23 thoughts on “Chancellor Osborne, resign, British disabled people demand

  1. Thursday 24th March 2016

    posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

    Cruel welfare cuts lead to 39% rise

    DISABLED people are being made homeless in their thousands due to welfare cuts and a housing crisis spiralling out of control, official figures revealed yesterday.

    According to the government’s own statistics, the number of people with disabilities becoming homeless has risen by 39 per cent since the Tories took power in 2010.

    And across Britain, the number of households officially accepted as homeless was even more “worrying,” with over 17,000 more families left with nowhere to live over the last five years.

    Shadow housing minister John Healey said it was another blow to the credibility of David Cameron’s claim to lead a “compassionate” Conservative government following chaos over last week’s Budget.

    “No one-nation government would accept rapidly rising homelessness and still stick with the policies causing the problem,” he said.

    “The Chancellor has backed down on some new disability benefit cuts but these figures expose the harsh impact on disabled people of the cuts he’s already made.”

    He added that the scale of homelessness in Britain “shamed us all.”

    “The homeless figures hide personal stories of hurt and hopelessness. Thousands of people whose ordinary lives have fallen apart from illness, debt, family break-up, addiction or redundancy,” he said.

    “This spiralling scale of homelessness shames us all when Britain is one of the richest countries in the world.”

    Private tenancy evictions were still the biggest cause of homelessness in the country, with three times more people falling victim of their landlords’ whims since 2010.

    The problem has been made worse by “the government’s failure to control housing costs and crude cuts to housing support over the last six years,” said Mr Healey.

    The number of families being given emergency accommodation in hostels and B&Bs had also grown by 14 per cent over the last year and a whopping 103 per cent in five years.

    Homelessness charity Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “As the number of homeless people continues to grow, it’s clear that the modest proposals on rough-sleeping in the Budget are simply inadequate given the scale of this problem, and will not reach the thousands of homeless families hidden away in cramped B&Bs and dingy hostel rooms.

    “Over the past 50 years at Shelter we have seen first-hand that reducing homelessness is only possible when a government is truly committed to providing secure and affordable homes, and adequate support should the worst happen.

    “But, tragically as we approach our 50th anniversary, we are instead facing the catastrophic consequences of short-sighted welfare cuts and a severe housing shortage.

    “If we want to break the cycle of homelessness for good, this government has to stop side-stepping the root causes, and urgently prioritise building homes that people on low and ordinary incomes can actually afford to rent long-term or buy.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-2f2b-Disabled-Homelessness-Risis-in-Tory-Britain#.VvO8rHprgdU

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  2. Thursday 24th March 2016

    posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

    Angry disabled activists take on Osborne’s vicious attacks on the vulnerable

    DISABLED activists rallied inside Parliament yesterday after “vile” Chancellor George Osborne attempted to further make their lives even harder. Dozens of people demonstrated in the central lobby, while Jeremy Corbyn demanded answers from David Cameron in the Chamber.

    Despite the Tory U-turn on cuts to the personal independent payment (PIP), campaigners are still outraged at the reduction of subsidies such as the employment and support allowance (ESA) — now a mere £30 a week.

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was the first MP to come down to show his solidarity with protesters, walking out of the Commons Chamber to loud cheers from the group.

    He told the Star the demonstration was “a justified expression of anger by disabled people against the cuts this government is driving through.”

    On Monday David Cameron was forced to admit that a nearly £4.5 billion black hole in the new budget would not be remedied by further welfare cuts.

    But when Mr Corbyn asked him during Prime Minsiter’s Questions yesterday whether he could “absolutely and categorically rule out any further cuts to welfare spending in the lifetime of this parliament,” the PM remained tight-lipped.

    That drew the ire of the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) activists in the lobby.

    Martin Tulley said: “None of them understand a thing, they live in a Westminster bubble, they have a sort of parliamentary bar beerglasses.

    “The Tories do not care, they are not compassionate they are the vilest scum of the Earth.”

    The wheelchair-user added: “[George Osborne] should resign, the Tory government should resign, hand over to Jeremy Corbyn and let us make a better society where everybody is included.”

    Tory MPs gave the lobby a wide berth during the protest, but several SNP MPs came down, as well as Labour’s Jess Phillips and Green MP Caroline Lucas.

    Ms Lucas and Ms Phillips confirmed to the Star that ushers had locked the doors connecting the Commons to the lobby and said Tories were seen leaving through the back.

    Outside Parliament, DPAC spokeswoman Paula Peters accused the government of being “scared of disabled people in wheelchairs fighting back.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8fc9-DPAC-campaigners-rally-in-Westminsters-lobby#.VvO-QHprgdU

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  3. Thursday 24th
    posted by Luke James in Britain

    DAVID CAMERON’S war on “red tape” has led to disabled people facing “disgraceful” discrimination in everyday life, according to a damning Lords report released today.

    Peers found disabled people still face barriers to access public services, transport, leisure facilities or even the toilet when they’re out of the house.

    The committee — appointed to look at the impact of the 2010 Equality Act on disabled people — warned the government’s “red tape challenge” is being used as a “pretext for removing protection” by public authorities, business and bosses.

    “The government, instead of concentrating on the burden on businesses, should be looking at the burden on disabled people,” the report blasts.

    The criticism comes after the Prime Minister scrapped equality impact assessments which forced public bodies to consider disability, race and gender when making decisions.

    He branded it “bureaucratic nonsense” when he announced the move in 2012 at the conference of the CBI big business lobby.

    Despite disabled people facing increased discrimination, the committee warns Tory policies have denied many access to justice.

    Its report says: “The government, by imposing tribunal fees, withdrawing legal aid and changing the costs rules, has hindered, not helped.”

    Overall the committee said government policies are failure to implement the Equality Act is having a “hugely adverse effect on disabled people.”

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith said the Tories should “hang their heads in shame.

    “Shamefully things are set to get even worse, as even after this week’s humiliating U-turn on cuts to PIP, the Tories are still planning to take £1,500 a year from almost half a million disabled people, to fund giveaways for the wealthiest and big business.

    “They should find a conscience, learn the lessons of last week and scrap these plans today.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-636d-PMs-war-on-red-tape-harms-lives-of-the-disabled#.VvRP8nptc2E

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  4. Thursday 31st
    posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

    A WOMAN was forced to turn to crime after having her benefits stopped while in a coma because she was “not expected to survive,” a court heard yesterday.

    Lisa Hartley from Hull was arrested for breaking into a boarded-up council house earlier this month and stealing piping, door handles and a letterbox.

    She had previously been in hospital fighting for her life for over two months and had her benefits cut.

    When asked why she and an accomplice had stolen the scrap metal, Ms Hartley replied she “needed a bit of money.”

    At Hull Magistrates’ Court, Ms Hartley’s solicitor Ed Cunnah said: “I’m sure you have seen details of the sad situation that led to her losing her benefits for a couple of months.

    “I’m absolutely shocked someone who was in a coma in hospital, and was not expected to survive, lost their benefits for nine weeks through no fault of their own.”

    Ms Hartley was ordered to pay £100 in total court costs which are set to be deducted from her now restored benefits.

    Chairman of the bench Steven Larard said: “We are quite surprised this matter came to court.

    “I would have thought this could have been dealt with by a police warning or caution.”

    The case was reminiscent of that of Sheila Holt, from Rochdale, who was told to find work despite having been in a coma for weeks.

    Ms Holt, who died last year, suffered a heart attack after being forced to enter a work programme despite her severe anxiety.

    Ministers apologised for Ms Holt’s death, but the family still feared others would suffer similar fates.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-6a6c-Woman-had-benefits-stopped-while-she-was-in-a-coma#.VvziDHoYMdU

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  15. Saturday 12th November 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    A LEADING campaigner for rights for disabled people has died.

    Tributes have poured in for Debbie Jolly, a co-founder of the Disabled People Against Cuts group (DPAC).

    Jolly died in hospital on Thursday after a short illness. She was 48.

    DPAC was formed in 2010, and became the leading British campaign group to defend disabled people from government cuts and discrimination, with a sister organisation in Scotland, Black Triangle.

    Jolly was born and grew up in London’s Bethnal Green but lived in Leicestershire for many years with her family.

    After school she attended the University of Leeds where she gained an MA in disability studies.

    She edited various academic papers on disability and was a board member of the European Network of Independent Living.

    She also worked on developing a directory for independent living in Bulgaria and Turkey.

    She worked with disabled people and their organisations in Britain, and on October 3 2010 became co-founder of DPAC and a member of its steering group, a position she held up to her death.

    A passionate campaigner for the rights of disabled people, she was highly critical of the large disability charities which she saw, as do other activists, as being a major cause of disabled people’s continuing oppression, and which she believed contributed to the problems in making disabled people voiceless through having non-disabled people speaking for them.

    From the start DPAC had a progressive and militant attitude towards its campaigning activities, mobilising disabled people to take direct action by blocking traffic and mounting protests against lack of access to public services, including railway trains and facilities.

    Jolly played a leading part with DPAC activist Linda Burnip in instigating a United Nations investigation into the treatment of disabled people in Britain, resulting in a report which found that Britain “had committed grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights.”

    The report came under fierce attack from the Tory press, which turned its aggression into personal attacks on the UN envoy who conducted the investigation.

    Jolly took part in DPAC protests against Atos, the now disgraced government-appointed contractor responsible for assessing recipients of benefits, whose decisions resulted in disabled people and others facing poverty and destitution.

    In March last year, as MPs called for a review of the effects of benefit sanctions, Jolly responded to a query from me: “An independent review is long overdue, the deaths of David Clapson, Mark Wood and countless others were because of the increasing and punitive use of sanctions.

    “An inquiry won’t bring them or the documented 10,600 people who died within six weeks of the work assessments back, but the DWP must accept responsibility for what is literally corporate manslaughter through their actions.

    “We need the full figures of these crimes to be made public, the full numbers of deaths through these actions and the publication of the 49-60 internal reviews. Any independent review must not gloss over these facts. Sanctions cause starvation and death.

    “That is unacceptable anywhere, let alone in the seventh-richest country in the world. It’s not just about looking at sanctions, but scrapping them and bringing those responsible to account through the law courts.”

    In September this year during a week of action against austerity, 50 disabled activists from DPAC closed down Westminster Bridge in London in protest at the effects of austerity on disabled people.

    Tributes to Jolly began soon after her death.

    Andy Greene, a member of the DPAC steering committee, said: “It was an honour to fight alongside her. She was an absolute warrior.”

    Linda Burnip wrote on the DPAC website: “Debbie has played a hugely influential part in the development of DPAC since 2010 and she and I have worked together virtually every day since dealing with the day-to-day things that needed to be done to make DPAC the successful campaign group we have become.

    “Debbie was one of the main people involved in initiating the UN inquiry into the UK’s grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights which will be a lasting testimony to her life and work.”

    Activist and friend Ann Whitehurst said: “Debbie is my beloved comrade and in spirit we will remain together. For her, disabled people are at the centre of challenging capitalism and equality is pivotal to changing society.”

    By Peter Lazenby

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-baf8-Debbie-Jolly-tireless-campaigner-for-disabled-people,-beloved-comrade#.WCcizcmbIdU

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