Tag Archives: Mike Penning

Disabled Protesters Heading Back To DWP As Fight To Save Independent Living Heats Up

dwp-protest2

A previous protest outside the DWP in protest at the closure of the ILF

The fight to save the Independent Living Fund (ILF) is heating up with a fresh court challenge to this needless cut which could lead to some disabled people being institutionalised to save money.

A judicial review has been launched against the closure whilst protest is also hitting the streets with an Independence Day Party starting outside the DWP on July 4th.

The ILF provides vital support for 18,000 severely disabled people and is used to top up to local authority funding for people with particularly high support needs.  Should the fund be closed then people will be dependent on already cash-strapped local councils leaving them little control over their care and support packages.  There are very real fears that this could lead to disabled people being placed in institutions, or trapped in their own homes with no options for living independently.  Combined with local authority cuts already taking place, such as the removal of taxi-card schemes and care funding being slashed, the result  of closing the ILF will be devastating.

A legal challenge against the closure has already been successful when the Appeal Court ruled the the move was illegal in November last year.  This was down to a ruling that the then Minster for Murdering Disabled People Esther McVey hadn’t bothered to learn the facts about the impact of closing the ILF and therefore was unable to make an adequate assessment of the consequences.  McVey was eventually moved and put in charge of workfare, however new minister Mike Penning spitefully announced in Spring that the closure was now back on due to them filling out a form properly or something.

According to Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) the DWP has since admitted that “in considering the proposal once again it had not consulted with any organisations or individuals outside of Government. It had not gathered any additional information from local authorities or other sources about what level or type of support former ILF users would receive from social services once the ILF element was removed and how many people would be likely to go into residential care or lose their ability to work or study.”

Therefore the fresh legal challenge will be along the same lines as the first.

A nationwide day of action for independent living has also been called for July 4th.  In London an Independent Living Tea Party is being held which promises fun. games, entertainment, and of course civil disobedience.  The event will begin at 2pm outside the DWP, Caxton House, Tothill Street SW1.

Campaigners have called for action around the UK, to find out more visit: http://dpac.uk.net/2014/06/july-4th-our-independent-living-day-party-and-picnic-london-and-around-the-country/

There will also be a Twitter Party using the Hashtag #IL4JULY.  Please share, tweet, blog and help spread the word about all events.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Save The Independent Living Fund – May 12th

DPAC-Logovia Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

Save the Independent Living Fund
“Nursing Homes Stink, They’re Worse than You Think.
We’d Rather Go to Jail Than Die in a Nursing Home”

Join us to protest against the closure of ILF on Monday, May 12th 3pm-5pm outside DWP head quarters, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9WA.

Nearest accessible tube –Westminster.

Click for Face Book Event

Bring things to make lots of noise. We have asked Mike Penning Minister for disabled people to join us but in case he doesn’t we need to make sure he knows we’re there.

More info at: http://dpac.uk.net/2014/05/join-the-save-ilf-protest-monday-may-12th-london-dwp/

Please help spread the word and tweet on the day in support using hashtag #SaveILF.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Esther McVey Lied – Only 10% of DLA Awards Are Based On Just Filling In A Form

government-lieFigures just released by the DWP show that new Employment Minister Esther Mcvey used bare-faced lies to justify changes to disability benefits in her previous role as Minister for Disabled People.

The figures record the evidence used to assess Disability Living Allowance claims (PDF), the benefit intended to meet the additional costs of living with a disability and which is available to those in or out of work.  Despite repeated claims from Ministers that all people have to do to qualify for DLA is fill in a form, the figures show that in almost all cases this is untrue.

Just 10% of DLA claims are based on the form only – a form which is 40 pages long – and even then further medical evidence, such as copies of prescriptions or medical reports will usually have been provided.  In 40% of claims a GP’s report is required for a successful claim and in a further 45% of cases further evidence is used, such as a information from a social worker or healthcare professional.  6% of claimants are called in for a face-to-face assessment.

This means it was a breath-taking lie when Esther Mcvey stated earlier in the year that“around 50 per cent of (DLA) decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone – without any additional corroborating medical evidence.”

This vital benefit is now being renamed Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and a new Atos style assessment system will determine who qualifies for support.  The originally stated aim of this change – although ministers seem to have gone quiet on the fact – is to strip disability benefits from a fifth of adult claimants.  Almost everyone currently claiming DLA will eventually be re-assessed using crude tests similar to the notorious Work Capability Assessment which has seen hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people wrongly judged ‘fit for work’.  In her role as Minister for Disabled People it was McVey’s job to justify this savage new regime which is likely to bring destitution and chaos to the lives of many disabled people.  That job is now being done by ex-army man Mike Penning.  A trained killer is finally in charge of the Office for Disability Issues.

McVey was promoted to Employment Minister in the recent reshuffle, replacing skiving Mark Hoban who after a year of barely being in the job was sacked to make way for someone with a more pro-active approach to bullshitting the public.  Previously Chris Grayling had occupied the role where he wove epic fictions about the social security system which were endlessly repeated by a fawning right wing press.

McVey seems determined to keep up that tradition and has got off to a flying start by cheering the recent fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.  The DWP are dragging their feet on providing the most recent statistics for sanctions and disallowances in the Jobseeker’s Allowance system.  It is likely this fall is down in part to people having benefits refused due to  stricter conditions for claiming the dole rather than people finding work.  But you’ll never hear that from the DWP,  especially now there is yet another lying bastard occupying the role of Employment Minister.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid