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Channel 4 television's respected 'Dispatches' series will carry a programme on Disability Living Allowance at 8pm tonight (Monday 25 February). It is entitled, perhaps rather sweepingly and unhelpfully, 'Britain on Benefits'. Nonetheless, it will be important viewing.
UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has reportedly repeated unfair misrepresentations against a young woman whose court battle exposed the injustice of forcing unemployed people to work for free.
TS Eliot warned us: “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” The incapacity may manifest as a readiness to believe what suits us rather than what is truthful. It is a tendency shamelessly exploited by power.
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.
The UK government’s Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill will hit even seriously ill people and their families, specialists have pointed out. The controversial measure involves limiting increases in most working-age benefits to one per cent a year for three years from 2013-14 – a drop in real terms, since the cost of living is rising considerably faster.