To Iain Duncan Smith – About this ‘Shake-up’..

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By julijuxtaposed – first posted 28.08.15

 

Mr Iain Duncan Smith,

About this “shake-up“. Could you please find me a job that is tailored to my abilities whilst maximising my potential; one that pays me enough that I could live, not just independently but well; sufficiently that I would require no top-up credits. Of course, I’d still need to retain the gateway awards that I was once told were indefinite and unconditional (such as my DLA and Blue Badge); that recognise how my disabilities are not going anywhere, no matter how cross and determined you are that they will. I apologise for the way my life has unfolded so unhelpfully for everybody – including me – however, I don’t know what real and beneficial work I can do that will be meaningful to Society, will end any State dependence, won’t compromise my health and will satisfy your self-righteous values and relentless need for me to justify my monetary worth within your stupid socio-economic model.

You know that bit where you say “claimants should be made to take up any work they can, even if it is just a few hours”? Well I need a job that I can do as and when I have the physical and mental resources which fluctuate, daily, according to exhaustion, pain level, concentration, the day’s commitments, your downward pressure and my subsequent social anxieties and, consequently, mood, capacity, vulnerability and efficiency. I tend to have problems – even on good days – with travelling, sitting at a desk, walking and standing and my body is deteriorating, generally and specifically – my hands, most recently, to my great distress – from years of coping with my limits and, naturally, I’m not going to get any younger, either.

I’m probably not worth the time and money of an employer who wants me at a shop till or at a desk at a call centre or inputting data, say. And my days of being a cleaner, care-worker, etc are way behind me, now. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not ‘above’ such work – I’ve done many different jobs – but the idea that I’m suitable or capable now is silly. And the notion that it’s worth the financial cost to try to enable me to do such work for an hour or two, here and there, is laughable. I’d really love an actual career but I reckon I may be a bit long in the tooth, now and that the training, itself, would likely be physically inhibitive. Besides, there are plenty of young people who need the start far more than Society should need me to compromise my health further and inevitably cost everyone more as I prostrate myself to prove my sorry lack of market value.

You know that bit where you talk about “a system focused on what a claimant can do and the support they’ll need and not just what they can’t”? Well, my best skills are now reduced to the erratic ability to communicate what is in my mind with a certain amount of eloquence. So, if you mean it about the personalised help and support then perhaps you could fix it for me to be paid for the reading, observing, thinking and writing with which I have primarily learned to content myself? I’m sure you know many who are paid handsomely for doing far less. My best times are indeterminate and unpredictable points within a given 24-hour period, according to the spoons I have, minus those I need just to get through an uneventful day. Take them away from me and I will be a husk.

I’m not saying that there’s nothing I can do, at all or that I think I’m not a worthy human being. I’m saying I can’t jump your petty false-economy hoops and that I’m worth more than that. We all are. And I’m not saying that I’m more special than anyone else, either. I’m saying it has taken me a long time to create a productive life that I can bear, with the resources I have and that my well-being is more important than your shameful social experiments. I’m telling you that I think I would rather die than live the empty life you would prescribe for me. I will not be a scapegoat for your ignorance.

Government Reviewer Opposed ESA Rollout

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Government Reviewer Opposed ESA Rollout

By Sue Marsh, also published here

In 2008, Labour introduced a new out of work sickness benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, to replace the old Incapacity Benefit.

The new system of application and assessments was much tougher, and politicians originally hoped that up to a million people could be moved from the benefit.

However, by 2010, it was clear there were significant flaws in the process. People with mental health and fluctuating conditions were not being fairly treated and successful appeals against “fit for work” decisions soared to 40%.

Professor Harrington was asked to review the new benefit and make recommendations for improving it. As the election took place in 2010, crucially, only new claimants were being assessed. ESA was yet to be rolled out to the more complicated, and often longer term, Incapacity Benefit claimants, though trials were underway in Burnley and Aberdeen.

Most people claim out of work sickness benefits for short periods – perhaps to get through a sports injury, accident or one off surgery – and stop their claims within 2 years. However, this will always leave a few people with serious, life limiting conditions who will need to claim the benefit for longer periods. Over the years, those claims build up, increasing the proportion who need long term support.

When the coalition came to power in May 2010, they immediately announced that they would go ahead and start to reassess those already claiming Incapacity Benefit.

I could never understand this decision. Why would you take a failing benefit and roll it out to almost 2 million of the most vulnerable claimants? Not only that, but at first, just 25,000 people per month were being assessed, but the government constantly increased and increased the numbers until today, nearly 130,000 assessments are carried out every month.

Why? Why would you rush this group through failing assessments, ever faster, when backlogs kept on increasing, tribunals were overturning 40% of decisions that went to appeal and even legally, courts were starting to judge that the test discriminates against certain groups?

Unless of course you don’t want the tests to be fair. If your aim is to remove a million people from the benefit, perhaps it suits you to make sure that as many of those existing claimants don’t face a fair test? Since 2010, the government have repeatedly delayed improvements to ESA. Out of 25 recommendations made by Professor Harrington in his Yr1 Review, almost two thirds have not been fully and successfully implemented. An “Evidence Based Review” using new descriptors designed by mental health charities and those charities representing people with fluctuating conditions was initially rejected, then taken on, but although results were due in June, still, tests use the old descriptors to decide who qualifies for support. *

The government repeatedly claimed that Professor Harrington had supported the national rollout of incapacity benefit claimants

“Professor Harrington went away and made his recommendations to us, which we accepted in full and have implemented. He told me, “I believe the system is in sufficient shape for you to proceed with incapacity benefit reassessment.” We set ourselves a goal to put his recommendations in place, improve the quality of the process and address many of the issues to which hon. Members have referred today by the end of last May, when the assessments in the incapacity benefit reassessment were to start alongside the existing process of assessing ESA new claimants. We did that, and we started.”

1 Feb 2012 : Column 289WH Hansard Chris Grayling
However, Harrington was clearly an intelligent man who had made thoughtful and intelligent suggestions for improving the assessments. I could never understand why he agreed to put the most vulnerable claimants through a failing test.

So I decided to ask him.

It took me a while to track down his email address, but after pulling lots of strings, I was able to ask him outright.

This was Professor Harrington’s reply :

“To your question:

I NEVER—repeat–NEVER agreed to the IB migration. I would have preferred that it be delayed but by the time I said that, the political die had been cast.

I then said that i would review progress of that during my reviews.

The decision was political .

I could not influence it.

IS THAT CRYSTAL CLEAR?

Malcolm”

I’d say it was fairly clear, wouldn’t you?

Ian Duncan-Smith and others took the decision to push nearly 2 million people through a failing test as quickly as they could. Why? Was it so that they could remove as many people as possible from the benefit whether they needed it or not? Surely any failures to improve the test as recommended by Harrington, charities and campaigners couldn’t have been deliberate? Delaying improvements until the IB cohort had been rushed through, the cohort this government and others are convinced are simply “scroungers” and “skivers”?

Instead, as we now see, delays have increased, successful appeals have risen, lives have been lost to the sheer inaccuracy and flawed design of the assessments and the human suffering is now clear for all to see.

To have taken the decision through incompetence is bad enough, but if it was taken deliberately and cynically, I can only hope the responsible ministers will be held to account. Over 200,000 incorrect decisions have since been overturned in law and appeals are taking up to a year to be heard in some areas.

When David Cameron came to power he said :

“The test of a good society is how do you protect the poorest, the most vulnerable, the elderly, the frail.

That’s important in good times, it’s even more important in difficult times. People need to know that if they have me as their Prime Minister and they have a Conservative government, it will be that sort of Prime Minister

Iain Duncan-Smith said :

“I say to those watching today and who are genuinely sick, disabled or are retired. You have nothing to fear.

This government and this party don’t regard caring for the needy as a burden. It is a proud duty to provide financial security to the most vulnerable members of our society and this will not change. This is our contract with the most vulnerable.”

I look forward to them explaining what made them change their minds.

Today, we must be our own media. Please RT on twitter, share on Facebook and help me to make sure that as many people as possible see this news. *Coincidentally, the evidence based review was released yesterday, as I was writing this article.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/265471/wca-evidence-based-review.pdf

Are politicians really all the same? Whose side are you on?

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Are politicians really all the same? Whose side are you on?

Published previously by Liam R Carr

When you get involved in local politics one thing you hear is “It doesn’t matter who I vote for, you lot (politicians) are all the same”

Right now we can see clear differences in policy between the two parties that has not been seen since Thatcher was in power. Politicians for too long have tried occupy themuddy centre ground. New Labour stuck its flag firmly in the centre and won elections, Lib Dems have fashioned careers out of wriggling into the tiny space between the two main parties, they are still trying it now, claiming that they should be the party in a never ending coalition government because they make the Tories nicer and Labour meaner. Cameron came to power after reforming his Party, into Compassionate Conservatives; how quickly the mask slips.

When times are good the detail of economic policy is something that you can read about in the FT if you are that way inclined. During a recession however, every detail is front page news. The priorities, of both government and opposition, are laid bare.

On health the government are on the side of private healthcare providers. The health and social care act which allows private companies to get a slice of the NHS budget, is one of the few acts that Labour will repeal.

On education the government priority has shifted to academic qualifications in traditional subjects and values memorising facts over skills development. There is a choreographed split between Clegg and Gove on free schools, which not not change the implementation of a policy which Clegg could have voted down had he chosen to oppose it when it came before Parliament.

On welfare the line is less defined, with Labour and Tories alike trying to be “tough on benefits.” The divide however can been seen in the approach; with Labour guaranteeing a job people who are out of work for 2 years. Under Iain Duncan-Smith the DWP are sanctioning more job seekers than ever before. The job-centre stop payments then give the person being sanctioned directions to the local food bank. This is the poor feeding the poor; many donations come from pensioners who have memories long enough to remember a time before the welfare state.

Rising prices and falling wages are the battle lines on which the 2015 general election will be fought. Energy prices are spiralling out of control and David Cameron has persisted in stubbornly staying firmly the side of the big energy companies. A Tory will always say that market forces must to be interfered with, but when the market is rigged it will not sort itself out, only a government can fix it. The public, the Labour Party and even John Major agree that now is the time to act – something needs to be done.

All political parties from Cameron’s Conservatives to Mao’s Communists will claim to be on the side of ‘hard working people’ However decisions like selling the Royal Mail off cheap show how clear it is that the Tories are still a party of rich men, paid for by rich men, implementing policy which protects the interests of rich men. Under the Leadership of Ed Miliband the Labour Party is developing policies that really will benefit the many and not the few.http://liamrcarr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/which-side-are-you-on.html?

IDS cannot deny – Benefit Cap Bullshit

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Benefit Cap Bullshit

from @alittleecon

Iain Duncan Smith got himself into bother a while back when he claimed DWP research showed that as a result of the benefit cap being announced, 8,000 people who would be affected by it have found work. The UK Statistics Authority disagreed however saying the claim ”is unsupported by the official statistics…“. When finally challenged about this on the Today programme, this exchange followed (JH is John Humphrys):

JH: “The problem is that you made claims about how things were changing on the basis of the trials that were being carried out and all the rest of it, and they turned out not to be well-founded. You said we’ve seen already, already you said, this is a statement you made in May, already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. But when the National Statistics Authority looked at that, they said ‘not true’.”

IDS: “No, what they said was that you can’t absolutely prove that those two things are connected.”

JH: “Your statement is unsupported by the official statistics published by your own department.”

IDS: “Yes but by the way, you can’t disprove what I said either. The reality is [interruption] no, no, no, let me finish. There’s an answer.”

JH: “You can make any claim on that basis.”

IDS: “I am, I believe that this to be right. I believe that we are already seeing people go back to work, who were not going to go back to work until they were assured of the cap. Look we just published some polling today, John, on this very group.”

JH: “Polling isn’t statistics.”

IDS: “Hold on let me just give you this. We polled and we found that something like 72% of those who report have been very infrequently in work in the past since being notified by the cap have gone back to work. I believe that this will show, as we go forward, that people who were not seeking work are now seeking work because that’s the way to avoid the cap.”

So first IDS says don’t worry about the evidence, because he believes it’s true, but then cites new research which he claims also supports his assertions. Does it though? Here is the report IDS cited this morning. Ipsos Mori undertook telephone interviews with 500 of the 8,000 people who had found work since the announcement of the benefit cap to try to show that people had been motivated by the cap to find work.

The problem is that they did not find that. Remember, IDS originally tried to claim that all 8,000 had moved into work because of the benefit cap. The survey found though that 15% of them hadn’t even heard of the benefit cap, and another 31% only knew a little about it. Only 57% remembered being informed that the cap would affect them, and of these, 71% were already looking for work.

About half of those who remembered getting a letter about the cap took action afterwards. For 31%, this meant looking for work (although half of these were already looking). This means of the 500 surveyed, only around 45 people started looking for work because of the cap that weren’t doing so before. 45!!

Looking at the results then, and if we assume the survey was representative of all 8,000 people, far from being able to say all 8,000 found work as a direct result of the cap, the best that can be said in reality is that about 720 people started looking for work and found it after hearing of the cap that weren’t looking before. Not a particularly impressive behavioral change. On IDS once again, we must call BULLSHIT!

United we stand! This is no time for a split in the Labour movement.

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United we stand! This is no time for a split in the Labour movement.

solidarity

It is time to be united in our attack on the most extreme right wing government in living memory. Tory spin continues to control the media who are set about attacking the Labour movement. The fact is that the electorate’s political view is more to the left than most MPs. Speak up for the NHS, for workers’ rights and pensions. Attack the press, nationalise the Banks. Build policies for nationalisation of Transport, Utilities and Energy. Support tax justice. Build affordable homes and put people back to work. That is how a people’s government, a Labour government will be elected. To leave political power with the Conservative Party and the Banks which feed them would be irresponsible for any left political party or trade unionist. The electorate has more trust in trade unions than Bankers. People are not fools.

Worker solidarity

Worker solidarity (Photo credit: Toban B.)

So, speak loudly, and let’s make those policies heard. Donors to the Tory party are directly profiteering from Coalition policies. This is a parliament under siege. Last year the Daily Mirror wrote on beneficiaries from the carve up of the NHS for profiteers. Yet, we were told pre election that “the NHS was safe in their hands”. It seems they couldn’t get their private hands on the NHS owned by the people quickly enough.

The policies are justified in the press by false statistics – a method even criticised by the Telegraph. Gove pursue’s privatisation of education when there is evidence that the best education systems in the world ban private schools. Yet they pursue policies to benefit their friends.

Private donations to the conservative party (Guardian) include hedge fund bosses such as – Michael Farmer, Lord Stanley Fink and Andrew Law – together contributed £636,300. Fink is the party treasurer

Last year Stanley Fink’s “education company”, Ark Schools, underspent 7.5% of the education budget for the 8 schools he controls and they are investing the money in the Cayman Islands instead (money that was meant to be spent on children’s education) and he’s not alone, as Open Democracy reports.

This Guardian report reveals how two donors to Tory party funds set up a company which has made millions from the Work Programme, which has failed to put people back to work.

Sovereign Capital, formed in 2001 by John Nash and Ryan Robson and three others, has for eight years owned the Employment and Skills Group (ESG), a training company with £73m worth of government contracts. Last Monday, ESG was sold to an investment bank for an undisclosed sum.

ESG has been awarded two lucrative contracts from Iain Duncan Smith‘s Department for Work and Pensions. It won a £69m contract in May 2011 for the work programme, the government’s scheme for unemployed people, in Warwickshire and Staffordshire, which runs until 2016.

The company was also chosen to run a £4m mandatory work programme contract across the West Midlands – paid to find work-for-benefit placements for at least 5,000 unemployed people over four years. The firm will receive an £800 bonus for every unemployed claimant it places in mandatory work.

Nash and his wife, Caroline, have donated £182,500 to the Tories since 2006 and are said to have financed David Davis‘s 2005 leadership bid. Nash was appointed to the Department for Education board in 2010 by the secretary of state, Michael Gove.

Government spin can’t hide the fact the the Work Programme is still not working

Alex Little has analysed the statistics on the Work Programme here, demonstrating the total failure of these policies, which were set up by the Coalition for the benefit of Tory donors

… the best that can be said is that for JSA claimants at least, the Work Programme is marginally better than nothing, but for ESA new customers, it’s still worse than nothing. Just under half of providers (18 out of 40) are meeting their targets for JSA clients (only just). None met their targets for ESA clients.

You’ll hear a lot of spin about how the Working Programme is ‘transforming lives’, but against the DWP’s own benchmark, it is still failing to meet even the minimum levels expected. So DWP are lauding the success of the Work Programme, but all providers are in breach of their contracts. Time to rethink the whole thing?

From alittleecon

This is a time to stand together against Austerity.

We will not let the Tory Press rip us apart.

References and further reading:

  1. Britain under Siege, Think Left
  2. Daily Mirror: Tories rake in donations from fat cats hoping to cash in on NHS privatisation
  3. Firm established by two Tory Donors made millions from work schemes
  4. Alex Little: (alittleecon) Government spin can’t hide the fact the the Work Programme is still not working
  5. Guardian: City’s Influence over Conservatives laid bare by research into Donations
  6. Gove’s Selective Truth, Think Left
  7. Open Democracy: Mammon in the classroom: the men who’ve got their teeth into England’s £35 billion schools pie
  8. Robbing the People: the Ultimate Theft -Think Left
  9. New Statesman: Duncan Smith rebuked by ONS for misuse of benefit statistics
  10. Tory Ideology is all about Handouts to the Wealthy paid for by the Poor

Dear Esther McVey, your ‘facts’ aren’t True!

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 Hat-tip from Jayne Linney

Dear Esther McVey, your ‘facts’ aren’t True! 

Dear Esther McVey MP

We the undersigned have been shocked and appalled at you and your Minister’s persistent use of dubious facts and statistics regarding DLA. We ask that you make use of  the raft of factual statistics and desist from twisting evidence; your misrepresentation presumes some sort of illegal activity regarding DLA claimants, this is particularly disturbing when the DWP’s own figures for fraud of DLA is 0.5%.

Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a former chief economist at the DWP, said ‘it was part of a “consistent pattern” which threatened to undermine public confidence in official statistics…”I think it is very unfortunate. These statistics are very important. Government analysts, economists and statisticians work very hard to produce them and they provide important information to the public,”…”It is very important that ministers should not seek to misrepresent what those stats actually do or don’t show. That detracts from the public’s faith in the analysis produced by government statisticians. ”This is, I am afraid, a consistent pattern of trying to draw out of the statistics things which they simply don’t show.”’

No evidence for Iain Duncan Smith benefit cap claim, says research chief 13.04.13

Your persistence that DLA requires few face-to-face medicals and little or no additional medical evidence to obtain DLA, is untrue. The government’s own figures show that just 16% of awards relied on the form only and a mere 9% of DLA funding was spent on this basis

Your claims that  DLA is awarded without a medical;  is simply not true, many claimants have to undergo a face to face medical assessment, as part of their application as theDWP website shows: Medical assessments You might get a letter saying you need to attend an assessment to check your eligibility. Further the DWP statistics report of November 2011 also clearly demonstrates Medical Examinations did form part of the assessment process for claims. http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/dla_evidence_award_values_nov11.pdfTable 2:

Savi Hensman’s blog in Ekklesia also disproves your claims –  Government minister Esther McVey’s untrue claims about Disability Living Allowance

‘Disability Living Allowance is an “outdated benefit” for which “around 50 per cent of decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone – without any additional corroborating medical evidence,” stated UK minister for disabled people Esther McVey on the BBC and elsewhere this morning (8 April 2013).

This is completely untrue – the government’s own figures show that just 16 per cent of awards relied on the form only and a mere nine per cent of DLA funding was spent on this basis. McVey was trying to justify the controversial replacement of DLA by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from today, to be paid to fewer people.’

Savitri Hensman Ekklesia

The latest figure you used in you BBC interview that of 50% of claimants not presenting any additional medical evidence, may in fact be due to medical evidence being sought directly, via the consent form on page 7 of the DLA form, which gives the DWP permission to contact the claimants GP and other medical professionals directly for further information.

You also state that 71% would “stay on it for life” without further assessments, but there have been no lifetime awards for sometime now, therefore your statement made on the BBC on the 8th of April 2013 is misleading. The new term ‘Indefinite Award’ requires claimants to undergo reassessment at any time at the whim of the DWP is it therefore the fault of the claimant if the DWP fail to exercise that right?  However, they announced a few months ago that they would not be testing those with indefinite claims at all until after the next election. Indefinite awards make up nearly 70% of all DLA awards and the government claim over and over that it is this group who have been “left to languish” yet they’ve decided to do nothing about it at all.

‘She also referred to the claim that, under DLA, 71 per cent of people get support for life without checks. This, again, is misleading. The figure refers to ‘indefinite’ awards, which means that their period may vary according to needs. Recall is possible if circumstances change. This is appropriate. There are many people who have permanent and unalterable disabilities. Moreover, while benefit may be awarded for a non-fixed period, that does not mean it is necessarily ‘for life’. The total number who still get DLA excludes those who have had it on fixed awards and now no longer get it.’

Savitri Hensman Ekklesia

In the press you have continued to indicate the reason for the change from DLA to PIP is the rapidly accelerating growth of DLA claimants up by some 35% in the last ten years, from 1.1million to 3.3million, a figure we do not contest. However we would like to examine the context of the 35%; the reform of DLA is only affecting working age claimants, with children and Pensioners being exempt from the changes (for now). Given this, when analysis of the increase in claimants in undertaken discounting those exempt,  you get a significantly different figure of 13%. Why then are you insistent on using the wholly inaccurate 35% figure if not only to make your claim seem more urgent?

Sue Marsh co author of the Responsible Reform Report states:“…the government have constantly misled the public over the new benefit, claiming a 35% rise when Spartacus Report showed clearly that the rise is only 13% for the working age group who will be affected. Physical conditions have remained totally stable, whilst the 13% rise is almost all due to a rise in mental health conditions and learning disabilities, a trend seen worldwide, not just in the UK.”

Sue Marsh Diary of a Benefits Scrounger.

Or if you prefer Disability News Service

 “DWP released a “statistical update”, which it said showed the number of successful claimants of DLA had risen by 15,000 between February and May 2012.

But analysis of DWP figures by Disability News Service (DNS) has shown that the rise in claimants is due to increases in the number of children and older people receiving DLA, while the number of claimants aged 16-64 actually fell by more than 1,600. This is important because the reforms and cuts will only affect working-age claimants…”

Disability News Service

Alternatively

“To quote the DWP 2013 report Fulfilling Potential: Building a deeper understanding of disability in the UK today, “There are 11.5 million people in the UK who are covered by the disability provisions set out in the Equality Act… six per cent (0.8 million) of children, 15 per cent (5.4 million) of adults of working age and nearly half (45 per cent, 5.3 million) of adults over State Pension age are covered… Only around half (six million) of the 11.5 million people covered by the disability provision in the Equality Act are in receipt of disability-related benefits.”

Savitri Hensman Ekklesia

Finally:

Anne McGuire, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said it was “yet another example of the DWP manipulating the figures on DLA to suit their agenda of abolishing DLA”. This brings us to another disturbing trend of recent weeks, statements being made by yourself and MR ID Smith MP which strongly suggest people are rushing to claim DLA in order to avoid the new harsher PIP assessment criteria…

“We’ve seen a rise in the run-up to PIP. And you know why? They know PIP has a health check. They want to get in early, get ahead of it. It’s a case of ‘get your claim in early’.”

IDS 8/4/13

Hufffington Post

And you yourself have similarly claimed…

The Mail on Sunday this week reported that McVey believed coalition plans to abolish working-age DLA had led to a huge increase in applications by people desperate to claim the benefit before it was replaced by the new personal independence payment (PIP), which will come with a tougher assessment.

The Mail on Sunday article – based on an interview with McVey – stated: “The decision to introduce new tests has produced an extraordinary ‘closing-down sale’ effect, with rocketing claims as people rush to get their hands on unchecked ‘welfare for life’ before McVey’s axe falls on April 8.”

A spokeswoman for McVey told Disability News Service (DNS) that, although she did not use the phrases “closing-down sale” or “welfare for life”, “everything in the article was a fair representation” of the interview.”

John Pring DNS We have a number of  issues with these statements not least of which, the inescapable fact that no one can escape the changeover to PIP; every single DLA claimant, whether they have been on it for years or for five days will have to reapply for PIP in the next few years, therefore no one will be able to ‘get ahead’ of it and any ‘last minute’ claim for DLA would simply delay the inevitable. Ergo the suggestions in your statements that recent claims are an attempt to escape PIP appear convoluted . Our assertion is further supported by , Declan Gaffney Tue, 04/09/2013 in his article Did claims for DLA increase in the run-up to PIP? analysed statistics produced at https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/ which appear to refute these statements.

He States: “I presume Mr Duncan Smith has some basis for this claim, but it’s not supported by the published data on DLA. The changes only affect people of working age, so I’ve charted the number of claims by people age 16-64 with a duration of three months or less, using the data available on Nomis. A sudden increase in people claiming should show up in these figures: I don’t see it. On the contrary, the latest figures are the lowest on record.”

Given our concerns outlined above we request that you officially retract your recent comments with regard to DLA and PIP and issue a fairer balanced statement, based upon accurate data and one which maintains the integrity of Ministers in Government. We request you include the facts  that PIP only applies to working age DLA claimants; that there has been only an average increase in overall working age claimants, and there has been no significant rush to apply for DLA .

If you agree with the above and want to add you name to the latter please follow the link  and SIGN HERE 

This letter will close for signatures at midnight 21/04/13

Co Author – Debbie Sayers  – Ramblings of a Fibro Fogged Mind ramblingsofafibrofoggedmind.wordpress.com

Bedroom Tax Song: You Cannae Have A Spare Room in a Pokey Cooncil Flat

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Bedroom Tax Song: You Cannae Have A Spare Room in a Pokey Cooncil Flat

Published on Mar 27, 2013

LYRICS AND INFO
A song about the Bedroom Tax, written for the demos all over the UK on Saturday 30th March, 2013, the Glasgow one in particular. Set to the tune of 1960’s folk song “The Jeely Piece Song”, by Scottish singer-songwriter Adam McNaugton.

LYRICS

I’m a welfare state wean, we live on the bottom flair
But we’re no allowed to even live there any mair.
They say we’ve got too many rooms, in our social rented flat
We’ve an eight by ten foot boxroom where you cannae swing a cat

Chorus:
Oh ye canna have a spare room in a pokey cooncil flat
Ian Duncan Smith and Co have put an end tae that
They say “live in a smaller house”, they say that is their plan
When the odds against you finding one are ninety-nine to one

Noo ma auntie’s in a wheelchair, but these Tories dinna care
They say they have a deficit, she got to pay her share
£60 a month they’ll take, then leave her tae her fate
Whilst gieing millionaires a tax cut, cause they say they’re due a break

Noo that Buckingham Palace looks a pretty roomy gaff
And the ludger there gets benefits at rates that make me laugh
A civil list, plus tax perks, near ninety million pounds
With her other dozen mansions lying empty a’ year round

Noo those MPs doon in Westminster must think that we’re ‘a dense
Wi their second home apartments, where the public pays their rent
They’re even get a food allowance, two hundred quid a week
But they’re claiming we’re the scroungers, is their arse up in their cheeks?

So we’ve formed a Federation and we’re gonna have our say
The Bedroom Tax it has to go, and we ain’t gonna pay
We’re gonna march on London tae demand our civil rights
Like nae mair Tories and their Liberal shite