Posts Tagged ‘benefits’

We stand united together and will grow and grow

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

As a gardener I am always looking for new ideas to add to my garden. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Like most of us who enjoy plants and trees – each new addition means a little less lawn to cut as we find a space for our latest acquisition.

Up here in Scotland we have some beautiful natural stone. Most of it huge and attached to a mountain but my garden has its own fair share.

Granite is plentiful in many areas. As such it is used a lot in buildings as it is one of the hardest stones known to man. And woman who digs it out of her garden!



A cairn is often used to mark the tops of mountains – people who reach the summit can add a stone. They are also used to mark paths keeping travellers safely away from the dangers of the edges. The lasting durability of the stone cairn is a symbol to those that follow behind.


So the idea of building a cairn in the garden was born.and it will represent those 62,709 people who signed Pat’s Petition before it closed.

I laid the first stone and it will be added to as and when weather, time and availability of gathered stones allow.


cairn laying 1st stone 2

I don’t think I can count 62,709 but will use one stone per 100 signatures. The strength and hardness of these stones represent us all – disabled people, carers and their families.


PP closed 4 months ago but we are still inundated with requests from people wanting to add their support. To this end a space has been created here. New stones will continue to be added to the cairn as these numbers increase.

Like the cairn which won’t crumble into the soil – we stand united together and will grow and grow.

There are still some important petitions open on the government website.


WowPetition  sign here   – further details of the campaign group here


Stop the Abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments  – sign here





This is just the end of the beginning – Welfare Reform

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Iain D Smith

The government is bringing in so many cuts that a Cumulative Impact Assessment is far too difficult

April Fool – it’s actually really very simple 


At last more and more people are waking up to the realisation of the horrors lying in wait for disabled people, their carers and families. At last there are debates in Parliament with dozens of MPs relating true stories from their constituents. They all tell the same story. How disabled people, those with serious illness, and carers are being hit the hardest.

And this is just the end of the beginning.

Six more drastic cuts come on line today.

It is the perfect storm

That’s why I’m so proud of Pat’s Petition and what we achieved together.Pat’s Petition asked the government to “stop and look at the way all these changes would add up and impact on the lives of disabled people and their carers.” 62,709 people signed in the year that was open to us.

But the government refused. They say it is too difficult. You can read their response on Pat’s Petition here . They are conducting one enormous social experiment and leaving it for history to tell them what they did to us.

How can they get away with this?

Well – they can’t get away with it. We won’t let them. And neither will you.

The government are pretending that it is amazingly complicated when we are asking for something that is really simple. We are asking for an assessment of the impact on individual disabled people. There is no reason why they can’t run example cases through all the benefit changes one by one and show us, and the voters, exactly what they are doing to individual disabled people.

Scope/Demos  have released research on these changes. And it isn’t as impossibly difficult as the government maintain.

We aren’t going anywhere until the government face up to their responsibilities and produce a projection of what their policies are, and will be doing, to disabled people and their carers.

Pat’s team is working with many other campaign groups and we are meeting with government statisticians to discuss how they can carry out a Cumulative Impact Assessment.

The WOW petition is still active and you can sign that here. Their number of supporters is growing daily. Please share this petition as wide as possible asking others to sign and share too.  You will note they have had a preliminary response in which again the government states –

“Cumulative impact analysis is not being withheld – it is very difficult to do accurately and external organisations have not produced this either.”

This is NOT acceptable.

We still receive many emails and requests from people wanting to support this campaign. To this end a space has been created here to add your support, comments can be added too.

This Cumulative Impact Assessment

is going to happen





Inclusion Scotland – Impact of the Change from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Received from Inclusion Scotland


Change in Assessment Criteria:

In December 2012 the UK Government announced an unexpected change in the PIP Assessment criteria. This change reduces the distance someone can walk (safely) before qualifying for the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP from 50 metres to 20 metres (the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP is equivalent to the Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA).

The change has contributed to a substantial increase in the numbers expected not to qualify for the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP – up from 250,000 to 428,000 (a 70% increase).

Using the DWP’s own UK-wide projections of expected “winners” and “losers” arising from the replacement of DLA by PIP Inclusion Scotland have now calculated the equivalent figures for Scotland. These are set out below.

One piece of good news is that the majority of disabled people on life-time or long term awards of DLA will not now be re-assessed for PIP until after October 2015. However the following groups will be assessed before then –

* disabled people making new claims

* people currently in receipt of DLA whose awards end before Oct. 2015

* people whose condition/level of impairment changes before then to a level where it amounts to a change of circumstances requiring reassessment.

Mobility Component:

Using DWP projections, by 2018, Inclusion Scotland estimates that (more…)

Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union Welfare Statement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

The ideology of cuts affecting the most vulnerable people in our society is totally out of character for a nation that traditionally prides itself on bringing support to those in crisis. Over the years, the UK has led the way in terms of people and organisations who have gone way beyond the call of duty in terms of supporting others and treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve. This is a country that after years of struggle, made health, education and general wellbeing a basic human right.

This coalition government has taken the decision to fly in the face of these hard fought traditions and has instead, become hell bent on passing the responsibility and burden of the national debt onto those who can least afford it. As a result of this policy, we now see people struggling to make ends meet, forced into the ever-willing arms of  payday loan companies who, on the face of it appear to be offering help and financial security. The reality is that they push people into further poverty and desperation.

The introduction of the benefit freeze and the accompanying diatribes spewed by government ministers was designed to (more…)

St Helens Mental Health Forum supporting statement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

To all at Pat’s Petition

Several years ago, our groups took our concerns over welfare reform to our Local Implementation Team meeting. Our main worry was that the move to support in primary care implied that we would no longer receive support for claims for disability benefits through letters from psychiatrists and care coordinators. At the time, this felt disastrous, and we anticipated a local solution. We were told to take up our worries directly with the DWP.

Since then, we have become increasingly alarmed by the redesign of the NHS, welfare reform, slashes to local authority budgets, loss of legal aid, and other changes, all at the same time as unprecedented economic austerity which has had an impact on local voluntary sector services. This is all too much at the same time, and is surely a disaster waiting to happen.

We have (more…)

TeamPP heads to London tomorrow to meet with Liam Byrne

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Pats Banner


Early  Wednesday afternoon Feb 6th, will see 5 of us meeting with Liam Byrne in London. 4 of us from PP with the 5th member from VIA Scotland – she will ensure Pat arrives safely and in a timely manner.

We are backed by others who can’t make the journey, and our memories of our friend who died just as we reached the petition end.

It is incredible to think that although PP has worked together for 18 months, and in a larger on line group before that, most of us have never been able to meet each other. We will spend a few hours together then leave for our respective homes spread many hundreds of miles apart.
We will have with us printed statements of your support, your real life stories, over 62,700 signatures and many questions to be answered. We have prepared as much as we can for what will undoubtedly be an interesting meeting with Liam.

Can we ask you to pledge your tweets tomorrow to this meeting. Hashtag  #TeamPP , especially from 2pm onwards when the meeting starts.

This is to represent not just those attending this meeting,

but each and every supporter/signature/group/charity.


This list below is not complete, please accept apologies if we have not as yet added your name or that of groups/organisations you belong to. It will be updated over next few days.




MIND supports the call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013



For the last couple of years, the issue of welfare reform has consistently been an important issue for people with mental health problems. Mind has called for changes to the Work Capability Assessment but the pace of reform has been too slow, meanwhile tens of thousands of people are being reassessed using a test which is still not fit for purpose. We hear from many people who tell us that changes to the welfare system are adversely affecting their mental health, and that the demonisation of disabled people claiming welfare benefits in the media only serves to compound the stress and anxiety they experience. We support the need for a cumulative impact assessment to reveal the true extent of these reforms on the hardest hit in society.

Paul Spencer

Parliamentary Officer



Act Now for Autism supporting statement

Monday, February 4th, 2013


Received from Carole Rutherford on behalf of Act Now for Autism

The Welfare Reform Bill is impacting in a negative way within the autism community both financially and emotionally.

We fully support the team at Pat’s Petition. There has never been a greater need to pause before continuing with measures that are having a catastrophic impact within our community.

Adults and families living with autism are finding it harder to cope with the changes every day.  We were told that the reforms would ensure that those with the greatest needs would be taken care of, this is not what is happening. We are hearing from adults with autism on a daily basis who are terrified about the prospect of a face to face assessment without anyone to enable them to communicate effectively.

Adults with autism do not have the ‘historic’ evidence or otherwise that we are hearing will be necessary.  The bedroom tax is set to have a massive impact on families who cannot safely allow a child with autism to share a bedroom with their siblings. Families are going to be penalised for having a child with a disability.

It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the disabled. Our current Government is morally bankrupt. 

We need to be assured that Labour will not show the same lack or care and understanding towards the sick, needy and disabled




Can anyone tell me where the sense is in this

Monday, February 4th, 2013


Received from Katie Clark

My daughter has substantial complex needs. She uses an electric wheelchair, is profoundly deaf and uses a communication aid to talk. She has had a package of support that has enabled her to employ her own team of Personal Assistants. This has cost less than if she has gone into a residential home.

The Personal Assistants support her to contribute to society – to do voluntary work, do paid work training social work students, to speak at the Houses of Parliament and represent other disabled young people, and to take part in awareness raising projects.

The Personal Assistant team also support her emotional well being, her personal care, they support her to access leisure activities such as going to cinema, shopping and meeting friends. None of this she can do on her own.

Due to the huge savings our local authority is making on social care her budget is being reduced and we are under stressful “negotiations” with the council. Cuts to her budget will result in her becoming isolated, bored, not contributing or making a difference, her health and well being will be at risk, she may well become frustrated and angry resulting in behaviour which may be challenging. On top of that her Personal Assistants will be out of work, and I will become her carer and will have to stop my full time job. This will impact financially on our whole family and will cause stress to her and impact her mental health.

She is a young woman who does not want to be “looked after” by her mother. She may end up in the institutions we have worked for years to avoid, with far more needs and more at risk to abuse than having her own team of assistants.

Can anyone tell me where the sense is in this and is it not shortsighted and will result in heavier costs to social care within the next 5 years?

Good luck Pat, in your meeting with Liam Byrne.



We are Spartacus – statement of support

Monday, February 4th, 2013


Received from We are Spartacus

Disabled and sick people are being hit by a huge range of cuts and changes to benefits – be they general or disability-specific, means-tested or universal – as well as tightening eligibility criteria and increased charges for social care support. Whilst the poorest are undoubtedly suffering the most, almost every disabled or sick person in the UK, and their family, is affected by the cuts and changes.

The Coalition Government is moving all the goalposts; secure support we’ve come to rely on, that we were told would be there as long as we need it, has been thrown into doubt.  And not content with these cuts and policy changes, the Government stands by whilst the media portrays us as malingerers and scroungers, misinforming the British public and ensuring support for its abandonment of disabled and sick people.

If the Labour Party truly believes disabled and sick people should be supported to live independent lives, it needs to nail its colours to the mast and shout it from the rooftops. We don’t have anyone else to fight for us against this Government’s policies; please don’t let us down.

Jane Young