Bernadette Meaden's blog

Increasing condemnation of the Work Capability Assessment

In the House of Commons on 21 March 2013, Michael Meacher MP asked why the Work and Pensions Minister Mark Hoban had refused point blank to meet a delegation from the Spartacus network of sick and dis

Budget: Who will protect the weakest?

The fact that the Chancellor is failing to fix the economy, even by his own measures, seems undeniable. Should we be in any doubt, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) has provided this helpful graph.

‘Derisory’ government response to welfare impact petition

The WOW petition, organised by sick and disabled people suffering the multiple impacts of welfare reform, has received a response from the government, as is required when any petition on the e-petition website reaches the 10,000 signature mark. This one is heading towards 27,000 already.

Liam Fox: Voice of the 1%

Quite stealthily, and without an electoral mandate, since 2010 the government has proceeded to dismantle the welfare state, and privatise the NHS, the state education system, even the fire service. But for some, it has not been radical enough, or fast enough. Hence the reappearance of Liam Fox, who left the Cabinet in disgrace in 2011.

Bedroom tax: Is the Government genuinely ignorant?

This is not the first government to be accused of being out of touch, and no doubt it won’t be the last. When the government is comprised largely of millionaires who have led unusually privileged lives, perhaps it is almost too easy an accusation to make. But when a government seems disconnected from the lived reality of its people to an extent that is quite evidently damaging, then the disconnect must be taken seriously.

Eastleigh, UKIP and the immigration blame-game

On the day of the Eastleigh by-election, figures were released which showed a marked recent decline in net migration, which obviously delighted the Government. Home Secretary Theresa May boasted about how much she had toughened up the rules, but perhaps in an attempt to forestall one potential criticism, stressed the fact that visas for university students had increased by three percent overall.

Mocking sick and disabled people

When did sick and disabled people become 'fair game' for mockery in the UK?

Over the last few years the way certain elements of the media have portrayed these sections of the population as ‘scroungers’ and ‘benefit cheats’ has been depressing, but today the Daily Mail reached a new low. In this article dramatic claims were made about the numbers of new claimants for Disability Living Allowance, describing a rush to claim the benefit before new more stringent rules are introduced.

Ian Duncan Smith: smoke and mirrors over welfare reform

As elements of the government’s Welfare Reform programme meet growing opposition, the Secretary of State comes under increasing pressure. Defeat in the Court of Appeal over Workfare and increasingly vocal opposition to the bedroom tax has seen Iain Duncan Smith stridently defending his policies.

Women rising in the Catholic Church

During discussions surrounding One Billion Rising, it was pointed out that, when it comes to creating a culture in which women may be viewed as inferior in some way, religion has a lot to answer for.

Serious questions about the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Over the past few years the DWP has developed something of a reputation for having scant regard for facts or statistics. It has been accused by the UK Statistics Authority of twisting or misrepresenting figures in order to justify its own policies.