Tag Archives: discriminate

Court brands ‘no benefits’ rule by landlords illegal in disabled dad’s landmark case

A disabled dad suffered unfair discrimination when he was made homeless because a landlord did not accept people who receive state benefits.

The ‘no benefits’ rule meant Stephen Tyler was banned from viewing properties advertised by a Birmingham estate agent, purely on the grounds of receiving housing benefit.

Mr Tyler, 29, had been involved in a road accident in 2016. He was made homeless because of the estate agent’s “no benefits” rule.

Birmingham County Court ruled that the estate agent had breached the Equality Act because the rule disproportionally affects disabled people, who are more likely to need some support with paying their rent.

Judge Mary Stacey ruled that: “There is no doubt that there was a blanket policy that no one in receipt of housing benefit would be considered for the three properties. It put the claimant and other disabled people at a particular disadvantage when compared to others.

“To be told simply, because of his benefit status, that he could not apply for three properties which were perfectly located for his children’s school, his GP and health needs, and extended family support, […] would be distressing.

But “no benefits” discrimination is still going on (sometimes it is called “no DSS”, in reference to the former government department responsible for benefits.

This case was brought with help from homelessness charity Shelter, which has vowed to keep campaigning until the discrimination is completely stamped out.

Source: Disabled dad wins high court battle after estate agent banned him for claiming benefits – Mirror Online

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Sunak’s online sales tax really is just another way to attack people with disabilities

Rishi Sunak: he keeps interfering with the market, despite his party’s claim that it’s better to leave it alone. Is it because Tories love to torture people with disabilities?

Rishi Sunak isn’t making any sense at all.

He says his plan for an online sales tax is intended to push people back onto the High Street, to physically go out and buy products in order to save businesses that are in danger after the lockdown forced us to stay indoors.

We’ve been buying products online while Covid-19 remains a threat.

And we’ll go back to the High Street, but only once we are convinced the danger is over.

So if High Street shops are in danger, it’ll be because we can’t trust Sunak and his fellow Tories on when that’s likely to be.

Not only that, but in considering such a tax, Sunak is saying the UK is hostile to the new commerce that the Internet represents – as net-based firms still pay business rates and all the other taxes associated with sales.

That’s not good for any country’s economy in this day and age.

It simply doesn’t make sense.

But, considering the Conservatives’ well-known passion for cruelty, there is one reason for bringing in an online sales tax that does make sense: they’ve found out it’s another way they can attack people with disabilities.

People whose health conditions mean they can’t get out of the house have to use the Net to get their stuff, and many shops don’t have access for people with disabilities anyway – despite disability access laws having been enacted many years ago.

People with disabilities don’t have much cash to enjoy, either. They’re either on benefits or in low-waged employment.

So the logical reason for imposing an online sales tax is to push disabled people further into poverty – or to deprive them of goods that they should have the same opportunity to enjoy as the rest of us.

Tories have form in this regard; “Eat out to help out” was another attack on people with disabilities, as you can’t benefit from a discount on restaurant meals if you can’t actually leave home.

Underlying it all is yet another big lie:

Tories have supported, on the face of it, neoliberal ideology since Margaret Thatcher became their leader in the mid-1970s – and that means they support a laissez-faire attitude to the market.

This means they believe the market will automatically adjust to prevailing conditions in order to keep going.

So the proper government policy is non-interference.

Yet here they are, interfering.

Source: Rishi Sunak’s planned online sales tax is a tax on disability | Disability | The Guardian

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Terminally-ill woman wins discrimination court case against DWP. What about those like her who have already died?

Lorraine Cox.

This is a genuine landmark judgement against the Department for Work and Pensions, and a boost for anyone with a terminal illness who cannot predict when the end will come.

It is also a blow against the tastelessness with which the Tory-run government department carries out its affairs, without the slightest pang of sensitivity about demanding that someone identifies the moment of their own death.

(For a similarly tone-deaf attitude, consider the rule that says single mothers must provide details of their rape before receiving child benefit for a third child.)

But what struck This Writer most about the story was the number of people who were shocked to read it, after I published my piece about it last week.

Lorraine Cox is only the latest in a long line of people with terminal illnesses to have suffered prejudice from the DWP, yet it seems many readers were learning about it for the first time.

The ruling that people with terminal illnesses can only receive PIP if they are likely to die within six months has been in place for years – as has the list of such illnesses on which the DWP relies.

The government has used it to discriminate against thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people before Ms Cox won her case.

What about them? What about their family and/or carers if they have passed on.

Are they due for compensation after the DWP ignored their pleas for support in their/their relatives’/friends’ twilight days?

Will they be permitted to demand recompense and restitution from the Tory-run DWP? Or will they be ignored?

I hope these are all matters the judicial review will consider.

A woman who has motor neurone disease was unjustifiably denied fast-tracked disability benefits because it was not clear how long she would survive, the High Court has ruled.

In a landmark verdict, the judge ruled Lorraine Cox, 40, suffered a breach of her human rights.

While other people with life-limiting conditions had the immediate right to enhanced payments, she was refused.

This was “manifestly without reasonable justification”, said the judge.

In court on Wednesday, Mr Justice McAlinden ruled the difference in treatment for terminally-ill claimants who cannot reasonably meet the six-month life expectancy rule was discriminatory.

He granted her leave for a judicial review.

Source: Motor neurone disease: Six-month death rule ‘discriminatory’ – BBC News

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DWP accused of ‘discriminating’ against ESA-claiming disabled people in coronavirus pandemic

This is probably what the UN poverty rapporteur, Philip Alston, has been talking about recently.

He said the Tories spent 10 years insisting that austerity was vital when it only harmed the poor, but when the coronavirus put the country into lockdown they suddenly turned on the taps and had cash flowing like water.

But he said countries like the UK were still finding ways to harm the poorest – and this seems to be one of them:

Tory ministers raised Universal Credit by £20 a week in 2020/21 to help people cope with the costs of the virus. Tax Credits were due to rise too.

But the same rise was not applied to “legacy” benefits Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support and Employment Support Allowance.

Now a campaign by 100 organisations, including charities, argues this is discrimination against the disabled.

The most recent official figures last August show there were still 1.98million people on ESA, which is worth £74.35 a week for the sick and disabled.

Mrs Mike is on ESA. I think she’ll be writing to our MP about this in the very near future.

Source: DWP accused of ‘discriminating’ against disabled people in coronavirus pandemic – Mirror Online

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Coronavirus discrimination: surgery asks chronically sick and disabled patients to refuse treatment

People with serious health conditions and disabilities who are registered with a GP surgery in Wales had a nasty surprise in the post.

The surgery sent them a letter saying if they caught the coronavirus, the best thing for them to do would be to reject treatment and wait for death – and it asked them to sign a form confirming it.

Llynfi Surgery, in Llynfi Road, Maesteg, sent the letter to patients with serious health conditions such as incurable cancer, motor neurone disease, and untreatable heart and lung conditions, on March 27.

It comes as further confirmation that people with disabilities will suffer adverse discrimination in the coronavirus crisis – that government guidance is to abandon them.

The letter states that people with these conditions are “unlikely to be offered hospital admission” if they become unwell with coronavirus and “certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed”.

It continued: “We would therefore like to complete a DNACPR form for you which we can share with the OOH [out of hours] GP services and which will mean that in the event of a sudden deterioration in your condition because of a Covid-19 infection or disease progression the emergency services will not be called and resuscitation attempts to restart your heart or breathing will not be attempted.”

Going on, it suggested that the “best option” for patients is to stay at home to be cared for by their family with “ongoing support from ourselves and community nursing services”.

It listed “benefits” to signing the DNACPR form:

  • “Your GP and more importantly your friends and family will know not to call 999”;
  • “Scarce ambulance resources can be targeted to the young and fit who have chance of surviving the infection”, and;
  • “The risk of transmitting the virus to friends, family and emergency responders from CPR (even chest compression alone) is very high. By having a DNACPR form in place you protect your family and emergency responders from this additional risk”.

The final line reads: “We will not abandon you but we need to be frank and realistic about what the next few months holds for all of us.”

Wales Online reported on this scandalous correspondence, saying that the local health board had contacted patients who were upset by the letter, to apologise and “answer any concerns”.

And both the Welsh Assembly member and MP have issued a joint statement saying this was “not a standard letter” and the board is working with the surgery “to offer compassionate and sound advice in the very best traditions of our health service”.

You’ll notice that there isn’t a single line in these comments that contradicts the suggestions in the letter.

If anything, it seems the authorities have simply been embarrassed that it has stated the facts about government guidance on long-term sick and disabled patients who contract the coronavirus in a blunt way.

The affair seems to be confirmation that the government is indeed using the coronavirus to cull “useless eaters”, in line with the eugenics beliefs of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, and the Nazi-style persecution of people with long-term health issues that has been carried out by successive Conservative governments over the last decade.

Source: Surgery asks sickest patients to sign ‘do not attempt CPR’ form if they get Covid-19 – Wales Online

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Coronavirus: Intensive care guidance discriminates against disabled people

Not enough ventilators: it seems Boris Johnson really is using the fact that he deliberately chose not to stock up on these vital items of equipment as an excuse to ensure that disabled people die of coronavirus.


Yes – official guidance on medical care really does discriminate against people with disabilities.

This Writer has received criticism from commenters after a previous article. They claimed I was publishing nonsense.

Fortunately there’s plenty of evidence so let’s consider the guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Here’s Disability News Service:

The guidance … says that all adult COVID-19 patients should be assessed for “frailty” when admitted to hospital, and that “comorbidities and underlying health conditions” should be taken into account.

[It] has heightened fears among activists that many disabled people will be refused life-saving treatment if they are admitted to hospital.

The guideline said that decisions to admit patients for “critical care” should be based on how likely they were to recover.

There you have it – with a link to the actual guideline itself.

And there’s a comment from a campaigner to support the evidence:

\Disabled actor and activist Liz Carr … said on Twitter that the guideline suggested she and many other disabled people would be “pretty much denied [the] same access to ventilation/critical care support as non-disabled people based on the fact we require some assistance in our daily life, because we’re disabled”.

She said this was “terrifying and discriminating”.

Other groups representing disabled people have voiced similar sentiments.

So the concern is real and people are in danger – from a government that has a history of persecuting those with disabilities.

Source: Coronavirus: Anger over ‘terrifying and discriminating’ intensive care guidance – Disability News Service

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Will the UK follow America and abandon people with disabilities to die of coronavirus?

A ventilator: The NHS in the UK doesn’t have enough of these to cater for the number of people likely to need them. Will people with disabilities be passed over because of Tory prejudice?

Boris Johnson and his Tories like to copy what happens in the United States – and they already have a record for persecuting disabled people.

So what would you give for the chances of people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or any of the other reasons for receiving Personal Independence Payment, knowing that the US is letting them die of coronavirus?

Read:

New guidance published Alabama officials says that ‘persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.’

It goes on to say that ‘persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’

Similar guidance has been issued in Washington and Arizona, with medics in the latter state instructed to ‘allocate resources to patients whose need is greater or whose prognosis is more likely to result in a positive outcome with limited resources.’

Disability advocacy groups have now filed complaints against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for further clarification on the often vague guidance, and are seeking assurance that disabled people will not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving emergency care.

Too late – the discrimination is already happening.

In the United Kingdom, the NHS doesn’t have enough ventilators to go around so it is entirely logical to expect the Tories to ration them.

This Writer has a terrible feeling disabled people are already being passed over – or the orders may already be in place – in the UK.

I would appreciate any information from people who experience such prejudice.

Source: People with Down syndrome could be left to die of coronavirus to ‘save’ supplies | Metro News

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By discriminating against the self-employed, Sunak is risking coronavirus spread

Rishi Sunak: Why is he discriminating against the self-employed?

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure to stop discriminating against people who are self-employed – because he putting them at risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Sunak has announced a generous deal for employees who are ‘furloughed’ – kept in employment but unable to work because of the disease-related lockdown – of 80 per cent of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.

Self-employed people get just £94.25 a week in Universal Credit – if they can navigate the “byzantine” application procedure. And they’ll have the same if they have to claim Employment and Support Allowance after contracting the virus.

Only 16 per cent of workers accept that this amount would meet their basic needs.

It is claimed Sunak is risking public health by discriminating against the self-employed in this way, because he is incentivising self-employed taxi-drivers, couriers, other gig economy workers and zero-hours contractors to keep working while ill.

Solicitors Leigh Day were to send a pre-action letter to the government on March 23, on behalf of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union, ahead of issuing proceedings for a High Court judicial review.

The Tories say it is “operationally very difficult” to put in place a scheme for the self-employed, similar to that for employees.

But the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) says it could be assessed and delivered through the self-assessment tax system that millions of self-employed workers already use.

One thing is certain: the longer this drags on, the more self-employed people will be at risk.

And the more self-employed people come under threat, the more likely it will seem that this is the Tories’ intention.

Source: Rishi Sunak under pressure to bail out self-employed | Politics | The Guardian

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Tories humiliated after court finds they DID discriminate against thousands with disabilities

The Conservative government keeps trying to victimise disabled people – but take a case to court and they’ll be slapped down, it seems.

Not only has the Tories’ Universal Credit policy been found to discriminate against disabled people moving from one local authority area to another – cutting their income – but they were then found to have tried to discriminate against them with the repayments!

How twisted.

It means thousands of people with disabilities who have been moved off disability benefits and onto Universal Credit may be due large refunds – to be paid at the same rate as the money was taken away.

I would like to see them all demanding their cash back – now.

The ruling upholds two successful High Court challenges brought by two men (known as TP and AR) which found that people who were previously on disability benefits should be protected against a drop in their income when they move into the controversial Universal Credit system.

Under Universal Credit they lost out on their disability benefits, leaving them suddenly around £180 a month worse off. The judge found that this was unlawful because those that moved to a different local authority area were being treated differently to those who moved within their local authority area.

The government attempted to rectify the situation with regulations which stopped other severely disabled people from moving over to Universal Credit and provided those who had already moved over with back payments.

But in another government failing, the disabled men were only paid back at a rate of £80 a month, rather than the £180 that they had lost.

The Court of Appeal in an unanimous judgment handed down today agreed with the lower courts that the Government had unlawfully discriminated against this cohort of severely disabled claimants.

Source: Universal Credit case finds government discriminated against thousands of disabled people – Liverpool Echo

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Benefit claimants are the modern equivalent of dogs to private landlords, say MPs

Britain’s landlords are living in the past, it seems, with many of them determined to exclude benefit claimants by using the archaic statement “No DSS”.

The DSS to which this refers was the Department of Social Security, which was merged into the Department for Work and Pensions nearly two decades ago, in 2001.

It is symptomatic of an attitude that belongs even further in history, when prospective tenants were put off by the racist slogan, “No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.”

Obviously landlords can no longer advertise racism, although one way around that may be the “No DSS” slogan, as racial minorities are still more likely to be on benefits.

And it seems dogs are more desirable than claimants these days:

The Commons work and pensions select committee on Wednesday confronted the director of Your Move, a national online lettings agency, with an advert it published in March for a home in Telford, Shropshire, that read: “No DSS. Small dogs considered.”

More interestingly, the slogan is offensive to almost one-third of the UK population. Perhaps these landlords don’t realise that 20 million people in the UK are currently claiming benefits, according to the DWP.

Derek Thomas MP said [it] amounted to a “hostile environment” for tenants on benefits.

In practise, the exclusion refers to the 889,000 people on Housing Benefit.

Shelter said the “no DSS” practice breached equality law because it disproportionately affects women and people with disabilities. Renters say it means they have less choice, standards are lower and costs higher.

So these landlords are deliberately pushing benefit claimants – most commonly women and people with disabilities – into hardship.

It’s deliberate discrimination – but the only remedy is expensive court action.

Letting agents have said landlords have derogatory preconceptions about people on benefits – that they believe their properties may be damaged in ways depicted on TV shock-documentaries about nightmare tenants.

Worse, the Conservative government’s Universal Credit is a disaster for people on benefits because it deliberately starves them of the funds they need to pay their bills – and landlords interpret this as unreliability on the part of the tenant, rather than the government.

Frank Field, chair of the Commons Work and Pensions committee, said it was possible to recommend new legislation to stop discrimination against benefit claimants.

But how far is that likely to get, when the likes of Christopher Chope and Philip Davies are there to “talk out” any Bills to penalise landlords, from the backbenches?

In fact, with the House of Commons stuffed with MPs who are also landlords, how can anyone hope for positive change?

Source: MPs call on landlords to scrap ‘no DSS’ clauses in rental ads | Society | The Guardian


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