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In January last year (2012) I predicted that thousands of disabled people would lose their Motability vehicles under the Government’s draft criteria for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), set to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) under the Welfare Reform Act. When the Government published the final version of the criteria recently, it turned out that the reality is far, far worse than we could have imagined. That is one of the harsh realities of the We Are Spartacus 'Emergency - Stop' report and campaign launched today.
Today (3 December) is the 20th International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The main theme of IDPD 2012 is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”.
Today (19 November 2012) at 12.30pm the latest phase of a big online campaign to raise awareness about the injustices wrought by the flawed Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which is being used to block vitally needed benefits for many sick and disabled people, becomes visible.
After a walk through “the little world of poverty enclosed within the workhouse walls”, Charles Dickens concluded that “We have come to this absurd, this dangerous, this monstrous pass, that the dishonest felon is, in respect of cleanliness, order, diet, and accommodation, better provided for, and taken care of, than the honest pauper.”
The former UK minister for employment Chris Grayling was adamant that he was "unreservedly and implacably opposed to a real world test" when it comes to assessing people with disabilities and serious illnesses in terms of their fitness for work and eligibility for benefits. That position remains unchanged.
Since the Work Capability Assessment fit-for-work test (which in large part determines eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance) was introduced in October 2008, more than 400,000 people with serious illnesses and profound disabilities have appealed against the decision to strip them of state support.
As we report elsewhere today (12 November 2012), the WeAreSpartacus network of disabled people have today published a detailed and compelling 70-page People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment, which has taken some months of hard work under difficult circumstances to research and compile.