I get the feeling that the tide may be starting to turn in relation to welfare reform. This is just a gut feeling, nothing more, but I have some evidence – not that the Government is starting to listen, yet, but that other organisations and individuals are finding their voice and that the media is starting to listen.
So where’s this evidence? Here’s just some:
- Welfare Reform and DLA reform in particular is discussed today on the BBC – on the Daily Politics on BBC2 and on Women’s Hour on Radio 4. OK, maybe the coverage isn’t as impartial as we’d like, but it’s a start, and it’s a lot better than what we’ve seen from the BBC until now.
- Disability Rights UK today publishes its economic impact assessment of the abolition of DLA and its replacement by PIP: Impact assessing the abolition of working age DLA – Disability Rights UK
- I have recently had encouraging contact with the Chief Executive of Motability and one of the organisation’s governors. They are very much aware of the risks to disabled people’s independence of the mobility criteria of PIP and are doing all they can behind the scenes to help us.
- The publication in early March of the 23rd report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights: Implementation of the Right of Disabled People to Independent Living. The committee expressed the fear that DLA reform (the abolition of DLA and the introduction of PIP) would restrict disabled people’s right to independent living enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by the UK Government in 2009.
However, the problem is that these achievements in themselves will not make enough difference. We need to build on them to ensure the Government cannot continue to ignore us. Since protesting in central London doesn’t even get reported on the BBC and is ignored by the Government, we need to think of something else to get their attention.