Tag Archives: disability action plan

Disability Action Plan is launched – and nobody believes a word of it

The verdict: but then, we always knew the Tories’ Disability Action Plan wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on, didn’t we? [Image by Disability News Service, I believe.]

The Tory government launched its Disability Action Plan on Tuesday, after a 12-week consultation period.

Here is an eloquent response:

This Writer certainly doesn’t believe a Tory government has any interest in changing the lives of sick and/or disabled people for the better.

The Tories have killed far too many such people since 2010 for anybody ever to take such a bald-faced lie seriously.

Buy Cruel Britannia in print here. Buy the Cruel Britannia ebook here. Or just click on the image!

But let’s give the Tories the benefit of the doubt and see what other organisations connected with disabled people have to say. Here’s some more background courtesy of Disability News Service:

Disabled people’s organisations have dismissed the government’s new Disability Action Plan as a series of “empty promises” that fail to address the “dire situation” disabled people are facing.

The plan, and its 32 “practical actions”, was launched by disability minister Mims Davies on Tuesday… All 32 actions appear to be low or zero budget measures, and there are no striking new policies, and apparently no new legislation or spending commitments before the general election.

The plan is intended to run alongside the longer-term National Disability Strategy, which was heavily-criticised by a cross-party committee of MPs last year.

And here’s the commentary:

Disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) … described it as “weak” and said it failed to address key cost-of-living concerns, while ignoring the need for urgent action in areas such as social care, accessible housing and government reforms that are set to tighten the work capability assessment (WCA).

Rick Burgess, a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, said: “This is a plan about what non-disabled political actors are willing to offer to disabled people, it is not based in our rights or the social model. It is not what we need, rather it is what a disablist government think they will grudgingly offer.”

(This Writer knows Rick of old; he knows what he’s talking about.)

Svetlana Kotova, director of campaigns and justice at Inclusion London, described the plan as “a list of research, evidence and engagement, either on issues which are not a priority or where solutions have been known for a while.

“At a time when disabled people are struggling to make ends meet, hate crime on the rise, the new punitive welfare reforms are looming, care packages are cut, employers’ attitudes are not improving, when there is a shortage of accessible housing and parents of disabled children have to spend months in arguments and complaints to get minimal support, it is hard to see how any actions in the plan would make a tangible difference where it is most needed.

“We want the government to recognise that making significant improvements in our lives needs ambition and funding. We don’t see any of that in the plan.”

One member of the steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) described the document as a “disability inaction plan”.

Linda Burnip, a DPAC co-founder, said it was hard to comment on the action plan because of how little it offered.

She said it offered a “plan for councils to build accessible playgrounds but apparently no extra money for that, nothing about housing, transport, social care, accessibility generally, healthcare, or aids and adaptations people need to live independently”.

Professor Peter Beresford, chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “This is a government which … expects us to forget its terrible track record and sign up to the empty promises of its latest Disability Action Plan, to build up our hopes and get involved as if it is to be trusted.

“Shaping Our Lives will take the government’s disability prospectus seriously when and only when it begins seriously to address the DPO forum’s programme of demands to secure older and disabled people’s rights.

“Sadly, we seem as far away from that as ever.”

(I know Linda and Peter of old, too; these are the people you should trust when they say what needs to be done – not the Tory government).

Read the DNS article for more if you like; the main point is clear:

This “Disability Inaction Plan” is not worth the paper it was written on or the many weeks (beyond the 12 of the consultation) that it took to prepare. Disable people will continue to suffer.


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The news in tweets: Monday, July 10, 2023

Number of people waiting long periods for PIP claim result has plummeted

The number waiting longer than six months has dropped from more than 20,000 to just 300 within 12 months, and the DWP says it has halved the time it takes in acting on a claim.

But how many claims are the DWP processing now, in comparison to 12 months ago? What is the figure as a proportion of all claims received? And – more to the point – how many are successful?

Ofgem asks energy suppliers to publish all their tariffs, so customers know what deals are worthwhile

Scam adverts: the government has STILL enacted no laws to protect you against them

Are doctors in Scotland well-advised to suspend strikes after pay offer of 17.5% over two years?

It may seem a lot but doctors in Scotland have only suspended their strike action for a pay deal of 8.75 per cent per year – that’s still less than the current rate of inflation and therefore a pay cut.

But it is more than junior doctors have been offered by Health Secretary Steve Barclay – whose own pay packet has not been reduced by inflation.

Meanwhile, teachers are being told their own job is a “vocation” – meaning it is especially worthy of dedication – and they should be happy with £27,000 a year, by Heather Wheeler. Take a look at this point:

There is no degree in being a member of Parliament, and most of the degrees in politics don’t seem to be worth the paper they’re written on (look at the havoc wreaked on the nation by graduates of Oxford’s Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) course). It is a career for which there is no qualification and cannot be described as a vocation – but Heather Wheeler draws down a salary of £82,000 a year, plus expenses.

And it is important to remember that teachers aren’t just striking to get better pay for themselves. Government spending on education suffered its longest-ever decline under the Tory governments between 2011 and 2019, and teachers are striking to ensure that education as a whole is properly funded:

And the Tory arguments that pay increases would raise the rate of inflation have already been proved false.

So there is no good reason for refusing to pay doctors, teachers and other striking workers what they are due – which would bring them to parity – in real terms – with their pay in 2010. And there’s no good reason for refusing to properly fund education and the NHS either; taxation is currently at its highest in something like 70 or 80 years, which should mean public money is available for such projects. What have the Tories done with it?

All of the above supports the following short clip, making an important point that should be remembered by everyone who complains about strikes:

Did Jeremy Corbyn grab Israel Advocacy member – as he claims – or was the MP the one who was assaulted?

Here’s video footage of what happened. The context note beneath it clarifies exactly what really did happen. Reggie D Hunter’s comment is pertinent too:

These aggressively Zionist, pro-Israel goons think they can do whatever they like and then lie about it when we can see what’s really happening via their own recordings.

Remember that, next time one of them makes a wild accusation.

Most train ticket offices in England to be shut within three years, no matter how many people it disadvantages

That’s the theory. Here’s the practical upshot:

Does anybody remember a piece of law called the Disability Discrimination Act? Did it not make provision for a situation like this?

If not, is it time that Act was amended?

Jeremy Hunt to appear on Martin Lewis ITV show about mortgages – and you can help grill him

Tin-eared airport bosses want to increase pollution there by 60% amid public fury over environmental harm

Minister for disabled people refuses to discuss his disability action plan with them

Perhaps Tom Pursglove doesn’t want disabled people to object to the plan to close railway ticket offices?

Perhaps there are a multitude of other omissions in his plan that he doesn’t want to allow under the spotlight until it has been rubber-stamped?

Whatever the excuse, this is unacceptable behaviour from any government. Nobody’s life should be changed by the government if they haven’t had a chance to participate in the process.

“Nothing about us without us,” remember?


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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook