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.
Attacks on benefits and services are nothing new, but the situation has now become a crisis, as the latest vote in the House of Lords (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15900) illustrates. But now is not the time to give up.
“A dog starved at his master's gate, predicts the ruin of the state”. These lines from William Blake's Auguries of Innocence go beyond the obvious cruelty they describe. They remind us of the destruction which follows when power abdicates responsibility, care and compassion.