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In 2008, the then Labour government introduced a new out of work sickness benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), to replace the old Incapacity Benefit (IB).
In an important new paper from the Centre for Wefare Reform (http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org), leading independent disability campaigner Kaliya Franklin, part of the Spartacus network, carefully analyses how government policy has undermined the objectivity of the medical assessments on sick and disabled people used by the private medical firm ATOS.
Today, 3 December 2013, is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, proclaimed by the United Nations.
A government e-petition supported by Ekklesia and written by sick and disabled people and carers, has gained over 100,000 signatures, meaning it should trigger a Parliamentary debate.
Welfare changes and cuts are already causing significant harm to disabled and sick people across the UK. Welfare News Service (http://welfarenewsservice.com) is at the forefront of reporting and analysing what is going on.
The e-petition seeking a comprehensive, cumulative impact assessment of the UK government's welfare reforms has now exceeded 82,000 signatories - and has four weeks to reach its target of 100,000.