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Zuiko
19th March 2016, 08:54 AM
Well, I couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass without comment, could I? :D

The news of Ian Duncan Smith’s resignation dramatically broke yesterday evening whilst my favourite political satire show, “The Last Leg,” was live on air – and at the very moment they were discussing the latest round of almost laughable, were they not so tragic, cuts in benefits to the disabled, which were outlined in Osborne’s recent Budget.

I’ve criticised IDS enough in the past, and goodness knows he deserved it, but credit to him for finally standing up to Osborne’s tyrannical misuse of public finances for ideological, rather than economic, reasons. I think the man at least deserves respect for this, even though it has been cynically suggested in some quarters that the real agenda for his resignation is Brexit rather than benefits.

Whatever the undercurrents, this dramatic move surely rips apart any remaining credibility for the Government’s economic policies and the question now is surely not if, but when, Osborne and Cameron should resign too, without the honour and dignity of IDS.

Wee man
19th March 2016, 10:10 AM
Me; I would vote for a Chimp as long as it's name wasn't David. But on thinking we cannot vote for those strange parties anyway.

Zuiko
19th March 2016, 10:19 AM
There is something we as individuals can do, if we care enough about this issue. A coalition of charities, including the MS Society and Parkinson's UK, is encouraging people to email their MP using a simple form, requesting the Speaker to call an emergency debate in the Commons so that the proposed benefit cuts can be fully discussed. Here's the link:-

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1692&ea.campaign.id=49090

Wally
19th March 2016, 11:17 AM
With all these 'cutbacks' taking place I am confused. Confused that we are, in some ways, reducing financial assistance to those in need, yet still plough £millions into the same overseas black holes that have been receiving financial aid for decades. What makes it even more confusing, is that to be able to do so, we continue to 'borrow £billions' whilst penalising those at home? As for 'charitable donations' I take exception to my/our - taxpayers monies - being donated elsewhere by government whilst charities at home struggle to assist those in need because we apparently can't afford it.


If I may use a quote from another thread… you know who you are? *yes "Rules are for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of the foolish"

If proof be needed that we have fools running some departments this article, which contains the high-lighted passage, says it all. Hello Mum (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-35705489)

The passage in question - > At a cost of £12,000, a system like the Eye Gaze is a significant investment. Those who can prove their cognitive ability can apply for NHS funding, but for those like James who are unable to complete a test because there is no recognised method of "proving his potential, the computer must be self-funded.

Peter_Hartland
19th March 2016, 11:29 AM
I think its a ply so he can go for the leadership & he wanted to look good

Zuiko
19th March 2016, 11:37 AM
With all these 'cutbacks' taking place I am confused. Confused that we are, in some ways, reducing financial assistance to those in need, yet still plough £millions into the same overseas black holes that have been receiving financial aid for decades. What makes it even more confusing, is that to be able to do so, we continue to 'borrow £billions' whilst penalising those at home? As for 'charitable donations' I take exception to my/our - taxpayers monies - being donated elsewhere by government whilst charities at home struggle to assist those in need because we apparently can't afford it.


If I may use a quote from another thread… you know who you are? *yes "Rules are for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of the foolish"

If proof be needed that we have fools running some departments this article, which contains the high-lighted passage, says it all. Hello Mum (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-35705489)

The passage in question - > At a cost of £12,000, a system like the Eye Gaze is a significant investment. Those who can prove their cognitive ability can apply for NHS funding, but for those like James who are unable to complete a test because there is no recognised method of "proving his potential, the computer must be self-funded.

So James needs this system to prove his ability, but has to prove his ability before he can have the system. This story has a happy ending because a family friend raised the money, but it is still a ridiculous situation. :(

PeterBirder
19th March 2016, 12:34 PM
I think its a ply so he can go for the leadership & he wanted to look good`

Yes.

I have "previous" with IDS. We were once both employed by the same company in related positions (purposely didn't say worked for as only one of us did any real work;)) and he was widely considered a sick joke. He is however a very astute social climber (married into the aristocracy) and self promoter. Of course he has previously been party leader but didn't last long and I suspect he has calculated that as "a week is a long time in politics" and memories are short he might get away with it again.:rolleyes:

Wally
19th March 2016, 03:28 PM
I too think it is a ploy and, it would appear 'we are not alone' in our suspicions. There was a mention on the BBC website hinting strongly on a hidden agenda.

With ongoing 'misdemeanour’s still hitting the news is it any wonder we distrust them?

MP... suspended by the labour party in December after he admitted sending lewd texts to a 17-year-old girl.

MP... interviewed by police earlier in January in connection with a rape allegation dating from 2006. Police confirmed on Friday their investigation is continuing.

MP... on Friday, ordered to repay thousands of pounds after admitting an expenses claims "error".

Not bad going for the same MP who still holds a position. His latest excuse... the rules are a bit hazy. :eek:

Is it any wonder we have a distrust where politicians are involved. A catch 22 of their own making

Miketoll
19th March 2016, 09:21 PM
What makes it even more confusing, is that to be able to do so, we continue to 'borrow £billions' whilst penalising those at home?

To be fair they don't penalise everybody at home - I have not noticed their cronies and the rich being penalised, only the most vulnerable and needy in siciety.

Resigning is the first and only thing IDS has done that I have ever agreed with but even so it is hard to accept at face value, I just don't trust the man.

Harold Gough
19th March 2016, 09:29 PM
Resigning is the first and only thing IDS has done that I have ever agreed with but even so it is hard to accept at face value, I just don't trust the man.

The small print probably says that it is subject to review by his team.

Harold

Ralph Harwood
19th March 2016, 11:21 PM
It's good to see that the torys remain their despicable selves - IDS' replacement also voted to take money from disabled people. How this government thinks it has any credibility is beyond me!

Zuiko
20th March 2016, 12:40 AM
It's good to see that the torys remain their despicable selves - IDS' replacement also voted to take money from disabled people. How this government thinks it has any credibility is beyond me!

Oh, come on - they did get the votes of nearly 25% of the electorate at the General Election! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: :D:D:D

Grumpy Hec
20th March 2016, 09:03 AM
Oh, come on - they did get the votes of nearly 25% of the electorate at the General Election! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: :D:D:D

Our very broken electoral system John. The actual numbers make for very depressing reading as they prove how unrepresentative the current parliament is as a result of first past the post. Loads of sites on the web which give these after a simple search

The headline numbers are that the Conservatives got 36.9% of the actual vote which is 0.8% more than last time yet got 24 new seats to have 50.9% of the seats in Westminster.

Labour got 30.4% of the vote which is 1.4% more than last time yet lost 26 seats leaving them with 35.7% of the vote.

Similarly skewed results for all the other parties with some huge anomalies in terms of vote percentage and seats.

All very wrong and contributing to this woeful and staggeringly unfair government who may ruin our links with Europe in an attempt to resolve their own internal party infighting.


Hec

Zuiko
20th March 2016, 09:15 AM
Our very broken electoral system John. The actual numbers make for very depressing reading as they prove how unrepresentative the current parliament is as a result of first past the post. Loads of sites on the web which give these after a simple search

The headline numbers are that the Conservatives got 36.9% of the actual vote which is 0.8% more than last time yet got 24 new seats to have 50.9% of the seats in Westminster.

Labour got 30.4% of the vote which is 1.4% more than last time yet lost 26 seats leaving them with 35.7% of the vote.

Similarly skewed results for all the other parties with some huge anomalies in terms of vote percentage and seats.

All very wrong and contributing to this woeful and staggeringly unfair government who may ruin our links with Europe in an attempt to resolve their own internal party infighting.


Hec

And we like to call ourselves a democracy - it makes me smile when I hear government ministers complaining that trade union ballots are unfair. :rolleyes:

Barkly
20th March 2016, 09:37 AM
UK system of first past the post and voluntary voting means in theory 33% of the vote can produce 100% of the seats. This is not democracy.

In Oz we whinge about it but with compulsory voting and a preferential system we see about 95% of the electorate voting and the results generally (but with some local aberrations) reflect the communities wishes.

On top of that our upper house (the Senate) is a slightly modified proportional representative system. OK we have been debating some of the detail this week but not hereditary or appointed.

We have (like the US) a written constitution. In other words a modern liberal democracy.

Wally
20th March 2016, 09:51 AM
The whole political system is a farce and always has been. The only difference is that they now don't bother / don't care who knows it. The rules that Joe Public have to abide by are convoluted gobbledygook, so much so that a certain faction make a living out of it. As a parliamentarian, Joe Public rules don't apply. Fiddling expenses, in our rule book is theft... Their rule book says: It's not theft per se, gaining money under false pretences is 'borrowing' until such time as found out. At this point it has to be paid back with a distinct possibility that that only a % of the total must be paid. IF, and it's a big if, the situation merits it - one has the right to resign with full pension privileges and a possible seat in the House of Lords @ £300 per attendance signature. In the very small print it says: You don't have to stay if there are more pressing engagements... like golf, etc..

The crap really hit the fan a short while back when they tried to pass a rule that would have meant that to get information through the FOI system, you would have had to pay for it and, that they could stop certain facts that (Gvt speak) could pose a security risk to the nation. In Joe Public speak, would seriously embarrass the government.

Getting back on track, I see that the long knives are out with IDS the main target. All of this will hopefully take our minds away from the other serious issue, which I've forgotten but had something to do with 'to be or not to be?' *yes

OlyPaul
20th March 2016, 10:03 AM
And we like to call ourselves a democracy -:


Do not be silly John we have not been a true democracy since the European Parliament and courts started telling us what we can and cannot do.;)

As For DS he us no different to the rest,I cannot think of one politician that I trust these days.

Imageryone
20th March 2016, 02:15 PM
If I read it right, our " Government " freely sends £85,000,000 [/I]a day[/I] to The European parliament, but we have no money to fund the disabled:confused::confused:.

Each and every man, woman and child in the British Isles has a Personal Debt of over £6,000,000 to fund the massive loans and " Black Holes " each successive party discovers.

The country is not only broke, but on its uppers, and at the moment 81% of your wages are accounted just for " Tax" open and hidden!!!

Best way is to sack the whole shooting match, all you need is your MP's name and vote for anyone else. Forget " Politics " just sack all the wasters !


Rant over, feel better now :D:D

Cerebus
20th March 2016, 03:05 PM
Quote from interview with Ros Altmann in the Guardian today:

“Having worked alongside him as a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions, I have seen that he championed the very package of reforms to disability benefits he now says is the reason he has resigned (...)”

Graham_of_Rainham
20th March 2016, 04:14 PM
Did anyone see his election speech on the Andrew Marr show.

To be fair, one guest presenter showed a picture of him in the back row during the budget, clearly making a point of his involvement. IDS pointed out he was not even there (at a funeral)...

In the past it was often said that truth was the first casualty of war. Now that truth is well and truly dead, what are we left to believe in. :confused:

Harold Gough
20th March 2016, 04:42 PM
If I read it right, our " Government " freely sends £85,000,000 [/I]a day[/I] to The European parliament, but we have no money to fund the disabled:confused::confused:.

The point is that it is this country which has been disabled, by membership of the EU.

Harold

Ivor
20th March 2016, 06:16 PM
1. The neoliberal economics that Tory, Lib-Dems, Labour and UKIP subscribe to don't work. (This is agreed on by the London Business School and the London School of Economics) Austerity is damaging the economy (http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/what-is-the-deficit).
2. The national debt is getting bigger.
3. The budget deficit is getting bigger, this is inevitable and not the huge issue that the Tories are making it out to be.
4. The government are giving away assets to private companies when they academise schools. (http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/education/a1540850--1billion-of-title-deeds-for-schools-transferred-to-private-companies)
5. The NHS and schools are stifled by ridiculous bureaucracy and are deliberately being run down so they perform badly and so the government have an excuse to privatise them.
6. The rich are getting richer (https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/scale-economic-inequality-uk)while the rest of us are getting poorer.
7. The government have stopped subsidising renewables but still pay massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industries.
8. The richest 0.1% of people own over half of the rural land and we pay them millions in farming subsidies. The EU wanted to cap this at €300,000 per year but our government blocked it.
9. The government are self-serving. Our local Tory MP has been shouting about getting millions of trees planting to be subsidised by government. Sounds good, but her husband owns a huge estates and makes his money from forestry.
10. The biggest threat to our sovereignty is membership of NATO, which can legally oblige us to go to war if another NATO country is attacked.
11. The government allows banks to lend money that they don't have, effectively increasing the money supply with no control. If you get a mortgage or a bank loan or buy something with a credit card, the bank does not have that money to lend but they lend it anyway and so you pay interest on something that doesn't exist.
12. The electoral system is skewed in favour of the big parties.


I really don't have any faith in Labour offering a proper alternative to the Tories. Most of the party are still Blairites and don't support Corbyn and are watered down Blues. (Check out The Political Compass and you will see that Labour is now a right-wing party.) UKIP are a more radical Tory Party with an extra sprinkling of racism, the Limp Dems are turncoats and have policies that blow in the wind.

I am not saying there are no good MPs. There are dedicated people in every party who are not in it for their own personal gain, whether you agree with their policies or not - Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn, Norman Lamb and Mhairi Black to name a few. I am hard pressed to find a Tory to add to that list!

I get hot under the collar just thinking about the demise of our land.

Wally
20th March 2016, 08:19 PM
... I cannot think of one politician that I trust these days.

I can think of quite a few that can be trusted and they all have one thing in common... they are all dead. ;)

I'm sure there ae many that do their very best and have the interests of the nation at heart. Regretably, those who hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons spoil it for those that do care. Promises that are made and never seem to be fulfilled don't help. As I said earlier, all that comes over is 'what can I get for me, not, what can I do for others'. A catch 22 all of their own making. IDS, if he has done the right thing this time around, still leaves many looking for ulterior motives, is a prime example of the general feeling of mistrust of today's politicians..

Harold Gough
21st March 2016, 09:33 PM
And we like to call ourselves a democracy:rolleyes:

Are you sure about that? That's the Greek version.

According to the Roman version, it means that the plebs are in charge. :confused:

Harold

Harold Gough
22nd March 2016, 06:53 AM
I think it is very unfair to criticise the Chancellor for being absent from Parliament yesterday. It is very much frowned upon to not keep an appointment at the Job Centre. :D

Harold

Wally
22nd March 2016, 08:48 AM
:rolleyes: Hmmm, could this be the real underlying reason for the U turn? Brain damaged Simple Simon would have had to go without. Still, I'm sure some kind soul would provide a pie from the his local food bank.

Still too much wriggle room in politics methinks?

yorky
22nd March 2016, 09:30 AM
It's good to see that the torys remain their despicable selves - IDS' replacement also voted to take money from disabled people. How this government thinks it has any credibility is beyond me!
Ah but remember the last government!

Harold Gough
22nd March 2016, 09:56 AM
As I understand it, some excess payments have been made to some disabled. These include one-off payments e.g. for installing a handrail, which have been paid repeatedly, and those for special needs where the individual does not have those needs.

Where it has all gone wrong is that these should have been rectified during the normal function of managing payments. It is nothing to do with the budget and its inclusion was an error under any circumstances and crass to include in a way which could apparently suggest that it was a source of funds to allow higher earners to pay less tax.

The Chancellor seems to have included it in his efforts to show how clever he was. He did that extremely well.

Harold

Zuiko
22nd March 2016, 11:20 AM
As I understand it, some excess payments have been made to some disabled. These include one-off payments e.g. for installing a handrail, which have been paid repeatedly, and those for special needs where the individual does not have those needs.

Where it has all gone wrong is that these should have been rectified during the normal function of managing payments. It is nothing to do with the budget and its inclusion was an error under any circumstances and crass to include in a way which could apparently suggest that it was a source of funds to allow higher earners to pay less tax.

The Chancellor seems to have included it in his efforts to show how clever he was. He did that extremely well.

Harold

As I understand it, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has ben replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for all new applicants and existing claimants are gradually being migrated to the new benefit. The criteria to qualify for PIP is much tougher than for DLA and many existing claimants are failing to qualify. This is an ongoing process that has been happening for several years and will continue until all existing claimants of DLA have been reassessed for PIP. This will not be affected by the apparent U-turn over the £4.4 billion cuts announced in the Budget, which were planned to reduce the amount paid to those who still qualified.

Zuiko
22nd March 2016, 11:48 AM
Ever since becoming partially disabled myself I have held the belief that what is really needed is a program for assessing the practical abilities and capacity for work of disabled people, including work experience and new skills training. Incentives could be given to employers who take on disabled workers by making them exempt from employer's national insurance contributions, for instance. Unfortunately nothing like this exists and the assessments for Employment Support Allowance are geared towards finding excuses not to pay benefits, rather than helping people back into work within the restrictions of their disabilities. The only help available is the Work Program, which is designed to help healthy people improve their chances of employment with advice on CVs, letter writing, interview skills and role play, etc. It's good for what it does, but it is not designed to provide the specialist help needed to help disabled people discover what jobs they are capable of doing.

Wally
22nd March 2016, 10:18 PM
With regard to the above post.

A few decades ago, there was a system that allowed for the disabled to partake in employment. The name of the organisation was called Remploy. It served those with varying disabilities in a system that gave people self-esteem and a chance to lead as normal a life as they could manage. Everything that Zuiko / John has said in his post was, I believe, built into the system.

Why something along these lines has not been brought back I am at a loss to understand. Well maybe not. Government mentality these days is overly complicated, suffers from too many spin doctors and tunnel vision.

Zuiko
23rd March 2016, 01:03 AM
With regard to the above post.

A few decades ago, there was a system that allowed for the disabled to partake in employment. The name of the organisation was called Remploy. It served those with varying disabilities in a system that gave people self-esteem and a chance to lead as normal a life as they could manage. Everything that Zuiko / John has said in his post was, I believe, built into the system.

Why something along these lines has not been brought back I am at a loss to understand. Well maybe not. Government mentality these days is overly complicated, suffers from too many spin doctors and tunnel vision.

Remploy was indeed a marvellous organisation, providing employment for many disabled people. However, it was not profit making and required government subsidy, so it was axed. Whether it was cost effective compared to putting those workers back on benefits I don't know.

Cerebus
23rd March 2016, 06:50 AM
remploy still exists actually.

Harold Gough
23rd March 2016, 06:58 AM
Whatever the reasons for IDS' actions, he saved us from another week of American election crap. The nation should be grateful.

Harold

Simon Bee
23rd March 2016, 09:58 AM
Whatever the reasons for IDS' actions, he saved us from another week of American election crap. The nation should be grateful.

Harold

Brilliant :D:D

Zuiko
23rd March 2016, 10:03 AM
remploy still exists actually.

Thank you, I will check that out. :)

Naughty Nigel
23rd March 2016, 01:57 PM
As I understand it, some excess payments have been made to some disabled. These include one-off payments e.g. for installing a handrail, which have been paid repeatedly, and those for special needs where the individual does not have those needs.

Where it has all gone wrong is that these should have been rectified during the normal function of managing payments. It is nothing to do with the budget and its inclusion was an error under any circumstances and crass to include in a way which could apparently suggest that it was a source of funds to allow higher earners to pay less tax.

The Chancellor seems to have included it in his efforts to show how clever he was. He did that extremely well.

Harold


As I understand it, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has ben replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for all new applicants and existing claimants are gradually being migrated to the new benefit. The criteria to qualify for PIP is much tougher than for DLA and many existing claimants are failing to qualify. This is an ongoing process that has been happening for several years and will continue until all existing claimants of DLA have been reassessed for PIP. This will not be affected by the apparent U-turn over the £4.4 billion cuts announced in the Budget, which were planned to reduce the amount paid to those who still qualified.


I suspect that most of those commenting on this debacle don't fully understand the issues, and are making more general political points.

The concept of taking much needed benefits away from genuinely disabled people is one that I abhor, but I don't know if this is really the case?

My understanding at present (based on a BBC report) is that many 'disabled' people receive benefits in the from of DLA or PIP but do not actually need these benefits.

Examples were given of several disabled people who needed specific mobility aids or adjustments to their homes in order to lead an otherwise 'normal' life. These adjustments included hand-rails and other one-off fitments that were provided by the government. Once these were fitted there was no further cost to the individual, yet they continued to receive significant sums in the form of DLA or PIP. It was these payments that George Osborne proposed should be stopped.

Clearly, stopping any benefit is an emotive issue, especially where disabled people are concerned.

This is a serious matter that goes far beyond politician bashing, so if anybody here knows what this is really about I would be very interested to hear.

Crazy Dave
23rd March 2016, 02:08 PM
I've stopped watching Question Time, I have a greater supply of bricks than TVs. A few years ago, a Labour MP defended the party's immigration policy praising the tolerance of the British people and our ability to integrate newcomers and to function as a multicultural society. So far so good but the country cited as a good example of where people of various faiths live and work together was .............

Syria.

Ignorance that beggars belief, society in that country had deep fault lines long before the current unrest. Idiots, buffoons and self-servers that do not know the difference between was is wrong (as in I have done nothing wrong) and straying into illegality. I heard one Tory politician defend Malcom Rifkind by saying all he had done wrong was to have been influenced by a pretty face. For someone who had access to the country's intelligence secrets, I'd say that was indefensible.

Just going off to shout some expletives.


David

Harold Gough
23rd March 2016, 02:08 PM
Just to give a historical example. Some 20 years or so ago, an adult male neighbour was assessed as unfit to work because he had flat feet. That was clearly nonsense.

Harold

Naughty Nigel
23rd March 2016, 02:34 PM
I've stopped watching Question Time, I have a greater supply of bricks than TVs. A few years ago, a Labour MP defended the party's immigration policy praising the tolerance of the British people and our ability to integrate newcomers and to function as a multicultural society. So far so good but the country cited as a good example of where people of various faiths live and work together was .............

Syria.

Ignorance that beggars belief, society in that country had deep fault lines long before the current unrest. Idiots, buffoons and self-servers that do not know the difference between was is wrong (as in I have done nothing wrong) and straying into illegality. I heard one Tory politician defend Malcom Rifkind by saying all he had done wrong was to have been influenced by a pretty face. For someone who had access to the country's intelligence secrets, I'd say that was indefensible.

Just going off to shout some expletives.


David


I suspect that if Donald Trump makes it to the Whitehouse our discussions here will be the least of our worries! :eek:

Come to that, Hilary Clinton doesn't look a much better alternative. :(

Walti
23rd March 2016, 04:15 PM
I suspect that if Donald Trump makes it to the Whitehouse our discussions here will be the least of our worries! :eek:

Come to that, Hilary Clinton doesn't look a much better alternative. :(

I think the best answer to this is a post I saw on Facebook:

"Dear America, you think you're having an election, the rest of the world is seeing it as an IQ test - you're not looking good"

Graham_of_Rainham
23rd March 2016, 04:43 PM
Poll finds 41% of likely Trump voters want to bomb Agrabah — the fictional city from ‘Aladdin’ :o

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/poll-finds-41-trump-voters-bomb-aladdin-city-article-1.2470693

Naughty Nigel
23rd March 2016, 04:52 PM
Poll finds 41% of likely Trump voters want to bomb Agrabah — the fictional city from ‘Aladdin’ :o

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/poll-finds-41-trump-voters-bomb-aladdin-city-article-1.2470693

One thing is for sure - they don't have a clue where in the world their armed forces are bombing, but then that hasn't changed much in 70 years :(

Not so long ago I had reason to call an American company for technical support. (To be fair, they still do phone calls, which few companies here will allow nowadays.)

Anyhow, the 'Agent' asked for my address, and then asked: "Durr-ham, is that in You-rope?" :(

Graham_of_Rainham
23rd March 2016, 06:49 PM
You will need the new 300mm just to see across the credibility gap... :o

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35884080

Simon Bee
23rd March 2016, 07:24 PM
Ah but remember the last government!

Exactly :eek:

Harold Gough
23rd March 2016, 09:23 PM
Ah but remember the last government!

Did you have to remind me? :(

Harold

PeterBirder
23rd March 2016, 10:11 PM
I suspect that most of those commenting on this debacle don't fully understand the issues, and are making more general political points.

The concept of taking much needed benefits away from genuinely disabled people is one that I abhor, but I don't know if this is really the case?

My understanding at present (based on a BBC report) is that many 'disabled' people receive benefits in the from of DLA or PIP but do not actually need these benefits.

Examples were given of several disabled people who needed specific mobility aids or adjustments to their homes in order to lead an otherwise 'normal' life. These adjustments included hand-rails and other one-off fitments that were provided by the government. Once these were fitted there was no further cost to the individual, yet they continued to receive significant sums in the form of DLA or PIP. It was these payments that George Osborne proposed should be stopped.

Clearly, stopping any benefit is an emotive issue, especially where disabled people are concerned.

This is a serious matter that goes far beyond politician bashing, so if anybody here knows what this is really about I would be very interested to hear.

Since no one else has responded to your points I will hold up my hand and tell you that I am the sole carer for both my daughter, who has learning disabilities and my wife who is now physically disabled. My daughter recieves the lowest rate of DLA (but will eventually be re-assesed for PIP) and my wife receives PIP at the lower rate for "daily living" and the enhanced rate for "mobility".

Your first sentence is entirely correct.

The BBC report from which you have gained your understanding is completely misleading as is most media reporting which again is ill informed and politically influenced. PIP has nothing to do with the one off provision of aids etc.That is covered by local authority Social Services (Adult Social Care).

PIP (and DLA before it) is an allowance intended to help people with significant long term disabilities to live a more "normal" and independant life rather than becoming isolated or in many cases having to live in some form of "care home" (which would be much more expensive). There is no definition or restriction on what you can spend it on as every individual's needs differ.

From the Government website on PIP.

"1. Overview
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week.

The rate depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your rate will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support."

The assesment of claims which includes a "face to face" session with a "Health Professional" involves a points scoring system which (in the case of Daily Living) includes details of any "aids" used or needed but not available to you. This is used as a means of assessing your level of disability not determining what you have to spend the allowance on.

This link gives you the details of the points descriptors and the points scores necessary to obtain the different levels of payment.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system

The assesment process is daunting and rigorous and (this is where the financial/political pressure comes in) there is a tendancy to make an award which is less than that which you believe is appropriate.
In my wife's case the face to face assesment took place in a local private physiotherapy clinic and was carried out by the much maligned ATOS Healthcare. We entered the clinic (a converted house ) and went to the reception desk in the far corner of the waiting room. My wife was on her mobility scooter and waited on it just inside the waiting room door. A nurse eventually appeared and asked her if she could walk to the consulting room which was "not very far". This proved to be down a ramp (which she finds particularly painful) in a gloomy corridor and she just managed it with the aid of her walking stick and myself in her normal very slow and painful manner. At the end of the assessment the nurse asked "was the distance you walked about the limit of your ability" and she said it was. I assesed the distance to be considerably less than the "more than one metre but less than twenty metres" criterion necessary to score 12 points which qualifies you for the higher rate mobility component of PIP.
When her award letter arrived it was for the standard rate for which the criterion is the ability to walk (without pain, breathlessness etc.) more than twenty metres but less than fifty metres. I went back to the clinic and measured the distance which turned out to be only ten metres.In a telephone conversation with the civil servant who made the decision (which you are entitled to) she was fobbed off with thing like "oh we have to take all sorts of things into consideration" so we applied for a "Mandatory Reconsideration" with another official stating the actual distance together with a letter from her GP and the award was changed to the enhanced rate. Hard work.

Regards.*chr

Zuiko
24th March 2016, 02:03 AM
Since no one else has responded to your points I will hold up my hand and tell you that I am the sole carer for both my daughter, who has learning disabilities and my wife who is now physically disabled. My daughter recieves the lowest rate of DLA (but will eventually be re-assesed for PIP) and my wife receives PIP at the lower rate for "daily living" and the enhanced rate for "mobility".

Your first sentence is entirely correct.

The BBC report from which you have gained your understanding is completely misleading as is most media reporting which again is ill informed and politically influenced. PIP has nothing to do with the one off provision of aids etc.That is covered by local authority Social Services (Adult Social Care).

PIP (and DLA before it) is an allowance intended to help people with significant long term disabilities to live a more "normal" and independant life rather than becoming isolated or in many cases having to live in some form of "care home" (which would be much more expensive). There is no definition or restriction on what you can spend it on as every individual's needs differ.

From the Government website on PIP.

"1. Overview
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week.

The rate depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your rate will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support."

The assesment of claims which includes a "face to face" session with a "Health Professional" involves a points scoring system which (in the case of Daily Living) includes details of any "aids" used or needed but not available to you. This is used as a means of assessing your level of disability not determining what you have to spend the allowance on.

This link gives you the details of the points descriptors and the points scores necessary to obtain the different levels of payment.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system

The assesment process is daunting and rigorous and (this is where the financial/political pressure comes in) there is a tendancy to make an award which is less than that which you believe is appropriate.
In my wife's case the face to face assesment took place in a local private physiotherapy clinic and was carried out by the much maligned ATOS Healthcare. We entered the clinic (a converted house ) and went to the reception desk in the far corner of the waiting room. My wife was on her mobility scooter and waited on it just inside the waiting room door. A nurse eventually appeared and asked her if she could walk to the consulting room which was "not very far". This proved to be down a ramp (which she finds particularly painful) in a gloomy corridor and she just managed it with the aid of her walking stick and myself in her normal very slow and painful manner. At the end of the assessment the nurse asked "was the distance you walked about the limit of your ability" and she said it was. I assesed the distance to be considerably less than the "more than one metre but less than twenty metres" criterion necessary to score 12 points which qualifies you for the higher rate mobility component of PIP.
When her award letter arrived it was for the standard rate for which the criterion is the ability to walk (without pain, breathlessness etc.) more than twenty metres but less than fifty metres. I went back to the clinic and measured the distance which turned out to be only ten metres.In a telephone conversation with the civil servant who made the decision (which you are entitled to) she was fobbed off with thing like "oh we have to take all sorts of things into consideration" so we applied for a "Mandatory Reconsideration" with another official stating the actual distance together with a letter from her GP and the award was changed to the enhanced rate. Hard work.

Regards.*chr

Thanks Peter for answering the points raised by Nigel so comprehensively. I will just add a few observations of my own.

Nigel is right that the whole issue has become politicised and really that is the last thing disabled people want. It may appear that opponents of the cuts are using them as an excuse for Tory bashing, but much of the behind the scenes campaigning has been done by respected and long established charities such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson’s UK and Arthritis Research UK. Indeed, I supported their joint campaign by writing to my local MP – a conservative but also a decent man who gave me considerable practical support in getting answers from the DWP when they messed up my ESA claim and tried to cover it up a few years ago. I still lost the benefit, but at least I found the reason was that the DWP had given me incorrect information from the start. However, that’s another story.

Regarding the points system, that’s the criteria which have determined the level of financial assistance for disabled people for many years. It may be imperfect, and it could be argued that it does not go far enough in helping disabled people, but to suddenly change the goal posts and take significant sums of money from people already struggling on low incomes is unbelievably harsh.

Of course, “harsh” may not be a reason for not making these cuts when it is obvious that savings need to be made somewhere, but consider this. The vast majority of benefit claimants spend every penny of their income, so the £4.4 billion at stake will immediately generate a 20% VAT return to the Treasury and even more if any of it is spent, heavens forbid, on petrol, alcohol or tobacco. Of the rest, a significant proportion will return to the Treasury as corporation tax (provided the money isn’t spent at Starbucks or Amazon), or be paid as salaries to employees whose jobs are supported by the spending of the benefits and who will themselves pay tax, NI and generate yet more VAT through their own spending. So whilst cutting benefits may reduce public spending, it also reduces income and shrinks the economy, resulting in very little (if any) actual saving.

Imageryone
24th March 2016, 08:47 AM
As one who is Epileptic, has serious spinal defects and now heart problems as well, I no longer qualify for a single benefit, for the simple reason that after spending nearly three years in a wheelchair, we found a way to strengthen muscle and manage pain and regain a life.

A really good example of ATOS assessment, on the 3rd floor of a building with no ramps, no lifts and stairs built in the 1930's. When my wife complained to the receptionist ( I was on the ground floor) she was told that if I did not attend the assessment, all benefits would cease. It took 1/2 hour to negotiate the stairs, to be told at the top that as I could " manage" the stairs, I was no longer considered disabled.

The problem is not with the genuine disabled, but the thousands of spongers who cheat the system so easily, and always get the maximum payments too.

Harold Gough
24th March 2016, 08:59 AM
A really good example of ATOS assessment, on the 3rd floor of a building with no ramps, no lifts and stairs built in the 1930's.

Developers wanted this property about 10 years ago to build some flats. The plans of the upper floor showed carefully drawn turning circles for wheelchairs. There was no access from the ground floor for wheelchairs to the upper floor.

A couple of years ago, I was involved in an ATOS telephone assessment. It was for a relative whose first language was no English. I should point out that this was due to ongoing walking problems from a documented accident at work with the same employer months earlier. My relative was being bullied into doing heavy work when her main job was desk-based.

Based on that conversation, I think the official title of the assessor should be ATOSer.

ATOS no longer acts for that employer.

Harold

Zuiko
26th March 2016, 03:40 AM
Part of an article by the Independent online, which I've just spotted:

People with brain tumours, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and a number of other conditions are “able to work”, new work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb has said.

Mr Crabb made the comments the day before he replaced Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned from his position because he found the planned cuts to disability benefits announced in the latest Budget "not defensible".

The MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire wrote on his Facebook page last Thursday: “A decision was taken by MPs to change the benefit awarded to a specific group of people who receive Employment Support Allowance.”

The 43-year-old - who later backtracked on the statement - added: “These people are in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and they do have a disability or illness but are able to work.”

In response to a freedom of information request, the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed disabilities and illness under the employment and support allowance work-related activity group include: strokes, brain haemorrhages, multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, quadraplegia, polio and cerebral palsy.


Some people with Parkinson's, and indeed any of these illnesses, may well be able to work. I continued in full time employment for 5 years after my diagnosis, until my employer decided I was no longer capable of doing my job. Even then, I feel I could have continued part time in a less demanding profession had government (non-financial) support been available to help me at that difficult time. Instead, I was faced with a constant battle involving assessments, appeals and tribunals just to stay in the Work Related Activity Group. It was blatantly obvious that the DWP had no intention of helping me overcome my specific barriers to suitable employment and were concerned only with denying me benefits as soon as possible. It's a disgrace.