Open letter to Liam Byrne
This letter was sent to Liam Byrne on Friday 16th Nov 2012
Download a copy to send to your MP
We are writing to ask you to secure a parliamentary debate to request a Cumulative Impact Assessment of all the changes which impact disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.
As you may know – Pat’s Petition recently reached over 62,600 signatures on the government e-petition site. This was an amazing result considering that unlike many other petitions it was not sponsored by any organisation – it was promoted by seven women from home – all disabled and/or carers – and had no funding.
The government e-petition site relies on internet access, which is limited amongst disabled people and carers and was not disability friendly. Within the same year a further 25,000 paper signatures for a Xmas card were presented to Downing Street at Christmas by the Hardest Hit campaign.
Pat’s Petition asked the government to - Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services, which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families. The petition is now closed, short of the 100,000 needed to trigger formal consideration by the Backbench Business Committee.
However, because of the pressing need to explore the detail, on the ground, of the cuts that are raining down daily on disabled people and carers, in your constituency and the UK, we are asking you to help us get a debate on this subject. We need to pause this untested process and make it safe, which needs strong parliamentary voices to call for a proper impact assessment.
You will see from the government response to Pat’s Petition that they just cite the aspirations behind their policies. No one could argue with these fine aspirations. However the implementation of these policies was never trialled, and disabled people and carers are coping daily with an avalanche of piecemeal untested cuts on the ground. Between the aspiration and the detail of the cuts falls the shadow of how these fine ideas are turned into decisions that affect individual lives. And this has not been sufficiently examined to make this process safe.
The many people calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) of all the changes demonstrate the widespread concern about the rushed way these reforms are being introduced. These include the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, CarersUK, JCHR, EHRC, and more. The recent Hardest Hit report helps show why these requests cannot be ignored.
So we ask you to help us with this and secure a debate where MPs can examine the detail of what is being done in their name and request a Cumulative Impact Assessment to ensure that the full effects of these changes are understood and responded to.
We look forward to your reply.
Pat Onions x
Rosemary O Neill CarerWatch
Frances Kelly CarerWatch
Karen Machin Mental health campaigner
Richard Hawkes Scope
Paul Jenkins Rethink Mental Illness
Paul Farmer Mind
Steve Winyard RNIB
Rebecca Rennison Leonard Cheshire Disability
Emily Holzhausen Carers UK
Jaspal Dhani UKDPC
Simon Duffy Centre for Welfare Reform
Steve Donnison Benefits and Work
Holiday Whitehead Benefits and Work
Neil Coyle Disability Rights UK
Bill Scott Inclusion Scotland
Rhian Davies Disability Wales
Mark Harrison NCODP
Steven Rose Choice support, Campaign for a Fair Society
Peter Beresford Shaping our Lives
Pam Pinder CarersforumUK
Frances Leckie Independent Living
Tracey Lazard Inclusion London
Ian Hood Learning Disabilities Alliance
Fiona Sinclair Autism Rights
Ian Hodgson Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Claire Glasman WinVisible
Debbie Jolly DPAC
Linda Burnip DPAC
Gail Ward Social Welfare Union
Norma Curran VIAScotland
Jane Young WeAreSpartacus
Kaliya Franklin The Broken of Britain
Sue Marsh Responsible Reform report
Mo Stewart Disabled veteran (WRAF)
Charles Huddleston Carers campaigner
Ian Sandeman DLA/PIP Help Groups