When the Welfare reform Bill passed into law in March 2012, Iain Duncan Smith proclaimed, ‘These are the biggest reforms for 60 years. Michael McMahon MSP recently described it as “a tsunami of change engulfing the world of welfare,” and warned that “the biggest waves are yet to come.”
I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.
Disability Living Allowance is an “outdated benefit” for which “around 50 per cent of decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone - without any additional corroborating medical evidence,” stated UK minister for disabled people Esther McVey on the BBC and elsewhere this morning (8 April 2013).
The WOW petition, organised by sick and disabled people suffering the multiple impacts of welfare reform, has received a response from the government, as is required when any petition on the e-petition website reaches the 10,000 signature mark. This one is heading towards 27,000 already.
The #ESAendgame online campaign to collect comments and stories concerning people’s experience of Employment and Support Allowance and the qualifying Work Capacity Assessment (WCA), initiated by disability researcher and activist Sue Marsh, has produced around 430 submissions so far (http://t.co/x2oRAeu0Rd).