matter, and to confirm the government could have waived financial privilege.

    Lord Strathclyde told peers the matter of privilege was "nothing to do with the government" - it was taken by the Commons Speaker on the advice of clerks.

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  3. I'm very happy to but have no idea where I'm supposed to be looking. If someone is able to point me in the right direction I can get on with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Hansard http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/welfarereform/stages.html

      Delete
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/blog/2012/feb/01/welfare-benefits

    1.47pm: Dame Anne Begg, a Labour MP criticises opposition MPs for implying that sick and disabled people on benefits are "making a lifestyle choice."



    5.23pm: The government has been criticised for using parliamentary procedure to overturn Lords defeats on welfare reform, PA reports.

    Labour accused ministers of "hiding behind parliamentary procedure" after welfare minister Chris Grayling earlier cited the "financial privilege" of the Commons when urging peers to reject the first tranche of amendments - a decision that means peers cannot insist on their changes when the bill returns to the Lords.

    Former Tory cabinet minister Lord Mackay of Clashfern, who led the biggest Lords rebellion, said it was a "waste of taxpayers' money at a time of considerable austerity" for peers to pass amendments that were subsequently rejected out of hand.

    The government suffered seven defeats on the Welfare Reform bill and MPs are today reversing the setbacks.

    Although "financial privilege" is signified by the Speaker, MPs can waive their rights over financial matters and either accept a Lords amendment with cost implications or vote in favour of a compromise.

    Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, the deputy leader of Labour peers, said: "The point is whether it is wise for the government to use this process. Essentially it is hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments that we passed in this House on the Welfare Reform Bill.

    "If the government continues to do this on these bills, our role as a revising chamber is effectively undermined."

    Labour former work and pensions minister Baroness Hollis of Heigham said: "If it is the case that any bill, involving any element of expenditure, including welfare, including pensions, including health, including education can, at the fiat at the House of Commons, be ruled money and therefore privilege... then this will become a very part-time House indeed because we might as well go home."

    Lord Mackay, a former lord chancellor who last week led the rebellion that saw the Government defeated by 142 votes on the issue of charging parents to access the Child Support Agency, said it seemed "somewhat of a waste of time if we debate provisions that turn out to be completely sacrosanct because of the decision on privilege made in the Commons"



    Double Karma

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  5. Home>Blog>Hub
    Blog


    What’s the point of the House of Lords?
    by Caroline Crampton / 02 Feb 2012 16:44



    .... Leader of the Lords Lord Strathclyde put it mildly in debate yesterday when he said “the second Chamber might always think that the Commons using financial privilege is a little unfair”.....


    I spoke to Lord Bassam, opposition chief whip in the Lords, this afternoon, and he was forceful in his disagreement with the government’s actions.

    “I think it’s a mistake. I think it smacks of ‘we don’t like being beaten, we’re going to prove you’re completely wrong’,” he said. “It’s rather arrogant and high-handed on the government’s part. What I think is interesting in the Lords is that it’s not just Labour members who are aggrieved by this. Today we had Lawson, Newton, Forsyth, all chipping in and saying you shouldn’t be doing this.

    “They can say ‘we could exercise financial privilege here, but we won’t, we’ll seek a proper resolution of these issues’. Governments traditionally have done that, and they’ve used financial privilege very sparingly. If we look back at our [Labour’s] time in government, I think there are two or three examples but not many more.

    “One of the Tory peers asked the question – what is the point of the House of Lords if you’re going to use financial privilege on every decision that you dislike that they’ve made? I think it’s a very good question to ask. We continue to ask that question. It does cast a bit of a shadow over their commitment to Lords reform and I’m very suspicious that with the reforms that are going to emerge from the joint committee [on House of Lords reform], they will be seeking to muzzle us.” (http://www.totalpolitics.com/blog/hub/293317/whats-the-point-of-the-house-of-lords.thtml)

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  6. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: ‘I think the vast majority of people think it is fair to say that you can’t receive more in benefits than if you were to earn £35,000 before tax.

    Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2091483/Former-Archbishop-Carey-blasts-clerics-oppose-welfare-reform-declares-national-debt-real-moral-scandal.html#ixzz1lnClGN8y

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    Replies
    1. We are not seeking quotes that endorse the Condems policies, there are plenty of other sites you can post all that...

      Delete
  7. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will today set out dramatic plans to simplify the complex benefits system and make work pay as the Government attempts to rein in welfare dependency.
    Last night a leaked copy of Mr Duncan Smith's command paper, called 21st Century Welfare, made it clear that his aim is nothing less than tearing up the welfare system and starting from scratch.


    Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-1700240/Tax-credits-to-go-in-welfare-reform.html#ixzz1lnDicPt7

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  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9055739/Cameron-uses-privilege-rule-to-prevent-Lords-blocking-welfare-reform.html

    Lord Mackay of Clashfern, a Tory former cabinet minister, who led the biggest Lords rebellion over the Bill, said it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money at a time of considerable austerity” for peers to pass amendments over the past two months that were subsequently rejected out of hand.

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  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9055739/Cameron-uses-privilege-rule-to-prevent-Lords-blocking-welfare-reform.html

    Lord Mackay of Clashfern, a Tory former cabinet minister, who led the biggest Lords rebellion over the Bill, said it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money at a time of considerable austerity” for peers to pass amendments over the past two months that were subsequently rejected out of hand.

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  10. "Former chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby was one of three Conservative former Cabinet ministers who led the calls for a rethink as anger grew in the Upper House at the Commons invoking its "financial privilege" to throw out Lords amendments.

    The use of financial privilege as a reason for rejecting amendments means peers cannot insist on them when the Welfare Reform Bill returns to the Lords later this month.

    Lord Lawson told peers: "While the House of Commons is perfectly entitled to claim privilege it is not compelled to do so.

    "The constitution of this country operates by conventions and it is one of the conventions of the constitution that this is invoked very sparingly on rare occasions.

    "For it to be invoked promiscuously is completely contrary to the conventions of the constitution. I think this raises very serious issues and the House of Commons would be wise to think again.""

    "And Tory former social security secretary Lord Newton of Braintree said the issue "raises real questions about the relationship in practice, as it has existed over many years, between the two Houses".

    He added: "I think we are entitled to hear a statement and ask questions about just where that relationship is now going.""

    Both from here - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5j_BNNprn6Y-HH-rJXReUQxfOacLA?docId=N0292471328186873867A

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  11. Iain Duncan Smith, then proclaimed that they would evoke old laws to push the reforms through, anyway

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2087784/Welfare-Reform-Bill-Where-national-conscience.html#ixzz1lnEsdurn

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  12. Former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth accused the Commons of treating the Lords "with contempt":

    "I respectfully suggest to my noble friend the Leader of the House that he has a duty to the House as a whole, as well as to the Government's interests. There have been a series of events that give the impression that the other place, which increasingly sends legislation up here that is not properly considered and debated, is treating this place with some contempt, not least of which is the suggestion that the Parliament Act might be used in respect of the reform of this place. I suggest to my noble friend that the time may have come for him to assert his authority as Leader of the House and have a frank chat with some of his colleagues."

    Strong stuff and the former Chancellor Lord Lawson agreed:

    "While the House of Commons is perfectly entitled to claim privilege, it is not compelled to do so. The constitution of this country operates by conventions. It is one of the conventions of the constitution that this is evoked very sparingly and on rare occasions. For it to be invoked promiscuously is completely contrary to the conventions of the constitution." From http://conservativehome.blogs.com/parliament/2012/02/tory-peers-accuse-government-of-treating-them-with-contempt-ignoring-amendments-to-poorly-debated-bi.html

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  13. They routinely issue misleading and questionable statistics and further perpetuate the idea of ‘scroungers’. They should be aware that each time they do this it has a serious and detrimental impact on disabled people who are frequently bullied and beaten by people calling them all manner of heinous names including 'retards' (just as Hull Conservative MP, John Fareham did on Twitter last week

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2087784/Welfare-Reform-Bill-Where-national-conscience.html#ixzz1lnFWbSw4

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  14. Lord Freud said: 'Depending on the scale of the challenge the jobseeker faces, we will pay anything between £4,000 and £14,000 to the employment specialists – if they can get people into sustainable employment.'

    Speaking at a conference organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research, he said: 'Payment by results means that we can reward providers who invest successfully to get people into jobs – especially the hardest to help


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368689/Private-companies-set-earn-14-000-person-dole-welfare-proposal.html#ixzz1lnGObyqa

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  15. From Lords of the Blog - House of Lords Blog, Baronness Murphy:

    02/02/2012 – 1:50 PM
    Yesterday afternoon in the Commons, just before the debate on the Lords’ Amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill, the Speaker announced “I must draw the House’s attention to the fact that financial privilege is involved in a substantial number of Lords amendments. If the House agrees to these amendments, I shall ensure that the appropriate entry is made in the Journal.” Thus the Government, by persuasion of the Speaker, ensured that the Lords would not be able to further discuss the provision of the Bill. The Lords’ amendments would have cost hundreds of millions of pounds. The Commons spent all afternoon systematically voting out all the Lords’ amendments.

    Formally, as the Leader of the House Lord Strathclyde said in our chamber, “Matters for privilege are not a matter for the Government but a matter for the House of Commons and the Speaker of the House of Commons on advice from his clerks. The position of privilege has of course been jealously guarded by the House of Commons since 1671. It is well precedented and there is nothing unusual, although the second Chamber might always think that the Commons using financial privilege is a little unfair.” Just a year ago the Constitution Committee considered ‘Money Bills and Commons Financial Privilege’ (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldselect/ldconst/97/97.pdf) and concluded that in any reform of the House these privileges would need to be re-examined.

    But of course the Leader’s statement did not fool anyone; the Clerks in the Commons would have been persuaded, and probably quite easily given the financial implications, of the merits of using the Financial Privilege to scupper further delay by the Lords. There was considerable anger in our chamber yesterday afternoon about this decision. Personally I felt the use of the Privilege was unnecessary, the Lords usually agrees to abide by the elected Commons’ decisions after one bout of Ping Pong. But Cameron must have known that the press and public were largely on the Government’s side. Quite what rump of the bill will return to the Lords for discussion is a mystery although apparently something will appear next week.

    I shall be abroad for the next two weeks and miss the excitement of the return of the Health Bill. I’ll catch up with it on Day 3 of Report Stage. Lord Owen is plotting rather noisily against almost all the Bill’s provisions and the Minister Earl Howe has tabled a myriad set of new amendments for the Government which take account of our discussions in committee. At least we know that the Government can’t throw out discussions about the Health Bill on the basis of financial privilege since few have financial implications.

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  16. The Countess of Mar (Crossbench)

    My Lords, I am pleased to support this amendment so ably moved by my noble friend Lady Meacher and so clearly defined by the noble Baronesses, Lady Wilkins and Lady Browning. The principles behind universal credit are an acknowledged improvement on the current arrangements for benefits for people who are either in or out of work. Noble Lords cannot but be aware of the enormous strains that disability can put on individuals and their families. That has been pointed out to us today. These strains fall disproportionately on parents of children with disabilities. Most of the time the public are unaware of the emotional demands made by a child with whom his parents cannot reason and whose needs are unending, unpredictable and create additional burdens on the family finances. I have a huge respect for mothers who continue to cope while at the end of their tethers.

    The improvements in neonatal survival rates have brought with them more children who are very dependent. Some will never be wholly independent. Some children become disabled through illness or accident for which no one is to blame. There will be no huge compensation payouts for them. This is a responsibility that can be too much for parents to bear alone and I believe that we should all ensure that they receive adequate support.

    Recent research by Dr Esther Crawley at Bristol University showed that as many as one in 100 children away from school may have CFS/ME. Many of these children are currently in receipt of DLA at the lower rate, which has a mobility component, as well as others at the higher rate, although they can walk short distances. We do not know how such children will be assessed in future, although if the PIP assessment is anything to go by they will lose the mobility component. Their DLA helps with childcare costs and transport, among other things. It also provides a passport to other benefits, such as Blue Badge, congestion charge exemption and the London Taxicard. As one mother put it to me recently:

    "Without these my daughter would essentially be housebound and not only would have no social live whatsoever, but she couldn't get to medical or dental appointments or places of educational interest associated with her studies. She is a clever talented girl who cannot progress to higher education without these things".

    I am growing increasingly concerned about the strains that we are about to put on our less fortunate citizens by the provisions of this Bill. There are reports appearing on a regular basis of deaths of people found by ATOS to be fit for work. Chris Grayling acknowledged that 31 people had died while awaiting their appeals in the three years to last October. I understand that benefit cuts are also confirmed by coroners as the cause of at least 16 suicides. The noble Baroness, Lady Browning, has mentioned mothers who have murdered their children and then committed suicide.

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  17. Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Crossbench)

    Research by CLIC Sargent found that on average parents spend about £367 on extra expenses a month following a child's cancer diagnosis and treatment, resulting in an annual spend of about £4,400 for parents of a child with cancer. When these families, whether suddenly or gradually devastated by illness, do not have the money they need with which to pay not for luxuries but very basic things to enable them to provide care for the disabled child, the other children in the family, the health service and society as a whole end up paying a higher price in many domains.

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  18. Speaking in east London alongside the architect of the reforms, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the Prime Minister said: 'Never again will work be the wrong financial choice. Never again will we waste opportunity.
    'Welfare just isn't working': David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith launch the Welfare Reform Bill today.The Prime Minister said that the system encourages claimants into irresponsibility
    'We're finally going to make work pay - especially for the poorest people in society.

    'And we're going to provide much greater support for unemployed people to find work - and stay in work.

    'We're not just recasting the reach, scope and effectiveness of the old system - making it fairer and a genuine ladder of opportunity for everyone. We're also doing something no government has done before - and that is get to grips with the cost of welfare.'
    Mr Cameron admitted that the changes announced today would be 'painful' but said they would slash £5.5billion from the welfare bill over the next four years by limiting housing benefit, reforming tax credits and taking child benefit away from higher-rate taxpayers.

    He spoke after Mr Duncan Smith this morning insisted job vacancies will no longer be filled by foreign workers while 'millions' of Britons stay on benefits.
    The measures included the flagship Universal Credit, which Mr Cameron said would make sure that claimants are rewarded for going into work.
    'It's simple, the more you work the better off you will be', Mr Cameron said

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357792/Britain-welfare-reform-end-rewards-workshy.html#ixzz1lnHlQ6bA


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357792/Britain-welfare-reform-end-rewards-workshy.html#ixzz1lnHXkk69

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  19. Lord Strathclyde

    "The matters of privilege are not a matter for the government but a matter for the House of Commons – the Speaker of the House of Commons on advice from his clerks. The position of privilege has been jealously guarded by the House of Commons since 1671."

    He added: "I do not think we waste our time in debating these issues. We do not insist on all the amendments we pass in this House. We send them back to the House of Commons to get the government and the House of Commons to think again. If they have thought again and invoked financial privilege I think we should let the matter rest."

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  20. She was the civil servant trusted with deciding who was genuinely disabled and in need of help.

    But what the people she was passing judgment on did not know was that Susan Elliott-Jones was falsely claiming more than £8,000 in disability benefit herself.

    Despite sitting on a disability benefits appeals panel, she lied to welfare officials that she was virtually unable to walk.



    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386138/Civil-servant-presided-benefits-appeals-exposed-8-000-welfare-cheat.html#ixzz1lnIdAFqQ

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  21. 10 warnings from right wing journalists & colleagues about David Cameron that we should have heeded http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/2012/01/10-warnings-from-right-wing-journalists.html

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  22. Lord Lawson (Conservative): The constitution of this country operates by conventions. It is one of the conventions of the constitution that this is evoked very sparingly and on rare occasions. For it to be invoked promiscuously is completely contrary to the conventions of the constitution."

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  23. From Hansard:
    Baroness Hollis of Heigham "...if any Bill involving any element of expenditure, including on welfare, pensions, health and education, can at the fiat of the House of Commons be ruled as money and therefore privilege, then, taking th Noble Lord's statement that this House is a part-time House, it will become a very part-time house indeed becausee we might as well all go home."

    Lord Strathclyde: "... It is perfectly possible for this House to suggest and recommend changes to Bills over a whole range of issues, no doubt including financial ones. How the House of commons deals with those is a matter for that House."

    More to follow when I have fed my hungry husband!

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  24. this is a brilliant source info
    http://ask.unum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Demos-Report1.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  25. What would you think if you heard the Home Office was colluding with newspapers to fuel hatred against gay people? Or if affable Ken Clarke at the Ministry of Justice fed propaganda to broadcasters designed to disparage ethnic minorities? There would, quite rightly, be an outcry.
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24033624-disabled-are-at-the-mercy-of-ministers-and-media.do#.TzFTUED2xGE.facebook
    This is the issue confronting another minority - and one far more ostracised in society. Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, desperate to force through cuts to their budgets, have demonised disabled people with smears designed to give the impression that many are cheats and scroungers.

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  26. This article points out that by using financial perivilege the Government " defends the welfare reform bill as a matter of austerity rather than a bona fide attempt to address a social problem (whether dependency, or fairness)"

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/news/welfare-reform-and-the-financial-privilege.pdf

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  27. Lord Newton (Conservative) on the social Fund, 25/1/12: I do not think that the localism agenda should stand in the way of making sure that money spent for the purpose of these vulnerable people is spent on these vulnerable people.

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  28. Lord Forsyth (Conservative): I respectfully suggest to my noble friend the Leader of the House that he has a duty to the House as a whole, as well as to the Government's interests. There have been a series of events that give the impression that the other place, which increasingly sends legislation up here that is not properly considered and debated, is treating this place with some contempt,

    ReplyDelete
  29. http://www.digitalvoice.eu/?p=248

    this shows it is an atatck on disabled ppl, fab find

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sorry if I wasn't clear, the quotes need to be from Lords.

    Also, can we search around not just for the really juicy ones. I need quotes from as many different peers as possible.

    Thanks everyone xxx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: "... The question is whether it was wise for the Government to use this process in theis place, because, essentially, they are hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments that your Lordships passed on the Welfare Reform Bill. In essence, my noble friend has put it absolutely right: if the Government continue to do this on these Bills, our role as a revising Chamber is effectively undermined."

    Lord MacKay of Clashfern: "I wish to question the timing of such a decisionon the part of the Speaker. It seems somewhat of a waste of time if your Lordships debate provisions which turn out to be completely sacrosanct because of the decision on privilege made at the other end. The expense involved in your Lordships coming here and taking part seems a waste of taxpayers' money at a time of considerable austerity if the whole procedure is useless. I suggest that the timing of such decisions needs to be looked at."

    Lord Martin of Springburn: "... If the Speaker's signature goes on that piece of paper, it is done very sparingly and with considerable advice from those who are experts in this matter."

    Lord Rooker: "... If particular amendments are a cause for concern among the authorities of the other place, that should be signalled before we debate the issue in this House."

    Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: "...Does the Leader of the House believe that people would stand for election [to this House] were huge chunks of legislation to be declared beyond their competence?"

    Lord Newton of Braintree: "...Are we completely wasting our time?"

    Lord Strathclyde: "...If they [the House of Commons] have thought again and invoked financial privilege, we should let the matter rest."

    Lord Hughes of Woodside: "...Are we really to believe that one morning the Speaker gets up and says 'Eureka! I'm going to decide whether this is financial privilege or not'? Who initiates the process? It is hard to believe there was not a nudge and a wink from the Government, to try to save their own blushes.

    Lord Howarth of Newport: "... Is it not the reality that when the Government have run out of arguments and patience they ask the Speaker if he will invoke financial privilege. They cross their fingers and hope that he will do so. Does this Government want the House of Lords to operate as a revising chamber or not?"

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  32. Senior Tories have accused MPs of treating the Lords with "contempt" over the way they dealt with the defeats inflicted by peers on the Government's controversial welfare reform legislation.
    Former chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby was one of three Conservative former Cabinet ministers who led the calls for a rethink as anger grew in the Upper House at the Commons invoking its "financial privilege" to throw out Lords amendments.
    The use of financial privilege as a reason for rejecting amendments means peers cannot insist on them when the Welfare Reform Bill returns to the Lords later this month.
    Lord Lawson told peers: "While the House of Commons is perfectly entitled to claim privilege it is not compelled to do so.
    "The constitution of this country operates by conventions and it is one of the conventions of the constitution that this is invoked very sparingly on rare occasions.
    "For it to be invoked promiscuously is completely contrary to the conventions of the constitution. I think this raises very serious issues and the House of Commons would be wise to think again."
    Tory former Scotland secretary Lord Forsyth of Drumlean said there had been "a series of events which suggest the Commons, which increasingly sends legislation up here which is not properly considered, is treating this place with some contempt".
    He called for Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the Lords, to have a "frank chat" with colleagues in the Commons on the issue.
    And Tory former social security secretary Lord Newton of Braintree said the issue "raises real questions about the relationship in practice, as it has existed over many years, between the two Houses".
    He added: "I think we are entitled to hear a statement and ask questions about just where that relationship is now going."
    Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved.

    Former Tory cabinet minister Lord Mackay of Clashfern, who led the biggest Lords rebellion, said it was a "waste of taxpayers' money at a time of considerable austerity" for peers to pass amendments that were subsequently rejected out of hand.
    Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, the deputy leader of Labour peers, said: "The point is whether it is wise for the government to use this process. Essentially it is hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments that we passed in this House on the Welfare Reform Bill.
    "If the government continues to do this on these bills, our role as a revising chamber is effectively undermined."
    Labour former work and pensions minister Baroness Hollis of Heigham said: "If it is the case that any bill, involving any element of expenditure, including welfare, including pensions, including health, including education can, at the fiat at the House of Commons, be ruled money and therefore privilege... then this will become a very part-time House indeed because we might as well go home."
    Lord Mackay, a former lord chancellor who last week led the rebellion that saw the Government defeated by 142 votes on the issue of charging parents to access the Child Support Agency, said it seemed "somewhat of a waste of time if we debate provisions that turn out to be completely sacrosanct because of the decision on privilege made in the Commons".

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  33. Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111212-0001.htm

    Lord Addington: My Lords, will my noble friend give an assurance that when the initial assessment is made, someone with real expertise in the disability or group of disabilities advises on whether the benefit should be paid?

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  34. Baroness Afshar Crossbench

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bXCSP4-1Os

    housework and carer is work and a job, should be paid work – ‘glaring contradictions bet what the gov says it wants to achieve which is equality for women for carers for old people’

    ReplyDelete
  35. Lord Best Crossbench –
    http://www.local.gov.uk/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=2533447b-5ae8-4a85-a102-c69349ab3e90&groupId=10161 – on underoccupancy of council or housing assoc homes

    Lord Best proposed an
    amendment which sought to remove the Government’s rule change and retain
    the current situation. The LGA had particular concern regarding the impact on
    foster parents and Lord Best told Peers that “A spare room keeps a family
    together. It allows teenagers to have their own bedrooms; it allows parents to
    help older children pick up the pieces if they come home at a time of crisis; it
    allows the adult child to come home to look after a poorly parent when they come
    home from hospital; it allows the divorcee to have children to stay; it allows
    couples to sleep separately if one is ill or recovering from an operation; it allows
    the younger disabled child to have their own room.”

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  36. Lord Bishop of Oxford

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111212-0001.htm

    The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, is the Minister aware that many of us are very concerned that the measure envisaged might have a deleterious effect on the very group that the Government are most concerned to help-that is, those who would come into the support group eligible for universal benefit, but who are actually living alone and without carers?

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  37. Lord Low of Dalston Crossbench


    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111212-0001.htm
    Lord Low of Dalston: My Lords, is the Minister aware that the Benefit Integrity Project, introduced by the previous Government to weed out the misuse of disability benefits, found more people on DLA whose needs had risen than fallen, contributing to a rise in expenditure on benefits? Does he expect the introduction of personal independence payments to lead to a similar increase in expenditure, as well as a rise in the cost of administration?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Lord Wigley

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111212-0001.htm - in reaction to discussion of fraud in benefit system and use of crimestoppers

    Lord Wigley: My Lords, does the Minister accept that the campaign organised by parts of the tabloid press insinuating that disabled people drawing benefits are cheats and scroungers, is totally unacceptable; that the vast majority of disabled people dependent on benefits are absolutely straight and honest; that the level of fraud is relatively low; and that this campaign should stop?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Lord Freud

    'Working-age welfare spending has increased by over 40 per cent over the past decade'

    'Welfare reform is first and foremost about refocusing the resources we have to help the people who need it most.'

    'Too many people think of DLA as an out-of-work benefit. In fact, DLA's purpose is to provide financial support to contribute towards the extra costs incurred by disabled people as a result of their disability, irrespective of whether they are in or out of work. DLA awards have become inconsistent and subjective, and spending on this benefit has started to spiral out of control.'

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lord Freud, 21 Nov 11: In PIP assessment, we want to get the best mix of evidence from a variety of sources. This will be partly about what the claimants tells us about themselves, partly what can be gathered at face-to-face consultations and partly what we can obtain from relevant people who support them. Moreover, as I said, we want individuals to tell us who is best placed to advise us on these matters.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Baroness Hayter

    As Sir Richard Tilt has said:

    "The discretionary social fund has been the ultimate, final safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable".

    What will replace these half a million grants and 3 million loans? Food parcels instead of cash? A postcode lottery of handouts? Loan sharks instead of regulated grants?

    ReplyDelete
  42. God, this is depressing. searching for quotes you can't help but see people's comments -
    430.
    ichabod
    1st February 2012 - 14:00

    If you live on state benefits there should be no choice. If you live in an expensive area like Central London ,then expect to be rehoused somewhere cheaper. Countless thousands of working people work in London but do not live there because they cannot afford it. It is immoral for taxpayers to fund the non-contributors to a standard they themselves cannot afford.

    Report this comment (Comment number 430)

    Link to this (Comment number 430)
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    +47
    Comment number 424.
    Notthebbc
    1st February 2012 - 13:58

    The purpose of welfare benefits are to temporarily support people when they need help. Not provide a living indefintely for those that are too lazy and pathetic to make something of themselves or be responsible for their life choices. It's about time the government reformed the system that provides an excuse for people not to work.

    Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
    +53
    Comment number 417.
    Jacqui
    1st February 2012 - 13:53

    I am in agreement to the cap. That amount should be sufficient if people spent their money wisely. Something needs to be done about people who would rather choose sky television/mobile phones over eating and heating their home. Why should the tax payer continue funding their entertainment! The job market is poor, but there are jobs out there for both the skilled and non-skilled

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lord Freud, 21 Nov 11: In PIP assessment, we want to get the best mix of evidence from a variety of sources. This will be partly about what the claimants tells us about themselves, partly what can be gathered at face-to-face consultations and partly what we can obtain from relevant people who support them. Moreover, as I said, we want individuals to tell us who is best placed to advise us on these matters.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ok, this is not from the Lords but it is a great article written by an academic from the University of Glasgow and the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research and the Glasgow Media Unit, about how the Media have turned the public opinion against the disabled. Unbelievable...

    http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_214917_en.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  45. On reducing disability rates for those on mid/low care DLA and talking about social consequences.....

    Baroness Meacher:31st jan 12

    There are good reasons for proposing a disability addition at two-thirds of the higher rate for children. This addition is needed to contribute to the costs of special clothing, repairing damage, safety measures and special food, and to contribute to the costs of giving disabled children access to the opportunities that other children have. We know that simple things like swimming lessons cost something like £270 for 12 lessons for a disabled child as opposed to £80 for a normal child. Where will that money come from? A summer club costs £450 per week for a disabled child compared with £100 a week for a non-disabled child. Yet these are the things that would give a parent a break and really help a child to socialise and benefit from development opportunities."


    Baroness Howarth of Breckland: Cost to quality of lives

    My last point is that, as several people have said, if we are a civilised society, we want children to grow up to be active young people and to have a proper transition into adulthood. I declare an interest as the president of Livability, a charity which looks after young people in schools, in colleges and through into adult care. I understand the need for that transition. If we are to do that and if we are to ensure that such families have a proper life, appropriate funding is crucial. Noble Lords may have disabled children but, if you are trying to bring them up on the kind of money that these families have and in the housing conditions and relationship situations of these families, funding is absolutely crucial to underpin the care, love and continuity that these children desperately need. I ask the Minister to look in his envelopes again to see whether there is not some way in which the money can be redistributed to ensure that that does not happen.

    Baroness Browning: (On increased social cost later on)

    I have spent many years dealing with casework for what must run into hundreds, if not thousands, of adults and children on the autistic spectrum. If this is about money, I hope my noble friend will take my word for it that although they might be considered as "disabled light" in childhood, a huge proportion of them will be the big bills to the public purse later on in adolescence and adulthood. Not only is the human cost of that tragic and avoidable-because most of it is avoidable, if it is properly planned and cared for-but there is the economic aspect. Just putting in the basics early enough, some of which are very low-budget items, can prevent the very big crisis-budget bills that inevitably come

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  46. what is highly concerning about the changes to Welfare law. legal aid, the health bill, is their cummulative effect and the marking of the very clear lines that this government and the previous one have embarked on an all out assualt on working people, the unemployed, the disabled and the poor in general.

    it is somewhat ironic therefore that it is to them that appeals are made and it is to them that any scraps of evidence are gleaned in order to try to change things. My feeling is it won't happen. What appears to be happeneing is a cynical plan to remove all those people from the uk. It is nazism. You can't fight nazism by writing letters and speaking kindly to these folk. Politicans are happy killing people in other countries - so they will be happy killing them here. And they have the people in place to assist them - the custtomer service managers, the appeals officers, the benfit agencies, the integrity centres, and a new one to me - the customer insight unit

    ReplyDelete
  47. Lord Aberdowale

    "Whilst efforts to progress integration have been taken forward, it is actually disappointing that we are still talking about health and social care as separate entities. The fact is that they are inextricably linked: not only in terms of spend, but also in terms of savings and where these are achieved. Such savings are more important than ever during the current financial uncertainty we are facing."

    ReplyDelete
  48. On Day One of Lords Committee Stage:

    Baroness Lady Campbell had expressed concern that the Committee Room they were in was completely unsatisfactory being too far from her own room where her breathing equipment was and that she felt unsafe. Baroness Grey-Thompson added that the room was too far from the Chamber for wheelchair users to get there in time if there was vote. Baroness Campbell added that she didn't like having to rely on someone else to push the button on her microphone every time she wanted to speak.

    Baroness Morgan: How we respond to the needs of disabled Members of our House reflects more widely the respect we show to disabled people in our Society.

    Baroness O'Loan: As we later consider the DLA and the PIP which will replace it, we need to bear in mind that our understanding of the consequences of living with disabilities is limited. We demonstrate that by the way in which we construct our business. People will judge the extent of our understanding in the discussion we have about Social Security arrangements to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of her weakness Campbell requires help to do almost everything, and needs a ventilator to help her breathe at night.She uses an electrically powered wheelchair and has a computer on which she types with one finger.

      She receives a direct payment from the local authority for her care needs, which enables her to employ five female carers to help her with the routine activities of daily living.

      she's a bit like me although she hasn't had the bashing by the DWP over the years that i have had so she's been lucky

      Mind you if i had been a lord so I'm told i would have never been hassled at all by the DWP
      so if anyone ever asks you what's in a name you'll be able to tell them a hell of a lot

      Delete
  49. Lord Addington

    At my conference, someone who was talking in a meeting about autism said, "You must understand that autism is a three-dimensional spectrum". Does that phrase not start to explain why the diversity of people and their reactions are incredibly difficult to understand and always will be? I wish I had thought of that expression myself. The great diversity of needs and different types of behaviour mean that you must have some specific training.

    When I was approached to put down this amendment, I had a conversation with the NAS. I want to use it as an example of the fact that you always need a certain degree of knowledge to make this type of assessment. I remember that, in years gone by, when the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, spoke for the then Government, our exchanges on the subject of the initial interview process went on and on and developed almost into a ritual dance. "Can we have specific knowledge?", we would ask the Government. "No, but we will give them lots of training", they would reply. We have got better, because we always do, but it remains the case that unless you have someone who actually understands the condition which they are assessing and reporting on, they will make mistakes.

    The noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, has already pointed out that mistakes cost "blood and gold" for everybody concerned. You burn up time; you burn up money; you cause suffering. Getting more expertise into assessment, either by taking a better history, or by making sure you have the right person there at the right time, will make life a lot easier and will probably save money in the long term or, indeed, in the medium term. The Minister has been moving forward, although he is pushing water uphill with certain concerns here. I stress that I am looking for clarification on where he is moving to and his thoughts on where this expertise is going to be dragged in. If you have a problem, empower people to say that there is a problem and that someone who understands it needs to be brought in. If you can do that, you will take huge steps forward. You will not get it right all the time but you will get it right more often.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "If you are going to rob the poor to pay the rich we have entered a different form of morality." Lord Patel in House of Lords on 11th January 2012.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/11/lords-welfare-bill-defeat-for-government

    ReplyDelete
  51. A bit off topic, but the Guardian is reporting that a new 'breakaway' grouping is emerging in the Lib/Dems: 'liberal left' who are very concerned about the direction of the Coalition and its policies. might be worth getting in touch with them about welfare issues, etc...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/08/liberal-democrat-splinter-protest-coalition

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't worry - it's probably because they're not getting a pay rise

      Delete
  52. David Cameron, Hollow Cause Survivor 20158 February 2012 18:17

    "Well, I think I was the only one who was eligible. My rights as British Prime Minister have nothing to do with it. I claimed PiP for my dead son who met all the criteria. It's sad about the rest of the population but look at how efficient we are now!"

    ReplyDelete
  53. Lord Best (Crossbench), 21 Nov 11: Rents are far higher in some areas than in others. In London and the south-east, rents may be four times the levels in the cheaper areas of the north of England or, say, south Wales. If the accommodation is in the private rented sector, again rents can be several times higher than in the social, council or housing association sector. Of course, accommodation costs will be higher if you have a larger family. Heaven help you if you have, say, three children-let alone four, as in my own family-and you are in the private rented sector and you live in the southern half of England. If you cannot find a job, you are probably going to have to move, most likely to a cheaper area where, unfortunately, employment prospects are likely to be even worse, or you will face homelessness.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Lord German (Lib Dem), 21 Nov 11: Very importantly, we cannot see a rise in costly homelessness that penalises children who are mainly in large families and in high-rental areas.

    ReplyDelete
  55. NickD Mylegalforum8 February 2012 19:53

    Before Government can claim financial privilege it should be able to assure the House of Lords it can guarantee long term financial certainty over the savings it predicts with welfare reform. The flagship work programme can make no such guarantees, government knows it, the work providers know it and the IFS have warned government over the 'devil being in the detail' as to whether savings will be delivered. We are simply dealing with too many unknown quantities to be able predict any financial savings will be made in this Parliamentary term. Until government can make firm financial predictions over fiscal deficit reduction, it should not claim financial privilege on overturning well debated and sensible amendments made to the welfare reform bill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. certainly not going to happen with a nazi government

      Delete
  56. Lord kirkwood of kirkhope Lib Dem
    4 october 2011 House of Lords Committee 1st sitting


    “I am particularly concerned about the level of Treasury claw-back in the benefits section. It is absolutely true to say that universal credit will produce new income for low-income households, particularly those going into many jobs and the like. We all understand that, but there will be a reduction of existing levels of benefit, particularly in areas like housing and the universal household cap, which will really, really hurt the households that it affects. “


    (I believe he's the Lord with a registered interest in Unum)

    stayingalive

    ReplyDelete
  57. Lord kirkwood of kirkhope Lib Dem
    14 December 2011 House of Lords WRB Report (2nd day)

    on housing benefit/under-occupation of social housing

    “I say to my own side that this is not an ordinary amendment. The provision is not simply about trying to save money; it is about saving money in a way that is more likely to disrupt vulnerable households than just about anything else, partly but not exclusively because the household benefit cap is equally destructive of household integrity. This amendment deserves serious consideration. If noble Lords do not vote for it we are going to have to live with the consequences. I predict that, in the long term, those consequences will affect the public purse more negatively than the Treasury Front Bench and the Minister expect."

    stayingalive

    ReplyDelete
  58. baroness Royall of Blaisdon (Lab) quoting Baron Strathclyde (Con, Leader of Lords)
    Quoting on 2 February 2012 House of Lords



    Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I have to crave the indulgence of the House once more to quote something back at the noble Lord the Leader from when I was a transgressor on financial privilege. This is a very enlightening piece from Hansard. The noble Lord the Leader said:

    "The Government therefore did not seek to debate the substance of my noble friend's amendment in another place last night; they simply declared it unconstitutional and cited privilege. I do not think that that is good enough. The Government should not hide behind the principle of privilege as a matter of course, because what is constitutional should be a matter for the whole of Parliament. Parliament should not accept the use of the privilege amendment in cases of doubt simply to stifle debate, which is the impression that the Government have given in dealing with my noble friend's amendments. After all, if the amendments of your Lordships' House are not to be discussed, what is the point of this House ever agreeing to any amendments? I ask the noble Baroness"-

    that is, me-


    2 Feb 2012 : Column 1678

    "to consider this matter carefully with her colleagues in another place, with Members of this House and, perhaps, with the Clerk of the Parliaments and his opposite number in another place to see how this issue can be resolved. If the rights of your Lordships are well understood-not only in their limits but in their reality and usefulness-then none of us should see those rights lightly eroded".-[Official Report, 25/11/08; cols. 1359-60.]

    stayingalive

    ReplyDelete
  59. All of this due process has some merit but it merely plays into their hands. We have to 'play the game' according to their rules.

    If you write to your MP there is no guarantee they will even see your letter nevermind read it! All mail to MPs goes into the hands of their constituency team. This is generally a motely collection of retired party supporters who often work voluntarily, wanabees who can't wait until they get elected and others all acting within the party remit.

    Recently I was in deep distress when I contacted my tory MP, not asking for help, rather stating unequivically that I thought the plans for replacing DLA were vile. Along the way I cited some of my own problems ( as evidence if you like) with stress partly because of having benefits stopped, drop in income and not understanding what was happening. I still don't. I was suicidal and told them so. I been to the hospital and have additional medication but my problems still exist. I cannot cope to deal with them.

    I received an email the next day, presumably because of the suicide issue. They offered help. I wrote back saying help me then. I heard no more.

    A month later I received a mail asking if I still wanted help. It was the first day back after a month long christmas break.

    I don't know if the MP even knows anyhing of ths - this is just dealing with the constituency team. When I informed them of my having bipolar I was told that would account for my depresssion! (as if I wouldn't know)

    I didn't ask for help and I haven't had their help. There was a crisis when a staff member left and they told me they were too busy.

    You can be suicidal, in their knowledge, and they still take a month off for christmas. In what way can any of these corrupt politicians help us?

    ReplyDelete
  60. A letter in the Times today from Lord Howarth of Newport, a labour Lord who was previously a Con, then a Lab MP.
    Sir,
    The future of an effective bicameral legislature is in doubt. On Feb 1, the House of Commons dismissed a series of amendments made in the House of Lords to the Welfare Reform Bill. The amendments concerned sensitive, contentious and important social policy issues. At the behest of the Government, the Commons claimed financial privilege, insisting that the Lords should not press these matters further on the basis that they involved public expenditure.
    Effectively the Government used the financial privilege of the House of Commons to to close down debate. There was no obligation to claim privilege. It was entirely a matter of political tactics by the Government.
    What is in dispute is not the Commons' entitlement to privilege, but ministers' judgement. The Lords never interferes with revenue-raising Bills because we accept the principle of no taxation without representation. However, most legislation involves public expenditure, and numerous amendments have always been made by the Lords to Bills without privilege being asserted. There have been complaints from time to time when privilege has been invoked on individual amendments, but I can think of no precedent for this wholesale rejection of Lords intervention on the excuse of privilege.
    In a bicameral legislature it is the role of both Houses of Parliament to scrutinise legislation. Scrutiny by the Lords has become more important in recent years as the Commons has adopted the practice, self-denying or self-indulgent, of limiting in advance its own time for scrutiny of Bills, including of course the Welfare Reform Bill. Will we see similar dismissal by the Commons of any Lords amendments to the Legal Aid Bill and the Health and Social Care Bill? These, too, are hugely contentious measures which the country may wish the Lords, albeit unelected, to scrutinise thoroughly.
    The logic of promiscuous insistence by the Government on financial privilege is a move to a unicameral legislature. The Government is contending, in Clause 2 of Nick Clegg's draft Bill, that an elected Second Chamber should observe the conventions governing the relations between the two existing Houses. But these conventions are unravelling, and it is fatuous to suppose that elected members of a Second Chamber would be as forbearing as members of the appointed House of Lords whom the Government is now preventing from doing their job. Would MPs alone be a sufficient check on the Executive?

    ReplyDelete
  61. NickD Mylegalforum9 February 2012 00:51

    Classic quotes in support of the disabled...

    There's some really good material in this speech elsewhere within the text, can't replicate it all here.

    "And it's not just expensive for the state - it's exhausting for the parents. Instead of having to bash down every door, the door marked disability permit, the door marked special education, the door marked benefit entitlement, why can't we have one door that opens on to all the things parents need?

    In Austria they've got a great assessment process for severely disabled children. A crack team of paediatric doctor, physiotherapist, child psychiatrist and nurse come into the home, make an assessment and give the family all the support they need.

    For the sake of these families' sanity we are looking at the evidence and considering doing something similar in the UK, pulling professionals like doctors, paediatric nurses, physiotherapists and benefits specialists together in one team to act as a one-stop-shop for assessment and advice.

    This way they could help families clear that first hurdle quickly and efficiently and effectively give them a key to open one door to everything they need. That would put paid to the days when getting the right help means answering more questions than you would for a mortgage."

    By David Cameron no less speaking at Tory conference in 2009 about Autism - all the links to this on @Mylegalforum

    ReplyDelete
  62. NickD Mylegalforum9 February 2012 01:01

    More of Dave's big commitment to the disabled...

    "When it comes to disability policy, that's got to be our starting point, how can we make a big positive difference to people's lives. We can't wave a magic wand to make everything better. If you or someone you love suffers from a disability, life is going to be hard a lot of the time. But I do believe there are moments of despair, helplessness and frustration that could be directly alleviated by the work of government.

    So now I want to tell you the policy lessons I take out of my own experience. I know that every disability is different. In particular I know there is a great difference between what I experienced - someone with a severe disability needing 24-hour care to those who with the right help and support can get on in all areas of life.

    But I think that the experiences of all families who find their world turned upside down are bound together by similar feelings and if we can work on making those families happier, we can make children with disabilities feel more secure, which in turn is going to help prepare them for the journey into adulthood.

    EARLY INTERVENTION

    Let's begin at the beginning. The day you find out your child has a disability you're not just deeply shocked, worried and upset - you're also incredibly confused. It feels like you're on the beginning of a journey you never planned to take, without a map or a clue which direction to go in."

    It's all classic stuff and can be used to illustrate how the State has a duty of care in supporting the severely disabled and funding should be ring fenced by the State at any cost

    ReplyDelete
  63. Financial Privilege

    (from the Guardian)

    Lord Hunt -

    (ministers were) "hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments that we passed. If the government continues to do this on these bills, our role as a revising chamber is effectively undermined".

    (Hansard) Lord Mackay -

    "The expense involved in your Lordships coming here and taking part seems a waste of taxpayers' money at a time of considerable austerity if the whole procedure is useless."

    Lord Stathclyde -

    "The matters of privilege are not a matter for the government but a matter for the House of Commons – the Speaker of the House of Commons on advice from his clerks. The position of privilege has been jealously guarded by the House of Commons since 1671."

    "I do not think we waste our time in debating these issues. We do not insist on all the amendments we pass in this House. We send them back to the House of Commons to get the government and the House of Commons to think again. If they have thought again and invoked financial privilege I think we should let the matter rest."

    Total Politics Blog

    Lord Bassam -

    “I think it’s a mistake. I think it smacks of ‘we don’t like being beaten, we’re going to prove you’re completely wrong’,”

    “It’s rather arrogant and high-handed on the government’s part."

    “They can say ‘we could exercise financial privilege here, but we won’t, we’ll seek a proper resolution of these issues’.

    Baroness Tanni Grey-Tompson

    “I understand it’s not as unusual as I first thought but it would have been good to know beforehand,” she said. “I perhaps should have taken the hint when Lord Freud started talking about the costs of my amendment. I’ve learned a lot.”

    Lord Haworth -

    "My Lords, is not the reality that when the Government have run out of arguments and patience they ask the Speaker if he will invoke financial privilege? They cross their fingers and hope that he will do so. Does this Government actually want the House of Lords to operate as a revising Chamber or not?"

    Lord Hughes -

    "Are we really to believe that one morning the Speaker gets up and says, "Eureka, I'm going to decide whether this is financial privilege or not"? Who initiates the process? It is hard to believe there was not a nudge and a wink from the Government, to try to save their own blushes."

    ReplyDelete
  64. NickD Mylegalforum9 February 2012 07:57

    The problem here is that government has no idea how much implementation of its reforms will cost. It has engaged many 'payment upon result' welfare to work contractors and hasn't got a clue when the results will come in and how much they will need to pay out. The figures don't appear in the annual departmental accounts, but cash reserves need to be held for the billions this will cost. How can government claim financial privilege on so many uncertainties?

    The truth is government has to keep cash reserves and can't afford these amendments, it's cloaking financial uncertainty in archaic rules of financial privilege. The lords should be afforded every democratic right to challenge such uncertainty.

    ReplyDelete
  65. wELFARE REFORM AND FINANCIAL PRIVILAGE
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/constitution-unit-news/030212



    This post, by Jeff King of UCL Laws, originally appeared on the Constitutional Law Group blog


    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.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Lord Best on the spare room tax:(social impact)


    "All those deemed to be underoccupying will have to move and downsize to somewhere smaller. If they do not, even if there is simply nowhere smaller for them to move to, then they must pay the new penalty. Six hundred and seventy thousand households receiving housing benefit will be caught in this trap, rising to some 740,000 in the years ahead. If they do not move out, they will be charged an average of £13 per week, which will have to come out of their low earnings or their other benefits, which are meant to cover food, fuel, clothing, and specifically not housing. These are by definition very poor households, and the new tax will represent a significant reduction in their living standards.".........

    "Those deemed to be underoccupying who seek smaller homes as a consequence may well have to move into the private sector, where rents, and therefore housing benefit, will be much higher, costing the DWP an extra £50, £60 or more a week. Secondly, the savings for the DWP will often translate directly into costs imposed on councils and housing associations. These bodies will have to assume the role of tax collectors, extracting the average £13 per week penalty from each tenant who does not move, which will prove to be an administrative and financial nightmare. To see who should be sharing a room, a landlord will need to keep track of the age and gender of each child. They will need to measure the bedrooms to see whether they can fit in two beds. They will need to find out whether family members are living at home or have actually moved out. It will require an army of snoopers to see who must be deemed to have a spare room.

    If tenants will not pay or cannot pay, the saving to the DWP simply becomes a cost to the council or the housing association in arrears and bad debts. "


    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111214-0001.htm#11121475000789

    ReplyDelete
  67. Lord Freud on overnight carers for disabled:

    "On the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, about the person who needs an overnight carer, I need to make it clear to the House that where someone needs an overnight carer we allow an additional bedroom for that non-resident carer, and we have done so from June this year.

    Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I said that she would "occasionally" need-in other words, the assumption is that she would not normally need an overnight carer but occasionally might. The Minister has not covered that.

    Lord Freud: I suspect that we can look at the difference between "occasional" and "regular" in detail outside the House. Maybe we can exchange letters on the matter."

    IN OTHER WORDS THE ISSUE OF WHETHER A DISABLED PERSON WILL BE EXEMPT FROM THE SPARE ROOM TAX FOR AN "occasional" OVERNIGHT CARER APPEARS TO STILL NOT BE RESOLVED.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Baron Callaghan of Cardiff once said: "We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step." Gosh - he eventually got the reality of it all! Perhaps YOU should, too, Susie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOOK YOU ignorant prick or the other organ should you be female...troll all you want nobody cares what you think and you know the more trolls we get the better our point is getting across so troll off now theres a good little govt muppet...

      Delete
  69. Baronness Hollins:

    "The Welfare Reform Bill has a heavy focus on increasing the use and severity of conditionality and sanctions. Mental health charities believe that this will be ineffective and potentially damaging for many people with mental health problems and learning disabilities. They fear that it could exacerbate the problems and have huge knock-on costs for health and social care services."

    Column 640:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/110913-0001.htm#110913102000436

    ReplyDelete
  70. Lord Mandelson:
    "The UK Healthcare system is wasteful, too expensive and needs urgent structural reform. It is unaffordable in its present format, and its cost/growth conflation projections are impossible to meet."

    ReplyDelete
  71. (Not strictly about the Lord's debate but relevant to the PIP medicals to be similar to work test and probably done by the same company)

    Katy Clark Lab MP on 23rd January at Commons questions in the chamber to Minister Chris Grayling asked:

    "The disability advocacy group, Black Triangle, have said that 11 disabled people have committed suicide in circumstances where the Coroner has said it has been as a result of assessments under the Work Capability Assessment. Is that figure right and can the Minister advise as to whether he's looked into what legal liability the Government may have and in particular if there is exposure under the Corporate Manslaughter Legislation?"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yRaBth9w6Q

    ReplyDelete
  72. More disgusting benefit/disabled bashing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA9t61PuiDc&feature=player_embedded#!

    This nasty little 'humorous' video was posted on a well known benefit advice forum would you believe, which of course resulted in a load a hate filled and ignorant comments as per from the usual suspects.

    When queried they just said it was funny, and I'm sure disabled people have a sense of humour...:(

    ReplyDelete
  73. Piss off Whizjet. Some of us are trying to fight for democracy and prevent the extermination of the disabled here. That could mean you too, one day. Now go for a fast drive in your Bimmer, there's a good chap.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Lord Kinnock said: “Labour aren’t being honest with the NHS or the public about their plans to cut Health budgets. Until Labour come clean and admit what they are really saying, they will have absolutely no credibility on the NHS.”

    ReplyDelete
  75. And here's an interesting comment on the Client State - the BENEFIT SCROUNGERS!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU4GGVvBxtA

    Watch and Learn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JUST what is your problem maybe you should look at yourself before you come on here trolling.OR would you have some balls and come and meet a few of us and see if we can dissuade you from your obvious hate filled view point.Probably you wont takw up that offer as cowards rarely do.
      Have a good look at yourself before you judge anyone else....

      Delete
    2. Do one back to bedfordshire you dick

      Delete
  76. Baronness Campbell of Surbiton:

    "From my mailbag, it is obvious that many disabled people expect to lose their independence. Do the Government believe that returning disabled people to levels of dependence last seen 30 years ago makes good economic sense? Disability Alliance and other

    13 Sep 2011 : Column 661

    notable organisations in the Disability Benefits Consortium have clearly demonstrated the knock-on costs to the Treasury in the form of increased health bills and a drop in revenue from those who will fall out of work. Will the Minister tell the House who is working on the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed changes? Where is their modelling? I ask him not to answer me by directing me to existing impact assessments. It is not there: they tell us nothing about this. Perhaps the impact assessments discussed in the Minister's opening remarks might address this. I am not confident, but I look forward to seeing them.

    DLA reform, including the review, has not been co-produced with experts such as the National Centre for Independent Living. The Government have elected to revert to old forms of consultation, merely inviting contributions from such organisations rather than working together. The noble Lord, Lord Rix, expanded on this. I ask the Minister to read again the Government's independent living strategy. Disabled people know better than anyone the solutions to overcoming barriers to independent living and providing a good assessment framework. I ask the Minister to consider re-establishing the DLA/PIP advisory group that was sacrificed during the bonfire of the quangos."

    Column 660
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/110913-0001.htm#110913102000436

    ReplyDelete
  77. Baroness Wilkins:


    "However, under the universal credit, the gateway for extra support for disability will not be through DLA-or in future PIP-it will be through the work capability assessment conducted by Atos for the employment and support allowance. Under the universal credit system, unless a disabled person is put in the work-related activity group or the support group, they will get no more extra help than someone who is not disabled. These people are still disabled. They still face all the extra costs of disability not met by DLA; "


    6th Oct Col GC352
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111006-gc0001.htm#11100664000465

    ReplyDelete
  78. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson (Crossbench), 14 Nov 2011: There has been a worrying change in how disability is reported in the media. The Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research in the media unit at Glasgow University has recently published a report, Bad News for Disabled People. It compared the coverage of five papers in 2005-06 and 2010-11 and found that there had been a decrease in stories presenting disabled people in a positive way and an increase in stories concentrating on benefit fraud. The focus groups in the same study all claimed that levels of fraud were much higher than they are in reality with some suggesting that up to 70 per cent of claimants were fraudulent. Participants justified these claims by reference to articles that they had read in newspapers

    ReplyDelete
  79. Baroness O'Loan (Crossbench), 14 Nov 2011: The aim of the DLA was always to enable a disabled person to experience as full a life as possible and to provide for the additional costs. That approach recognised the reality that independence as others experience it is never going to be a reality for a person with a range of disabilities unless additional funding is made available to enable the access to education, to social and political life, to employment or, indeed, to membership of this House if that is what the person aspires to.

    ReplyDelete
  80. http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/tenancies/-anger-as-government-halts-welfare-bill-changes/6520305.article

    Anger as government halts welfare bill changes 3/2/2012 by Carl Brown - excerpt

    Peers this week criticised the move. Labour peer Baroness Patricia Hollis, speaking in the House of Lords on Wednesday, said all social security bills, as well as transport and health bills inevitably involve expenditure.

    She said: ‘If any bill involving any element of expenditure, including on welfare, pensions, health and education, can at the fiat of the House of Commons be ruled as money and therefore privilege, then… we might as well go home.’

    Conservative Lord Thomas Strathclyde, the leader of the House of Lords, said there was ‘nothing new’ in the use of financial privilege in this way.

    ReplyDelete
  81. just found this link on twitter... is there still a glimmer of hope?

    http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2012/02/09/it-s-not-necessarily-game-over-for-welfare-reform-resistance

    ReplyDelete
  82. FibromitesUnite9 February 2012 20:53

    Former Tory cabinet minister Lord Mackay of Clashfern, who led the biggest Lords rebellion, said it was a "waste of taxpayers' money at a time of considerable austerity" for peers to pass amendments that were subsequently rejected out of hand.

    The government suffered seven defeats on the Welfare Reform bill and MPs are today reversing the setbacks.

    Although "financial privilege" is signified by the Speaker, MPs can waive their rights over financial matters and either accept a Lords amendment with cost implications or vote in favour of a compromise.

    Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, the deputy leader of Labour peers, said: "The point is whether it is wise for the government to use this process. Essentially it is hiding behind parliamentary procedure to curtail consideration of the amendments that we passed in this House on the Welfare Reform Bill.

    "If the government continues to do this on these bills, our role as a revising chamber is effectively undermined."

    Labour former work and pensions minister Baroness Hollis of Heigham said: "If it is the case that any bill, involving any element of expenditure, including welfare, including pensions, including health, including education can, at the fiat at the House of Commons, be ruled money and therefore privilege... then this will become a very part-time House indeed because we might as well go home."

    Lord Mackay, a former lord chancellor who last week led the rebellion that saw the Government defeated by 142 votes on the issue of charging parents to access the Child Support Agency, said it seemed "somewhat of a waste of time if we debate provisions that turn out to be completely sacrosanct because of the decision on privilege made in the Commons".

    ReplyDelete
  83. Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I will be very brief, but I cannot resist the effrontery of trying to challenge some of the assumptions made by two people whose views on social security I very much respect, the noble Lords, Lord Fowler and Lord Newton.

    The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, said that the social security bill is pushing £200 billion and needs to be contained and cut. He is correct, but the biggest single group driving that increase in costs are of course pensioners. There is an increased number of pensioners, who are living longer, sometimes with poor health. These cuts do not-in my view, rightly-impinge on them at all. We are making other people pay for the demographics that are not their fault.

    The second point I would like to address comes from the noble Lord, Lord Newton. He says that there is a big prize in this: universal credit. He is absolutely right. I defer to nobody in my support for universal credit and my support for the Minister on the structure of universal credit. However, that structure is being contaminated by where some of the cuts fall. If we can keep those two things separate in our minds, we can

    23 Jan 2012 : Column 821

    fully the support the Minister on his structure, as we do, while trying to protect those who are most vulnerable and affected by where the cuts fall.

    At the end of the day, it is about political and moral choices. Noble Lords, including the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton of Epsom, said that we face a deficit and must bring it down-these cuts have to fall. May I gently suggest to him that I rather doubt that any of the cuts have affected him? Not one of them has affected me. Indeed, my council tax is being frozen at a cost of nearly £1 billion a year, which is very nice. Over five years, that equates to the very £5 billion that the noble Lord, Lord Fowler, cited. I get my council tax frozen while disabled children, cancer patients and vulnerable children at risk of homelessness carry my bills for me, even though we in this House have broader shoulders on which to carry the cost. It is about choices and the choice of every Member in this House today. I hope they will make a choice that most of us would regard as the decent one.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Lord Fowler Conservative) on concerns the social fund will not be ring fenced and could be siphoned off for general use by local authorities.

    "It is not altogether surprising that I have a lot of sympathy with the view taken on the Social Fund. I think it is common ground that we need a system for dealing with emergency payments of one kind or another. I think it is also common ground that some of the 67,000 families who will be affected by the cap will need such help. I think that is common ground all round.

    As regards the mechanism, I have to say that I still rather support the Social Fund. That is not surprising as my noble friend Lord Newton and I invented it in the first place. It did have, and does have, a number of advantages. The department has experience of how such a scheme works and has local offices with local knowledge which are, however, kept within a national programme with a national budget. Therefore, I should have thought that from the Government's point of view as well as from the claimant's point of view it had substantial advantages. There is a risk that different local authorities will pursue different policies with regard to it..........

    If money is to be made available to local authorities for what I shall call Social Fund purposes, we must do everything that we can to ensure that that money reaches the proper destination-otherwise the exercise is all slightly pointless."


    We have seen in the health service where this has not happened. Money intended by the previous Government for prevention of ill-health was siphoned off and used for other more general purposes. Whether my noble friend accepts this amendment -it seems unlikely that he will accept it-the House will wish to be assured that we have some way of checking that the money reaches its proper destination. That seems to me to be the crucial point and that is the assurance that the House seeks.

    25thJan COL 1068

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201212/ldhansrd/text/120125-0001.htm#12012534000324

    ReplyDelete
  85. Baroness Meacher on the abolition of the Severe Disability Premium for those who live alone or only have a child carer




    "The severe disability premium, which the Bill abolishes, aims to meet the extra costs experienced by disabled people living alone and is currently worth £53.65 per week for a single person. It helps people who are on a low income, whether in or out of work, who have a severe level of disability and who have no one living with them who can help them. It is well recognised that people in this position face much higher costs than other disabled people with a comparable disability.



    14 Dec 2011 : Column 1363


    I recognise that the Government plan to abolish the severe disability premium, but that plan is not designed to save money. The Government will instead transfer the money to fund an enhancement of the support group benefits. I understand, having just had a brief conversation with the Minister, that the increase will be something in the order of £44. However, the loss of the SDP will also apply to people who live alone and who move into the support group after these changes occur, so this very disadvantaged group will in fact lose out-although by something in the order of £8 a week, as I understand it. The support group people will lose the £53.65 per week, minus the uplift to support group benefits in the order of £44.

    The reason why the transfer of funds from the severe disability premium to the support group might not be fair and efficient is that the costs of disability do not correlate well with the level of impairment, which is what will determine whether a person qualifies for the support group. The recent Demos/Scope report, Counting the Cost, based on a survey of 845 disabled people, found little correlation between the costs of disability for an individual and their level of impairment.".........

    "Going to work costs money, of course, particularly for disabled people who might not be able to use public transport alone, for example. Under the current system, a severely visually impaired person living on their own and earning £100 a week will have a disposable income of £188 per week, after housing costs have been paid, plus their disability allowance. Under universal credit the same person will, as I understand it, be little better off than someone without an impairment. That must apply to those who do not actually make the support group assessment. If you are assessed as not having a sufficient impairment to justify the support group benefit, obviously you are in a very different situation."

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111214-0002.htm

    ReplyDelete
  86. Apologies if this has been posted before and this is not the right place to mention this but this appeared in the London Evening Standatd a few days ago and is one of the best articles to appear in the media(the press especially)about what is happening to the disabled and welfare benefit changes in general and comes on the back of the recent report about "Hate Crimes" published by Scope.

    Good to see this columnist also blaming the media...

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24033624-disabled-are-at-the-mercy-of-ministers-and-media.do

    Severe Disability Premium...I'd never heard of that until I was seen by a DWP representative who has made me appointee to my dying mother's affairs and told me to apply...seems pointless as its being abolished. And with the DLA going the same way and myself probably not fitting the criteria for ESA/PIP the future does not look very good.

    I may survive to some extent whilst Mum is here with the help she is entitled and myself might as a carer if I can get different fiancial help to replace what little I get already but when she passes away...

    I have no idea if I'll have a roof over my head or if I continue to where they'll relocate me or what I'll be offered instead of where I have lived for 52+ years.

    Circumstances meant I was unable to buy the house, if only I had been able to...If only I was retired now but should I live(even with my health problems)they can as things stand keep extending the age that you retire but at present they can get another 14 years out of me and have me worry for that time too.

    Its frightening!

    ReplyDelete
  87. [quote]Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "Can you help Today with Research?":

    Apologies if this has been posted before and this is not the right place to mention this but this appeared in the London EveninStandardtd a few days ago and is one of the best articles to appear in the media(the press especially)about what is happening to the disabled and welfare benefit changes in general and comes on the back of the recent report about "Hate Crimes" published by Scope.

    Good to see this columnist also blaming the media...

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24033624-disabled-are-at-the-mercy-of-ministers-and-media.do

    Severe Disability Premium...I'd never heard of that until I was seen by a DWP representative who has made me appointee to my dying mother's affairs and told me to apply...seems pointless as its being abolished. And with the DLA going the same way and myself probably not fitting the criteria for ESA/PIP the future does not look very good.

    I may survive to some extent whilst Mum is here with the help she is entitled and myself might as a carer if I can get financialt fiancial help to replace what little I get already but when she passes away...

    I have no idea if I'll have a roof over my head or if I continue to where they'll relocate me or what I'll be offered instead of where I have lived for 52+ years.

    Circumstances meant I was unable to buy the house, if only I had been able to...If only I was retired now but should I live(even with my health problems)they can as things stand keep extending the age that you retire but at present they can get another 14 years out of me and have me worry for that time too.

    Its frightening![/quote]

    Your storey is very upsetting and it is much regret that I'm not the prime minister to guide and help you
    I'm hearing that the old age retirement will go up to 75 in five years time and then to 80 five years after that that would be in keeping with David Cameron's way of thinking

    not shop till you drop but work till you drop

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thanks Fourbanks,
    Glad you could follow my post even with errors I missed in the text.

    I am sure that as you suggest the retirement age will be put back further and many of us with health problems(conditions that vary from day to day)will "have" to work because there is no choice, we will probably never ever become officially "retired" because we'll have passed away before then.

    For some, being "forced" into work we could find our conditions will become worse.

    Even today on the news there is talk that some official or an organisation that is known as a think tank says that pensioners should consider going back to work to avoid lonliness(not because of financially reasons)many have no choice and many do(and it should be a person's choice)continue to be involved with the community as a volunteer, its another excuse to get people working.

    Also, where are all the jobs anyhow? Even those who are young or fit are having difficulty finding work and if you do, is it one you can manage physically or survive on financially?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome :)
      on a side note i have been e mailing The Baroness Campbell of Surbiton DBE and we will stay in touch she is disabled and has sent me a very nice reply so am grateful for that and she has vowed to do her best in what for like us are very difficult circumstances

      Delete
  89. @anonymous 3.20am

    I am so sorry to hear of your circumstances.

    Very few people seem to know about the Severe Disability Premium, as little protest has been made about its demise, which I think is a shame. Most of those on it don't know its going and those not on it don't seem to care much.

    If I were you, I would still apply for it though. It will still be around until the Universal Credit comes in, which is not until 2013. Even then I can't see that happening straight away as the computer systems are said to be nowhere near ready as they have to combine the DWP with HMRC for U Credit to work.
    It is currently £53.60 per week. It is intended for those on Middle or High rate Care DLA who live alone and no one gets carers allowance for you. It makes up for a bit of extra care costs for things that people who have someone living with them would do for you.
    It should remain until you are transferred to PIP, which also may not happen straight away, given the buggers mudddle that is happening with Atos at the moment. They are months behind in processing even new claims, so how they can test all those on IB and keep retesting, plus all the new people who enter the system every year AND then start restesting everyone on DLA, seems like a system in meltdown to me (GOOD!)Transferring those on DLA is expected to take 3 years. So you could get it for a good while before you change over to PIP. So could help with care if you need it or perhaps a bit of savings as a buffer against what is to come, or help make up your rent for a bit ,so you can stay where you are. Not sure what the position is while/if you get carer's allowance for your poor Mum but the advisor can tell you.
    If you are eligible claim it! I wish you all the best at such a sad time but remember, we are not beaten yet!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I don't know if anyone has mentioned the gossip reported by Lady Royal that there is a plan to add another 60 Tory peers, 20+ LD peers and 5 Labour peers to the Lords to ensure no more embarrassing government defeats by Labour and cross bench peers.

    ReplyDelete
  91. David Owen was speaking in very strong terms on the Daily Politics (Wed) about the fact that the Government has 'pre-empted' legislation, against conventional protocols and it should be investigated.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Thanks Jan2 for the additional information...It was all so sudden, you kind of expect a parent to go before you and yes, she is elderly I guess but she has been so "Robust" and in recent times survived bad fall down the stairs and a hip replacement. So to suddenly be presented with "Bowel" cancer(with little or no symptoms)was something we could do without.

    They have only offered palative care(so far no time limit been mentioned)and they say/hope it will remain localised and not spread. Mixed blessings(they say she'll probably go of old age/natural causes before it gets her)

    And I guess we know times will become more difficult. There is some dementia too...But every family has their troubles.

    She survived Radio Therapy(helped a little)but no other treatment is being offered. But I digress...

    Syzygy, It doesn't surprise me about adding more Peers to the Lords. It was said sometime ago that the Conservatives added more than the other parties already and these are the parties who have supposedly been trying to change or abolish the Lords or have been theatening to do so for decades.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I should add I think it strange how if the main parties dislike the House Of Lords, they are always ready to fiddle the rules so they get their own way(like adding more members)to get their plans passed. If they nearly always succeed in getting what they wish, why are they so bothered about changing the Lords or trying to abolish it.

    Besides, I thought that both Houses had a set amount of members and you could only add more as the existing ones resign or pass away.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Saw this on a benefits forum which troubles me a great deal....

    Consultation - Mandatory review before appeal. Concerns about all claimants but particular concern for ESA claimants.

    "The government is seeking to make it mandatory for a claimant to request a revision before requesting an appeal. Quite why, I don't know as it is an integral part of the appeal process for them to reconsider decisions before sending them to tribunal anyway. My main concern is ESA. Currently, a claimant can receive ESA at the assessment rate pending the outcome of a submitted appeal. There is nothing which allows this pending review, nothing mentioned about it in the consultation, and there will be no time limit imposed on reviews. Potentially, a claimant who is unfit for work thus has no other means to support themselves could be without funds for an unspecified period of time. I would urge as many people as possible to raise this concern. You can read and respond to the consultation here."

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/mandatory-consideration-consultation.pdf

    This would be the last nail in the coffin for those on ESA. I bege Sue and others on here to write and try and make your voices heard.

    ReplyDelete
  95. And this from the time when i worked at the bank of England from Harold wilson

    Forty years on, I well remember Harold Wilson telling me in the 1970s that there was no cause for me to worry about cuts in help for disabled people when the economy was under such daunting stress and the IMF became involved. He said that his policy would be that "the broadest backs must bear the biggest burden", and he assured me that since my role was to help people with broken backs, among other severe disabilities, he would go on giving it high priority, and he was as good as his word.

    as i have said before when i was at the bank i was active in helping the sick and disabled my mother was also in our spare time.

    i thou with a help of friend were looking after a sick person from the age of 10 on our way and coming home from school so if anyone should lay a claim in the helping of others at the level that shows and for free i may add then it should be me

    so i would say to lord fraud your in the wrong job mate for many reasons and then go on to say to him in the words of lord sugar "your fired"

    ReplyDelete
  96. •*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•
    ::: (\_(\ ...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...::::::::::::::
    *: (=' :') :: Financial privilege appears to be rampant
    •..(,('')('')¤...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...*...:::::::::::
    ¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸

    ReplyDelete
  97. I'm not Spartacus - found out recently that I have actually been Auticus for decades.

    The WCA test is meant to find out what I CAN do? Do they really want to know?

    I can and will bite the hand that feeds me (NiN), and hopefully after that my capabilities can be turned to becoming one of thousands of pin pricks that will destroy the political careers of those responsible for what has gone on.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Well after allowing for the public showing their distrust/disgust at the Lib Dems and how they have beved as part of the coalition, they will probably lose out because of the new carve up of bounderies anyhow.

    This that really once again leaves the UK voters to choose between Labour and Conservatives again. But again its said that these changes will favour the Tories so it doesn't leave much hope politically that things will change any time soon.

    And we can only imagine if things were to change how difficult it will be to reverse any of the new welfare changes.

    ReplyDelete
  99. @Anonymous - yes, you are writing sense and I am being emotional.

    All I can think of is to intensify our level of complaint and keep banging the drum.

    ReplyDelete
  100. AnonymousFeb 10, 2012 01:09 PM

    Thank you so much for bringing this forward. I for one didn't know the consultation had been launched.

    At the moment full rate money continues while revision is undertaken as the decision has not been made.

    Once an appeal is lodged I think payments are at assessment rate? Even though full payments are backdated on successful appeal that's a very long time on much less money. This will be a real problem if the rumours that benefits will be stopped while appealing become reality but I've not seen any evidence of anything other than rumours of this yet.

    The consultation doesn't mention payments while under revision/appeal. Does anyone know if they are regulated for ESA/DLA appeals?

    Sue - really sorry this is off topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Payments are backdated but you are looking at 18 months on average the main problem you can face like i have been is where you can go round and round in a loop which can drive you mad so you end up in hospital
      you need to be on your guard for that DWP trick

      Delete
  101. Lady Finlay
    I come to the figures quoted. The figures are based on the assumption that no one goes back to work until they reach 24 hours. If you speak to cancer patients, you find out that their greatest desire is to go back to work, because it is part of therapy. Noble Lords should read the powerful article written by a very bold and courageous lady called Jenni Russell, which says:
    "Not skiving, minister, just suffering cancer".
    She describes what it felt like to have treatment for breast cancer. If you speak to patients on chemotherapy-and my noble friend Lady Finlay sees them every day-they feel good after four days of misery following chemotherapy. By the time they feel better it is time for another period of misery. The effect is cumulative to the point that after a few courses they cannot get out of bed and they wonder whether death might not be better than the disease. It is those people that we are talking about. They are not skivers or benefit cheats. They are the last people who cheat. Are we going to make savings there? I was honest in accepting that what I proposed was costly, but I am not going to be dishonest and say that therefore we should let those people suffer. I ask the House to determine who should be supported.
    Amendment 38A
    Moved by Lord Patel
    38A: Clause 51, page 36, line 36, at end insert "except-
    (a) where a person is receiving treatment for cancer when entitlement shall continue for so long as the person has (or is treated as having) limited capacity for work; or
    (b) the person has (or is treated as having) limited capacity for work as a consequence of a cancer diagnosis."

    ReplyDelete
  102. alias Adrian Wait... and there's more...Lord Patel addressing Lord Freud...


    Lord Patel (Crossbench)
    I thank the noble Lord for his response. I could pick up on each of the points that have been made and answer them, but the time does not allow that. I have to say to the noble Lord, Lord Blencathra, that we are talking here about the level of savings from welfare reform. We are not talking about the Government finding extra expenditure; it is the reduction in savings that we are talking about. The total reduction in saving of the whole welfare reform package will be in the region of £18 billion. We are talking here about not taking money away over five years even to the level of £1.3 billion from the most vulnerable in society. As I pointed out, they are those on the lowest third centile of income, to whom, as the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, said, it is £94 a week. If we are going to rob the poor to pay the rich, we are entering into a different form of morality. The noble Lord asked the question whether it is moral. I say that it is moral to look after those that are sick, vulnerable and poor. If that is immoral, what is moral is to pay the rich-and we are on a different planet altogether.

    ReplyDelete