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Crippen posts a copy of an email received from Bob Williams-Findlay regarding the attack on the DLA / 24 June 2010

I'm using this week's blog to reproduce an email circulated by Bob Williams-Findlay regarding the attack by this government on Disabled people who are claiming Disabled Living Allowance (DLA).

 

"Since the Budget there has been a major uproar over the ConDems plan to 're-assess' people on DLA. What is clear is that there is now a new smear campaign, not unlike the ones against IB, to discredit DLA claims. For those with access to the BBC iplayer I've included a link to Jeremy Paxman interviewing Ed Balls."

 

"The statements made by Paxman need to be challenged by people who support disabled people's civil and human rights. The 'slash and burn' attack on the benefit system will put many people's lives at risk if DLA is withdrawn - I know, I'm one of them."

 

"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, expose the real agenda - cuts in welfare - and combats the ideology that's says DLA should be only for the 'most vulnerable'."

 

"If we don't all stand up and be counted then many of us will see our DLA taken by one hand and a one-way ticket to Switerland offered by the other!"

 

Bob Williams-Findlay (Former Chairperson of the British Council of Disabled People)

This episode of Newsnight is available on BBC iPlayer until Wednesday 30th June 2010

Keywords: benefit cuts,cuts to services,disabled people's movement,disabled vote,politics

Comments

Dave Lupton

/
26 June 2010

Richard, the reason Disabled people are challenging this government's claim that a high percentage of people who claim DLA are not entitled to it is because it is not true (and we are taking our fight to the government through the many groups and organisations of Disabled people that exist and are not just sitting on our arses whingeing!).

This government seem to have deliberately set out to cause confusion about the DLA. As Lynn says, it's only available to those Disabled people who have already jumped through a lot of hoops to be recognised as Disabled people in the first place. Are they now saying that their own initially assessment procedures are flawed?

The message being put out to the general public is that DLA can be claimed by anyone and that a high percentage of those that do claim are fraudulent ... yet there are no figures available to substantiate this claim.

The Child Poverty Action Group released figures a while ago that refuted the governments claim that a high percentage of benefit claiments are fruadulent. There are more benefits that are NOT claimed by people who are entitled to them than are claimed by people NOT entitled to them.

In fact the Audit Commission have openly criticised the amount of money wasted by government departments on chasing down unsubstantiated fraud claims. The money, they say, could be better spent on advertising the fact that a high percentage of benefits are unclaimed and by also redesigning the overly complex applications systems that exist for benefits.

In a nutshell Richard, this government is just blowing smoke and confusing the hell out of the general public regarding where the real blame lies for the state the country is in. Disabled people as well as ethnic minorities, single mothers etc., are easy targets for them to scapegoat ... and the problem is that the general public fall for it every time!

Lynn (pink pjs)

/
25 June 2010

Richard, many things, however, the main ones are that DLA is not a benefit for out of work people, many people who do work and are disabled get it, it's really hard as it is to get it and requires reports and support from gps, consultants and others. Nearly half of all applications are turned down. DLA is used by disabled people to pay for the additional living costs which non-disabled people do not have.

You seem to find people expressing their opinions here a problem and I wonder why? Also, why assume that people who post here are not already involved in activism and 'doing something about it'?

It seems really sad that the condems appear to have succeeded in illiciting ill-informed, negative views towards disabled people from those who have not walked in our shoes, but then again, we may not be able to afford shoes quite soon. Is this 'big society' suddenly about the survival of the 'fittest'? I expect, that after changes to incapacity benefit, DLA, housing benefit, the next axe will fall even further in social care, still, we might have assisted or otherwise suicide to fall back on.

Richard

/
25 June 2010

First off - no disability (only stated to help readers with context).

Next - rather than moan and whine that this will be unfair - get involved. My own personal experience of getting involved with something that I thought would be unfair was hugely positive and actively changed the outcome.

I expect the next question from some will be 'how' - well - start with your MP/Local TV/letters/websites/blogs/facebook/twitter etc...

The principal that those who can work should is fair. The principal that the assumption that all should work is not.

Get the balance right and the country aids those who need it and does not squander limited resources on those who do not.

As a taxpayer I would wholeheartedly welcome paying the right people - I would just want a bit more help on how one would qualify that - and I am sure the Gov are in the same boat...

Linda Burnip - via Facebook

/
25 June 2010

I saw Bob's posting on Fb and this blog entry about DLA but wanted to also flag up to you the housing benefit things which will have a hugely negative impact on disabled people living in both private rented and social sector ( from 2013) particularly if this is linked into ESA and work capability assessments which in turn are being linked into eligibility for DLA.

I haven't heard anything back from EHRC in Brum so don't know if you would want to try to organise a meeting with them. I don't mind whether I come or not but Tony Walsh from CDP particularly wanted to come. Although they are fairly useless as things seem to be getting worse and worse it may still be worth trying to see what they would be willing to do.( if anything).

Dave the way I feel about this is that I've been handed a crumb but then the rest of the slice of bread has been taken away from me. Not sure if that is any use for a cartoon but perhaps mass of dog kennels for disabled people to live in is what we can expect in future.

Dragon Lady

/
25 June 2010

Sounds just like the same sorts of ideological underpinnings to thought (and I use the word in its most expansive interpretation) about the cost of those pesky crips as they're doing here in NZ. This is something to be addressed, just as much as we need to do it here. Perhaps it's good to remind them (repeatedly) that their government is a signatory to the CRPD which has some very clear expectations , which don't seem to match with their rhetoric. Remind them about shadow reports to the monitoring committee. The chair of that committee was here recently, and telling us that they took what disabled people have to say in such reports as extremely authoritative.

rob

/
25 June 2010

I have been coming more into contact with the stories of people who come under the DDA due to my work ( http://www.claims.co.uk etc).

The CON-DEM setup against this is quite worrying, and in a big blanket 'cull' there will be legit claimants who will suffer.

As 'Pink PJs' points out - for dodgy fraudsters all they need to do is look at Westminster!!

Arty Farty

/
24 June 2010

What amazes me is that all those people that voted in the Tories seem surprised that they are acting like they are. The Tory party has consistently undermined the welfare state and scapegoated us crips and other low income people. They are a party for wealthy people who's sole intention is to make sure that the small percentage of people that have most of the wealth in this country keep it - and at the expense of the lower paid. So why are you so surprised?!

linda Burnip

/
24 June 2010

I'm never quite sure if they live in the same world as me but on TV last night Cameron said something like 'take up of disability benefits have increased massively although there is no evidence that people need them' Would anyone who doesn't need them go through the process of filling out one of those claim forms?

Many people are already re-assessed for them too, making everyone be re-assessed when their condition is clearly not going to change is just another waste of public money and more uneccessary bureaucracy.

PS from now on you may find me arguing in financial terms as I've been told equality issues will no longer be considered of any importance by civil servant.( if they ever were)

pink pjs

/
24 June 2010

If they want to find scrounging fraudsters they don't have to look very far... people in glass houses.

What is most disgusting is that they claimed money they didn't need just because they thought they could get away with it, but, like bullies in the playground, they had to pick on those most afraid to fight back and the tabloid seem more than happy to aid and abet in this 'hate crime'.

And many disabled people will feel unjustifiably guilty for being here at all, let alone trying to contribute as 'equal' members of this very unequal non-society.

And they have the audacity to keep chanting their mantra 'we're all in this together'. I would like to ask who they mean by 'we'? They don't seem to mean us!