Backing needed for a fresh approach to welfare and disability

By Press Office
December 4, 2013

Commenting on the success of the WoW petition -- and the need for a parliamentary debate on it -- on United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December 2013), Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian political think-tank Ekklesia, said:

"The Welfare Reform Act and associated provisions in national and local government, as well as contracted-out assessment processes, have hit disabled and sick people with a raft of changes primarily aimed at reducing support and saving money.

But concrete evidence of the real harm being caused to the most vulnerable in society is building by the day. This is a serious human rights issue. Government must be held to account for the consequences of its welfare and care decisions.

'Our view is that a new framework of reform is needed, driven by the needs and expertise of disabled and sick people themselves.

"We will continue to resource and support initiatives to achieve just such a policy overhaul, and to remind the churches and faith communities in particular of their responsibility to act and speak out on the range of issues raised by the WoW petition."

* * Urgent action: letter to MPs asking parliament to listen to disabled and sick people: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19587

* Original Wow Petition to the Department for Work and Pensions, which remains open until 12 December 2013, calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of welfare reform, and a New Deal for sick and disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154

* Emergency petition on Change.org to get MPs to make sure the welfare debate takes place in the parliamentary chamber. It can be signed and shared here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/house-of-commons-back-b

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.