Jul 272017
 

INVITATION: from the Office for Disability Issues

 

The UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Periodic examination live streaming.

The Office for Disability Issues would like to invite you to attend this event, where you will be able to watch the live streaming of the face to face dialogue between the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (the Committee) and UK delegates.

Dates: 23rd August 2017   12:00-17:00

           24th August 2017     8:45 -12:00

 

Address: Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA.

Places are strictly limited and will be on a ‘first come’ basis, and will be limited to one attendee per organisation (plus a support worker if required).

Please note that the UK’s examination is also available to live stream from a place of your convenience via the UN’s website.

Please do RSVP your place as soon as possible by completing the form below and sending it to the email address: UN.CRPDINBOX@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK.

We will let you know with a confirmation email if you have a reserved place on the day of your choice.

 

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please note that we are unable to cover the costs of travel, hotels or other related expenditure.

 

(If you do not wish to receive any further communications on the UK UNCRPD periodic examination please let us know.)

 

————————————————————–

Response to invitation

 

UNCRPD periodic live streaming

Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA

 

 

Receipt of this form will be taken as confirmation that you wish to attend.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of any communication, access or dietary requirements.

 

 

Attendee information

 

Name:

 

Organisation:

 

Email:

 

Phone number:

 

Date you would like to attend.

 

………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

Communication or Access requirements

 

Please indicate any communication or access requirements below:

……………………………………………………………………………….

Do you require a support worker? Yes/No

Dietary requirements

 

Food will be provided at breakfast (24th August only) and lunch time (on both dates). Please do indicate if you have any specific dietary requirements below.

Jacqui Wyatt  | Office for Disability Issues | Department for Work & Pensions | Caxton House, Ground Floor, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA, 0207 449 7779 ext 64779

Jacqui.wyatt@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

 Posted by at 18:13
Jul 252017
 

New report calls UK Government to account over harmful Nuclear Weapons dependence

 

  • A new international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, agreed by 122 countries on the 7 July 2017, re-opens questions about Britain’s continued possession of nuclear weapons.

  • Despite claiming to want a world without nuclear weapons, by boycotting the treaty negotiations, the UK is sidestepping global efforts to achieve multilateral disarmament.  

  • The UK has 120 ready-to-fire nuclear warheads in deployment; with a further 95 in reserve, but the credibility of these weapons for deterrence is crumbling.

  • Britain has an opportunity to demonstrate its diplomatic prowess and soft power to take a lead on multilateral disarmament and make the world safer – but only if the government is prepared to abandon its reliance on an increasingly redundant and dangerous approach to national security,.

 

25 July 2017: Medact, a public health charity that inspires the medical community to act on the social, political, ecological and economic determinants of health, today launches a new report calling the UK Government to account for aggressive Nuclear Weapons policies and continued funding of Trident.

 

The report, “A Safer World: Treating Britain’s harmful dependence on nuclear weapons”, follows swiftly after negotiations on a new international treaty that bans nuclear weapons concluded at the United Nations. The report hails the international significance of the treaty, and argues that the UK should now abandon its possession of nuclear weapons.

 

On 7 July 2017, the United Nations adopted a landmark agreement to ban nuclear weapons, known officially as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Despite government claims to support multilateral disarmament and a world without nuclear weapons, the United Kingdom, alongside other nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states, has boycotted the negotiations.

 

The report highlights that the dangers attached to the policy of nuclear deterrence have grown and explains why the high-risk gamble of states deploying thousands of active nuclear warheads will likely result in political, environmental and humanitarian disaster. .

 

Dr David McCoy, Director of Medact, says:

 

“We have produced a simple but cogent set of arguments that expose the flawed, dangerous and wasteful policy of possessing and modernising nuclear weapons. Deterrence, only believable as long as the world’s nuclear armories remain unused, is destined to fail. Whether caused by heightened tensions between nuclear states, or by factors such as cyber terrorism, software failures or accidents, it is just a matter of when, not if.” 

 

“This is not to suggest that multilateral disarmament would be easy. It would require a great deal of hard work, skillful diplomacy and some courage. But it can be done; and it must be done. This is our simple message as doctors and health professionals.”

 

“By abandoning our reliance on an increasingly redundant and dangerous approach to national security, Britain can demonstrate its diplomatic prowess and its economic and cultural influence r to take a lead on multilateral disarmament and make the world safer.”

 

Since biological and chemical weapons have been banned for over 20 years, the UN treaty represents an important step to outlaw the most dangerous Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMDs) of all, recognising that nuclear detonations, whether by accident or intention, would cause even greater catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

 

Dr Rebecca Johnson, president of the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, says:

 

“Whether the UK government likes it or not, the majority of the world has made it clear they are serious about banning and eliminating nuclear weapons. This new Nuclear Prohibition Treaty will greatly increase the legal, economic and public pressures to halt Britain’s billion-pound spending spree on Trident”

 

A Safer World: Treating Britain’s harmful dependence on nuclear weapons is available here: www.medact.org/2017/resources/ reports/a-safer-world-treating -britains-harmful-dependence-o n-nuclear-weapons

 Posted by at 15:03
Jul 242017
 

Please watch the video:

DPAC began the fight back against the Tory/DUP minority government after the General Election in June with a week of action called #SummerOfDiscontent on14-21 July 2017 to highlight the impact of the Atos PIP assessments on disabled people’s lives and appalling impact of social care cuts and the lack of accessible transport and to support the RMT dispute to keep guards on trains. DPAC also supported the NUT Demo “carnival of cuts” to highlight the lack of funding for schools and highlight the deepening segregation of disabled students in schools.

 

DPAC activists joined the striking southern guards in solidarity on day 33 of the strike action at the RMT picket line at Victoria Station, London on Monday 10th July 2017 as Southern, Northern Arriva and Merseyrail guards went on strike to highlight the cutting of the train guards post on the three rail franchises and  that southern rail has rolled back the turn up and go on 33 of its stations on the southern rail network and the  rolling  back of disabled people’s freedom to ride, plus  highlighting the fact that 70 per cent of safety related incidents happen on 33 per cent of Driver only operated trainsl network.

 

On Friday 14th July 2017 began the DPAC week of action #SummerOfDiscontent which co incided with the opening ceremony of the Para Athletics World Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford.  ATOS who carry out the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Contract for the DWP were partner sponsors for the event.  DPAC activists had an alternative opening ceremony outside the stadium to highlight the impact of PIP assessments on disabled people.  Activists handed out leaflets to members of the public to raise awareness of the distress of the PIP process and the impact on disabled people’s lives.

 

On Sunday 16th July 2017 DPAC activists supported NUT members on its demo in Central London called Carnival of Cuts.  DPAC members marched in solidarity with teachers, parents and school children to highlight the cuts to school budgets and to highlight the deepening segregation in schools with cuts to special education budgets and to support Lucy Cox and Tara Flood from ALLFIE who addressed the rally at Parliament Square about the impact of education cuts on disabled children’s lives.

 

Tuesday 18th July 2017 DPAC held a national day of action across the UK to highlight local cuts to services that disabled people use.  Bromley DPAC held a protest outside Bromley Central Library to protest against the sustainability development plans (STPs) for the NHS.  Bromley Health- Watch held a public meeting for residents to ask changes to ask questions about NHS changes in the local area.  Bromley DPAC activists joined with local NHS campaigners and held a protest outside the venue and asked local residents to sign a petition.  There was a question and answer session after the meeting which several Bromley DPAC activists asked questions to the NHS staff.

 

Thursday 20th July 2017 DPAC members were joined by Transport for All, Association for British Commuters and RMT activists and members of the RMT executive and Assistant General Secretary, Steve Hedley outside the Department of Transport to highlight the removal of train guards from Southern Rail and the importance of safety and access on the rail network.  A change.org petition with 4,000 signatures asking Department of Transport to reconsider the position to keep guards on trains was handed in to staff at the Department of Transport.  After speeches  DPAC members blocked the road outside Department of Transport for over 10 minutes asking the department of transport to keep guards on trains and look into the rolling back of turn up and go policy on 33 of its stations on the southern rail network.

 

The week of action ended on Friday 21st July 2017 where a DPAC campaign against ATOS began 5 years ago in 2012, at ATOS HQ, Triton Square, Nr Warren Street.  Activists from Winvisible, Unite Community and Kilburn Unemployed workers group joined DPAC members for the protest outside ATOS HQ.

The protest began with a march with the banner listing the names of disabled people who have died due to the impact of the welfare reforms.  Speeches soon followed, with a picnic and noisemakers.

Activists then marched to Warren Street with their banners and blocked warren street for over 10 minutes to highlight the impact of 7 years of Brutal Tory Austerity on disabled people’s lives.

 

Photos from the week of action: https://www.facebook.com/paula.peters.79/media_set?set=a.1574305842610760.1073742091.100000940783562&type=3

Photo credit: Paula Peters.

 Posted by at 21:36
Jul 242017
 

URGENT: Save disabled prisoner Tom McMeekin

from death by institutional neglect!

 

Please sign the petition for Tom McMeekin
Justice for vulnerable prisoners

https://www.change.org/p/sam-gyimah-justice-for-vulnerable-prisoners


by his mother Susan Goodwill.

Tom McMeekin is 23 and severely disabled. He was paralysed from the neck down after a car crash.In October 2016 he was sentenced to seven years in prison for dangerous driving. Lack of feeding and care in prison have caused rapid physical and mental deterioration, and life-threatening complications such as sepsis. He faces amputation of his legs for hip dislocation caused by bad positioning and moving by prison staff.

Tom McMeekin, now in HMP Moorland

Tom McMeekin had four passengers when the crash occurred, all his friends. Tragically two of his friends died and a third now uses a wheelchair. Tom was critically injured and is now unable to use his arms or legs or feed himself. He has heart and lung damage, has to use a nebuliser and be assisted to cough twice a day. He remembers nothing of the accident.

Disabled people are entitled to the care and support we need, wherever we are, at home or in prison. At HMP Leeds, Tom was placed on a prison healthcare wing run by the notorious company Care UK, which has been named in inquiries into deaths of vulnerable prisoners (see note 5), neglect in residential homes and in homecare contracts. Within a few months he had lost about 30 kilos (four stone 10lb). He had admissions to hospital due to a deep pressure sore, a lung infection, bladder infections and life-threatening sepsis. Little attempt was made to meet his basic disability equipment needs. He was then transferred to HMP Moorland where there is no medical wing. He is currently on a wing for over-55 year-olds and sex offenders, with an agency nurse to attend to him at night, though he says some nights there is no cover and medication is missed.

Tom’s suffering has been immense. He should not be in prison. No prison can provide the complexity of care and management he needs to avoid deterioration and even death from complications.A Judicial Review (JR) is being prepared to show Tom’s unnecessary deterioration and suffering. Due to cuts in legal aid, there is no legal aid for disabled prisoners to challenge the appalling conditions in which they are kept. After the JR is concluded, his new solicitor will petition for Tom’s case to be heard in the Court of Appeal to secure his release. There are no funds available for this appeal. Please sign the petition and keep in touch for news on how you can support.

 Posted by at 21:03
Jul 192017
 

Thank you to Gail Ward who put this together. You can read her blog here https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/the-2-yr-job-rule-for-disabled-on-universal-credit-is-not-true/ and follow her on twitter at @blueannoyed

 

In the last few days it has been widely reported by various bloggers that those disabled claimants claiming Universal Credit are subjected to finding a job within two years or face a 1 year sanction. This is utter fabrication and feeding many claimants fears which could potentially cause harm. So today I called Welfare Rights ,who called DWP while I remained on the phone, they denied that this information was correct and was downright alarmist and dangerous. That doesn’t mean I trust DWP and have submitted a FOI too given 7 years of shenanigans. So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts!

Those who will be put on Universal Credit (UC) will have to sign the claimant commitment regardless, some will be subjected to full conditionality some will have their conditionality limited depending on the circumstances, and subject to sanctions if they fail to comply with the agreed commitments they agreed with work coach via the Work Plan,My 4 steps,My Values documents.  (Document links provided at bottom of the blog.)

This is the article in question. Responses by DWP staff are in italics, and comments about the response in bold

As promised last night, the SKWAWKBOX has been looking further into conflicting reports from DWP insiders concerning the WRAG (work-related activity group) category into which the government, more or less arbitrarily, places some disability benefit claimants and the possibility of sanctions after a fixed period of two years under the Universal Credit (UC) system if claimants have not found work.

Some activists insisted that this was part of the UC system and this was initially confirmed by long-term DWP employees. Others subsequently disputed it. The only thing all were agreed on was that the rules are ill-conceived and extremely confusing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted a PCS union official who specialises in UC for clarification and received this response: 

I’ve been looking at the regulations and I can’t find anything that refers specifically to a fixed time limit in which to find employment.

That is right, because no fixed time limit exists in the regulations

 

The ‘disabled’ argument, as I’m sure you are aware, is notorious because ultimately the Department through the provide contractors are essentially able to define who is fit or not for work.

For example, a claimant maybe moved from ESA to UC on the back of a WCA [Work Capability Assessment]. The claimant may disagree with the decision but they are stuck.

If they are adamant they are not fit for work, they could refuse employment in an environment they believe will affect their health.

If they have been found to have no Limited Capability for Work, they cannot refuse employment. The fact that claimants think they are unfit for work has been the main issue with the flawed WCA since 2008

 

This is where the sanction process comes in – a 13wk, 26wk and 156wk sanction could apply (although similar regs existed prior to UC and the 2012 Welfare Reform Act if not as harsh or severe).

In this case you’re looking at failure to apply, not accepting work or leaving on one’s own accord. Their argument is they aren’t fit, the department will still look at sanctions.

The circumstances described here apply to somebody who has not been found to have Limited Capability for Work.

 

The sanction regime is clearly arbitrary, deeply unfair and dangerous – but there is no rule mandating a fixed time-limit for a claimant to find work.

Again no time limit

 

However, another PCS/DWP source warned that while the rules don’t include such a limit, the way they are applied may not be as clear cut:

I can tell you that we have received complaints from WRAG claimants about having their ESA revoked after two years. And now they are treated as JSA claimants because they are ‘fit for work but not necessarily their precious occupation(s)’.

ESA cannot be revoked. It simply cannot be claimed after a claimant has been found fit for work. Previous occupations are not a consideration. That has always been the case.

 

Sanctions have been applied because the claimant has not fulfilled their requirement to find work. The purpose of the WRAG was to enable people to return to work despite being disabled, but this component has now been removed as WRAG claimants are now treated as jobseekers.

WRAG claimants under UC are described as having Limited Capability for Work.. They are not required to search for, be available for and start work, and cannot be sanctioned for not doing so, but they are required to accept work preparation requirements within their commitment and attend WFIs.

 

Other WRAG claimants have been booted off ESA or the sickness element of UC after a period of two years because they failed their WCA – deliberate decision to bully them back to work.

Some claimants will fail their WCA after 2 years. Others after 6 months, 12 months  etc.

2 years is actually a defined prognosis period, meaning a number of people are reassessed at this stage. Unless there is any evidence of a pattern, this period of 2 years is meaningless

 

Thanks too to Anita Bellows who has worked with me on this 🙂

 

So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts! 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353594773/4c-ESAHWC1

https://www.scribd.com/document/353595852/CC-O18-E15

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/353603319/1359203507-UJcompanyleafletJCP

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185048/CC-Requirement-to-Accept-a-Claimant-Commitment-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185364/cc-commitment-not-accepted-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185650/My-4-Steps-Template

https://www.scribd.com/document/354187257/1816-my-values-1-pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520361/FTS-FTP-in-WFI-and-Failure-to-Undertake-Work-Related-Activity

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517543/Handout-08-01-Commitment-Pack-v7-7

https://www.scribd.com/document/354182466/Dealing-With-Sanctions-Facsheet-4

https://www.scribd.com/document/353627563/HWC-Exemptions

 

Read Frank Zola Blog below;

https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/disability-rights-uk-disrightsuk-questions-why-dwp-esa-health-work-conversation-mandatory-foi/

 Posted by at 18:31
Jul 192017
 

Today, DPAC went to Parliament to lobby MPs about the funding of social care and independent living as part of their Week of Action

The funding crisis in social care is having a very real and detrimental impact on Disabled people’s ability to live and take part in the community and the gap between the life chances of Disabled and non-Disabled people is widening. Read more about it here

The police was not initially allowing DPAC members into Parliament and they were held for a while in a gated area before making their way to the lobby area

While there, they decided to occupy the area, as they did a few years ago, and they received the support of MPs like Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas and Bartley among others.

The event was well covered by the media, and you can see below some photos of the event

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/demonstrators-house-commons-pmqs-disability-cuts-protest-wheelchairs-parliament-entrance-block-a7848876.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/disabled-protesters-block-entrance-to-house-of-commons-in-campaign-against-cuts_uk_596f4e34e4b0a03aba864e5d?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/19/people-in-wheelchairs-block-mps-entrance-to-house-of-commons-to-protest-against-cuts-6791049/?ito=twitter

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2017/jul/19/pmqs-theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-eu-wants-to-make-brexit-a-catastrophe-for-uk-says-senior-german-mep-politics-live?CMP=twt_gu

http://news.sky.com/story/protesters-in-wheelchairs-block-mps-entrance-to-the-commons-10953908

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/07/19/corbyn-mays-final-pmqs-summer-nearly-shut-today-wont-see-bbc-video/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/furious-protesters-wheelchairs-block-house-10829364

 

 Posted by at 18:07
Jul 182017
 

Social care was one of the defining issues of the general election but the vast majority of coverage concentrated on funding for elderly care as opposed to independent living for Disabled people.  However, this year for the first time, the needs of disabled young people and people with mental health support needs have been identified as placing the greatest pressures on social care budgets over and above those of older people*. With further cuts planned of £824 million in 2017/18, the cumulative “savings” made to adult social care budgets since 2010 is set to reach £6.3 billion.

 

The funding crisis in social is having a very real and detrimental impact on Disabled people’s ability to live and take part in the community and the gap between the life chances of Disabled and non-Disabled people is widening. The most basic choices such as when to get up go to bed or use the toilet, when and what to eat, and the choice to leave the house are no longer in the hands of Disabled people but subject to Local Authority budget allocations which are becoming ever more restricted.

 

Leading figures in the disability rights movement have recently warned that the concept of personal assistance has been severely damaged by years of budget savings and policies that have “degraded” the support mechanisms designed to enable independent living.**

 

On an individual level this is devastating for Disabled people, locked away whether in their own homes, supported living or residential care. On a societal level this is a regression of the right to independent living and a return to a segregated society where Disabled people are separated from their communities and invisible to the wider public behind closed doors.

 

 

Disabled people and our allies are calling on government to ensure that the consultation on funding for social care promised by Prime Minister Theresa May for later this year will address the urgent issues of:

– upholding disabled people’s right to independent living,

– protecting our life chances and the futures of disabled younger people

– ensuring that Disabled people are not put at risk by fragile or lacking infrastructure to support personal assistance management

– enabling Local Authorities to fulfil their obligations under the Care Act 2014 including implementation of the well- being duty according to the principles set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (see paragraph 1.19 of the Care Act statutory guidance)

 

With assisted suicide back in the law courts this week, please join us to call on politicians to assist us to live not to die.

How to get involved:

  • Join us in Parliament on Wednesday to lobby our MPs (meet outside 11am)
  • Write to your MP
  • Watch this space for when Parliament returns from its summer recess in September

 

*2017 annual budget survey from ADASS (Association of Directors of Social Services)

** https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/years-of-austerity-have-left-personal-assistance-in-very-fragile-state/

 

 

Template letter to MP

 

I am writing to you as my constituent MP to ask for your support in calling for urgent action on the question of independent living for Disabled people and in ensuring that the consultation on funding for social care promised by Prime Minister Theresa May for later this year addresses the needs of Disabled adults as well as the elderly.

This year for the first time, the needs of disabled young people and people with mental health support needs have been identified as placing the greatest pressures on social care budgets over and above those of older people*. With further cuts planned of £824 million in 2017/18, the cumulative “savings” made to adult social care budgets since 2010 is set to reach £6.3 billion.

“Independent living” does not mean doing everything for ourselves without support but refers to the ability to live and be included in the community with the same choice and control over our own lives as non-Disabled people.

The funding crisis in social is having a very real and detrimental impact on Disabled people’s ability to live and take part in the community and the gap between the life chances of Disabled and non-Disabled people is widening. The most basic choices such as when to get up go to bed or use the toilet, when and what to eat, and the choice to leave the house are no longer in the hands of Disabled people but subject to Local Authority budget allocations which are becoming ever more restricted.

[Insert person situation]

On an individual level this is devastating for Disabled people, locked away whether in their own homes, supported living or residential care. On a societal level this is a regression of the right to independent living and a return to a segregated society where Disabled people are separated from their communities and invisible to the wider public behind closed doors.

We therefore urge the Government to ensure that the consultation on social care promised by Prime Minister Theresa May for later this year directly addresses the need to:

  • uphold disabled people’s right to independent living,
  • protect the life chances and futures of disabled younger people
  • ensure that Disabled people are not put at risk by fragile or lacking infrastructure to support personal assistance management
  • enable Local Authorities to fulfil their obligations under the Care Act 2014 including implementation of the well- being duty according to the principles set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (see paragraph 1.19 of the Care Act statutory guidance)
 Posted by at 18:43
Jul 142017
 
from the Reverend Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
No citizen without an affordable home and an  adequate income in work or unemployment.
93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889, 
Yesterday, Highbury Corner Magistrates court, as expected, issued a liability order against me to Haringey Council adding £115 costs. 
 
But far more seriously the magistrate issued liability orders plus costs against 510 Haringey residents by signing a computer printout. That was a small number: sometimes it has been over 2000 at one time by signing a print out. The total number of summons issued by Haringey last year was over 27.000. Nationally there are 3.5 million a year. 
 
The vast majority are issued by computer against local people who can never afford to pay the tax because their benefit incomes have been shredded by central government. 
 
Haringey Councillors ought to be ashamed of themselves for letting such an oppressive law loose on the large number of vulnerable and impoverished residents in the borough. It creates serious hardship.  
 
Great efforts by council staff goes in to collecting the tax from people who cannot pay. No surprise that over £2million is left unpaid every year. 
 
A computer will now send the following threats to residents of the borough, vulnerable or not. It is an inhuman process.
​​

Failure to contact the council on receiving a liability order will result in the council taking one of the following methods of recovery to collect the outstanding Council Tax: 

 

You can tell Haringey Councillors what you think of their treatment of the poorest people in their council by tweeting directly to them

Tweet Lorna Reith, Labour councillor

Tweet Claire Kober ‏Leader of the council

Tweet Joe Goldberg, Labour councillor

Tweet Joseph Ejiofor, Labour councillor

Tweet to Vincent Carroll, Labour councillor

Tweet to Tim Gallagher, Labour councillor

Tweet to Peray Ahmet, Labour councillor

 Posted by at 14:34
Jul 122017
 
Thursday 20th July – Turn Up and Go protest
Driver Only Operated trains, the removal of guards from trains and rail staff from stations threaten Disabled people’s freedom to travel. On 10th July DPAC campaigners will be joining RMT staff on their picket lines as they take industrial action to defend our right to access public transport.
On 20th July we are inviting Disabled people to travel together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding out right to ride.
Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm. Department for Transport 
Great Minster House ,33 Horseferry Road ,London,W1P 4DR
 Posted by at 22:07
Jul 122017
 
I would very much appreciate it if you could sign and share the following petition that I have created to  ask the Welsh Government to reconsider their decision to close the Welsh Independent Living Grant and transfer all responsibility for care and support to hapless local authorities.
Click here  to sign the petition
Anyone can sign the petition and they DO NOT have to be resident in Wales. This petition runs until September 1st when the Assembly return from their summer break.
We need to reach 50 signatures to force a debate in the Welsh Assembly. I am hoping to surpass that number many times to show the strength of feeling about this issue. The petition total currently stands at 90. Disabled people throughout Wales – and indeed beyond – deserve the support of an independent body to help regulate their care and support without increasing the dependency on local authorities.
Many thanks for your time and support.

I am a recipient of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) and a disability activist who intends on asking Welsh Government to reconsider their decision to close WILG as of April 2019.

The WILG was introduced to help people who previously claimed from the UK government’s Independent Living Fund (ILF), which closed in 2015. More than 1,500 people are helped by the scheme across Wales. Recipients all have high degree of care and support needs. 

It was due to run until the end of March 2017, but Social Services Minister Rebecca Evans said in November that funding would continue for another year.

 

The annual £27m fund will then transfer directly to local authorities during 2018-19 so they can meet the support needs of all former ILF recipients by 31 March 2019.

Why we oppose this decision:

The Welsh Government said the decision was taken on stakeholder advice. The majority of representatives on the stakeholder group were third sector or citizens. But they didn’t want WILG scrapped and the key point is that our advice was not accepted.

It should also be remembered that closure of WILG is not inevitable as is proved through the formation and success of the Scottish Independent Living Fund; which also works to support the Northern Ireland ILF.

Furthermore, the hugely popular Labour Party Manifesto outlined plans to set up a national care system to exist independently of local authorities.

This is exactly the time that the Labour Party should be united on such issues against the Tories. We must question why Welsh Labour are not playing their part in the changing political landscape?

Indeed, eventually it should be our aim to set up an Independent Living Fund for Wales so that no disabled person should have to suffer the same uncertainty and isolation as WILG recipients are now experiencing. We can only begin to believe that true social justice and equality for all is possible if Welsh Labour revisit their WILG decision.

Welsh Labour will no doubt argue that we should give the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act a chance to succeed.However, this idealistic act needs hefty investment and resources to ensure it is a success – with no sign of any of the necessary improvements to our infrastructure that the success of the Act depends on. This may indeed be the time for a revolutionary change in the way social care is delivered, but such a transformation could take a decade or more and WILG recipients do not deserve to be treated like guinea pigs when their high care and support needs require long-term stability and structure.

Thank you very much to Brian Hilton for producing the memes



 

 

 Posted by at 08:23
Jul 112017
 

DPAC Norfolk, July 18th 12-2pm St. Mary’s House, Duke Street, Norwich

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1930686417206420&id=100007952415161

 

Bromley DPAC

https://www.facebook.com/events/453993204966629/?context=create&previousaction=create&ref=46&source=2&sid_create=2614732195&action_history=[%7B%22surf

Bromley DPAC action on Tuesday 18th July 2017.

details are as follows:

#No2STPs  Stop the Sustainability Development Plans Save the NHS.

Bromley Health Watch are having a public meeting at Bromley Central Library about the sustainability development plans, digitalisation of services and developments to mental health services.

action begins at 12 noon, meeting takes place 1pm until 4pm

Bromley central library, Bromley high street, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1EX.

Kentish Town

Tuesday 18th July 1-2pm

Protest  vs benefit cuts & sanctions, No Camden cuts  to social care

Kentish Town Jobcentre

178 Kentish Town Rd London NW5 2AG

with WinVisible, Unite Community Camden, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group, Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, Camden Momentum, English Collective of Prostitutes, All African Women’s Group, and others

Waltham Forest jobcentre July 18th 1200-1400 at 7-13 Westbury Rd, Walthamstow, London E17 6RH 

Edinburgh July 21st 1pm

ECAP and ACE are calling the following activity in Edinburgh on Friday
21st july as part of the Disabled People Against the Cuts Britain-wide
week of action
1pm Gather at Argyle House, Lady Lawson St,  site of the Assessment
centres run by ATOS for Personal Independence Payment and by Maximus for
the Work Capability Assesments for ESA
2.30pm owards High Riggs jobcentre (less than 5 mins walk away)
more info to follow but please put this in your diary and come along if
at all possible. DPAC supporters welcome to join in with this with DPAC banners etc

 

 Posted by at 18:40
Jul 092017
 

MEDIA RELEASE Rev Paul Nicolson 0208 3765455 — 07961177889

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE in solidarity with everyone in UK suffering mental or physical ill-health due to inadequate incomes and debt.

Rents and council tax enforcement are burning up the lowest incomes needed for food, fuel, clothes and transport  

I have been summoned to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, 51 Holloway Road, London N7 8JA at 13.30 on Thursday 13th July. There will be a demonstration outside the courts from 12-1.30.

I am refusing to pay my council tax to Haringey Council , as an act of civil disobedience, in solidarity with everyone in the UK suffering mental or physical ill-health due to grossly inadequate incomes and debt in work, self employment, unemployment or zero hours contracts, which are taxed by local authorities, particularly those who have been forced by national and local government to go to a food bank.

 
National and local government heaping coal onto the housing fires that burn the minimum incomes needed for food, fuel, transport and other necessities and for the well-being of the poorest tenants.  
 
This is a cry for the prevention of ill health among the poorest people in the UK created by the damagingly low level of their lowest incomes shredded by national government since 2010 and taxed by local government since 2013. 
 
How many more infant deaths of the poorest mothers, and how much more diminished life expectancy, do there have to be before national and local governments can hear the overwhelming and undeniable evidence that low incomes impact on mental and physical health.  An unprecedented 52,400 more deaths were reported by the ONS to have occurred in the year to June 2015 as compared to the same period a year before.
 
 
The government has cut the lowest incomes and allowed the UK housing market to increase rents. Housing has become the cash cow for landlords, land owners and national and intentional developers. Rents have increased both with the market and also because housing benefit is cut by the benefit cap and the bedroom tax. . 
 
Therefore the capacity of the lowest shredded incomes needed to buy food, water, fuel, clothes and other necessities, in order to maintain good health, is further reduced by ever increasing rents in the UK’s corrupt housing market. 
 
For decades land owners have bent their financial viability assessments to reduce the number of  truly affordable homes for rent to be able to sell more new homes on the open market. So much so that the Financial Times was able to report on the 6th July that “Regeneration of 50 council estates led to a net loss of 8,000 rented homes for poorer residents” (page 3). And the Daily Telegraph to report on the 11th July that “One in three homes with planning permission aren’t being built”. 
UK land, with the encouragement of UK government, is treated as a commodity in an international free market by the rich and powerful for private profit – they grab the land therefore landless tenants have fewer an fewer homes to live in. 
Local Councillors’ ignorance of the workings of the UK land and housing market has led them to team up with international property predators Lend Lease. A majority of Haringey Councillors have therefore given the trend against landless tenants’ chances of a finding truly affordable  home a very substantial boost to the  detriment of their own councils’ tenants. The Council is trying to solve the national housing crisis by giving land to kind of international predator that is causing the crisis and so hurting their council tenants, disrupting their children’s education and destroying their communities.
 
The forgotten ethical principle reads as follows.  “Land is a gift of nature which exists to provide shelter, food, fuel and clothes for all”.  It has also been forgotten by the Church of England, a substantial land owner, for whom it is rephrased to begin “Land is a gift of a loving and generous God…”

​​​​

THE MAGISTRATES COURT 

 BDO LLP55 Baker Street

​, ​

London W1U 7EU

​ asking them

  1. to audit the £102 summons costs plus £13 for the liability order​
  2. an​d​ queried the sense in enforcing the tax against people who cannot pay so failing to collect over £2 million a year

I will be asking the Highbury Corner Magistrates when and how they checked the costs of £115 they award this year against, mostly impoverished, council tax defaulters, 27,270 times in 2016/17.

​The bailiffs were dispatched by Haringey council to the doorsteps of Haringey residents 11,492 times in 2016/17​

There is a comprehensive description of how  £73.10 single adult unemployment benefit has been reducing in value since 1979 on the TAP website.  Its increases were frozen in 201I. It cannot afford 20% of the council tax, let alone court costs (£115) ​and bailiffs fees(up to £400)​ introduced in 2013.  It also has to pay rent dues to the bedroom tax and the benefit cap..
HARINGEY COUNCIL TAXES BENEFIT INCOMES OF ITS 
POOREST RESIDENTS OF UK’S MOST DEPRIVED WARDS WITH 
LOW LIFE EXPECTANCY AND HIGH RISK OF LOW BIRTH-WEIGHT.
 
from the Reverend Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
No citizen without an affordable home and an 
adequate income in work or unemployment.
93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889, 
 Posted by at 21:11
Jul 032017
 

2017 DPAC Week of Action #SummerofDiscontent #NotOneMoreDay #CutsKill

Friday 14th July – Opening ceremony – from 6pm

As the World Para Athletics kick off in London, join us at Queens Elizabeth Olympics Park for our own 2017 DPAC week of action opening ceremony. While Atos continue to be a partner of the IPC, disabled people’s participation in sport and physical activity is declining as a direct result of cuts. Please come to help leaflet those going in to watch the Athletics about the impact of the cuts and how they can get involved in supporting DPAC to fight back.

Meet Stratford station tube at 6pm.

For information on getting to the Park: http://www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/the-park/plan-your-visit/getting-here

For more information about the World Para Athletics or to purchase tickets to attend the events go to: http://www.paraathleticschampionships.com/

 

Sunday 16th July – Carnival Against Cuts

Join DPAC on the Fair Funding for All Schools Carnival Against Cuts. Education cuts are taking learning support away from Disabled pupils and undermining the right to inclusive education.

  • Assemble Victoria Embankment at midday
  • Rally at Parliament Square30pm
  • Family fun, picnics, art, songs, kids’ entertainment and speakers.

Please sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/stop-school-funding-cuts-all-our-children-deserve-a-great-education

For more information and campaigns resources go to: http://www.fairfundingforallschools.org/

 

Tuesday 18th July – National Day of Action

This is the day for local DPAC groups and supporters to organise your own actions on local issues that are most important to you. It could be a protest outside a benefit assessment centre, against the closure of a local JobCentre or library or at the Town Hall to oppose cuts to social care – the choice is yours. Don’t forget to tell the local media and please send us details to help publicise your action.

 

Wednesday 19th July – Lobby of Parliament for Independent Living

The crisis in social care keeps hitting the headlines but the focus is often dominated by older people’s care instead of violations to Disabled people’s right to independent living. Theresa May has promised a consultation on social care later in the year but Disabled people battling cuts to essential daily support need concrete action now. At the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the Summer recess, DPAC independent living campaigners will lobby our MPs to defend our rights to dignity and choice.

Assemble outside House of Commons entrance from 11am.

We are also asking Disabled people to write to their MPs about their experiences of social care cuts and the detrimental impact on our lives.

Thursday 20th July – Turn Up and Go protest

Driver Only Operated trains, the removal of guards from trains and rail staff from stations threaten Disabled people’s freedom to travel. On 10th July DPAC campaigners will be joining RMT staff on their picket lines as they take industrial action to defend our right to access public transport.

On 20th July we are inviting Disabled people to travel together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding out right to ride.

Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm. Department for Transport
Great Minster House ,33 Horseferry Road ,London,W1P 4DR

Please sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/department-for-transport-disabled-people-demand-guards-on-trains

Friday 21st July – Anti-Atos protest

For our final day of action, DPAC will be returning to Atos HQ after a long absence. They no longer hold the contract to run the Work Capability Assessment but they continue to ruin the lives of disabled people through their contract to carry our PIP Assessments, notorious for assessment reports riddled with lies and inaccuracies.

Assemble 12.30 pm outside their offices at 4, Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3HG

Bring rugs, food and noise and let’s party.

 Posted by at 16:23
Jul 032017
 

Thank you to Gail Ward for this article.

Her blog:  https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/universal-credit-the-conversation-nobody-is-talking-about/

Twitter: @blueannoyed 

Universal Credit (UC) is slowly being rolled out across the UK for some claimants , mainly single claimants and to be continued for couples. The legacy benefits that people are currently getting will eventually become Universal Credit,which runs a live programme (with gateway conditions) and a full rollout programme (no gateway conditions)alongside each other. Advisors will need to determine which is operating in their area and inform clients and explain in full their rights and eligibility. The fact that some will get hit hard  is just the scratch on surface to the vile and brutal conditions of the health & work programme which is incorporated within it. ESA Claimants in WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) will lose the £30 a week inline with JSA for new claims while others migrating will get transitional protection until they have a change circumstances,or appeal, then they will lose it. If you have a change of circumstances at present on ESA  in a UC area  you will be put on UC and stay on it you wont be able to go back to your legacy benefit. For those on ESA it you will continue be assessed via WCA (Work Capability Assessment ) as you are now, but support group will be required to engage with claimant commitment to continue to receive payment according to UC documents. The specialist employment programmes are likely to be part of this commitment if the work coach feels the claimant could move closer to labour market. This will be done via Health & Work Conversation with a Work Coach.

 

Framework The claimant is supported in this regime by use of their Commitment. The claimant agrees their Commitment and is required to alert Universal Credit to any upcoming unemployment and changes of circumstance. The claimant can be sign posted to relevant support depending on their circumstances.

Claimants in this regime may still need or require some support in helping them to move closer to the labour market. If this applies, flexibility exists to sign post claimants to non-funded voluntary support. Consider existing voluntary options in the local area.

 

Support groups claimants will also be hit by losing SDP (Severe Disability Premium) which is currently £62.45 a week for single people and £124.90 for couples unless someone gets Carers Allowance to help you then the single rate will continue,providing you get middle or high rate care needs. Carers too will be affected if they care for a disabled person

 

If other benefits are received, this may impact on the Universal Credit award. Some benefits are ignored whereas other benefits have a pound for pound impact on the Universal Credit award.

Other benefits Universal Credit should not be paid to claimants with enough income available from other sources to support themselves. Exceptions are where payments are received in respect of additional costs which the claimant has, for example disability benefits.

Claimants who receive other benefits in addition to Universal Credit are subject to the relevant Universal Credit Labour Market regime based on their relevant Universal Credit legal conditionality group.
Other benefits taken fully into account The following benefits are taken fully into account when calculating Universal Credit payments:  Bereavement Allowance  Carer’s Allowance  New style Employment and Support Allowance (contribution-based)  Incapacity Benefit  Severe Disablement Allowance  Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit  New style Jobseeker’s Allowance (contribution-based)  Maternity Allowance  State Pension  Widowed Mother’s Allowance  Widowed Parent’s Allowance  Widow’s Pension

This means for each £1 received from these benefits, the Universal Credit payment is reduced by £1.

Any benefit, allowance or payment from a country outside the United Kingdom could also be taken fully into account, depending on the circumstances.

Pension Credit Universal Credit offers a signposting service for State Pension Credit (SPC).Claimants can find further information about SPC on Gov.UK. A benefit unit cannot be in receipt of both Pension Credit and Universal Credit. One of the basic conditions for getting Universal Credit is that a claimant must not be over the qualifying age for SPC.

This is called the Upper Age Limit.
Joint claim The Upper Age Limit doesn’t apply if the person over State Pension age is in a joint claim and their partner has not reached that age. Both adults are eligible for Universal Credit providing all other conditions of entitlement are met. The person over the SPC qualifying age is exempt from work conditionality and will be placed in the no work related requirements regime. Example: One adult in a couple is 57 and the other is 75. Both are able to claim Universal Credit together as a joint claim in the normal way.

Once Universal Credit Full Service is live nationally for all new claims, couples with only one person over the Pension Credit qualifying age will no longer be eligible for Pension Credit. This will ensure that the younger member of the couple has access to support to find work, if appropriate.

The person over the SPC qualifying age is exempt from work conditionality and will be placed in the no work related requirements regime.

So even some pensioners will be targeted as the above example illustrates. Also targeted are single parents .

 

This combined with the benefit cap now  and the family cap (2 child Rule) from 2018, will also face cuts to housing benefits via LHA being reduced with those in private accommodation hit by a new Bedroom Tax and Supported Mortgage Interest being turned into a loan will hit virtually impacting on everyone especially those who are in work too and off sick. The latter will now face 4 wks fit note and then a assessment to determine eligibility to top up benefits to SSP, and subjected to claimant commitment conditions. Those in exceptional circumstances such as Domestic Violence, etc will get the opportunity to ask for alternative payments arrangements so they are not left penniless by abusive partners. Nobody will be deemed exempt it seems, from the vile clutches of this ‘monster’ created by the government and these things need to be urgently addressed and with Brexit around the corner and prices rising already the poorest will most likely be affected the most. There are even two regimes to get people into labour market depending on your given  perceived status. one is Light Touch and the other is Intensive regimes. It is impossible to upload all documents which are many, but main ones are listed below as now is the time to plan ahead to help people understand how Universal Credit can affect you and your families understand the system to make sure you can understand what is expected of them.

One the many hideous things hidden in the Health and Work Programme is IAPT (CBT therapy) which will become compulsory as well as Troubled Families roll out, and targets to enforce therapy regimes on those who are obese, drink,drugs,smokers. Refusing to  take part in this mandatory requirement you will cease to be entitled to Universal Credit.Those considered in debt  and financially vulnerable will also be put forward to personal budgeting support advice where they will be judged and no doubt blamed for buying services that the nanny state deem expensive/unnecessary given the amount they have to live on. Health and Work Blog is linked below.

This Government has excelled itself in brutality towards claimants of social security,while convincing the populace of the UK that demonising the poorest is the acceptable norm and that they are fair game to be abused and they are not worthy as they are unable to contribute in same way a fit able bodied person , leading to further division. While this is not in depth Blog I have included relevant documents for download and uploaded a powerpoint to help people understand how they will be affected.

Anyone needing further advice can use the calculator link below to find out how they will be affected or seek proper advice locally and this blogger would urge people to check how you will be affected to prevent distress and income depravation.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits-calculator/startcalc.aspx

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/349604179/Housing-Costs-Private-Rented-Sector-v4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/349604161/Housing-Mortgages-Previously-MQPs-v3-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349526820/hwc-claimant-booklet

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520880/Customers-With-Additional-Needs

https://www.scribd.com/document/352763377/Carers-V4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352763488/Universal-Credit-and-APAs

https://www.scribd.com/document/352764924/Personal-Budgeting-Support-Guidance

https://www.scribd.com/document/352765382/Labour-Market-Regimes-V4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833624/Appointees-v4-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833674/Benefit-Cap-v3-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833773/Child-Maintenance-V1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833815/childcare-costs-at-a-glance-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833897/Health-Conditions-and-Disabilities-v5-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352834778/Students-v5-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/352834943/UC-Monthly-Rates-v5-0

 

 

 

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/the-health-work-programme-is-work-really-a-health-outcome/

 

 

UPDATES : More documents have been uploaded including the powerpoint below, Please also check out my blog on Dementia Tax , Cuts that will cut Deep blog also.

 

https://www.scribd.com/presentation/352840015/Universal-Credit

 Posted by at 13:21