Well! Well! Look what just landed in my inbox!!! Are Labour finally getting real on sickness and disability? This is VERY important. We've been calling for a cumulative impact assessment for some time. If you want to know why it's important that government look at how ALL the cuts COMBINED will affect disabled people, please read this article I wrote for #Occupy http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/what-is-overall-impact-of-cuts-to.html (reproduced in full at the end of this post)
Please do try to write to your MP and use the hashtag #makerightsreality on twitter to build pressure before the debate at 16:00 on Wednesday 10th July.
Maybe, just maybe all the meetings and emails and campaigning are getting through. Don't let cynicism stop you from getting involved, things WILL get better one day, We always have to keep believing that this will be the day.
Email from Liam Byrne :
"Time to come clean
After more than three years in power, it’s time for this Government to finally come clean and tell us exactly what impact their changes will have on the lives of disabled people and their carers.
So on Wednesday 10 July, Labour will drag Ministers to the House of Commons to debate the changes they have made that affect disabled people, and at about 16:00 we will force a vote to demand a Cumulative Impact Assessment by October 2013 at the latest - and we will be calling on MPs from across the House to support it.
I am asking supporters to help build pressure on the government in three ways:
Write to your MP and ask them to back the motion
Write to your local paper and explain why we urgently need a cumulative impact assessment
Tweet your support using #MakeRightsReality – here’s the link to the motion (http://liambyrne.co.uk/?p=4534)
This government is failing to support our disabled people. It’s time for Ministers to come clean, admit where they are getting things wrong and change course.
It’s time to start making rights a reality for disabled people.
Please forward this email to anyone who might be interested.
Here’s the motion in full:
That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013).
Here is the full text of my article on why we're calling for a cumulative impact assessment. Teh government have simply told us over and over that "They can't afford it" or "It would be too difficult" (I'm not kidding!)
"This is a piece I wrote for Occupied Times, and they have kindly said I can re-produce it here :
"To do his schoolwork, the bare minimum Johnny needs is: paper, a pen, a teacher, a school, a chair to sit on, a desk to sit at, and a packed lunch.
If you take away just Johnny’s lunch, he will go hungry. It would be almost impossible for him to concentrate and do well in school. However, in theory, he could still do schoolwork.
If you just took away his desk, it would make it tricky to write, but Johnny could still do his schoolwork. It would just take longer and be less neat.
If you just took away his teacher, he could, in theory, go to libraries and museums to learn. In theory. Hypothetically, it’s still possible that he could teach himself something, so he could still do his schoolwork.
If you take away his paper and pen and school all at once, he can still sit on the floor and use chalk to write on the ground.
But if you take away Johnny’s paper, pen, teacher, school, chair, desk and lunch, all at once, Johnny is sitting on some ground with nothing, hungry, without a roof over his head. It’s hard to learn anything at all sitting alone, on the ground, with nothing but a piece of chalk.
Now imagine you have a disability or a long-term chronic illness. To manage it with a degree of dignity, you need a carer, a roof over your head, a bed, heating, food and transport. You rely on the carer, who comes in twice a day from social services, because she helps you to get up and get dressed and washed. Without her, you would have to spend all day, every day in bed. But at least you still have a bed.
Or maybe you rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over your head. You are forced to move to a smaller property on the 5th floor of a tower block when your housing benefit is cut. The lift doesn’t work. It means you have to move away from family and friends who help you out whenever they can. They cook meals perhaps, or help with all those jobs around the house you just can’t do.
But at least you still have somewhere to live.
Or maybe you rely on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for transport. It means you can get a taxi to the hairdresser or social club. Without it, you would become isolated. It would be impossible to get to your GP or make hospital appointments.
But, in theory at least, you don’t actually need to go anywhere.
If, however, you cut Disability Living Allowance, housing benefits, social care, hospital budgets, the Independent Living Fund, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income support and the Social Fund, then you are just lying in a bed, hungry and isolated, a prisoner in someone else’s home.
Governments must perform what is called an “impact assessment” on any new policy or law. This government has done the bare minimum to fulfil this commitment. Would it surprise you to know, for instance, that when considering the greatest cuts to disability support in living memory, they claim that they will have no impact on health, no impact on well-being, no impact on human rights, and no impact on the justice system?
The crucial flaw is that they have independently assessed each cut to the services disabled people rely on, as if it existed in a vacuum.
The government has refused to do an overall impact assessment. They have repeatedly refused to assess what the combined impact of their cuts will be. First they said it would be too expensive, then they said it would be too difficult!
Why might it be too difficult? Because they know, as we know, that, metaphorically speaking, the result will be little Johnny sitting on the floor with nothing but a piece of chalk, hungry, without a roof over his head.
The combined impact of removing someone’s DLA so they can no longer afford care or transport, heating or food, cutting their ESA so that they must look for work with cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting their local care support so that they cannot clean themselves or feed themselves, cutting their housing support so that they risk homelessness and, to cap it all, scrapping the Social Fund so that there is no safety net when all else fails, is a strategy so risky that it ought to be criminalised.
We call upon the government to immediately carry out an overall impact assessment of all the cuts to the support that sick and disabled people rely on to live. I’ll say it again – to live. And they must do it now, before it’s too late. Because it’s hard to survive, sitting in the dirt with nothing but a piece of chalk."