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
 

 

 

This is Wazim. Wazim is a Calais refugee. At first I was very apprehensive , about going to Calais. Did not know what to expect or what I would see. As you can imagine it was not good. On the way to this site , we passed the jungle. It was surrounded by razor wire and fencing which cost 4000000 pounds. Even though it has now been demolished , the size of it took my breath away. When we arrived at Wazim’s 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 . Before all you racist , anti immigrant bigots jump on the fact they had mobile phones , 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 go 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 1000000 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 them. 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 yesterday. I will never forget Wazim. Look at the photo , I look content. Wazim is a Calais refugee, but he is also a survivor. Thankyou @care4 Calais for all you do. Solidarity 4 ever.

Keith

 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/

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/

 

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
Feb 122018
 

Letter-from-the-Chair-to-SoS-for-Department-of-Work-and-Pensions-relating-to-PIP-appeal-data-9-February-2018

Work and Pensions Committee

14 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NB

Tel 020 7219 5831 Email

workpencom@parliament.uk

Website www.parliament.uk/workpencom

 

From the Chair

 

9 February 2018

 

Rt Hon Esther McVey

Secretary of State

Department for Work and Pensions

 

PIP appeal data

During our inquiry on PIP and ESA assessments, your Department kindly provided to us

estimated unit costs of MRs and Appeals. This indicated that different costs are attached to

PIP appeals depending on whether they relate to new or reassessed claims.

Seeking to understand the financial implications of appeals for the Department, Committee

staff inquired on 30 January:

Of the 170,000 PIP appeals since 2013, how many were for new claims and how

many were reassessments?

We were duly informed:

The information on the number of PIP appeals is from HMCTS published statistics

and this information is not available from HMCTS for new claims and reassessments

We were therefore unable to estimate the full cost of appeals to your Department, although

the Ministry of Justice informed us that in 2016/17 its appeals expenditure was £103 million.

(Cost of Social Security and Child Support appeals, of which the majority relate to PIP/ESA.)

 

It was with some surprise, therefore, that we today received data released in response to an

FOI request. This provided estimated costs per month spent on PIP appeals broken down

by new and reassessed claims.

 

You will be aware that we are shortly due to publish our report. That this data was provided

in response to an FOI request, but not for our Report, is doubly regrettable since the key

theme of our report is the need to introduce much greater trust and transparency into the PIP

and ESA systems.

 

Might you please explain how this occurred?

 

Best wishes,

Rt Hon Frank Field MP

Chair

 

 Posted by at 20:24
Feb 072018
 

In solidarity with Women’s Strike DPAC supports the Women’s Strike in London.

Taking place in more than 56 countries on International Women’s Day, the strike, organised by the Women’s Strike Assembly UK will see women walk out of paid work in offices, shops and factories, as well as unpaid domestic work in homes, communities and bedrooms.

Women’s Strike – 8 March 2018
Actions and events will be announced in the coming weeks – stay tuned!

Capitalism has always relied on the free labour of women to provide support for the paid work of men and to nurture families even when women themselves are also working. The children of women then become the next generation suffering Capitalist exploitation. Working women have 2 jobs – one paid- often low paid and one unpaid.

Regardless of this the only work that is valued both economically and socially is work contributing to the market economy, through the production of goods and services. As disabled people we know this from first hand experience as even those of us who aren’t women have been scapegoated as useless eaters by the Tories and their corporate lackies.

Like disabled people women are often devalued, and divided leaving them with little power to fight against their oppressors. When women do join together and fight back however they can achieve amazing things like Greenham Common, Women for Peace  Campaign in Belfast, Sisters Uncut and the amazing Focus E15 Mums.

So DPAC women please support this strike from home or if possible on the street in London or Birmingham. For the first time since 2010 there will be no service available from DPAC on March 8th as we support the strike.

 Posted by at 20:44
Feb 052018
 

Summary

No one will lose what they’ve already been awarded.

No one will have to have a face to face assessment – the 1.6 million claims being reviewed.

Your money if you’re entitled to more following the court case and new rules will be backdated if you would qualify under the new rules.

full details in Hansard link

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-01-30/debates/F35E85CB-FF67-467E-AD63-1C13EB1EC32B/PIPBackPayments#contribution-63A310F8-D0A8-4D50-9E81-D402E30498AB

 

 Posted by at 21:34
Feb 012018
 
Mike works for the Chronicle, Newcastle, and is looking for someone who has suffered through PIP assessments. he needs a case study from the North East – Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham – who is prepared to be photographed and named in the story.

If you are willing to help with this please email him mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk or his direct line is 0191 201 6406

 Posted by at 13:15
Jan 232018
 
 Posted by at 14:15
Jan 232018
 

Please respond to the latest Office For Rail and Road consultation on Assisted travel. It is really important that they have as many responses as possible so the strength of public opinion cannot be ignored. That is why it is vital everyone responds as an individual or as a family to say they want staff on stations and trains. With 13.3 million people reporting a disability in 2015/16 we all have friends and relatives who will be discriminated against if there are no staff at stations or on trains. Women too will be much more at risk when traveeling.Below is a suggested response or you can send in whatever you want to say. Please share with friends and family and ask them to respond also.

Just e-mail DPPP@orr.gsi.gov.uk with your name and address by 31 January 2018

Suggested text 

Dear ORR 

Assisted Travel Consultation  

I recently read your consultation document

http://orr.gov.uk/rail/consultations/open-consultations/improving-assisted-travel-consultation

and very much welcome that you state “Our vision is to empower confident use of the railway by all”

As you are no doubt aware there are currently a number of proposals to introduce Driver Only Operation on trains.

I believe that passengers deserve more than just a guaranteed driver on a train and that as a minimum there should be a fully qualified and safety critical Guard, as well as the driver.

I believe it is guards and station staff who are absolutely crucial to ensuring confident safe, secure and accessible rail experience for all, but especially the older, vulnerable or disabled passenger. 

I want to see more not less staff at stations and on trains. It is the staff on the railway who assist passengers and provide invaluable information, help, advice, security, safety and re-assurance. They must be retained at stations and on trains if disabled, older and vulnerable passengers are not going to be discriminated against and are free to travel as and when they want, safe in the knowledge that help is close by and they are not alone on the train.

I hope you will take on board my concerns and ensure that these essential staff are retained so that my family and I can have the same access to rail transport as everybody else, to be able to go where everyone else goes and to do so easily, confidently and safely.

Thanking you in anticipation

Add your name

 Posted by at 14:00
Jan 202018
 

Accessibility

NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW

EmergencyNHS Demonstration – Saturday 3 February

The short march will assemble at 1:30pm outside Charing Cross Station.

SHORT MARCH
If disabled people do not wish to go on the full march, but wish to participate in the Short March, The Short March will be meeting at 1.30 pm Outside Charing Cross Station
Getting there:
If not going on full March, but wish to participate in short March, Bus No 91 goes to Trafalgar Sq, Go to Bus Stop X and alight at Bus Stop K which is Charing Cross/Trafalgar Sq Bus Stop. (People travelling from Kings Cross/Euston).
Meet at Bus Stop H which is the Bus Stop for Charing Cross outside the Main Station.
Buses 6,9,15,23,139 and 176 all stop at Bus stop H.
40 yards down the road is a dropped kerb where disabled people can get into the road safely and lead the march to the Speakers Rally which is opposite Downing Street.

FULL MARCH

  • If disabled people wish to participate in the full march they welcome to
  • The full march assembles at 12pm at Gower Street WC1E 8BT which is close by to University College London Hospital
  • Nearest Accessible Train stations for the full march are Kings Cross St Pancras and Euston
  • Kings Cross has step free access from Platform to Street Level on underground lines
For those who do not wish to participate in either the full or short March but may wish to see the Rally and hear the speakers:
The Rally will be held at:
Downing Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AA

Nearest accessible underground station to Downing Street is Westminster, Jubliee Line is step free from Platform to Street Level. Turn right out of lift and then 100- 200 yards at the end of the road turn right into parliament street/whitehall and opposite Downing Street will be the stage for the rally.

The Rally will be provided with BSL and there will be a safe space at the front of the stage so that BSL users and disabled people using mobility equipment or needing space from large crowds can access.  Please get into the space before 2.15 pm.

After the demo is finished:

If returning to Kings Cross/Euston.  Bus Stop F (opposite Charing Cross Station) Number 91 Bus stops there.

This has been organised by DPAC, HCT and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

If you have any questions please contact mail@dpac.uk.net or office@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

 

 Posted by at 18:43
Jan 192018
 

At quarter to four this afternoon the Government sent PLP a letter confirming that they will not be appealing RF’s win at the High Court. This means that as of tomorrow – Regulation 2(4) from the 2017 Regulations is quashed and the original 2012 Regulation on planning and following a journey stands. The MH judgement also still stands (see further below), so those with psychological distress can be considered for all descriptors in planning and following journeys (Activity 11).

The Government have announced that they will now go through all affected cases and work out where backpayments/increases are due (see link from Hansard and excerpt below) http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-01-19/HCWS414/

The key difficulty May be that they have said during litigation that they don’t have records of who is affected, so how they will begin that process is unknown. Mind estimate around 160,000 people will be affected.

If you might have been affected by this illegal change sneaked in last March then please get in touch with DWP and/or your MP to ask for your money to be reinstated and backdated.

The decision not to appeal was apparently made by lovely Esther who said “I hope that by making this statement it is clear that the Government is committed to improving the lives of people with a Mental Health condition.”

I am sure all of you who have a MH condition will be very pleased to know this although you might also be rolling around laughing at her empty words.

 Posted by at 17:07
Jan 152018
 

Have you experienced barriers to legal action re your Human rights?

Please let me know If you have ever taken legal action regarding your rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 or if various barriers has prevented you from doing this, such as

The lack of:

·        information about how the Human Rights Act 1998 applies to Deaf and Disabled people

·        information about how to take legal action, including how to find a lawyer

·        legal aid or any other finances

Please send your experience to Henrietta.Doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk by 22 January.

Your experience will help inform Inclusion London’s evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights ‘Defending Rights: attitudes to enforcement inquiry. Information about the inquiry is below:

‘Scope of the inquiry

The United Kingdom has a proud tradition of respect for human rights.

Those rights are supported by political parties, and such rights have long been an integral part of common law, as well as being enshrined in statute by the Human Rights Act 1998.

However much rights may be recognised and protected within the legal framework, there can be barriers to achieving a culture which understands and respects human rights and practical barriers to those who wish to enforce their legal rights.

In this wide-ranging inquiry, the Joint Committee on Human Rights is calling for evidence on factors which may impede individuals from using the UK’s human rights framework effectively.’ 

 Posted by at 21:33
Jan 132018
 
 

 

 

 

This is from a post sent to us asking us to make people aware of the issues

Brighter Berkshire/Conservatives for Mental Health

I am worried about labour politicians being co-opted into promoting Conservative mental health policy in mental health initiatives that have cross party support. There is metal health awareness campaign in Swindon started by a conservative and is using Conservatives for Mental Health to work under. The women who has started it is calling on people from all parties to work together. http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/15559149.Activist_launches_cross_party_campaign_to_tackle_mental_health_issues/ This is the organisation that she is working with https://www.conservativesformentalhealth.co.uk/

There is a mental health awareness raising campaign called Brighter Berkshire that looks quite similar. It says it has cross party support but to my mind shows conservative bias and has Theresa May on the front page and Richard Benyon, Tory MP for Berkshire is heavily involved. They tweeted support for Richard Benyon in the run up to the General Election. They get involved at about the time they were both talking about new Conservative mental health campaigns.

Looking at this closely it seems there is an emphasis on cutting services and putting pressure on getting people back to work as cheap labour. Here is a link to Brighter Berkshire http://brighterberkshire.com/ Unfortunately a small number of labour politicians have got involved and endorsed the campaigns, one being Matt Rodda MP for Reading East.

I am worried that Brighter Berkshire become a model for mental health awareness campaigns across the country and that they will be used to promote Tory policy and make them look good. So I would be grateful if you could discuss this and address it at a national level and warn labour MP\’s to be careful before attaching themselves to any mental health campaigns to make sure they are not biased campaigns or promote Tory policies.

I have set up a facebook group about this. The founder of Brighter Berkshire is on group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/199827027227205/ Feel free to share it around or join.

 Posted by at 20:57
Jan 132018
 

Whatever happened to free speech and freedom of opinion? It seems that this is something Tory MPs don’t believe in especially when it is a disabled person exercising those rights.

Mick Hardy, a veteran disability rights campaigner from Norfolk, is being taken to court for shouting at Chloe Smith MP at the Norwich Pride Parade 2017 where she gave a speech. What exactly could Mick have said that would lead him to be charged with allegedly inciting public disorder and threatening behaviour ? What could he possibly have shouted at the Tory scumbag that would lead her to take him to court?

You might have guessed but if not Mick shouted “Chloe Smith you’re a fucking little Nazi.” Surely for any MP being heckled like this is just part of the job- and for a Tory MP being called a Nazi must be par for the course. And of course Chloe Smith is little about the same height as me so it can’t be that word she took offence at.

Mick is not online. Mick has both physical and mental health conditions. Chloe Smith knows who Mick is because he stood against her as the Disabled And Not Dead Yet Party candidate at the 2015 general election.

Mick says ‘this is a very stressful time and he wants to thank everyone from the bottom of his heart for all their support. He refuses to be intimidated because he is only highlighting what is happening to those most vulnerable to Tory cuts in society! Solidarity.’

120,000 people have died because of ‘economic murder’ inflicted by Chloe Smith and her party as reported in The British Medical Journal. If we leave the system unchanged until 2020 then 200,000 people will have died because of Tory policies. Mick says “When are we allowed to mention the Nazis? How do we make them stop if we don’t protest?”

The treatment of disabled people under this government has been described as a ‘Human Catastrophe’ by the United Nations.

If people living nearby want to come to court to support Mick come at 9am on the 9th February to Norwich courts. BBC will be there.
It gave Mick a great lift to know people are talking about his case and offering support.

Depending on the outcome of this totally vacuous case we may need to help crowdfund for Mick’s court costs all because he exercised his right to free speech.

Mind and DPAC protest at the Transforming Mental Health Contract

Solidarity Mick from all at DPAC.

 

 

 Posted by at 13:49
Dec 312017
 

As always we are so grateful to you all for the various types of support we’ve had this year from you. Without that support none of the things we do would be possible. We’ve seconded four extra people to the Steering Group this year and are very happy to welcome their input. We also always need help with the more boring admin tasks that are nevertheless so vital so if anyone has any time or energy to spare please get in touch with us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Also too I hope nothing vital is missed out of this round up but with around 15 pages of notes it is difficult to make sure everything and everyone is included.

This year saw yet another General Election and that together with the Brexit catastrophe we seem to be facing has made it difficult to raise our issues with politicians although we’ve succeeded in making ourselves very visible to them several times this year.

The unprecedented UN inquiry which we instigated found that the Tories (and indeed the Lib Dems and Sir Nick Clegg) were guilty of both the grave and systematic violation of our rights.

DPAC together with ROFA and Black Triangle Campaign have also been to Geneva in March and August to present further evidence to support these violations to the UN Disability Committee.This year as well as continuing to work on the Inquiry the Committee carried out the normal periodic review of the UK’s implementation of UNCRPD. This involved submitting two further detailed reports proving the regression and abuse disabled people face in the UK .

The UN report from this review was again very damning and Chair of the Committee, Teresia Derenger described what has happened to disabled people under the Tories rule as a “human catastrophe.”

 

We await the government’s response to that report which will no doubt be yet another barrage of lies and deceits as they thrash around trying to justify their horrendous treatment of disabled people. Meanwhile the research team continue to work closely with the UN to gather further detailed evidence of the atrocities faced on a daily basis.

 

Protests – both local and national

January started off with a protest at the High Court supporting Doug Paulley in his discrimination case against First Bus company.

We also protested against underhand changes to PIP regulations which were sneaked in and which have now been legally challenged.

LetmeLook TV

 

The judgement for the legal challenge is due any day now and we have been actively involved in supporting this including in November a vigil once again at the High Court with Mental Health Resistance Network and Winvisible.

We continue to work closely with the free psychotherapy network made up of MH survivors and professionals plus a smattering of others and had a lively early morning protest outside the Savoy Conference Centre with them.

We joined in with UNITE’s National Day of Action against Benefit sanctions as did many local DPAC groups at the end of March.

March and April saw a lot of joint actions with RMT over the plans to introduce Driver Only Operated trains which for disabled people will be a disaster further reducing our ability to travel when and where we want. Further protests with RMT have continued throughout the year in London, Yorkshire, Ipswich and Brighton in particular.

 

April and May also saw us very busy both visibly and invisibly fighting to #TrashtheTories as part of our #NotthefuckingTories election campaigning. We held our week of action from April 14th-21st.

We held a Tories Out protest at parliament and tried to get into Tory party HQ although surprisingly they didn’t let us in and barricaded themselves behind locked doors.

LetmeLookTV

https://lucaneve.photoshelter.com/gallery-slideshow/G00008dg0Wwz.5jA/C0000GPpTqAGd2Gg?start

As part of  #TrashtheTories we joined activists from Berkshire DPAC in Maidenhead (Theresa’s constituency) on June 2nd and also on the same day activists in Windsor to get our message about her and Theresa’s team out to the electorate. We had earlier considered visiting the village she lives in, Sonning, but the many heavily armed guards and lack of accessible toilets made it an undesirable target. What it is to be so popular you have to be protected by dozens of armed police.

We also invested a lot of money, time and effort into facebook adverts during the election campaign which allowed us to reach over half a million voters in the most marginal constituencies with a series of messages. Not all of the responses we got back to the adverts were positive as some of those we reached were Tory or UKIP voters. In London we had an active and successful campaign in Croydon to get rid of the sitting Tory MP and held hustings in several places as well as enrolling disabled voters.

https://dpac.uk.net/2017/06/dpac-launches-election-film-series/

DPAC Launches Election Film Series

Given the election and the loss of time for serious lobbying we thought in July just before MPs went off for the summer recess that they needed to be reminded we’re still here so we blocked the lobby entrance in parliament getting much needed media attention from that action. Later this year we were shortlisted for a Liberty Human Rights prize for this.

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

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/07/19/529018/Demonstrators-block-UKs-House-of-Commons

https://www.rt.com/uk/396813-protesters-wheelchairs-disability-parliament/

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

We also joined a number of other protests the Budget Day Protest, various NHS protests both against STPs and calling for a Scrap to the Cap on pay, Anti-Atos protest in July, and a National Day of Action against Universal Credit about which we are calling for #StopandScrap and not merely #PauseandFix as we do not believe UC can be fixed as it is like the WCA essentially flawed based as it is on conditionality.

Manchester DPAC also planned and hosted the protest at the Tory Party Conference there organising a wall of noise to disrupt Theresa’s speech.

Local groups have also been involved in many local campaigns and protests against STPs, Atos, Maximus and DWP assessments, Housing Benefit cuts, against loss of local services, and against closures of Job Centres and women’s refuges to name but a few.

Speaking and other activities

DPAC activists have spoken at events and meetings around the country far too many to mention them all but some events DPAC speakers spoke at include Bridges without Walls, RMT rallies, International Women’s Day, Norwich May Day rally, National Pensioners Party Conference, Marxism, CWU disabled workers conference, Reb Law, South West UNITE Bristol history seminar, Bristol Austerity March, Pembrokeshire demo to unseat Stephen Crabb, Weston General Hospital save A&E department, anti DUP rally called by Owen Jones, NEU disabled workers’ conference,  LRC fringe at PCS conference, and speech sent to UCU Equalities Conference.

At the Labour Party Conference Paula spoke as a CLP delegate and raised the attacks against disabled people and Ellen spoke at the PCS meeting on transforming social security, at Momentum’s a World Transformed festival and was also on a panel with Dawn Butler and Owen Jones. Roger also spoke at a fringe meeting.

We also had a number of successful local direct action workshops through our Lock Up Your Wheelchairs tour.

Last February we also exhibited various art installations at the LUSH summit which lasted for 2 days and had over 2,000 visitors.

We’ve also with help from some of you been interviewed for numerous programmes both for viewing in the UK and abroad, written articles for publication both here and abroad and generally kept spreading the word whenever possible. As well as this we’ve had various research interviews for projects and helped with film work especially for the election campaign.

More recently a DPAC steering group member was involved in co-ordinating the National Disabled People’s Summit including 14 workshops to look at how we can more effectively co-ordinate our resistance to the Tories and bringing together ROFA and TUC disabled members. We also funded and organised with support from ROFA an Independent Living Campaign Conference and have been working closely with Fuel Poverty Action group against restrictions on the cap on energy Bills which at the moment will exclude many people who should get this help.

We have also supported disabled and anti-racism campaigners in Bristol to respond to the murder of disabled asylum seeker Kamil Ahmed and plan a national event for next year.

Next year we also plan a major campaign to #StopandScrap Universal Credit and will continue as always to fight for disabled people’s right to live independently with the right levels of support.

 Posted by at 18:38
Dec 192017
 

The outcome of the PIP legal challenge against the changes to who qualifies for Mobility component which will affect people with a MH condition is due to be handed down this week – either tomorrow or Thursday and there are a number of press people interested in reporting on it. However they want to speak to someone who will also be affected therefore I wondered whether any of you feel able to speak to them if needed about your own situation.

 

If you would be willing to please could you email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with your contact phone number.

 Posted by at 16:37
Dec 112017
 

This guide has been produced by Winvisible with support from others. If your GP or support worker etc don’t know what to do this information should be passed onto them.

Benefit assessments – exemption to protect ‘vulnerable’ patients
There is a great deal of evidence about the profound distress which face-to-face assessments for disability benefits can cause, especially for women and men with mental health conditions. The prospect of interview can induce overwhelming anxiety, panic and dissociative states, levels of stress and distress that can precipitate serious relapses, leading to psychiatric admissions and even suicides. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Jed Boardman said: “You see people relapsing as a consequence of getting distressed about being assessed.” (Fit-for-work tests linked to relapses in those with mental health problems Guardian 24 November 2015.)
Therefore it is vital that professionals know about the benefit system regulations on exemption from the face-to-face interview and for assessment on paper evidence.
They can quote these to protect vulnerable patients from harmful distress and deterioration, and/or enable them to stay out of hospital. Professionals who can state their opinion include: GP, care co-ordinator, psychologist, psychiatrist, key worker, support worker, therapist, counsellor, Independent Domestic Violence Advocate… Opinions from non-medical staff are relevant to describe people’s problems functioning.
It is important to recommend exemption from the face-to-face interview very clearly. Don’t recommend a home visit: this can be worse than an assessment centre interview, as for women rape survivors or others, their home is their safe space which would be violated by an official visit. You may be rung by the assessor as a follow-up, so make sure you are up-to-date with your patient’s situation.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are different benefits with different reasons for exemption:
 ESA is an out-of-work benefit based on limited capability for work where complete exemption from back-to-work conditions is possible. In places where ESA is replaced by Universal Credit (UC), this exemption is in UC regulations 2013 Schedule 8 and also applies to the compulsory “Health and Work Conversation”. Widespread opposition to the brutal UC regime has delayed national rollout.
 PIP is widely claimed by both unwaged and waged people for daily living/care and mobility needs, and is not part of UC.
Companies hold DWP contracts to open mail, scan and distribute it and to carry out assessments, but confidentiality is used to exclude evidence. If a support letter marked “Confidential” goes to the assessor company, the DWP says under confidentiality, it won’t then be disclosed to a DWP Case Manager (PIP Assessment Guide Part One, 1.4.13). As proper consideration often depends on DWP review, don’t mark your report confidential.
ESA
Under “Exceptional Circumstances”, you can say that there would be substantial risk to the patient’s health if they were put under work conditions for benefit, so they should be exempted from these and the exam. This regulation means the person is already accepted as satisfying the test for ESA (limited capability for work) so doesn’t have to be seen. Substantial risk to health can be mental health, or physical health e.g. risk of heart
attack from stress. Risk to mental health covers not only suicide risk, but also sudden deterioration in mental state: PTSD flashbacks, panic attacks, hearing voices, or similar.
Substantial risk regulations: https://wcainfo.net/issues/substantial-risk-lcw 1. A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant. 2. Subject to paragraph (3) this paragraph applies if … (b) the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work. 3. Paragraph (2)(b) does not apply where the risk could be reduced by a significant amount by – (a) reasonable adjustments being made in the claimant’s workplace; or (b) the claimant taking medication to manage the claimant’s condition where such medication has been prescribed for the claimant by a registered medical practitioner treating the claimant.
Regulation 25 (2013) (4)
(4) In this regulation ―medical evidence‖ means—
(a) evidence from a health care professional approved by the Secretary of State; and
(b) evidence (if any) from any health care professional or a hospital or similar institution, or such part of such evidence as constitutes the most reliable evidence available in the circumstances.
PIP DWP guidance states that assessors should determine if they can assess the claim from the paper evidence they already have, or if they should get further evidence from professionals, before proceeding to arrange a face-to-face exam — they call it consultation. (PIP Assessment Guide, Part One – The Assessment Process, 1.2.2/1.3.6, 2 November 2017) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655611/pip-assessment-guide-part-1-assessment-process.pdf The assessor can make a decision from paper evidence where “there is strong evidence on which to advise on the case and a face-to-face consultation is likely to be stressful for the claimant…” (1.5.4) Assessors “should also consider the needs of vulnerable claimants”, that is “someone who has difficulty dealing with procedural demands” including “a previous suicide attempt, domestic violence, abuse or bereavement.” (1.3.11)
1.5.4 “Cases that should not require a face-to-face consultation” ―Although each case should be determined individually, the following types of case should not normally require a face-to-face consultation: […] • There is strong evidence on which to advise on the case and a face-to-face consultation is likely to be stressful for the claimant (for example, claimants with autism, cognitive impairment or learning disability) • The claimant questionnaire indicates a high level of disability, the information is consistent, medically reasonable and there is nothing to suggest over-reporting – (examples may include claimants with severe neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, severely disabling stroke) • There is sufficient detailed, consistent and medically reasonable information on function.
The medical evidence sent on paper has to be “robust” to enable the test for benefit to be met, and should include comments about how functioning is affected. WinVisible won exemption from the PIP exam for a rape survivor who felt suicidal and was at risk of flashbacks, based on “consultation may be stressful to the claimant”. The assessor rang the woman’s GP for his opinion after his letter was sent in. She was granted full rates for both daily living and mobility.
Where should support letters be directed?
ESA
Assessments are carried out by multinational company Maximus (under the name Health Assessment Advisory Service) on behalf of the DWP.
• If your patient is filling in the ESA50 form, attach your support letter to the form and make sure it is listed on the form.
• If your patient can’t cope with the form, or if an interview date has already been sent out, fax it headed FME (Further Medical Evidence) to HAAS London central fax: 0208 795 8647. This is the procedure recommended by HAAS call centre staff. It should have the claimant’s name and NI No. at the top of each numbered page.
• If your patient has an appointment date and HAAS are refusing to postpone this, or are still requiring her to attend despite your request for exemption, email the same correspondence with a cover note raising your complaint to the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (Maximus head office). Ask them to put the appointment on hold pending the decision on exemption: email: customer-relations@chdauk.co.uk They usually reply within two days. Always cc the MP and ask them to follow it up on behalf of the claimant.
PIP
Assessments are carried out by Atos (or in some geographical areas by Capita). To send in your medical evidence requesting exemption, you can:
 Email Atos pip-customerservice@atos.net
 Write to the DWP’s Disability and Carers Service, address is on the patient’s PIP letter. And/or email them at blackpoolbc.customercomplaints@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
 If you are not sure where to send it, call the PIP helpline on 03458 503 322.
Getting support from MPs’ caseworkers
Ask if your patient is ready to contact their MP and ask for support for their exemption and paper-based assessment. Google “Find my MP” or search the Parliament website, choosing the constituency contacts. MPs’ caseworkers have direct lines to benefit officials and can often quickly resolve distressing situations. Involving the MP gets your concerns taken more seriously. Assessor companies have staff specifically for MPs’ enquiries. Ms A wrote to us: “I just wanted to let you know, it is with a happy heart I read the opened letter from the DWP this afternoon with my PIP results. I am most grateful for the advice that it is OK to ask my psychiatrist specifically for a paper based assessment. I know not everyone is like this and that particularly with the disabled people’s movement, a lot of work and effort goes into asserting good self-image. In mental health, addictions, abuse/domestic violence situations, I think there is something very unseen and unaddressed going on that makes women like me and others, more likely to be unable to meet the demands of the benefits system. More likely to fall between the cracks.”
Compiled by WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)
with warm thanks to: Diane Frazer, psychotherapist; Dr Jay Watts, clinical psychologist;
Marcin Brajta, Hackney Community Law Centre
Contact WinVisible:
Crossroads Women’s Centre
25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX
Email win@winvisible.org
Web www.winvisible.org
Tel: 020 7482 2496

 Posted by at 18:50
Dec 092017
 

DWP freefone numbers December 2017

Access to work 08001217479

Benefit enquiry line 08001690310

DLA adult and child 08001214600

DLA mobility 08001216379

DWP online help desk 08001690154

Induustrial Injuries Disabled benefit 08001218379

Jobcentre enquiry line 08001690190

Maternity Allowance enquiry line 08001690283

PIP enquiries 08001214433

Social Fund enquiries 08001690140

UC live service 0800 3289344
UC full service 0800 3285644
UC housing 0800 3283844
UC sanctions 0800 3289744
UC live to full service transfers 0800 3287844

 

 Posted by at 19:13
Dec 092017
 
Sarah Graham – Freelance Journalist

#JournoRequest:Sarah wants to hear from disabled young adults (20-30ish) who are desperate to move out of their parents’ home but struggling to find the accessible housing they’d need to live independently.

Perhaps you’d need certain adaptations that housing providers and private landlords aren’t prepared to make, or your local authority doesn’t have enough accessible housing to meet the demand. You might even be considering buying your own place, and paying for the adaptations yourself, but that’s just not affordable right now. Whatever your situation, if you’re disabled and stuck living with mum and dad in your 20s, I’d love to hear about your experiences of trying to fly the nest.

Please email or message me if you can help – contact@sarah-graham.co.uk. It’s for a sensitive feature looking at the problems disabled millennials face accessing suitable housing – case studies do need to be happy being identified.

 Posted by at 17:28
Dec 082017
 

As people are likely to know Phillip Hammond is blaming disabled people being part of the UK workforce for lower productivity rates. This is without any evidence being provided to support this bollocks. So we’d like to reply to Phillip and let him know what we all think about this latest abuse. Please feel free to tweet this post to Tory MPs including @TheresaMay

Apologies to anyone who is sensitive to what some might consider bad language.

Philip Hammond is a prick. We know this, you know this  – everybody knows this. Let’s not encourage him. Assume everything he says is just pure shite. This load of shite is particularly dangerous because it reinforces stereotypes and myths, and enables othering. More dangerously, some people feel empowered to go further than othering and take their frustrations out on people who’ve done nothing but try to live the best lives they can.
Don’t be a prick. Don’t believe or peddle this shite.
And Philip Hammond should fuck off now.
 Posted by at 11:59
Nov 212017
 

On November 16 2017, during a  House of Lords debate on Universal Credit, Lord Shinkwin, who is himself disabled, accused MPs from the ‘hard left’ of scaremongering, and exaggerating the problems that Universal Credit is causing.

We know that the problems are already very real, and directly impacting on disabled people.

When Disabled people in high places like Lord Skinkwin downplay what is happening it makes it much more difficult for campaigners to get our voices heard.

So DPAC is encouraging anyone who has a personal story about how Universal Credit is causing you problems to write to him and let him know.

You can write to him at: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW

Or send an email marked for him in the subject line to: contactholmember@parliament.uk

Please send copies of your letters and any response you receive to us here at: mail@dpac.uk.net

His speech is available on the Hansard website.

 Posted by at 22:16