Wednesday, 6 April 2011

"The real worry among disabled people is that this may be deliberate..."

Kate Green MP has written a fantastic article on welfare reform and disabled people, which has been flagged up by Community Care.

She says that: "The indifference to the structural inequality that disabled people experience offers a starkly clear example of the way that this government believes its obligation is to help only those in deepest need."

Kate is the former chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, and is an expert on welfare and a respected campaigner against poverty. Her passionate piece on the Welfare Reform Bill, cuts and disability is worth a read.


Ron Graves said...

As I've said on my own blog, more times than I can recall, I have no doubt whatsoever that it's deliberate.

I'd differ from Kate Green, though, in that I think it's the government's aim to help as few as possible. I don't think it goes further than that.

Polleetickle said...

I doubt that David Cameron - British Prime Minister since forming a coalition with the LibDems in 2010 - whose severely disabled child Ivan died in 2009, runs a government aimed at helping as few less-abled/disabled as possible.

... 'David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, thanked well-wishers today for their messages of support following the death of their son, Ivan.

The six-year-old, who was severely disabled, was taken ill overnight and died at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, early this morning'

Rhydian said...

polleetickle - Using David Cameron as an example is a bit pathetic.

1) David Cameron is more than wealthy - in that situation, the extra costs of disability don't factor as a consideration. His experience of disability is not the norm. This, coupled with his party' ideological outlook, make it likely that he does want to withdraw support where possible.

2) Ivan was obviously physically disabled, seriously ill and completely incpacitated, so when David Cameron sets that as his 'benchmark' of disability, most of use will not be disabled in his eyes.

Ron Graves said...


I've always wondered how the plight of Ivan could have failed to give Cameron an insight into the problems of the chronically sick and disabled.

It hadn't occurred to me that he might be using him as a benchmark for disability. Disturbing thought, and I've a horrible feeling you might be right - it would explain a lot.

Robert said...

The problem is of course we love to knock the Tories, but like it or not the problems the Labour party left us was tremendous, the WCA assessment is not fit for purpose, like it or not the Labour party are using this to cut down IB to the same level as Income support.

I'm sure in the years to come in labour get back into power they would not change a dam thing with welfare. I mean remember that idiot Blunkett telling people he does not see himself as being disabled, yet he picked up every extra penny of money offered to him for his disability from the government.

Lets put it another way looking after a disabled child with three nannies and two nurses is a dam sight easier then looking after a disabled child if your disabled your self, and do not have £40 million in the bank.

Oya's Daughter said...

One thing which still concerns me as it was only mentioned a few times and now has completely sunk under the radar: the "no council houses for life" seems to have disappeared under the waves. Why this issue concerns me is that it seems to assume that this "shuffling along" would apply to everyone, including the elderly and the disabled, some of whom live in sheltered or monitored accommodation and have done so for years. How does making these people move benefit them in any way, or is the often-parroted phrase "protect the most vulnerable" going to apply there as well?

I have been doing my best to keep out of council housing as I have had no desire to be that far under the government's thumb but as my health gets worse and the one carer I do have is getting more ill herself, it may make sense for me to move into housing which has at the very least an emergency service hooked up to it. But if I have the idea looming over my head that I'll just be shuffled on after a while, I don't know what the point of going into council housing would be.

Phil said...

Thanks, Rhydian, for point 2 above, re Cameron's thinking. Your disability "benchmark" comment does make a lot of sense.

On welfare policy, my view is that the drive within New Labour was for a reduction in welfare spending and had little or nothing to do with helping people back into work; the drive came from the right wing and carried a lot of American GOP influence.
Some on the left of the Labour Party may have been kidded as to the real motive. But it was still a right wing 'welfare to work' 'conditionality of benefits' 'compulsion/ coercion/ sanctions' policy built on an absence of trust and goodwill.

Cameron & the Conservatives have since extended the New Labour initiative, because it suits them. The Tories' aim is to reduce welfare spending - pretty much regardless of social costs and human consequences.
The chosen term for disabled / sick welfare claimants - "economically inactive" - tell us enough about Conservative values.

The Conservatives have a commitment to reduce the wealth taxes (Inheritance Tax, top-rate Income Tax, Corporation Tax and Capital Gains Tax), and a desire to help the very rich to become even richer. To achieve their aims later in this Parliament, this government first has to reduce spending on the poor, people with a disability or chronic ill-health, the unemployed, the middle class, women, children, teenagers & students - and accordingly it chooses the areas for cuts (welfare and public sector services, in particular). The talk about reducing the deficit is merely a smokescreen, an attempt to minimise the amount of unpopularity their agenda would otherwise create.