For all who care about social justice, the last few years have been dreadful. To see the incomes of the poorest people cut, and to see those cuts justified by inaccurate and divisive ‘scroungers’ rhetoric has been depressing. For those at the receiving end it has been very painful.
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.
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.
As elements of the government’s Welfare Reform programme meet growing opposition, the Secretary of State comes under increasing pressure. Defeat in the Court of Appeal over Workfare and increasingly vocal opposition to the bedroom tax has seen Iain Duncan Smith stridently defending his policies.
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.