The WRAG is a JSA group

Commenting on Professor  Harrington’s latest report the Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, said: “The WCA is the right process for determining who is able to work and who needs support. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure the system is as fair and as accurate as possible. ” Once again the Minister is completely missing the point. The government has decided that four fifths of people who used to receive Incapacity Benefit are now fit for work. This has been decided not by tests but as a matter of policy. The tests are a fig leaf to legitimise this decision and present them with the news. The terms ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’ do not apply.   People who are able to work go on to JSA. People who are sick or have a disability are meant to go on to the Employment and Support Allowance but they don’t except for a minority who go in to the small residual ESA Support Group. Where do the others go? In to the ESA Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).   This is a trick. The WRAG is described as an ESA group but is in all but name a JSA group. There they will be harried by forced activity and sanctions and then timed out just like a JSA group. Effectively they are being required to work.   It would be more honest if the government stopped hiding behind a testing system and just announced that in future four fifths of sick and disabled people are now going to be treated as fit people. – ...

All Pat wants for Christmas is …..

  YOUR continuing support in calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment regarding changes to benefits and services Thank you to all our supporters. It feels like such a long time ago now that the petition finished, but it is only three weeks. In that time you haven’t heard much from us, but believe me, we’ve been busy. We may not have reached the magic 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a potential debate – but that’s just a number.  When did a little thing like that stop us? We have written to Liam Byrne and Ed Miliband (see copy here), asking that they request a debate in parliament regarding a Cumulative Impact Assessment. This is within their powers and we hope they act promptly. Please can you e-mail Liam and tell him how much this means to you and how strongly you feel about this.  ( byrnel@parliament.uk ) It would also help if you could write to your own MP. (To find your MP insert your postcode here) Tell them that you want a debate, put the pressure on them to secure a date. And at the same time, raise their awareness of what these changes mean for us. When it gets to a debate, we’ll need to make sure all MPs know the true impact for their constituents. Let’s face it, their surgeries are going to be filled with people once the full effect of these changes hit. We know that. Let’s make sure they do. It may be that you fear losing Housing benefit or Disability Living Allowance. It could be that you worry about losing services from...

New Spartacus Report

The Spartacus Report – People’s Review of WCA – is published today. Spartacus have highlighted many individual cases and it’s appalling to see all these people suffering through the tests for the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). But even if people get through this system and are awarded ESA – it is not the end of their problems because ESA is not a benefit which supports disabled people. Most people who are awarded ESA are put in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) where they have 12 months of proscribed activities, including trial work placements, under threat of sanctions. This is in all but name Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). Although it is presented as a group for disabled people the message is that these people are fit enough to be on their way back to work. After 12 months, they will have no further ESA benefits and if they live with family members their families will need to support them. Are we really giving up the idea of state support for disability and returning to the idea that families support disabled...

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean

Individually, we are one drop. Together we are an ocean – Ryunosuke Satoro Thank you everyone. The e-petition closed on 1st November, with 62,581 signatures (some people may yet confirm their emails so that might still increase slightly). Pat’s Petition has closed but the campaigning continues. We will build on the knowledge we have gained, the contacts we have made and the lessons learned. The words of the petition are as fresh and meaningful as they were 12 months ago and our commitment to them hasn’t changed. I want to emphasise how well you/we all did. Through networking with others we helped raise awareness of the changes ahead. This weekend was always going to be a quiet one for us. A chance to catch up with ourselves. If only!   The sheer volume of supportive emails is still keeping us extremely busy. Many have questions that need answering. Some have suggestions that need to be considered. We have been asked repeatedly what next for Pats Petition? We do have plans but we need time to clear the decks first. We will always post our news on – campaign blog here, as well as our facebook and twitter . You can also send emails to patspetition@gmail.com Feel free to add comments below. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support over the last year. WATCH THIS SPACE  Pat x   * If you are still waiting for a reply from us please be patient ** This was always a People’s Petition and we were amazed at the support in the final 48 hours just before the petition...

Pat’s Petition says “No retreat – No surrender”

A short post for this morning. More will follow in next few days For the contacts we have made from all walks of life….individuals, grassroots groups, activists, groups, charities, clergy, union’s and many more – we will build on Pat’s petition and look forward to standing together in this fight regarding cuts to benefits and services. We started off as 7 women, all disabled and/or family carers – and as we knocked on doors so the numbers grew. At the time of writing this the petition stands at 62,032 However, it is not the end but the beginning. It is not how hard you can hit but about how hard you can be hit and still keep moving forward. About how much you can take and still keep moving forward Rocky Balboa Let’s carry on fighting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHQdpnYFl7k&feature=related...