Monthly Archives: April 2014

More ways you can help save the Independent Living Fund

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The response to Paula Peters’ article on the threatened closure of the ILF has been very strong – so strong, in fact, that she has asked for a follow-up with further links to aspects of the campaign. Here at Vox Political we’re happy to oblige.

The PCS is running a campaign in which you can email your MP to show support for the campaign. It is at http://action.pcs.org.uk/page/speakout/save-the-ilf

You can show your support for the campaign on Twitter by sharing and tweeting from the tweetpage dftr.org.uk/SaveILF or your own tweets using the #SaveILF hashtag

Ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion for #SaveILF https://www.writetothem.com/, unless they’ve already signed – check here http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1234

Ask your MP to demand an adjournment debate for the Save ILF Campaign https://www.writetothem.com/

Many people have contributed their stories about how the ILF has helped them. Links to some of these are below:

From Mary Laver: http://shar.es/BjyqK http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-mars-story-2/

Justine’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-justines-story/

John, Paul and Evonne’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-john-paul-and-evonnes-story/

Roxy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-oxys-story/

Kathy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-kathys-story/

Richard’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-richards-story/

Penny’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-pennys-story/

Anthony and David’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-anthony-and-davids-story/

Kevin’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-kevins-story/

Here is DPAC’s analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/Bm4hM

DPAC statement on government announcement on closure of the #ILF http://shar.es/BHRcl

How the closure of the ILF will affect lives http://dpac.uk.net/independent-living-fund/#sthash.dLgkwYIe.dpbs

What Local Authorities said about the Closure of ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/what-local-authorities-said-about-the-closure-of-ilf/

A Nasty Cut – article on people affected by the closure of the ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/

There are many more tweets that you can use here: http://dftr.org.uk/SaveILF

If you are campaigning on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtags #SaveILF and #ILF

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Who will ‘Help to Work’ really help?

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The government’s latest draconian measure – to drive people who have been living off the state for more than three years into all the nonexistent jobs that ministers insist are waiting for them – was launched today. (Monday)

Help to Work forces jobseekers to sign on every day, commit to six months of voluntary work, or sign up to a training scheme (the last two effectively removing them from the government’s unemployment figures without getting them a job) – or face having their Jobseeker’s Allowance docked for increasing lengths of time.

It’s clearly a scam to fiddle the joblessness statistics but, dear reader, you’re intelligent enough to have worked it out before you even started reading this.

Of course, voluntary work must be offered without coercion – otherwise it’s slavery – and for this reason leading charities have already announced that they will boycott the mandatory work placement part of the scheme.

Particularly disturbing – and we should be grateful that they highlighted this – is the fact that this aspect would lead to jobseekers doing more than double the 300-hours’-maximum community work than convicted criminals, who are ordered to carry out certain tasks as punishment for their offences.

The Guardian used the government’s own data to prove that Help to Work does not increase anybody’s chances of getting a job, and is more likely to put people off signing on for the benefits to which they are entitled – a ‘punishment’ effect that the government is desperate to play down.

Esther McVey, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme in support of the scheme, said instead that it would be particularly useful for “people who have been away from the marketplace and the workplace for long periods of time”, and specifically mentioned those suffering from mental illness.

All right then, let’s ask this:

How well would this scheme fare in trying to find a job for a man aged 60 with no academic qualifications worth mentioning (left school at 14 and has lied about further education achievements), whose working life consists of a failed Army career that lasted less than six years, followed by irregular stints selling arms, working in a property company and selling gun-related magazines, in between periods on the dole. He has been funded by the taxpayer continuously since 1992 – a total of 22 years ‘parked’ at our expense. There are concerns about his state of mind, with fears that he suffers from paranoia and delusions.

Could Help to Work really find a job for a man like this?

Let’s hope so – because, if there’s any justice, Iain Duncan Smith will be looking for a job after next year’s general election.

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Why are Lib Dems facing a Euro election ‘bloodbath’ – and not the Tories?

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Senior Liberal Democrats have been warned they might end up with no MEPs after next month’s European Parliament elections, due to the party’s current electoral unpopularity (according to the Daily Telegraph).

The electorate certainly has plenty of reasons to punish the party that has become known as the ‘Tory Democrats’ due to its adherence to Conservative Party policies in the Coalition government.

But here’s an interesting point: Conservative support has not dropped off in the same way.

Sure, the LDs are Tory enablers who betrayed their own pledges before the first votes were cast in the 2010 election, but the Conservatives betrayed their promises too. And the Conservatives were behind most of the policies that have caused the damage.

The Liberal Democrats voted the Bedroom Tax onto the statute books, but it’s not their policy – it’s a Conservative scheme.

The Liberal Democrats had very little to do with the changes to Employment and Support Allowance that have led to the deaths of so many people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – Conservative ministers pushed them into practise.

The Liberal Democrats had little to do with the increased sanctions regime that has been foisted on the unemployed in order to cook the benefit books – that was a Conservative idea.

The Conservatives are responsible for the plan to cut back access to Legal Aid, so rich criminals can walk free while the innocent poor are told to admit offences they have not committed and go to prison.

The Conservatives introduced mandatory work activity (colloquially known as Workfare) for people on benefits – both unemployment and sickness, meaning companies get free labour and there are fewer paying jobs in the economy.

The Conservatives introduced the Workplace Pension, which has led to employers encouraging their workforce to take out private pensions that they cannot afford, in a bid to avoid paying their own part of the scheme.

The Conservative Party’s answer to the immigration question was to send vans around London encouraging people who were in the UK illegally to “go home”. This scheme led to the victimisation of British citizens because other people thought they looked foreign.

The Conservatives told us all they would protect the National Health Service and then started a process of privatisation that has led to billions of pounds worth of services being ‘outsourced’ to private health firms – who pay handsome donations to the Conservative Party – at huge cost to the taxpayer (because private firms need to make a profit, don’t forget).

The Conservative Party has fed the public one lie after another, using its puppet right-wing press to brainwash people into believing its nonsense. When these falsehoods have been exposed, ministers have tried to bluster their way out of the blame.

The Conservative Party has engineered the feeblest economic recovery in British history, ensuring that only the very rich have been able to benefit while the poorest – who actually made it happen – are set to be thousands of pounds worse-off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

And yet it is the Liberal Democrats who have lost the most support.

Why?

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