Yesterday I went to meet the "Amendment Lords" ahead of today's crucial votes in the second chamber, where the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB) debate moves from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the income replacement benefit for people with work-limiting conditions, to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is intended to help with the extra costs people incur as a result of severe disability.
"One of the most fascinating things about the government's wobble on welfare this week has been the critical role of a new breed of disability campaigner in successfully marshalling public and political opposition to the reforms." writes Patrick Butler, Head of Society, Health and Education at the Guardian, today.
The UK government will press ahead with controversial welfare reforms, according to employment minister Chris Grayling. As a result of powerful evidence from disabled people and their supporters, including the ‘Responsible Reform’ report, several aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill were defeated in the House of Lords on 11 January 2012.
The extraordinary triple victory on specific benefit issues in the House of Lords on 11 January 2012 has raised questions for a number of people about the larger situation regarding the Welfare Reform Bill. Some of the bill might be helpful, but I want to be very clear today about which parts sick and disabled campaigners know to be unacceptable - and why.
The campaign to challenge the government's welfare reforms (which as well as introducing necessary simplifications are also about making £18 billion worth of cuts and targetting the most sick and vulnerable in society) has made extraordinary use of social media in the past few days.