Tag Archives: attend

DWP launches SEVENTH review of benefit errors in a year. But were they REALLY mistakes?

Sarah Newton: The Conservative minister for disabled people once said there was no “hostile environment” for benefit claimants. The seven reviews of wrong decisions carried out by the DWP within the last 12 months suggest otherwise.

As I write this, I, Daniel Blake is on the TV – its television premiere. The scene involves the title character’s work capability assessment (he’s claiming Employment Support Allowance), with a “healthcare professional” who does her level best to avoid discussing the heart attack that put him in front of her, and also to avoid explaining how she is qualified to handle his case.

The implication is clear: The assessor isn’t qualified to deal with him and doesn’t want to talk about his genuine health problem because she wants to deny him any benefits.

Aaaaand sure enough, he’s just been found fit for work. Falsely, of course.

I mention this because the Department for Work and Pensions has been forced to launch a seventh expensive review of its own records to find details of disabled people unfairly deprived of benefits.

This particular review isn’t about people being denied benefits because of wrong assessment decisions – it’s actually more appropriate to the situation faced by single mother Katie (Hayley Squires), who is denied a chance to sign on because she arrives late at the Job Centre.

Disability News Service explains: “The latest review is necessary because of an upper tribunal ruling in the case of a claimant moving from disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) who had his DLA stopped because he had failed to attend an Atos face-to-face assessment.

“The upper tribunal found that the claimant, OM – who had long-standing psychosis, and became agitated and aggressive around people he did not know – had “good reason” for not attending the PIP assessment that the government contractor Atos had told his wife he would have to attend in one of its London centres.

“The upper tribunal found that OM should have his DLA reinstated until a final decision was made on his PIP claim, while he should also receive backdated payments from the date DWP stopped his DLA.”

The new review means the DWP has to apply the same approach to other cases in which DLA claimants had their benefits stopped because assessors said they did not have “good reason” for failing to attend or take part in interviews or to provide necessary information or evidence for their PIP claim, but were later found to have had a “good reason” after all, by the DWP or a tribunal.

Of course, the operative question here is, why were all these people denied benefits, based on a false premise?

And, if no fewer than six other reviews have taken place to find other people who have been wronged by the DWP, I have to ask: Were these really mistakes? Or were they deliberate policy decisions designed to harm the people DWP is meant to be helping?

I think anyone who’s seen the film will know the answer to both those questions.

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Ellman’s lie raises serious questions about Labour Friends of Israel

Louise Ellman: Why did she lie?

Louise Ellman is vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, an organisation with whom Shai Masot claimed to be working when he was conspiring to adversely influence UK politics in favour of the Israeli government.

This party-within-the-Labour-Party has gone unscrutinised for far too long. Masot was exposed and withdrawn from the UK more than a year ago but it seems no questions have been asked about LFI.

Now it is spreading indignation about an event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn, supporting claims that a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who was at Auschwitz could be an anti-Semite, and keeping quiet about its own leaders’ tacit support for ugly pro-Zionist demonstrations.

Labour is quick to condemn rank-and-file party members for far less abhorrent behaviour. Why are these people immune?

Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair and Labour MP Louise Ellman has been at the forefront of much of the loud criticism of the party and its leader over alleged antisemitism, appearing regularly on programmes to express her dismay. The latest manifestation of that criticism is a claim that he acted somehow inappropriately in arranging an event at which Jewish Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer spoke.

She appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, claiming to have been ‘appalled’ to find out about the event.

She did not mention – nor did the programme – that she attended the same 2010 event for which she and others were criticising Corbyn.

In fact, she was there far longer than Corbyn was.

Corbyn introduced the event and then had to leave to be elsewhere, before returning later. Ms Ellman, by contrast, is reported as staying throughout – including during a major disruption caused by pro-Israel demonstrators who invaded the event and heckled survivors of other genocides when they spoke.

A letter, written at the time to the Tribune, puts her attendance beyond question:

“A tiny group of Zionist fanatics invaded the gathering and shouted so continuously that the careful programme was derailed, though not prevented from happening. This was a total destruction of the democratic space for over an hour – something I’ve never seen before in any Parliamentary meeting. It was sickening to hear the hounding of 85 year-old Dr Meyer, and the bellows of ‘boring!’ every time any survivor of a different genocide tried to tell their experience.

“Most shockingly, Louise Ellman MP – who as Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel was presumably attending as an observer with a companion from the Board of Deputies – both sat unmoved without making the slightest attempt to quell their fellow supporters of Israel and create an open space. They later tried to guilt-trip MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Brian Iddon for bravely hosting the event.”

Source: Video: Ellman ‘appalled’ to find out Corbyn at 2010 Meyer event – that she personally attended | The SKWAWKBOX

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Hillsborough families denied access to justice because trial will be too far away

What a great dodge for those who aren’t interested in justice: Hold controversial trials many miles away from the families of the victims and say the rules forbid funding their attendance.

That is what has happened to the families of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster, it seems.

Here’s the report in The Canary:

On Tuesday 15 August, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reportedly told The Liverpool Echo that:

“Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, we are not permitted to fund any other expenses, including attendance at court hearings for non-witnesses.”

The Liverpool Echo article now appears to have been deleted. But the CPS statement suggests that the government will only cover the travel expenses of family witnesses giving evidence at the trial; meaning that hundreds of the victims’ relatives may not be able to attend. And as The Liverpool Echo reported previously, some families could face a 170-mile round trip to see the trials of the five people charged with various offences in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.

Source: The families of the Hillsborough 96 have just been denied justice by the government. Again. | The Canary


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