Welfare petitioners continue push for 100,000 backers

By staff writers
January 24, 2013

Welfare campaigners are continuing their push to reach 100,000 signatures on an e-government petition which calls for a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform in the UK, and a 'new deal' for sick and disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions.

War on Welfare (#WOWpetition) is organising a 'WOW Hour' tonight (24 January 2013) at 8pm and every week, to enable participants to discuss the venture, and to mobilise support.

On 31st January at 12:00 PM EST there will also be a 'thunderclap' on Facebook and Twitter, which supporters can join at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/1066-wowpetition-com

This online tool enables people to put out a coordinated, simultaneous message through social media, maximising and multiplying its impact. So far 342 of the targeted 500 'clappers' have signed up (it only takes a few moments to do so) and the estimated 'social reach' is 201,177 people.

The petition (see below to view and sign) calls for:

* A Cumulative Impact Assessment of all cuts and changes affecting sick and disabled people, their families and carers, and a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act.
* An immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association.
* Consultation between the Depts of Health and Education to improve support into work for sick and disabled people, and an end to forced work under threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits.
* An independent, Committee-based Inquiry into Welfare Reform, covering but not limited to: (1) Care home admission rises, daycare centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, universal mental health treatments, Remploy closures; (2) DWP media links, the ATOS contract, IT implementation of Universal Credit; (3) Human rights abuses against disabled people, excess claimant deaths and the disregard of medical evidence in decision making by ATOS, DWP & the Tribunal Service.

The initiative follows on from the petition set up my Pat Onions, which attracted 70,000 backers, but did not reach the total required (30,000 more) to trigger automatic consideration of the possibility of a parliamentary debate.

the WOWpetition, initiated by a group of sick and disabled people, and backed by Ekklesia and others, has now reached 16,000 in a relatively short period of time - but campaigners say that developing and maintaining momentum is vital.

* Sign here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154

* Join the 'thunderclap' on Twitter and Facebook: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/1066-wowpetition-com

More information:

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