Time to step forward on the Spartacus report

Alex Hern writes on the Spartacus report, which shows the extent of opposition to the changes to DLA

 

A new report on the proposed changes to disability living allowance (DLA) shows the extent of the government’s suppression of evidence around the issue.

The Department for Work and Pensions held a public consultation on the issue, but then proceeded to bury much of the findings.

A freedom of information request to the DWP revealed, among other things, that:

• 98 per cent of respondents objected to the qualifying period for benefits being raised from three months to six months

• 99 per cent of respondents objected to Disability Living Allowance no longer being used as a qualification for other benefits

• 92 per cent opposed removing the lowest rate of support for disabled people

As we reported on Friday, the Mayor of London’s submission to the consultation agreed with the vast majority of respondents on all three of those issues, arguing that:

“The three-month benefit qualification period [for Disability Living Allowance] should be retained, rather than extending this to six months as proposed”

And that he is:

“Concerned about the government suggestion to remove automatic entitlement [to Disability Living Allowance] for certain groups. Claims should be based on the needs and circumstances of the individual applying.”

The mayor also refused to support changing from a three-tier system of benefits to two, saying:

“As those on the lower rate care component may have  additional costs as a result of their impairment but may lose their access to this benefit as part of the proposed removal under the reforms.”

The mayor’s submission also highlighted the key fact to bear in mind when considering the DLA changes:

The Department of Work and Pensions statistics give the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5 per cent.

The report also concludes, among other things, that:

• Only seven per cent of organisations that took part in the consultation were fully in support of plans to replace DLA with PIP

• There was overwhelming opposition in the consultation responses to nearly all of the government’s proposals for DLA reform

• The government has consistently used inaccurate figures to exaggerate the rise in DLA claimants

• Respondents to the consultation repeatedly warned that the government’s plans could breach the Equality Act, the Human Rights Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The full report, Responsible Reform, lays out the case for keeping DLA in great detail.

Sue Marsh asks supporters to join the campaign:

Tweeting using the hashtag #spartacusreport “I support the #spartacus report”

Change Facebook status to “I support the Spartacus Report”

Email your MP with the links to the report and the press release using this short covering letter

Disabled people will be hurt by the government’s reforms. It is in everyone’s interest to help this fight.

See also:

Boris has slammed Coalition welfare reforms – from the leftDaniel Elton, January 6th 2012

Five reasons to oppose the welfare billDaniel Elton, December 12th 2011

Society and the media are failing the sick and disabledSue Marsh, May 13th 2011

Government plans to cut DLA could cause extreme hardshipSue Marsh, January 24th 2011

Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cutsSarah Ismail, January 12th 2011

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

25 Responses to “Time to step forward on the Spartacus report”

  1. Anonymous

    The Department of Work and Pensions statistics give the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5 per cent.

    ===========

    Doesn’t include the state committing fraud does it?

    ie. Moving people from unemployment to DLA/ICB.

    Why has the number of disabled people risen from 1 million to 2.5 million?

    Is the NHS damaging people’s health? Could be. They contribute to the deaths or kill 20-80,000 a year (NHS’s own estimate).

    Work place disability? Unlikely. Or is it that the ‘Elf and Safety is doing people in.

    Increased participation by women in the workforce, meaning they can claim. In part yes, but still not enough to explain an extra 1.5 million.

    That leaves the obvious. Government is allowing extra people to claim the benefit because it was politically expedient.

    Any other evidence for this?

    Yes. The assessment process reveals that large numbers have decided the game is up, and aren’t claiming.

    Queue the standard response. 40% of appeals are successful. Barmy logic then says, that must be representative of all claimants – not. It’s only the people who are border line who will appeal, and aren’t representative of all claimants.

  2. hindle-a

    “ie. Moving people from unemployment to DLA”-dear me NOT an out of allowance also paid to children and just shy of one million pensioners(the” work shy scroungers”)

  3. hindle-a

    “ie. Moving people from unemployment to DLA”-dear me NOT an out of allowance also paid to children and just shy of one million pensioners(the” work shy scroungers”)

  4. Guest

    Lord blagger – you have revealed the general ignorance which has sunk into the those who cannot think for themselves but are indoctrinated by inaccurate media spin.

    How many more times do disabled people have to say this for it to sink in? DLA is NOT an out of work benefit. So your hypothesis that the government is moving people from “Unemployment Benefit” to DLA is obviously incorrect. Nor is it means tested. It can be claimed by millonaires. Ask David Cameron – he claimed it for his son. He now seeks to deny it to those who do not have his millions to fall back on to pay for their carers/wheelchairs/heating/travel to hospital appointments/meals on wheels etc.

    Your lack of informed opinion is shown by your reference to unemployment benefit and IB. Neither exist anymore.

    In fact the process is working the other way. Sick and disabled people are being forced of Employment and Support Allowance by computerised, privatised, faked medical assessments, onto Jobseekers Allowance. 31 people have died so far awaiting appeals for medical that found them “fit” to work. At least 16 people have committed suicide, after being found wrongly “fit” for work.

    Do at least try and read the report “Responsible Reform”. Very ill people have put a lot of time and effort and fundraising into writing and publishing the real responses to the government’s DLA consultation process. Contrary to the government’s claims that most consultees were in support of abolishing DLA and changing to PIP, you will find the majority were actually opposed – including Boris Johnson and many major charities. You will also find the real information about the benefit, who receives it and why. You will also find the figures used by the government to claim the numbers have dramatically risen are false.

    Read the truth or promulgate the myths. Or do you not mind a democracy where misinformation is put into the public realm to give you your opinions, so you don’t have to think for yourself?

    If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you like to be subjected to an assessment to see if you were REALLY ill and then have any ESA stopped after one year after paying National Insurance for 30 years? Would you like to have to wait 6 months after a serious illness or accident before you would even become eligible to claim the new PIP? How would you, your mother, brother or child survive?

  5. Guest

    Lord blagger – you have revealed the general ignorance which has sunk into the those who cannot think for themselves but are indoctrinated by inaccurate media spin.

    How many more times do disabled people have to say this for it to sink in? DLA is NOT an out of work benefit. So your hypothesis that the government is moving people from “Unemployment Benefit” to DLA is obviously incorrect. Nor is it means tested. It can be claimed by millonaires. Ask David Cameron – he claimed it for his son. He now seeks to deny it to those who do not have his millions to fall back on to pay for their carers/wheelchairs/heating/travel to hospital appointments/meals on wheels etc.

    Your lack of informed opinion is shown by your reference to unemployment benefit and IB. Neither exist anymore.

    In fact the process is working the other way. Sick and disabled people are being forced of Employment and Support Allowance by computerised, privatised, faked medical assessments, onto Jobseekers Allowance. 31 people have died so far awaiting appeals for medical that found them “fit” to work. At least 16 people have committed suicide, after being found wrongly “fit” for work.

    Do at least try and read the report “Responsible Reform”. Very ill people have put a lot of time and effort and fundraising into writing and publishing the real responses to the government’s DLA consultation process. Contrary to the government’s claims that most consultees were in support of abolishing DLA and changing to PIP, you will find the majority were actually opposed – including Boris Johnson and many major charities. You will also find the real information about the benefit, who receives it and why. You will also find the figures used by the government to claim the numbers have dramatically risen are false.

    Read the truth or promulgate the myths. Or do you not mind a democracy where misinformation is put into the public realm to give you your opinions, so you don’t have to think for yourself?

    If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you like to be subjected to an assessment to see if you were REALLY ill and then have any ESA stopped after one year after paying National Insurance for 30 years? Would you like to have to wait 6 months after a serious illness or accident before you would even become eligible to claim the new PIP? How would you, your mother, brother or child survive?

Comments are closed.