More honour, less cleverness needed in the Election campaign
Today, (27 May 2015) Conservative Campaign Headquarters sent out an email to supporters. It began, "Do you think the last Labour government spent too much?" and continued, "The Labour government that literally left a note saying 'There's no money left'." The problem is, this is not true.
Far from rethinking sanctions, IDS plans to extend them
By publishing today’s report on benefit sanctions it feels as if the Department for Work and Pensions Select Committee has caught up with what the churches, campaigning organisations, and benefit claimants have been saying for a long time.
The Budget : taking more from those who have least
As George Osborne did the rounds of media interviews about the Budget this morning, I read about a 59 year old man, previously a ‘hardworking taxpayer’, unable to walk or talk properly after a stroke, who had been forced to sell his home because the Department for Work and Pensions had removed his Disability Living Allowance.
"This report directly links cuts to public services with mental health problems... Psychologists are often in a position to see the effects that social and economic changes have on people. We also occupy a relatively powerful position as professionals and therefore have an ethical responsibility to speak out about these effects."
On International Women’s Day, feminist organisations and campaigners who haven’t been active on austerity and welfare reform really need to have a rethink. Otherwise, to the millions of women around the UK struggling to survive, they could look as out of touch as the politicians.
For a few weeks I’ve been trying to write a general critique of welfare reform, addressing each policy point by point, looking at the assumptions on which it was based, what it aimed to achieve, and the effect it has had in practise. It’s been a disturbing and depressing experience.
Whoever we decide to vote for in May, we need an election campaign fought on the basis of truth, not spin. In the past, charities would have spoken out if a politician tried to give a false picture of reality, but many now feel gagged by the Lobbying Act passed last year. Happily, one charity exists solely to check facts, but it needs our help to meet the challenge of the election campaign.
What has been achieved by 4.8 million Work Capability Assessments?
Nick Dilworth is a welfare rights adviser who has seen the full impact of welfare reform on the lives of his clients. He is also skilled at analysing statistics issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, and believes that one number, which lies buried in the data tables, should be revealed and widely publicised.