Tag Archives: Access To Work

Access To Work Cuts Show The True Nature Of This Pig-Fucking Government

access-to-work-marchCuts to the Access To Work scheme – which pays for adaptations, equipment and support for disabled people in the workplace – shows the true nature of this pig-fucking Government.

Whilst Iain Duncan Smith rants at disabled people to get a job, the changes being made to Access To Work will make this impossible for many.  That won’t stop people’s benefits being slashed however.  Some sick and disabled people are now being plunged into desperate poverty, with no way out.  It is little wonder that benefit claimants and disabled people are now openly calling Iain Duncan Smith a murderer.

A march is taking place in London on Saturday (26th Sept) to protest against the cuts to the Access To Work scheme.  According to the organisers:

“Changes to Access to Work mean that Deaf, Deaf blind and hard of hearing and disabled people are being restricted to unrealistic budgets for support that does not meet their needs. The budgets are insufficient to fund qualified interpreters and personal assistants and prevent personal choice or control, placing jobs at risk.

“The introduction of arbitrary rules has changed the relationship between Access to Work and the individuals it supports. Deaf and disabled people are no longer being acknowledged as the experts in their own access needs and issues and problems they raise are being ignored.

“Please stop the changes to Access to Work support for BSL users and disabled people.”

The march will be gathering at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3JY at 12pm on Saturday 26th September.  Please help spread the word and share the facebook page.

For more info visit: http://stopchanges2atw.com/

And don’t forget the Fuck Parade on Saturday night in Shoreditch!

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Achieve Your Potential Or Starve, The Government’s Real Message To Young Disabled People

Atos-for-profitAny campaign from this Government which claims to support disabled people should be viewed with suspicion and the latest offering from the DWP is no exception.

The department yesterday put out a press release boasting: “Celebrities have joined forces with the government to help launch a campaign aiming to promote positive role models for disabled people.”

This campaign features a youtube channel where 50 videos have been posted which have “been produced with a focus on overcoming barriers”.  Many of these videos are unsurprisingly about disabled people who have high flying careers, such as Dame Anne Begg, or are stories of disabled entrepreneurs.

The accompanying press release includes a gushing quote from Emmerdale actor Kitty McGeever explaining how after becoming disabled it ‘took some time to get back into work’ but she managed it with the help of the Government’s Access To Work scheme.

This scheme provides funding for workplace adaptions, travel or some care needs for disabled people in employment.  The number of people benefiting from Access To Work has plummeted by over a third since this Government weren’t elected showing the true situation for disabled people currently seeking employment.

Whilst this campaign may be a cheap attempt to improve those figures, it comes against a background of savage cuts to benefits, services and housing for disabled people.  It is a campaign run by a government which is declaring hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people to be ‘fit for work’ with the aim of stopping their benefits.  A government which has been only too happy to force sick and disabled claimants onto workfare as part of the Work Programme –  with no public scrutiny of where they are being sent or for how long.  A government that is set to force potentially hundreds of thousands of disabled people from their homes due to the bedroom tax, benefit cap and other measures.

And when Personal Independence Payments (PIP) fully replace Disability Living Allowance, this is a Government which will have slashed completely a vital benefit for 20% of disabled people.

This move alone is likely to mean that over 50% of disabled people are forced to leave work as funding for specialist equipment, care and transport disappears*.

Vast numbers of disabled people are set to be plunged into poverty by these measures, and it is this which reveals the true intentions of this latest DWP run project.  One of the charities involved in the campaign is quoted as saying that the “project is about showing what disabled people can do – not what they can’t”.

This is eerily similar to David Cameron’s line when interviewed shortly after the  opening of the Paralympic games when he said: “It’s about the inspiration and it will change people’s minds and that’s what matters. It’ll teach people about what they can do, rather than what they can’t do.”

It is also the line used to justify the benefit-stripping Work Capability Assessment which according to the DWP focuses on “what an individual can do despite their health condition, rather than simply what they can’t.”

Minister for Murdering Disabled People, Esther Mcvey also pops up in this week’s press release, and whilst not quite so explicit, her underlying message is the same:  “young disabled people tell me they want to see more inspiring role models to show where disabled people have achieved their ambitions despite the odds being stacked against them”

For young disabled people the odds are stacked against them like never before due to this Government and in this context the true nature of the DWP’s latest campaign becomes clear.  This is not about providing role models for young disabled people or helping people fulfill their potential or even changing perceptions of disabled people as is claimed.  This Government doesn’t care about any of that.  This campaign is yet more insidious DWP propaganda attempting to give the impression that those plunged into poverty due to the ruthless cuts to disability benefits will only have themselves to blame.  If only they’d learnt to play wheelchair rugby, or been a fucking Dame, then they could afford to put the heating on.

The campaign also has a facebook page which might be a good place to share experiences of what people can no longer do due to the vicious cuts to benefits: https://www.facebook.com/Rolemodelsinspire

Dawn Willis writes well about this kind of narrative: ‘I’m not Stephen Fry, how damaging is that?’ from Dawn

*this figure comes from a survey carried out by Disability Rights UK (DRUK) which reported that 56% of those asked said they would have to leave work if they lost their DLA.  DRUK are notoriously in the pockets of the DWP, with Chief Executive Liz Sayce writing a report which recommended the closure of the Remploy factories.  The survey relating to the number of people likely to leave work due to PIP seems to have disappeared from DRUK’s website, for which there is surely an entirely innocent explanation.

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Disaster For Disabled ‘Stock’ As Support For Those In Work Continues To Plummet

access-to-work-stockDespite a gushing press release from Minister for Murdering Disabled People Esther Mcvey, statistics released this week show that the number of disabled ‘stock’ helped through the Access To Work scheme remains at record low levels.

Access To Work is used to fund transport, support workers, specialist equipment and other vital measures for enable disabled people to start, and stay in work.  When the decision was made to close the Remploy factories, this was the scheme that lying ministers claimed would help sacked workers find employment.

Despite these bold claims, figures suggest that the number of people helped by the scheme has collapsed since this Government weren’t elected.  16,540 people started to receive support from the scheme in the year 2009/10.  By last year that number had fallen to just 10,000 and this week’s statistics, in which disabled people are referred to as ‘stock,  show the situation is not getting any better.

The bottom row in the above table reflects the number of people who actually received help for the first time in 2012/13, which is likely to be around 10,330 – and only then if the numbers remain stable.

The figures for new registrations to the scheme, which means people accepted on Access To Work but who have not necessarily yet received any help, are even more underwhelming.  There were just 9,740 new registrations in 2011/12 and 7,380 in the first three quarters of 2012/13*.

Mcvey claims that she is ‘encouraged’ by these dire figures.  This is down to the simple fact that a couple of hundred more people with mental health conditions have received help than previously.  Usually we hear of ministers talking in terms of millions, or at least thousands of people.  Access To Work is such a shambles that the number of disabled people helped is discussed in the 100s.  The number of sick and disabled people who are unemployed is estimated to be around 2.5 million.

Astonishingly, there is no guarantee that those who have used the scheme are even in real paid jobs.  Changes introduced in October last year mean that Access To Work can now be used to fund people who are “about to start a Work Experience placement through the Youth Contract”.

Perhaps the scheme should be renamed Access To Workfare?

The latest figures can be found at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/atw/atw0413.pdf

*Whilst this may result in a miniscule rise of 100 registrations over the year these figures are not yet finalised and may change slightly. They could of course also fall over the last quarter.  In other words all we can really say for sure is that since Esther Mcvey took over as Minister, nothing has changed.  The number of people helped into work is still well over a third less than it was prior to this Government.

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Number Of Disabled People Helped Into Work Drops By Over A Third Boasts DWP

access-to-workMinister for Murdering Disabled People Esther McVey has released a press release today boasting that less disabled people have been helped into work than at any point since 2007.

Murdering McVey refers to regional figures for the Government’s Access To Work scheme, which show that even in large cities such as Leeds or Glasgow, barely a few hundred people are being helped by the scheme.

The latest official figures for the Government’s Access To Work scheme were released in January (PDF), and did not merit a DWP Press Release.  It is easy to understand why.  The figures cover the six month period between April and September 2012 and show that the number of disabled people helped into jobs has plummeted since this Government weren’t elected.

At its peak in 2009/2010, the Access To Work programme, which helps pay for specialist equipment for disabled workers, helped 16,540 new disabled people into employment.

By 2011/12 this numbers had dropped to 9,980.  The latest figures show that just 4,960 people had benefited from the scheme in the first six months of the latest period – meaning if such pitiful performance continues this will be the worst year yet.

This is despite the promises from Ministers that the thousands of sacked Remploy workers would find new jobs through Access To Work.

Even during the worst of the recession 14,010 new people were helped into employment via Access To Work, almost a third higher then the recent dire statistics.  The latest figures suggest one of two things.  The Tories have either broken the Access To Work scheme or despite the manipulated unemployment figures there are no fucking jobs.  Of course both of these things are quite likely to be true.