Tuesday 13 December 2011

Now it's Real. First Cancer Patients, Now Government slash benefits for Disabled Children

Last night, the House of Lords failed to support an amendment put down by Tanni Grey-Thompson, the most successful paralympian of all time, to protect the benefits of disabled children once Universal Credit is introduced.

You can read more here http://www.family-action.org.uk/section.aspx?id=14225 but effectively, under universal credit, all but the most profoundly disabled children will only get half as much support. Child Tax Credit additions for disabled children will fall from £52.21 per week to £25.95 per week - a loss of £1366 per year, or £20,000 over the course of a childhood.

You might wonder what possible argument a government who promised to "protect the most vulnerable" could possibly make for this change. I myself was fascinated to see how on earth they had justified throwing disabled children to the wolves.

Ready? OK, if they didn't betray disabled children, it would just have to be disabled adults. After all, disabled children have parents to look after them. What's more, if they didn't cut money used to buy wheelchairs and incontinence pads for disabled children, they wouldn't be able to afford to address the hideous failures of ESA (Employment and Support Allowance or sickness benefit) and ensure that all those who qualify for long term support, get it.

Could there be a more disgusting example of divide and conquer? Each man for himself. The image of a Victorian gent throwing a handful of pennies on the floor and leaving the cripples to fight it out amongst themselves comes to mind.

And remember, this is no longer theory.

I've been writing about these issues for 18 months now, sadly my blogs have often contained doom and gloom predictions of horrors to come. Well last night they started to come in a first blaze of in-glory. The Welfare Reform Bill is now at Report Stage in the Lords. These votes will almost certainly decide what becomes law and what doesn't. For disabled children, now it's too late.

Shame on us.

There is one more session before Xmas. Then 4 sessions after Xmas, then the final no-going-back vote to pass the bill. There is still time to lobby peers. There is still time to stop the time limiting of ESA. http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.com/2011/12/time-limiting-esa-template-letter-to.html There is still time to oppose PiP and abolishing Disability Allowance. http://onemonthbeforeheartbreak.blogspot.com/ There is still time to fight Clause 52 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/08/conservative-compassion-disabled-sick and housing benefit changes that will leave thousands of sick and disabled people at risk of homelessness.

In a week where the government suggested all cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy ought to be assessed to see if they can work or not, I can only wonder where this will all lead. I can only hope history is no guide  the future

If I can find any tiny silver lining, it is that we only lost by 2 votes. That is the closest vote I have seen so far.

2 votes. 2 Lords. 2 letters, 2 emails, 2 tweets.

There is still all to play for, but sadly disabled children just fought the last stage of their fight. And lost.


  1. Lord Freud plans shake-up of benefits for widows.

    I posted this earlier Sue it seems like everyone loses out. its disgusting.

    Sue they are not human beings just money saving machines i feel awful

  2. Sue, i know your a labour girl through and through, but its time milliband stood up and got counted. he is not doing anything at all to help the cause in fact his and labours silence is very damaging

  3. If Labour were in they'd be doing exactly the same thing. This is oligarchs versus everybody else and no politician wants to be classed with everybody else. Look at what Yvette Cooper has already done - she was the one okayed it for people who can't walk to be treated as if they had imaginary wheelchairs in the Atos testing so they pass as fit to work despite not being able to walk from one side of a room to the other http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/blogs/2010/04/13/thousands-will-lose-benefits-as-harsher-medical-approved/ so don't expect any help from politicians of any party. You seem a bit deaf-eared to this Sue but it's time you faced up to it.

  4. totally agree Bill its time we all woke up and smelt the proverbial rose. the questios is what the hell are we going to do about it. does it impact on our human rights?

  5. And you seem a little obsessive with an axe to grind Bill. I've NEVER said this is a Tory issue - they just happen to be in government now.

    I've lobbied Labour and the Lib Dems endlessly. I'd like to think that this




    And this:


    Speak for themselves Bill (I wrote the question for the third one)

    Actually, this is so much more important than party politics, I've never written anything that implies I feel differently. Turning this into a political argument is immature. Frankly I'd happily work with the Tories if they asked and genuinely wanted to make things better.

  6. Perhaps you missed these too :



  7. Sue, I am beyond angry and will follow all links you have provided to try at least. Why isn't this being covered by the national press? Why do they always wait until it is too late to do anything before they cover these stories? I'll do a piece on my blog, or I'll nick yours attribute it to you and link it back to here for speed.

    @ Bill, what good is your rant against labour? they are not the government and I'm sorry but all your post does is serve as a distraction and it tries to take blame away from where it should be going. Things were never like this under the previous government and I think a lot of disabled people who voted Tory after falling for the lies of Cameron are beginning to realise what we had now it is gone. Let's stay united and fight the government in power, this is hard enough without trying to lambaste the opposition.

  8. we cant sit about arguing who right anf wrong i think labour enjoy this because they would have implmented these reforms had they won election but that is neither here nor there. the big question is how do we stop them

  9. The only hint of a silver lining is that if any amendments are made, this will have to go back to the Commons to be debated and voted on again leaving the possibility of this disgusting change being removed there.

  10. I'm trying to give my priority of time and care to Mum diagnosed with dementia and cancer but at the same time I am worried almost to distraction what happens when I finally lose her(sooner rather than later)had I been retired or near retirement age I might've thought I have a state pension and a roof over my head but I'm not...I still have approx 15 years where they probably will say I am fit for work and fail me on one of those assessment tests. Even though I have a rare kidney disease and I may not live even those 15 years. I could become worse.

    I may live for that time and find when I reach retirement age my time of living will be short or I may need loads of care.

    None of us know what time we have so I am worrying about whether I'll have access to benefits, lose them, can reapply but the goalposts and entitlement will have changed, will I have roof over my head.

    I've had social workers, council departments, friends, relatives etc...telling me not to worry and it won't happen...but it is!

    We get false information in the media, spin from politicians and a hardening of attitude from the population at large who have not experienced needing to use or ask for help for their loved ones who become sick or unable to work.

    Again as I said on a previous post mentioning that radio programme next week on Radio 4 "Can You Touch Your Toes!"

    Even "You And Yours" which sometimes touches on such topics seems to be ignoring whats going on.

    Panorama was quick to have a go at people claiming and what about that disgraceful Humphpries dcumentary.

    All we get are programmes like that one where they show those who have fiddled the system with that bald head bloke who used to be on the One Show(I forget his name)and they never say though we are showing you this fiddler/scam, fraud is very rare and there is little of it in reality...so everyone is tarred with the same brush.

    In the Lord's debate another person said it was disgusting that people on Chemo who find they cannot work are being herded onto time limited ESA but Lord Faud just kept spouting the same mantra to everything thrown at him...

    I don't think that I have ever been so scared/frightened about the future.

  11. Apologies if I sound snappy I can't stand, sit or lay down for long at the moment, my legs feel like they are installed on someone else and I feel like I am treading on a marble in my shoe! To make matters worse, I have a ally to walk up shortly to fetch my granddaughter and I swear that some perverse devil is making that ally longer and longer.

    United we stand ( or sit as the case may be)

  12. Anonymous 11.28

    I'll be thinking of you as I walk up that long ally. The points you raise are all true and it gets to me, probably gets to all of us. I cannot believe how this government and Cameron in particular is dividing this nation and yet people cannot see it, as I keep saying everyone is one illness or one accident away from becoming disabled.

    At least with people like Sue on our side we can all unite and put up one huge fight and we WILL. I know I will.

    Take care.

  13. An article in the Mail today may represent a slight silver lining. This says the Human Rights Joint Committee has told the government that the various benefit sanctions could put human rights at risk.


  14. Victoria Kelleher13 December 2011 at 12:10

    Thank you Sue. I have emailed the Lords.

    I am still employed by one of the big banks but am not able to work at the moment.

    I am in the position that from June (my 1 year) my mother will have to use her state pension to pay my mortgage. How can that be right?

  15. Mr Potter,

    most of the changes should not happen anyway due to lack of information regarding the impact on people.

  16. All due respect Mr Potter its your bloody party and your lords who are supporting these issues, come back with some positive response if possible

  17. I always knew that the road ahead would be a disaster for most and to think that the goverment have stooped so low with disabled children is the pits
    David Camerons child Ivan died because of his disability i wonder if he were alive what he would make of his fathers reforms ?

    It would be terrible to have David Cameron as a father a complete nightmare and hopefully his wife Sam will form that judgement at some point and leave him as leave him she must in order to keep her sons memory alive as he has betrayed his son and those like him

  18. Anonymous said...
    we cant sit about arguing who right anf wrong i think labour enjoy this because they would have implmented these reforms had they won election but that is neither here nor there. the big question is how do we stop them.

    George W. Potter said...
    The only hint of a silver lining is that if any amendments are made, this will have to go back to the Commons to be debated and voted on again leaving the possibility of this disgusting change being removed there.
    13 December 2011 11:13

    I so agree about what Labour would've done if they'd been in power still and as I have said before if the coalition Government passes these laws(and they will get through on numbers alone)when Labour is voted in again as is likely, they will continue to impliment them and say "We didn't bring the laws in" but as they are already being used, "we'll leave things as they are and you cannot call us the nasty party!"

    As for ammendments and changes, well who knows if and when they'll be successfully brought in...I suspect "Never!"

  19. Also the worry about the Euro and what Cahmeron has done regarding the veto may worry some regarding the future of Europe and the part the UK/Britain plays in its future but if we withdraw or did after a referendum(whenever)I suspect some of the protection people on benefits have and especially the sick and vulnerable will be lost as this country seems to have a much harder attitude to looking after those who are disadvantaged the most. I don't think for all its faults I like the idea of how our Government would look after those in difficulty.

  20. it would be far worse if we were out of the EU make no mistake about ir

    Gordon brown just before the election on good morning tv apologised to people just weeks away from death to say sorry that their local DWP had screwed up the DWP reforms as the reforms had not been implemented at all correctly and that he had great difficulty in getting the civil service to act in the public's best interest

  21. Thanks for covering this, this is what is happening to my family http://toomanycuts.blogspot.com/2011/12/does-every-disabled-child-matter.html

  22. afraid to say, time for direct action suffragette style, including lock ons, lock downs, and breaking windows time, invading offices and homes and getting arrested.. no ones going to listen unless we make em.. im ready go it alone and get arrested I am..

  23. Well when you have two of the major newspapers constantly pumping out dishonesty about the disabled and benefits, I think the first thing that should be blockaded is the supermarkets and newsagents that are employed in this propaganda war.

  24. YOU all now know without a shadow of a doubt just what this govt thinks of the sick and disabled.There is now NO illusions what so ever.The question is what do we do from now on.They are stealing from children for gods sake.Children who didnt cause this mess.Children who have no voice and can mount no action.WE must make sure that they and any future govt will realise that come election time we will gather together and make them pay.
    Some of you might remember a man on Question Time telling labour mp that come election time they would remember them and the mps face dropped.He was speechless as he knew the man was right.We must do the same.I have said for years that the sick and dsiabled need a Union and now if we dont we will have no voice at all so come on lets have some suggestions and go forward.SoliDarity....with the emphasis on the s and d to tell them who we are...There is now nothing else to do as we know they are determined to take this country back to victorian times in terms of welfare and indeed any other facet of society.WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO RISE AND FIGHT....do not be afraid now of losing any money in benefits as soon we wont have any.There will be another million or more on jsa this time next year and how many of them will become sick and find no help either...how many of them that at this moment in time consider anyone on benefits scroungers and work shy....they will change thier tune soon and thoose numbers will have to be heard but in spite of that we must fight on and on.SO union of SoliDarity or not??????

  25. Labour is always blamed for the money crises when it was the bankers who caused it. It's a head to desk head to desk issue with some people cause they think they were in the same situation as we are now. No Gordon Brown hadn't decided to take disabled peoples money or send cancer ridden people back to work. A few hundred people lost their job and "OMFG he is the worse Prime Minister ever!" Now look we are struggling to even get jobs, they are taking our pensions, our disabled children's money and making people with cancer go work. So are we really in the same situation as before? No.

  26. Nobody is blaming labour for the banking crisis BUT this whole process started BEFORE the banking crisis and thats a fact.The past is past and cannot be changed so lets ALL get over this who did what and when stuff it will not change a bloody thing.Realise this that we are dealing with a party who is hell bent on its own agenda and it wont stop unless we make them stop..SO once and for all stop with this who did what crap and lets get on with fighting back...like sue and the rest have.... and lets take it to the next level.

  27. 유 My straw man’s really not happy at all keeps punching me and asking why me. Blames me for everything since the day I was born. Cup of tea no longer pacifies him. Oh dear what to do.

  28. Totally 100% agree speechless a strong union of disabled people is all that will count now. as for losing money you again are 100% right its just how to go about it that concerns me.

  29. First step is to get a website...next step is for us all to use it and then join.Get all the other concerned websites and the people who run them to get on board...Big step is deciding who is going to lead all this...Oh and have it so we dont get trolls posting too....serves no purpose what so ever.....Ideas should maybe posted on a seperate topic stream above this one ...or the next....

  30. like the sound of that speechless, so lets get a website sorted then, who else is up for it. need a name of course and a leader dare i say

  31. its sue's site so we maybe have to aske her to play ball for next blog and see how we get on from there

  32. I can't help to set it up, but if someone else does it, I'll happily blog in huge support. I think it's a great idea, though would need a lot of work to really get it going.

  33. work, were to ill to work and were workshy to boot. oh almost forgot scum as well. Speechless we maybe need to chat but not on sues blog.
    and thnks sue

  34. Well first thing is.....who can set up a website???Step right up.Next thing is paying for it.....couple of quid from all or enough of us will do that...Lets just do it and get it known out there.Any suggestions.....

  35. There was another option:

    Stop al child benefit, then redirect that money towards benefits for disabled people (whether children or adults). It's a total copout for the Government to claim that money for disabled kids would have to come from disabled adults when, in fact, there are plenty of people receiving benefits just because they have children AND who do not need that money. Of course some people are genuinely in poverty, so we should have a Poverty Payment for genuine cases, but most child benefits just allow families to have their children and still 'keep up with the Jones's' to a degree, and that is absolutely disgusting. Taxpayers' money should only ever be for those that NEED it (people in poverty, disabled people etc), it should never be given to people simply on the basis of life choices they have made.

  36. who gets to decide which family needs it and who doesnt.The whole point is to stop the divide and conquer brigade.People with kids ARE taxpayers too so it is thier money.WE have already seen the govt taking money fromm disabled kids so robbing kids more is not the answer...

  37. TO anon 19.05 I wasnt suggesting doing anything via sues blog i was offering a constructive suggestions in reply to the topic and the posts so maybe you would like to offer something too.

  38. I can set a forum up no problem we would need a name and someone to run it ?

  39. And for free i may add

  40. Just to be clear though, I am very happy to support.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Dom Littlewood - he is very good on "Cowboy Builders" but I cannot bear to watch the "catch evil scroungers" programme.

  43. Community membership

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  44. Speechless / Fourbanks, it seems that we have some interest so lets set about planning it. we need to speak to each other any suggestions?
    sue your support will be more than welcome xx

  45. we need to swap e mail addresse's you can contact me on nnbg17034@blueyonder.co.uk

  46. [QUOTE]Anonymous said...

    Speechless / Fourbanks, it seems that we have some interest so lets set about planning it. we need to speak to each other any suggestions?
    sue your support will be more than welcome xx[/QUOTE]

    As i say i will only set one up for sue or another one of our main blog contributors only as they are time consuming and need to be professionally run to be successful

    As i also stated i will maintain it so that it's secure i am not well enough to become to involved

  47. my offer to set a forum for sue is still open she only has to ask me ?

  48. Just reading the post above about Unite.Interesting post and worth exploring.Now perhaps we could be SoliDarity within Unite...a sort of sick/disabled section.I presume they would have the resources and expertise to help get it going and of course we could become the S/D voice within as i am sure the main focus of unions is to those in work.Yes we have some interest so why not explore using what is there to further our aims..???????50p a week aint much to avail ourselves of this resource andwho knows we might be able to fight back and get the people on our side......

  49. Hi - I too have been hearing a lot about Unite lately. Just wanted to ask, have Unite managed to have any influence because it seems this government is riding rough-shod over everyone they can.

    On the very good points you made, Sue, about the fact that they would have to address adults needs if they address children's, I also think the reason why they have stooped so low with cancer patients is that rather than exempt all cancer patients they are thinking that drug treatments will also affect other non-cancer patients. This is my cynical view and I wouldn't be at all surprised. In fact, I am not surprised by anything that this shameful government says anymore, regretfully

  50. FWIW, when I was at Labour conference, I was getting nowhere and someone got a very high-up person from Unite to call me. They offered to help me, and although they couldn't get me to do my speech, they did get their disabilities guy on stage and it was the only mention of disability all conference.

    We talked about the Unite membership for sick and disabled people then.

    I'd say they were genuine and really want to include us.

  51. Anybody who wishes to do 'suffragette-style' Direct Action wants the Disabled People's Direct Action Network (that's DAN).

    That's what we do. Nothing else. No letters or websites, just action. We are the corresponding 'militant' portion to the campaigners who work along formal, bureaucratic lines - we need both.

    You will find us on Facebook and as a Yahoo! email list.

    People who aren't able to participate physically are still warmly welcome to join, help to plan actions etc.

    We practice non-violent civil disobedience and as such being involved may attract police attention. Each individual DANner makes their own choice about whether to take an action that risks arrest, or not. DANners have physical, intellectual, sensory, neurological and mental-health impairments. We span all ages and all areas of the UK. Some of us have profound impairments and some have invisible impairments, and everything inbetween.



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