John Pring is an experienced journalist, who has been reporting on disability issues for nearly 20 years. He launched the Disability News Service (DNS) in April 2009 to provide in-depth reporting on issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities.
In a column in the Telegraph, Fraser Nelson has stated: "David Cameron should not be afraid to talk about food banks. Rather than a sign of social decay, they are a sign of the ‘big society’ in action."
Benefit ‘reforms’ which are supposed to get more people into paid work have often made life harder for those in, or seeking, jobs, research reveals. They have also undermined independence in other ways and caused suffering and injustice.
By publishing today’s report on benefit sanctions it feels as if the Department for Work and Pensions Select Committee has caught up with what the churches, campaigning organisations, and benefit claimants have been saying for a long time.
On International Women’s Day, feminist organisations and campaigners who haven’t been active on austerity and welfare reform really need to have a rethink. Otherwise, to the millions of women around the UK struggling to survive, they could look as out of touch as the politicians.
For a few weeks I’ve been trying to write a general critique of welfare reform, addressing each policy point by point, looking at the assumptions on which it was based, what it aimed to achieve, and the effect it has had in practise. It’s been a disturbing and depressing experience.
People often suspect that the purpose of recent welfare reforms was not to make the system more efficient or more fair, but to make the system so hostile, punitive and humiliating that people would be deterred from claiming. A decision by the DWP has just fuelled this suspicion.