Posts Tagged ‘dpac’

Stop the Bedroom Tax – Newcastle Rally

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

 

The delegation from Scotland consisted of Susan Archibald, Citizen Smart and myself – all travelling down in Susan’s van.  Arriving at Newcastle Civic Centre dead on 1.30pm we were delighted to find such a huge crowd milling , waiting, banners at the ready. Wheelchairs, buggies of all shapes and sizes. White canes, a Guide Dog, police, children and people with all their faculties in tact.

pic courtesy of Gail Ward

pic courtesy of Gail Ward

A buzz of excited anticipation greeted us. It was a little unfortunate that the police directed us along a road which was blocked by a locked electric barrier which was not for moving. Bit of clever limbo manoeuvres got everyone through. Spreading ourselves out along the pavement we made our way chanting towards the pedestrian crossing. Being at the front we had no idea that the back of the march got caught as the lights changed to red. Thinking about it afterwards it would have been in the spirit of the day if the police had just stopped the traffic for a few minutes.

Making our way up through town, weaving around bollards in the precinct, expertly guided by officers in their high vis jackets we arrived at Grays Monument. it was hot. Very hot. Gail Ward, our MC, brought the speakers on. Some disabled, some not, but all had a message to share and they were all passionate in their words. Some only spoke a few words, while others could have gone all day such was their message.

Citizen Smart entertained us with his music especially written for the day. People sang, clapped and stomped their feet where they could. The whole atmosphere was quite amazing. Peaceful yet powerful. Anger, outrage even, with a few tears from a lady standing next to me. People came and listened because they care. They took part because they will be affected and they joined in one voice.

Pat x

Videos’ of the Newcastle event can be found here

Evening chronicle report here  -  ‘Bedroom tax’ demonstrators protest in Newcastle

Many thanks to all those that helped organise this event

 

 

Report – OPPOSITION DAY – EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON DISABLED PEOPLE

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

 

Wednesday 10th July 2013 was a great day for Pat’s Petition.  After a year of working to get over 62,700 signatures we finally had our debate  in the House of Commons.

Two of our team travelled from Scotland and the North East to watch the debate live from the gallery. Pat is blind, and Rosemary is a family carer, but they made it.

On arrival at Kings Cross they met with Rick and Jane from WOW petition, ( please sign and share as widely as possible), and then all made their way to Westminster. There they met with more campaigners, Ian, Andy and Adam.

Following a short chat it was time to gain admission to the debate. Jim Hood MP, who had secured the tickets to enable Pat and Rosemary entrance to watch/listen to the debate live arrived, and pointed out that HoC business was running late. This caused all previous plans about meeting up with other campaigners afterwards to be changed.

Following section from Pat and Rosemary.

Having to hand over phones meant we were unable to keep supporters informed as to how the debate was going but we knew many many people were watching the event on parliament tv, and engaging with each other via social media. We were later informed the hashtag #CiaDisability had trended for over 2 hours, peaking at UK trend no 3.

The MPs who spoke in favour of our petition could not have done more to support us.  Coalition ministers that spoke were unable to name an individual, academic, grassroots group, a charity – that agreed fully with their policies. Instead many names were reeled off that were against these reforms/cuts. Facts and figures were given, and yet from governments front bench there appeared to be an attitide of boredom,  and total disregard for the situation many disabled people now found themselves to be in. They showed no interest in what opposition members were saying and at times their bodies were partly turned, away from whomever was speaking at that time. This was more noticeable when Tom Greatrex MP was speaking.

As the debate progressed you can imagine our horror when Mr Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, suddenly made an impassioned speech calling us ‘extremists’, and saying that we didn’t represent disabled people. We will be taking this further.

Me, Liam Byrne Pat

In between the votes, we met with Liam Byrne, and issues concerning both disabled people and carers were discussed. It was agreed how evidence is going to be more vital in future, for people to also contact their MPs and explain how the cuts are impacting on them. More importantly, our campaigning continues.

The vote on the motion itself was lost… Ayes 227, Noes 296 – but the day itself was not.

These last few years with cuts raining down – the whole solid brick wall against us – Labour and Tory both supporting the cuts and the charities having to fit in somehow, was beyond belief.

Brick_Wall

Now the consensus is broken there will be far more open debate and we may start to get somewhere.

Independent campaigners from many groups  took the lead in breaking down this wall. This experience has shown all of us that grassroots campaigners are essential to the political process.

We need to stay vigilant

We need to keep fighting

We need to ensure any promises turn in to real action.

 Well done every one.

But the Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet.

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.
 
 
 
 

Letter from Samuel Miller to Liam Byrne

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Permission has been granted to copy this letter here, that was originally posted on Twitter.

Subject:

July 10th Parliamentary debate: Cumulative Impact Assessment (‘The effect of Government Policies on Disabled People’)

3:36 PM (1 minute ago)

To:

Rt Hon Mr. Liam Byrne, MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
House of Commons
London, England
SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr. Byrne,

I am a 56-year-old Disability Studies specialist from Montreal, Canada who has been reporting frequently and voluntarily, since January 2012, to senior United Nations officials (see attached) on the crisis for the United Kingdom’s sick and disabled. Austerity measures, consisting of draconian welfare reforms and “sham” means-testing (Atos Healthcare U.K. and the Department for Work and Pensions) are ostensibly to blame for their plight—with disability hate crime and inflammatory media attacks factored into this mix.

I am writing you regarding this Wednesday’s Parliamentary debate on the effect of government policies on disabled people (http://carerwatch.com/reform/?p=1697), and in your capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

It is vital that such a cumulative impact assessment include a (more…)

OPPOSITION DAY – EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON DISABLED PEOPLE – How to take action

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Pat’s Petition welcome this debate on Wednesday 10th July 2013 regarding ‘The effect of Government Policies on Disabled People.’

Over 62,000 people signed Pat’s Petition calling for this debate.  And 48,905 people have now signed the WOW Petition . Please add your name if not already done so and then share asking as many others to do the same. ( 5 months remaining ).

We, along with many others, have continuously asked the government to conduct a Cumulative Impact Study to assess the cumulative effects of the myriad of changes in policy falling on disabled people and carers. The government refuses on the grounds that this is too difficult. It is totally irresponsible to conduct an enormous experiment like this on disabled people without attempting to predict or measure the effects on disabled people and carers. It wouldn’t be allowed in any kind of building project – so why is it possible to experiment on disabled people without checking that it is safe.

With recess 18th July – 2nd Sept,  followed by Party conferences 13th Sept to 8th October , this will be one of the last opportunities to get disabled peoples’ voices heard for some time.

Here at Pat’s Petition we will be sending briefing papers to MPs from all parties, but it is vital you contact them too.

It is personal stories about how these changes to benefits and services are affecting you and your families, that they need hear. This will help them understand why a Cumulative Impact Assessment is a necessity.

 

take action

 

 Actions you can take

 

1. Write to your MP and ask them to back the motion. Contact your MP   via this link

Here’s the motion in full:

 

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).

Ask them to attend and speak on your behalf

2. Watch the debate live on the day using this link

3. Share the information with all your friends, family, work colleagues, local media.

 

4. Don’t forget to use social media to raise awareness of this Disability debate.

Share the details on Facebook, and if you use Twitter we will be using the hashtag      #CiaDisability

 

Times are hard for everyone, employment, housing, cost of living – are problems for us all. We are all supposed to be in this together. But disabled people are not in this together because they often have far fewer options.

Support disabled people on Wednesday

 

 

OPPOSITION DAY – EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON DISABLED PEOPLE

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Opposition Day (5th allotted day, 1st Part)

WEDNESDAY 10 JULY

EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON DISABLED PEOPLE

Edward Miliband

Mr Liam Byrne

Hilary Benn

Andy Burnham

Mrs Anne McGuire

Ms Rosie Winterton

That this House believes that the Government should publish, by October 2013, a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by the Government that affect disabled people.

You will be able to watch live on the day here

Pats Banner

Pat’s Petition

Team PP meeting

FURTHER INFORMATION ADDED SOON

 

 

 

Berkshire DPAC supporting statement for Cumulative Impact Assessment

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Received from Berkshire DPAC

 

These are just some of the things that have impacted on disabled people – at a time of mass unemployment and recession.

The debate in the House earlier this month highlighted the appalling impact of the Work Capability Assessment ALONE on disabled people. People with the most serious and complex impairments can no longer apply for help from the Independent Living Fund, as this has been closed to new applicants. It will be closed completely in 2015, throwing its users on the mercies of local authorities who will apparently not have ring fenced money in their rapidly decreasing budgets to support this. As from April this year the government starts to remove Disability Living Allowance from anybody who is able to mobilise (I use this word advisedly since it includes people who can wheel their own wheelchairs) more than 20 m. They have reduced this distance from 100 m in one fell swoop and failed to put this figure in their consultation paper.

Despite the increasing numbers of administrative errors and technical problems within the DWP, which have caused deaths in some instances – one was quoted in the debate last week – and massive distress in many, many others, the government is also withdrawing legal aid for appeals by benefit claimants as of the 1st of April.

Then there’s the bedroom tax, penalising families of sick and disabled people who need extra bedrooms to cater for things like storage space for equipment, or where it is impossible for anybody else to sleep in the same room as the claimant. Meanwhile social care is denied to the vast majority of people of any age who need it, because local authorities are not receiving enough money to meet the real need.

And now they’re introducing new and frankly insane guidance to the WCA, as if it wasn’t bad enough already. Assessors will no longer be able to consider issues like the depression that often accompanies chronic pain for example, or the physical impact of medication for mental health problems. Why? Because the new guidance insists that people must only be assessed on either physical impairments or mental impairments. Furthermore assessors, who we know rarely have the qualifications or expertise to do so, will be allowed to IMAGINE that a bit of equipment or a type of therapy might help you – and deny you your benefits until you’ve tried them out. Please bear in mind this could take months, in the case of therapies and could cause actual harm in the case of equipment.

All of these lead to stress, anxiety, physical and mental ill health, especially because of cuts to benefits and available cash. They also leads to isolation, depression and in some cases suicide. Some people are told they are fit for work by ATOS but when they go the Job Centre, they tell them they can’t satisfy the requirements for Job Seekers Allowance and therefore will get nothing.

As we have seen, the Work Programme is utterly failing disabled people (Panorama 28/1/2013).

Which other group in society has been hit by as many cuts as these? How can the Government possibly justify its refusal to do a cumulative Impact Assessment? It is no surprise that the references to Nazi Germany’s treatment of disabled people are becoming more frequent.

Merry

 

DPAC support the call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment

Friday, January 25th, 2013
DPAC

Received from DPAC

Disabled people are facing attacks against their human rights and civil liberties from so many directions it’s difficult to keep up with all of them. We are strongly opposed to the way disabled people are being forced to live in fear every day of their lives.

 

Some of the main attacks disabled people are facing include

·        the privatisation of the NHS.

·        Lack of social care and support funding to allow disabled people to take part in society.

 

Social Services budgets have been (more…)

We need a Cumulative Impact Assessment. How many warnings will the government ignore?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

 

How many people have to emphasise the need for a cumulative impact assessment of the changes impacting on disabled people and carers?

As well as all the signatories to Pat’s Petition, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Hardest Hit, and Demos –  Anne Begg MP has now asked Esther McVey, (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions),

“will she consider a cumulative impact assessment of all the benefits affecting disabled people?”

describing the lack of an assessment as ‘inexcusable’.

Disabled people know themselves of the impact on their lives of all these changes at once.

How many warnings can the government ignore before this perfect storm becomes a disaster of epic proportions?

Please sign Pat’s petition. check junk box for activation email and then share, share, share.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

Time is running out. We have 4 days left

 

JCHR link

ECHR link

Hardest hit – The Tipping Point

Demos

Working-Age Disabled People  25th October Westminster Hall  - Hansard here  2 pages

 

The onslaught continues – sign Pat’s Petition

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Sign Pat’s petition here.  

Conservative conference is underway and by the hour we are hearing statements and interviews from government ministers regarding welfare reform and cuts. See links below

 It is even more vital now that we have all these issues debated in parliament.

Will Pat’s Petition achieve 100,000 by Nov 1st? We believe it will if we all push it forward as wide as possible.

The petition has reached over 50,000 signatures – quite incredible for this small group of unfunded friends with no large organisations behind them. But we need to reach 100,000 by the deadline at the end of the month.

As Pat says -  “That can sound quite daunting, but other petitions have done it. Anne Williams last year got 40,000 signatures on the very last day for her petition about her son Kevin who died at Hillsborough. Richard Branson had his support within a week. And the cuddly badgers achieved their target in weeks. If only people would support disabled people in the same way.”

 

link to Youtube video, click here -       Pat’s Petition

 

The group are asking people to be quick about taking actions:

Sign the petition at   http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

Check junk boxes for activation emails.

Share the petition link by e-newsletters, facebook, twitter – get to places where people are already online

Add to blogs, write letters to media and your MP

If you are attending A Future that Works Oct 20th march ensure the petition details are shared with fellow marchers

Grassroots groups have been extremely supportive and we ask you to give this a final push.

Campaign teams from charities to come on board and raise awareness to your memberships. Time is running out so you need do this quickly.

 

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

 

Links

1. David Cameron on Andrew Marr show

Q: Nick Clegg said there would be more austerity after 2015. Was he right?

Yes, says Cameron. The cuts will have to be decided before the election. The government will have to look at things like welfare

2. Iain Duncan Smith Guardian 19.26 pm

“This quote is from 19:26 Sunday -

“A delegate asks Duncan Smith if he could cut more from the welfare budget, saying that would be very popular with the public.

IDS says he’s cut more than any other secretary of state – £18bn – but these are “difficult” times.

Once he has reformed welfare, everyone will be able to recognise that those who are on benefits are genuine claimants, he says, and not scroungers.”

3. George Osborne plans to cut another £10bn from welfare budget

FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO HELP PLEASE CONTACT PAT – patspetition@gmail.com