Universal Credit

Vote Welsh Labour on December 12th

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There are so many reasons why we all need to pull together to ensure that we elect a Labour Government next week.

Welsh Labour is Standing Up for Wales:

  • £3.4bn extra, each year to invest in schools, the NHS and local government.

  • A green industrial revolution, creating thousands of new green jobs.

  • A £10 living wage, for all workers aged 16 and over.

  • A final say on Brexit, where Welsh Labour will campaign unequivocally to remain.

  • A ban on zero hours contracts, giving people the security they need at work.

  • Fairer taxation, with the top 5% of earners and corporations paying their fair share, whilst cracking down on tax avoidance and tax evasion.

  • Extend free social care, supporting more people when it really matters.

  • Strengthened parental rights, by extending statutory maternity leave to 12 months and doubling paternity leave.

  • Scrap tuition fees, building on the best student support package in the UK.

  • An end to the Tories’ disastrous Universal Credit, no ifs, no buts.

  • Four new bank holidays, including a public holiday for St. David’s Day.

The Welsh Labour manifesto can be viewed by clicking here. 

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Below, I have included a tweet from Welsh Labour as I believe the video shows that the First Minister Mark Drakeford has the passion that Wales needs to build a brighter tomorrow.

 

#GE2019: Jeremy Corbyn pledges to end the ‘shameful’ Tory treatment of disabled people #VoteLabour2019

The following article was taken from Welfare Weekly, which can be accessed by clicking here. I have also used the main picture used in Welfare Weekly, which is credited to Knox O (Wasi Daniju) via photopin cc

This article concerns the new Disabled Manifesto released by the Labour Party. They are the only party to have produced such a Manifesto dedicated to those that have suffered greatly as a result of Tory austerity. The actual Manifesto can be read in a multitude of forms by clicking on this link. 

#VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019 #ChangeIsComing

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The Labour Party has today (Tuesday) launched its manifesto for disabled people, titled ‘Breaking Down Barriers’, which lists ways the party hopes to tackle the discrimination and cruel treatment faced by disabled people and their families.

The pledge comes after a UN report accused the Tory Government of “systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people, and slammed benefit cuts for driving disabled people and their families “to breaking point”.

According to Labour, poverty in families where someone is disabled has risen by over a million since 2010 and almost half of all working age adults living in poverty live in a family that includes a disabled adult or child.

Labour has pledged to end “the scandal of disabled poverty” through measures designed to alleviate poverty and destitution and allow them to live independent lives.

Labour’s manifesto for disabled people includes pledges to:

  • Make sure a disabled child on Universal Credit (UC) receives the same amount as a disabled child on Child Tax Credits.
    • Currently a disabled child on UC receives less than half the basic addition for disabled children in Child Tax Credits to help parents cover the additional costs of having a disability – £1,513 a year, compared with £3,355 a year under Child Tax. The difference is currently £1,842 a year, or £154 a month, or £35 a week.
  • Introduce a self-care element into UC to support severely disabled people without a formal carer – the equivalent of the Severe Disability Premium. Currently, severely disabled people without a carer are worse off on UC than both those on legacy benefits and those on UC who do have a carer.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance to the level of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Abolish the punitive sanctions regime, immediately suspending all sanctions and scrap the dehumanising Work Capability Assessment and Personal Independence Payment assessment which are unfit for purpose.

According to Labour, these reforms will cost around £2.6 billion by 2023-24 and are accounted for in Labour’s Grey Book ‘Funding Real Change’.

Labour has also committed to halving the disability employment gap, invest in specialist education for disabled people, tackle the rising level of disability hate crime and ensure that victims have access to justice, break down barriers to disabled people in transport, give British Sign Language full legal recognition ,and reinstate the Access to Elected Office fund to enable disabled people to run for elected office.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The treatment of disabled people by Conservative and Lib Dem governments, from devastating cuts to social security support, to cruel and unnecessary assessments, and a complete failure to address the disability employment gap, should be a source of shame.

“Labour will put right this injustice. We’ll ensure that disabled people get the support they need to lead independent lives and participate fully in society. We are on your side.

“This election is a chance for real change, for a more inclusive, fair and equal society that works for the many, not the few.”

Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said: “I have heard from disabled people all over the country who are angry at how they have been treated by Conservative-led governments and passionate about working with Labour to transform how government approaches disability rights.

“I am proud that Labour is the only party with a manifesto developed by and for disabled people, according to our principle of ‘nothing about you without you’. Labour in government will embody that principle, empowering disabled people and enhancing our voices.

“Breaking Down Barriers takes us beyond what we’ve previously committed, and sets out how we’ll radically shift our approach to ensure the economic, social and structural barriers faced by disabled people are addressed. It’s time for real change.”

#GE2019: Standing Up for Wales

The following email is from Mark Drakeford to Welsh Labour members.  I wanted to share it here to show why I believe in this Party and have faith in them to deliver a brighter tomorrow for everyone in Wales.  They will also be in a stronger position to do this if they are able to work with a Labour Party in Westminster.

#VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019 #ChangeIsComing

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On Monday I unveiled our Welsh Labour manifesto. It is a bold plan for how the Welsh Labour Government will work side-by-side with a UK Labour Government, led by Jeremy Corbyn. It’s a plan that will deliver for each and every community across Wales. But we need your help on the doorstep to make sure we can deliver it.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shown what our people-powered campaign can do. Thousands of Welsh Labour members have been pounding the streets of towns, villages and cities spreading our positive vision for Wales’ prosperous future under a UK Labour Government.

Unlike the Tories who rely on their big donors, our campaign is funded by the generosity of hundreds of thousands of individual people who want to bring about real change.

Our Welsh Labour manifesto works hand in hand with the UK Manifesto in helping us deliver for Wales like never before, including:

  • £3.4bn extra, each year to invest in schools, the NHS and local government.
  • A green industrial revolution, creating thousands of new green jobs.
  • A £10 living wage, for all workers aged 16 and over.
  • A final say on Brexit, where Welsh Labour will campaign unequivocally to remain.
  • A ban on zero hours contracts, giving people the security they need at work.
  • Extend free social care, supporting more people when it really matters.
  • Strengthened parental rights, by extending statutory maternity leave to 12 months and doubling paternity leave.
  • Scrap tuition fees, building on the best student support package in the UK.
  • An end to the Tories’ disastrous Universal Credit, no ifs, no buts.
  • Four new bank holidays, including a public holiday for St. David’s Day.

    I hope you’ll agree that this plan is a blueprint for the Wales that we all want to see.

    And with your help over these crucial final few weeks of the campaign, that’s the future we can have.

    Welsh Labour is the only party that is standing up for Wales.

    Let’s get out there and spread the word – see you on the Labour Doorstep!

    I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail!

    Best wishes,
    Mark Drakeford AM
    Welsh Labour Leader & First Minister of Wales

Disabled People’s Manifesto 2019

Yesterday I received the following email from Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, outlining the Disabled People’s Manifesto which has been written in consultation with Disabled People’s Organisations and Disabled people across the UK. It is well worth reading and taking action on to ensure that the next UK Government take Disabled people and their wishes into consideration when introducing new policies.

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Our vision for equality and inclusion

Inclusion London is a member of Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, which today released its Disabled People’s Manifesto, and demands for the first 100 days of the new government!

This manifesto has been written in consultation with Disabled People’s Organisations and Disabled people across the UK, and is based on the social model of disability and the cultural model of deafness. Now we need your help to campaign on it!

What we are calling for

  • Ending austerity, which disproportionately affected Disabled people
  • A planned programme of national and local investment to address the impact of austerity and progress the equality and inclusion for Disabled people,
  • Setting up a National Independent Living Service to replace our failing social care system
  • Deinstitutionalisation and a radical reform to mental health and mental capacity laws,
  • Scrapping Universal Credit and designing a new benefits system in co-production with Disabled people
  • Removing conditionality and sanctions
  • A fully inclusive education system
  • Measures to remove the barriers we face in employment, access to justice, housing and participation in all aspect of life.

We believe it is more important than ever that the political parties truly commit to co-producing its policies with Disabled people and our organisations, and uphold the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’.

Disabled People’s Manifesto 2019:

Our asks for the new government:

How can you use this manifesto?

We will be sharing this manifesto with political parties and candidates, but we need your help to support our campaign. Here is what you can do:

  • Share this manifesto with your local MP candidates.
  • Interview your MP candidates on some or all of the issues discussed in the manifesto.
  • Hold local hustings!
  • Run a voter registration drive to make sure as many Disabled people local to you have the opportunity to get their voices heard on polling day!
  • Use the local press and social media to publicise your events and our demands!

We have lots of information and ideas on what DDPOs can do on elections and voting, including legal responsibilities under Charity Law and the Lobbying Act, which can be accessed here: Election Resources and Guides.

Election 2019 more information here

 

Pulling Myself Together

I have been a little out of sorts over the past week or so, thanks to a chest infection. Thankfully, I have come out the other side and am feeling stronger with every passing day.

It is always scary to be inflicted with a chest infection, as I am only too aware that such infections usually finish off my brothers and sisters who live with Ataxia. I didn’t want to join those unlucky few at this time. There is an election to win before I go anywhere…

The article I have put together below, just sums up some of my moods and feelings over the past few days, while the madness continues with my valued members of staff also being stricken down by illness.

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FACEBOOK STATUS 1:

I will probably have to stay offline for the next few days as I have just seen the doctor who said I have a chest infection. Bloody hell, this is all I need. I have to take this seriously as living with Ataxia is enough on it’s own without the added complications of a chest infection. I am now on antibiotics so hopefully they will do the trick as I do not fancy a stint in the Maelor. Thankfully, I have some excellent PA’s who will help me get over this and I will be back to full strength in no time.

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FACEBOOK STATUS 2:

I have just had another home visit by a GP who has put me on a stronger set of antibiotics. Hopefully, these will calm me down and stop me from having regular panic attacks. If I can get a good night sleep, I am sure that will help me loads.

I have also had a letter from ICS detailing the protest for them to make a decision. Basically, I think they were just playing for time. I am too exhausted to think of the ramifications of this. That is a battle for another day…

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FACEBOOK STATUS 3:

A third out of hours doctor visited me last night and provided me with the super strength antibiotics that I need to shift this infection off my chest. It seems to be doing the trick and I am regaining my appetite while breathing has become easier.

I am disappointed that I still do not have the strength needed to attend the Nick Whitehead Theatre this evening to vote for Helen Grout as Wrexham’s Labour Party candidate for the forthcoming General Election. I am totally pleased to openly back Helen as the only candidate capable of making a real difference to the community of Wrexham as a whole.

I am also pleased that my good friend, Julie Rogers-Owen, will be attending the Hustings and voting in the only sensible way. If the people of Wrexham, really want to see positive politics in action then it is crucial that Labour Party members vote for Helen Grout tonight.

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All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

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I have two piles of books in my living room. They need shifting if only to quieten the taunting voices in my head. You know it makes sense…

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Please read the following article: Dancing on Thin Ice: Available Now

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There is still much work to be done on the #SaveWILG campaign. It seems as if recipients from several Local Authority areas are still waiting on the results of their assessments. I want to emphasise that this is not because of any failing from ICS Services – the independent assessment company who have been put in charge of carrying out the reassessments – but because we are still waiting on the Local Authorities that let us down in the first place. This appears to be a totally ludicrous situation, as it was because we had no confidence in the Councils in the first place, that we launched the campaign. They are still making us wait by holding up discussions with ICS Services. I want to make sure that this situation is sorted out way before the upcoming festive period, as all WILG recipients deserve this after the torrid time they have been put through.

WALESPOSTCARDFRONT001


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Please watch the following video before deciding what to do at the Ballot Box on December 12th:

 

Why disabled people need a general election now

The following article appears on the DPAC website, was written by Mark Dunk and Paula Peters and can be viewed here.

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Boris Johnson’s hubris and scheming in his attempt to bounce the country into leaving the EU with no-deal has brought about the prospect of an early General election. 

While many are wary of Johnson manoeuvring over the date of the election we believe that any opportunity to get the Tories out should be seized upon. 

If this chance to take on the Tories at their most divided is squandered it would see disabled people and others suffering after almost a decade of Tory attacks facing that brutality for longer. 

As with any battle in our long war there is no guarantee that we will win but if we do not fight we have already lost. In the last election in 2017 the press and polls would have had us believe the Tories were on course for a historic win – it wasn’t true then and we shouldn’t believe they are right now. We must certainly be wary of advice from figures such as Tony Blair who never had our interests at the front of their thoughts or actions when laying the basis for the WCA.

The former Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s paper the Evening Standard is certainly not of the opinion that Johnson and the Tories are confident of electoral success:

“The fact is that Mr Johnson’s closest electoral advisers think privately there is a high chance that he might lose an election.”

We need to stop and scrap the horror of Universal Credit, sanctions and the Work Capability Assessment now – not at some fictionalized perfect moment in the future which may never come. 

We need a general election now. 

[By Mark Dunk and Paula Peters]

Make sure you are registered to vote: Register to vote – Easyread instructions

Press Release: DPAC’s latest research shows the cruelty of Universal Credit

The following article was taken from the DPAC website and can be accessed by clicking here. 

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In response to the DWP’s lies trying to minimise the negative impact of Universal Credit (UC), by commissioning unbranded BBC documentaries and media articles highlighting UC success stories, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has compiled a damning record of UC systemic and catastrophic failures.

This record draws on local and national press and media articles, government and research reports.   While the DWP bleat that UC is unfairly vilified the reality is that UC had always been a disaster for claimants and has already wasted millions of pounds.

It has now reached a point where it is unable to adapt to claimants’ complex circumstances, and is forcing people with the least resources into further poverty, homelessness, and hunger.  These failures are driven by ideology. Making claimants wait for their first payment on the pretext that this mirrors the circumstances of working people is another DWP fairytale.

Experts who have looked at UC have also identified design, management and IT issues which cannot be solved by tweaking the system.

This is why DPAC is calling for UC to be scrapped. It has become a social security system, which not only does not offer security, but actively undermined people’s ability to cope with the hazards of life.

So far DPAC activists have already removed many thousands of copies of the Metro and will continue to do so whenever a lie about UC is printed. RMT and UNITE members are monitoring each days’ delivery of Metros to help us with this.

We are also calling for a boycott of Reach newspapers which have also in many cases published and republished one case study of one Job Centre manager saying UC works well. Reach’s Director, Helen Stevenson, is coincidentally a former non-executive director of DWP.

Download the Report:

DPAC Report – Hunger Debt Homelessness Crime Prostitution and Suicide – Universal Credit Media Articles – May 2019

Notes for Editors

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are a campaign group fighting for the rights of disabled people www.dpac.uk.net @dis_ppl_protest

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/second-newspaper-group-could-be-targeted-over-universal-credit-articles/

Intergenerational worklessness is a lie.

https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/are-cultures-worklessness-passed-down-generations

 

The same DWP propagandist Reach Media articles –over and over again

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/uk-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-good-thing-helps-2866016

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://twnews.co.uk/gb-news/why-universal-credit-is-actually-a-great-idea

https://www.latest-news-headlines.eu/local/leicester

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686 

https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.kentlive.news/news/uk-world-news/why-universal-credit-actually-great-2870686

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/universal-credit-why-actually-great-16279017

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