To understand the thinking behind the reform of disability benefits, we need to look at a Conference held in 2001, called ‘Malingering and illness deception’. The Conference papers were later published as a book, in which ‘the enthusiastic support of Professor Mansel Aylward [then Chief Medical Officer at the DWP] and funding from the Department for Work and Pensions’ was acknowledged.
A law to “promote social cohesion and protect people by tackling extremism” was one of the measures in the Queen’s Speech. Additional information about laws which the UK government plans to bring in gave more details of an Extremism Bill.
When the ongoing process of cutting and restricting access to disability benefits began, we were told it was necessary because spending on them was out of control. A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that, in fact, the exact opposite was the case.
"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" (Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.) The words Dante places over the gates of hell are terrifying. And to turn that cause and effect around is to remind ourselves of the devastation wrought in lives where hope has gone.
Few people can have a more difficult start in life than those who were taken into care as children. Removed from their families, they may at a very young age have experienced terrible sadness and distress.
Yesterday evening I went out canvassing for a Yes vote with my friend Stephen Cooper-Fair in Killala. He had been out canvassing all last week and was feeling a little delicate from facing all those No voters. I agreed but really, I hadn't a clue what he was talking about. It's a referendum. People are entitled to their opinion right?
A Northern Ireland court found Ashers Baking Company guilty of discrimination after it refused to bake a cake calling for same-sex couples to be allowed to marry. But the news is not necessarily as good as it might seem for those wanting full inclusion.