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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Information Release: Sheffield Welfare Action Network.

NB I am publishing this essentially as I received it, to publicise the protest. I will write my own post on the Disability Benefits attacks as soon as possible.

Sheffield/Nation Wide Protest against the Incapacity Benefit Proposals.

Saturday 4 February, 1.00pm

Town Hall, Sheffield


Bring homemade placards, etc

there wll be speakers and some music, etc...

And

Call for simultaneous peaceful protests across the UK,

The Gov’t has finally announced what its plans are for
incapacity benefit and claimants and in SWAN’s view,
it is very very draconian and unpleasant. The changes
are the biggest in welfare for over sixty years(see
below), we are calling on all decent and caring
people, claimants, campaigners, activists, faith
groups, churches, individuals to support our call and
peacefully protest in your locality


It’s going to get even tougher

There is to be an even tougher and brutal regime for
most on incapacity benefit (IB) (it is extremely
difficult to claim IB now.) Benefits will be cut by
over 25.00 and will only rise when a claimant looks
for work, there will be even more stringent medical
assessments and tougher requirements to seek work or
lose benefit. Employment advisers will be placed in
G.P’s surgeries to ‘spy’ on the sick. Swan is already
hearing from a number of disabled people who are
terrified of these changes, they are saying that the
‘disability benefits‘regime is almost unbearable now’,
and how can it be worse!

>From the Guardian

‘'New claimants will face a tougher entry route and
more demanding tests on the benefit, renamed the
employment and support allowance.

Responses to the reforms

Already reactions are coming in: Macmillan Cancer
Relief feared "workfare-style compulsion" for sick and
disabled people, saying ‘it had already had to
intervene to stop chemotherapy patients and those with
a terminal diagnosis being called to work interviews’.
Of course, people should have help when and if they
are ready to go back to work, but what about the
Employer, are they ready for this? SWAN will also ask
why are the reforms ‘target led’ with the aim of
getting one million back into work? If the reforms are
so good , why does there have to be sanctions and
co-ercion? This approach will mean many many thousands
of the most vulnerable in our society who simply
cannot work will face such co-ercion and harrassment.
Further, where are all these jobs going to come from?
unemployment is now rising and employers themselves
admit they discriminate against people with
disabilities. The figures the Govt gives are
disengenous as well, fraud in IB is neglible (around
2% according to the DWP) and a large number of people
who could claim (for example those with terminal
illness) do not even know they are eligible! Having
work advisers in G.P surgeries will put added pressure
on sick people and one can argue it will compromise
the GP/patients relationship and is an infringement of
civil liberties.

SWAN will campaign vigorously against these reforms
and calls on all allies, friends, etc to do the same.
Finally, those who would call diasabled people:
scroungers, ‘leadswingers, etc, realise that 'these
people' are not others, different, from outer
space,they are us and one day, certainly as you age,
it could be you.

Resources:

excellent balanced summary of the changes here.

Disability Alliance, challenging the myths.

Sheffield Welfare Action Network.

swansheffield@yahoo.co.uk.



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1 comments:

neil h said...

Did you see that the BBC have started running a series showing people committing Incapacity Benefit fraud - suspicicious timing that ...