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It's New Year's Eve, newsrooms are quiet and casual comments by ministers are enough to make top headlines. Today, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has made the news with some vaguely worded attacks on the system of tax credits.
In the Summer I wrote about my seriously ill friend Yvonne, who has had a double lung transplant, breast cancer, and multiple other health problems.
Today, Yvonne is in an ambulance on her way to Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, from her home in North Wales. Two weeks ago, she was summoned to her local Jobcentre, having been placed in the Work Related Activity Group by Atos, who believe that with support Yvonne could return to work in the future. Yvonne will be lucky to be alive in the future, but thanks to Atos and the DWP, she is spending what time she has left worrying about her appeal against this ludicrous decision.
The following is the full text of the letter to the Observer newspaper (9 December 2012), on the impact of the government's autumn budget statement, from charities, churches, trade unions and NGOs. Ekklesia fully endorses the sentiment and message of this letter.
Richard Exell, the TUC’s Senior Policy Officer covering social security, tax credits and labour market issues, wrote a good summary piece for the organisation's group ToUChstone blog (http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/) on 3 December 2012, the 20th International Day of Persons with Disabilities.