Ministers STILL won’t assess impact of benefit sanctions – in case it PROVES a link to suicide?

This isn’t the first time the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tory ministers running it have turned down a demand to assess the impact of benefit sanctions on claimants. They’ve been doing it for years. But it’s nice to see that public disgust with the implication behind it is growing. Employment minister Mims Davies responded to a Parliamentary question on the subject, said no assessment has been made of any link between benefit sanctions and mental health problems in claimants, including suicidal tendencies. But look at the reactions…

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Window-lickin’ bad: Disability ‘hate tweet’ MP appointed mental health minister

Boris Johnson really does seem to have gone out of his way to offend the nation with his government appointments. Disability campaigners are furious at his decision to make Nadine Dorries as the new minister for mental health after she published a disability hate tweet two years ago. It stated: A petition, calling for her to be removed, awaits your signature: Boris Johnson MP: Replace Nadine Dorries as Minister for Mental Health – Sign the Petition! https://t.co/5CVl4MeRvy via @UKChange Made a derogatory tweet about disabled peopled calling them "window licking…

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This Week in Toryland – your copy-and-keep guide to Conservative news

Welcome to This Week in Toryland! Feel free to copy the guide below and share it anywhere – with a link back to This Site, of course. This Week in Toryland a regular feature. If you find a piece of news you think should be included, please send it to the Comment column marked “This Week in Toryland”. Join the Vox Political Facebook page. If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so…

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Mental health called into question as Theresa May stutters through #PMQs

Forget Brexit or Heathrow’s forthcoming new runway – Prime Minister’s Questions today was all about mental health. Karl Turner told a packed House of Commons that his 25-year-old nephew, Mattie, had recently died while waiting six months for a ‘talking cure’ appointment to help him handle depression. He said these treatments were often a dangerous waiting game and a postcode lottery, and asked what Theresa May was doing to sort it out. She stuttered through a non-answer about having established parity of esteem between physical and mental health treatment but accepted…

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Coalition government condemned over sanctions regime that tortures children

Around 100,000 children were affected by benefit sanctions between the beginning of April 2013 and the end of March 2014, according to a new report. In the same period, nearly seven million weeks’ worth of sanctions were handed out to benefit claimants. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, will feature in this evening’s episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, entitled Britain’s Benefits Crackdown. The report – Time to Rethink Benefit Sanctions – is published today by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church Action on Poverty, the Church in Wales, the Church…

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Will voters support Labour’s vision for the NHS?

The word of the day appears to be ‘entryism’. A commenter used it to describe BNP/EDL infiltration of UKIP, and it seems just as appropriate to describe Alan Milburn’s membership of the Labour Party. What does this man have to do with left-wing policies? Nothing. Yet he was Health Secretary under Tony Blair – and a vile job he did of it, too. His period in office – and after – was notable for his support of private involvement in the health service, and in public service provision generally. This…

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Vigil to support judicial review for ESA claimants with mental health issues

Does anybody fancy helping create a stir outside the Royal Courts of Justice next week? Don’t worry, you shouldn’t get arrested. The courts will be the venue for the judicial review of government policy regarding claimants of Employment and Support Allowance who have mental health issues, from July 7-9. That’s between Monday and Wednesday next week. On Tuesday (July 8), the Mental Health Resistance Network, supported by Disabled People Against Cuts, will be holding a vigil at the front entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice building on The Strand,…

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More dodgy numbers on jobs for the disabled from the fake statistics machine

Someone in the Coalition government needs to watch what they’re saying – otherwise people all over the UK might come to unintended conclusions. Take a look at this: “Over 2,000 more disabled people got the support they needed to get or keep their job, compared with this time last year, official figures released today (22 October 2013) show” – according to a Department for Work and Pensions press release. It goes on to say that the number of people receiving support under the Access to Work programme between April and…

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These disability deniers have no incentive to do the right thing

Those of you who read the comments on this blog will be familiar with Nick. He’s a gentleman who has been ill for a very long time. The effects of his illness are readily apparent just by looking at him – he describes himself as having the appearance of an inmate in a Japanese POW camp during World War Two. The Department of Work and Pensions still wanted to tell him he was able to seek work; they only stopped trying to cut his benefits because his MP intervened. This…

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