Do you want to comment on the Welfare Reform Bill?

Baroness Murphy

My last blog on the breakdown of the Usual Channels generated a torrent of comments on the Welfare Reform Bill. This is fine,  indeed very welcome but as a result of organisations passing on my parliamentary e-mail address I have now received a torrent of messages to which I am simply unable to respond adequately and that jam up my e-mail in-box. I regret I have now put up a standard response on my e-mail site. So please, if you are thinking of commenting on the Welfare Reform Bill do it here on this site where everyone can see it. And please don’t tell me that Atos gets it wrong sometimes, I already know!

354 comments for “Do you want to comment on the Welfare Reform Bill?

  1. 13/10/2011 at 9:45 am

    Having read Mavricks last post I feel the 40 Lords with a vested interest should be barred from voting on this Bill and thier votes retrospectively removed. I know it will not alter the present course of the Bill but it will certainly make me feel a lot better knowing that the self serving buffet of public money has been denied to them.

  2. Shazzyrm
    13/10/2011 at 10:03 am

    I am shocked at how many have a vested interest in this bill. Anyone who has a hand in this should be well and truly ashamed of yourselves and if you think that we, the people, are ever going to vote for you again, you have another thing coming. Hang your heads in shame.

  3. Lord Blagger
    13/10/2011 at 10:19 am

    That will be the rich that have been giving you all this money?

    Free health care, ICB, maybe other benefits such as free housing.

    All paid for by the rich.

    And not a word of thanks.

  4. Maverick
    13/10/2011 at 12:43 pm

    Lord Blagger, it’s not the rich who pay for the free health care etc, and it’s not even free either, the working people of Britain pay for our national health service not the rich.
    I have to ask do you have a vested conflict of interest in this bill ? because you seem to keep banging on about it as if your very life depends on whether it is passed or not ?.
    In an earlier comment you said that there is no money left, could you explain if there is no money left then how can Cameron conjure up 11 Billion pounds of taxpayers money to send to Africa ?. Please don’t do a Lord Norton and run away, please answer the question. And since you know so much, perhaps you could answer the question I put to Lord Norton before he panicked and did a runner, which is ”Why was Lansley skulking around the dark outer fringes of the Lords begging them to lend a helping hand to push through this draconian nobody voted for bill” why would he need to do that ? when according to Lord Norton we have transparency with free open debate and presumably nothing to fear.

    And to answer your own question regarding this trick of everybody being transferred to ICB, well the solution is simple : Provide a fair and accurate health test with no fabricated medical reports and if it’s done fairly and honestly the people who genuinely deserve help will get it and the others wont, at the moment that is not happening because the genuine disabled and ill are being punished, and that’s around 99.5% (fraud level is 0.5 according to the DWPs own figures) 0.5 from 100% is 99.5%.

    And by the way since judging by what you say you must be stinking rich, THANK YOU very much for your monetary contribution to the NHS.

    • DanFilson
      13/10/2011 at 4:43 pm

      Lord Norton answered your comment about Mr Lansley lobbying in support of his bill, which is perfectly legitimate, though with him doing it possibly self-defeating. Lord Norton is actually a better member of this blog than many as he responds to many of the posts here, even if manifestly utterly exasperated by the comments made in them.

      All of us, unless gifted with eternal life and perfect health, are contingent beneficiaries both of the NHS and any reformed welfare system. You never know what may hit you.

      You may also be presumptive in assuming Lord Blagger is wealthy.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      13/10/2011 at 6:42 pm

      Maverick: I have not run away from a question, but rather queried what on earth you are talking about.

  5. Lord Blagger
    13/10/2011 at 1:53 pm

    Lord Blagger, it’s not the rich who pay for the free health care etc, and it’s not even free either, the working people of Britain pay for our national health service not the rich.

    To be more accurate, its anyone who pays taxes, and that includes the rich, as well as people on minimum wage who pay 2,500 a year in employment related taxes.

    So when you want ICB to be paid to all and sundry, including those who need it and those who don’t, its the rich who pay, and its those people on minimum wage who pay.

    Now you don’t seem to be particularly grateful to either group for the money you’re getting. Hence your little sarcastic ( I assume that’s why you put it in capitals) comment at the end.

    In an earlier comment you said that there is no money left, could you explain if there is no money left then how can Cameron conjure up 11 Billion pounds of taxpayers money to send to Africa ?

    Very simple. He’s borrowed and printed it.

    So perhaps you can also now tell me and not do a Norton.

    What tests do you want to see that distiguish the Frank Galagar’s from those that really need the help? You’ve never said, or given an example. Isn’t that doing a Norton?

    And to answer your own question regarding this trick of everybody being transferred to ICB, well the solution is simple : Provide a fair and accurate health test with no fabricated medical reports and if it’s done fairly and honestly the people who genuinely deserve help will get it and the others wont, at the moment that is not happening because the genuine disabled and ill are being punished, and that’s around 99.5% (fraud level is 0.5 according to the DWPs own figures) 0.5 from 100% is 99.5%.

    I’m sorry but this is wrong. I’ve posted links that show there are 525,000 women alone on the disguised employment ICB count.

    Independent, peer reviewed.

    Here are some of the relevant snippets

    Hidden unemployment. These are the women who could be expected to have been in
    employment in a genuinely fully employed economy – an estimated 430,000 in all.

    A diversion of lone parents from Income Support. This accounts for around 125,000 women
    on IB

    There is little evidence that any deterioration in the underlying health of the working age population
    has contributed to the increase in IB claims among women.

    So what’s the real reason?

    There is clear statistical evidence of a link between the local and sub-regional demand for labour
    and female IB claims. There is also clear evidence of a link between the male and female sides of
    the labour market. In simple terms, job loss and unemployment among men is being transmitted, via
    competition in the labour market, to higher IB claims among women in the same places.

    Yep. It’s disguised unemployment.

    You’re confusing fraud by claimants with people who shouldn’t be on incapacity benefit. The latter being fraud by governments.

    Don’t forget that it costs people who pay taxes over 2,000 pounds per day to run one peer.

    So target your hostility where it is appropriate.

    1. Government spending
    2. People who aren’t disabled who are on ICB.

    Don’t target the people whose support, and in particular money, that you need.

  6. Thomas Hemingford
    13/10/2011 at 2:32 pm

    I could never support the welfare reforms, benefit cuts and housing benefit caps as they stand.

    I simply cannot understand how any caring, humane human could possibly support and agree with such policies.

    I must make it clear that I say this not because of any political motivation or affiliation, but through both personal experience and that of others I have met this year.

    I am very concerned and I think that any welfare reforms, caps and cuts should not hurt those people in our country who we should so vehemently protect, support and help. I would be saying the same if Labour or any other party was in power.

    I think on the part of Cameron, IDS, Lord Freud, Maria Miller et al – as people in government – to know the details and to have read, in full, the impact analysis and assessments and then to still proceed in support has shown poor judgement.

    For me, it does say something about the make-up of these people, irrespective of politics. Now, that is just my view of them and it may not be the case – they may not appreciate the impact (some would say that just shows ignorance) – but it is the impression and perception with which many people are left to consider.

    I am disappointed, in general, that more MPs (of any persuasion) have not done or said more; it is certainly not down to not enough people writing to their MPs

    The reforms and changes cover a wide spread of areas and people: Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Housing Benefit (HB), Local Housing Allowance (LHA), Incapacity Benefit etc.

    However, disturbingly, they all share a common thread viz., that disabled people and vulnerable groups will be hit the hardest.

    Benefits such as those above are supposed to be there to help people – particularly those who need help the most. They should be part of a framework that empowers people and aims to make life easier for those whose days are dominated by illness, disability, poverty and pain.

    I think that would sound reasonable to most people – would you agree?

    Yet these reforms are, in their very nature, diametrically opposed to that end.

    There are many areas of the UK where private rental market rates are very high and fluctuate.

    In these areas, reforms will exclude many homes, as the actual rents are much higher than what would be payable via housing benefit with the new local housing allowance levels.

    The Government argue, with little conviction, that they hope to influence market rates. This is absolute nonsense, as a market would not bear this. Overall, if landlords cannot get the money they want or need with tenants via housing benefit, they will simply not rent to them anymore. They will just find other tenants who can pay what they are asking.

    There is an unpleasant element of greed with some landlords. There is nothing wrong with making a profit – and even a healthy profit. There are, though, in some areas, family properties on the market with outrageous levels of rent, far in excess of what is reasonable. In this sense, there is a problem.

    High rents have led to higher Housing Benefit levels.

    However, I do not believe for one second that the Government genuinely believes that these measures will bring the cost of renting down. The Government are just spinning a line and telling people what they think they want to hear.

    I have come across people already who are having to look for a new home due to the caps. However, it seems even council staff are agreeing that, in difficult situations, there are no suitable properties or accommodation on the 40th percentile, never mind the 30th percentile.

    The Media is very powerful and Government uses this to its advantage. Sometimes, just telling people what they want to hear or using distraction is enough to squash unwanted public debate.

    I am concerned for all those affected by these changes. However, there are two particular areas that I find expressly abhorrent.

    The first is the possibility of people losing part or all of their Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This is vital money for many people. Let’s remember, also, that we’re not talking about hundreds of pounds every week. By today’s standards, it is a very small amount that people have to stretch a long way.

    But it is vital money, used for both personal care and mobility. Many people already have to put some of their DLA towards making up a rent difference or basic necessities that would be otherwise unaffordable.

    Lots of disabled people also have extra costs that they would otherwise not have but for their disability. These costs fall outside the brackets of personal care and mobility but they often have to use some or all of their DLA for such items. This includes some medical items that are not available on the NHS.

    How can any respectable, reasonable person want to take this away from people who need this relatively small amount of money so gravely?

    The second specific area is related to Housing Benefit (HB), Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and families.

    The LHA rates and HB/LHA mean that, for example, if you have three children and two adults that you would only be entitled to a 3 bedroom house.

    The reforms take no account of families with disabilities and how it affects their home or home life.

    There are many families that need, for example, a 4 bedroom house because a child cannot safely share a bedroom with another child.

    This could be down to the nature of a disability or illness, its symptoms and/or knock-on effects. These can be things that occur every night – e.g., severe bed-wetting, fits, insomnia, pain, broken sleep patterns, panic attacks, sickness etc

    There might also be medical equipment, other equipment and/or medication that has to be in the bedroom, which would make it impossible and very dangerous to have another child share the room.

    Would one put a child in that situation?

    Personally, I see this as a form of disabled discrimination. Discrimination is not just about not treating disabled people less favourably than others. It’s also about accommodating their additional needs because of disability – because but for the fact they have that disability, they would not have those extra needs or requirements.

    There are many families where there is a disabled parent and disabled child. Often where the other parent is fit and healthy, they become the full-time, 24-7 carer. This means they cannot take on a job or any work and thus there circumstances, through no fault of their own, have limited their income and opportunities. They become, through no fault of their own, stuck in a rut and trapped, with only benefits on which to rely.

    Imagine a mum, mother to three children, all the usual household chores and jobs to attend to, but not being able to get any help from dad because he is unable.

    There’s all those usual chores but then also having to be a full-time carer to a disabled husband and disabled son. That’s 7 days a week, any and all hours of the day and night, no holidays, no salary – just unrelenting work and care.

    People living daily in these very difficult situations have enough pain and anguish; the reforms do nothing to help.

    I consider the reforms to also be neglectful when it comes to situations as described above. We are supposed to be a developed nation; a compassionate and reasonable people; a civilized society – to potentially force a child to share a bedroom when that could be unhealthy, inappropriate, unsafe or dangerous is unforgivable.

    If a parent was to expose a child to danger on a regular basis, this would be considered child neglect or child abuse. How can this be ratified in Government policy? And of all things, in welfare reform?

    There is also wider impact for families. That does not mean that all families will be adversely affected. However, if you have, for example, more than 5 children, spread across the age spectrum, you don’t need more than a bit of basic maths and logic to figure out what size of property is needed.

    Moreover, for families, housing is far more than just bricks, windows and doors. For all of us, we need to feel a house is a home – but it is so vital for family life. Housing needs to be more than just ‘a house’.

    There is a plethora of practical, circumstantial and other valid reasons why it would be impractical, unsuitable or unsafe for a family to have to downsize or live in a house with too few bedrooms. One in particular does concern me greatly.

    I am concerned how children’s education could be affected. If I had a child that was studying for lots of GCSEs, doing well, often doing homework late into the night, how could he/she share with a younger child who is disabled and goes to bed much earlier? It is just not feasible.

    How will this help children develop and bring children out of poverty?

    What baffles me is that the welfare reforms do not consider everyday situations, exceptional situations or extreme situations. They just do not make sense, yet people seem to just carry on regardless. I find it bewildering.

    The Government tries to distract the public with cases of ‘benefit cheats’ and silly stories. And, to some extent, this distraction works. The public’s view and perception therefore becomes skewed and blighted. Of course, cheats etc do exist but that does not negate the genuine cases. These are real people.

    The reality is that genuine, sincere, good people could be hurt by these policies.

    This is not to say reforms are not necessary. However, reforms should be well-considered, not ill-considered; they should be thought-through, including evaluations of knock-on costs . They should be refined, adjusted and amendments should be made where appropriate. Why would a government have impact assessments from experienced, relevant sources if they do not debate them, listen or take heed?

    We have seen this evidenced several times already by the Government in other areas, where they have been forced to listen. They called it ‘listening’; the reality is they did not listen or take notice the first time and they did not think policies through. They got it wrong. I don’t like the phrase ‘u-turn’ – but so many of them is evidence that the Government’s approach to devising policies has been shallow, flawed and blinkered.

    For each of these areas, where was the investigation and gathering of information and data that would be needed to even begin to establish the needs and requirements? Where was the analysis and debate on the needs and requirements? How was policy devised? How were the needs and requirements translated into policy details if the needs were never identified properly? Where was the investigation into the feasibility of detailed proposed solutions? And the associated costs? Consideration of secondary, knock-on and long-term costs? Critical path analysis of the policies’ implementation management and general ongoing management? To me, their approach to making policies has seemed very shallow and puerile, and there has not been adequate deliberation of the details.

    I apologize for getting off the topic a little, though it is related.

    If people are made homeless, this costs the nation and taxpayer far more in the long run. Increased homelessness costs the nation in support and places more burden on the NHS, which also means more costs. It’s also something we, as a nation, should not wish to advocate.

    If a disabled person can no longer afford their rent due to Housing Benefit LHA caps, the cost of care to the nation and taxpayer is significantly higher if that person has to move into, for example, a nursing home.

    Similarly, if they have to move, only the nati0n can afford to foot the bill for the changes and adjustments that will undoubtedly be needed at the new property. This is a far higher cost and burden than the cost of the benefits to that person – let alone the savings via cuts and caps.

    There are lots of examples I could cite where the policies just do not make sense and have little or no financial credibility.

    Because the policies have not been considered properly and thoroughly, there are going to be huge knock-on costs that the Government has failed to identify. Holes will also appear over time that the Government will have to fill, which will be further costs that were not ascertained originally.

    Tough times or not, we should not be treating people with disabilities or long-term illnesses in this way.

    I think it is important to remember that it is not all about the money. We should not discriminate and we should stand up and protect the most vulnerable – which should also include the elderly.

    I hear too much from the Government and Media that represents this country as though we are just a ‘nation of taxpayers’. How did we arrive at accepting this kind of thinking? We are a nation of citizens; of individuals; of people.

    To be fair, this year the Government and Media have leaned more towards portraying all people on benefits as cheats or scroungers. This misrepresents the disabled and long-term ill up and down the UK.

    Despite what you see on TV or read in the papers, many thousands of disabled people work. They are taxpayers too. And, I am also not forgetting pensioners.

    Many disabled (and long-term ill) are forced out of work and onto benefits as a result of their disability, condition or disease getting worse.

    Up until that time, they have paid their dues and taxes.

    But after that point, it can be an awful downturn. Many do end up exhausting their savings, having to downsize and eventually move into rental properties, using money from their house to pay for their rent and care. Wives, husbands, children or others become carers, reducing or removing their ability to work and earn. In the worst cases, one can lose everything and end up dependent upon benefits and the kind care of family and friends. I have personally met a few people who have gone through this and it is devastating.

    My cousin’s wife is disabled and works in the IT sector as contract software developer. She is angered and disappointed by the Government’s portrayal of disabled people. As she pointed out to me, she earns £45 per hour now and came from a very poor background, getting to where she has through hard work and merit. But she has had her own experiences of discrimination in the work place. However, she feels the Government have done nothing to empower people. As she put it to me, if I can do it, there is nothing stopping other people who are fit and able improving their earning potential and getting a better job. It’s often that, in different areas, jobs or training don’t exist, training is not affordable or people do not want to change what they do for a living.

    She went on to say that, eventually, her condition will get worse and she will be forced to give up work altogether. It might be in 2 years time or 5 years time but it will happen. She is fully aware that she could go from where she is now to having to rely on benefits; savings and investments only go so far or last so long.

    She also mentioned that compared to the £49 per week her friend receives on DLA, that she does not see how her friend is expected to have any less. She feels embarrassed and guilty when she meets with her now; that she earns in an hour what her friend receives in a week.

    In all of this, it’s easy to forget that many long-term disabled and ill people do not get to enjoy things that, in general, fit and healthy people take for granted. This might be, as just a few examples (as there are simply too many), not being able to see, hear, talk, walk – or any in combination. It could mean that they don’t get to play with their children as they might otherwise, or see them grow up. It could mean that they are unable to cook or eat for themselves; or unable to go out to places with friends and family. Of course, it’s not the same for all – but it is for many. For some, for example, holidays are difficult or even impossible.

    People with long-term disabilities and/or illnesses did not ask for them; it was never something they chose.

    It’s not all about money; people in these situations are often stripped of elemental and intrinsic things, through disability or illness, that most people take for granted.

    These are things that people in general take for granted but that, over and above money, make for a good quality of life. I think some people also forget that many are also often in severe pain daily, have very hard daily lives and may also need medication (which can itself cause problems). I don’t think we need to throw more problems at them.

    I very much sympathize with people working on low earnings or the national minimum wage. I know and understand how hard it can be and have family and friends in that boat.

    However, I do not believe that one negates the other. In addition, many disabled/long-term ill who cannot work have costs they have to meet that only exist due to disability. These are often (shockingly) high, not met by any specific benefit and these people do not have the choice of looking for work or a higher paid job. In general, these extra costs are not expenses that fit and healthy people have to meet.

    In families with a disabled parent and disabled child, the costs can be extreme and even hopelessly high. Again, it’s not the same for all. However, such families do not deserve to have more taken away. They should not bear so much of the cuts. They do not deserve to be put in a position, through no choice or doing of their own, where they may face more debt, risk homelessness or where their health or condition may suffer. Such results only lead to more costs for the country.

    I think it’s worth pointing out too that, whilst the Government is trying to push these cuts and caps on the most needy, they do not themselves do their bit. Cameron’s words were “we’re in this together”. Hmmn. Yet there are very wealthy and millionaire ministers and MPs that continue to take their £64k+ per annum salary and claim huge expenses. The disabled and long-term ill cannot claim the expenses they incur due to disability etc. Please – let’s not be naive or hoodwinked into thinking that MPs and the Government are somehow being altruistic in this.

    The unhappy truth is starting to get across to people, though, and people are starting to see things for what they are really. The Government will be forced to fight for its controversial housing benefit reforms in court, after a child poverty charity won the right to challenge their legality. You can read more here:

    I would ask people not to just take what they see on the TV news or what they read in the paper on face value. If you have no personal experience, find out for yourself, find people and talk to them. Find out the truth for yourself.

    Of course, not everyone will be affected severely but our concern should be focussed on those who will.

    Yes, reforms are needed. Yes, we need to root out ‘scroungers’ and the ‘workshy’ – but NOT at the expense of genuine disabled people, the long-term ill and elderly.

    There are many issues that disabled people and children often face in trying to just live as normally as the next man or woman.

    However, legislation cannot do the single most important thing that needs to be achieved in order to reduce the discrimination and persecution of disabled people, the elderly and vulnerable groups.

    Legislation cannot alter peoples’ attitudes or their misconceptions about disability, religion, race and culture or indeed sex (in terms of sexual discrimination – which is still as much of a problem in some areas as it always has been).

    That is the real challenge. That will take longer but the Welfare Reforms in their current form are a big step backwards.

  7. Bonica
    13/10/2011 at 3:30 pm

    To Maverick, Mo, After Atos, DWP Examination, Black Triangle & all those too numerous to mention who are here in support of sick, poverty-stricken & disabled people & who campaign online & march the streets against these vicious policies; I APPLAUD YOU!
    Despite your pain & suffering, you stand united with your fellow men & women.

    To the Lords & Baronesses who have failed all these wonderful & courageous people; SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU!
    Despite your wealth, privelege & financial support of the public you are moral cowards.

    And may God forgive you because we won’t & we certainly will not forget those of you who betrayed us. How can we when you help along such destructive policies under the evil guise of “Reform”? How can it be Reform when it will leave us poorer than we already are, sicker than we were, homeless, cold, hungry & prematurely in our graves?

    To those Lords & Baronesses who spoke & fought passionately against these cruel, heartless, regressive & wholly unnecessary Welfare & NHS policies; THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU FOR TRYING!

  8. 13/10/2011 at 7:46 pm

    In response to who pays the most taxes etc to pay for the expense of govt, public servants, public services such as education, welfare, hospitals etc. The astounding fact is that although the rich and business pay more percentage in taxes the biggest majority of taxes is paid into the govt purse by the lowest paid. as there are more low paid than rich and their contributions make up the bigger part. Also it is little known that the greatest part of the taxes paid into the govt and public coffers is paid in by the women on their low paid and part time jobs and income. Most working hard for home and family and survival and little comforts while the guy goes off and earns the big wage and blows it down the pub, on his mates or on his more important hobby. Most men abandon wives and home and family when the wife has the audacity to remind him that his money is supposed to go to something more important. “TaTa I don’t do families or kids or relationships. We gave it a try. I’m off to pastures new and new life and to the local easist whore down the pub, See you on Jeremy Kyle” The majority of workers of workers in Uk now are women, they are also the greatest contributors to the pot and the reason they do is to support kith and kin. Not only those who are directly their own but like many women those that are their sisters, aunties, mothers, grandmothers and daughters and grand daughters.

    Some are working 3 jobs a weeks 24/7 with no breaks no days off no sick pay and no holidays.

    I think you get a lot out of the people who do work and moan and whinge that they might want a healthy home and family back and their babies, disabled and elderly people safe.

    The National Insurance service came from the little societies and unions which formed to make a little from everyone going to help many and the take care of the majority. It aslo came into place because of the practises of private insurance on vulnerable low income families with the provider in dangerous work to take on Private Insurance only for it to be denied later after the man is ill, or disabled or killed. That is why the NI was formed to safe and secure everyone and save us from such practices. Yes it went wrong with greedy practises, too much mega complicated systems and management with a new fangled idea every minute. But the fact was there is was an overall system and could be addressed and changed and challenged as an overall system. Now it cannot. The health system will ge governeed and ordered in regard to needs of management and private finance and interests not for the patient need or overall authority of medical knowledge and best practice and patient care as central. Management has already said for years that they do not recognise medical ethics and code of practice or GMC or NMC guidelines and direct medics and nursing staff to act contrary to patient care. Now it will be even more impossible.

    By the way, did you know that your NHS trusts and private health companies have been selling off patients private details and contact numbers to the highest bidder. Surely that is breach of confidentiality and on so many levels. But then private say once person gives their details to the hospital it is their property to do as they like.

    So sick of the way it is so bad and your ignorance and complacency has allowed it to get like this. and so much bad practice in private practice. Can I check that when private and govt advice nurses and doctor to work contrary to patient care at threat of risk of job and career that the medic and nurse are still responsible for the liability? Thought so. Thanks.

  9. Maverick
    13/10/2011 at 7:59 pm

    That will be the rich that have been giving you all this money?

    Free health care, ICB, maybe other benefits such as free housing.

    All paid for by the rich.

    Lord Blagger : It was you that mentioned the rich not me, look at your comment above, ALL paid for by the rich.
    And it was me that was accurate not you, I said the working people and that includes everyone who works whether they are rich or not. Stop trying to wiggle your way out you are fooling no one.
    And where did I say I wanted ICB to be paid to all and sundry ?

    And as for : ‘What tests do you want to see that distiguish the Frank Galagar’s from those that really need the help? You’ve never said’ For goodness sake I have said !!, so read my comment above again, which was a fair test without fabricated medical reports, even a Frank Gallagher should be tested fairly, who are you Lord Blagger ? his Judge, Jury and executioner ? I don’t partake in alcohol myself, but even I know alcoholism is a serious illness Lord Blagger. And it’s not for you or I to judge, but a proper medical professional surely we can at least agree on that ?.

    Now you mentioned/implied that Cameron is basically a crook by printing money out of thin air (Very simple. He’s borrowed and printed it) ok I will agree with that, there’s no money so he just borrowed it ? are you daft ?, Cameron and his sidekick Osbourne have been banging on about not borrowing but paying our so called debts for the last eighteen months, they never stop talking about it. So why would/should he borrow it and just give it all to Africa ?.

    Look I can’t be bothered corresponding with little children so goodby ok.

    Lord Norton : You know fine well what I’m talking about, I even provided the link to your favourite newspaper which explains what I’m talking about, now please read it and answer the question if that’s ok with you.

    I’m away to take some tramadol and maybe even get some sleep to take me away for a couple of hours from the hell that’s become Camerons Britain.

    Cheers to you both and I hope neither of you ever have a serious illness.

  10. 16/10/2011 at 11:01 pm

    There is only one way and that is to ask for the actual disability and diagnosis of those on IB and going through the assessments and those who do not turn up and those who get taken off. So far the FOI will not release these basic stats as they say it is not important what type of illnesses people going through the assessments have. even though illnesses such as terminal cancer, MS, Parkinsons and paraniond schizophrenia who have just been discharged from being sectioned are going through and deemed fit to work. On a one by one basis and by a media reporting of individual cases no one can say who and what are on IB and for what reason. And do not forget we have an aging population of the baby boomers who are coming up to the middle and late ages where they are more likely to have illness and skeletal muscular problems. The whole reason for the National Insurance Number is that your could check these facts without arguing them on the blogs with no facts between you.

    So far the FOI are refusing to give information to the concerned public about the facts and outcome of the WCA and assessments as it is restricted Why is there is not a problem is it restricted?

  11. 16/10/2011 at 11:07 pm

    From Carer Watch – You remember. the online blog set up by two older female carers which was attacked and taken down by Atos cutting off carers and disabled without warning and having no reason in the end. Atos is no not a problem to the ordinary people of Britain. Asking Facebook to remove disabled groups and profiles that criticise it.

    What EVERY MP should know about welfare reform
    by carerwatch
    Sue Marsh of Diary of a Benefit Scrounger has sent this over asking everyone to help raise awareness.

    Since Employment and Support Allowance was introduced back in 2008, campaigners and those affected have warned that it is flawed. Not because people must face assessment to qualify for support but because the wrong people are declared “fit for work”.

    People clearly too disabled to work get harassed and pressurised into work programmes they clearly cannot comply with, while the number of “cheats” or “scroungers” caught, remains at exactly the same level it always did.

    Throughout the last year, we have warned of a tipping point. With over 110,000 decisions already found to be wrong and overturned, 11,000 people a week are being put through flawed assessments. It is only a matter of time before this becomes the toxic story of recent years. MP mailbags are already bursting with letters about this.

    Read in full here

    What EVERY MP should know about welfare reform

    Can you help raise awareness by sharing this post with your contacts, on Facebook and twitter too.

    Contact your MP with your concerns.

    Please leave a comment on Sues’ blog or contact her direct with links to any reports in your own local newspapers.

    For those that dont know, Sue is one of the founder members of The Broken Of Britain team

  12. 16/10/2011 at 11:20 pm

    Even at present people appealing against the Atos decisions can be without any money for 6-18 months. That is any money or severely reduced such as a autistic young man down to £31pw which he had to support his elderly mother on and obviously as high needs and learning needs has difficulty going through any such process never mind a very complicated on needing much communication, comprehension and writing and form filling in abilities. Not sure how another with a severe stroke and cannot move or feed himself can fill in forms and communicate even though written off fit for work. That without realising strokes are not just a physical thing bit affect cognitive impairment.

    Go and find out please, do not just believe the stats coming out in the press. It must be very strange being so far removed while others do not have that privilege.

    Another concern. no money really means no money, no food heating or lighting and people and disabled and disabled children being made homeless every day. Women who are single whether from widowhood, just a few days after husband dies, and vulnerable single women being made to move out of secure and safe accomodation in a safe areas and into unsafe areas. Making women’s lives more vulnerable. A woman’s home is not her own and she can be moved at will like chattel. So sad, so bad. This includes the mother of two soldiers in Afghanistan. No home for them to go home to as soldiers are assumed to have left home so home taken off their mothers. Disgusting.
    Disabled people: guilty till proved innocent
    by carerwatch

    The government plans to suspend benefit for people who appeal against a decision to disallow Employment and Support Allowance (the main income replacement benefit for disabled people of working age). The New Statesman’s Samira Shackle reports that the government has noticed that 37% of those found fit for work appeal, and of those who appeal, 39% win a judgement in their favour.

    The old Incapacity Benefit is being replaced by ESA, and every existing claimant is having to go through the Work Capability Assessment, the tougher test that was originally brought in by the last government. Literally hundreds of thousands of people are going to win appeals against not being awarded the new benefit. Now, you or I might conclude from this that (1) there’s something wrong with the new test and (2) given that such a high proportion of the people who failed the test are actually entitled to the benefit, it’s probably best to err on the side of generosity in deciding how to treat them while they appeal.

  13. 17/10/2011 at 10:58 am

    Today’s news. Govt demand that Youtube ban videos of the demos after policeman punched woman in face who was walking away and ran over a man with a motorbike who was only walking slowly with the other peaceful demonstrators and pinned him to the ground and ran over him again to make sure he was pinned, then with the man with broken leg writhing on ground only proceded to arrest him.

    Also with the removal of all benefits so families cannot cope sexual favours are being aksed and demanded from both women, single mothers and off their children. What should they do? Starve have no home or heat or lighting of *uck?

    Also Peter a dying terminal man who has since died and who’s wife is being refused a funeral grant as well lived on 12p per day when benefits were taken off and deemed fit to work. This is the norm, this is the majority of people going through the work capability assessments and deemed fit to work, genuine people with genuine long term serious illnesses and disabilities. only 5% were found to be not ill scroungers. After i year disabled on ESA if not found work are taken off the benefit, that means no money. But disabled and ill people cannot get work because the employer cannot afford the liability and no employer liability insurance will cover them.

    A terminally ill man has been living off 12p a day for food after being refused benefits.

    Peter Duut, a Dutch national who lives inHaverhill, has worked long hours as a carpenter in theUKfor the past two-and-a-half years.

    When he became term-inally ill with cancer in April he tried to claim benefits, only to be told that he does not qualify.

    Peter and his wife Laurel have since been unable to afford enough food, and are battling with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to give them enough money to live off.

    Laurelsaid: “Peter was advised to top the amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance up with Income Support. Being ill myself I was unable to advise Peter and to my horror realised that he had a payment of £55 pounds per week for both of us to live on and pay our bills with in our rental property.

    “He was then told that he had failed his Habitual Residency test and that he had no right to reside in the UK, even though he had been paying all of his national insurance stamps and taxes.”

    The pair tried appealing to the DWP and called on MP Matthew Hancock for help, but have yet to have their financial situation resolved.

    After paying their bills, the couple are left with just 12p each day for food. Peter now weighs 9st 2lbs (58kg).

    Laurelsaid: “He looks like a person who had been released from a prison of war camp and is unable to walk far due to frailty and breathlessness.

    “He has developed stomach problems due to not eating regularly and very small amounts for such long periods of time and having no money for food.”

    The DWP states that Dutch nationals can receive benefits only if they are active in the labour market, but Peter has widespread cancer and has been told by a doctor that he cannot work.

    Laurelsaid: “I do know that the legal system is a cold system, yet where does one draw the line on torture and inhumane treatment or even right to life?”

    Matthew Hancock MP said: “The case of Mr and Mrs Duut is difficult and complicated. I deal with many such cases, and am working to try to support the Duuts to find a solution.”

    A spokesman for the DWP said: “We understand that this must be a difficult time for Mr and Mrs Duut and we are working with them to ensure they get the benefits they may be entitled to, such as Disability Living Allowance.”

    Haverhill Weekly News

    Mt Duut as since died Peter died on the 13th and they are even refusing to give his wife a funeral grant and it’s looking like she’s going to be evicted from their house.

    I hope you are happy and suitably smugly pleased.


  14. Clive Arnold
    17/10/2011 at 11:02 am

    While Carerwarch have members who take part in the reviled hate site (and a few of the Black Triangle group for that matter) – (plus a host of other hate siets and blogs)

    then they have no right to speak for carers. While they have members who find cancer scares something to laugh about they have no right to speak for carers. This doesn’t take into account members of theirs making false complaints to the DWP about benefit fraud and false complaints to police, then we have the threats to a disabled woman. Sorry ‘After Atos’ but you know where you can stick anything Carerwatch related.

  15. anna
    17/10/2011 at 5:16 pm

    Clive,what is your problem? has a disabled person wronged you at some time, all that hate should be channeled into doing something good, maybe help an old person with their shopping!

  16. Clive Arnold
    19/10/2011 at 11:22 pm

    Why not insist Lord Freud set up his own section on Lor of the Blogs so he can interact with the people he is screwing out of benefits?

    • DanFilson
      20/10/2011 at 4:21 pm

      I’m far from convinced Lord Freud is into interacting with ordinary people. It’s just not his thing!

  17. Lord Blagger
    20/10/2011 at 11:56 am

    Do the sums Clive.

    How many peers attend each day on average? 400

    Number of sitting days a financial year? 142

    Total cost of the House of Lords? 153.5 million

    You do the sums and work out how much each one costs you a day.

    That’s why legitimate claimants for IB are being hit.

    The other reason is the number of Frank Galaghers who are claiming IB.

    • DanFilson
      20/10/2011 at 4:26 pm

      Lord Blagger, not for the first time, has a pop at the cost of running the House of Lords and assumes that any saving made there would go to Invalidity Benefit budget, which of course is complete nonsense. By all means let us improve the workings of the second chamber, but not on any assumptions as to where the savings would go.

  18. Clive Arnold
    20/10/2011 at 11:28 pm

    “I’m far from convinced Lord Freud is into interacting with ordinary people. It’s just not his thing!”

    Which shows what a coward he actually is don’t you think Dan? He seems to enjoy harassing people on benefits then get him here to interact and answer for his actions and accusations.

    Is it beyond this site’s ability to host an open web chat with Freud? I’m sure most people who post here would love the chance to let him know just how hard it is to survive on benefits, and that’s BEFORE the cuts set in.

    As for possible savings, I believe that over 15 million in benefits (or billion, it’s too late in the night to check) goes unspent or unclaimed

  19. pleasehelpus
    21/10/2011 at 9:58 am

    Perhaps the members of the committee could raise the shocking level of stupidity in authority during the next session.

    Dont forget Lord Frueds lies against the disabled too – I note you are all blissfully ignoring them, rather disgraceful in my opinion, when you have clear evidence of his lies from many sources available to you.

    You could also raise the issue of why the minister for disabled people is a) clueless b) promoting false propaganda to stigmatise the disabled

    I quote from the media

    “In response to the Scope report, minister for disabled people Maria Miller said: “At the moment disability living allowance doesn’t have an in-built reassessment as part of it and we have £600m a year going out in overpayments as a result. ”

    Even (and thank you to the lords for noticing and commenting on it) Cameron was lying and stigmatising the disabled.
    But I am suprised you accepted Lord Frueds explanation, considering he is well known for lying about the sick and disabled in the past.

  20. pleasehelpus
    21/10/2011 at 10:00 am

    Why has the harrington report been given to the government, but not the lords and the public at this time?

    Why is it being hidden?

    Surely its in the interests of everyone for it to be published to all, at the same time?

    So people can comment on the recommendations and the report, before the DWP/Government act on any recommendations.

    Who is in charge of regulating the report, or if evidence of serious wrong doing is wilfully ignored, is it a police matter?

  21. richievilla
    23/10/2011 at 1:13 am

    I see that Maria Miller’s justification for the new PIP assessments is due to what she says is £600 million of DLA overpayments.
    However, a simple check of the DWP’s own official figures shows DLA overpayments of £220 million, but underpayments of £300 million, meaning that Miller has exaggerated the true position by £680 million!
    How is she allowed to continually get away with this sort of behaviour?

      23/10/2011 at 4:40 pm

      Sadly it appears she can! Unfortunately, she clearly does not represent the disabled. I have noted she is quite happy to promote the benefits of Motabililty on her web site, when it puts he in a good light but in reality she is quite prepared to remove it from those who are really in need.

      I sure she won’t be suffering a loss of transport and or expenses to the extent the a disabled motability user will.

      As you will gather from the tone of my comments I have lost my faith that people in politics listen, once they get into power, irrespective of what part they belong to.

  22. Clive Arnold
    26/10/2011 at 12:05 pm

    Don’t forget that P.I.P will only be available to those under 65. So what happens to those OVER 65 and receiving DLA?

  23. 27/10/2011 at 12:00 am

    Simplifying the disabled and benefits system is not at simple as you thought. It may be a mess but this will make it a nightmare. For something that has been formed over decades to try and meet every eventuality and yet still misses how on earth can you change it and make sure everyone is catered for a safe overnight in just one year of Conservatives/Lib Dems coming to power. You really have not thought of it or how it actually affects. A severe MS Parkinsons, Cancer or Stroke is declared by Atos as being fit to work although really ill. but barely moving or surviving without difficulty. They have their money cut, changed to ESA and made to attend job interviews apply to jobs and do exercises and walk miles to the work programmes due to no money, and without heating or food under threat if they do not. If they have a severe relapse and collapse but because of such have not been able to attend the work programme there money is stopped immediately for non attendance, that is what is happening now. They have to be sufficiently better to be able to sort it all out so have nothing for days or weeks if they are really incapacitated.

    ESA is treated as JSA it only lasts for a year so after struggling for a year in the last years and time of their life when they are really bad the disabled person living as a complete invalid or dying has no money at all. and no support for carer and if they have a partner they do not any longer get any carer or attendance allowance. they are still expected to work but also look after their disabled partner full time. Not quite sure how you are figuring this out? The maths and logistics and basic human need does not add up. Glad Atos and A4e and G4S is getting so much money out of this. This is Mad abusive and dangerous and the most humiliating and degrading way any one could go in a dying or disabled condition and a terrible way to treat families. It is mad. Suicides are up to 10% from 0.3% that is suicides up 1000% + and child suicides and attempts are up. just within the last year. Not getting the facts. go look at them. You are causing severe distress. By withdrawing and denying basics. The economy is made by the millions of little people buying the little things every day such as milk and clothes and newspapers. As 75% of the poor are now having to go to food kitchens for food including the children and do not buy food, that means the economy is not going to keep at an level and is not going to recover. mad all mad. Anyone who thinks you can feed clothe and wash children and babies – even without yourself – on £30-50pw really does not know the price of bread.

    • muffie02
      27/10/2011 at 11:56 am

      well said sir !! – not that it will bother those who do not have to LIVE on such amounts of course

  24. Hansard Society
    Beccy Allen
    31/10/2011 at 3:52 pm

    Update: I asked Lord Freud if he would be interested in doing a guest post for the blog – unfortunately he is not able to. However, a spokesperson for the DWP wanted me to post this message and their email address:

    “The content of the Bill was consulted on earlier on in the year, and it is now being scrutinised by Parliament. Any views on the content or process of the Bill or wider Government policy are very welcome to be directed towards DWP welcomes the views of members of the public.”

    • Peter Ongley
      01/11/2011 at 7:44 am

      Views might well be welcome from the public but in reality all you receive is a standard letter stating that they welcome your views and they are committed to helping the disabled. Unfortunately Ministers are not listening and are just following the Government line without thinking of the consequences.

      Sadlly, the one person who is is supposed to represent the disabled – Maria Miller appears to be totally detached and is only interested in promoting the Govetnment, for example she is happy to promote the Motability Scheme but she is quite to happy to remove this criticall support from those in care homes, resulting in them becoming prisoners.

      It appears Ministers think local Government provide sufficient transport needs, this is totally untrue.

      Sadlley, it appears decisions are being made on what is stated in the Daily Mail!
      As stated before

      • atosvictimsgroup
        04/11/2011 at 11:10 am

        Hello Peter

        Whilst I think it a good idea having someone in Parliament who represents us the disabled community, I think it’s outragous that disabled people have NO say in who this individual is.

        Maria Miller does not represent disabled people, she represents the government, she is their voice and not ours, the position of Minister for Disabled people needs to be ended unless disabled people themselves get the opportunity to vote on who gets that role.

        The person who gets that job needs to be totally independent of government, personally speaking the woman is a complete waste of time.

        We need someone who really understands what coping with a disability means on a day to day basis, not someone who has worked in the Business world, am I talking rubbish or does anyone agree?

        • Lord Blagger
          04/11/2011 at 1:21 pm

          A better solution is to cut out the middle man. You get to vote directly on the issue. So if you want more money, you have to convince the voter that you’re a priority spending target. I suspect you’re more likely to get your money than Peers, or dictators in the third world.

  25. Lord Blagger
    31/10/2011 at 4:18 pm

    So Beccy, I presume that the ministers there are not the ministers in the Lords, but those in the Commons?

  26. 01/11/2011 at 10:42 pm

    News Today. Severe Learning Needs man sent ESA form and insistance on filling it on or loses benefits. R U MAD!! Obviously. or do you not realise this is not and exception but the norm.

    Via Carer Watch and Harborough Mail
    Published on Tuesday 1 November 2011 08:04

    THE PARENTS of a man with severe learning difficulties have slammed as unnecessary and insulting a new form aimed at assessing whether he is fit for work.

    Sue Barlow and her husband Tony Hipgrave, of Middlebrook Green in Harborough, say the new Employment and Support Allowance assessment form is not appropriate for their son Tom Hipgrave and others like him.

    Tom (27) has a complex disorder known as Smith Magenis Syndrome, which means he has learning and communication difficulties as well as physical disabilities including spinal deformity and visual impairment.

    He lives in a supported living home in Glenfield and requires 24-hour care.

    His condition and situation is well known to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), from which he receives disablement benefits.

    So the family were frustrated when they received the new assessment form – called the Limited Capability for Work questionnaire – introduced as a result of Government changes to the way benefits are paid.

    The 20-page questionnaire aims to assess a person’s physical and mental functions to determine whether they can work.

    Questions on the form include whether applicants can operate a telephone keypad, pick up a £1 coin, cross the road on their own, or meet new people without feeling anxious.

    Mrs Barlow told the Mail the form is irrelevant to people with Tom’s degree of disability.

    He may be able to answer yes to some of the questions, but he is not fit to work because of his many other severe disabilities.

    The family have refused to complete the whole form and have written to Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband to express their feelings.

    Ms Barlow said: “Sadly Tom will never lead an independent life or be able to work, which is already tough enough for him and us.

    “This form is totally insensitive and inappropriate. We have filled in countless forms for him over the past 25 years, each time providing the same details about his condition, which will never change. It feels as if we are always treated as guilty till proven innocent. I’m sure we’re not alone in feeling this.

    “This form shouldn’t be targeted at people who are severely or multiply disabled. It is a waste of carers’ precious time and energy and tax-payers’ money.”

    The DWP said: “Everyone going through the Incapacity Benefit reassessment process will be sent the form. If the customer has a terminal illness or severe condition they are usually assessed on a paper scrutiny, based purely on the form and information from their GP/consultant, and will not have to attend a medical examination.”

      02/11/2011 at 9:25 am

      Our son also now lives in a care (after a very long fight to get a place), he has Cerebral Palsy, his physically condition will continue to get worse not better and had already been awarded DWP for life after years of filling on countless forms and assessments.

      I totally agree with your comments but I will be surprised if you get a response, as I have done the same. Neither the PM or Maria Miller have responded personally. All you will get is the usual standard letter from the DWP.

      Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that the people pushing this bill have no real idea about the impact on the disabled, that this bill will have.

      We are lucking that we can communicate using this blog but the vast majority of disabled people do not have the opportunity to voice their opinions as they can use the medium or afford the internet!

      I wish you every success with your attempt to get somebody to listen and trust for the sake both our sons that somebody is listening ????

  27. 02/11/2011 at 12:45 pm

    I am After Atos the on line feedback survey which takes the experience of the disabled of their Atos assessment and its consequences and feeds it back. The survey is on going and rolling and so are the results which are sent regularly. I am unfunded I am severe mental impairment with gross PTSD and strokes fits and a few others things when I get back. I have not support, no intelligent professional or health support except idiots who think I want to sit in a corner of a day centre doing a macrami class or drop in art. I am last on the list but doing my best to get the facts stats and experience in and feedback and results out. Only doing it for Atos at moment as one person and limited resources and time and health. But it should be supported and provided for to address the need to collect and collate the ongoing responses and experiences of those going through not just Atos but all the govt experimental departments and ideas and process to find out what is actually happening. It seems so far the govt DWP and Atos and other private health providers and work programme providers deem it not necessary or any priority to do a remit and audit and ongoing monitoring of their input and services. That is the worse sort of management that puts in a process or service or provides a product without ensuring a monitoring and feedback process is also in tact and set up.

    Find our feedback at or or via Facebook. There is not a disabled who is not going through hell at the moment and that is not counting for their parents, family partner or children. and being attacked on top. This is costing more than it is saving and causing much harm to the British people to who you as Lords are sworn to protect defend and lay down your lives for. A Lord would be a Knight at one time, worth his throne and place because of his battles in protecting his people. That’s when a people swore alliegance to their Lord. I wonder how many would swear allegiance to these. None I suppose. You have sold us for a shekel

  28. 03/11/2011 at 1:30 pm

    Bristol Tales Today:

    David Smith
    This happened to me yesterday – and every word is true ..

    There was some poor guy in a wheelchair at the bus stop .He’d had his work capability assessment . He’d come from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol because his local centre has no wheelchair access …

    It sounds like his assessment was a real barrel of laughs . This is the conversation as he told me….

    “I am just going to hit you on the knee with this mallet to test your reflexes”


    “.. why not?”

    “Because I have bone cancer…..”

    ffs you couldn’t make it up ……

    Neither do I – Aunty.

    What is an Aunty? – A woman you had rather not tangle with.

  29. 04/11/2011 at 1:20 am

    Disabled ESA50 forms are being opened by Royal Mail Staff not Atos assessor of DWP. Can you answer and address this problem. Are all our rights being taken away?

    Fury over sensitive benefits forms opened by Royal Mail staff
    Thursday 13 October 2011
    Disabled people have expressed outrage after learning that benefits claim forms containing confidential and highly personal information are being opened by Royal Mail staff in a south London sorting office.

    Following a series of Freedom of Information Act (FIA) requests by disabled activists, they say the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted that “ESA 50” claim forms for employment and support allowance (ESA) are diverted to Royal Mail.

    Royal Mail staff open the envelopes and bundle up the “limited capability for work questionnaires” before forwarding them to the company that assesses the eligibility of claimants, Atos Healthcare.

    Most people have to fill in an ESA 50 form if claiming ESA, the new replacement for incapacity benefit.

    Disabled people had assumed that the forms were opened by employees of Atos, which is paid by the DWP to assess the eligibility of claimants using the controversial work capability assessment.

    Campaigners say the use of Royal Mail staff raises serious questions over the confidentiality of their claim forms, which can include highly personal details about their health condition.

    They have also questioned whether the use of Royal Mail by the government could be breaching the Data Protection Act.

    Disabled activist Sue Marsh, who wrote about the FIA requests on her blog this week, said she believed that “no-one should see these forms but the person who wrote them and the decision maker who will consider them”.

    She said: “I don’t care if it’s legal, it certainly isn’t moral. It’s shocking.

    “People like me and the people I write for have spent our whole lives being told we can’t see our medical notes. They protect this data so strongly in every walk of your life.”

    One of the disabled people who commented on Marsh’s blog said she felt as if she had been “punched” when she read how the forms were being opened and sorted by Royal Mail.

    She was forced to declare on her ESA form how she had been raped – because it affected her mental health – as well as including her address, telephone number and the information that she lives alone.

    She added: “I already feel desperately frightened of life and vulnerable as hell. This makes me feel even worse.”

    Another described how the form asks for information such as medication, hospital visits, any problems with drugs or alcohol, communication difficulties, incontinence, any mental health conditions, blackouts, and anxiety or panic attacks.

    They added: “Why do they not put anything on the form to tell us that this is what will happen? Surely that is against the rules?

    “Whether ‘illegal’ or not, it is morally and ethically wrong. It is frightening and humiliating and degrading.”

    A Royal Mail spokesman refused to comment. He said: “We would never talk about individual customers to third parties.”

    The Department for Work and Pensions was also unable to comment.
    For further information view the Diary of a Benefit Scrounger Blog

  30. Shazzyrm
    04/11/2011 at 7:55 pm

    Good heavens… that’s awful.

    I’ve just sent in an ESA50 again, a couple of months after I won my appeal I may add because ATOS and DWP don’t want to give me time to get well without anxiety and worry… and I have sent so much information in with that form including pictures i’d rather the common worker not view. Had I known that they are opened by the Royal Mail, I would have been very reluctant to send them in. This is not exceptable.

    • Peter Ongley
      07/11/2011 at 10:16 am

      It is quite obvious politicians do live in the real world. They are expecting disabled people to get work where in reality abled bodied people are struggling to obtain work and many people are under threat of losing their jobs.

      How can they say to the disabled get work when they are planning to remove the funding from Remploy who employs 4000 disabled people!

      A petition of over 100,000 people has been produced against the cuts but will they listen – N0!

      Sadly, the only medium, I appear to have left to express my concerns about the Wefare Bill is this blog as nobody is prepared to either respond to letters or meet to discuss these issues.

      Peter Ongley

  31. Thomas Hemingford
    07/11/2011 at 11:14 am

    Please have a read about this person’s family and situation –

  32. shazzyrm
    07/11/2011 at 7:35 pm

    This is a good piece that shows a study of how bad the newspapers have got when reporting about people on welfare, particularly the disabled. It’s actually a good unbiased read and I would advise all ministers to have a good look at it.

  33. atosvictimsgroup
    09/11/2011 at 1:21 pm

    It appears the government don’t learn from past mistakes, Accenture have just won a contract with the DWP worth hundreds of millions, under their contract they are responsible for subcontractors, Guess who Accenture have taken on as their main subcontractor for this contract? Yup Atos, the same Atos who has completely failed to provide a decent service, a company who has lost the country 50 million per year in tribunal and appeal costs, the very same company that is destroying the lives of disabled people/sick, please tell me who has been handing out the brown paper envelopes for this to happen???

  34. 09/11/2011 at 3:30 pm

    Hi friends of disabled and this country. I am so proud of everyone. Get feeds from this. I have nothing to say as trying to get one girls tale into press and get information about ex servicemen and Atos dismissing them into press. But just saw feed and AtosVictims and all and am just overwhelmed by everyone’s efforts and passion. XXX AA

  35. shazzyrm
    19/11/2011 at 9:37 am

    You know, if I wasn’t seeing this myself, I would laugh and say nah the Government arn’t that low but alas the bbc news today is shocking.

    Who would run this sham? oo let me guess, Atos! What callous, unthinking, uncaring sort of person would think this one up eh? Obviously someone who has not learned their lessons from the ATOS WCA sham that goes on wasting money when their decisions go to a court of appeal over and over and is getting away with it.

    • Peter Ongley
      21/11/2011 at 2:42 pm

      I have started think that neither the MP’s nor the Lords are listening. It is so disheartening trying to represent your loved ones against a bill that is only going to make matters worse for the disabled.

      Instead of spending time and money on creating a another body to assess benefits why don’t let the Doctor’s do their job. My son has been through the process of these supposed independent experts and they incapable, the only person I trust is my Doctor, who has over 20 years experience of dealing with my son.

      But who is listening, it certainly isn’t the Governement.

      Peter Ongley

      • Lord Blagger
        21/11/2011 at 4:50 pm

        Of course they aren’t listening. Too busy racking up the expenses.

        However on the GP issue, I think you’re wrong. The evidence is that there is a huge conflict of interest between the GP and the patient, and lots of GP’s are not prepared to remove benefits from patients, and in some cases will sign the off to get peace and quite. After all, its then someone else’s problem.

        The next issue is standardisation. To be fair, the criteria need to be objective and applied consistently across the board. Otherwise getting IB is a post code lottery.

        So, even the introduction of similar for sick pay is welcome for me. It’s been a long time coming. The result of that has been part of the massive government debt, and the result of that is massive cuts.

        Even more unfortunately, those debts are far larger than government will admit too. It has tipped. They won’t be able to dig the UK out without cuts being imposed because of lack of money. They have promised more than the UK can deliver. They have spent all the pension contributions as the main example.

        So its going all Greek, and for that you can blame the Lords.

        However, here’s a prediction. Lord Norton claimed the lords were good at keeping costs down, so no doubt he will avoid the blame when it comes to the disaster.

  36. Shazzyrm
    22/11/2011 at 8:36 am

    Yes they need to make cuts but to be truly honest, they are looking in the wrong sector and praying on those who are to ill to fight back, whilst appeasing those who they think are in the majority so they can keep votes.

    They’re not going after the disabled because of cuts, they have already stated that it’s not about cost cutting on the news and that was Cameron’s own words. It was all supposedly about welfare reform and how to make it better for patients. The only thing this is going to do to patients is make them wait for any money while waiting for an assessment to claim time off work. It sounds like they are just hoping people will think it’s to much work when they’re at their lowest to get any time off work and not even try.

    Paying yet another private company to assess even more people who go in for a sick note is just going to cost them more. It’s pretty obvious really.

    You know what I think is the most stupidest thing of all? Making all these benefit changes all in one go and doing it at a time when society is having cuts thrown at them left right and center and fuel prices are going up. It’s neglectful, irresponsible and callous.

  37. Lord Blagger
    22/11/2011 at 11:21 am

    You need to do the sums. The government is in debt to the tune of 7,000 bn, and that doesn’t included paying people IB.

    Only 70 bn of that is bank bailouts. The rest is that they have taken payments from people, and promised to pay the pensions in the future. They haven’t invested it, they have spent it.

    Now income is 550 bn.

    Gearing on that basis just to pay people’s pensions, 14 times. Would you get a mortgage on that basis?

  38. 24/11/2011 at 9:14 pm

    News today. So much.


    “When i was born in 1953 i had cerebral palsy. after my ATOS assesment i was cured. HOW?”

    And disabled confirm that Atos is contacting GPs directly after their assessment and anouncement of fit for work and instant cure to no longer give sick notes and change diagnosis. Absolutely bloody amazing. Atos overides medical examination, evidence and diagnosis. and all referrals to further treatment is stopped. ARE YOU MAD!!

  39. 01/12/2011 at 11:24 am

    “Update: I asked Lord Freud if he would be interested in doing a guest post for the blog – unfortunately he is not able to.”

    Shouldn’t that be “not willing to”? He knows that he would get a real reaction to his attacks on disability benefits and allowances rather than the ones fed to him to make his life easy.

    Baroness Murphy, I asked you in an email (which you failed to respond to) how many deaths of disabled people would it take for you to admit that the reforms are wrong, care to state on here in tens or thousands how many deaths would make you reassess your stance on the Tory attacks on disability related benefits?

  40. atosvictimsgroup
    01/12/2011 at 12:51 pm

    Connections between members of the House of Lords and certain companies which are helping the past and present governments to attack the disabled & sick are coming to light.

    Baroness Greengross was made Patron of a project sponsored by none other than Unum, it frustrates me that such a person could accept such a position when Unum are involved, a company branded as disability Deniers” in the USA, a company which had to reopen over 300,00 cases they had previously denied, a company which had been fined millions of dollars in US Courts, I suppose being a member of the House of Lords doesn’t require an ounce of Morals or ethics.

  41. Shazzyrm
    08/12/2011 at 11:19 am

    Yep I have heard of UNUM and their connections in helping make the policy for welfare reform. It’s obvious they have a vested interest especially as they are also ATOS. To think this company was prosecuted in America but is allowed to operate in a very high place here in the UK is DISGUSTING.

    It won’t be long before the next scandal hits and I believe this will be one of them.

  42. Clive Arnold
    08/12/2011 at 1:18 pm

    *Asking again*

    Baroness Murphy, I asked you in an email (which you failed to respond to) how many deaths of disabled people would it take for you to admit that the reforms are wrong, care to state on here in tens or thousands how many deaths would make you reassess your stance on the Tory attacks on disability related benefits?

  43. Clive Arnold
    13/12/2011 at 4:24 pm

    It seems you don’t give a stuff how many disabled people die Baroness Murphy?

    • DanFilson
      14/12/2011 at 11:52 am

      However much I may disagree with the policies of Baroness Murphy, I think this is hardly a helpful contribution to debate and unworthy. Baroness Murphy I am sure does not wish any disabled people to die unnecessarily.

      However these resource decisions are exceptionally difficult and it is naive to believe that current patterns of provision can always be maintained unchanged despite any economic turmoil around, whether created or exacerbated by the current coalition, whether due to acts of commission or omission of the previous government, or whether by forces external to the UK beyond control of the government of the day.

  44. Clive Arnold
    14/12/2011 at 1:27 pm

    Helpful? Is it “helpful” that people have already died through the fear of what the Lords will vote through? (it would be naive to think they won’t)

    I want to know just what is classed as an acceptable number of casualties in these Tory cuts but it appears by the inability to get an answer that any number of dead disabled people is acceptable, and I’m being as ‘cold’ as possible in asking this.

    As for “resources”? Around £15 billion a year goes unclaimed in the various benefits and allowances. The rise in number of those claiming DLA was built into the system (and there is likely to be some sort of decline in those claiming Attendance Allowance which will go some way to equalling out those who dare to live past the age of 65 and still claiming DLA)

    For the record I didn’t ask the Baroness “wish(ed) any disabled people to die unnecessarily”, I asked “how many deaths of disabled people would it take for you (her) to admit that the reforms are wrong” and you have to admit that those are two totally different things.

    • DanFilson
      14/12/2011 at 9:08 pm

      I just don’t reconcile the thoughtful comments of Baroness Murphy as a crossbencher, in for example yesterday’s debate on the Health and Social Care Bill, as broadcast on the Parliament Channel, with the “careless as to lives” portrayal in many comments on this site. She, unlike a good many peers, showed herself willing back in September (when this thread started) to enter dialogue with subscribers to the Lords of the Blogs site on the issues in this Bill. Many useful and informative posts have been lodged as to the way the ATOS assessments are being made. She has been the subject of some various and fairly offensive postings putting onto her shoulders the obloquy more rightly falling onto the Governments’. People posting should follow the kind of respect for others that is incumbent on peers themselves. Otherwise many people will stop reading comments and this will defeat the object of the blogs.

      • Shazzyrm
        16/12/2011 at 10:51 am

        With all due respect DanFilson, there is no discussion. We were blogged at and told how it is but when there is a question, the lovely Baroness doesn’t answer. How is that a discussion?

        Of course we appreciate the Lord of the Blogs and being able to have our say etc but there’s no point if we feel that it’s ignored or the person who started the discussion no longer wants to partake just because someone says something they don’t like or disagree with or is to afraid to answer.

        Things like Clive has talked about need to be addressed. It’s important to a lot of people and it’s the next scandal waiting to happen. Sure with all the hype about those on benefits are cheats and scroungers, hype that is fed daily to the papers when there are less of them out there than people think, people at the moment do not have sympathy for those who are suffering but how long do you think that will last when more and more of them find themselves in the same situation? It’s a ticking time bomb.

        • DanFilson
          16/12/2011 at 4:31 pm

          Baroness Murphy has twice responded to contributions to this blog, the second time indicating it would be final one.

  45. Clive Arnold
    16/12/2011 at 11:08 pm

    I asked a question, I did so through an email to the Baroness who thinks that someone who would rather kill themselves than be constantly reassessed for an allowance she was granted indefinitely due to a rare and deteriorating condition would be “cutting off their nose to spite their face”, she failed to answer the question which is quite a reasonable question to ask, done unemotionally I may add. She finds it acceptable to help decide the fate of every disabled person AND their carers but finds interacting with the same people as not worth bothering with because they have the temerity to stand up for themselves.

    Sorry but I don’t like ignorance especially from those who might be the cause of my wife’s health being put at risk Dan. It shows that this woman, because titles mean sod all to me, has no compassion and no intention of interacting with people she finds beneath her (and one little comment in her email makes me think that the decision to pass this bill is a forgone conclusion)

    Lord Fraud should be available to be spoken to regarding his stitch up/con job that he is carrying out, the rubbish about Discretionary Housing Payments would be a good place to start, his fake figures of people claiming DLA would be another. You know Dan, if someone is going to f**k me then they could at least have the courtesy to speak to me and all the others he is going to f**k over too for that matter.

  46. pleasehelpus
    20/12/2011 at 12:24 am

    Respect for others dan?


    How can deciding the fate of the sick and disabled, through the use of, and allowance of liars such as Lord Freud, or even Cameron, be allowed?

    How can it be classified as the Lords etc having respect for others, when they clearly do not, or they would be refusing to work with known liars like freud.

    They would answer to the people whose fate is being decide, they would not run and hide and refuse to comment like Murhpy or Freud.

    Murphy, and more so Freud, as well as Cameron, Osbourne etc are showing about as much respect to others as I would be if I went up and kicked a disabled person to death.

    At least, the death would be quicker than a slow suicide or deterioration of health through the mental hell they are being put through, both through the propaganda, lies and the system.

    What was it Cameron said about people on IB? Everyone has been given it No Questions Asked.

    A lie, that oddly was picked up by the lords, but brushed of by Lord Frued – and the lords accepted the pathetic excuse that made no sense. Disgraceful.

    What did Osbourne say about people on incapacity benefit, apart from his lies that people are not checked etc, he said the ‘contribute nothing to the greatness of this country’

    So much for respect for others, thats just outright disgusting talk from anyone, not least someone in his position.

    Same as Freud, whose work on the previous paper about welfare reform was classified as not having an evidence base by the SSAC, who lies in the media were easy to see.

    He lied that people on IB were only ever assessed by their own GP – blatend lie, he lied about the fraud rate etc.

    Where is the respect for the people whose fate is being decided?

    There is none, just hatred, contempt and lies coming from the people at the top, fully supported it seems by those in the lords, or they would be refusing to co-operate with it.

    They are co-operating,and I find their actions, or rather their inaction, beyond contempt.

    I would prefer to sit and talk with a common self confessed theif than someone in the lords – as at least you know where you stand, and wont be buried under false niceties and protocol while they stab you in the back.

    Of course, they could rectify this, grow a backbone, and stop spitting in the face of the people they represent.

    But I wont hold my breath.

    It really is going to take more deaths before they perhaps admit things are not designed properly, and even then, it probably wont enter their heads they are responsible for those deaths.

  47. pleasehelpus
    20/12/2011 at 12:27 am

    Dan : “Many useful and informative posts have been lodged as to the way the ATOS assessments are being made. ”

    Yes, and as always, as they have been for many years, they will be ignored or brushed under the carpet.

    Why, because they just dont give a damn.

  48. pleasehelpus
    20/12/2011 at 12:30 am


    “Lord Fraud should be available to be spoken to regarding his stitch up/con job that he is carrying out”

    Theres little chance of Frued being available in a public setting to answer questions, not without seriously heavy pre moderation.

    Why? Because he is such a liar (and before the mods hit delete, stop and think – nothing I am saying is untrue – its easily verifiable with a quick google search the amount of previous lies he has told about IB.
    Such as people on IB are only assessed by their own GP.)

    And as he is such a liar, I would assume he knows he would not stand a chance in a open debate.

    His lies, would easily be called out, he would have to answer real questions, and not get away with the type of nonsense he gets away with in the lords.

    In short, that I fear, is why he hides like a coward would hide, unable to answer to the people whose fate he rules over.

  49. 03/01/2012 at 6:53 pm

    Hi to All after Xmas and New Year. I have had a break, but not a break. Ravi Low-Beer is taking a challenge regarding the Atos Assessments and Mental Illness and been delivering info and testimonies too them. Again reading through and seeing the testimonies of what has happened and how they are treated and like I said no matter how ill or how mentally ill someone is or has habits or behaviours which would not be a good and conducive safe environment the assessor deem the person fit to work. Again I see very ill, severely schizophrenic people who cannot cope and severely deluded and suffering hallucinations and incomprehension being persuaded to meet the assessor on their own, without any other help or support and deemed fit for work after just 2 minutes when the assessor was so scared he got the person out as quick as possible. And all those who after years of putting themselves together after abuse and finding a precarious balance are made incredibly ill and relapse. Read through it again to find the right information for Ravi but again beyond me how someone does not shout STOP!! to the whole lot. Happy New Year!! AFTER ATOS – customer “feedback” survey for all those taking the Atos Medical Assessment. Counting the Disabled Back In – Because People Matter. Lots of Luv Aunty AA

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