Archive for the ‘social care’ Category

URGENT CALL TO ACTION FOR DISABILITY CAMPAIGNERS

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

 

What a weekend! We have done an amazing amount of work over these last few days, and amazing to see all our supporters rally round.
At the beginning of last week, no way could we envisage the events of this weekend just gone.
 
Call for action
 
On the sunniest weekend of the year, we have been sweltering inside, organising blog posts, booking train tickets, desperately trying to arrange seats to watch the debate inside the House, contacting the many MPs who have been sympathetic to us, finding out about pauper’s picnics and now asking every one of you to make one final push for Pat’s Petition.
 
You have rallied around. Supportive MPs have now found seats for Pat and Rosemary so that they can be there on this important day.
 
The debate on Wednesday will be the last chance to get our voices heard in Parliament for some time. MPs will break up for the summer recess and then return, after their Party Conference, in October.
 
We need to make sure they are all briefed to understand the impact of Government Policies on disabled people and carers.
 
They need to know we are watching this debate. They have to be aware that they are under scrutiny on this issue.
 
We need them to vote for a Cumulative Impact Assessment. They have continually said this is impossible and too complicated, and we have answered that they wouldn’t conduct huge experiments with anything else, so why do it on disabled people? We have now heard that “the publication of cumulative impacts is a Coalition initiative” so our hopes are raised that they will now agree that this needs doing for disabled people and carers.
 
take action
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
 
 
1. Write to your MPs asking for their attendance and that they back this motion. You can find their details here
 
 
 
That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013).
 
2. Use social media to broadcast all messages with the hashtag  #CIADisability
 
 
3. Sign and share the link to WOW Petition  
 
And it is vital that you watch the debate live on the day here
 
We have learnt an incredible amount by watching debates.
 
You can see how full or empty the room is!
 
See if your MP is interested in your issues.
 
Hear who really understands the challenges faced by disabled people and note who mentions the impact that falls on carers and families too.
 
And you can join in the twitter conversation at the same time as watching it all.
 
It will be a historic day for us – we hope you’ll be there too.
 
 
 
 

Nightmare on Care Street

Monday, June 10th, 2013

The theme for this week’s Carers Week - Prepared to Care? –  has made us think about the preparations that people take to care. Most people don’t think about it – we don’t think it will happen to us. Even armed with information and advice, sometimes we’re not as prepared to care as we think we are.

We all know life is uncertain – but are we really ready for what life throws at us?

Imagine you and your partner have been together a long time. You have made a home together, maybe brought up a couple of children. Now you are thinking towards retirement and putting some money aside for your old age.

And then – wham bang – out of a clear blue sky – one of you gets a serious illness or injury. You aren’t high earners, but you have both worked all your lives and paid all those National Insurance Contributions. You have lost one income overnight. You are now learning you are a carer. This is your time to get support from the state. Right?

No. Wrong.

Your partner may be ill or disabled, but the government have tightened up the system. Your partner is put on Employment Support Allowance in the Work Related Activity Group and you think it will be OK.

You are pleased to hear that he’ll be given support to find work that will fit with his disability. But then you both realise that if he doesn’t find work within a year, there will be no more money. ESA has changed from universal to means tested.

Do you earn more than £7000 a year?

Have you saved more than £16,000 for retirement?

Sorry – you won’t qualify for ESA any more.

And the Disability Living Allowance you might have received to help you meet the costs of disability, including a taxi to work or equipment to help you access the internet, has changed to Personal Independence Payment. But PIP has been tightened up and he might not qualify for that any more. Without that you won’t get Carers Allowance.

So you start to worry about what life will be like after a year in the WRAG group. He has no disability benefits. You don’t receive carers allowance. You both start to feel depressed and anxious about what lies ahead. Can you carry on working when you can’t concentrate with the worry? What if his support needs start to increase and he needs more care?

Is this really the sort of welfare system you paid in to? Is this what you expected to happen when you needed it?

safety netLife is uncertain. But we used to be able to trust the government to help us at these times of crisis. Not any more. So remember if the time ever comes when you step up and say you are prepared to be a carer – you may be on your own. Iain Duncan Smith has taken away your parachute and your life jacket.

The safety net you thought would be there has been stripped away.

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Supporting statement from CarersTrust

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

 

Moira Fraser, Director of Policy at Carers Trust:

“Carers Trust is gravely concerned about the impact welfare benefit cuts will have on carers and their families. Despite assurances, disabled people and carers have not been protected from the Government cuts and instead are taking more than a fair share. Carers are seeing their cost of living rise alongside, for some carers, a cap on benefits and cuts to family income arising from changes to Disability Living Allowance. Together, these changes will have a disastrous impact on carers across the UK. 

The Government needs to publish a full analysis the impact and legacy of these cuts will have on carers and disabled people.”

Headway offers its support to Pat’s Petition team

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Headway – the brain injury association supports the work of Pat’s Petition in highlighting the damaging impact the current programme of welfare reform is having on disabled people and their families and carers.

Every day, the charity, which supports people affected by brain injury, receives calls to its helpline from people desperate for support, fearful of how they will continue to live independent lives in the face of cuts to their existing benefits. Many of these callers report receiving poor treatment during the claims process for key disability benefits such as ESA and DLA. Despite the attempts to improve the ESA claims process and the Work Capability Assessment, we are still hearing of people stuck in a distressing cycle of failed applications, successful appeals then reassessment just a few months later.

Headway is also very concerned about the (more…)

Open Letter to Liam Byrne – from WOW Petition group

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

wowpetition122

 

Dear RT Hon Liam Byrne MP

The WOW Petition  is a crowd-sourced grass roots campaign created and supported by disabled people, people with physical and mental health illness, care workers, carers and family members. We have come together because we are frightened. We have each been affected by the devastating consequences of the Welfare Reform Act and feel we are fighting for our lives.

We are determined to continue and build upon the achievements of Pat’s Petition.

We are not satisfied that the government will understand or care about the consequences of the cuts and changes to benefits and services until a comprehensive impact assessment has been completed. We are aware of the Prime Minister’s intention to scrap impact and equality assessments. It is vital therefore, that a cumulative impact assessment is carried out with urgency.

Since the WOW Petition was launched on December 18th 2012, at the time of writing almost 18,000 people have supported us. We expect to (more…)

Is UK Government in breach of its duty to respect human rights?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Centre for welfare reform

The Centre for Welfare Reform  has already demonstrated that the fiscal impact of UK government policy targets cuts and income reductions on people in poverty and disabled people is extraordinarily severe. The overlapping impact of social care cuts and benefit cuts for people with the most severe disabilities means that the average burden from the cuts, per capita, is 19 times greater for people with the severest disabilities. This is a shocking state of affairs and an unprecedented attack on a minority group. It is obvious nonsense to suggest that no reasonable Cumulative Impact Assessment of the cuts could have been made. It is clear that the failure to make such an assessment puts the UK Government in breach of its duty to respect human rights.

Simon Duffy

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Baroness Hollins backs Report

Baroness Hollins back the latest report from The Centre for Welfare Reform:

A FAIR SOCIETY? – HOW THE CUTS TARGET DISABLED PEOPLE

Baroness Hollins says:

(more…)

Disabled people are being targeted by government

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Support sent in by Sue Brown

I support the campaign to have an assessment. Disabled and the most vulnerable of society are being targeted by the coalition government.

I believe the government did not know how to claw back money towards the reduction of the deficit and taking money from the benefits system is one of the only ways to be sure to do this. The impacts on the people affected have not been looked at properly and should be re-examined, it is very easy on paper to work things out.

In peoples homes and lives the worry of loss of income or support of some waycan have a devastating impact. I am not saying the welfare system did not need changes but believe it has not been done fairly or in a propermanner.Many thanks for all your hard work and I hope the campaign gets the support from Labour ministers.

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Frankly Lord Freud, your Party don’t give a damn

Friday, January 18th, 2013

 

Yesterday was a busy day for most campaigners. Here at PP it was no different.

From WCA debates, evidence sessions relating to Draft Care and Support Bill, release of 2 reports, one from an alliance of groups, and one from The Centre for Welfare Reform. see notes below

dont give a damn

However, in this post we would like to share details of another debate that took place in the House of Lords, a motion presented by Baroness Hollis about the impact on families of changes to tax and benefits . You can see transcript here and also Impact on families  PDF here.

This was a quiet debate but contributors spoke with such feeling and passion as they stressed how cuts were disproportionately hitting poor families, working families, children, disabled people, and also carers.

One exchange with Lord Freud needs special reference though.  (We have highlighted it below but please read his full response on the Hansard link above)

Lord Freud

The noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, raised a question about cumulative impacts, and I was fascinated by her sums on this. However, I need to point out that this Government publish impacts of benefit and tax changes alongside each Budget and Autumn Statement. That is something that previous Governments did not do.

 

Baroness Hollis of Heigham:

 

Is the Minister acknowledging that the Government have not published a cumulative analysis of the cuts, benefits and tax changes since 2010? If he is so doing, which I think is what he has said, it is still done slice by slice. Can we hope that he will do so-will he give a commitment to do so in future?

 

 
Lord Freud: My Lords, it is bluntly impossible to do a total cumulative assessment. I have looked at doing it, and you do not know what to put in and what to leave out. No one has done it in the past; it is not possible. Doing it year by year, as we do, is the best we can do-and it gives a fair view of what happens in a particular year.

 

In her closing speech Baroness Hollis replied -

 

The noble Lord, Lord Freud, referred to cumulative assessment. With the help of Citizens Advice and Landman Economics, we were able to work out pretty precisely-to within 10p or so-the total cumulative effect, since 2010, of the benefit cuts and tax changes. I did it for one family type-the security guard with a wife and two children. If we can do it over a weekend with wet towels and half a bottle of gin, I am quite sure that the Government can do it with the numbers of staff that they have in the Treasury. The answer is that the Government are not choosing to do it. They do not want to be shamed by us and others as to the effect of what they have done over time. There cannot be any other reason why the noble Lord, of all people, who has the utmost respect from the House for his integrity on these issues, and the Government continue to duck the consequences of their action by giving us the cumulative statistics today.

 

We applaud Baroness Hollis for securing this debate, and pressing the need for a Cumulative Impact Assessment.  As for Lord Freud, we have a message for him.

Saying something is “bluntly impossible”  is –

BLUNTLY NOT ACCEPTABLE” to us

For the health, wellbeing and safety of people in this country, it is vital a full cumulative impact assessment is carried out.

                        We ask as many people/groups join with us

and demand the Coalition government 

make a committment to this.

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Many people/groups reading this have been with us from the beginning, others join in daily as awareness grows, of these callous policies from the Coalition government and the impact they will have on many families.

YOUR help is needed again.

 

Contact your MP, details here.

Write and ask them to press David Cameron for a full Cumulative Impact Assessment to be undertaken,  of how ALL these changes, at the same time, are wrong.

Contact Lord Freud – tell him how you are being affected by the changes to benefits and services.  freudd@parliament.uk

Pat

and all at PP

x

 

NOTES

Work Capability Assessment  -  Hansard transcript here

watch live here    frwd to 2 hrs 18 mins

The Centre for Welfare reform -         A Fair Society report

Draft care and Support Bill    Wednesday Jan 16th watch here

Thurs  Jan 17th   watch here

The Other Care Crisis -                    full report here
 

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Meeting with Liam Byrne – Feb 6th 2013

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Before Christmas we mentioned that Liam Byrne had suggested meeting with him to talk about an Opposition Day debate to request a cumulative impact assessment.

Arranging diaries hasn’t been the easiest of tasks, especially with the christmas holidays in the way. But we now have a date.

Five of us will be heading for Westminster on 6th February to meet with Liam Byrne 

Pats Banner

We can feel the start of a change of mood as people awaken to the individual impacts of the changes. More groups are protesting, more people are using social media sites to air their fears and concerns.

There has been an unanticipated emphasis on Welfare Reform as tbe Benefits Uprating Bill makes its way through Parliament.

The Bedroom Tax is beginning to worry tenants as their landlords get in touch with them.

People are more familiar with terms like ‘Personal Independence Payment’ and ‘Universal Credit’ if not with ‘Employment Support Allowance’ and its two groups.

Their sponsorship of the Paralympics means that everyone has now heard of Atos.

Local authorities are making public decisions and we are hearing about the difficult decisions to cut vital services.

We are seeing language change to include ‘strivers’ as well as ‘scroungers’ but we’re still not convinced that the media gets the full picture for disabled people, their carers and families.

This is why we need a Cumulative Impact Assessment, and it is what we will take to our talk with Liam: issues that are important to you, the 62,703 people who signed Pat’s Petition and all the people who have since said they would have signed it if they’d understood.

Please keep contacting your MPs, details here. Send them details of how the changes are impacting on you now.

Sign the new WoW petition by Francesca Martinez. You can read more about the WoW group here

We must all keep on keeping on.

Pat

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How the cuts target disabled people by Simon Duffy

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

A Fair Society – How the cuts affect disabled people by Simon Duffy

Full details can be found hereThe Centre for Welfare Reform

Centre for welfare reform

The government seems to have made no effort to understand the cumulative impact

of its cuts on minority groups, especially those with the greatest needs. It has rejected

calls for a ‘Cumulative Impact Assessment’ of the cuts despite the obvious fact that

those with the most severe disabilities now face the combined impact of:

Social care cuts

Benefit cuts

Housing cuts

Regressive tax increases

For this reason The Centre for Welfare Reform, on behalf of the Campaign for a Fair

Society, has done its own analysis -

Using the government’s own figures, it is clear that by 2015, in England alone, local

government and housing will be cut by

£16.2 billion. This is a cut in real terms of 41.9%.

Social care for children and adults makes up

60% of all spending over which local

authorities have any control. Data collected over the past two years indicates that social

care has already been cut by nearly

£4 billion, and will be cut by £8 billion by 2015, a cut

of about 33%.

Benefits for disabled people and the poorest will also have been cut by

£18 billion, a cut

of about 20%.

When we look at the combined impact of all the cuts we find:

People in poverty (

21% of the population) bear 39% of all cuts.

Disabled people (

8% of the population) bear 29% of all cuts.

People with severest disabilities (

 

2% of the whole population) bear 15% of all cuts.

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