Monday, January 09, 2012

The Spartacus Report on Responsible Reform

This report into Disability Allowance Reform has been written, researched and funded by disabled people, who see their basic but essential support benefits under serious threat by government reforms. I am very concerned by its findings and the misrepresentation of disabled people that it exposes. Here is an extract from the press release that accompanied its publication:

"A report published today (9 January) finds that Government misled MPs and Peers over the hostility to disability benefit reform. It finds that Parliament has been given only a partial view of the overwhelming opposition to the Coalition’s planned reforms of a key disability benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It finds that this opposition was previously not released to public scrutiny by the Government.

It is based on the responses to the government's own consultation on its planned DLA reforms, which were only made public once disabled people requested them under the Freedom of Information Act. Findings included:

· 98 per cent of respondents objected to the qualifying period for benefits being raised from 3 months to 6 months
· 99 per cent of respondents objected to Disability Living Allowance no longer being used as a qualification for other benefits
· 92% opposed removing the lowest rate of support for disabled people. "

The report has already been backed by organisations and disability experts including:
Disability Alliance, Mind, Papworth Trust, Scope, Bert Massie CBE & Ekklesia.

I am backing it too.

Oh yes, and just in case you wondered: The fraud rate for disability benefits is less than 0.5%, but the Government wants to reduce recipients by 20%!

[Illustration by Andrzej Krauze, first published in the Guardian on 8th January.]


annie said...

Go for it, Judith. We don't help our people as we should across The Pond, either. Our government doesn't seem to know what to do about them except cut more and more funding that is set up to help them. Thank you for bring attention to the need. It seems to be universal.


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Seems a worthy sort of cause.

advinsteven said...

Nice information that is really useful for me keep sharing with us...!

Jen said...

Oh wow! Thank you for posting this! I am in receipt of ESA (due to a subarachnoid haemorrhage nearly 2 years ago): without it and other benefits I would have been made homeless, but it has been terribly stressful, being turned down, having to appeal etc etc. I am just glad that I wasn't half paralysed from my stroke as well! At the time of my SAH I was temping in a hospital, having lost my corporate job 5 months before - brilliant timing! I am very very happy you shared this and will be sharing it on Facebook with my friends and family. Lovely to "hear" from you again - I hope you are well.

Judith said...

Hullo Advinsteven and Jen. I'm so glad my post on the Spartacus report was picked up by someone for whom it could be useful. I don't blog very often at the moment, but I felt this was important. If you want to follow the Spartacus campaign day by day, it is on the website: Diary of a Benefit Scrounger, at:
Good luck to you both.