Amnesty International condemns coalition for assault on disabled

At its AGM on April 14 2013, Amnesty International UK passed a resolution on the Human Rights of sick and disabled people in the UK.

At its AGM on April 14 2013, Amnesty International UK passed a resolution on the Human Rights of sick and disabled people in the UK.

The resolution read:

“This AGM calls for urgent action to halt the abrogation of the human rights of sick and disabled people by the ruling Coalition government and its associated corporate contractors.

Calls for Amnesty International UK to urgently work with grassroots human rights campaigns by and for sick and disabled people, carers and their families. And to set up a specialist Disability Human Rights network…..

To protect the human rights of people with disabilities, ill people and carers to halt this regressive and lethal assault on our rights.”

You can read the full resolution here.

This month saw the introduction of the notorious Bedroom Tax; it’s has been estimated that two thirds of the households hit by the tax contain disabled people. Atos Healthcare’s ‘fitness to work’ assessments of disabled people – a linchpin of the coalition’s welfare reforms – have also been slammed by charities and paralympians.

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.

50 Responses to “Amnesty International condemns coalition for assault on disabled”

  1. OldLb

    Direct result of you running up massive debts that can’t be paid.

    For example, 2.4 billion for the Olympics ends up as 11 bn and still climbing.

    5,300 bn of pensions debt hidden off the books.

    400 bn of PFI, hidden off the books.


  2. Harry Alffa

    You are either moronic or dishonest if you blame any government or party for the financial crisis.

    You are either moronic or dishonest if you declare there is no link between the financial crisis and the economic crisis.

    You are either moronic or dishonest if you declare there is no link between the increase in deficit and the economic crisis.

  3. Bill Eborn

    but more the result of the degree of exposure and dependence on an under-regulated financial sector that was incapable of behaving responsibly. PFI is a way of obtaining much needed investment in hospitals and schools in such a way that it does not conflict with borrowing restrictions that fail to distinguish between borrowing to cover current expenditure and investment, it’s not hidden off the books but it is an expensive way of doing it. Actually the UK’s deficit was amongst the lowest in the OECD prior to the crisis

  4. OldLb

    There is a link, but the financial mess is not the cause its a symptom.

    So if you believe what you say, you can put some numbers too it.

    1. The pensions debt. It’s 5,300 bn according to the ONS. Taxes are 550 bn a year, Spendng 700 bn.

    That cannot be paid. Tell us how with some numbers if you think I’m wrong.

    That’s the economic crisis in a nutshell. People not paying their debts. That took out the retail (not casino) banks.

    The government not paying its debts is going to screw and make destitute at least 30% of the UK, and more likely 70-80%. 30% only have enough money to last a month if not working. They won’t be able to retire because the state spent all their contributions.

    Both the past, the current and the future crisis are cause by people not paying their debts.

    The banking mess hasn’t cost the government anything. They have profitted from it to the tune of 250 bn.

    The pensions mess is going to cost the UK population trillions. Thousands of billions of pounds.

  5. B.Parker

    The government say I am fit for work , yet I have been housebound for the last 21 year, how stupid are thier rules

  6. judge dredds dirty undies

    There is plenty of money to help the needy. This has nothing to do with debt, it has everything to do with greed, amorality and downright ignorance.

  7. OldLb

    No there isn’t, unless you think spending people’s pension money, leaving them with no pension a good thing.

    Maxwell did it, and look what the consequences were for the pensioners.

    So back to the question, because you won’t answer it with numbers.

    Are you disputing the 5,300 bn pension debt? ONS figures

    What about the increase? 2005-10 it went up by 736 bn a year. ONS again.

    There is no money. It’s gone. It’s been spent. There is just a massive state debt that can’t be paid. Can’t doesn’t mean there is a choice.

  8. RickB

    I was the proposer of this resolution, I would appreciate if you added a link to

  9. judge dredds dirty undies

    The national debt was higher when both the NHS and the welfare state were established. We appear to have survived. The goverment could easily find the money. Roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest. Collect the billions that corporations avoid in tax. Stop wasting money on things like trident. And if the pensions system needs reforming so be it.

  10. Sister of Darkness

    Why punish the sick and disabled for a mess they didn’t cause? Please give me one good reason for why my disabled fiancé has to live on £75 less each month? And he did work as long as he could.

    He was bullied at school and work for his disability but he got over it. And now he gets bullied by those who suppose to help him. You call this justice?!?

    It were the banks that gambled with imaginary money as if they were casinos. And instead of letting them rot and send them to prison the government went and bought the corrupt lot. And now they blame the ones who have no choice but to rely on welfare for the mess by twisting statistics or just telling blunt lies.

    More than half or welfare claimants ARE in work which tells me there is something seriously wrong. If you work full time and you can not support yourself and your family then we have too many greedy companies who do not care for their employees welfare but only care for how much money they can put aside for themselves and their share holders.

    I just can not see the Tories changing anything about this because they are and always have been the same greedy bunch who do NOT care about the people’s welfare but just about how much is in their own pocket.
    Let all the charities look after the poor so we do not have to. That is their attitude.

    Never forget: A country is judged by the way it treats its poor and disabled. It just dropped quiet a few ranks.

  11. Albert Curie

    people who have been diagnosed as being to ill to work by GPs and or hospital Drs are being declared well enough to work on the say so of physiotherapists and nurses employed by a business organisation contracted to reduce the amount of social security payments given to people who have been declared as too ill to works by unbiased NHS Drs.That is a moral outrage and makes a mockery of UK civil liberties, justice and any sense of fair play.

  12. Albert Curie

    Their rules are not stupid from their point of view they want to strip people of state financial support come what may.They don’t care whether you are medically fit for work or not

  13. Albert Curie

    The social security benefits in France Holland and Germany are far more generous than they are in the Uk.If the govt are really short of money then they need to ensure that companies pay due tax.Taxing them on UK turnover would be a simple solution.

  14. Susanne Deumig

    It’s disgusting how the ConDems are treating the sick and disabled people in this country.
    They need to address the causes to the high welfare bill, not cut people off, causing them to lose the will to live. It’s inhumane.

    1. Tackle rental controls and the Housing Benefit Bill WILL go down.

    2. Build more social housing and the waiting list and unemployment will go down.

    3. Increase the minimum wage to a livable wage and the Tax Credits Bill will go down.

    4. Tackle tax avoidance and tax loopholes and we will have the funds to pay the poorest and disabled enough in benefits to ensure they don’t go hungry or cold.

    5. Make State Pensions and Cold Weather Payments means tested to avoid paying the rich that don’t need it. Peter Stringfellow wasn’t happy about receiving it, he said that others are desperate, whilst he is not.

    6. Restrict immigration and introduce a point system or similar, like other countries do to protect themselves, like Germany, Australia and USA.

    7. Put the highest tax bracket up to 55%. If Germany can do it, so can we.

    8. Make politicians and governments ACCOUNTABLE if they break pre-election promises. I’m so sick of David Cameron ensuring that the poor and sick are tortured until they lose the will to live, when he had promised in 2010 that they would be protected.

    9. Restrict MPs expenses and only allow minimal 2nd home allowances. I don’t see why they should just have a small 1-bed apartment somewhere near parliament that doesn’t cost £24,000 per year. Let them take sandwiches to work like everyone else in the country, rather than paying £36 for breakfast. That’s crazy and it’s more than some people’s entire food budget for the week. Most other European countries do this, like Sweden and Germany.

    10. Restrict the banking system and Banker’s bonuses, especially if they are state owned.

    11. Regulate the energy firms so that people are charged fairly.

    12. Protect the farming industry and small corner shops.

    There are so many things that need to be done … why can’t they just start on some of them?? It’s totally crazy!!

    The problem is, they know all this, but refuse to do anything about it, because pampered politicians like David Cameron, George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg are millionaires themselves. They are so far removed from reality, they just don’t care. They go home every night to their mansions and champagne & lobster dinners.

  15. tina fassenfelt

    yes the coalition govt have taken away part of the equality act,they did it on tuesday.nothing was reported in the media,I read it on here ,it now means the man who had out of court settlement for 2k with atos over wca ,he cited equality act now means rights have been strpped away ,it was kept very quiet.good that amnesty are getting involved we need somebody to protect human rights of disabled and carers.nothing ever reported on the media,had dispatches and panorama programmes and yet still have atos been awarded contracts.

  16. LB

    Doesn’t include the money the state owes people for their pensions.

    ‘Official national debt’ 1,200 bn. Far higher than at any time in the past. Many many times that when then NHS was formed, and the welfare state established.

    To get ‘True debt’, when you include the debts of the welfare state, you need to add another 5,300 bn to the total.

    That ignores PFI, cleaning up the nukes, and welfare payments, and spending. …

    It’s bust.

    You are being completely dishonest.

    1. The borrowing was not above 1,200 billion in the past, because its at record highs. That’s your first deceipt.

    2. The second one is to omit the pensions owed to people for all those contributions.

    If you deny that is a debt, then the conclusion is you won’t honour the debt.

  17. ref

    what human rights are disabled people being stripped of? I’m disabled and I haven’t noticed any changes

  18. RickB

    Well you are very lucky, but do pay attention once you are reassessed for PIP probably after 2015. There are no life time DLA awards anymore, all will be reassessed under PIP by Capita & Atos and their track record is one of abusive fraud.

  19. ref

    I’m not on benefits. I work as do many other disabled people I know. We want to be treated just as non-disabled people are treated, not written off and told to sit at home and be grateful for handouts.

  20. ref

    you could work from home like I do? being at home doesn’t make you unfit for work

  21. judge dredds dirty undies

    1.Liability and debt are not the same thing. 2. We dont know how the combined pension figures compare to the past because they’ve not been released before.

    This is all moot anyway since Osbournes austerity measures are utterly failing anyway.

  22. stew

    number 6 sounds a bit racist? I thought immigration was a benefit to the country, must be you don’t want them here because of their skin colour.

  23. RickB

    DLA is an in work benefit. I suspect you might be in need of some Troll Mints.

  24. ref

    liability and debt are very similar – you are morally obliged to pay both but in reality you can default on either.

    we know public sector pensions will be defaulted on to a large extent. they are mathematically unaffordable. the government just hasn’t told anyone yet!

    I work in the public sector and I am assuming there won’t be a pension to speak of and that I won’t be able to retire before I die, but that’s life! Only the baby boomers got the 30 year retirements – the generation before didn’t and nor will the one after.

  25. ref

    how would I know? never claimed. but I know plenty of disabled and non-disabled people at home on some form of disability benefit or the other. and I know plenty of disabled people in work who wouldn’t dream of claiming for their disability – they get on the best they can and don’t want to be pigeon-holed.

  26. rfwr

    you’re right about the Labour government buying the banks. that was as close to insanity as you’ll ever find. bad banks/shoe shops/phone companies need to go bust. that’s how the free market works. they know now even more than before they can do anything and be bailed out. just a case of finding the right way through the legislation. the next crash will be bigger but its sole cause will be the government’s nationalisation of the banks.

    britisg leyland was shit. government owned Lloyds is shit

  27. RickB

    So how long have been ashamed of ‘pigeon holed’? What in society makes you feel that way? Why do you express the angst from that as hostility to people having their human rights removed? Why not come out of the disablist closet and join us? It’s much nicer out here.

  28. ref

    I’m not pigeon-holed. I do fine. I have some problems but I have a sympathetic workplace. every time I go to a doctor I have to emphasise I don’t want to go on benefits – I think they expect it – and they all offer it.

    I don’t believe people are having their human rights removed. I asked you earlier in the thread and you haven’t given me an answer.

  29. RickB

    Here’s one, it is not an isolated incident your lived experience may tell you otherwise but thousands of such testimonies now exist, so listen and learn.

  30. ref

    And she has my deepest sympathies. If we can get the people who are able-bodied back to work and help the people with problems who would like to work then there’ll be plenty of money for the hard cases.

    My lived experience says there are many many people who are on disability benefits who should be working. I also believe there are very genuine and difficult cases. It is not easy task to separate the two, especially with many people claiming benefits for disabilities that can’t be independently tested for.

    I have back problems that range from acute and transient to acute and chronic. You can see this in my MRI scans. Unfortunately there are people with worse looking scans who feel fine and people with barely anything to see who are heavily disabled. This is a difficult problem. At the easier end of the scale I know people who are on out of work disability benefits because they have trouble sleeping, are depressed or are drinking too much. These people would be better off in work, for themselves, taxpayers and the genuinely needy.

  31. RickB

    What makes you privilege your non expert judgement above others and their doctors?

    Are you denying depression is a genuine debilitating illness?

    The issue is in the determintaino of ‘genuinely needy’ they are fraudlently denying people their medical conditions

    Are you aware there was a 25% rise in negative media portrayals of disabilty in the same year a 25% rise in disability hate crime? A planned campaign by government to enable policy so people such as yourself would adopt these attitudes and deny the reality of human rights abuse? That the fraud rate is actually LESS THAN 1%?

  32. ref

    the fraud rate is probably less than 1%. the people I know who are taking the mickey because they are having an extended break are not actually committing fraud. they are going to the doctor, claiming to be unable to sleep and are depressed and getting signed off work. genuine depression is debilitating. the pubs are full of the not genuinely disabled.

  33. John McAuley

    why do more disabled people not know this there has been a rise on attacks on disabled people from the public as well as the verbal and benefit attacks from the coalition its just demonising people

  34. LB

    They are the same.

    Liabillities are debts. According to GAAP and FRS17 (the accounting standards) they should appear as liabiltiies.

    Borrowing is just another debt or liabilitiy.

    My point to judge dredd is exactly as he says. They haven’t been reported. They still aren’t. you have to know where they hide the numbers.

    The national debt was higher when both the NHS and the welfare state were established.


    So this statement of his is a lie.

    1. It omits the pensions, and that pushes the debt in the past and now higher.

    2. The current borrowing figure alone, of 1,200 bn exceeds that in 1948, the date of the founding of the NHS. The figure for 1948 for the borrowing is 25.6 billion.

    Nothing like the facts to expose lies.

  35. LB

    Well, correct.

    GIven the choice between a fire service, and paying fire servicemen’s pensions, the fire service wins.

    The problem you face ref, is how to provide for your future, and protect it against the kleptomaniacs in power.

  36. Nancy Farrell

    The BBC Panorama programme was buried in the Olympics as was the dispatches programme that was shown just after it on the same day.

  37. Nancy Farrell

    I now disabled people who refuse to claim too for the reasons you give, they don’t want to be pigeon holed and found the tests degrading etc (and this was before the new WCA). It is not as easy for most disabled people to find understanding employers though sadly. And my friend works from home and the min bulk of her work is because before her accident she was a nurse so now can be a medical secretary for a doctor. Again sadly we are not all so lucky as to have an opportunity like that. I’ve been trying to find a way to work from home that will support me without having to claim benefits for years without success. It would be wonderful if all disabled people who were able could find suitable work, but it’s just not realistic to expect it to happen over night like this government expects it to.

  38. Χριστός Παλμερ

    Glad that the motion was passed. Disabled people have had enough bullying at the hands of Atos and their masters the DWP.

  39. Julia ې Peculiar

    Ever so slightly patronising comment to make!

  40. Julia ې Peculiar

    Hmm…I’m thinking you may know little about depression, insomnia and alcohol addiction! Please don’t judge people you know nothing about.

  41. Julia ې Peculiar

    My sentiments exactly, Susanne. Well said!!

  42. cfc1888

    important to remember it was LABOUR who introduced both Employment And Support Allowance and ATOS with their disgraceful, unproffesional and negligent assessments, the Tories have just fast tracked the destruction of the welfare state by bringing in PIP to replace DLA and with the introduction of Universal Credit & the Bedroom Tax.

  43. Alexk

    Crap, most of the immigrants in the last few years have been white. They have been imported by big business in order to get rid of jobs for the native population.

    And these immigrants get exploited very badly: £35 a day for a 12 hour day as I recall from on post on Shout99

    Personally I get on better with immigrants, especially the non-white ones, than with most native British, especiallyTory voters. I do not want a mono-ethnic society but there comes a point at which incomers pose a threat to the economy even greater than the threat the coalition pose

    Immigration MAY be a benefit to the country IF there are enough jobs to go round. Otherwise, as in 1918 and 1948 and under New Labour, immigration serves only to keep wages down and the poor at the bottom of society.

    Remember next year 29 million East European Gypsies will be able to come here and claim benefits just by saying they are looking for work. There are many British born people cannot claim benefits. If even one in 10 arrive it will break the system in the UK. Businesses will love it, loads of minimum wage workers subsidised, through the benefit system, by the government,

    Citing “Racism” just plays into the hands of the 1% here.

  44. alexk

    Precisely. It looks like the fit to work decision is driven by targets imposed by Government, not by evidence.

  45. alexk

    Have you adjusted the figures for inflation?

  46. LB

    The numbers published by the ONS are all present values so they are inflation adjusted.

    The 5,300 bn number was 5,010 bn over two years ago. Since its a pension debt and there is a triple lock, that means that the debt must have grown by at least 2.5% in the interim. That makes 5,300 bn.

    Now that’s a minimum. The problem is that there are more people paying in than those taking out. So in addition to the triple lock increase, there is another increase for the demographic part.

    You can get a hint of just how much this is by looking at the increase in the debt between 2005 and 2010, which was 736 billion a year.

    A 150 billion a year increase is a large underestimate.

    So what’s your problem with the government’s own numbers?

    I’ll tell you what mine is. They can’t pay that sort of debt. That means lots of people are going to be screwed in the old age.

  47. R J

    I work from home and earn more than most non-disabled people, and probably you too, and after spending a long time with the disabled community to investigate what’s actually going on with these changes, I realize how lucky I am to be in a position to do so. If you don’t understand why this is an issue you need to go actually meet the people you’re criticizing and see the situation for yourself. The idea of people being “workshy” and the “get on your bike” attitude reflects a complete inability to understand the situation of disabled people who need basic support to live dignified lives, and that support is being denied.

  48. filthykafur

    mate..youre a f…king idiot!

  49. filthykafur

    Stew…that’s a disgraceful thing to say to Susanne ! Shes right…we should control immigration no matter what the skin colour… Other countries don’t come here by right, they come as invited visitors until they are made permanent. Im sick of you lefties always ready to say “RACIST” !

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.