Tag Archives: IDS

Why the Welfare Reform Bill Is Wrong

Today in Parliament MPs vote on the Welfare Reform Bill, which the House of Lords amended in some respects. The goal of the Tory government is to cut payments to people with disabilities and to their carers by 20%.

I read this last night on Twitter and asked Helen’s permission to republish it, which she gave.
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A stressed out Mum’s thoughts on the #wrb..

Just walked into the kitchen after a long working day. Danny, my 21 year old learning disabled son, has not long arrived home in his taxi and headed straight to the kitchen. I look across to the window and see I am already too late, the venetian blind and wall around the window is completely covered in yoghurt. I go and fetch a ladder and a cloth and start to clean up, quickly realising that the blind will have to come down. Dan appears back in the kitchen, sees what I am doing and quickly retreats with his hands over his ears. He knows he’s done wrong but he can’t help it, he is compelled to open and shake everything he can get his hands on… milk, yoghurts, sauce, paint, shampoo… the list goes on and on. Apart having the major clean-up operation to deal with each time, the cost of replacing these items is beyond funny.

Then there is all the furniture he breaks from bouncing on it… the clothing he rips… Imagine having a toddler who is into everything and then imagine if that toddler was suddenly the size of an adult 5’ 11’’ tall and could get into any cupboard, even if you locked it.

Today I’ve been reading about the proposed cut to benefits to families with disabled children, the latest particularly cruel punishment arising from the Welfare Reform Bill debated in the House of Lords. I can’t even begin [to] imagine how we’d have coped without additional income from benefits when Dan was younger. Apparently Lord Freud thinks a drop in income of £1,500 isn’t a significant amount and losing it will incentivise parents to go out to work – what planet is this man on? Does he have any grasp on disabled children’s real life situations at all?
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Filed under Benefits, Healthcare, Housing, Poverty

Exemplary sentences and collective punishment

Excellent comment on the UK riots by Iain MacWhirter in the Herald:

Boy steals bottled water worth £3.50 and gets six months in jail, while bankers who wrecked the economy are rewarded with billions in public money.

Politicians demand exemplary sentences for vandals who nicked clothes from Debenhams, ignoring the way MPs helped themselves from the John Lewis list courtesy of their fiddled expenses. Tabloid newspapers demand a crackdown on lawlessness, at the very moment they are found to be engaged in law breaking on an industrial scale.

The only person who has faced any punishment in the phone hacking scandal in recent weeks has been the comedian who threw a custard pie at Rupert Murdoch.

He was sent to jail faster than his feet could carry him. The rest of the Murdoch suits walk free, even as documentary evidence emerges suggesting that they have misled parliament and the police. No exemplary sentences for them. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact senior police officers have been revealed to have been close to the Murdoch clan.

It’s kind of bizarre when  I find myself in agreement with Iain Duncan Smith, too.

One of the first e-petitions on the UK government’s website to get over a hundred thousand and therefore meet their requirements for a debate in the House of Commons, is the loathsome demand that anyone convicted of rioting in London (but, apparently, not elsewhere) ought to lose “financial benefits” and their families should be collectively punished by  being evicted from council housing. (As John Perry noted earlier in the week, council housing isn’t welfare – the families evicted will probably cost the state more in benefits in private rented accommodation.)

The Change.org petition against evicting the innocent has reached nearly 2500 signatures, but nowhere near the 200K+ that vindictiveness demands.

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Filed under Riots, Scottish Politics