Oct 022017
 

At the People’s Assembly march in Manchester having allowed people into the official protest area at the Tory party Conference yesterday the police then proceeded to kettle them. DPAC activists then blocked a tram line in protest at what they saw as an unfair move by the scores of extra police who had been drafted into Manchester to protect the Tories.

 

Sadly the police in Manchester reacted rather aggressively to this and 2 disabled people were arrested and a veteran activist in his 80s was left badly bruised by being man-handled by them.

http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=4131

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-41462576

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, child and outdoor

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing and outdoor

Rick burgess of Manchester DPAC said “DAN (Direct Action Network) veteran & MDPAC member Dennis Queen has been charged with Public Nuisance after their arrest yesterday. We reject utterly the heavy handed policing and targeting of disabled people, all to protect a government found guilty of Grave & Systemic human rights abuses. If there are any arrests to be made it is of the Conservative party government over their democide of disabled people. Whatever costs Dennis incurs we pledge to meet with a crowdfunding drive. Our community shall not be victimised like this.”

Another member Sharon Hooley has been cautioned by police for protesting yesterday. Rick said “Full respect and support for her brave stand in defiance of quisling security forces protecting an unlawful government.” At one stage Sharon another wheelchair user was surrounded by 13 police officers.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155721308715489&set=gm.1831546200399434&type=3&theater&ifg=1

 

 

 

Apr 072014
 

DPAC_coloured_Logo_2__biggerWe are very much looking forward to seeing everyone who can come to our national conference on Saturday but it is also important that those of you who can’t get there in person are able to take part. There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Send messages of support and your ideas for what DPAC should focus on over the next year to mail@dpac.uk.net or @dis_ppl_protest.These will be put up on the graffiti wall at the conference and included in the notes from the day.
  • Watch the conference live on:

http://bambuser.com/channel/OccupyLondon and http://bambuser.com/channel/DPAC

  • Live tweet your questions and contributions to @dis_ppl_protest

  Or email: mail@dpac.uk.net

 The program for the day is at DPAC Conference 2014 Saturday 12th April – Conference Programme

Feb 122014
 

The care system in the UK today is desperately under funded and not fit for purpose. Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services. One of the areas causing great concerns is  Community Care Assessments .

CarerWatch are working with supportive MPs, and collecting evidence of how our members, and others, may be affected.

If you have experience of a Community Care Assessment, could you please complete this survey.

http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/carerwatch/community-care-assessments/

Feel free to share with others.

We will also be doing a survey next on Carers’ Assessments too.

Any questions please contact admin@carerwatch.com

Many thanks

Reposted with thanks from CarerWatch http://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/share-your-experience-of-community-care-assessments-survey/

Twitter: @CarerWatch

 

 

Jul 162013
 

A Q&A was held on July 4th at Southwark Independent Living Centre with ConDem MP Simon Hughes and Labour Councillor Neil Coyle.  

 

Although Hughes tried to talk the time out (spoke for over 20 mins of the hours set aside for the session!) and he and the Labour councillors played political football, THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH IT.

There was a furious response from the people who attended – about 70 disabled people, carers and support workers.  Excellent questions were asked and Disabled People’s Organisation Southwark Disablement Association who had organised the event made sure those of us with prepared questions were able to speak.

Several people came up to SDPAC members after and said they were really pleased to hear confident and clear political challenges on what are, for many, life and death issues and we collected quite a few signatures on the bedroom tax petition.

Hughes actually showed himself up as hopelessly ignorant and actually tried to defend the bedroom tax.  He left looking very uncomfortable indeed.  Neil Coyle was passed one of the leaflets to announce the bedroom tax protest when he was summing up.  He said ‘I don’t want my photo being taken with this leaflet’!  We laughed like drains. He talked left and played to the gallery but we challenged him to stop the bedroom tax and turn words into action.

 

 

May 162013
 

Organising in our communities, struggling for change
A practical day working towards mass grass roots resistance and beyond

Loads of us are involved in a wide range of struggles and campaigns, but we tend to do our own thing and generally don’t link up with others who live or work near us. Many others hate the present system but don’t know where to start to change things. So what do we do?

In order to create an alternative and to build the kind of society we want to see we need to start from the grassroots. One of many things we need to do is to organise in our streets, estates, workplaces and communities.

We need to link existing campaigns that are geographically and issue wise near to each other. We need to try to develop local groups throughout the country – although for this event we are only looking at London.

So, on June 8th we want to get anybody who is or wants to organise locally in London together to discuss how we can move things forward. Everyone has something to contribute and skills to share, whether you’re actively involved with struggles in your community or workplace or you’re just looking for somewhere to start.

Sat June 8th 10 am – 5 pm Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA (Map and directions at www.resourceforlondon.org )

For more information about the event or to get involved in organising it contact us at: event@radicallondon.net

Jan 262013
 

Protest against the planned £10 million cuts to Adult Social Care in Croydon

Monday 28 January, 5.30pm

Croydon Town Hall

 

Croydon Council are in the process of agreeing their budget setting which includes a proposed set of cuts to services across Adult Social Care, that amount to £10million being taken out of the budget.

 

The Council carried out a consultation that was inaccessible to disabled people and included no detailed information about the cuts proposed to vital support services that the most disadvantaged members of the community depend upon.

 

We are very concerned that on top of year on year reductions by Croydon, and the huge central government cuts to disability-related benefits and entitlements, these cuts represent a further attack on the quality of life of disabled people. The cuts are adding injury to injury, and mean yet morepainfordisabledpeopleinCroydon.

 

Disabledpeopleshouldnothavetochoosebetweeneatingandheating!

Dec 302012
 

Earlier this year DPAC highlighted Worcester Council’s ‘maximum expenditure’ policy which would see new applicants for social ‘care’ be part of potential institutionalisation in order to cut costs. Other council’s have announced similiar measures.  The Redditch Standard reports on the case, which shows that disabled people do not need to put up with these measures in silence but have the right and need to fight back at local and national levels. This month the closure of the Independent Living Fund was announced for 2015. This will also be challenged legally by six ILF users early next year. Both measures break aticle 19 on independent living as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. There will also be legal challenges on the recording of Atos assessments and the Judicial Review on the Work Capability Assessment by the Mental Health Resistance network in 2013.

Details of the Worcester case by Irwin Mitchell can be found here

DPAC will not be resting in any tents in 2013 but fighting with disabled people in the courts, on the streets, online and everywhere we can

Dec 012012
 

Re: scrapping of equality impact assessments and fair consultation arrangements

 

Dear …..

 I am writing to express in the strongest terms our objection to the plans announced by the Prime Minister to scrap equality impact assessments and fair consultation arrangements.

 The Coalition Government has unleashed the most disproportionate and discriminatory attack on disability rights and  the resources on which disabled people depend in a civilised community.

 Equality impact assessments when carried out thoroughly provide an indication of the impact of proposals on disabled people and reveal factors that may significantly reduce the ability of disabled people to contribute to the community and economy.

 Government’s proposal to scrap this mechanism will not lead to growth, but to a widening of the fast growing gaps into which many disabled people are falling to the detriment of the economy and cohesion in our communities.

 Your Government has refused to carry out a cumulative impact assessment of all the measures that are being introduced which affect disabled people. Our own research shows that disabled people will have their living standards reduced by 20% over the four years of the austerity programme.  Contrast this with the richest 20% of the population who are only seeing a 7.5% reduction – clearly we are not all in this together.  

 Mr Cameron is trying to cover it up by scrapping the instruments that prove it.

 “The cuts to disability benefits are estimated to total £9 billion over the four years, about a third of all cash benefits paid to disabled people in 2009-10. These cuts mean that the poorest fifth of the 2.7 million households receiving disability benefits will lose 16% of their cash income plus benefits-in-kind over the four years. This percentage loss is four times as big as the loss for the richest fifth of all households but even this 16% is probably an understatement because of the difficulty of analysing how hard disabled people will be hit by the cuts in Departmental Expenditure (Local Government, Health, Education, etc)” 

 The Austerity War and the impoverishment of disabled people, Chris Edwards, September, 2012

 What concerns me most is that you have no democratic mandate to carry out these attacks as neither the Conservative or Lib Dem manifestos put these plans before the public.

 Fair consultation on Government plans and Equality Impact Assessments are the only means by which Government can claim the democratic process has been satisfied.

 I urge you to take all possible action to reverse the decision to scrap Equality Impact Assessments, and to restore fair consultation with disabled people throughout Government.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 ==============

For the record we will itemise the regressive measures that your Government is carrying out that negatively affect the life chances  and rights of disabled people:

 

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replace it with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which aims to reduce the budget by 20%, removing support from half a million people.  Increase the take up ofDLA so that disabled people and people with long term conditions can live independently in the community. DLA – like child benefit – is recognition that some groups of people face additional costs and that society wishes to collectively make provision to cover some of these costs.  The principle of making ‘reasonable adjustments’ – whether it takes the form of money or support – should be applied to both disability and out of work benefits, and to employment support.

 

  • Employment and Support Allowance and ‘medical model’ Work Capability Assessments, which reduces eligibility, increases means-testing and imposes conditions and sanctions.  This approach sees us and our behaviour as the problem. Instead it needs to recognise the additional needs that come with impairment and/or ill health and the barriers and discrimination in the labour market.  This would mean a welfare system which compensated for loss of income and for additional costs associated with impairment and ill health, while at the same time tackling disabling barriers to employment. Crucially, this system must recognise the impact of ill health and not confuse it with functional impairment. 

A recent article in The Church Times recently highlighted the issues:

 “…those who fail the Government’s new Work Capability Assessment. This includes 73 people each week who usually die as a result of the illnesses and conditions for which they had previously received welfare payments, after they were certified “fit for work”. Some commit suicide. In one case, Freedom of Information requests revealed, someone died while filling out an assessment form. Relatives of the deceased have suggested that the stress of the assessment itself also contributes to death.

The arbitrary nature of such categorisation is also highlighted by the 400,000 disabled and sick people who have been initially declared fit, and who then have to undergo a lengthy, expensive, and exhausting appeals process to establish that they were deserving after all.

The categorisation of “deserving” and “undeserving” hardly makes financial sense, either. The total expected savings from putting 2.5 million disabled people through work tests will be just £2.2 million over three years – and that is if the targets are met.”

 ATOS, A4E etc: The privatised delivery of Government assessment, employment and training programmes is failing disabled people and the public purse.  It may be good forPLC’s, directors and shareholders but it is not delivering good outcomes for disabled people.  The Guardian, Panorama and Dispatches have shown that the real agenda is targets to get people off benefits.. 

 ATOS – 40% of assessments are overturned on appeal and this rises to 70% if representation is present in the appeals process.

 The Work Programme – Only 3.4% of people referred to the job programme got and stayed in work 3-6 months (these figures drop to 2.5% if calculated from June – May.

 This is an expensive waste of money. 

  • Closing Remploy

It is gross negligence to close Remploy factories and throw disabled people onto the open job market in the current economic climate.  This Government has done nothing to ‘level the playing field’ by addressing the disablism in the training and job market.  In the last round of redundancies at Remploy only 3% of the disabled employees were able to get jobs and that was prior to the current triple dip recession.  We absolutely agree with the planned closure of sheltered workshops but this approach is crass.

  • Changes to housing and  housing benefits: Government figures show about 450,000 disabled people will see their incomes cut under one of the changes planned to housing benefit.  Our fear is that thousands will be forced from their homes.   From April 2013, housing benefit for working age people in social rented homes will be linked to the size of property councils believe they need. 

An assessment from the Department for Work and Pensions shows   the change will leave 450,000 disabled people an average of £13 a week worse off.

  • Independent Living Fund: There are 20,000 existing users of ILF in theUK. The fund was closed to new applicants in 2010 preventing many disabled people from accessing this support to remain independent.  The Coalition Government wants to force disabled people to rely on local authorities from 2015 by closing the ILF permanently. Local authorities already face severe cuts and cannot provide adequate support to existing customers. Some local authorities are already saying that residential care homes will be their only option.  Without guaranteed levels of funding and ringfencing this is fantasy talk as the funds will disappear through the cuts.  This is a major threat to independent living for disabled people.

 

  • Cuts to Local Authorities: disabled people are disproportionately affected to cuts to local authorities as we use public services more than non-disabled members of the community.  Any cuts therefore are discriminatory and threaten our right to live independently in the community.  Services can be delivered more effectively and in a personalised way and we support reform that gets better outcomes more cost effectively.  However the level of cuts is negatively impacting on disabled people’s life chances and will not achieve reform.

 

  • Universality in health and social care: Social care policies have led to the privatisation of care services, and may well support the same trend in the context of health care.  This has led to the re-institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities and other groups.  This private sector led retrograde step has been colluded with by local authority commissioners who have shunned the community based alternatives leading to disasters such as Winterbourne View.  Reverse this move and return to the founding principles of the health service and welfare state – services should be based on need and free at the point of delivery funded through a progressive taxation system, in benefits, services and equipment which aim to create a level playing field for people affected by illness and/or impairment. Work with DPOs to truly personalise services in ways which increase choice and control for disabled people and achieve the best outcomes and value for money, whilst protecting rights and reversing the harmful effects of privatisation. Create real choice and control for us over the resources needed to go about our daily lives.  

 

  • Social Care: Can people who need help to go about their daily lives, help which involves intimate care, help that enables someone to access the most basic human rights like communication, rely on the profit motive to deliver this assistance in a way which protects and promotes their human rights?  Giving and receiving intimate care is not the same as having your car serviced.  To rely on another person in such a way is inevitably associated with a vulnerability to abuse, unless the person providing the care holds and promotes values which in many instances are incompatible with the profit motive.  Maximising profit requires holding down wages, increasing productivity by reducing the amount of time spent on each task to a minimum, only investing in training to provide basic competence, and minimising regulation.  We don’t believe that the delivery of high quality social care services, which protect and promote people’s human rights, is compatible with the profit motive.  This is not to say that services run by public authorities are necessarily any better at delivering our human rights. Over the last twenty years, public services have increasingly had to measure themselves against private sector notions of efficiency – and efficiency is defined in terms of cost, not quality.  Personalisation in social care – the current policy – is only tinkering with the adult social care system, which is underfunded, and too reliant on organisations motivated by profit and answerable to their shareholders. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 032012
 

This is the page to see all of the latest news on events that are happening in the space. Be aware dates and times may be subject to change.

Saturday October 6th:

Sunday October 7th:

2-4pm – Occupy Design UK invites you to bring radical design, artwork and ideas to the first of a serious of events we will be doing at the CutsCafe. This will be a space to plan creative responses to the cuts, make some work and decorate the new building with audacious radical art. See:http://occupydesign.org.uk/

Monday October 8th:
7.30-9pm Disabled People Against the Cuts: Direct Action for everybody. Why we do it and how to plan it.

Tuesday October 9th:

1pm-5.30pm Green and Black Cross Legal Observer Training: A hands on training about dealing with the police and supporting protest on mass and smaller direct actions.

7pm-8.30pm Waging a Living Underground: Cleaners fighting back and winning, a talk by Nigerian born RMT organiser Clara Osagiede

7pm-9pm Fitwatch present: Direct Action is a powerful tactic against the snooping and prying of Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and their new sidekicks, Police Liaison Officers. A little organised resistance can stop the FIT / PLOs from getting their ‘intel’ at crucial times -such as when they are recording the clothing and shoes of people in that quiet time when people are gathering for demos. Action like this can be very effective at keeping people out of police and prison cells. This is a meeting to discuss the role of FIT and PLOs, to share experiences of action against them, and to discuss ideas of how we might deal with them on the 20th October.

Wednesday October 10th:

6pm- Atomic Weapons Eradication present: Whats the connection between resisting cuts and resisting the replacement of Trident? We’re all seeing the impact of austerity on our communities. So it’s difficult to believe that Trident submarines are being replaced at a cost of £25 billion and that the arms trade is propped up by £700 million of public funds a year. Come to this workshop to learn more about Trident and military spending and to discuss possibilities for direct action.  http://actionawe.org/

8pm-9.30pm No Pay, No Way: Interns pressure group fighting for entry level positions in workplaces and an end to unpaid labour. The group comprises current, ex interns and those who cant afford internships at all. No Pay No Way organises predominantly but not exclusively the NGO and charity sector. This workshop is about fighting back!

Thursday October 11th:

5pm-6pm- Occupiers present: An Assembly on Assemblies! Groups including #15m and #occupy will talk about their experiences in public assemblies and possible structures, including consensus.

6pm-7pm- Robin Hood Tax: Dispelling the myths of the financial transaction tax and what it could mean for the UK.

7pm-8:30pm- UKUNCUT present: From Anger to Creative Action  www.ukuncut.org.uk/

Friday October 12th:

6pm-7pm: Austerity and Violence Against Women: how women under economic and physical attack are reclaiming their future – with Sarah Day, Caseworker with women surviving domestic abuse.

7/8pm TBC: Open mic, improv, & poetry against the cuts.

Saturday October 13th:

ALL DAY EVENT: 12pm-8pm Capitalism for Anti-Capitalists: Join Kaput and Corporate Watch for an introductory session into the economics of the global capitalist system.

ALL DAY EVENT: 1pm Onwards- A future that works art workshop: A collaborative art workshop

7pm-9pm- Who Polices The Police? The family of Sean Rigg, a 40-year old black musician killed in police custody join with Ken Fero.

Sunday October 14th:

1pm-3pm- Able to Fight: Welfare Reform, Disability and Resistance: Michael Calderbank

3pm-5pm Stop the G8: The G8 conference is in the UK in Summer 2013. Never mind their nonsense about alleviating poverty and hunger, the G8 leaders will use the conference to dismantle borders for capital, financial investment, privatisation and policing. At the same time they will enforce borders for ordinary workers when it suits them and plan to further the domination of
natural resources by global elites.

A coalition of activists has formed to plan a mass mobilisation against the conference on the basis of non-hierarchy and a respect for diversity of tactics. Come and find out how to get involved. More info at https://network23.org/stopg8/

5-7pm Strike Debt: Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign and David Graeber

Monday October 15th:

CUTS CAFE MATINEE 2-4pm Film Showing: SANKARA with Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign

7pm-8pm- Ewa Jasiewicz: Skillshare how to organise your work place? Tools, Tactics, Ideas

8pm-9.30pm Radical London present: ”Community Organising to defeat cuts but also as direct action to build a real alternative to the system that makes them” -http://www.radicallondon.net/

Tuesday October 16th:

6-8pm: No Future in ‘a Future that Works’: Two Critiques of the TUC

A lot of protest in recent years against austerity follows the following blueprint: the TUC (or the NUS etc.) call for a day of
action and people to the left of the TUC seize this opportunity to modify, radicalise, or to oppose the TUC’s politics. What unifies
these radical criticisms is a dissatisfaction with the TUC’s call, aims and tactics. However, what exactly “we” oppose is rarely
discussed – it seems that almost any critique of the TUC and its “conservative” anti-austerity is acceptable.

Consequently we do not engage with each other. Conflicting accounts are not discussed, mere assertion of opposition suffices. This
situation seems to us to be unsatisfactory.

Hence, we call this meeting to discuss our critique of the TUC. “We” is in this case, on the one hand, some students who were active in the 2010 student movement and, on the other hand, the Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London. Each group will present its own critique of the TUC’s call “A future that works”. Afterwards, we
want to critique each other, receive critiques from the audience, and develop a clearer account of why the TUC’s “alternative” to the cuts should be resisted. The guiding question will be: “For what reason do we oppose ‘A future that works’?”.

The TUC’s campaign pamphlet can be accessed here:
– http://afuturethatworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aftw-booklet.pdf

Wednesday October 17th:

3pm-5pm- Ken Loach Presents: “which side are you on?”, Short film on 9/11 and Q and A

6pm-7:30pm- London Coalition Against Poverty:  Fighting for our rights to housing and welfare: Mutual support and direct action work!

7.30pm Film Screening: Riot From Wrong

Thursday October 18th:

6pm-7.30pm Marindela – The Spanish Communist Utopia: Dan Hancox, Guardian journalist and author.

6-8pm The future isn’t working: Life beyond the wage and work beyond the wage by Michael Calderbank, Red Pepper

7:30-9:00pm Fuel Poverty Action present: What is fuel poverty in relation to cuts/ capitalism/ climate change and how can we take action against those causing it over the coming winter.

For more see: http://cutscafelondon.wordpress.com/events/

 

Jun 082012
 

The closure of the Remploy factories has ignited a wealth of media attention and strong feeling as well as differences of opinion between disabled people, and Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs) on the position of disabled Remploy factory workers. The now infamous Sayce report called for closure of the factories in the ironically titled: ‘Getting in, staying in and getting on: disability employment support fit for the future’. This was followed by a consultation exercise in July 2011 to which DPAC responded outlining the impact of the closure of the factories and urging that they remain open.

Since then, DPAC, DPOs, Unions, disabled workers, disabled and non-disabled people have been active on the proposed closures in a number of ways which have been publicised on the DPAC site. DPAC have invited Liz Sayce to comment, but she has not responded to our request.

Most recently the Sayce report has been accused of doing the Governments ‘dirty work’, as elitist and a part of the cuts agenda at the TUC Disabled Peoples’ conference. 

There was overwhelming support at the annual TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference for the campaign to fight the planned closure of the Remploy factories.

The government announced in March that 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy factories across the UK would close by the end of 2012, with the loss of more than 1,500 disabled people’s jobs, while there would be further consultation over the future of the other 18 factories.

The announcement was part of the government’s response to a consultation on last year’s review of employment support by Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK (DR UK).

Sayce called in her report for funds currently used to subsidise the factories to be ploughed into more personalised forms of employment support for disabled people, including the Access to Work (AtW) scheme.

But Mandy Hudson, from the National Union of Teachers, told the conference that the Sayce report had “gone about doing the government’s dirty work”.

And she criticised “the completely cavalier way that Liz Sayce’s report sets adrift a whole set of disabled workers”.

The disabled peer Lord [Colin] Low also criticised Sayce’s report, and said its “highly individualised approach… seems to smack of elitism”.

Read more of the article by John Pring including the Remploy protest outside the offices of DR UK by Remploy workers and UKUncut here  

 Opening up the debate

Since the government announced the closures, some DPOs have backed its plans, arguing that the move was one towards the inclusion of disabled people.

But Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, said:

This is a cut. It isn’t about inclusion. We shouldn’t let the government justify this in the name of inclusion.

She accepted that the disability movement has been divided on whether to support the closures, but she said:

What we need is a dialogue. This is us putting an alternative view forward which hopefully will get a debate going. That’s what we need. Read more

Letter to the Guardian

The publication of a letter against Remploy closures was published in both on-online and print versions of the Guardian on May 10. The letter was composed by Inclusion London, DPAC and unions. Many DPOs and disabled people signed in support of the Remploy workers. The letter was shortened and some names and DPOs were reduced due to space restrictions by the Guardian. This link  will take you to the letter with a link to the original letter’s wording. DPAC will be updating the names and DPOs that were left off the printed and online versions shortly. We asked Liz Sayce to comment, but she did not respond.

However, a response article to the letter was issued by DPO Breakthrough UK claiming that while they agreed with many aspects of our letter they could not join other DPOs in signing it and wanted to open up debate on the Remploy issue.

We agree with opening the debate, and provide a link to the thoughtful piece by disabled activist and comedian Laurence Clark published in the Independent: Remploy Closures: right in theory but where does it leave disabled employees?

Sean McGovern a former Remploy factory worker responded directly to the Breakthrough article

and Les Woodward a GMB convener and worker at the Swansea Remploy factory said of the Breakthrough article:

This article, unfortunately is typical of the “Politically Correct” brigades attitude to Supported Employment and the language they use to try and justify their positions…

Another unfortunate slant of this article is that it totally fails to take into account the effect on the workers themselves or indeed other disabled workers who given the present economic climate would give their eye teeth for a job any job. They would sell their soul for a job in Remploy that can provide skilled work, training and other support that employment in Remploy offers.

 I have said it many times and I will say it a lot more. No-one ever forced a gun to my head to work in Remploy, over the 28 years I have been employed by the Company, I have been free to leave at any time I wanted, just like any other worker in any other workplace.

 Of course whether or not I exercise that choice to leave is dependant not least on economic circumstances that I have found myself in and whether or not the alternative employment was viable in terms of remuneration or terms and conditions. No employment opportunities that can match those that I am on in Remploy have presented themselves as yet.

 No one would disagree with the aspirations of a fully inclusive society, and I for one would absolutely love to see the day when Remploy really was old fashioned and there would be no need for Remploy because we would have a fully inclusive society that caters for everyone. Unfortunately we live in a rather different world which is going further and further away from inclusion and equality of opportunity over the last 18 months or so rather than moving more towards inclusion and equal opportunity. The reason for this is that we are now governed by the rich for the rich and of the rich, while we get poorer and poorer.

 The ultimate shame in all this is that organisations such as the one who authored this article are wittingly or unwittingly collaborating with this Government in implementing cuts in the living standards of some of the very people they purport to support.

 Thanks a million to everyone that signed the letter, we really appreciate it and appreciate the support that you give us.

 Les

 We will provide more responses soon….

Previous pieces from DPAC and others

DPAC has always been transparent in its connections, actions and thoughts on the Remploy closures, which have been published on the DPAC web site, some of which we list here. We also include pieces by other groups

Remploy Closures: no segregated employment translates to unemployment for up to 2000 workers

DPAC Remploy Workers meeting London March 20th

Right to Work Pledges Support for Remploy workers

London meeting unites resistance to Remploy Closures

Furious workers hit out at Boss whose report led to Remploy factories getting the Axe

Demo for Remploy workers April 20th

Independent: Betrayed Disabled Workers protest against Remploy Closures

Fight the Remploy Closures

Remploy Public Meeting Thursday 26th April

Government accused of Hijacking Disability Equality Language to Justify Remploy Closures

The closure of Remploy factories is about cuts and cannot be justified by a misguided language of inclusion in a time when disabled people are facing the worse attacks on their inclusion, human rights and equality in UK history. Disabled people and DPOs need to support the Remploy workers rather than engaging in forms of ideological bullying that refuse to take into account the impacts on disabled peoples’ lives. Nor should they be so arrogant as to suggest that these workers shouldn’t have choice in where they chose to work. Less than 5% of Remploy workers in the last set of closures found alternative jobs, with some committing suicide-is this really something that we want to support for up to 2000 more disabled people under a flimsy Tory rhetoric of inclusion?

 

Apr 022012
 

In Geneva today (2nd April), Dr Pauline Nolan, Policy Officer for Inclusion Scotland, will submit evidence to a preliminary hearing ahead of a planned review of the human rights record of 14 states, including the UK.

On behalf of the Campaign for A Fair Society – a coalition of more than 70 Scottish charities – Dr Nolan will warn the cumulative impact of welfare reform and cuts to benefits affecting disabled people will mean their ability to live a full life is impaired. In particular, she will argue that welfare changes undermine their right to be included in the community.

The campaign also claims disabled people are being denied access to justice when they try to appeal against these cuts to their benefits.

Dr Nolan said she aimed to equip the UN with a series of recommendations and questions to put to the UK Government when its representatives appear in front of the Human Rights Council in May.

She added: “Disability organisations, disabled people and the Parliament’s own Joint Committee on Human Rights concluded that these cuts will have a devastating cumulative impact on the livelihoods of disabled people.

“Further cuts are taking place to local authority services they receive. Taken together, all these cuts are severely undermining the human rights of disabled people.”

She claims half of the £18 billion of cuts to be made under welfare reform will fall on households containing disabled people, adding: “These cuts will push hundreds of thousands of disabled people and their families into poverty and thousands will be made homeless.”

Jim Elder-Woodward, of the Independent Living in Scotland project, said: “I am really pleased that Dr Nolan is going to Geneva to tell the UN just how this Coalition Government is systematically undermining the rights of disabled people by cutting their benefits and services.

“The combined voices of disabled people have either been silenced or misrepresented by the UK Government in their resolution to make disabled people suffer over 50% of the total £18bn in benefit cuts.”

Norma Curran, of Values Into Action Scotland, added: “These welfare reforms are devastating people’s lives. It’s not acceptable to challenge the human rights of people on the grounds of race, sex, language, or religion, so why does the UK Government think that it is acceptable to breach the human rights of disabled people?”


Stephen Naysmith – Herald Scotland

 

Dec 202011
 

DPAC has been passed an unedited transcript from Work and Pensions Committee in which Maria Miller appears to admit that the changeover from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is set for cuts of £160 million from disabled people. It’s claimed that the department must raise the cash cuts lost in the U-turn on removal of mobility allowance for those in residential institutions. In the full transcript participants also seem to be talking as though DLA to PIP is already passed in law which it isn’t.

Q194 Sheila Gilmore: Some of my colleagues may want to ask whether or not it is just a question of people filling in the form. There is quite a lot of dispute as to whether it is fair to say that is all that goes on here. As to the financial position, a lot of people were very pleased to see the removal of mobility allowance from people in residential homes, which is something people have campaigned on from the time it was proposed. That also had a savings implication because a reduction of some £160 million was in the financial estimates. Is your Department still expecting to find additional savings from the migration from DLA to PIP that now will not be found from removing mobility allowance from people in residential care?

Maria Miller: As you would expect me to say, the Department has very clear commitments to the Treasury in terms of the spending it is able to undertake in the spending review period. The answer to that question is, very firmly, that we will have to find the funding that was associated with the mobility component for people living in residential care, but we will not find it from within the Disability Living Allowance.

Q195 Sheila Gilmore: From within PIP?

Maria Miller: Yes.

DPAC are running a campaign on DLA as already people are losing this in increasing numbers see

DLA tell DPAC your story Campaign and Social model respomse to loss of DLA

See full unedited transcript of meeting of Work and Pensions Committee at link below

Proposal to replace disability living allowance with personal independence payment – uncorrected evidence

Organisation: House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee

Source: House of Commons – Uncorrected Commons Committee Evidence

Date: 18.12.11

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has published an uncorrected transcript from its evidence session on December 12 2011 on the proposal to replace disability living allowance with personal independence payment.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmworpen/uc1493-iii/uc149301.htm

Witnesses:

  • Maria Miller MP, minister for disabled people, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dr James Bolton, deputy chief medical adviser, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Simon Dawson, deputy director of independent living and Office for Disability Issues, Department for Work and Pensions

18 December 2011

 

 

 

Apr 072011
 
ITV Chris Choi

ITV Chris Choi

Report on ITV news  – by Chris Choi Britain living under the cuts

Watch http://www.itv.com/news/thecuts/your-story/

We want to hear how cuts to public services are affecting you or your family. You can tell us by emailing yourstory@itv.com.

Disabled hit by cuts

The pain of the cuts the government says are necessary to keep us solvent are being felt by people across the country.

And ITV News has learnt how disabled people are paying an especially high price.

A report published tomorrow shows that the fees councils charge for care in England have shot up:

Hourly rates have increased by as much as 78%.

Half of local authorites have removed caps to the maximum amount they can charge for homecare.

And 80% of councils say they will no longer support disabled people with with moderate needs.

Please feed your stories to a database at the Guardian too –

We are seeking to establish a team of volunteer “cuts-watchers” who will collect information on how services are being hit in a particular area or sector. We hope they will help us to build and curate a database of how the cuts are biting across the country, which will be searchable by the public and inform Guardian coverage of the spending squeeze.

Ideally, cuts-watchers will have an interest in social affairs and public services and be willing to do some research on the extent of the cuts in their area, but if you’d just like to tell us about the closure of your local swimming pool or youth club, we’d like to hear from you, too.

If you’re interested in getting involved please email us at cutswatch@guardian.co.uk. In your mail please tell us if you have any area of expertise, which part of the country you are in, and how much time, on a monthly basis, you’d be willing to devote to helping us with this project. If you have written or blogged on any related subjects, please do send us links. We’ll get back to you soon.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/25/public-sector-cuts-track-the-cuts

Mar 142011
 

Linda Laurie5,000 people turned up to march on the Lib Dem spring conference in Sheffield on Saturday. £2 million was spent on security to protect them so we weren’t allowed to get anywhere near them and surprise, surprise, Nick Clegg didn’t come out to speak to us despite his claiming that he and his ministers wouldn’t hide away. I went to speak at the rally after Linda Burnip (from DPAC) asked for a volunteer (speaker for Disabled people ). This was what I tried to say although speakers were curtailed to a few minutes each.

“Apparently we are all in this together.

Apparently the country doesn’t have any money.

Sorry

Apart from the

* £2 million that we are paying for the security to protect the Coalition govt Lib Dem millionaires, including Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne, inside our City Hall.

* Apart from the £20 million that we are paying for Will and Kate’s wedding.

* Apart from the £6.5 million bonus that the boss of Barclays bank is getting.

* Apart from the £20 billion of our money that the British govt have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Apart from, according to Nick Clegg last April, the £100 billion it will cost us to replace Trident.

Apart from the £210bn in avoided, evaded and uncollected taxes according to the Public and Commercial Services Union who organise Inland Revenue Staff, so they should know!

That is how they spend our money.

Yet the Lib Dem Coalition govt says that it is your fault – students, disabled people, pensioners, trade unionists – that the country has a budget deficit.

They say we must pay for the deficit with the destruction of the welfare state.

* The Liberals and their Tory friends say the NHS must pay with cuts of £20bn and the loss of 53,000 jobs including 6,346 jobs in mental health services by 2015.

* The ConDems say public services must pay with spending cuts of £31.9bn and job losses of 725,000 by 2015.

* The Liberals meeting today in City Hall say that poor people must pay with welfare spending cuts of £11bn.

They say that workers in the public sector must pay by having their pay frozen for 2 years.

* The Liberals and Tories (is there any difference any more?) all say that children must pay with a 3-year freeze in Child Benefit.

* The ConDems say that 3,000 council workers in Nottingham must pay by losing their jobs.

They say that public sector workers must pay through cuts in their pensions.

Our own council in Sheffield – run by the Lib Dems – says that the youth training charity Sheffield Futures must pay by losing 28% of their funding.

* Sheffield’s Lib Dem Council says that South Yorkshire Police have to pay with £40m of savings and 1,100 job cuts.

They say that 270 Sheffield council workers have to pay with their jobs.

They said that Sheffield Forgemasters had to pay by axing an £80m loan to them.

* The Liberals and Tories say that 120 carers in Barnsley have to pay by losing their jobs.

The Coalition govt says that disabled people have to pay by losing their Disability Living Allowance, by losing Employment Support Allowance after 12 months, support from the Independent Living Fund which has been abolished, support from the DWP Access to Work scheme that enables many of us to work and pay taxes, by having our housing benefit cut which will put up to 450,000 disabled people at risk of losing their homes according to independent BBC research and the National Federation of Housing Associations, and by disabled people living in residential homes losing their Mobility Allowance,

Disabled people are more likely to be unqualified, unemployed with only 47% being in paid employment in 2009, be paid less than non-disabled people, experience barriers to employment, incur more expense as a result of living with an impairment, have to rely on public services and live in low-income families.

* The ConDems say that the Big Society will provide the services lost through the cuts. We are told by the Tories and their LibDem allies that the Big Society is supposed to be about communities taking more control, more charitable giving, social enterprises taking on a bigger role, people establishing public services themselves.

The Big Society is a big con that is headed by the big con himself – David Cameron – supported by his lackeys – the Lib Dems

The Big Society is a cover up for the cuts being made by Nick Clegg and his mates the Tories whilst they award contracts like the £500m one given to the French owned company Atos, to bully people, like those with terminal cancer back into work, and harass people such as a former miner in Chesterfield whose family say they believe the stress of undergoing 2 Atos medical assessments led to his death from heart failure.

The main difference between the Big Society and the Big Issue is that some people buy the Big Issue.

The Lib Dems didn’t have to have their spring conference here in Sheffield where:

270 council workers face losing their jobs

1,100 staff from South Yorkshire Police face losing their jobs

A £80million loan for Sheffield Forgemaster was axed.

156 job cuts are expected in Barnsley NHS

145 job cuts are expected from Doncaster NHS

Having their conference here demonstrates their contempt for people here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

· Yesterday in the House of Commons, Labour had an opportunity to vote against the Coalition’s planned attacks on Disabled People, but they abstained! Trade unions, which have been described in the past as ‘Lions led by donkeys’, now need to take a lead too! Organising a mass demo of 2 milllion plus on 26th March is great, but that has to be just the start. Demonstrating is not enough.

· Disabled People call upon the TUC and the public sector trade union leaders to join with us, with students and others to take action now before it is too late to save our NHS, to save our public services, to save our universities, our schools, our jobs, our city, our country.

Disabled People say Rights Not Charity.

Disabled People say Can’t pay, Won’t pay.

Disabled People say “We have no time to waste, a new campaign coalition is needed; a coalition that brings together both disabled and non-disabled people. We need an active voice in the mainstream – a voice that challenges the lies about DLA, exposes the real agenda – cuts in welfare – and combats the ideology that says DLA should only be for the “most vulnerable”, If we don’t all stand up and be counted then many of us will see our benefits stolen from us by one hand and a one-way ticket to the euthanasia clinic Dignitas in Switzerland offered by the other!”

We say to Nick Clegg and the other traitors inside that building = shame, shame, shame on you. Shame on you for turning blue.

—-Linda Laurie