Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage (2nd week)

The Welfare Reform Bill Committee began its line-by-line scrutiny of the Welfare Reform Bill this week, after gathering oral evidence the week before. Line-by-line scrutiny will take some time, with the final meeting of the Committee scheduled for May 24th. This week's debates were interesting in a general way, and notable in that the Bill remains standing as tabled, but there is a long way to go until the scrutiny touches on any topics directly related to disability. You can read the transcripts of the scrutiny so far in the records of the Committee's 5th-8th sittings.

The 1st-4th sittings were the oral evidence-gathering sessions. Most interesting, from a disability perspective, are the 1st sitting, especially from Column 26 to Column 30, the 2nd sitting, especially the first half, and the whole of the 3rd sitting.

The evidence sessions were extremely frustrating because there were too many witnesses in far too short a time and little time for follow-up, with questions to be asked about whether the most appropriate and best-informed witnesses were invited. It seemed on some occasions important questions were given no proper answer (such as on the increase in DLA claims), wrongly strengthening the case for reform. The timing of sessions, lack of time for follow-ups and the quality of witnesses seems suspicious, especially as the backbench MPs who form the bulk of the Committee membership were not consulted on these issues.

It was fortunate that The Broken of Britain were closely monitoring these developments and were able to delay submission of our written evidence to the Committee until we knew what had happened at these sessions. As such, the evidence that we submitted not only draws on everything that you, our members, have told us in the past months, but also fills the gaps left in the oral evidence given to the Committee.

The Broken of Britain is keeping abreast of development, lobbying politicians and briefing MPs to ensure that your concerns and ideas are heard whilst scrutiny of the Bill is ongoing. When the timing is right we will prepare a template e-mail for MPs in advance of the Bill's Report stage. Meanwhile, please leave a note here, or e-mail me at, if you have any points you want to make.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whether this is true or not but - The news today said that in housing reform disabled people who under - occupy an adapted bungalow - will have to be rehoused or pay up to 25% of the rent - Not if you think about it this is risdiculous - ok my children are all at home but when they leave they wont want to spend money adapting another bungalow (very hard to find here) to my needs. I know i would be under occupying but - this is HOME and the stress this would put on disabled people who live in their four walls because of disability would be terrible to force hem to move to a different area - meaning new dr and dentist etc would just be too much to bear not even taking into account how hard it is to find an NHS dentist these days! and a dentist who understands the disability is even harder.

This is inhumane in alot of respects to the humans they are displacing.

Now i dont know if thi is true but i read also that if you are denied ESA and you appeal - You get NO MONEY and NO RENT PAID and no nothing for however long it takes for the appeal to go through - Yet again people will lose their homes.. This is again - inhumane

The WCA is completely inhumane when even people who are dying or have parkinsons are deemed fit for work and the specialists report on the person is discounted like they are writing rubbish when they are perfectly happy for said specialist to TREAT the disabled human yet their only believe is in ATOS who - we all know - are ridiculous!

DLA is a lifeline to so many people who get it 'for life' or indefinitely because there IS NO CURE for their disability - Why are ATOS suddenly brought in to deem the person cured when they and we know THERE IS NO CURE for certain things?

Inhumane again

To be hoenst I feel so much of the 'amendments' to disabled peoples benefits is totally inhumane. And i alw=so believe this govt would be better put to - even though i dont know how i would cope but something is better than being thrown aay with no heat no food no help - To reduce the 'cost' of DLA to just reduce it by 10% or so - This way the govt could tell the world ''the disabled people are also doing their bit and losing so much' while not therowing sooooo many disabled people into a piut of despair wher they feel the only way out is to terminate their own life.

Sorry if the above seemsrubbish its just how i feel and i am feeling desperate with my ESA transfer imminent