Work, disability and real change

Piece submitted to Compass CarerWatch is a group of unpaid family carers. We have many members with severe and enduring disability. We work closely with Broken of Britain which is a campaigning group for disabled people. So we know what it is like at the coalface of disability. We would like to congratulate Compass on the truly excellent think piece ‘Dark Times for those who Cannot Work.’  We have been campaigning in a climate of ignorance and misinformation about work and disability for so long that this research is like a blast of fresh air.  read in full here email below received from Steve Griffiths Nov 5th 2010 Updating and briefing following Compass Thinkpiece: Dark Times for Those Who Cannot Work                           This is a brief summary of the response to this Thinkpiece so far, followed by a briefing on four things that have come up in the last two weeks which I hope some friends and colleagues will be able to use.       There have been quite a few messages of support and undertakings to use the research material. Interest and support have come from MPs of three parties (not the Tories) and a Welsh Assembly Government Minister, with requests for briefings. There is discussion with the Guardian, with some major charities, links (with and without supportive messages) on some key websites, and lots of forwarding to MPs.  I am not more specific, partly because the success or otherwise of this Thinkpiece is not the point, and partly because some initiatives are ‘in development’ and I don’t want to quote what are confidential emails.    What the piece hasn’t achieved as far as...

Neil Coyle, Disability Alliance and Mark Shrimpton, RADAR

Carer Watch are right to highlight that the Government agenda does not answer how or where disabled people will work, only that the system is being re-jigged to move people from one benefit to another (or to none at all). This is despite the significant support needs and higher costs of living many disabled people experience. The absence of consideration and commentary on carers when changing disability benefits is also alarming;  it is inevitable who will be relied on to fill the ‘care gap’ – undermining carers rights, opportunities and ability to work. Disability Alliance supports efforts to highlight these problems within the Government programme. RADAR is extremely concerned about the moves to cease DLA mobility payments to disabled people in residential care. This change will in effect mean that people in this setting will be robbed of their independence and have four walls only to contemplate all day and night and that further responsibility will be given to carers.  We are additionally concerned about the numbers of multiple assessments for benefits, the wastage of public money involved and the trauma experienced by disabled people and carers.  This must stop  – for the benefit of disabled people and the taxpayer. Neil Coyle                                                                                         Mark Shrimpton Director of Policy                                                              Deputy Chief Executive Disability Alliance                                                                                           RADAR...

PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP

The program of welfare reform and cuts is proceeding with alarming momentum and the needs of carers  and  disabled people are being lost in the fiscal crisis.   Carer Watch are asking carers, disabled people and every one who cares about them to send this letter to MPs – and to disability charities and to post this letter in the media and to blogs. Change or adapt it any way you like.  But please, please send it. Suggested e-mail /letter   The program of welfare reform and cuts is proceeding with alarming momentum. The thought behind it is that the only way out of poverty is going to be through work. I am writing to ask you to step back from this one size fits all thinking and to remember that there are some people for whom work is unlikely to be a realistic option. Please remember the duty of care to them and imagine how they are feeling as this pressure to work is heaped upon them. They feel that for them the covenant on welfare seems to have been broken. They have been caught up as collateral damage in this push back to work and they feel very afraid. They had never expected that the Conservative, Labour and LibDem Parties would all abandon them like this.  No party is demonstrating any understanding of their situation or offering them any reassurance or protection. They cannot believe that all three main parties continue to sign up to the delusion that they can be forced back to work by pressure and removal of benefits. Unrealistic and cavalier talk of ‘helping’ them in to work is ill informed and adds to...

Housing Benefit Debate

There is a debate on the cuts in Housing Benefit on 9th November and Ed Miliband said this weekend at the Scottish Labour party’s conference in Oban that he would encourage Liberal Democrat MPs to vote against the government a week on Tuesday, when the opposition plans to force a vote on the issue in the Commons. “Our appeal is to all MPs of conscience: join us, vote against these unfair and unworkable changes and force the government to think again” Several key Liberal Democrat figures, including deputy leader Simon Hughes, are known to be against the cuts. http://carerwatch.com/mhealth/ You can amend and add to it in any way you like but please, please send...

CW Evidence to Harrington

Here’s the evidence that CarerWatch have  submittrd to Harrington.  Rhydian fon James – a journalist (see articles in Guardian) helped us write it. Our main point is still that the groups aren’t fit for purpose – there is no safe place for the long term sick to ‘have a go’ in safety without fear of being sucked down through the coercive WRAG to undefended JAS.   So as the groups aren’t fit for purpose the test can’t work however much they try and improve it.   Some of our members are horrified by the current B&W thread about what happens to you if you win your appeal. Straight back to ATOS...