Saturday 18 December 2010

Say NO! to DLA cuts - how to take part (UPDATED)

As has been discussed by The Broken of Britain before. the proposed reforms to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are flawed, and no more than cuts in disguise. Stopping the changes to DLA won’t be easy, but there are things each of you can do, either as members of the public or elected representatives. Here’s a guide for those who want to fight:

Members of Parliament: If you hold this office, use it! The first thing to do is sign our petition and to ensure that people know that you support it. You may also wish to tell your disabled constituents. Another possibility is tabling an Early Day Motion opposing the DLA reforms/cuts – or support it if one has already been tabled – and getting colleagues to sign it, as a measure of opinion. Thirdly, you can table an Oral Question on DLA reform during Work and Pensions question time on Monday 10th of January 2011. Lastly, apply to the Speaker’s Office for an adjournment debate. If possible, try to arrange this for Monday 16th of January 2011, as The Broken of Britain has plans (explained below) for the 14th-16th of January.

Lords/Ladies: Again, the first thing to do is sign our petition and to ensure that people know that you support it. You may also wish to table a question to the Government on DLA reform. Lastly, you could table a Question for Short Debate on DLA reform.

Members of devolved legislatures: Cuts to DLA will impact on health spending, social services and local government, not to mention the secondary impact on education. As such, devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are well within their rights to ask serious questions of the UK Government on the issue. As well as signing the petition, member can table a statement of opinion on the DLA reforms. You can also ask the Minister with responsibility for health or local government an oral question, forcing them to put pressure on the Government.

Local politicians: It is important that the pressure on the Government comes from local politicians too. The budget for social care will be hit in your area too, so it is important that you ask questions of the relevant portfolio leader on your council, forcing him to transmit concerns up the ladder.

Members of the public: We may feel quite powerless at times, but there is a lot we can do to maintain the pressure. To do this, follow the steps in this Campaign Resource. The 14th-16th of January 2011 will be the date of The Broken of Britain’s blogswarm, entitled “One Month Before Heartbreak”. The DLA reform consultation end on 14th February, Valentine’s Day, as BendyGirl explains. Between the 14th and 16th, we hope that thousands of people will write – preferably on a disability-related topic – supporting The Broken of Britain and our campaign. If you want to go further, phone your constituency office and ask for a face-to-face meeting with your MP so that you can tell them why they should oppose DLA reform.

NB: Rosemary O'Neill of CarerWatch has another idea for campaigning. If you are unable to protest outside of your home, get your MP to come to you! Phone your constituency office and try to get your MP to visit you at home. The 11th of January is the last date before the DLA reorm consultation closes, but you could ask for a home visit on any date up to then if the 11th isn't possible. MPs are all off from next week until the 10th of January so give them a call at their office to arrange something. Remember, you have a right to see your MP, and if you are not able to make it to see them, they should come to you. When they d visit, sit them down with a cup of tea and tell them your fears of losing DLA.


peter said...

If we all get behind this and stand togrther as one we will do some good,
dont let them walk all over us and cast us aside like we are nothing, we have got a voice so let it be heard as one.
peter lee (Disabled in Merseyside)

Anonymous said...

Surprising amount of support from able bodied friends for our issues - probably because they KNOW us as REAL people . but that is what we all are - REAL people