Saturday, 10 December 2011

Time Limiting ESA - Template Letter to Lords

Yesterday, I asked you all to write to a Lib Dem peer and plead with them to vote against time limiting ESA to just one year.

Today, I've written a template letter for you to use. Template letters are certainly less effective - many parliamentarians won't open more than one or two of them. However, they are better than not writing at all. For every peer who receives 5, 10, 50 template letters, at least they get to see the strength of feeling people have over an issue.

If you don't have the confidence to write your own, please use this one. Peers might also remember that I write for disabled people. Many cannot write a letter themselves. Due to physical or mental disabilities, I have often had comments from those so very grateful that a template letter I have provided allowed them to engage democratically.

"Dear .........................

I am writing to you in the hope that you will vote against time limiting ESA to just one year in the coming welfare reform bill Report Stage and Third Reading.

-700,000 people with serious illnesses and impairments will be affected by this policy, many losing any right to an independent income.

-The means test is set at just £7,500 per year, meaning that a partner must support an unwell or disabled loved one if they earn more than this.

-Families already overwhelmingly living in poverty will lose £4661 per year. This is three times as much as higher rate taxpayers will lose in child benefit.

-This policy only affects working families and savers as it only applies to those who have contributed NI or have savings over £6000.

-It is a disincentive to work and will only encourage families to break down

-The only justification ministers have given for this policy is that "We can't afford it"
Sick and disabled people with limited capability for work are conflated with jobseekers as ministers claim ESA must be brought into line with JSA

-Ministers admit that 94% of those affected will not have found work by the end of the year. They also insist that it is irrelevant whether or not they have recovered.

-People with serious, lifelong, and degenerative conditions will all be affected by this. People with MS, Cancer, Parkinsons, Bowel Disease, Kidney Failure, Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar and many many more conditions will lose benefits, left in limbo until they are judged unable to do any kind of work at all,.

At your annual conference this year, Liberal Democrat members voted overwhelmingly to oppose an "arbitrary time limit" on ESA. Please, please, stand by the wishes of your grassroots and of your party and oppose this cruellest of measures.

We are relying on you to help us. Only Liberal Democrat peers can provide a majority and ensure that a one year time limit on sickness benefits is not made law. Please, you promised to protect the most vulnerable and if ever a policy hit the most vulnerable the hardest, then it is time limiting ESA.

Many thanks



Here is a link to Lib Dem Peers. Simply click on it, pick a letter of the alphabet at random, and copy and paste in the letter.
The more you can do, the more we can persuade. Thank you.

Finally, please keep up the pressure and RT, share on Facbook, email to friends and feel free to cross post this.


Anonymous said...

When is the vote? (I'll try to message at least one peer a day until the vote).

Anonymous said...

Done. I personalised it a bit by telling the Lord my story. I hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

Done. I used the template and cut out a lot of it, tailoring it to my own case. I picked a Human Rights man, Lord Lester.Hope today is not too late.

Anonymous said...

Btw - the Child Poverty Action Group recently told their supporters to choose a peer with a surname closest to their own and message them to ensure a wide pool of peers are lobbied. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I messaged every lib dem peer with an email address. The only one who replied was Kate Parminter who said "Thank you for contacting me. I will listen carefully to the debate".


Anonymous said...

How many times over the past year have we tried to get the MP's to listen, and how many times have they ignored everybody, not just the disabled. This will turn into a human rights disaster like of which is only found in the third world countries, but until then, I doubt they will listen to anybody. All they are interested in is saving money, if they are willing as has been already shown, to condem disabled children, what hope has anybody else got. I have a disabling condition that will not get better, it will only get worse, and I am terrified of what is going to happen to me over the next year or so. I could very well end up homeless, which could push my illness to the limits. That to me, makes Cameron a he has basically given me a death sentance. How many other people will have to die before this government changes their minds.....