Kate Green outlines Labour plans for ESA

  Kate Green – Disability Spokesperson – for the Labour Party has made the following statment about the way the Labour Party intend to reform ESA . read more here “We are going to make sure that the work capability assessment is returned to its original purpose of being the first step in the process to diagnose and identify what sort of support somebody who could work at some point would need to have in order to enable them work, and so we will give every single person who goes through the work capability assessment, at the end of their assessment, a statement of how their condition or impairment impacts on their capacity to work. That will refocus the assessment into the right mindset, how to situate (? unclear) your capability for work. It will also, we hope, empower the individual, because that statement will be yours to take to your employer or your work programme provider or training provider and say ‘this is is what I have to contend with. How can we work together to build the support that I need.’” Please come and give us your views on Kate’s statement here – join with a click We are going to invite Kate to reply to what you...

Paul Maynard MP requests to have Hansard corrected re ‘extremists’ comment

The debate last week was a great day for Pat’s Petition team, and other campaigning groups. The MPs who spoke in favour of our petition could not have done more to support us. And it is a massive change to have the full support of the Labour Front Bench for the first time. This only the beginning. The only sour note was the extraordinary accusation from Paul Maynard that we were ‘extremists’. The term is offensive to us. We contacted Mr Maynard for further explanation. We were pleased that, as a result of these communications, he agreed for the word ‘extremist’ be excised from the record. However, Hansard have now replied to him saying this is not possible. We have therefore asked him to write a correction on the copy of Hansard in the House of Commons library. (Awaiting response) Wednesday 10th July was a great day for the whole disability movement and once this issue has reached a satisfactory conclusion,  we would like to move forward and make sure that the government ‘stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families ’ Exchange with Mr Maynard below. Letter to Mr Maynard July Reply from Mr Maynard Letter to Mr Maynard Reply from Mr Maynard today Cross over of emails Letter to Mr Maynard      22nd July Letter from Mr Maynard    22nd July        ...

DEBATE TODAY

TODAY marks an enormous change in the Labour Party position on the many cuts to benefits and services that are falling disproportionately on disabled people. TODAY Wednesday 10th July 2013 Parliament will debate ‘The Effect of Government Policies on Disabled People’ and hopefully call for a Cumulative Impact statement.The debate will follow shortly after PMQs finish at 12.30pm and there will be a vote at about 4pm. TODAY we are finally having the debate that all the people who signed Pat’s Petition and the WOW petition called for. Watch the debate on this link http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13471 or on the television – Parliament Channel TODAY you can see what your MP and other MPs really think about government and disabled people and carers. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/09/debate-on-disability-pat-petition And what do we make of this?...

Come and discuss changing ESA – let’s get it changed

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) isn’t working. The design isn’t fit for purpose. Pat’s Petition think it is high time that we all got together and challenged the basic structure of ESA.   In particular the division of disabled people in to two arbitrary groups – Support Group and WRAG – which do not describe disabled people or provide a safe and supportive environment for them.   Imagine devising a test to decide between oranges and apples and then a whole lot of pears come a lot. Push the rounder ones in to oranges and greener ones in to apples? Ridiculous.   We have set up a discussion space for this. Please come and discuss this with us at – http://patspetition.myfineforum.org/ (join with a click)   Please tell other people about this discussion.   Let’s all look carefully at ESA together and we may be able to come up with a better structure and get ESA changed so that it is actually fit for purpose.   Pat...

Forced Labour

Forced Labour When Labour brought in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) they promised disabled people a safe and secure place from which to try and get work how ever difficult this might be to achieve. Sanctions and compulsion have destroyed this promise and left disabled people in a stressful and threatening environment. Stress usually makes disability harder to handle. These threats should be removed from the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG). The introduction of the concept of workfare in to the work program is a massive change in the philosophy of the welfare state. The concept is being fought hard through the courts and despite the recent court decision on the Poundland Case the government are determined to press ahead. Now it seems that Labour may be supporting them in this. The concept of sanctions and workfare are particularly terrifying for disabled people who may always be uncertain about what they can do. These forced and sanctioned activities have made the WRAG a feared and threatening place. Sanctions and compulsion are completely inappropriate when people have disability. Anything disabled people fail to do may always be due to their disability. The license to remove benefits given to an advisor who has never walked in their shoes is cruel. In fact the statistics now show that not many disabled people are actually getting in to work. But what is certain is that after twelve months in the WRAG they will be means tested and 40% will lose ESA altogether. Surely even in these dark times extending workfare to people with disability is several steps too far. Labour promised disabled people a safe and secure...