Linda

Apr 042018
 

As we’re being asked more and more often to endorse candidates standing for various political positions we feel that it is important to re-iterate that DPAC remains completely independent from supporting any particular political party.

Nor can we guarantee to endorse someone just because they are a disabled person – after all some disabled people vote Tory or even UKIP and we could not under any circumstances endorse anyone who supported such policies. However we will consider endorsing people seeking office in any other reputable political parties.

We will only be able to support candidates who contribute to DPAC’s aims and are prepared to support #StopandScrap Universal Credit and our manifesto demands from politicians.

Overall this means that while we might endorse someone to stand for a political party that does not in any way negate our independence or our right to criticise that party and its policies when ever we deem it necessary.

 

 Posted by at 18:00
Apr 032018
 

The Public Law Project (PLP) is an independent, national legal charity which aims to improve access to justice for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or other similar barriers. It represented RF in the recent High Court case where the DWP’s changes to the PIP regulations were found to unlawfully discriminate against people with mental health conditions. PLP is representing another individual client, who is bringing a case concerning the DWP’s “workaround” communications system for people with disabilities who receive DLA/ESA/IB/PIP.

 

The DWP has a policy that it communicates with (non-UC) benefits recipients by post. However, its policy allows them to agree to email as a reasonable adjustment (the “workaround”), for example where a recipient has a disability.

 

The case is that the workaround is not satisfactory because it puts people using it at a disadvantage, including because there is a risk of letters being lost and there is no provision for two-way communication.

 

PLP needs to gather evidence of examples of problems caused by the workaround to support its client’s case. If you have had difficulties with the DWP’s communications system because of your disability, in particular if you have had difficulties getting the DWP to agree to email you as a reasonable adjustment, or have had information lost,  and are willing to discuss this further then please email Ollie Persey (o.persey@publiclawproject.org.uk).

 

 

 

 Posted by at 21:13
Mar 202018
 

A report coming out tomorrow shows that since 2011, the Department for Work & Pensions has underpaid an estimated 70,000 people who transferred to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from other benefits.

The ‘error’ related to people who may have been entitled to income-related ESA but were instead only awarded contribution-based ESA, and therefore may have missed out on premium payments.

The average underpayment is likely to be around £5,000 but some people will be owed significantly more. A review of a sample of 1,000 cases suggests that 45,000 claimants  entitled to the enhanced disability premium only may be owed around £2,500 and that around 20,000 claimants who are entitled to the severe disability premium may be owed around £11,500 each. A small number could be owed around £20,000.

 

If you think you might be affected by this complete botch up by DWP then BBC  and ITN news would like to speak to you. Please contact Camilla Horrox – Camilla.horrox@bbc.co.uk

Telephone – 02036143166 or Amie Stone amie.stone@itn.co.uk telephone – 020 74304551

 

 Posted by at 15:56
Mar 192018
 
NHS facing court action over unlawful policies

Published: 19 Mar 2018

NHS organisations are facing legal action over discriminatory Continuing Healthcare policies, the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned today.

The Commission has taken its first steps in judicial review proceeding by issuing legal letters to 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).This follows an initial warning issued by the Commission, which highlighted concerns about NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) policies being unlawful and breaching the human rights of patients.

If the CCGs fail to provide evidence to demonstrate that their policies are lawful, or do not take steps to review them, they will be taken to court.

The Commission has raised significant concerns about blanket NHS CHC policies having arbitrary caps on funding and failing to consider the specific needs of individual patients, such as living location and family life.

This is a serious breach of the Human Rights Act, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Department of Health and Social Care’s own NHS CHC framework.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

‘It is utterly unacceptable that anyone should be forced into residential care when they are healthy enough to live independently and with their families. And it doesn’t make sense for individuals or communities.

‘A “one-size fits all” approach will never properly address every single individual’s healthcare needs, and NHS CHC policies are no different. This is another example of individuals being disabled by society, and prevented from living as full and independent lives as possible, as is their right. We will use our powers to ensure that the NHS thinks about this again.’

The Commission first aired concerns over discriminatory NHS CHC policies in October 2017, when it wrote to 43 CCGs demanding more information on their approach.

Following this warning, almost a quarter of those contacted are now reviewing their policies and the Commission will be writing to the others whose policies are of less concern.

It will use its formal legal powers to initiate judicial review proceedings against 13, who it determines have not considered their human rights and equality responsibilities in the way they operate their policies.

NHS CHC provide funding for care outside of hospital, either in a care home, nursing home, hospice or a person’s own home, funded by the NHS to meet physical, mental health and associated social care needs.

The letters have been sent today (19 March 2018) and the CCGs have 14 working days to respond, after which decisions about starting court proceedings will be made.

Notes to editors

The Commission will be writing to the following 13 CCGs across England:

  • Brent
  • Coventry and Rugby
  • Dudley
  • East and North Hertfordshire
  • Eastern Cheshire
  • Harrow
  • Hillingdon
  • South Cheshire
  • Vale Royal
  • West Cheshire
  • Warwickshire North
  • Lincolnshire West
  • Redditch and Bromsgrove
 Posted by at 18:38
Mar 192018
 

 

March 15th

Stroud, Rising Up! organised an action in solidarity with Disabled People Against Cuts this week. Read the Stroud News and Journal report: “Protesters spray ‘human rights abuse’ on Stroud Job Centre” http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/16090675.

“Campaigners said that this afternoon’s action was intended to show the disgust at what the group sees as the latest attack on the social security of people living in the UK.”

“Simon Bramwell who took part in this afternoon’s protest said “We spoke to people on the streets and there was much support for our action, including from claimants who are deeply affected by Universal Credit.

“One woman told us she was about to get evicted as a result of the policy and another man said delays in his payments and left him struggling to make ends meet.

Watch a live-streamed video of the Jobcentre protest on via Rising Up!’s facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/videos/412214735885083/?hc_ref=ARSUH4Pk9Acg_o9Nq9wyoM-K5mAn4oCtIjhMJY2T8rF-JbUOTqbhyK6zpSSgKFmHEfA

 

 

17 March  Ceridigion/Cardigan

A group of members and supporters of Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) Ceredigion were on the streets again today, talking to passers by, leafleting, collecting petition signatures and bearing witness to the cruel injustices being imposed on the vulnerable people in our communities by the cruel Westminster Tory Government in the name of ‘austerity’.

The slogan was STOP The Rollout of Universal Credit. The Rollout of Universal Credit is due in Ceredigion later this year.

Organised by DPAC Ceredigion with the support of the Ceredigion Peoples’ Assembly.
More actions are planned.

for pictures and videos see facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1853022925010117/?ref=bookmarks

 

 

 

 Posted by at 18:02
Mar 172018
 

Dear Independent Living Campaign supporter,

You can watch footage and download the papers and briefings disseminated at the national conference on independent living organised by Disabled People Against Cuts in November 2017 here:  https://dpac.uk.net/2018/03/conference-notes-films-dpac-independent-living-campaign-conference-nov-2017/

We are also finalising a postion paper “Independent Living Support for the Future”, outlining our ideas for developing an independent living support system capable of upholding disabled people’s rights, based on the views and issues raised at the conference. Once we have a finalised version we will circulate for sign up and put in place communications and lobbying strategies to build support for our shared vision.

Updates since conference:

Disability Related Expenditure. Jenny Hurst has put together a template which you are all invited to contribute to in order to build a full picture of all the different things that can be included in DRE. Click the link below to add to it:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v5FT0Zyb9d61nJJlnE3Xpyl4YfqpgBrLPgqvubjCohE/edit?usp=sharing.

The Independent Living Strategy Group has also brought out a list of existing lists that can help when you are thinking what to include as DRE.

REAL’s guidance on DRE: http://www.real.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Reals-guidance-on-disability-related-expenditure-12-April-2017-PDF.pdf

Mencap: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/social-care/paying-support

DPAC: https://dpac.uk.net/2015/05/disability-related-expenses-what-could-you-claim-for/

DRUK: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/charging-community-care

And the government guidance on disability-related expenditure is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-statutory-guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance#charging-and-financial-assessment  (it’s towards the bottom of the webpage).

Simon Legg from the Spinal Injuries Association has also helpfully pointed out the 2003 practice guidance (attached) has a detailed discussion of disability-related expenditure and is arguably still valid.  He also sent a copy of a judgement which relates to disability related expenditure, also attached.

 

Campaigning against charging. Inclusion London will be organising a meeting for campaigners concerned about or involved in campaigns against charging – date to be confirmed –  to share experiences, find out about relevant legislation and explore how disabled people in different areas can more effectively co-ordinate to challenge the introduction of harsher policies, monitor their impact and campaign for the abolition of charging. If you are interested to find out more please email ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk.

 

Lobbying government.

We believe it is important that Disabled people’s own voices are listened to within the government’s work-stream on social care for disabled adults. We have been collecting signatories a letter.

There is a Parliamentary inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care. Inclusion London submitted evidence calling for an independent living support system funded from general taxation and free at the point of need: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/long-term-funding-of-adult-social-care-17-19/

 United Nations complaint. We have now heard that the complaint made under the UNCRPD Optional Protocol against the closure of the Independent Living Fund to new applicants has been accepted. The UN have written to the government who have until the middle of May 2018 to respond.

Media. In order to highlight the impact of the continuing social care crisis on disabled people, we are working with Cherylee Houston on features for Tonight and with the film-maker who produced “Dispossession: the great social housing swindle”.

 NICE guidelines on improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services: These are broadly positive but realistically are unlikely to change anything on their own in the terms of the cost-driven bad practice we are seeing within adult social care. Inclusion London fed back on the first draft and pleased a number of our recommendations were accepted, in particular that they now explicitly refer to the Human Rights Act which in our experience social care practitioners often do not give consideration to, but the Guidelines Committee refused to explicitly refer to the social model of disability, saying that the guidelines have been written from a social perspective so this is not necessary.  We are also disappointed that they did not make more explicit that cost concerns should not outweigh the needs and wishes of disabled people in care and support planning and assessments. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng86

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 20:30
Mar 132018
 

Badge saying "STOP & SCRAP Universal credit"

This Wednesday 18 April join DPAC, Single Mothers’ Self-Defence and WinVisible to call on the Government to #StopAndScrap Universal Credit. 

London Protest – meet for 11am outside the visitor’s entrance to House of Commons.

You can see details of local actions around the country on this page.

To download a flyer for use on the day click here: flyer 

 

Mar 122018
 

Started by someone we know to be reliable.

Press Release

I first started the website www.matchinghouses.com in 2004. The idea is brilliantly simple – why don’t disabled people who have the same access needs swap houses for holidays, rather than rely on unreliable, expensive, and often inaccessible hotel accommodation? If I can get around my house in my wheelchair, then another person who uses a similar wheelchair will also be able to use my house.

We’ve now expanded the concept to include families with disabled children. This is a group of people who often find it really difficult to go on holiday. But if you are a family with a disabled child you will now be able to swap properties with a similar family with similar access needs. The same is true for many other disabled people, travelling alone, with friends, or with their family.

Our sophisticated database system matches similar properties, only leaving you to decide where you want to go and when. People have been using the site to travel all over the world.

Some disabled people choose to go on holiday from one continent to another – we’ve had a swap between Ireland and Australia. Other people go from country to country – two people swapped between Paris and London. Swappers often stay in contact with each other, and now regularly use each others’ houses for city breaks.

Other people stay in their own country and swap from the town to the countryside, or from inland to be by the sea.

Disabled people can often be limited in their holiday choices by a range of factors. Many disabled people have very little money, some are unable to go very far for logistical reasons (for example inaccessible and unreliable public transport, or the inability to drive for long distances), while others might have health reasons for not going very far.

Matchinghouses.com can meet your needs whoever you are and however far you want to travel. You might want to stay in a property on the other side of your own city or to go to an event nearby. Maybe a country break is what you need. Or maybe some time by the sea is called for.

We have rebuilt, redesigned and are now relaunching the site. To mark this event, and to build the community with willing swappers, we are offering a free registration process. This will let you join the database, add photos of your property, have access to our “Swapping made Easy” resources, and to contact as many other people as you want on the database to swap properties.

We will be spending the coming months and years actively promoting the site across the UK and the rest of the world, so the number of accessible properties you will see will increase over time.

The ‘House Swap’ idea is not a new one. Over 250,000 people swapped houses for their holiday breaks last year. Many do so for financial reasons – it can be a very cheap holiday. But many do it because they would rather stay in a home environment than a hotel, and do what they want to do at the time of their choosing.

So the time is right for Matchinghouses.com – the site designed by disabled people for disabled people, to meet all your access needs.

 Posted by at 14:41
Mar 082018
 

Decades after Iceland’s ‘day off’, our women’s strike is stronger than ever

The Global Women’s Strike has evolved into a worldwide protest with myriad demands

Selma James

‘As a result of Poland and Argentina coming together, the International Women’s Strike was formed.’ Women march in New York, 8 March 2017. Photograph: E McGregor/Pacific / Barcroft

 

On the first day of the UN Decade for Women in 1975, the women of Iceland took the day off to demonstrate the importance of all their work, waged and unwaged, in the countryside and the city. Almost all women who were physically able came out of their homes, offices and factories, and even female television presenters were replaced on the screen by men holding children. Some 90% of women took part. They called it a day off but we at the International Wages for Housework Campaign called it a strike, and took as our slogan their placard which said: “When women stop, everything stops.”

 

Iceland was not international but it was of international significance. What moved them to strike had to be moving in the souls of women everywhere: the question was: when would it manifest itself?

 

In 1985, at the final conference of the UN decade in Nairobi, we had won the UN decision that unremunerated work at home, on the land and in the community should be measured and valued. We called Time Off for Women for 24 October and a number of countries joined us. But we could not sustain international action.

 

International Women’s Day: how can you support the global strike?

 

It was not until 1999 that Margaretta D’Arcy, a writer, anti-war and Irish Republican activist, called for a national strike of women in Ireland to mark the new millennium on 8 March 2000 and asked the Wages for Housework Campaign to support her call. I wrote to the National Women’s Council of Ireland, telling them that if they called the Irish women out on strike, we would make it global. They didn’t, but we did. We launched the Global Women’s Strike with Margaretta and women from a number of other countries at the UN in New York in 1999. In most of the 60 countries where women went on strike it was a celebration, not a mobilisation. But we were making a variety of demands. The first was: “Payment for all caring work – in wages, pensions, land and other resources.” What was more valuable than raising children and caring for others, we asked. “Invest in life and welfare, not military budgets and prisons.”

 

The more women went out to work, the harder it was to also be a carer, and what was most galling was the lower pay for doing a double day. Caring and pay equity have risen on the political agenda, as well as other injustices that women face, beginning with rape and domestic violence often going unpunished.

 

Two years ago, two important movements manifested themselves. In Poland women went on strike to stop anti-abortion legislation. They succeeded in getting the government to back down. In Argentina, following police inaction after the rape and murder of a number of women, hundreds of thousands took to the streets with the slogan Ni una menos (not one less). Their call for an end to femicide swept across Latin America and beyond. This spoke to a pervasive injustice – in the UK, for example, two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners. As a result of Poland and Argentina coming together, the International Women’s Strike was formed last year and co-ordinated by Polish women. It was agreed that each group would determine their own demands. There were regular four-hour Skype calls (with English and Spanish translation) with women from more than 30 countries exchanging information about what they would be doing. In some countries, hundreds of thousands downed tools for some part of the day, had rallies and banged pots; in others, the events were smaller.

 

Selma James and male journalists at the launch of the Wages for Housework campaign in 1975. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

 

Today, the idea of women massively withdrawing labour, waged and unwaged, is not a reality yet. The actions now are often overtly anti-racist and anti-every discrimination, anti-poverty, anti-war, anti-deportation and anti-imperialist, including in Trump’s US. They are always anti-violence. In Peru, the strike slogan is: “If our lives have no value, produce and reproduce without us!” Every sector brings its own concerns. Peruvian domestic workers are launching their petition: “A living wage for caring work – in your own home and other people’s.”

 

But how can you strike if you can’t risk being sacked or endangering those you care for? This has always been the dilemma, especially of the carer on whom vulnerable people depend. In countries such as Spain, where there is general recognition of the strike validity and even union backing, it’s easier for women to walk out for at least part of the day – hundreds of thousands are expected to do just that.

 

In the UK, where such support is not yet forthcoming, women can still publicise our situation and what we want changed in call-ins and letters to the press, returning from lunch even 10 minutes late, banging pots in the streets or at the window, as women in Spain did against the 2003 Iraq war.

 

The Global Women’s Strike is putting the family courts on trial for unjustly taking children from their mothers in a speak-out in the shadow of parliament; cleaners are demonstrating for a living wage; there is a sex work strike for decriminalisation in Soho; and a picket of Unilever in support of the Sisters of Rohingya’s call for disinvestment from Myanmar to end the rape and genocide there.

 

In Germany, another possibility to improve women’s lives has opened up, which we are bringing to the strike. Some 3.4 million members of the IGMetall union are winning the right to a 28- (instead of 35-) hour week for at least two years in order to care for children and elderly parents. This is what we can win when striking and care come together.

 

• Selma James is founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/08/iceland-global-womens-strike-protest


Global Women’s Strike

www.facebook.com/GlobalWomensStrike/

@WomenStrike

25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX

020 7482 2496

 


 Posted by at 12:12
Mar 062018
 

8 March 2018 International Women’s Day

 

12-2pm, Old Palace Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3JY

(across from Parliament) All Welcome

 

Disabled mums will be joining with other mums to speak out and press for Support Not Separation from our children.

Plain text under the image

http://img.ymlpsend3.com/londonstrike_image001--142.jpg

Facebook event here. Follow us on Twitter @WomenStrike.

 

FAMILY COURTS ON TRIAL

 

CHARGES:

·        Abusing the law to snatch children from their mothers

·        Traumatising children through separation

·        Depriving children of breastfeeding

·        Denying mothers and children their legal right to support

·        Impoverishing mothers and children with austerity

·        Discriminating against single mothers & vulnerable families

·        Punishing victims of rape and domestic violence by taking the children we’ve tried to protect

·        Handing children to violent fathers

·        Valuing ‘experts’ over mothers

·        Holding secret hearings without public scrutiny

·        Gagging us so we can’t get community support

·        Deporting mothers, keeping their children

·        Taking children for profit

BRING YOUR CHARGES AND YOUR EVIDENCE!

gws@globalwomenstrike.net Part of International Women’s Strike events


 Posted by at 19:24
Mar 012018
 

We’re sorry to announce that although we applied for an award for our efforts to facilitate greater political engagement by disabled people in our democratic process -even pointing out how we regularly bring groups of disabled people to the House of Commons – we failed to get an award this year. We have signed up however to get alerts about future events although surprsingly there was no category listing disability which is very disappointing. Maybe this indicates that politicians and civil servants don’t care about disability issues as we’ve always thought.

Still we’ll be making sure they do take more notice in the near future.

The rejecton letter -:

Hello,

Many thanks for your entry to the pilot year of the Your UK Parliament Awards 2018.

The calibre of application was very high this year, with us receiving over 170 applications. The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, was joined in judging the entries by Valerie Vaz MP; Victoria Prentice MP; Ronnie Cowan MP; Liz Moorse, the Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching; and myself. The entire panel was extremely impressed with all of the applications for the awards and I would like to thank you on their and my behalf for all the hard work that you continue to do to engage people with their UK Parliament.

Unfortunately on this occasion your entry was not chosen as the winner. I would like to thank you for taking part in the competition, and for taking the time to tell us about the hard work that has gone in to making your contact great.

I wish you every success with your future projects and we look forward to hearing about them in next year’s competition!

Yours sincerely,

David Clark

Head of Education and Engagement

Houses of Parliament

www.parliament.uk/get-involved/

 

Don’t miss out on updates about how to get your voice heard in Parliament on the issues you care about. Sign up for a monthly newsletter to discover ways you can get involved and have your say.

 

 

 Posted by at 20:11
Feb 282018
 

#StopandScrapUniversalCredit

 

Iain Duncan Smith the architect of Universal Credit

Wanted everyone working, yes he said it

Designed with punitive punishment at its heart

Universal Credit is about ripping the welfare state apart

 

Work more hours!  Go get a job!

Denying you support, DWP cheats and robs

Ramping up sanctions, they simply don’t care

They want you to work for nothing on workfare

 

Universal Credit is failing, many people say

But the Government are continuing the roll out, come what may

It is now the co production of the DWP and NHS

Universal Credit has had many delays, it’s a bloody mess!

 

It’s ramping up homelessness and poverty too

This government do not care what it will put claimants through

Abolishing severe disability premiums

We must mount the campaign to stop it and show the government defiance

 

Data sharing your information, checking if the claimant is cheating

Left with little money, making stark choices between heating and eating

Online forms that are completely inaccessible

Universal Credit is totally incomprehensible

 

DWP have the nudge unit and behaviour compliance

We now see National Charity Mind and DWP formed an alliance

Psycho Compulsion and forced treatment, to target those with Depression

Go to the job centre for 6 CBT sessions

 

Making disabled people attend the health and work conversation

If you do not attend it; your money will be rationed

Work coaches with 3 weeks of training

The questions they will ask will be intensive and draining

 

Do you see friends, do you see family?

What can you do to keep your sanity?

Have you any hobbies, what are you strengths?

Claimants lives turned inside out, the DWP go to any lengths

 

Can only claim for 2 children, you can’t claim for more

The nasty rape clause in Universal Credit can see your jaw hit the floor

A woman to prove she has been raped, pushed to the edge can’t take anymore

You ask what the government are doing it for

 

The answer a simple one, to shrink the state

It is ideological, claimants they hate

They want everyone working, not claiming a thing

Causing destitution in the process and the chaos it brings

 

 

If claimants give up not claiming, so much the better

Keep harassing the claimants with those brown envelope letters

Stress the claimant and make them cry

Deny support to disabled people and hope many die

 

Universal Credit is a nasty system, yes it is true

It is harmful and hateful and will put people through

Punitive punishment and sanctions ramped up

Searching for work for 35 hours, so here is a heads up!

 

We need to stop and scrap Universal Credit

Yes you heard right and now have said it

Universal Credit is unfixable, it now needs to go

Let us campaign together united, and make it so!

 

#StopandScrapUniversalCredit

 

© Paula Peters 2018.

 

 

 Posted by at 21:34
Feb 272018
 

Press release:
Disability rights coalition calls for talks with prime minister over ‘human catastrophe’.

A coalition of Disabled people’s organisations has today written to the Prime Minister urging her to meet with them to discuss the deteriorating quality of life experienced by millions of disabled people in the UK.

The call comes exactly six months since the United Nations’ damning report on the UK Government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

The report, published last August, made a number of recommendations but disabled people’ organisations which gave evidence to the UN say that the Government is not taking the urgent action required

The coalition has highlighted five areas of particular concern:

  1. The failure to fully implement the 2010 Equality Act.
  2. The lack of joined up working across the 4 nations of the UK.
  3. The lack of resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living  and inclusion in their communities.
  4. The continuing gap in employment opportunities for disabled people.
  5. The right of disabled people to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance member, said:

“6 months on from the UN Disability Committee’s damning verdict on this Government failure to protect and progress Disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for Disabled people . The Government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the Committee’s Concluding Observations. This state of affairs cannot continue . Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the Government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN Disability Committee and to use the Concluding Observations as an opportunity to begin working with, not against Disabled people, so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

The coalition members include:

Disability Rights UK; Inclusion Scotland; Disability Wales;  Disability Action Northern Ireland; Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance; Disabled People Against Cuts; Black Triangle; Alliance for Inclusive Education; British Deaf Association; People First, National Mental Health System Service Users Network; UK Disabled People’s Council; Equal Lives; Inclusion London.

–ENDS–

Contact:

Tracey Lazard, tracey.lazard@inclusionlondon.org.uk, 020 7237 3181

Notes to editor:

Text of letter to the Prime Minister is as follows:

Rt. Hon Theresa May M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

28th February 2018

Dear Prime Minister

United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

We are a coalition of disabled people’s organisations, led and controlled by disabled people, who, following our participation in the UN’s examination of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) have come together to promote the Convention.

We are writing to draw your attention to the fact that the examination by the U.N. of the U.K.’s implementation of the CRPD was concluded in Geneva six months ago and that, to date, there appears to have been no response from HM Government. In its Concluding Observations, a number of areas for action were identified.

Among these, the UNCRPD committee particularly highlighted five significant areas of concern:

  1. the many gaps in safeguards and rights for disabled people including unimplemented sections of the Equality Act 2010, the lack of resources to ensure the Equality Act is implemented, and the need to enshrine the CRPD into U.K. law as we leave the E.U.
  2. the lack of joined up working between the four nations of the U.K. and the need for a fully resourced action plan to implement the CRPD across the U.K.
  3. our right to independent living and to be included in the community.
  4. our right to employment and
  5. our right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Further the U.N. committee recognised that the U.K. has previously been seen as a leader on disability rights by many countries around the world and therefore has a ‘special obligation’ to set world leading standards on the treatment of disabled people and their inclusion in society.  Sadly, the committee concluded that the UK’s leading position has been lost.

We note that during the two-day hearing in Geneva, 23 and 24th August, the U.K. Government delegation gave a commitment to continuing the dialogue on how disabled people’s rights can be realised in the U.K. and specifically how engagement might be improved.  In the spirit of Article 4.3 of the Convention, general obligations involvement of disabled people and their representative organisations we are willing, and indeed expect, to work with you on progressing disabled people’s rights across the whole spectrum covered by the Convention from access through to being included in the community and being able to realise our ambitions and potential.

We should therefore like to request a meeting with you and your officials to discuss:

  1. How government is implementing the UNCRPD committee’s concluding observations, and
  2. How Government plans to work with organisations led by disabled people monitoring and implementing the Convention.

We trust that the Government will embrace the need to be more proactive in promoting and implementing disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society. We look forward to hearing from you further and working with government on an action plan to complete the implementation of the rights of disabled people detailed in the CRPD which was ratified by the U.K. in 2009.  Our expectation is that the U.K. will once again be seen as a leader in implementing the human rights of disabled people by all countries across the world.

Your faithfully

Kamran Mallick – CEO Disability Rights UK

Dr Sally Witcher OBE – CEO Inclusion Scotland

Rhian Davies – CEO Disability Wales

Patrick Malone – Disability Action Northern Ireland

Eleanor Lisney – Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance

Dr Terry Riley – British Deaf Association

Tracey Lazard – CEO Inclusion London

Linda Burnip – Disabled People Against Cuts

John McArdle – Black Triangle

Tara Flood – CEO Alliance for Inclusive Education

Anne Novis – UK Disabled People’s Council

Mark Harrison – CEO Equal Lives

Dorothy Gould – National mental health system Survivor Users Network

Andrew Lee – CEO People First

 Press release:
Disability rights coalition calls for talks with prime minister over ‘human catastrophe’.

A coalition of Disabled people’s organisations has today written to the Prime Minister urging her to meet with them to discuss the deteriorating quality of life experienced by millions of disabled people in the UK.

The call comes exactly six months since the United Nations’ damning report on the UK Government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

The report, published last August, made a number of recommendations but disabled people’ organisations which gave evidence to the UN say that the Government is not taking the urgent action required

The coalition has highlighted five areas of particular concern:

  1. The failure to fully implement the 2010 Equality Act.
  2. The lack of joined up working across the 4 nations of the UK.
  3. The lack of resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living  and inclusion in their communities.
  4. The continuing gap in employment opportunities for disabled people.
  5. The right of disabled people to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance member, said:

“6 months on from the UN Disability Committee’s damning verdict on this Government failure to protect and progress Disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for Disabled people . The Government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the Committee’s Concluding Observations. This state of affairs cannot continue . Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the Government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN Disability Committee and to use the Concluding Observations as an opportunity to begin working with, not against Disabled people, so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

The coalition members include:

Disability Rights UK; Inclusion Scotland; Disability Wales;  Disability Action Northern Ireland; Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance; Disabled People Against Cuts; Black Triangle; Alliance for Inclusive Education; British Deaf Association; People First, National Mental Health System Service Users Network; UK Disabled People’s Council; Equal Lives; Inclusion London.

–ENDS–

Contact:

Tracey Lazard, tracey.lazard@inclusionlondon.org.uk, 020 7237 3181

Notes to editor:

Text of letter to the Prime Minister is as follows:

Rt. Hon Theresa May M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

28th February 2018

Dear Prime Minister

United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

We are a coalition of disabled people’s organisations, led and controlled by disabled people, who, following our participation in the UN’s examination of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) have come together to promote the Convention.

We are writing to draw your attention to the fact that the examination by the U.N. of the U.K.’s implementation of the CRPD was concluded in Geneva six months ago and that, to date, there appears to have been no response from HM Government. In its Concluding Observations, a number of areas for action were identified.

Among these, the UNCRPD committee particularly highlighted five significant areas of concern:

  1. the many gaps in safeguards and rights for disabled people including unimplemented sections of the Equality Act 2010, the lack of resources to ensure the Equality Act is implemented, and the need to enshrine the CRPD into U.K. law as we leave the E.U.
  2. the lack of joined up working between the four nations of the U.K. and the need for a fully resourced action plan to implement the CRPD across the U.K.
  3. our right to independent living and to be included in the community.
  4. our right to employment and
  5. our right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Further the U.N. committee recognised that the U.K. has previously been seen as a leader on disability rights by many countries around the world and therefore has a ‘special obligation’ to set world leading standards on the treatment of disabled people and their inclusion in society.  Sadly, the committee concluded that the UK’s leading position has been lost.

We note that during the two-day hearing in Geneva, 23 and 24th August, the U.K. Government delegation gave a commitment to continuing the dialogue on how disabled people’s rights can be realised in the U.K. and specifically how engagement might be improved.  In the spirit of Article 4.3 of the Convention, general obligations involvement of disabled people and their representative organisations we are willing, and indeed expect, to work with you on progressing disabled people’s rights across the whole spectrum covered by the Convention from access through to being included in the community and being able to realise our ambitions and potential.

We should therefore like to request a meeting with you and your officials to discuss:

  1. How government is implementing the UNCRPD committee’s concluding observations, and
  2. How Government plans to work with organisations led by disabled people monitoring and implementing the Convention.

We trust that the Government will embrace the need to be more proactive in promoting and implementing disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society. We look forward to hearing from you further and working with government on an action plan to complete the implementation of the rights of disabled people detailed in the CRPD which was ratified by the U.K. in 2009.  Our expectation is that the U.K. will once again be seen as a leader in implementing the human rights of disabled people by all countries across the world.

Your faithfully

Tracey Lazard – CEO Inclusion London

Linda Burnip – Disabled People Against Cuts

John McArdle – Black Triangle

Tara Flood – CEO Alliance for Inclusive Education

Anne Novis – UK Disabled People’s Council

Mark Harrison – CEO Equal Lives

Andrew Lee – CEO People First

And others

 

 Posted by at 20:26
Feb 272018
 

we’ll try to keep everyone updated as we hear from local groups.

A late addition and going ahead Leicester – outside Jobcentre Plus, Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 3J B Thursday 1st March between 12-2pm. Organised by Unite Community Come well wrapped up!

Brighton -postponed until March 28th

Falmouth – cancelled

Edinburgh – going ahead

Kentish Town – cancelled

Manchester – cancelled

 Posted by at 16:01
Feb 252018
 

For anyone who would like to email more than their own MPs all MPs email addresses are here. If as many people as possible email as many MPs as possible fromThursday March 1st then our message has more chance of being heard.

Template letter has also been posted

diane.abbott.office@parliament.uk, abrahamsd@parliament.uk, nigel.adams.mp@parliament.uk, bim.afolami.mp@parliament.uk, adam.afriyie.mp@parliament.uk, peter.aldous.mp@parliament.uk, heidi.alexander.mp@parliament.uk, rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.allan.mp@parliament.uk, heidi.allen.mp@parliament.uk, rosena.allinkhan.mp@parliament.uk, mike.amesbury.mp@parliament.uk, amessd@parliament.uk, jenny.chapman.mp@parliament.uk, bambos.charalambous.mp@parliament.uk, joanna.cherry.mp@parliament.uk, rehman.chishti.mp@parliament.uk, chopec@parliament.uk, jo.churchill.mp@parliament.uk, colin.clark.mp@parliament.uk, greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk, clarkek@parliament.uk, simon.clarke.mp@parliament.uk, james.cleverly.mp@parliament.uk, cliftonbrowng@parliament.uk, ann.clwyd.mp@parliament.uk, vernon.coaker.mp@parliament.uk, ann.coffey.mp@parliament.uk, therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk, damian.collins.mp@parliament.uk, julie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk, rosie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk, coopery@parliament.uk, jeremy.corbyn.mp@parliament.uk, barronra@parliament.uk, robert.courts.mp@parliament.uk, ronnie.cowan.mp@parliament.uk, coxg@parliament.uk, neil.coyle.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.crabb.mp@parliament.uk, crausbyd@parliament.uk, angela.crawley.mp@parliament.uk, creaghm@parliament.uk, , tracey.crouch.mp@parliament.uk, cruddasj@parliament.uk, john.cryer.mp@parliament.uk, judith.cummins.mp@parliament.uk, alex.cunningham.mp@parliament.uk, eleanorm.connolly@parliament.uk, nic.dakin.mp@parliament.uk, edward.davey.mp@parliament.uk, wayne.david.mp@parliament.uk, chris.davies.mp@parliament.uk, david.davies.mp@parliament.uk, geraint.davies.mp@parliament.uk, glyn.davies.mp@parliament.uk, mims.davies.mp@parliament.uk, daviesp@parliament.uk, david.davis.mp@parliament.uk, martyn.day.mp@parliament.uk, thangam.debbonaire.mp@parliament.uk, marsha.decordova.mp@parliament.uk, emma.dentcoad.mp@parliament.uk, gloria.depiero.mp@parliament.uk, tan.dhesi.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.dinenage.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.djanogly.mp@parliament.uk, leo.docherty.mp@parliament.uk, martin.docherty.mp@parliament.uk, annaliese.dodds.mp@parliament.uk, nigel.dodds.mp@parliament.uk, jeffrey.donaldson.mp@parliament.uk, michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk, dorriesn@parliament.uk, steve.double.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.doughty.mp@parliament.uk, peter.dowd.mp@parliament.uk, oliver.dowden.mp@parliament.uk, jackie.doyleprice.mp@parliament.uk, richard.drax.mp@parliament.uk, david.drew.mp@parliament.uk, jack.dromey.mp@parliament.uk, , rosie.duffield.mp@parliament.uk, david.duguid.mp@parliament.uk, alan.duncan.mp@parliament.uk, olivia.kybett@parliament.uk, philip.dunne.mp@parliament.uk, eaglea@parliament.uk, eaglem@parliament.uk, jonathan.edwards.mp@parliament.uk, effordc@parliament.uk, julie.elliott.mp@parliament.uk, michael.ellis.mp@parliament.uk, louise.ellman.mp@parliament.uk, philip.hammond.mp@parliament.uk, hammonds@parliament.uk, matt.hancock.mp@parliament.uk, handsg@parliament.uk, david.hanson.mp@parliament.uk, emma.hardy.mp@parliament.uk, harriet.harman.mp@parliament.uk, mark.harper.mp@parliament.uk, richard.harrington.mp@parliament.uk, carolyn.harris.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.harris.mp@parliament.uk, trudy.harrison.mp@parliament.uk, simon.hart.mp@parliament.uk, helen.hayes.mp@parliament.uk, hayesj@parliament.uk, sue.hayman.mp@parliament.uk, chris.hazzard.mp@parliament.uk, oliver.heald.mp@parliament.uk, john.healey.mp@parliament.uk, james.heappey.mp@parliament.uk, chris.heatonharris.mp@parliament.uk, peter.heatonjones.mp@parliament.uk, gordon.henderson.mp@parliament.uk, mark.hendrick.mp@parliament.uk, drew.hendry.mp@parliament.uk, hepburns@parliament.uk, , sylvia.hermon.mp@parliament.uk, mike.hill.mp@parliament.uk, meghilliermp@parliament.uk, damian.hinds.mp@parliament.uk, simon.hoare.mp@parliament.uk, wera.hobhouse.mp@parliament.uk, hodgem@parliament.uk, sharon.hodgson.mp@parliament.uk, hoeyk@parliament.uk, kate.hollern.mp@parliament.uk, george.hollingbery.mp@parliament.uk, kevin.hollinrake.mp@parliament.uk, philip.hollobone.mp@parliament.uk, hollowaya@parliament.uk, hopkinsk@parliament.uk, hosies@parliament.uk, george.howarth.mp@parliament.uk, howelljm@parliament.uk, gaskillm@parliament.uk, nigel.huddleston.mp@parliament.uk, eddie.hughes.mp@parliament.uk, huntj@parliament.uk, rupa.huq.mp@parliament.uk, nick.hurd.mp@parliament.uk, imran.hussain.mp@parliament.uk, alister.jack.mp@parliament.uk, margot.james.mp@parliament.uk, christine.jardine.mp@parliament.uk, dan.jarvis.mp@parliament.uk, sajid.javid.mp@parliament.uk, , bernard.jenkin.mp@parliament.uk, andrea.jenkyns.mp@parliament.uk, robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk, boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, johnsond@parliament.uk, gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, jo.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.jones.mp@parliament.uk, darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk, david.jones.mp@parliament.uk, gerald.jones.mp@parliament.uk, graham.jones.mp@parliament.uk, jonesh@parliament.uk, kevanjonesmp@parliament.uk, marcus.jones.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.jones.mp@parliament.uk, susan.jones.mp@parliament.uk, mike.kane.mp@parliament.uk, kawczynskid@parliament.uk, gillian.keegan.mp@parliament.uk, barbara.keeley.mp@parliament.uk, liz.kendall.mp@parliament.uk, seema.kennedy.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.metcalfe.mp@parliament.uk, ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk, maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk, amanda.milling.mp@parliament.uk, nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk, anne.milton.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.mitchell.mp@parliament.uk, , carol.monaghan.mp@parliament.uk, moonm@parliament.uk, damien.moore.mp@parliament.uk, layla.moran.mp@parliament.uk, penny.mordaunt.mp@parliament.uk, jessica.morden.mp@parliament.uk, nicky.morgan.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.morgan.mp@parliament.uk, annemarie.morris.mp@parliament.uk, david.morris.mp@parliament.uk, grahame.morris.mp@parliament.uk, james.morris.mp@parliament.uk, wendy.morton.mp@parliament.uk, david.mundell.mp@parliament.uk, ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk, sheryll.murray.mp@parliament.uk, murrisona@parliament.uk, lisa.nandy.mp@parliament.uk, bob.neill.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.newlands.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.newton.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.nokes.mp@parliament.uk, jesse.norman.mp@parliament.uk, alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk, neil.obrien.mp@parliament.uk, matthew.offord.mp@parliament.uk, brendan.ohara.mp@parliament.uk, jared.omara.mp@parliament.uk, fiona.onasanya.mp@parliament.uk, melanie.onn.mp@parliament.uk, chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk, guy.opperman.mp@parliament.uk, kate.osamor.mp@parliament.uk, albert.owen.mp@parliament.uk, ian.paisley.mp@parliament.uk, neil.parish.mp@parliament.uk, withammp@parliament.uk, patersono@parliament.uk, mark.pawsey.mp@parliament.uk, stephanie.peacock.mp@parliament.uk, teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk, penningm@parliament.uk, matthew.pennycook.mp@parliament.uk, penrosej@parliament.uk, andrew.percy.mp@parliament.uk, toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk, claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk, jess.phillips.mp@parliament.uk, bridget.phillipson.mp@parliament.uk, chris.philp.mp@parliament.uk, laura.pidcock.mp@parliament.uk, christopher.pincher.mp@parliament.uk, joanne.platt.mp@parliament.uk, luke.pollard.mp@parliament.uk, daniel.poulter.mp@parliament.uk, steve.pound.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.pow.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.powell.mp@parliament.uk, victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk, natalie.bithell@parliament.uk, pritchardm@parliament.uk, tom.pursglove.mp@parliament.uk, jeremy.quin.mp@parliament.uk, will.quince.mp@parliament.uk, yasmin.qureshi.mp@parliament.uk, dominic.raab.mp@parliament.uk, faisal.rashid.mp@parliament.uk, angela.rayner.mp@parliament.uk, john.redwood.mp@parliament.uk, steve.reed.mp@parliament.uk, christina.rees.mp@parliament.uk, jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk, ellie.reeves.mp@parliament.uk, rachel.reeves.mp@parliament.uk, emma.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk, marie.rimmer.mp@parliament.uk, michael.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, craig.tracey.mp@parliament.uk, tredinnickd@parliament.uk, annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk, jon.trickett.mp@parliament.uk, elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk, tom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk, anna.turley.mp@parliament.uk, karl.turner.mp@parliament.uk, derek.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, liz.twist.mp@parliament.uk, chuka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk, ed.vaizey.mp@parliament.uk, shailesh.vara.mp@parliament.uk, vazk@parliament.uk, valerie.vaz.mp@parliament.uk, martin.vickers.mp@parliament.uk, , charles.walker.mp@parliament.uk, robin.walker.mp@parliament.uk, thelma.walker.mp@parliament.uk, wallaceb@parliament.uk, david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk, matt.warman.mp@parliament.uk, giles.watling.mp@parliament.uk, tom.watson.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.west.mp@parliament.uk, matt.western.mp@parliament.uk, helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk, heather.wheeler.mp@parliament.uk, whiteheada@parliament.uk, martin.whitfield.mp@parliament.uk, philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk, craig.whittaker.mp@parliament.uk, john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk, bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk, hywel.williams.mp@parliament.uk, paul.williams.mp@parliament.uk, chris.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, phil.wilson.mp@parliament.uk, barronj@parliament.uk, rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk, pete.wishart.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk, mikej.wood.mp@parliament.uk, john.woodcock.mp@parliament.uk, , jeremy.wright.mp@parliament.uk, mohammad.yasin.mp@parliament.uk, nadhim.zahawi.mp@parliament.uk, daniel.zeichner.mp@parliament.uk, stuart.andrew.mp@parliament.uk, tonia.antoniazzi.mp@parliament.uk, edward.argar.mp@parliament.uk, jon.ashworth.mp@parliament.uk, , austini@parliament.uk, richardbaconmp@parliament.uk, kemi.badenoch.mp@parliament.uk, baileya@parliament.uk, steve.baker.mp@parliament.uk, harriett.baldwin.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.barclay.mp@parliament.uk, hannah.bardell.mp@parliament.uk, baronj@parliament.uk, barronk@parliament.uk, guto.bebb.mp@parliament.uk, margaret.beckett.mp@parliament.uk, bellinghamh@parliament.uk, hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk, richard.benyon.mp@parliament.uk, bercowj@parliament.uk, annie.winsbury@parliament.uk, luciana.berger.mp@parliament.uk, jake.berry.mp@parliament.uk, officeofclivebettsmp@parliament.uk, mhairi.black.mp@parliament.uk, ian.blackford.mp@parliament.uk, bob.blackman.mp@parliament.uk, kirsty.blackman.mp@parliament.uk, woodsr@parliament.uk, paul.blomfield.mp@parliament.uk, crispinbluntmp@parliament.uk, nick.boles.mp@parliament.uk, bonep@parliament.uk, bottomleyp@parliament.uk, andrew.bowie.mp@parliament.uk, tracy.brabin.mp@parliament.uk, ben.bradley.mp@parliament.uk, karen.bradley.mp@parliament.uk, ben.bradshaw.mp@parliament.uk, altsale@parliament.uk, mickey.brady.mp@parliament.uk, , brennank@parliament.uk, jack.brereton.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.bridgen.mp@parliament.uk, steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk, deidre.brock.mp@parliament.uk, james.brokenshire.mp@parliament.uk, alan.brown.mp@parliament.uk, brownl@parliament.uk, nickbrownmp@parliament.uk, fiona.bruce.mp@parliament.uk, bryantc@parliament.uk, buckk@parliament.uk, robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk, richard.burden.mp@parliament.uk, alex.burghart.mp@parliament.uk, richard.burgon.mp@parliament.uk, conor.burns.mp@parliament.uk, alistair.burt.mp@parliament.uk, dawn.butler.mp@parliament.uk, byrnel@parliament.uk, vince.cable.mp@parliament.uk, ruthcadburymp@parliament.uk, alun.cairns.mp@parliament.uk, lisa.cameron.mp@parliament.uk, alan.campbell.mp@parliament.uk, fieldingm@parliament.uk, ronnie.campbell.mp@parliament.uk, dan.carden.mp@parliament.uk, carmichaela@parliament.uk, james.cartlidge.mp@parliament.uk, mcconaloguej@parliament.uk, maria.caulfield.mp@parliament.uk, alex.chalk.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.champion.mp@parliament.uk, douglas.chapman.mp@parliament.uk, tobias.ellwood.mp@parliament.uk, chris.elmore.mp@parliament.uk, charlie.elphicke.mp@parliament.uk, bill.esterson.mp@parliament.uk, george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk, chris.evans.mp@parliament.uk, evansn@parliament.uk, david.evennett.mp@parliament.uk, michael.fabricant.mp@parliament.uk, michael.fallon.mp@parliament.uk, paul.farrelly.mp@parliament.uk, farront@parliament.uk, marion.fellows.mp@parliament.uk, suella.fernandes.mp@parliament.uk, fieldf@parliament.uk, fieldm@parliament.uk, jim.fitzpatrick.mp@parliament.uk, colleen.fletcher.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk, , vicky.ford.mp@parliament.uk, kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk, yvonne.fovargue.mp@parliament.uk, ione.douglas@parliament.uk, vicky.foxcroft.mp@parliament.uk, mark.francois.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk, george.freeman.mp@parliament.uk, mike.freer.mp@parliament.uk, james.frith.mp@parliament.uk, gill.furniss.mp@parliament.uk, marcus.fysh.mp@parliament.uk, hugh.gaffney.mp@parliament.uk, galerj@parliament.uk, mike.gapes.mp@parliament.uk, barry.gardiner.mp@parliament.uk, mark.garnier.mp@parliament.uk, gauked@parliament.uk, ruth.george.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.gethins.mp@parliament.uk, nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk, gibbn@parliament.uk, patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk, michelle.gildernew.mp@parliament.uk, preet.gill.mp@parliament.uk, cheryl.gillan.mp@parliament.uk, paul.girvan.mp@parliament.uk, john.glen.mp@parliament.uk, mary.glindon.mp@parliament.uk, roger.godsiff.mp@parliament.uk, , goodmanh@parliament.uk, robert.goodwill.mp@parliament.uk, michael.gove.mp@parliament.uk, patrick.grady.mp@parliament.uk, luke.graham.mp@parliament.uk, richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk, bill.grant.mp@parliament.uk, helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk, peter.grant.mp@parliament.uk, jamesgraymp@parliament.uk, neil.gray.mp@parliament.uk, chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk, chris.green.mp@parliament.uk, damian.green.mp@parliament.uk, kate.green.mp@parliament.uk, greeningj@parliament.uk, lilian.greenwood.mp@parliament.uk, margaret.greenwood.mp@parliament.uk, dominic.grieve.mp@parliament.uk, nia.griffith.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.griffiths.mp@parliament.uk, john.grogan.mp@parliament.uk, gwynnea@parliament.uk, , louise.haigh.mp@parliament.uk, kirstene.hair.mp@parliament.uk, , luke.hall.mp@parliament.uk, fabian.hamilton.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.kerr.mp@parliament.uk, afzal.khan.mp@parliament.uk, gerard.killen.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.kinnock.mp@parliament.uk, sothcottt@parliament.uk, julian.knight.mp@parliament.uk, kwasi.kwarteng.mp@parliament.uk, peter.kyle.mp@parliament.uk, eleanor.laing.mp@parliament.uk, lesley.laird.mp@parliament.uk, ben.lake.mp@parliament.uk, norman.lamb.mp@parliament.uk, lammyd@parliament.uk, john.lamont.mp@parliament.uk, officeofmarklancaster@parliament.uk, pauline.latham.mp@parliament.uk, ian.lavery.mp@parliament.uk, chris.law.mp@parliament.uk, andrea.leadsom.mp@parliament.uk, karen.lee.mp@parliament.uk, phillip.lee.mp@parliament.uk, jeremy.lefroy.mp@parliament.uk, edward.leigh.mp@parliament.uk, chris.leslie@parliament.uk, letwino@parliament.uk, emma.lewell-buck.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.lewer.mp@parliament.uk, toby.willmer@parliament.uk, clive.lewis.mp@parliament.uk, lewisi@parliament.uk, , ianlg@parliament.uk, david.lidington.mp@parliament.uk, david.linden.mp@parliament.uk, emma.littlepengelly.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.lloyd.mp@parliament.uk, tony.lloyd.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.longbailey.mp@parliament.uk, julia.lopez.mp@parliament.uk, jack.lopresti.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.lord.mp@parliament.uk, loughtont@parliament.uk, caroline.lucas.mp@parliament.uk, lucasi@parliament.uk, holly.lynch.mp@parliament.uk, mccabes@parliament.uk, elisha.mccallion.mp@parliament.uk, kerry.mccarthy.mp@parliament.uk, mcdonaghs@parliament.uk, andy.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, stewart.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, stuart.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, mcdonnellj@parliament.uk, barry.mcelduff.mp@parliament.uk, mcfaddenp@parliament.uk, conor.mcginn.mp@parliament.uk, alison.mcgovern.mp@parliament.uk, liz.mcinnes.mp@parliament.uk, craig.mackinlay.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.mckinnell.mp@parliament.uk, rachel.maclean.mp@parliament.uk, patrick.mcloughlin.mp@parliament.uk, jim.mcmahon.mp@parliament.uk, anna.mcmorrin.mp@parliament.uk, john.mcnally.mp@parliament.uk, macneila@parliament.uk, stephen.mcpartland.mp@parliament.uk, esther.mcvey.mp@parliament.uk, justin.madders.mp@parliament.uk, mahmoodk@parliament.uk, shabana.mahmood.mp@parliament.uk, maina@parliament.uk, alan.mak.mp@parliament.uk, seema.malhotra.mp@parliament.uk, kit.malthouse.mp@parliament.uk, mannj@parliament.uk, scott.mann.mp@parliament.uk, gordonmarsdenmp@parliament.uk, sandy.martin.mp@parliament.uk, rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk, paul.maskey.mp@parliament.uk, paul.masterton.mp@parliament.uk, chris.matheson.mp@parliament.uk, mayt@parliament.uk, paul.maynard.mp@parliament.uk, ian.mearns.mp@parliament.uk, mark.menzies.mp@parliament.uk, johnny.mercer.mp@parliament.uk, huw.merriman.mp@parliament.uk, robertsonl@parliament.uk, gavin.robinson.mp@parliament.uk, robinsong@parliament.uk, mary.robinson.mp@parliament.uk, matt.rodda.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.rosindell.mp@parliament.uk, douglas.ross.mp@parliament.uk, danielle.rowley.mp@parliament.uk, lee.rowley.mp@parliament.uk, chris.ruane.mp@parliament.uk, amber.rudd.mp@parliament.uk, lloyd.russellmoyle.mp@parliament.uk, david.rutley.mp@parliament.uk, joan.ryan.mp@parliament.uk, antoinette.sandbach.mp@parliament.uk, liz.savilleroberts.mp@parliament.uk, paul.scully.mp@parliament.uk, bob.seely.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.selous.mp@parliament.uk, naz.shah.mp@parliament.uk, jim.shannon.mp@parliament.uk, shappsg@parliament.uk, alok.sharma.mp@parliament.uk, sharmav@parliament.uk, sheermanb@parliament.uk, alec.shelbrooke.mp@parliament.uk, tommy.sheppard.mp@parliament.uk, paula.sherriff.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.shuker.mp@parliament.uk, tulip.siddiq.mp@parliament.uk, simpsond@parliament.uk, keithsimpsonmp@parliament.uk, chris.skidmore.mp@parliament.uk, skinnerd@parliament.uk, andy.slaughter.mp@parliament.uk, ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk, officeofangelasmithmp@parliament.uk, cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk, , eleanor.smith.mp@parliament.uk, henry.smith.mp@parliament.uk, jeff.smith.mp@parliament.uk, julian.smith.mp@parliament.uk, laura.smith.mp@parliament.uk, nick.smith.mp@parliament.uk, owen.smith.mp@parliament.uk, royston.smith.mp@parliament.uk, karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk, gareth.snell.mp@parliament.uk, nicholas.soames.mp@parliament.uk, alex.sobel.mp@parliament.uk, anna.soubry.mp@parliament.uk, john.spellar.mp@parliament.uk, , mark.spencer.mp@parliament.uk, keir.starmer.mp@parliament.uk, chris.stephens.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.stephenson.mp@parliament.uk, jo.stevens.mp@parliament.uk, john.stevenson.mp@parliament.uk, bob.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, iain.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, rory.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, jamie.stone.mp@parliament.uk, deans@parliament.uk, wes.streeting.mp@parliament.uk, mel.stride.mp@parliament.uk, graham.stringer.mp@parliament.uk, graham.stuart.mp@parliament.uk, julian.sturdy.mp@parliament.uk, rishi.sunak.mp@parliament.uk, swayned@parliament.uk, paul.sweeney.mp@parliament.uk, jo.swinson.mp@parliament.uk, hugo.swire.mp@parliament.uk, symsr@parliament.uk, tamim@parliament.uk, alison.thewliss.mp@parliament.uk, derek.thomas.mp@parliament.uk, gareth.thomas.mp@parliament.uk, nick.thomassymonds.mp@parliament.uk, ross.thomson.mp@parliament.uk, emily.thornberry.mp@parliament.uk, maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk, timmss@parliament.uk, kelly.tolhurst.mp@parliament.uk, justin.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, michael.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, craig.tracey.mp@parliament.uk, tredinnickd@parliament.uk, annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk, trickettj@parliament.uk, elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk, tom.tuggendhat.mp@parliament.uk, anna.turley.mp@parliament.uk,

karl.turner.mp@parliament.uk, derek.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, liz.twist.mp@parliament.uk, chukka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk, vaizeye@parliament.uk,

vazk@parliament.uk, shailesh.vara.mp@parliament.uk, valerie.vaz.mp@parliament.uk, martin.vickers.mp@parliament.uk, theresa@theresavilliers.co.uk, broxbourne@tory.org, robin.walker.mp@parliament.uk, thelma.walker.mp@parliament.uk, wallaceb@parliament.uk, david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk, matt.warman.mp@parliament.uk, giles.watling.mp@parliament.uk, tom.watson.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.west.mp@parliament.uk, matt.western.mp@parliament.uk, helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk, heather.wheeler.mp@parliament.uk, whiteheada@parliament.uk, martin.whitfield.mp@parliament.uk, philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk, craig.whittaker.mp@parliament.uk, john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk, bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk, hywel.williams.mp@parliament.uk, paul.williams.mp@parliament.uk, chris.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, phil.wilson.mp@parliament.uk, barronj@parliament.uk, rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk, wishartp@parliament.uk, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk, mikej.wood.mp@parliament.uk, john.woodcock.mp@parliament.uk, william@williamwragg.org.uk, jeremy@jeremywright.org.uk, mohammad.yasin.mp@parliament.uk, nadhim.zahawi.mp@parliament.uk, daniel@danielzeichner.co.uk,

 

 

 

 Posted by at 20:50
Feb 252018
 

for anyone who can’t get to a protest please email your MP fromThursday March 1st onwards. A template letter is below. Even if you can get to a protest you may also want to email your MP.

 

Dear MP name,

Universal Credit is the punishing regime due to be more widely imposed on people with low incomes both those in and out of work.

UC has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped.

Universal Credit is an economic and political disaster bringing further distress and impoverishment to those forced to endure it.  To date at least £15.8 billion has been wasted on its implementation although only £1 billion is likely to be saved by 2020.

Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. Pensioner couples will also be affected if one of them is under pension age.

No civilized Government should impose this on its citizens and no opposition party should want to simply pause and fix it.

Areas already subjected to UC have reported serious hardship with visits to food banks soaring along with rates of people sanctioned and left without any income for 3 months or more.

Just some of the many problems with UC are listed below.

General Problems

  • UC is based entirely on conditionality for those both in and out of work. Failure to meet these conditions can lead to the imposition of cumulative sanctions which could last 3 years.
  • Everyone will have to accept the Claimant Commitment and log in daily to Universal Job match account and complete your to do list and journal. There is harsh conditionality within Universal Credit such as 35 hour per week job searches.
  • Even with the changes brought in at the end of last year claimants face a 5 week wait which in many cases seems to be 3 months or longer for their first payment.
  • Loss of Mortgage interest payments which will now mean people have to take out a second loan if they are buying a home.
  • Hardship Loans are repayable meaning the full amount of money someone is entitled to isn’t paid for months as 40% of their entitlement can be taken away to repay a loan.
  • With UC, housing benefit isn’t paid straight to the landlord but to the claimant who may be in need of money to use in an emergency. In pilot areas this has resulted in up to 60% of claimants going into rent arrears.
  • Letting agents are already refusing to rent to anyone claiming UC.

 

For Disabled People

  • UC is claimed and managed entirely digitally which is difficult or impossible for many disabled people. Any mistakes on the form will likely lead to loss of benefit or a claim being disallowed.
  • Health and Work conversations are mandatory and any failure to attend will lead to your claim being closed.
  • People in part time work could be forced to give up work that suits their Disability or family life in order to take up worse paid full time work or risk sanctions,.
  • UC brings in the loss of Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums which mean single disabled people lose around £2,000 per annum and a disabled couple over £4,000 per annum.

Coercion of Mental Health claimants.

  • As part of the Health and Work Programme we are seeing the use of the DWP nudge unit and psycho compulsion. This effectively means the introduction of forced treatment through the use of IAPT therapists based in job centres. If claimants don’t take the treatment prescribed they face being sanctioned.

Loss of Womens’ Rights

  • Changes to benefit payments will make women financially dependent on men trapping many in endless domestic violence.
  • The appalling Tax Credit ‘rape clause’ means that women can only get Child Tax Credit payments for their first two children unless they can prove they were raped. This involves filling out a detailed 45 page form about being raped..

For those in work, self-employed or on zero hours contracts

  • Even those in work will be expected to look for more hours up to 48 hours a week so you are not reliant on state support or face Sanctions for failing to comply. Warning- if your earnings exceed qualifying levels in a month they can close your claim and your online history will be erased when they close your claim down without warning. Make copies of all your actions to copy into your Journal or To Do List so you have evidenced back up files. To get this reinstated can take 8 months without money.
  • Going on Holiday? Think Again- If you fail to do your job match account even over Christmas and other bank holidays you will have your money stopped and you must always be available for interviews.
  • For every £1 earned Universal Credit takes away 63p meaning people are working for 37p for every pound earned per hour.
  • Self employed people will have to submit their monthly, instead of annual, income before any UC payment, including for housing costs, will be made for that month causing untold chaos and hardship. If they earn too much in any month their claim will be closed and they’ll have to start all over again.

As your constituent I am asking you to support scrapping Universal Credit.

 

Yours sincerely,

Xxxxxxx

address

 Posted by at 20:44
Feb 252018
 
The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy has organised a demo at the New Savoy conference again this year. It’s an early start at South Kensington.

Wednesday 21st March 2018 from 8.15am!

Millennium Conference Centre!

4-18 Harrington Gardens!

South Kensington, London, SW7 4LH

 

The New Savoy Conference is the annual gathering of professional and

charity bodies providing psychological therapies (IAPT) in NHS primary

care.

IAPT is an assembly-line service providing short-term therapies to over

a million people every year. Despite the commitment of its frontline

therapists and psychologists, IAPT is failing the mental health needs of

communities all over England, while working with government policies

that themselves generate psychological distress and social alienation.

Come and join therapists, mental health activists, psychologists and

welfare campaigners. Meet at the Harrington Gardens entrance of the

Millenium Conference Centre (Gloucester Road tube) from 8.15am to

greet conference goers.

 

Contact info@allianceforcandp.org for more information.

Some context:
• The hierarchy of IAPT and psychological services in the NHS who gather at these conferences continue to offer liberal mouthings about DWP welfare reform policies, WCA and PIP, sanctions, coercion around Work and Health. But they’ve actually taken no real action to boycott DWP/Health collaboration, despite all the developments re judicial reviews, UN condemnations, the recent Parl Committee report, and the UC debacle.
In his intro to the conference, in the programme link above, Jeremy Clarke (NS chair) says:
“The second issue is the running sore of welfare benefit reform, and its negative impact on mental health, that undermines whatever benefit we make to population wellbeing. Have we reached a consensus now for how we can turn the tide? The BBC’s Mark Easton will find out”
• The overall theme is depression; there are sessions on the crisis in the IAPT workforce, latest staff survey, impact of targets; session on Work and Health Unit; Wessely’s review of human rights and compulsory treatment; session on Employee Assistant Programmes (often run by people like Maximus); familiar faces in the list of speakers
•The scam of IAPT as a service in local communities. It has a massive evidence base, tons of statistics for every CCG in England including “recovery” rates; ethnicity stats; deprivation stats; etc etc No-one really analyses the figures. For IAPT it seems just collecting the stats is their claim to being evidence based and therefore their claim for funding from the Government. In fact, their stats reveal a shockingly failing provision.
For example, ot of 1,350,000 referrals a year 85% either never enter any kind of therapy, or never finish a course of treatment, or don’t “move to recovery” (as IAPT jargon has it). In my CCG (Tower Hamlets) only 6.6% of referrals to IAPT “recovered” and among the Bangladeshi community who make up over 30% on TH population only 3% “recovered”. Farmer’s Taskforce target for % of population who “need IAPT therapy” is 15%, rising to 25% by 2021. In TH about 2% of the pop were referred/referred themselves to IAPT, of whom as I say 6.6% “recovered”.
IAPT will be a major part of the propaganda around the NHS reorganisation now in progress, via the STPs and the ACOs they are developing . STP management have “the mental health crisis” high on their agenda – certainly their PR agenda – and selling more provision for IAPT services will be a major plank of the campaign. See Hunt on this role for IAPT here.
IAPT is rarely taken to task as a service that is massively failing communities all over England. This is true in the Labour Party as much as any where ekse. This has to stop. It is a propaganda service for neoliberal capitalism and its dissemination of psychological scapegoating and coercion across society
 Posted by at 16:27
Feb 252018
 

Last year, 15 people grounded a deportation charter flight for ten hours to prevent it taking off. This March, they are going to court charged with a terrorism-related offence. If found guilty, they could serve many years in prison.

 

Join our demonstration on the first day of their trial on Monday March 14th from 8.30am-10am outside Chelmsford Crown Court (New Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1EL) to support the defendants and speak out against deportation charter flights. There will be speakers, songs and spoken word, and food kindly provided by Food not Bombs and Oxford Action Resource Centre. More info about the demo can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/ events/595001684173940/

 

A coach leaves from London at 6.45am on Monday March 14th  with return tickets on a sliding scale (£16 waged; £10 unwaged; free for people with experience of the asylum process or immigration.) The coach is wheelchair accessible but you need to let us know if you are/might go so seats can be removed. mail@dpac.uk.net

There are also frequent train services from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford. Tickets for the coach from London can be booked in advance here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/ e/coach-to-chelmsford-crown- court-solidarity-with- stansted-defendants-tickets- 43273231400

 

You can also support the defendants throughout the 4-6 week trial: sign up to attend the public gallery here:

https:// stansted15courtsupport. youcanbook.me/

 

 Posted by at 16:08
Feb 212018
 

Our very committed steering group member Ellen Clifford stayed up until 1am to speak to canadian radio about our concerns on UBI. Also speaking about concerns about UBI was John Clarke from Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. You can hear the discussion here

Democracy North: Are Basic Income Programs Too Good to be True?

A much more detailed and authoratitive study will be published shortly but as others support the concept we wanted to flag up just some of the reasons we’d suggest great caution is needed in relation to a Universal Basic Income.

Concerns with UBI

  • The UK has in place a complex and targeted social security system. UBI trials in countries without the same levels of support infrastructure produce positive results, for example the pilots in Madhya Pradesh showed significant benefits for disabled people such as being able to afford food and medical assistance, as well as providing independent income for disabled people so they are not entirely reliant on families and enabling autonomy. Introducing a UBI in the UK would require that all or some of our present benefits and support systems are replaced which would be a far more complex undertaking. The distribution of gains and losses would depend upon the detail of the UBI scheme.
  • The cost of UBI in the UK at Guaranteed Minimum Income levels would significantly exceed current spending on cash benefits and tax-free allowances. A budget-neutral UBI would therefore require either a UBI below GMI levels, or additional tax increases.
  • Full UBI schemes that are in any way financially feasible result in big losses for disabled people. As a result, supporters of UBI such as the Citizen’s Income Trust now recommend a partial UBI where disability benefits (and housing) are retained as a separate parallel system. In Annie Miller’s 297 page Basic Income Handbook she includes just one page on “The needs of disabled people” (of which half a page is about carers) where she says “Disability benefits are based on need and are therefore a different system from BIs… Both housing and disability benefits are very much in need of revision but are beyond the scope of this book. The interaction between BI and support for these costs (and between them) would need to be considered in developing policy in each area.”
  • Supporters of a partial scheme where disability benefits are retained assure us that no disabled person will be worse off under UBI. We were told the same thing about Universal Credit and that has proved not to be true. The social security system is extremely complex and without detailed modelling setting out exactly how UBI would sit alongside a system of disability benefits sufficient to meet need it is difficult to be confident that it could work in this way without losses. A briefing to Nicola Sturgeon states: “Significant modelling effort would be required to establish levels which did not impact negatively on vulnerable groups.” One key benefit that UBI would most likely replace is ESA yet the rate of ESA for those in the support group is significantly higher than what is considered a feasible UBI level. This brings the prospect of “rough justice” for those who face the most disadvantages. The University of Bath paper presents an idea for a UBI with additional disability and severe disability premiums which when micro-simulated produces strong reductions in inequality and poverty but would be very expensive and require significant increases in income tax. The report authors conclude: “The unavoidable reality is that such schemes either have unacceptable distributional consequences or they simply cost too much.” DPAC members have concerns that the process for proving eligibility for disability premiums could be as problematic as the current system for applying for existing benefits.
  • Not only would running a UBI in parallel to disability benefit systems be complex, there is also the potential danger of increased stigma against those for whom the UBI is insufficient to meet their needs and less public will to fund them.
  • The disability benefits system is not fit for purpose. While proponents of partial UBI schemes propose retaining current disability benefits, disabled people are calling for an urgent overhaul. We are concerned about how the long and complex task of introducing a UBI would impact on the considerable task of reforming social security for disabled people. Attempting to manage both at the same time risks mistakes and as we have seen under welfare reform, where admittedly the many ‘mistakes’ are the result of deliberate ideological policy, mistakes cost lives.
  • Alongside an adequate standard of income, disabled people require other support services in order to enjoy full and equal participation in society. The current crisis in social care is one example of the urgency of the question of how to fund these. If independent living support remains under the administration of local authorities, then in order to end the situation whereby disabled people’s rights are being breached on a daily basis by lack of provision, one obvious solution would be to remove the cap and increase council tax. Increasing council tax alongside an increase in income tax to afford UBI could by very unpopular. Disabled people are calling for independent living support (i.e., social care) to be removed from local authorities and instead administered by a national independent living support system to be paid for out of general taxation. We are concerned that the introduction of UBI funded by increases in income tax will reduce the amount available to fund an independent living support system capable of meeting disabled people’s needs. While many disabled people would be in favour of tax rises to fund welfare provision – particularly corporation tax and a progressive rise in the higher rate of income tax – the use of this for a UBI rather than more traditional forms of disability and unemployment support would mean much of the benefit flowing back to employers rather than those in most need. In functioning as a wage subsidy UBI would act to significantly reduce employers NI contributions. It would be hard to make a case that this is a more progressive solution than simply reversing much of the damage that the Tories have done to current systems.
  • There is also a more general concern about pressures on public spending and negative impacts on social programmes as a result of introducing a UBI. In Hirsch’s paper for the JRF he warns about the need to take account of the fact that income tax is used for public expenditure other than income transfers and the dangers of underestimating the rate of income tax increase required without making cuts in public services.
  • The distributional impacts of a UBI mean that there are winners and there are losers– whereas under the current system the biggest losers tend to be those who face the biggest barriers, eg disabled people and the poorest members of society, some UBI models will benefit low income deciles while increasing inequality for the poorest. This is at odds with what the public generally understand as the aims of a social security system. It also has the potential to divide against each other groups of people who are currently united in our opposition to the rich elite who we see as responsible for growing inequality and poverty.
  • UBI provides a useful contribution to the debate on the future of social security where it adds support and evidence for the need to end conditionality and the impacts of inadequate income and punitive approaches in moving people further from the labour market. However DPAC’s view is that this is the extent of its usefulness.
  • UBI in the wrong hands could be extremely dangerous. Libertarians want to use it to sweep away the welfare state including the NHS while neoliberal governments see it as a way of forcing unemployed workers into insecure low paid jobs. The version of UBI being trialled by Finland’s right-wing government has been described as a “UBI-as-workhouse nightmare”[1]. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty issued a statement supported by Canada’s largest public services trade union saying “The emerging model of basic income reflected in pilot projects and initiatives in a number of countries and jurisdictions is one that would intensify the neoliberal agenda”[2]. John Clarke from OCAP has written ““The neoliberal attack is taking up Basic Income as a weapon. We need to fight it instead of laying down a welcome mat.”
  • UBI compensates for while leaving unchallenged the structures that cause inequality. This is no doubt why Silicon Valley is so much in favour of UBI as a way to tackle the problem of job losses through automation, because it ignores the question of the ownership of the technology. Instead, UBI accepts the status quo. By subsidising low wages there is a danger that UBI could encourage employers to further drive down wages and job security. This is a concern to disabled people who are statistically much more likely to be in low paid work than non-disabled people. A large proportion of politicised disabled people know that capitalism has no reason to accommodate us, in fact the very opposite, and that full disability equality cannot be achieved under the current system. Instead we need a socialist society operating on the principle of from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs.
  • The emancipatory impacts of UBI can only be realised by a level of payment sufficiently high to free us from wage labour. If the conditions were such that we could introduce that, it can be argued that we would then be in a situation where we had arrived at socialism and didn’t need UBI. Introducing a below poverty-line UBI will do little to improve the material circumstances of those who are most in need but would require a big upheaval – bearing in mind that millions are already suffering following the enormous shake up of the social security system introduced since 2010 – while creating a new pattern of winners and losers.
  • Britain is home to the biggest socialist movement in Europe where demands for a living wage, for health and social care support services free at the point of need and a social security system that provides an adequate standard of living free from conditionality are all popular. These are what we need to fight for.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/ubi-finland-centre-party-unemployment-jobs

[2] https://ocaptoronto.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/the-neoliberal-danger-of-basic-income/

 Posted by at 20:18
Feb 212018
 

 

On Sunday 11 February DPAC members from South London joined a Stand Up to Racism delegation to Calais to deliver donations to Care4Calais and to assist in their work supporting refugees still trapped in Northern France.

Setting off with a car full of items including coats, sleeping bags and cereal bars collected by DPAC members Sabina and Ellen at Brixton’s 336 building, and by South East London Stand Up to Racism at a weekly stall, the delegation was waved off by Paula Peters.

After a smooth journey down the motorway to Dover the DPAC delegation joined others from Stand Up to Racism on board the ferry. Once in France we quickly arrived at the Care4Calais warehouse where we delivered our car full of items before helping to unload the last few vans and cars delivering donations on the day. As well as our DPAC group there were lots of teachers, students, university and college staff, a delegation from a mosque, and a newly elected Labour councillor from Haringey who had come with his local Stand Up to Racism group.

Later in the afternoon we joined a team driving out from the warehouse to deliver aid to a group of refugees from Afghanistan who sleep under a motorway bridge without basic shelter. The area is extremely exposed with a biting icy wind in winter and no clean drinking water. The French police remove tents and sleeping bags so it was great to be able to go out and give them basic provisions for survival. While we were there an elderly local man arrived in a car to take one of the refugees who was sick away for medical treatment. The man is part of a local group of pensioners attached to the Catholic church who are determinedly protecting the refugees and helping save their lives regardless of the vitriol and hatred they are exposed to as a result from the National Front who have control of Calais council. It was clear that many of the refugees are disabled and have mental health support needs, as anyone living under those conditions would. We also heard stories about how their families had been killed by the Taliban and they could not return to Afghanistan.

Picture of fence and razor wire and sky above

Keith, a DPAC member, who joined the delegation reports: “At first I was very apprehensive about going to Calais. I did not know what to expect or what I would see. As you can imagine it was not good. We passed the Jungle. It was surrounded by razor wire and fencing which cost £4,000,000. Even though it (the jungle camp) has now been demolished, the size of it took my breath away. When we arrived at the refugee camp I was shocked. At least 30 men, all from Afghanistan, huddled around a little fire trying to keep warm. We had a generator so they could charge their mobile phones and this is their only communication back home. You here people saying refugees can’t be struggling because they have mobile phones, but they were donated and were at least 10 year old phones. As we opened the back of the van to hand out parcels with warm clothing in Wazim who speaks the best English told them all to form a queue. They did without fuss. When Wazim approached he noticed my hat, which if you know me is my favourite one. Something in that instant happened. I gave him it; he immediately hugged me like I had given him a million pounds. Twice he tried to give it back, but I would not accept. Once we finished handing out parcels we were urged to talk to the refugees. The stories were just horrendous, the police don’t leave them alone. Spray CS gas on sleeping bags. Put out their fires. I will never forget this trip. I will never forget Wazim. Look at the photo, I look content. Wazim is a Calais refugee, but he is also a survivor. Thank you Care4Calais for all you do. Solidarity 4 ever.”

Photo of Keith and Wazim infront of a white van

 

The day ended with a reception where volunteers and refugees gathered. We heard from Clare Moseley from Care4Calais who talked about how the British government had been complicit in perpetuating the suffering of the refugees. Mark from our delegation handed over a collection of over £600 raised by South East London Stand Up to Racism.

Refugees at the event told us their stories and their hopes for the future. This was followed by a showing of the award winning film by Sue Clayton “Calais Children: A case to answer” that looks at the experience of unaccompanied children who have been left trapped by the government’s failure to implement the Dubs amendment.
We returned to Britain determined both to spread the word about the conditions facing refugees and to return to Calais with more donations and a larger delegation.

If you would be interested in joining the next DPAC delegation to Calais or organising a collection for it please contact: mark.dunk@gmail.com

(Please note – due to conditions in Calais it may not be possible for people with some impairments to join the delegation. We are looking at accessibility solutions to allow as many people as possible who want to go to join future trips. Please get in touch to discuss your support needs if you would like to go but are unsure about anything.)

For more info on Stand Up To Racism and Care4Calais visit:
standuptoracism.org.uk
care4calais.org

 Posted by at 20:12
Feb 142018
 

No More Deaths on our Streets supported by DPAC

https://www.facebook.com/events/166541107460209/

 

March 3rd 3-6 pm

We will gather outside Downing Street to say enough is enough..
#NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets.

Lets get together & organise how we can prevent any further needless deaths.

Today another rough sleeper died on the cold London streets just yards from Parliament.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/homeless-man-dies-outside-parliament-12023659

Please bring along sleeping bags & other essential supplies that will keep people alive & we will also distribute these that day to those that may need them across London.

Bring noise, banners, smiles, anger & your friends.

This is a simple call out that needs more supporters asap so please add your group if you are part of one.

We MUST work together to stop this shit.

#SolidarityNotCharity

 

 Posted by at 19:27
Feb 132018
 

 

Reblogged from Evolve Poltics

https://evolvepolitics.com/stopfundingthetories-here-are-36-companies-youll-want-to-avoid-if-you-dont-want-to-unwittingly-fund-the-tories/

So, you would never vote Tory in a million years and you hate everything they stand for, but, are you really sure you’re not inadvertently handing over your hard-earned money to major Tory party donors?

#StopFundingTheTories

The Electoral Commission keeps records of major donations to political parties, and we’ve been having a long hard look at them to weed out all the companies that fund the Tories.

In a campaign we are calling #StopFundingTheTories, we want to raise awareness of the companies, products and services that, if you hand over your hard-earned money to, you are unwittingly funding the Conservative Party.

The Tory Party have a despicable track record in government for enacting policies that intentionally benefit the super-rich at the expense of the most vulnerable people in our society. Poverty is soaring, rough sleeping has more than doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010, and, due to the hateful, divisive, divide-and-rule rhetoric spouted by the Conservatives, hate crimes against minorities are now rising year on year. All this whilst the wealth of the very richest people in Britain has more than doubled.

In contrast to Labour, whose membership numbers have soared under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the Tories could now have as few as 60,000 paid-up members contributing to party coffers. And, due to this plummeting of their membership numbers, the Tories are now heavily reliant on their super-rich backers handing over vast sums of money to keep them afloat.

According the latest accounts, the Tories took in just £1,459,000 from ordinary membership fees, whilst Labour’s members contributed almost ten times as much to their party, at £14,393,000. The Tories, however, beat Labour in terms of donations.

Whilst Labour brought in over £14m, mostly made up of small donations from ordinary people, the Tories raked in more than £18m, almost exclusively from huge one-off donations from their super-rich backers.

In the last quarter [the Tories] received nearly £3million in private donations from less than 100 people. This means an average donation of £30,000 – or, as you or I would call it, a luxury car.

 

The Tories also received over £700,000 from 61 companies, with an average donation of over £10,000. A figure which goes to show exactly why their interests seem so closely wedded to corporations and the rich.

Donations to the Conservatives make up over 80% of donations by private individuals and corporations, whilst donations to Labour make up just under 0.5% of these figures.

It’s little wonder then that the Tories seem increasingly intent on pleasing their super-rich backers with policies that exclusively benefit them, to the detriment of ordinary people.

Given that there is very little likelihood of the Tories’ membership numbers rising any time soon, their only sustainable funding comes from the huge donations of their super-rich  backers – who are, through the products and services they sell, actually bankrolled by you and me – ordinary people. This means that, in essence, for every pound we hand over to one of these companies, a proportion of that money is then handed to the Tories.

So, if you want to avoid unwittingly funding the Tory party in any way, shape or form, here is a comprehensive list of the companies, products, and services you will want to avoid giving your money to at all costs.

Shopping

WestfieldThe company that owns Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City has donated almost £500k since 2008.

Selfridges. With shops in London, Birmingham and Manchester, the company has donated over £300k since 2009.

Bicester shopping village. Owned by Value Retail which has donated £9k since 2016.

Next. Director Simon Wolfson has donated over £400k since 2008.

JCB. You’re unlikely to be in the market for a bulldozer, but construction company JCB has licensed hundreds of products, from lightbulbs to boots to brooms to pyjamas. Since 2008, JCB and its subsidiaries have donated over £4.5m to the Tories.

Moonpig. Founder of flower and gift company Moonpig, Nick Jenkins, donated £166k between 2009-15.

Boden. CEO Julian Granville donated £12k between 2009-15.

Richer Sounds. Founder and 100% shareholder Julian Richer donated £150k between 2010-14

Services

Lycamobile. The SIM card company donated over £2m to the Tories between 2011-16.

Tempcover. Car insurance company, donated £400k since 2015.

Scottish Power. Have donated £48k since 2010. They’ve also given considerable amounts to Scottish Labour although the last donation was in 2016.

E.On UK. The gas and electricity supplier donated £8.4k to the Tories in 2016.

Pimlico Plumbers. Large London-based plumbers, have donated £65k since 2015

Microsoft Ltd (British subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation). £137k between 2006-15.

Food and drink

Sainsbury’s. President John Sainsbury has donated over £2m to the Tories since 2008.

Bestway. Cash and carry with huge network of outlets. Have donated over £700k since 2008.

Samworth Brothers. Make Ginsters, Soreen Malt Loaf, Melton Mowbray pies. Director Mark Samworth has donated £585,000 to the Tories since 2010.

Iceland. Director Malcolm Walker has donated £110k since 2012.

Warburtons. The bread company donated £25k in 2010.

Global Brands Ltd. Make various branded drinks including Hooch and VK alcopops.  Have donated £21k since 2015.

Radnor Hills Mineral Water Co Ltd. Mineral waters and fruit juices, donated £7k since 2015.

Frederic Robinson Ltd. Owns Robinson Breweries and 280 pubs in the north west. Produce various bottled and cask beers. Have donated £29k since 2012.

Delamere Dairy Ltd. Dairy products, especially goats milk. £7.5k since 2015.

Hotels and entertainment

Flamingo Land. This Yorkshire theme park and zoo has donated £83k since 2014.

The London Cabaret Club. Have donated £95k since 2015.

Imperial London Hotels Ltd. Seven hotels in central London. Have donated £12k since 2015.

Country House Weddings Ltd. Four wedding venues in the south. Have donated £33k since 2009.

Beds and Bars Ltd. Budget tourist accommodation in the UK and Europe. Donated £5k in 2017.

Cameron Mackintosh. The producer of Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton donated £15k between 2012-17.

Healthcare

Genix Healthcare Ltd. Network of NHS and private dental clinics. Has donated almost £500k since 2008.

New Cross Nursing Group Ltd. Nursing agency with branches across the country. Has donated £42k since 2014.

Travel

Gatwick Airport Ltd. Donated £18k in 2016.

National Express. The bus and coach company has donated £15k since 2011. They’ve also funded Labour in the past, although not since 2013.

Media

Express Newspapers Ltd. Donated £154k between 2008-17.

Northern and Shell. The company which publishes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, OK!, New!, and also owns Channel 5 and the Health lottery. Donated £10k in 2017. [A takeover by Trinity Mirror is imminent – Trinity Mirror are not Tory donors, as far as we can tell.]

 Posted by at 20:33
Feb 132018
 

If you’re planning a local action around March 1st please let us know.

UC Day of Action local protests

Brighton– March 1st Clock Tower, Brighton, 10.30 am – 1pm information handout.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/327263861014031/

 

Bristol – March 1st at Broadmead Shopping Centre 12 – 2 pm all meeting up in the middle. Please wear black if possible.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1575085919265099/

 

Ceredigion – March 3rd 11am – 1pm Guildhall, Cardigan, SA43 1JL

https://www.facebook.com/events/1725015990888709/

Chester- March 1st 12-2pm Job Centre Plus, City Road, Chester, CH1 3AQ

Facebook event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/177236042877566/

Derbyshire –  Online Event: 1-2pm

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1570832732972130/

 

Dundee-  March 1st 12-2 pm Job Centre Plus, Wellgate, DD1 2DB

 

Edinburgh
Thurs 1st March  1pm (till approx 2.30pm)
Leith Jobcentre, 199 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6JF

Edinburgh action called by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – grass-roots anti-austerity and disability rights groups invited to participate with their banners and stalls.

https://www.facebook.com/events/437482893334245/

 

Falmouth – March 1st 8-11am at Penryn Jobcentre, Penmarin House, Commercial Rd, Penryn TR10 8SB

https://www.facebook.com/events/560750934288894/

Leamington Spa Job Centre 58 Brandon Parade, CV32 meet noon

London (central action) –  11 am until 2pm.  House of Parliament, Westminster. Meet for 11 am outside visitor’s entrance to House of Commons

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/323792051472634/

London, Kentish Town – 1-2pm outside Kentish Town Job Centre

https://www.facebook.com/events/2060011490902572/

 

Manchester- March 1st at 13:00–15:00

Norwich – Norwich City Hall 12.30 – 2pm

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/217086858848908/

 

Sheffield–  12 noon until 1 pm.  Sheffield City Hall, Bakers Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1756747394635182/

 

York – March 1st 10am -12pm Monkgate, York

https://www.facebook.com/events/1609285995821063/

More info
https://dpac.uk.net/2018/01/national-day-of-action-to-stopandscrap-universal-credit-march-1st/
https://dpac.uk.net/2018/01/dpac-position-statement-and-motion-for-union-branches-on-universal-credit/

 Posted by at 16:26