Tuesday, 29 November 2011

DWP's response to my letter of Friday 4th of November

Dear (person),

Thank you for your recent correspondence. Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and they are unable to respond personally on every occasion. As your correspondence falls within the remit of this department I have been asked to respond.

The welfare reforms aim to restore the integrity of the benefits system. To help communicate this, the Department carries out regular interviews with the national, regional and specialist press to speak directly to those who will be affected.

The Department consciously does not use the language of "scroungers" as it is clear that the system itself has trapped many people in a spiral of welfare dependency. That is why the Government is making such a radical overhaul of the benefits system to ensure everyone who needs help and support receives it.

The Government statistics are regularly updated and freely available for people to access online at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

This is the Impact Assessment for applying a time limit to people's eligibility for Employment Support Allowance.


I see a problem with "To ensure that ESA is paid for a temporary period thereby creating a culture that does not allow people to stay permanently in the WRAG, that they are expected to move towards work or into the Support Group if there is deterioration in their functional impairment."

What about someone that has a static impairment (and I'm assuming was initially correctly placed in the Work Related Activity Group) , so won't be eligible for the Support group as their impairment isn't severe enough, but needs support to find work, and doesn't find work in the allotted 12 months? Are they considered miraculously no longer in need of support?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Maria Miller's lined up for promotion

Maria Miller's being lined up to become Secretary of State for Wales, if Cheryl Gillan, the current Secretary of State for Wales leaves.


I wonder who's being lined up to be Minister for Disabled People?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Petition from Carer Watch asking for Welfare Reform Bill's pausing

This is a really important petition - please read, sign, and share it as widely as you can.

"Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families"


Friday, 4 November 2011

Letter to Maria Miller about media misrepresentation

Dear Maria Miller,

In your role as Minister for Disabled People you head the Office for Disability Issues, leading the government in matters that affect disabled people.

I would like to know what you do when:

- Your fellow ministers go on national radio sharing inaccurate information about disability benefits (Ian Duncan Smith recently went on Radio 4’s Today programme and talked about DLA as though it were an out of work benefit, and has spoken about non-means tested benefits as though they were means-tested.)

- National media reports on disability related matters using completely inaccurate statistics.

- National media reports on people claiming disability benefits using inaccurate examples and misleading statistics.

As someone that daily tries to work toward disabled people’s equality – I am disabled myself, I work for an organisation that works with disabled actors and artists, I have disabled family members and friends – I see the effects of public perceptions of disabled people as lead swingers and scroungers, and media misrepresentation encourages this.

As you are in a position to challenge this view on a country-wide scale, as compared to my very local levels of impact, I would expect you to be doing everything in your power to ensure disabled people are not repeatedly misrepresented by my fellow colleagues, or by national media.

I look forward to your response,

Yours sincerely


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My petition wording submitted yesterday has been rejected, and I've received the following email:

Dear Robin (surname deleted),

Your e-petition "Minister for Disabled People to prove they are working toward equality." hasn't been accepted.

E-petitions cannot include information about honours or appointments.

Find information about nominations for honours at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/honours

The appointment of Ministers (including the Minister for Disabled People) is a matter for the Prime Minister.

If you'd like to submit a new e-petition, please read the site's terms and conditions which explain the rules in detail.


I need help submitting my third petition. I also need help to work out where I go from here.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Bloggers should talk to the wider world

Here's a fantastic post by Ron, on why bloggers need to do more than just talk to one another. Go, read it, and act!