My response to Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling has written a piece in this weekend’s Guardian and Observer.

This is the comment I made on one sentence in it. I could have kept going. But my spoons are limited.

 

“This time-limiting will only apply to the better off who have the potential, with the right help and support, to make the journey back to work.”

Apart from the fact that the time-limiting amounts to the en…d of a Universal sickness benefit, many of those who will lose their right to ESA will not be ready or able to work.

Only 5-6% of people claiming ESA are making it into the support group. The majority are being found either fit for work, or placed in the Work Related Activity Group.

Many charities have spoken out against the procedure used, the Work Capability Assessment., as it is failing many genuinely disabled people, including people with schizophrenia and cancer. It ignores the evidence of consultants, and is carried out by a computer generated questionaire.

These charities include:

Mind: http://www.mind.org.uk/assets/0000/9765/Mind_Response_-_WCA_Independent_Review.doc

Disability Alliance: http://www.disabilityalliance.org/r66.pdf

Crisis: http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/WCA%20Independent%20Review.pdf

At the end of a 12 month period, they will now find themselves losing the limited support they had on ESA, and expected to attend the Job Centre fortnightly, attend interviews, and compete for work with those who are not disabled, who may only recently have lost work. Do you really think they will have any luck?

These people are among the most vulnerable in our society.

Do you think this is ‘fair’? Are we really ‘all in this together’?

As for taking away the mobility part of DLA for those in care homes, this is just despicable. This is often the only money a disabled person has for themselves, apart from £18-£20pw, and is used to help them buy powered wheelchairs, or other mobility aids.

The changes to housing benefit are huge. Many people, especially those in social housing, those in inner cities, those under 35, those with disabilities, will be hugely affected.

Anyone can become disabled at any time. You might think these cuts won’t impact you, that they only impact the workshy, or scroungers. If you think that, you are buying into the propaganda. You need to educate yourselves, whatever your political leanings. This is not a party issue. This is about what kind of country we want to be, what kind of people we want to be.

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One thought on “My response to Chris Grayling

  1. Many charities have spoken out against the procedure used….

    Not with much gusto they haven’t as Mind and most of the national mental health charities have been deeply complicit in Government attacks on disabled claimants , first under Labour and nowthe Tories.

    These charities have reinvented their Mental Health Alliance as the Future Vision Coalition to get back on board with the current Government and all of the national mental health provider charities have acted in a duplicitous way to serve their own corporate ends whilst making the odd statement or noise to ‘ represent ‘ service users. To compound this level of betrayal, the mental health charities main anti-stigma and discrimination initiatives , Open Up, Time to Change and – with Government – Shift are all public facing so none of them has anything to say about these cuts , not because they can’t but because they wont.

    In other words, for all the talk of Fair Treatment from the charities they have worked hand in hand with the DWP and DoH on bad policy and creating massively funded and totally unaccountable cross organisational campaign networks that are simply not prepared to accuse the Government or mental health system of stigmatising or discriminating against disabled people when that is exactly what is going on here.

    People no longer trust the corporate charity businesses as they profit from people on benefits being indiscriminately targeted and pushed into useless training and work schemes offered by Partner organisations and the leading charities been hanging round Government encouraging and trying to cash in on the dismantling of the NHS for years.

    Not for us but for themselves.

    The Tories didnt suddenly round on the disabled and poor, they just ratcheted up the pressure we were already under as these attacks have been going on for years and so opposition to the cuts has to acknowledge and address how poorly represented and served the disabled have been by the increasingly commercial corporate charities that say one thing in public but behind the scenes collude with Government to attack us.

    This also has something to do with the type of country we want to live in and the sort of people we want to be because so many of the charities morphed into the huge ruthless businesses they are now without any of us, particularly the charities own stated beneficiaries , having much of a say about it. That has to change too as disabled people need unconflicted representation and advocacy to avoid ending up here again. Targeted, friendless and thrown to the circling Wolves.

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