Tag Archives: legacy

Treasury turned away disabled people’s pleas because UC ‘uplift is for WORKING people’

As empty as his head: Rishi Sunak’s Budget contained nothing for people with disabilities – possibly because the Treasury had turned away a final attempt to make him see evidence of the way he is persecuting them, only days before.

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to accept pleas from people with disabilities to extend his Universal Credit uplift to legacy benefits.

His reason was made clear by Martin Lewis on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (March 7), when he said the Chancellor had told him, “this is targeted at working people, helping working people through the pandemic”.

The implication is clear: people with disabilities who don’t work simply don’t deserve any help to overcome the extra costs piled onto them by the Tory government’s response to Covid-19.

Members of campaign group DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) had tried to apprise Sunak of the costs they face on March 1 – two days before his Budget speech – when they sent nearly 200 envelopes containing testimonies and concerns about the government’s failure to extend the uplift.

Also brought to the Treasury’s door was a wheelchair with items attached that represented essential items that people with disabilities were having to go without.

These included a blanket (heating); an incontinence pad (bathing, laundry and medicines); a face mask (PPE); an empty packet of cuppa soup (nutritious food) and an empty purse (enough money to live on).

All these things – the wheelchair with its attached items and the testimonies – were turned away. Neither Sunak nor anybody else at the Treasury could be bothered to pay attention to the plight of these people.

Similar deliveries were also rejected by 10 Downing Street and the Department for Work and Pensions, although the DWP did accept a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, with a copy of a document published today by DPAC collating testimonies from benefit claimants and key findings from recent reports evidencing the need to retain and extend the uplift.

According to DPAC,

Given the disproportionate mortality rates for disabled people from COVID, many have been shielding for close to a full year now. This has driven their costs up considerably.

The Department for Work and Pensions has said there is no need to apply the uplift to legacy claimants because benefits will be increased by 37p per week in April 2021 and because they have the option of moving over to Universal Credit.

Neither of these options help address the situation.

The 37p increase is designed to reflect higher costs of living due to inflation, not the pandemic. It represents a mere 0.5% increase while state pensions will rise by 2.5%. It isn’t enough even to buy a single protective mask.

As the DWP knows, many disabled people are financially worse off on Universal Credit due to the removal of the Disability Premia which have been the subject of judicial review. They would lose out by a move to UC.

There is also the question of how disabled people without access to the internet or support to navigate the benefit system are supposed to move over to UC with the operations of welfare advice and community support organisations so heavily restricted by the pandemic.

Next time someone like Sunak or Boris Johnson turns up on your TV, telling you they are “protecting the most vulnerable”, remember that you know the truth:

This Johnson government is ignoring the most vulnerable people. Johnson doesn’t want to protect them and neither does Sunak. They want the most vulnerable people to die.

Source: Treasury blanks disabled people – letters to Chancellor telling of financial hardship turned away – DPAC

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Trickster Coffey: she says disabled people should switch to Universal Credit – where they’ll be worse-off

Therese Coffey: you wouldn’t think she was trying to get her jollies by encouraging people to quit legacy benefits for Universal Credit with a false claim that they’ll be better-off, would you?

Did Therese Coffey get her doctorate in lying to people?

Having refused calls to extend the £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift to so-called “legacy benefits” that sick and disabled people receive – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and others – she has suggested that they should claim UC instead.

People on Severe Disablement Premium (SDP) were unable to make that move until Wednesday (January 27) – when the Tories removed that barrier.

But charities have warned that this is a trap.

People with long-term illnesses and disabilities are more likely to lose money if they switch to UC and, once they have made the move, there is no going back.

It’s just another example of Tory discrimination against people with disabilities, that has reached new heights in the Covid-19 crisis, which they have used as an excuse for persecution.

People who’ve been on SDPs can get £120, £285 or £405 per month in transition payments – depending on their circumstances. But DWP officials have confirmed these payments “will be subject to erosion and cessation” over time.

And the Disability Rights UK group has claimed that, “after transitional help is eroded after time”, Universal Credit will be “significantly less generous” than legacy benefits for disabled people.

So the two-tier discrimination against people with disabilities in fact continues, no matter whether they are on “legacy benefits” or Universal Credit.

This Writer’s advice is clear: stay where you are. Don’t give Trickster Coffey the giggle she wants to get from hurting you.

Source: Fears as DWP chief urges disabled people to switch to Universal Credit from Wednesday – Mirror Online

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Here’s why Alastair Campbell’s intervention is ridiculous

Here's a man of the Labour Left who Alistair Campbell could support: Tony Benn. He passed away last year, meaning the new generation of spin doctors that has replaced Campbell could make his past words mean whatever they wanted.

Here’s a man of the Labour Left who Alastair Campbell could support: Tony Benn. He passed away last year, meaning the new generation of spin doctors that has replaced Campbell could make his past words mean whatever they wanted.

Yesterday’s men are popping out of the woodwork, desperate to slow Jeremy Corbyn’s momentum in the Labour leadership race – the latest being Alastair Campbell.

It’s a shame because, while enjoyable on chat shows, Campbell can hardly be described as a socialist – therefore his desire to counsel Labour members against supporting a return to the ideals for which they probably joined up in the first place should be a lost cause and he’ll suffer a backlash.

As a sufferer of depression, Campbell should also know better than to try to blot out other people’s hope; apparently that hasn’t occurred to him.

It’s an even greater shame that, it seems, Mr Campbell has nothing new to say. His article claims that “Corbyn will be a leader of the hard left, for the hard left”, even though that position has already been disproved. Corbyn is left-wing, yes – but he’s not “hard left”.

Corbyn’s claim that Labour lost because it wasn’t left-wing enough, deplored by Campbell, is correct; look at the SNP’s victory in Scotland. That party claimed an anti-austerity, pro-investment platform and trounced “austerity-lite, anti-investment” Labour. In England, Labour simply didn’t seem different from the Conservative Party – or at least, not different enough.

And that is a problem that has dogged the party ever since Tony Blair took office in 1997. The party lost votes at every subsequent election as the realities of his sub-Tory policies sank into an electorate that was initially unwilling to accept them. Where Campbell states that the argument that Labour hasn’t been left-wing enough has “been put forward by some in the Party all my political lifetime, and the ultimate beneficiaries have always been the Tories not Labour,” he is mistaken.

Who benefited from New Labour’s attitude to privatisation in the health service? The Conservatives.

Who benefited from New Labour’s failure to restore the rights of trade unions? The Conservatives.

Who benefited from New Labour’s policy on social security, moving towards a privatised, insurance-based system? The Conservatives.

Who benefited from New Labour’s introduction of private ownership into education, with academy schools? The Conservatives.

Who benefited from New Labour’s failure to regulate the banks? The Conservatives.

These are just headline examples of right-wing policies supported by New Labour. The Conservatives took them and ran with them, and we now have a government that slipped into power on a lie that Labour overspent, when the financial crisis was caused by profligacy among rich bankers who should have known better. We have a health service that is slipping into the hands of greedy privateers, a social security system that pushes genuine claimants off-benefit and into destitution, despair and death, and wages are diminishing rapidly with unions unable to stand up for their members.

That is only part of the legacy of New Labour, but Alastair Campbell wants you to believe that left-wingers are responsible for Tory success.

Yes, New Labour were better for working people than the Cameron-led Coalition, or the current Conservative Government seems likely to be – but that’s like comparing influenza with ebola.

Campbell even admits that Labour lost partly because of the “catastrophic misjudgement” of failing to rebut the idea that Labour caused the crash – a misjudgement of Blairite New Labour hangers-on, not left-wingers who have spent the last five years screaming for their front bench to get a clue. Just look at Michael Meacher’s blogs if you don’t believe it.

Note also that Campbell discusses the country’s desire not to have a Labour/SNP government, without every admitting that Ed Miliband had ruled it out; it was never going to happen, no matter what the result of the election.

Campbell resorts to the (now-familiar) suggestion that Corbyn is a dream for the Conservatives. This is not true. The Tories have put forward a bluff that they want Corbyn because he is unelectable, and like-minded members of New Labour, such as Campbell, have swallowed it without question – like good little Tory-lite boys and girls.

In fact, the Tories – and Blairite New Labour – are terrified because Corbyn represents a huge shift in the thinking of the general public. They will do anything to block that movement because it will throw both sets of politicians off the gravy train they currently occupy.

Neil Kinnock spent a lot of time dealing with left-wingers in his party (not the “hard left” of Campbell’s article, although there were certainly more in the Labour Party at that time because it was more representative of the country than it is now) because they knew he was a right-winger who wanted to drag the party away from its ideals and, ultimately, into the same neoliberalism as the Conservative Party.

There is no mention of particular policies in Campbell’s article. He writes things like, “Some of the positions winning him the loudest applause in his packed meetings are those that will be met with the most deafening silence when campaigners get out on the doorsteps of the undecided come election time.” What positions? Perhaps Campbell is silent because his choices will be exactly the policies that are winning Corbyn the most votes.

Worst still – for Campbell’s argument – is the fact that he cannot say anything in support of any of the other three leadership candidates. He can’t see them winning either. And that means he can’t address their worst obstacle at the moment, which is the fact that the general public currently sees the leadership race as being between Corbyn and the others, with no distinction between them. They are already also-rans.

So let’s put a cap on Campbell’s outburst, with a demonstration of how ridiculous his viewpoint really is.

If Alastair Campbell is so unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy, but the party’s grassroots are determined to have a left-wing leader, let’s propose an alternative: The late Tony Benn.

Yes, I’m well aware that Mr Benn has passed on. This makes him perfect for right-wing Labour. Whenever a new issue is raised, the party would have to look to pronouncements made by the great man when he was still among us.

And then, no doubt spin doctors in the mould of Mr Campbell could twist those words to make them seem to support whatever they want instead.

The voters would have their left-wing leader, and the neoliberals would still have power. It’s the best of both worlds.

That’s about the size of it, wouldn’t you say, Mr Campbell?

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Plans for an anti-Thatcher museum in London to showcase her “genuine terrible legacy” – Mirror Online

Does anybody know anything about crowdfunding? Perhaps something could be done to make Mr Cullen’s exhibition a permanent feature of the London scene.

Plans to open an anti-Thatcher museum in London are being hatched by artist Darren Cullen.

The 32 year old, originally from Leeds, says he is in the early stages of planning, but has already been looking into finding potential locations and raising the funds for a temporary exhibition on the Iron Lady.

In 2013, Cameron gave his backing to a £15million museum and library called The Thatcher Centre, that would celebrate her life to “ensure Thatcher’s legacy lives on”.

But Darren thinks that there should be an alternative to this: a museum which exhibits the negative side of Thatcher and the UK under her rule.

Darren says:” I wanted to start this project because I think there’s going to be a serious need to counteract the whitewashed version of Thatcher’s legacy the official museum will present.”

Source: Plans for an anti-Thatcher museum in London to showcase her “genuine terrible legacy” – Mirror Online

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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