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Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy new year and lets keep this movement going

So as 2010 draws to a close tonight i reflect on what has been a big year for me and for the world. We now have a coalition governemnt tory lead with liberal democrats in toe for the first time in a good while. Getting to work on slashing the deficit and cutting like there is no tommorrow.

2010 will be reemembered for the year the young population and students more so finally woke up and bravely began the fightback against these harsh savage cuts. The students have started the ball rolling so to speak with protests on the streets. Now it is up to the rest of us trades unions included to ramp up the pressure on the governemnt to back down on these unessesary cuts.

As the phrase goes when they say cutback ... we say .... fightback.

I think that will be one of the major themes for next year lots of strike action being called from public sector workers who will face growing pressure to relieve people from their jobs to save money.

Next year will be the big royal wedding as it is being billed between Prince William and Kate Middleton this will have to be carefully carried out by the royals to not appear to be lavishing it up too much whilst the rest of the country suffers from deep harsh cuts.

I feel one of the biggest stories going into the early part of next year certainly january and febuary with the VAT going up to 20% from the 4th of january will really start to hit home with petrol prices going through the roof for drivers. I wouldnt be surprised if we saw fuel strikes once again with supplies being disrupted.

All in all 2011 promises to be another interesting year with a glimer of hope coming from those who are starting to mobilise on the left to take action and stand up and be counted. It will also be a interesting year for our countries opposition party. The labour party with Ed miliband in charge. Ed it has been said has got off to a slow frustrating start if more of this continues and say they dont win the Oldham East bi-election i think pressure will start to mount on him. Saying that he could have a shadow cabinet reshuffel and come back storming the government and stamping his mark on the party and the country as a whole.

I do think we have a long way to come out of this economic crisis and 2011 will not be the end of it. Whilst i try to remain positive about next years prospects it is tricky to see where these cuts will leave us when they are all done.

For myself a prospect of a open university course starting in Febuary in socail science will be very interesting for myself. I am looking forward to this a hell of a lot. It is a chance for me to further my knowledge in this area and fill my time with some good study. I was very lucky to get on the course and get fully funded before the open university will have its budget cut from this tory lead coaliton so i feel very thankful.

I wish to get to see more friends across the country next year more people i have come in to conversation with over twitter and facebook over thel ast year. I also have my podcast i am slowly starting to organise and get going. Do contact if you would like to be involved in any shape or form too.

So that's it from me signing off for 2010 wishing you all a very happy new year and the best of luck in whatever you get up to next year.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

the growing movement of the excellent UKuncut

I've been following the progress of a movement known on the internet on twitter and facebook called UKuncut.
They are at this website here : http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/

I was listening to a bbc radio 4 podcast on the growing movement and the excellent work they are doing so far tonight, you can listen back to it here for a limited amount of time only.

http://j.mp/i3ZYhW

Please do listen to this it offers a good arguement from both sides and includes interviews from the founders of Ukuncut and representitives of the tax payers alliance which i will come on to a bit later on.

If you havent heard of them before UKuncut are a new protest movement group set up on the internet using twitter and facebook to communicate to spread the word and highlight the fact that while public sector money is being cut hugely that on the other side to represent that we are not in fact contary to what some tories may say we are not all in this together.

Ukuncut's aim is to bring to the wider publics attention that big business's multinationals in alot of cases areavoiding and dodging huge tax bills. Whilst this is not strictly against the law it is moraley wrong in my opinion.

With Vodafone having been found to have avoided paying a estimated 6 billion pounds to the british HMRC this provoked anger with people and UKuncut took to the streets to make this point heard that there is something very wrong going on out there.

In the podcast it highlights some of the protesters inside Top shop in Oxford street in London before christmas protests of which i followed very closely on twitter live at the time. But to hear actual sound clips from the protests gives me real hope and belief that there are people out there fighting for a fairer future for all.

People such as Phillip Green who i have blogged about in the past were targetted by UKuncut. ALthough Phillip has not committed any tax evasion as far as we know his wife is a non british citizen and it is rumoured he ships a lot of his company Arcadia's profits off to Monaco where she apparently lives to avoid having to pay tax on it while in Britain.

I feel this is a outrage and for innocent hard working people in the public sector having to loose their jobs due to cuts and job loss's when no cuts wouldh ave to be made if cases's like Vodafone and Top shops owners paid their tax properly we would be ok.

What angers Ukuncut protesters even more is the absolute lack of effort being made from our present government which is conservative lead with the vast majority of the current cabinet being millinaires themselves. They feel a lot lot more could be done to plug the loop holes that these rich multinationals are exploiting for their own benifit. To me it smacks of a very unbalanced unequal system when you have hard working honest poor people paying their bit of tax which will be a lot of their weekly earnings to the government when the people who really can afford to pay tax and a hell of a lot more in my opinion do not consistently.

The tax payers alliance which i eluded to earlier in my post rear their ugly head again. They all seem to be a load of daily mail reading look after yourself type person really and feel that we will have to put up with this as it has always been this way in this country. They also feel that taxing big business's too much in the end will drive them away to other countries. To me i'd say good ridence really maybe in their place we would bring in fairer and more honest companies who want to play by the rules. We as a country need to be setting an example i feel as with a lot of things our actions are often reflected and replecated around the world. So i whole hartidly support Ukuncut and their efforts to protest and make their message heard. Also good on radio 4 for highlighting their efforts i think its about time this sort of message is heard loud and clearly and those who are not playing by the rules are named and shamed.

new podcast project for this blog contributions welcome

So i've been toying with this idea for some time now and it wont be easy for me i'm sure but i'm hoping to start my own podcast in the new year. This may take me a while to set it all up.

I am looking for ideas on a name. features and guests. I've already had lots of applicants from my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/markwrightuk88
please do feel free to drop me a email or tweet or facebook me if yuo wish to come onbaord.

The basic frame work will be a light hearted general discussion of political/current affairs with a lot of news and general chat about the world mixed in. I am hoping to be ablet o play some music on it too if i can work out copyright issues. I will need to look into that more but once i have a few who might like to help me i will give it ago.

I have a few people already who have been kind enough to point me in the right direction of a few good programs i should use for this.

This will be a challenge for me being blind but i'm determined to give it a real go.

As some of you may or may not know i have been training over at East Herts hospital radio for the last month or so now and would love to put my broadcasting skills to the test.

All interviews and chats i do for the podcast will be carried out over skype if that's ok for people unless we find a better way of carrying these out.

So just to put the idea out there to all. Anyone at all can contribute, you can even just come on for a laugh and a bit of banter. we take all sorts so dont worry if you havent done such a thing before. We dont bite.

Look forward to combining this blog and this new podcast into the next step in my attempt to get my message and name out there a bit more and make some more connections with people. Who know where it may lead.

More big society ideas encouraging us to donate more to charities

So the latest idea from the tories and their big society idea which i'm still convinced is a big smokescreen for these massive savage cuts they are putting through at the moment is this idea of when people go to pay for things or take cash out of a cash machine with their card they will be asked if they wish to donate moeny to charity.

This is another barmy idea from the government while they are cutting funding to charitiesand the 3rd sector of voluntary work they are then saying well joe public can fill the gap by donating more. This is all veryw ell well not really but it would be if people had more disposable money to give away. This is simply not the case when people are loosing jobs every week and are finding themselves shorter and shorter in terms of money.

I just think this big society idea is all badly thought out and badly timed. It is insensitive to charities to remove their funding in a tough time like this and also nudge people as they call it in to donating more money to charity in what is probably one of the worst economic crisis ever witnessed in the wester world. It is complete maddness.

People are not afraid to donate to charity but only when they can afford such donations.

My suggestion would be if the toriesa are so obsessed with people donating more money to charity then they should use some of their millions they sit on and donate some of that to charity.

Making the rich spread some of their wealth around would bea fairer idea to me. It is just not on that the rich tories get to tell us what we should be doing with our money when they lord up their millions and tell us what to do with ours.

Just another fail from the out of touch tory lead coalition government i'm afraid.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Why i feel we should be building more social housing in the UK

As we all know here in the south east of the United kingdom london and the surrounding areas there is huge housing problems with people finding themselves priced out of the housing market more and more.

Ever since Margret Tatcher allowed people back in the late 80's to start to buy their own councial houses's off the council and actually own them there has never really been a big attempt to refill that gap with more social housing.

With our population rising year on year and a aging population too i think we are going to be pushing our infrustructure to the limit before long.

Under Labour which was meant to be a forward thinking progressive government they failed to address this major issue creating tension in communities. With the levels of homelessness rising sharply too with the cuts to housing benifits this will becomg a greater issue in years to come. Labour had the chance during boom years to invest some of its surplus public money in building new homes - affordable homes for young families just starting out in life with a child or two. We are hearing now more and more young people are deciding to stay at home with their parents for longer now as they simply cannot afford to move out and get their own place.

I feel this is atravesty and we should be actively encouraging young people to get out of the family home and start a life for them. Whilst saying this i feel a lot of young people are being restrained and cant make ends meet to afford a basic rent in london and the south east a lot of the time.

For me when i came to look for a place of my own which i'm still not really progressing on it was an option between council housing list which i was told has a 10 year waiting list in our area or private which rents around Hertfordshire and London are ridiculously expensive. Apart from that there is no other route really. If i was to share a place with friends that might help but this is only really possible when you have a lot of friends say 4 or 5 to help share the rent to make it manageable.

I feel the lack of socail affordable housing has put added pressure on communities and ugly things like racial tensions become more apparent in certain communities also with a lack of aspiration can really affect a area especailly if it also has high unemployment.
Luckily i live in a good area with low unemployment but this is not the case all over the country or all over the south east for example.

Not only could building more houses, affordable ones at that for people to live in it would also provide construction and building firms jobs and work to be doing in these tough years we are currently in now. Overall helping the econemy.

Just a thought really ...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

why i dont feel Tony Blair should have a statue of himself in the houses of parliament

After reading this article here from the good old daily fail i cant help agreeing with them
http://aggbot.com/link.php?id=11962993&r=tw&t=lab
A labour MP is suggesting Tony blair gets his own statue in the houses of parliament. Alongside Margret Tatcher and Winston Churchill. I cant disagree more maybe Tony blair was a good prime minister and did some good. won 3 straight elections but really ? his legacey will go down in history for being the PM who lead us into a contravertail war in Iraq and Afganistan. Which before these wars had millions of protesters out on the streets up in arms about the invasion of these two countries.

His still impending court case at the iraq inquirey which i do hear he will be recalled next year for further questioning still leaves the jury very much out for me whether he was a good prime minister.

The guy who removed clause 4 from the Labour party constitution and really invented new labour and sold it to the mass's turning labour away from its core base of support.

I think he and the party lost a lot of support then and it still hasnt really recovered i feel. Labour used to be kwnon as the working class party for the people, Since new labour and Tony Blair i really dont think people see the party really representing them truely anymore.

New labour has produced a lot of career polititians who seem more interested in furthering their own career rather than making a real difference in parliament.

So i can think of many reasons as to why Tony Blair shouldnt be getting a statue of himself just yet in the houses of parliament. Also statues are not normally made of you when your still a live. It would be wrong to do this twice was already bad enough to have one of Margret Tatcher.

Interestingly most Labour people who want to see a statue of Tony blair are new labour types who still believe his way was right and his legacey should be continued. These are the people living in the past we really need to move on from all that as the country has well and truely rejected new labourand what it stood for in the end. The sleaze, the lies and the broken promises on many things also not forgetting the expenses scandels which started under New labours rule will not have helped matters.

It will be interesting to see what happens if there is a statue made or not but i'm not convinced it would be right.

Friday, 24 December 2010

wishing you all a very merry christmas but not forgetting those who we must not forget

So the first christmas for this blog comes up and i'm glad to all bring you a christmas blog post. I wish you all very merry christmas and a happy new year of course. But as this blog has brung you throughout this year is realisation. Reality is waht keeps us grounded and this blog is no different.

I want us all to think all who read this blog when your tucking into your nice turkey the people who helped christmas be that way for you. Lets not forget the workers who work tireless shifts to get the food on your table for christmas day.

Christmas is a good point for reflection. Lets not forget our brave soldiers out in Afganistan fighting for us but also lets not forget the other side the poor innocent civilians who dont deserve to be caught up in all this evil war.

So lets hope and pray for a peaceful 2011 with no more illegal wars against nations who are far more poor than we are in this country.

Following that last line we must not simply must not forget our poor and vunrable in this country. We are a modern democracy apparently and are not in the third world so lets not act like one. Lets try harder to look after our poor, weak, vunrable, disabled and elderly next year.

We all know David cameron doesnt give a toss about this part of society despite his pledge to protect the vunrable that was the first promise the slimey tory toff broke. So if the tories and the spineless lib dems wont help protect this part of society lets us do it. Be taht labour who really need to get their act together next year or the broader public at large.

I for one am worried going into next year with DLA under fire and otehr disabled people being treated terribly by this awful government of ours. Lets hope they carry on taking a hit in the polls and in the papers with such papers like teh Daily Telegraph showing them up to have bigger cracks than they will let on.

If we are to bring down this right wing tory lead government we must aim at the heart. The destructiveness and the unfairness that is going on in front of our very eyes. We must expose them for who they really are.

I see next year the left, the true left not the new labour left as they like to portray themselves as falsely left wing which annoys me will fight back and be proved right i feel. Big prediction i know but i think the public will start to turn against this governemnt month by month.

Every government as we well know has a honeymoon period. Well this governments is well over now with students very very angry protesting on our streets and the trades unions starting to wake up to waht is going on out there 2011 will be the year the working class fight back i feel.

How the coalition deal with this will be interesting and will set the stall out for how they carry on or not for the rest of their parliament.

So i wish you all a very merry christmas and please not forget those who are in need this tiem of year be they homeless, old, vunrable, poor, disabled or in trouble in any way. Also lets not forget those thousands loosing thier jobs this christmas who will not be having a very merry christmas. Thoughts go out to you all in these tough tough times.

But lets be comforted in the fact the fight back has begun. If labour could get their act together we'd have a tougher case to throw at the capitalist class but we shall see what happens there.

Untill then have a merry christmas.

If any news stories out of the ordinary pop up i may blog them too if not expecta new year blog very soon

All the best

Mark x

Thursday, 23 December 2010

guest blogpost from an old friend from school

Well this is something a little bit different for you all now. a friend from secondary school approached me earlier in the week claiming to enjoy my blog, thanks for that by the way glad your reading. His name is Steven Basing who attended Richard hale school in Hertford between 1999 and 2006 like myself. He has attended University thanks to low tuitian fees and a good education he appears to have recieved too the wonders of investing in higher education ay Mr clegg ?

Well here is a piece of work steve has done all about David CCameron his views on HRA which he outlines below in great accurate detail. I feel more than happy to publish any of my friends work on my blog if they wish me to do so. Although these are not my views i feel a blog is more than just sharing your own views, if you like what someone else has to say then why not republish their work and spread it out there to the world. Afterall it will hopefully encourage debate and discussion.

Well here below is Steve's post to me please have a read if you can. I'll be sure to pass on any feedback to him if you like.

In 1950 the European Convention of Human Rights was drafted by the Council of Europe, and intended to ensure the protection of basic human rights, such as the right to life, privacy and a fair trial, to every man, woman and child of Europe. The catalyst for the drafting of the document was largely a response to the horrors of Nazi Germany, and an attempt to ensure, such atrocities as the Holocaust would never again occur.

When the ECHR came into force in 1953 every citizen of the UK had bestowed upon them the rights it contained, subject to certain limitations. However until 2000, the rights we all had, could only be enforced in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

If an individual felt their rights had been impeded by an employer, a local authority or the government, they were required to first exhaust the British courts, without raising their rights under the ECHR. Only after the House of Lords had found against the individual, could they proceed to Strasbourg, and make accessible the full rights owed to them.

So although, the magnificent ECHR applied universally in principle, in practice, it was only those privileged enough, with time and money, who could pursue a case long enough to actually enforce their rights. Add to this the enormous cost to the taxpayer, of cases proceeding from Magistrate Courts all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, via the House of Lords, and it was clear the system was not working.

It thus became a cornerstone policy of the 1997 Labour election campaign to ‘bring rights home.’ The simple idea was, to introduce a piece of legislation, which brought the rights we all already enjoyed, into a domestic sphere, so all could enforce them, simultaneously making the system easier and fairer, for the individual, as well as more economical for the nation. Born of this was the Human Rights Act, which came into force in 2000.

Under the HRA, the ECHR could be applied to UK legislation, as well as being admissible, in any court of the UK. For me, this could not be a more uncontroversial piece of legislation, but for some on the right, the HRA has come to represent, all that is wrong with the world. This right-wing point of view is perhaps unsurprisingly, championed by such media as The Daily Mail and The Sun, however more surprisingly and a lot more worryingly; this is also the view of the man resident in Number 10. Prime Minister David Cameron also adheres to this misinformed, right-wing belief, that the HRA is ‘rotten to the core’ and needs repealing.

During the election campaign of this year, David Cameron pledged to repeal the HRA, although this ludicrous policy seemed to disappear in a haze of broken promises, student demonstrations and disenchanted Lib-Dems after Cameron took office, this week it raised its ugly head again.


After an Iraqi man, Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, won his right to stay in the UK using the HRA, after killing a child in a hit and run, Mr Cameron restated his desire to repeal the HRA.

Mr Cameron’s, views on the HRA worry me in two distinct ways; firstly, it worries me that the man in charge can misunderstand the law so much. How can the Prime Minister of the UK, vow to repeal the HRA and free us from Human Rights cases which lack common sense, whilst we remain tied to the ECHR, which grants us all those rights anyway?

But secondly, and more worryingly, it worries me, that in the 21st century, the leader of a free and democratic nation, who supposedly hold fairness, equality and justice as core principles, could ever consider so dramatically undermining a system of human rights, which does far more good, than ill.

If Cameron repealed the HRA although, he would not lower the amount of rights an individual has, he would make their implementation much more difficult and elitist. But he would also send a message to the world, and the message that the world would receive loud and clear is that the United Kingdom government does not care about human rights, and protecting individuals or minorities.

As I have already explained, repealing the HRA would not end the Human Rights available to individuals. But it would make it a lot more difficult to enforce. And if the rights are more costly and time-consuming to enforce, it would be the ordinary citizen who would lose out.

The general outrage towards the HRA, which emanates, from The Sun and Daily Mail, forced upon their readers and designed to purposely mislead, comes mainly from cases which allow terrorist suspects the right to stay in the UK or allow failed Asylum Seekers, like Mr Ibrahim, to stay in the UK despite committing a crime. Whatever the rights or wrongs of these cases, we would not see a reduction in such cases, should the HRA be repealed. For a terror suspect facing deportation to a homeland where he may be killed, would probably be more inclined to use his money or legal aid money, and time to fight the deportation all the way to the Strasbourg. Whereas the single mum made redundant from her job, because she wanted to take time off to care for her sick child, would probably not fight such a redundancy all the way to the top. However under the HRA a Mum in this exact position, was able to successfully take action against her employers.

I do not for one minute believe Mr Cameron misunderstands the law, I believe he knows exactly how the HRA works and its close relationship with the ECHR, which leads us to one very important question, why does Cameron want to repeal the HRA?

It seems totally clear that Mr Cameron desire to repeal the HRA is born absolutely out of political calculation, The Prime Minister, has seen the contempt with which large portions of the public view the HRA, and has thus seized upon this as a way of increasing his popularity. I do not criticise the public for disliking the HRA, although I obviously feel they are very wrong. But for most people the only contact they get with the HRA is what the right-wing press tell them. People are understandably too busy to go and research the cases or the laws, and equally understandably believe that the media is not trying to mislead them, for their own gains.

However I do not have the same understanding for our Prime Minister, his job is not to pander to popular opinion, it is to do what is right for the nation, and regardless of your views on Human Rights, it is clear that repeal of the HRA would be a costly, time-consuming waste of time, which achieves nothing, but create a two-tier system of rights, where instead of applying universally, would apply alone to those wealthy enough to enforce them.

My second gripe with Mr Cameron’s pledge, is that any reduction in Human Rights, even a partially symbolic one that the HRA’s repeal would be, is just plain wrong. When the Labour government of Tony Blair, bought the HRA into effect, they should the people of Britain, the down-trodden, the forgotten, the abused, as well as the people of Europe, that the UK cares about individual rights, and also that the UK feel it is vital that the actions of Employers, Local Authorities, and even the Sovereign Government, are liable to being limited if they breach certain inalienable rights.

However, when Mr Blair did this, he did not do it without regard for the process of Government, or public safety. Under the ECHR certain checks were already in place which allow individuals rights to be limited, in situations which are, ‘necessary in a democratic society.’ In fact under the ECHR, only the prohibition of Torture is absolute and without qualification, the ECHR also allows derogations under Article 15, when ‘there is a public emergency threatening the life of the nation.’ Furthermore the ECHR under section 3 makes it necessary for legislation to be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the ECHR, but only as ‘far as it is possible.’

Should Mr Cameron succeed in his desire to repeal the HRA, he would undermine all of the progress made in Human Rights by the UK since 2000. Mr Cameron has already largely done this, and when he refers to the Act as, a ‘criminal charter,’ a phrase taken straight from the front page of The Sun, it leaves me with great panic for the equality in this nation under Tory rule.

Cameron’s assertion that the HRA only protects criminals and terrorists, may play well for the right wing vote he so needs, but it does not represent the truth. And just like Murdoch and co, Cameron is misleading the public, by scaremongering them into believing, an act which allows them unprecedented rights, is going to allow a failed asylum seeking Muslim terrorist ex-offender, to come and kill them, and then avoid any sort of punishment.

The HRA has done considerable more good than ill, and even when prima facie the decision appears wrong or to as Mr Cameron stated, ‘fly in the face of common sense,’ upon closer inspection it often makes huge sense.

The HRA has, in the decade since it became law, helped pave the way for homosexuals to serve in our armed forces, kept the government in check by holding their policy of treating foreign Terror suspects as different to domestic terror suspects as discriminatory, and allowed injunctions to be won to prevent tabloid newspapers printing lies or private matters. This is without mentioning the literally thousands of cases, where honest citizen have won against, local authorities, the government, or their employers, who seek to discriminate or mistreat them.

It seems clear to me, that Cameron is playing a political game; he is trying to score points and win votes, whilst misleading the public, and undermining the rights we all have, and should have. His pledge is simply an empty promise to appease the right.

This nation has faced down fascists intend on ending our freedoms before, and at this time, we need a lion to roar against the tide and defend the HRA,

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Looking into some green socialist ideas

Over the recent months and weeks i've been reading into a few more green issues. As we all know the capitalist system of the west is crumbling at the knees and the global financial crisis is just the start of this i feel.
I have read and wrote lots about the banking crisis that kicked off this global recession which has affected the west including america and europe the hardest it would seem.

So i thought i'd take a look at how the financial crisis and how the crumbling of capitlism is affecting the world we live in and how i believe that green socialist ideas can help us retain our planet and look towards creating more jobs for parts of the world that struggle to keep up with the leading countries.

Among other such red green groups i have stumbled across the Alliance for green socialism at this address
http://www.greensocialist.org.uk/ags/

I have found some of their thoughts and publications very interesting indeed.

With all the news being dominated by financial matters i thought i'd detail some of the green issues that will have been forgotton about during all the pandimoniam of the money crisis.

It is so easy to loose sight of the world around us at times. Especially when we take it for granted. When money becomes in shorter supply green environmental issues often become the first to get pushed to the back of the queue sadly.
But for example the conservative lead coalition in great britian is looking to sell off a lage amount of woodland to private investors. This is very worrying and no doubt some rich benifactors will come in and build a Centre parc's type complex on many of them.


This again is all for profit and not thinking of the environmental impact of waht building on our old and often stunning woodland.
We are lucky to live in a country with such rich countryside and woodland but we must aim to protect what we have. The invention of industry and expansion of population has created greater need for more housing this is all very well i agree we do need socail housing and a lot more of this but we must not loose sight of the fact we are destroying a lot of our natural environment.

As Caroline Lucas rightly pointed out at a recent New Economics Foundation speech i attended called where has all our money gone. Cleverly titled i think.
SHe raised the point that with the intense growth of the western world and capitialism in the west and our drive for profit has had a direct impact on global warming and the impact we have had on our planet. She states that we will soon run out of food in the west as we consume far too much at the moment and it is simply unsustainable in the current financial climate. With temperatures on the planet rising year on year out it will not be long before the plains in america producing wheat and crops will be unfarmable in years to come. This will become common across large parts of areas of the world where food is grow and farmed. As a result i believe the west will fall into a food shortage. With a steadily increasing world population and a growing need to consume more and more i simply dont see this as the west being able to carry on in the rate it is going.
This is where my socialist theories come in. From reading a lot from Karl Marx in the recent months i realise that he too had some green ideas and that his views on the world contained a care for the planet as well as the appression of the poor.

So my ideas would be to aid the west and to bridge the gap between a failing capitalist society woudl be to introduce green jobs for people who are unemployed and are struggling to find jobs in the present climate. We will of course as global warming doesnt look like going away anytime soon and untill the big pulluting nations in the world start to curb their pollution we will have to adapt to living in a warmer planet with more extreme weather conditions.

As we have seen over recent days in the UK our airports and our trains and transport system simply cant cope when we get a lot of snow. So i propose creating some green jobs for people, if we truely had a government who cared about our country and environment they would invest money into creating green jobs and in greener technologies. This could not only help balance the shift in economic power from the east to west with China pulling away as the worlds leading economy but we could provide good solid jobs for our workers in this country who are currently struggling to find jobs.

I also propose the creation of a green bank. Publically owned of course in the public domain so we the people have the control over it and rich bankers dont come in and take it over and take advantage of it again.
We need a system that is going to work for people firstly and a system that is fair for all. It has been talked about a green bank before but we must be strong with these ideas and push the ideas forward in the direction of government to listen to us. Green socialist ideas can work i feel and even if not fully implimented then we can certainly learn a lot from the ideas of eco-idealists.

I just wondered waht peoples thoughts were as we go forward into the future where they see our planet and its resources going in 10, 100 + years time. I think we need to change our ways dramatically to have any chance of surviving into the future myself. What do you think ?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Vince cable under pressure ?

Not a paper i read much but over recent times ahve presented us with some interesting leaks and revelations.

the latest one is our good friend VInce cable of the lib dems the business secretary stating if he gets pushed too far with policies in government he can quit and bring down the government.

in this article here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/liberaldemocrats/8215501/Vince-Cable-the-full-transcript.html

it outlines what vince thinks about some of his tory coalition friends and some of the strains that are starting to appear there in the coalition.

As i have said many times before i think this is a wak government with lots of weak pointsa nd fault lines are easily defeated i think.

If Vince seriously thinks he can bring down the governemnt he is sorely mistaken, it will take more than a loose cannon in the lib dems to take down this governemnt sadly
Although weak they are strong in the upper reaches of this gov the likes of cameron, clegg and danny alexander are all very close.

But what i'm wondering is how far is too far for Vince cable, is turning the lib dems blue and turning them into supporting the tories and backing their ri ght wing cuts agenda not far enough i do wonder waht will be .....

Sunday, 19 December 2010

In support of the unions

As you all may or may not know i'm a big supporter of the union movement in this country and today reading this piece in the Guardian :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/19/unions-students-strike-fight-cuts?CMP=twt_gu

I like the language and words new Unite general secretary Len McCluskey used in his article with the paper.

The words are tough and sounds like he and his union which is the biggest in the UK are up for the battle of their lives. Len warns of a wave of strike action across the country in reply to the governments attack on working class people and the public sector. I am not a unite member but would like to be but this guy already has my support. We do need a good response and a carefully constructed response. Of course strikes would be a last resort as always but i cant see them taking long to get going next year. With hundreds if not thousands of ordinary people who didnt cause the financial crisis will be loosing their jobs no way should they sit by and just let this terribly right wing governemnt go about shrinking teh state and finnishing off Maggie Tatcher's work from the 80's.

Len heaped praise and support on the students who have started this fightback with the student protests we have seen over recent weeks in protest of the treblling of tuitian fees. I think it is time now the unions threw their weight behind the student movement and the anti cuts movement as a whole.

I feel 2011 could be a big year for unions and the reemergance of mass general strikes if this government are not careful. People will not just take these cuts lieing down. The unions have been critisised in the past for reacting slowly to these proposed cuts but i have been assured by many union people once they do stand up on their feet the unions can move very quickly and effectively.

As a worker having a huge union with the financial clout on its side would fill me with pride and confidence. If i worked ina sector where unions happened i'd defanatly join one. I think the work they do is brillianta nd standing up for workers rights of pay and conditions is amazing.

I think the movement does need the unions to join it now and add weight to the campaigns as the students lets be honest cannot overthrow this governemnt alone they need support and financial backing.

So to hear Len come out with this message should not be ignored and i hope people become confident in the movement and waht we can achieve.

The only stumbling block could be the involvement with labour with these big unions gaining labours support in these times could be key. I think if labour could back some of these moves from the unions that back them would be very appreciated with solidarity and unity.

Of course labours support is not nessesary it would just be very useful politically to provide a good PR outlook on the unions movement. I think it is one of labours jobs now to reintroduce unions and their role in society to the public at large. For so long now unions have been out of the public eye with no massive attack on workers like what we are seeing now anyway on the agenda. Now the unionsa nd their members do need labours support i feel it is time for the labour party, Ed milibanda nd all his parties members to get behind the union movement and support them in any way we can just like the unions do for labour with financial backing.

For labour to continue as a mass workers and working class party this has to happen. Whetehr it will or not considering Ed milibands stance on matters of things so far might be interesting. Then again he did recieve a big backing from the unions so he may feel he should.

Either way 2011 will be a big year for unions i feel and hope.

Are MP's and polititians more out of touch more than ever ?

I blogged some time ago regarding how polititians these days resemble more career and professional MP's with few standing for any real cause. Well i would love to add more to that theory.

With times getting harder and harder for the ordinary person on the streets. More and more people loosing jobs and finding things getting more expensive. I really dont think most polititians really have a clue waht life is like outside of their cosy Westminister village.

How many real ordinary working people in parliament ? most of the MP's in the commons have had a good education and come from affluent backgrounds and are somewhat out of touch with real life.


Even the Labour party of which i am a member of seem to have lost their way. The big reason they lost so many votes in recent elections i feel was down to them loosing trust with the working class vote.

Who can blame them really the last labour government seemed more interested in bailing out the banks, which i accept seemed a nessesary evil sadly in the end than reconnecting with its core support.

The middle england vote appeared to stick with labour in the 2010 general election but we lost millions of votes to our core support.

With the tories living in a bubble and having more millionaires in the cabinet than not how can we expect polititians to understand our concerns. Quite frankly most dont.

So i really do think there needs to be a big over haul of our people who make decisions in this country. With the house of lords being undemocractic in my eyes with no one in there being elected instead nominated for a life time peerage i really feel the whole political system needs looking at and seeing where we can improve thingst o get the everyday person on the streets voice heard.

As we have seen over recent weeks protests and demonstrations have taken place even back in the early part of this decade protests against th invasion of Iraq by up to a million in central london seems to have done little to prevent governemnt carrying out their wishes anyway.

When will we be fully represented by the people who make these decisions, instead of representing themselves when will they realise the voters and the general public at large matter more and their voices should never be ignored for personal political gain.

I think with this growing movement which relies on no polititian and is student lead with help from the unions will become a increasing force over the next year. Is the time now coming for a new political party/movement for the workers and the working class in this country as many feel especially Labour their true identity has been clouded by political power.

I really think labour should try and get back to its root as a workers party representing workers rights and defending the poor and vunrable this is what made them who they were but is sadly not waht they are any longer. They are lacking a clear direction and motivation about who they really represent and stand for.

This could be very risky with a government with the media heavily on its side afraid to upset the apple cart in fear of cuts to themselves are rushing through this ideaological push of cuts cuts and more cuts.



This is not waht the country voted in and it is not what the country should be getting. It is iresponsible and unfair on many who will be suffering as a result of these cuts. Even Labours cuts could not have garunteed to have been fair to all they couldnt even garuntee to ring fence the NHS out of cuts. For a party who created the NHS just after the war to not stand by a great organisation by the NHS when a lot of people across the country rely on it is not a very clever move. Moves like this which resulted in a backlash at the ballot box for labour, something they must turn around and soon.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Pay day in the UK calling on all tax dodgers

So as the UK currently sits under a blanket of snow and ice those brave hearty soles at UK Uncut and many others have joined together for a day of action closing down and protesting outiside many private companies who their owners illegally dodge tax. These shops include the likes of Top Shop which is owned by Phillip Green of Arcadia. Phillip green is one of the worst offenders going a cabinet minister filthy rich and avoids tax like it is the plague. Well i for one am glad people are showing this guy up. Of course an inconvenience to the public on one of the busiest shopping days of the year but would be a much greater inconvenience if these shoppers lost their jobs due to public spending cuts and job loss's to cover the fact people like Phillip green are not paying their tax's meaning the government go after the ordinary working person on the street instead.

It is a disgrace and i would just like to add my support for these people making a stand today for the good ofa ll of us on a very cold day.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Unemployed figure hits 2.5 million yet still no concern from government

Worrying signs today as the unemployed people rose by 35 thousand up to October to hit 2.5 Million people across the country. With the job cuts not set to really bite in hard to the new year where it is estimated half a million jobs will be going in the public sector with a similar amount in the private sector as they are inter-related i can see the unemployed figures hitting and breaking 3 million by the end of next year.

Shouldnt this be a concern to people ? and not least the government who this shows even more that their plan for cutting fast and deep into public sepdning is having a negative affect.

We only hear yesterday that inflation has hit a record high in recent times with teh cost of food and clothing and furniture hitting high prices.

What more concerns me is the VAT rise coming in in January will cripple consumer confidence and spending- which i made reference to in a previous blog post. All together we are in fora very rough ride in the foreseeable future with this tory lead government.

I just hope for everyones sakes they have a plan B. Something tells me they dont or dont want to face the prospect of needing one as they are so hell bent on pushing through these cuts they havent stopped to think waht might happen if this doesnt work and we end up going backwards. Which from where i am sitting is very likely to happen. With growth slowing and unemployment rising are the signs not clear now their plan is not working ?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Socialist Way: My Take on 9/12 and the 'Brutes' of the TSG

The Socialist Way: My Take on 9/12 and the 'Brutes' of the TSG: "Last week’s demonstration of students and their supports outside the House’s of Parliament against the raising of tuition fees has left a p..."

Police dragging disabled man from wheelchair during student protests

From this interview with Ben brown from the BBC news http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXNJ3MZ-AUo&feature=youtu.be

this had outraged me this morning. I feel the bbc was hugely unsensitive to this poor disabled man who repeatably told the intervewer that he posed no threat to police at all yet was dragged from his wheelchair twice and his over the head by a batton. I'm frankly disgusted with our police force this morning and the bbc for reporting this badly. Shame on them. I hope poor Jody Mcintyre makes a full recovery along with ALfie Meadows who ended up in hospital within a inch of his life with bleeding on the brain due to being struck over the head with a trunchen.

There has been many blogs and articles written on this news story but i'd like to add my thoughts and feelings to this dispicable act by our nations police force of which we are supposed to have such trust and faith in to protect us. What kind of protection is this if they are going after a poor innocent disabled man who has a long term permenant disability. It is just frankly a sad state of affairs that this country has turned this way. What makes matter worse is the sheer short sightedness of the BBC interviewer- Ben brown who asks the most ridiculous questions of a man who can hardly move. Totally disregarded his disability and treated him like he was a criminal and had started the violence. Really disapointing to see the BBC turn this way as almost a extension of the governments media department now.

I used to like the BBC but any more reporting like this i am afraid i will have to find my news somewhere else.

I hope a complete inestigation is carried out into this incident and the Alfie Meadows incident and official complaints are launched and the police who did this are brought to task for this.

Myself and this blog do not condone violence and would be condeming this just as much if a police officer got hurt dont get me wrong but i se no evidence of this so will stand on the side of the poor innocent students who could not defend themselves like the police could.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Coalition breaking pledge for access to work for disabled people

http://www.bhfederation.org.uk/federation-news/item/1010-government-backs-out-of-access-to-work-pledge.html

This article illustrates another broken promise from the coalition government. yes they are coming thick and fast now but this latest one shows that they will only provide a letter you can print off to your potential future employers to garuntee the money will be there to make reasonable adjustments and support aids to help you work.

Just a letter ? will this really assure possible employers that disabled people should be worth takign a risk with employing by just reading a letter which from waht i can gather will only say that this person is eligable to claim for support for access to work.
For me access to work is a life saver and helps me out a lot, with taxi costs for getting to and from work as bus's are far too infrequent. They have also helped me gain training for my screen reader technology which enables me to work as like any other worker.

They have also provided other support in forms of aids to help me adapt to a working environment.

I just think during times of cutst o jobs and difficulty gaining work. Helping and encouraging disabled people into work will go a long way to securing a lot of disabled peoples futures.

So i believe access to work is a great idea and should be protected and expanded if possible. I think it should even be extended to before you gain work to help disabled people apply for jobs. Pledging money to help people with money to get to job interviews and other such events that helps you gain work are all things this government and Labour as an opposition should be encouraged.

Supporting the save EMA campaign

So as another broken promise comes from this coalition government the plan to totally scrap the education maintance allowance when before the election the tories catagorically said we have looked at EMA and can confirm we will be keeping this. Well today the 13th of December it would appear they are doing the complete opposite.

EMA is a key lump of money that is paid to students who attend school/college regularly. It can be as much as £30 a week and to a lot of families and students this is a lot of money. It can cover travel costs, school equipment including sports kit and books and stationary. Taking this away is just another attack on the people who need the money the most. When working class families are struggling enough as it is the decision to remove this benifit to young people is another bad decision i feel.

So today i and this blog will be pledging our support to the Save EMA march's today going on in london. For once Ed miliband has backed this campaign, maybe it is a cut he would nnot have made so can support this campaign, bit cynical i know but after he condemned the student protests last week i sometimes wonder who's side is he really on. If he wants to attract disaffected lib dem voters I.E students you dont condem their efforts to protest

I also hear Ken Livingstone labour mayoral candidate will be backing this campaign too. I hope as many people get behind this and fight to keep this vital bit of money that enables kids and families to live a bit easier.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Broken Of Britain: Stop DLA Reform! - Campaign Resource

The Broken Of Britain: Stop DLA Reform! - Campaign Resource: "This is your one-stop campaign resource to fight the proposed DLA Reforms. The internet saw many disabled people and groups responding, summ..."

Are we really all in this together ?

As George Osbournes now famous line we are all in this together gets heard almost on a daily basis now in my tweets on twitter and various social media outlets i just think we should not let the public at large forget that this is a complete lie.

We are not all in this together at all. The poor are disproportionatly paying more for the bankers mistakes and the huge debt we have run up. It is not fair to say we are all in this together when a certain section of society is clearly being forced not becuase they want to to pay for this mess. After it was our money that was used to bail these retchid banks out in the first place we continue to hear of the poor being asked to take pay cuts, redundancies, VAT hikes, benifits being taken away and merged.
I just still think that line will be one of the lines in history that will show the tories up to have been out of touch during a time of hardship throughout the western world.
If we area ll in this together why are the bankers and the rich not paying more tax's to help the less well off avoid the brunt of these cuts. So for example if big business's like Vodafone who still owe our country 6 billin pounds of tax would just be foreced to pay up the 6 billion taken out of the welfare state earlier this year would never have had to happen.

But are we all in this mess together ? no we dam well are not. Untill this class war is ended and the attack on the less well off is heard to the mainstream media and everyone gets to hear of the real ideaological reasons behind these cuts the arguement about cuts will not ahve been won. We must fight and campaign to keep the welfare state one of the greatest things about this country in its present state.

If the NHS is taken on to privatise it or cut it back majorly then the student protests seen over the last few weeks in london will be sure to be repeated.

I fear we are in for a rough couple of years now under this tory lead coalition so lets buckle up and be ready to fightback when they say cutback.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Police tactics to be investigated

Breaking news from bbc london news today
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/brain-op-for-student-hit-by-truncheon-2156207.html
and the independant suggests the police watchdog is opening up a investigation into how a 20 year old student protester yesterday ended up with bleeding on the brain and potential brain damage due to police heavy handed tactics. I've blogged about this before and i'm glad to see something is getting investigated. After the disgrace that was the ian tomlinson incident at the G 20 protests where the guy actually died thank god these brutal attacks on protesters are being flagged up and highlighted. I'm not anti police but i just want fair justice for all. THe media has solely focused on how the police got hurt and flags and trees were rippd down but this just takes you back when you hear of a student gaining brain damage due to a police tronchun over the head. I dont know the background of course and if the student was being rowdy but this just leaves a bit of a sour taste in teh mouth when you know there is history there with how the police treat protesters.

Hope the guy concerned recovers fully, thoughts are with hima nd his family.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

A sad day for young people

So this evening we heard the government had won the vote in the house of commons by 323 votes in favour and 302 against the rise in tuitian fees to 9000 pounds per year. They also won the second vote to raise the minimum fee to 6000 pounds. The vote came in closer than thought . It turns out a majority of 21 is a very slim number and if the Lib dems had stayed with their pledges this bill would have not got through.

So a very sad day indeed. Coupled with disapointing scenes of police heavy handed tactics on innocent peaceful protesters it seems a very dark day to me. It appears as though Nick clegg has fully signed up with the tories now. All but name and has condemned students to a lot of debt which will take alot longer to pay off.

It will be interesting to see in future days, weeks and months how big of a impact this will have on the lib dems and their futures. Will they get wiped out at local level next year in the loacl council elections. I'd say itw ould be a grim day for any lib dem member today. As the party who relied heavily on the student vote it looks as though they have sold a lot of their voters down the river now.

If only labour could come up with a proper fair alternative to this they would trounce the government on this issue of higher education funding. With cuts of 80% universities have to find the money from somewhere its just sad it is at the e xpense of the poor old student every time.

Whilst i blog all this i am fully awarea nd have been reminded all of today that it was Labour who introduced tuitian fees and top up fees in the first place. SO i dont really think labour can take a high ground on this as it was partly responsible for all this now. But one thing i can say we never priced students out of a good education. With studant loans and grants it was still reachable now it looks impossible for many working class people to get to university and fullfill their potential. This will also have devastating impacts on this country too. Where we will have a skill's shortage.

why not much talk of the VAT rise in Jan ?

To me this is very important, will affect each and everyone of us. Rich or poor. Probably poor more so as they have little disposable income anyway to start with. But i know we have all the student tuitian fees debarcle which i have blogged time after time on but this will be the next bomb shell the condems will land on us for sure.

Vat from January will be rising from its current position of 17.5% to 20%. That extra few percent could tip things over the edge for people. NOt only will this cripple consumer spending confidence it will also have an affect with putting business's out of business as they tryt o compete with added pressures of putting up VAT.

The last Labour government dropped the VAT percent down to 15%. This did little to the naked eye it seemed but it did boost spending for a little bit. Combined with schemes like teh car scrapage scheme and the boiler scrapage schemes this helped a bit of growth appear in the economy.

The choice of the coalition to raise this figure to 20% will not help consumer spending confidence and will hurt a lot of people most motably the poorest in society who struggle to make ends meet as it is.

I am fully aware that if labour had been in power now they also wantedto put up VAT. This was one of Alastair Darlings plans. I feel both parties who are and would have been in power are wrong and lowering tax's at this time on goods that are essential woudl help people out a bit and lessen the squeeze that there is on people right now.

The rise in VAT will again hit families the hardest i feel as they have the biggest weekly outgoings with feeding a family of 4 for example. Food and petrol prices are already going up alarmingly quickly and this will only further put people under the strain.

I just thought i'd throw the VAT debate back into the ring as over christmas and the holidays people better make the most of the rate of VAT as it will go up in January as i have outlined above.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Response from my MP on tuitian fees

Hi there this is a email i just recieved from my local MP who appears to be backing the tuitian fees rise. If people are interested these are his views below.


07 December 2010


Dear Mr Wright

Thank you for contacting me about Higher Education Funding.

The previous Government established a review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance which was chaired by Lord Browne. This Review proposed no limit on the fees for students. After careful consideration the Coalition Government has decided to cap the fees at a lower threshold of £6,000 with an upper threshold of £9,000. Universities will be able to set their own fees however, those Universities seeking to charge more than £6,000 will have to increase their efforts to attract students from lower-income families. To support those on lower incomes a £150 million National Scholarship Programme has been announced to which upper threshold universities will be expected to contribute funds.

In addition, graduates will not be required to repay any money until they have reached an income of £21,000, £6,000 higher than the previous threshold. This means that many lower-income students will be better off under the new arrangements which the National Union of Students and others fully accept. Only those students earning above £41,000 will repay at the full rate so again, this is a better offer than has been made before. Further to this, it will be the case that part-time students would have equal access to Student Loans just as fulltime students have which again represents a better deal than currently exists.

I raise the points above because they have often not been made clear to people when looking at the national headlines. These changes mean that the system will be far more progressive in helping those on lower incomes, than has been the case to date.

Having been a student myself I remember all too well the system that used to exist where those who overran their grants or did not receive sufficient support from their parents would run up overdrafts, often at fifteen or twenty percent in interest. Whilst the system then had some merit, it did not require many students to actually contribute to their education from which they would inevitably enjoy a substantially higher income.

This is a very difficult decision to take. As a new Government we have inherited a substantial deficit and it means that everybody is having to contribute more to balance the books. I personally believe that under graduates should contribute towards the cost of their education, not least because it will often lead to substantially higher incomes than would otherwise be the case. Further to this, I do not believe it is fair that those older people who have not had the benefit of a university education should subsidise younger people who will.

Cont’d/……




07 December 2010




I also believe that it is time we struck a better balance between a university education and vocational skills. The last Government actively encouraged young people to believe that only a university education would suffice. This has been enormously detrimental both to many young people for whom university simply isn’t right and the economy in starving us of people with the appropriate technical and vocational skills needed. So, whilst I appreciate the points that have been raised by a number of people I shall be supporting the Government’s proposals with regards to Higher Education and Tuition Fees.

Yours sincerely



Mark Prisk MP
(dictated by Mark Prisk and sent on his behalf)

Benefit Scrounging Scum: The Broken Of Britian Response To DLA Reform Consu...

Benefit Scrounging Scum: The Broken Of Britian Response To DLA Reform Consu...: " Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE ..."

Why we must fight to protect the open university

Well today we hear a whopping 89 million pounds will be cut from the Open university budget from next year by the government.
http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Hertfordshire/Number-of-speed-cameras-in-Herts-could-be-cut-after-Government-funding-reduction.htm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

This is another blow to part time students who people like Lenny Henry who have gained excellent English degrees out of the institutain.
I feel disapointed by this decision as i myself was planning to start a social sciences course with the OU in January. I do still hope i can fullfill this. It is a disgrace that this funding is being cut. It just shows that the tories and it is the tories doing this, a ideaology i say are slowly picking away at any opputunities the less well off have in life in this country. By removing such a huge chunck from the cudget will have a major impact on a organisation that were struggling in the first place. This will mean many even thousands of students per year will miss out on a top education be it part time or full time with the Open uni.

The open university which was originally set up by Labour to help part time students gain degrees and further their education has been an excellent organisation for years and years. This seriously puts the organisation in danger i fear. The interesting question will be is will foreign students who take courses with them from abroad will have to increase to make up teh short fall. Interesting times lay ahead and this is another wreckless decision the government is making that will have a direct impact on me. I would never vote tory and these decisions in the last few days have confirmed this. They are killing off aspiration in this country and it will be hard to ever retrieve.

So i will join any cause to help protect the open university and lobby the government to get this over turned in any way we can. On top of the university tuitian fees decision i hope this story does not go under the carpet as it is very important. Alot of intelligent people pass through the open university year in year out and end up contributing massively to the country and its economy. DO the condems realise waht they are doing when they cut so savagely into these organisations budgets.

somehow i dont think they do....

Monday, 6 December 2010

The case for keeping DLA

I have been wanting to do a blogpost on this subject for sometime. But my earlier blogpost on the governments plans to replace the disability living allowance and reform the benifit totally and this blog post here
http://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/welfare-system-%e2%80%98does-not-need-overhaul%e2%80%99/

have encouraged me to put my own views across in a blogpost.

I am myself registered blind. Having lost my sight back in 2004 through a rare genetic disease named Lebers optical neuropathy disease. This caused me to loose my central vision over the space of a few months. Leaving me with very little sight.

I started claiming DLA from the end of that year. I feel that DLA adds to my life. It enables me to be independant getting about to social events by taxi's which in my opinion are a rip off anyway but there we go. It enables me to pay my mum for rent to the stay in her house and furthers my life i feel.

I do think there could be changes to this benifit where people who are not that disabled or that impaired should maybe be removed from it or have their payments reduced somewhat. But the idea that the DLA is discouraging people from working is absolute nonsense as first of all the DLA is not a work based benifit. You may still claim it while you are in work. I do exactly this as i work 2 days a week currently.

It is not also there to boost your income per week, income support is there and working tax credits are there for that.

I personally can see little point in a mass over haul of this particular benifit. It is not a substitute for work and we shuld not buy the line that the government are throwing at us that it encourages people who are disabled not to work.

I feel it goes a long way to helping disabled people live a independant life. I for one will be protesting to protect the DLA if i possibly can and hope that many other blind and other disabled people join with me to oppose this disgusting move by the government.

The plan is to bring this new benifit in in 2013 with strict medical assessments taking place from then on. I fear for myself and others who will no doubt miss out on this and be left in a worse position than t hey are now.

I think this move is going totally the wrong way, we should be looking to increase the DLA to disabled people not taking it away or reforming it as they cleverly disguise it as.

Of course ther are cases wher people may be claiming it wrongly and have more sight and can cope quite well but this can easily be resolved by medical assesments and a doctors letter backing up their claims or not.

I see no need fora huge overhaul of the welfare system and the disabled benifit system at all. Just like the post i link to further up we all agree this is unessesary and heaps further missery on the less well off in this country.

To me it is a further attack on the poor and the weak. If we taxed the bankers a lot lot more and made sure to close the tax loop holes that certain companies seem to still be getting away with we could afford to support our elderly and disabled and sick properly like a proper modern country should do.

Please if you are against this move by the government and its proposals please look up my facebook page for keeping the disability living allowance

that is at the follwoing link http://is.gd/ii4D1

please join it and spread the word. If anyoen would like to help me start a campaign to protect DLA please do contact me through twitter or email
@markwrightuk88
or markwrightuk@gmail.com

many thanks for reading

Proposed removal of Disability Living allowance

Hi all, as you may or may not know i am registered blind i would like to copy and paste the documentation sent out by the government today to outline their proposed changes to DLA.

I will be responding to this later with a blog post of my own, for now have a read of this.


Public consultation
Disability Living
Allowance reform






























Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State
for Work and Pensions by Command of Her Majesty
December 2010
Cm 7984 £14.75


Public consultation
Disability Living
Allowance reform


























Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State
for Work and Pensions by Command of Her Majesty
December 2010
Cm 7984 £14.75

© Crown Copyright 2010
You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format
or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence,
visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence or write to the
Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU,
or email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk
This publication can be accessed online at:
www.dwp.gov.uk/dla-reform
For more information about this publication, contact:
DLA Reform Team
Department for Work and Pensions
1st Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA
Tel: 020 7449 7688
Email: consultation.dlareform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Copies of this publication can be made available in alternative formats if required
This publication is also available on www.official-documents.gov.uk
ISBN: 9780101798426
Printed in the UK by The Stationery Office Limited
on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
ID: 2402363 12/10
Printed on paper containing 75% recycled fibre content minimum. 
Contents

Foreword by the Minister for Disabled People

Purpose of the consultation document

Executive summary

Chapter 1 Introduction and context

Chapter 2 The new benefit: our proposals

Chapter 3 Delivering the new benefit

Chapter 4 Impact Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment

Chapter 5 Questions

Chapter 6 How to respond to this public consultation

Annex 1

Annex 2

List of figures.
Figure 1 DLA expenditure (in 2010/11 prices including
exportability and reinstatement estimates), by client group

Figure 2 DLA payload (excluding exportability and
reinstatement estimates), by client group
Figure 3 Claims process for new claims from 2013/14

Figure 4 Claims process for reassessing existing
DLA recipients from 2013/14

Ministerial foreword
The Coalition Government is committed to helping disabled people to exercise choice
and control over their lives. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) helps us to deliver on
this commitment.
We have been absolutely clear that our welfare reform plans are designed to protect people in the most vulnerable situations, including disabled people. We are committed to a sustainable and fair system that allows people to work when they can and provides unconditional support to those who are unable to work. As we move towards legislating for and implementing major reform through Universal Credit and our flagship Work Programme, I believe it is also time to bring disability benefits into the 21st Century.
We are steadfast in our support for the principles of DLA, as a non-means-tested cash benefit contributing to the extra costs incurred by disabled people. However, we need to ensure that the benefit reflects the needs of disabled people today, rather than in the 1990s. It is time that we had
a disability benefit which is easier for individuals to understand and provides clear criteria and consistent awards.
This is why I want to replace DLA with a new benefit – Personal Independence Payment. This is
our opportunity to improve the support for disabled people and better enable them to lead full,
active and independent lives. Personal Independence Payment will maintain the key principles of DLA, providing cash support to help overcome the barriers which prevent disabled people from participating fully in everyday life, but it will be delivered in a fairer, more consistent and sustainable manner. It is only right that support should be targeted at those disabled people who face the greatest challenges to leading independent lives. This reform will enable that support, along with a clearer, more straightforward assessment process.
Personal Independence Payment will also be a more dynamic benefit – it will take account of changes in individual circumstances and the impact of disabilities, as well as wider changes in society, such as social attitudes and equality legislation.
Just as we are committed to providing unconditional support to those who are unable to work, we know that work is the best form of welfare for those who are able to do so. That’s why I want as many disabled people as possible to benefit from employment – it is not acceptable for anyone to be trapped in a cycle of dependency. By giving people the right level of support through Personal Independence Payment, I hope that many more disabled people will be able to work and enjoy the advantages that an active working life can bring.
This is why I believe the time is right to reform DLA. We need to create a new, more
active and enabling benefit of which British people can be proud – a benefit fit for the
21st Century.


Maria Miller MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Disabled People

Purpose of the consultation document
The Government proposes to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new benefit – Personal Independence Payment – which enables people to remove the barriers they
face to leading full and independent lives. This consultation document seeks your views
to inform our policy for reforming DLA and introducing a new objective assessment.
We would especially like to hear from disability organisations and disabled people.
The public consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland.
This document will give you some background information about DLA and explains why we want to reform the benefit. We will be clear about what we will change, and what will remain the same. We explain the changes and ask you questions on how we might change the benefit. The questions we want to ask are clearly highlighted and at the end of the document we ask if there is anything else you would like to add.
This document was published on 6 December 2010. We need you to respond to the questions by 14 February 2011. Details of how to respond are in Chapter 6.
If you have any queries about this consultation, or would like to receive the consultation document in a particular format, for example, large print, Braille, audio, or Easy Read, please contact:
DLA Reform Team
1st Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA
Telephone: 0 2 0 7 44 9 7 6 88
answering machine only
Textphone: 1 8 0 01 0 2 0 7 44 9 7 6 88
answering machine only
Fax: 0 2 0 7 4 49 5 4 6 7
Email: consultation.dlareform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk


Executive summary
1. The Government is committed to supporting disabled people to lead independent and active lives. We recognise that disabled people can face additional challenges to leading independent lives and we are committed to maintaining an extra-costs, non-means-tested disability benefit to support disabled people.
2. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has become confusing and complex. The rising caseload and expenditure is unsustainable, the benefit is not well understood and there is no process to check that awards remain correct. That is why the Government will reform DLA, to create a new benefit, Personal Independence Payment, which is easier to understand, more efficient and will support disabled people who face the greatest challenges to remaining independent and leading
full and active lives.
3. We plan to introduce the new benefit in 2013/14, when we will begin reassessing the working age (16-64 year olds) caseload. We are considering whether to reassess children and people aged over 65.
4. Currently DLA measures an individual’s ‘care’ and ‘mobility’ needs, and uses this as a proxy for the extra costs faced. Personal Independence Payment will consider the impact an individual’s impairment or health condition has on their daily life. We will prioritise support on those individuals who face the greatest day-to-day challenges and who are therefore likely to experience higher costs. Personal Independence Payment will have two components. The ‘Mobility’ component will be based on the individual’s ability to get around, while the ‘Daily Living’ component will be based on their ability to carry out other key activities necessary to participate in everyday life.
5. To ensure that support goes to those who face the greatest challenges, the benefit will only be available to people with a long-term health condition or impairment. Individuals will have to qualify for the benefit for a period of six months and be expected to continue to qualify for a further six months before an award can be made.
6. Currently individuals on DLA with certain health conditions or impairments are automatically entitled to specific rates of the benefit without a full assessment. We propose that for Personal Independence Payment there are no automatic entitlements, other than the special rules for people who are terminally ill. Instead, each case will be looked at individually, considering the impact of the impairment or health condition, rather than basing the decision on the health condition or impairment itself.
7. Key to the benefit will be an objective assessment of individual need, which we are developing in collaboration with a group of independent specialists in health, social care and disability, including disabled people. The new assessment will focus on an individual’s ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life. We will gather information from the individual, as well as healthcare and other professionals who work with and support them. We also believe that advice from an independent healthcare professional should be an important part of the new process. In most cases, we envisage that this will involve a face-to-face meeting with an independent healthcare professional, allowing an in-depth analysis of an individual’s circumstances.
8. Successful use of aids and adaptations can increase an individual’s ability to lead a full, active and independent life. We believe that Personal Independence Payment should take greater account of aids and adaptations. We are considering how best to take account of aids and adaptations in the assessment in a way that reflects how they are used and paid for.

9. We know that some people’s needs may change over time, and sometimes so gradually that the customer themselves won’t notice. To ensure that everyone continues to receive the correct amount of benefit, we plan to periodically review all awards. Individuals will still be responsible for reporting changes that occur between reviews and, in line with the Government’s new strategy on fraud and error, there will be penalties if an individual knowingly fails to report a change that would have resulted in a reduction in benefit.
10. We want to make Personal Independence Payment a more active and enabling benefit and
we are exploring ways to help individuals manage their health condition or impairment. For example, as part of the administration of the benefit we could signpost individuals to other support, or ensure they have the opportunity to discuss their health condition or impairment
with an appropriate professional.
11. As well as providing cash support, DLA currently entitles or ‘passports’ the individual to other help and support. We recognise the importance of this feature and will take it into account in developing our reforms. In addition, we will consider how the benefit interacts with other forms
of support, for example adult social care, and explore whether it is possible to share information at the assessment stage and eliminate areas of overlap.
12. Responses from this consultation will inform secondary legislation on the detailed design of the benefit, including requirements for the new assessment. We would like to hear from anyone who is interested, especially disabled people and disability organisations.


Chapter 1: Introduction and context
The need to reform Disability Living Allowance
1. The Government is committed to supporting disabled people to exercise choice and control
and lead independent lives. We believe that, with the right levels of support, everyone including disabled people can play a full part in society. We recognise that financial support plays an important role in enabling disabled people to lead full and active lives and we are committed to maintaining an extra-costs benefit for disabled people. The system that we have inherited has, however, become confusing and complex over time. People are unclear about who can qualify and decisions about qualification are inconsistent and subjective. For example, many people incorrectly believe that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is an income-replacement benefit for people who are unable to work due to disability.
2. We believe that now is the right time to reform DLA, creating an affordable and sustainable system that will support disabled people to overcome the extra barriers which prevent them
from leading full and active lives.
3. We must ensure that our resources are focused on those with the greatest need. We will continue to support disabled people who face the greatest barriers to participating in everyday life by contributing to the extra costs of overcoming those barriers.
4. Our reform of DLA is part of our wider reforms to build a welfare system fit for the 21st Century. We will create a welfare system based on the principles of fairness and responsibility; one which supports the most vulnerable, tackles the root causes of poverty and social exclusion, and is financially sustainable for the long term.
5. The new Universal Credit – which will replace a range of existing benefits with a single income-replacement payment – will finally ensure that people are always better off in work. The new Work Programme will start in the spring, and we have already launched Work Choice to provide personalised support to help disabled people make the transition into sustainable employment. For more information on Universal Credit, see the Glossary on page 38.
6. Our recent White Paper Universal Credit: welfare that works confirmed that DLA will remain outside of Universal Credit. The reformed benefit will continue to be paid to people in and
out of work and will not be means tested. It will remain a benefit focused on helping people
to meet the additional costs arising from their impairment or health condition. Personal Independence Payment will retain DLA’s role as a central pillar of the Government’s
support for disabled people.
History of DLA
7. Most disability benefit provision comes from legislation introduced in the 1970s. Before DLA
was introduced in 1992, there was Attendance Allowance (AA) and Mobility Allowance (MobA). AA provided support for care needs and was originally expected to help approximately 50,000 people. MobA was expected to help 100,000 people with severe mobility needs.



8. In 1992 AA and MobA were brought together into a single benefit – DLA – for disabled people under the age of 65 when they claim. DLA increased the numbers of disabled people who could qualify for support by introducing the lowest rate of the care component (initially expected to help 140,000 people) and the lower rate of the mobility component (initially expected to help 150,000 people) .
What is DLA and how does it work?
9. DLA is a benefit that provides a cash contribution towards the extra costs of needs arising
from an impairment or health condition. DLA is a non-means-tested benefit payable regardless of employment status. It is part of a wider range of support and services available to disabled people, including support with housing and Council Tax costs, and in the form of services or direct payments from Local Authorities to meet social care needs.
10. Although it is intended to contribute towards extra costs, measuring each individual’s expenditure would be administratively complex and expensive. Entitlement and award
levels are, therefore, based on proxies – care and mobility – as research at the time of
DLA’s introduction showed that they were the greatest sources of extra costs . The decision about whether to award benefit is not made on the basis of an individual’s costs, but on the severity of their care and mobility needs.
11. To apply for DLA, individuals complete a lengthy DLA claim form which requests detailed information about the impact that their impairment or health condition has on their ability to manage their care themselves and/or get around. The claim form is considered by a Decision Maker alongside other evidence such as reports from the claimant’s General Practitioner (GP) or consultant. Currently, additional medical evidence is gathered in around half of all cases.
The Decision Maker either awards or turns down the claim. Awards are currently payable at
two mobility and three care rates leading to a possible 11 different combinations of payable rates of benefit. Awards can be made for any duration, including indefinitely. Awards are reviewed if an individual reports a change, but there is currently no process to systematically review all awards.
The changing approach to disability
12. Since DLA was introduced in 1992, there have been significant improvements in medical treatments and in aids and adaptations that assist disabled people. Attitudes to disability have also changed. The introduction of legislation, for example the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Equality Act 2010, to protect the interests of disabled people and prevent discrimination has helped many disabled people lead more independent lives. It is now universally accepted that disabled people should have the same choices and opportunities as non-disabled people.
13. We are committed to further breaking down the barriers in society that prevent disabled people from exercising choice and control, and living active and independent lives. Just as society is changing and advancing, so too must our benefits system to reflect those changes. The new benefit, Personal Independence Payment, and the guidance used to award it, will reflect this and be fit for the 21st Century.


The problem: a benefit not fit for purpose
Caseload and expenditure is increasing at a rate never envisaged
14. Over 3 million people currently receive DLA (1.8 million are people of working age) with the total amount spent on the benefit this year forecast to be £12 billion – a lot more than was originally expected. For example, the introduction of the lowest rate of the care component in 1992 was estimated to help 140,000 people; today there are 880,000 people in receipt of lowest-rate care.
15. In just eight years, the numbers receiving DLA has increased by 30 per cent. The complexity and subjectivity of the benefit has led to a wider application than originally intended. To ensure that the new benefit is sustainable and affordable in the long term, we must reform DLA to make sure we focus on those that need the greatest help to live independently.
The current system is too complex and the benefit is not understood
16. Disabled people tell us that the current system is too complicated and the claim form is
difficult to understand. People are unclear about whether or not they are likely to qualify and there is evidence that people awarded DLA do not fully understand what the benefit is for .
For example, some view the benefit as a form of compensation for being disabled, some don’t view themselves as disabled and others incorrectly believe that their DLA payments will stop if they return to work. The 11 possible different rates of the benefit also make the benefit complex to administer. The table below shows the number of people who receive the different rates of the benefit.
Table 1 Distribution of current caseload by rate combination
Higher Rate Mobility Lower Rate Mobility No Mobility Rate
Highest Rate Care 510,000 180,000 40,000
Middle Rate Care 460,000 480,000 120,000
Lowest Rate Care 420,000 210,000 250,000
No Care Rate 390,000 100,000 -

Total caseload – 3,200,000
Source: Department for Work and Pensions Longitudinal Survey, May 2010
17. A significant proportion of DLA recipients believe that DLA is an out-of-work benefit. Applying for DLA is widely linked with the process of leaving or being out of work due to disability. A common assumption among people receiving DLA is that entering or returning to work will lead to a review of their circumstances and a loss of the benefit.

There is no system to check that awards remain correct
18. Currently, people are not always aware of how changes to their impairment or condition
might affect their award. There is no straightforward way of reviewing people’s entitlement to
DLA on a regular basis to ensure that they receive the right level of benefit. Two-thirds of people currently on DLA have an indefinite award, which means that their award may continue for life without ever being checked to see if it still reflects their needs. This is not in line with other benefits, where we check for changes in individuals’ circumstances. We will rectify this to ensure that the new system easily identifies if an individual’s condition has deteriorated or improved.
The benefit can act as a barrier to work
19. Evidence suggests that DLA can also act as a barrier to work , when it should enable people to lead independent lives, including having or getting a job. DLA is widely perceived to be an out-of-work benefit and receiving it appears to reduce the likelihood of being in employment, even after allowing for the impact of health conditions or impairments. There is evidence that people who receive DLA have lower work expectations. One reason for this appears to be that people fear they may have less money if they enter work. This is particularly the case for recipients of higher-rate DLA awards, who are often in receipt of a range of benefits. Universal Credit will reduce the complexity of the system, making it easier for people to see for themselves how much better off they will be in work. It will also ensure that all amounts of work will be more financially rewarding than inactivity and remove the current barriers to small amounts of work.
20. We want to simplify the application process, creating a benefit and system that is more efficient, easier to understand, and identifies those most in need of extra support to live independently and participate in everyday life. We also want to ensure everyone continues to receive the correct amount of benefit. We hope that making the benefit clearer, alongside the introduction
of Universal Credit and the Work Programme, will help many more disabled people to work
and enjoy all the advantages that an active working life can bring.

Chapter 2: The new benefit: our proposals
Our approach to reform
1. We propose to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new cash benefit – Personal Independence Payment – which will contribute to the extra costs of overcoming the barriers faced by disabled people to lead full and active lives.
2. The benefit will reflect changes in society, such as legislation. Disabled people are rightly
not prepared to accept being restricted from playing an active part in society. We need a
benefit that helps contribute to the extra costs of living independently, in a way that is right
for each individual.
3. The benefit will continue to take account of the social model of disability. The assessment will
be objective, reflect the impact of the barriers disabled people may experience, and make sure they are treated as individuals.
4. Central to Personal Independence Payment will be a new, fairer, objective assessment, which will allow us to identify those who face the greatest need, in a more consistent and transparent manner. We are developing the new assessment in collaboration with a group of independent specialists in health, social care and disability, including disabled people.
5. Personal Independence Payment will be based on need not income and will be a more active benefit, recognising changes to individuals’ situations and taking account of the support that disabled people can access to help them live independently. Where possible, we will signpost individuals to support that may help them manage their condition. We will ensure that the award continues to reflect the individual’s changing needs over time by building in periodic reviews.
6. The new benefit will be introduced in 2013/14, so there will be further opportunities to feed in views on how we might deliver it. We are already involving disabled people in developing the new benefit and will continue to do so.
7. We will introduce a Bill that will set out the high-level legal framework underpinning the new benefit, with the detailed requirements set out in secondary legislation. Responses to this consultation will be used to inform secondary legislation on this detailed design, including
the new assessment process. Where possible, and in particular on the new assessment,
we will be publishing draft regulations during the passage of the Bill.
Question 1
What are the problems or barriers that prevent disabled people
participating in society and leading independent, full and active lives?
What will stay the same?
8. We want to be clear about what we propose will remain the same under the new system.
We recognise that there are a number of features of DLA which many disabled people
value, in particular the ability to spend the money in a range of ways to meet their personal circumstances. That is why Personal Independence Payment will remain an extra-costs benefit, providing cash support and allowing disabled people to spend the benefit in the way which
best meets their individual needs.
9. The new benefit will not be means-tested or taxable, and payment will not depend on having paid National Insurance contributions. It will continue to be available to those who are in work, as well as those who are out of work.
10. Support will continue to be provided to children and adults up to the age of 65. Individuals
who receive the benefit before reaching 65 may continue to receive Personal Independence Payment if their needs continue. We will keep the upper age limit for receiving the new benefit under review, given the changes being made to the State Pension age.
11. We will continue to support those in the most difficult circumstances by maintaining special
rules for people who are terminally ill . Claims submitted under these rules will be fast tracked
to provide financial support as quickly as possible.
Question 2
Is there anything else about DLA that should stay the same?
Detailed proposals for a new benefit
A broader focus on disability
12. The criteria on which DLA is currently based, on care and mobility needs, are subjective and unclear. They lead to inconsistent results and support which is not always focused on those
who face the greatest challenges to leading an active and independent life. We want Personal Independence Payment to be a more consistent and more focused benefit.
13. As with DLA, Personal Independence Payment will contribute to the extra costs faced by disabled people. As it is difficult to measure costs objectively on an individual basis, DLA currently looks at ‘care’ and ‘mobility’ as proxies for the extra costs disabled people are likely to incur, giving priority to the people with the greatest care and mobility needs. Although these are important issues and reflect some disabled people’s biggest challenges, they do not necessarily remain the best proxies for cost. In fact, there is currently conflicting evidence on the factors that affect the extra costs that disabled people face in the 21st Century .
14. The definitions currently used are subjective and reflect views of disability from the 1990s, not the modern day. For example, ‘mobility’ as currently defined concentrates on an individual’s ability to walk, not their ability to get around more generally.
15. Introducing Personal Independence Payment offers an opportunity to rethink our approach and focus resources on individuals whose impairments have the most impact on their lives. As such, we intend to consider individuals’ ability to carry out a range of activities key to everyday life, including some related to a broader definition of mobility. Those least able to do so will be awarded the greatest support in the new benefit. There is some evidence to suggest that individuals whose impairments have the greatest impact are likely to experience higher costs.
The new assessment will therefore allow us to prioritise support to individuals who face the greatest challenges and expense. As we implement the new assessment we will assess the extent to which it accurately meets these aims.
Question 3
What are the main extra costs that disabled people face?
Structure of the new benefit
16. The new benefit will have two components, linked to a range of activities that will be considered in the new assessment. One will be awarded on the basis of the individual’s ability to get around (the mobility component), the other on their ability to carry out other key activities necessary to be able to participate in daily life (the daily living component). We propose two rates of benefit payable for each component; this will simplify the overall structure, make it easier to understand, and reflect the range of individual needs.
Question 4
The new benefit will have two rates for each component:
• Will having two rates per component make the benefit easier to
understand and administer, while ensuring appropriate levels of support?
• What, if any, disadvantages or problems could having two rates
per component cause?
Eligibility
The individual must have a long-term disability
17. Assessing the likely impact that impairments and health conditions will have on individuals
over time is often very difficult. For example, while a stroke may have a significant impact immediately after its onset, many individuals will recover and suffer little or no effects in the medium to long term. Others may need substantial support for the remainder of their lives.
18. To ensure that support goes to those with the greatest need, Personal Independence
Payment will only be available to those with a long-term health condition or impairment.
We propose that to qualify an individual must have met the eligibility criteria for a period of
six months (the ‘Qualifying Period’) and be expected to continue to satisfy the entitlement conditions for at least a further six months (the ‘Prospective Test’). This means that, to be eligible for the benefit, an individual’s health condition or impairment must be expected to last
a minimum of 12 months. This brings the rules for Personal Independence Payment closer
in line with those on Attendance Allowance and ensures this qualifying condition meets the definition of long-term disability in the draft guidance for the Equality Act 2010 . People who
are terminally ill will continue to be exempt from the Qualifying Period and Prospective Test.
We are considering how to apply these rules to people with varying and fluctuating conditions.
Automatic entitlements
19. The current DLA legislation provides automatic entitlements to certain rates on the basis of specific conditions and impairments, or the treatment an individual is receiving (a full list of the current automatic entitlements is available in Annex 1). For example, someone undergoing renal dialysis in specified circumstances would automatically receive the middle-rate care component without an assessment of their needs. As a result, eligibility for DLA is sometimes based on medical condition rather than the impact of that condition, meaning that support is not always appropriately targeted. In Personal Independence Payment, we intend to move away from a system that awards automatic entitlement for certain conditions; instead we propose to treat each application individually. This will deliver a more personalised service that ensures resources are targeted where they are most needed.


Question 5
Should some health conditions or impairments mean an automatic entitlement
to the benefit, or should all claims be based on the needs and circumstances
of the individual applying?
The individual must comply with residence and presence rules
20. We will continue to apply residence and presence conditions as part of the eligibility requirements for the receipt of Personal Independence Payment. Currently one of the
conditions of receiving DLA is that someone is ordinarily resident in Great Britain. However
we are considering moving towards a form of the habitual residence test to be consistent with other Department for Work and Pensions benefits.
Payment will stop if the individual is in hospital or a care home
21. Payment of the care component of DLA has always stopped if an individual’s needs are
being met by public funds in a hospital or similar institution or care home. As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, we announced that the benefit will cease to be paid for
both components after the individual has been in that hospital or care home for 28 days
(84 for children in hospital). Although payment is stopped, the underlying entitlement remains, meaning that the individual will not have to reapply for the benefit on leaving the hospital or
care home. This does not, however, apply where the individual is paying for his or her care,
in which case payment will continue throughout. This will come into force in 2012.
The application process
The current assessment for DLA consists of a claim form completed by the individual and considered by a Decision Maker in the Department, alongside other relevant evidence such as General Practitioner (GP) reports. The process is based on unclear criteria and often does not make the best use of available evidence. As a result, awards can be subjective, inconsistent and do not always focus support on those who need it most. Disabled people also tell us that the DLA claim forms are too long and can be difficult to understand. We believe that the existing assessment for DLA is therefore no longer fit for purpose.
22. At the heart of Personal Independence Payment will be a new, fairer, objective assessment of individual need. We want the new assessment to be objective and evidence-based, to ensure that support is targeted to those individuals whose health condition or impairment has the greatest impact on their day-to-day lives. A greater emphasis on objectivity and increased use of evidence will lead to more consistent outcomes and greater transparency for individuals, as the process will be easier to understand. To enable us to focus support on those who need it most, we believe it will also be important for the new assessment to have a stronger focus on individuals’ specific needs and how these may change over time.
23. We remain committed to the social model of disability. The new assessment will not be based solely on the medical model of disability and focused entirely on an individual’s impairment, but will instead focus on the ability of an individual to carry out a range of key activities necessary for everyday life.

The activities that will be assessed
24. Our work to develop the detail of the assessment is not complete and we are taking this forward in collaboration with a group of independent specialists in health, social care and disability, including disabled people. We want the assessment to provide a broader, more objective measurement of the impact of an individual’s health condition or impairment on everyday activities than those currently captured on the DLA claim form. Our initial proposal is that the assessment should consider activities related to an individual’s ability to get around, interact with others, manage personal care and treatment needs, and access food and drink.
25. Activities we assess could include, for example, planning and making a journey, and understanding and communicating with others. The extent to which an individual could carry
out these activities would determine their eligibility for Personal Independence Payment and
the level of their award. This should ensure that priority is given to those individuals who need
to overcome the greatest barriers to living full and active lives. As part of this work, we know
it is essential to ensure that the assessment adequately reflects the support needs of variable and fluctuating conditions.
Question 6
How do we prioritise support to those people least able to live full
and active lives? Which activities are most essential for everyday life?
Question 7
How can we best ensure that the new assessment appropriately takes
account of variable and fluctuating conditions?
Taking into account aids and adaptations
26. We know that many disabled people use aids and adaptations to increase their ability to participate in everyday life. Currently, DLA takes account of some adaptations, such as prosthetic limbs, but not all, wheelchairs for example. We believe we should take greater account of the successful use of aids and adaptations as part of the Personal Independence Payment assessment, to ensure that support is appropriately targeted on those who need
it most, and that the benefit reflects the advances made in this area. This might mean, for example, considering an individual’s ability to get about in a wheelchair, rather than ignoring
the wheelchair, as we do currently.
27. We recognise that some aids and adaptations are provided by government while others might be paid for out of an individual’s DLA itself. We are considering the best way to prioritise support in this situation. We also recognise the need to ensure that taking aids and adaptations into account does not discourage individuals from using them.
Question 8
Should the assessment of a disabled person’s ability take into account
any aids and adaptations they use?
• What aids and adaptations should be included?
• Should the assessment only take into account aids and adaptations
where the person already has them or should we consider those that
the person might be eligible for and can easily obtain?


Gathering evidence
28. Using the best and most appropriate evidence will be essential to ensuring that the Personal Independence Payment assessment is objective. Disabled people are experts in their own lives and information they provide will continue to be vital. We need to gather this information in a way that is effective but simple for the individual. Disabled people have told us, for example, that the claim form for DLA is too long and complex and can require them to talk about their disability in a negative way, focusing on what they cannot do rather than what they can do.
Question 9:
How could we improve the process of applying for the benefit for
individuals and make it a more positive experience? For example:
• How could we make the claim form easier to fill in?
• How can we improve information about the new benefit so that
people are clear about what it is for and who is likely to qualify?
29. We believe that advice from an independent healthcare professional, such as a doctor or occupational therapist approved by the Department, should be an important part of the new process. In most cases, we envisage that this will involve the individual having a face-to-face meeting with the healthcare professional, allowing an in-depth analysis of their circumstances. But we recognise that there may need to be some exceptions – for example, in the case of terminal illness and those disabled people who face the most complex barriers. It will also be important that we consider information from healthcare and other professionals who work with and support the individual, such as their GP or social worker.
Question 10
What supporting evidence will help provide a clear assessment
of ability and who is best placed to provide this?

Question 11
An important part of the new process is likely to be a face-to-face
discussion with a healthcare professional.
• What benefits or difficulties might this bring?
• Are there any circumstances in which it may be inappropriate to require
a face-to-face meeting with a healthcare professional – either in an individual’s
own home or another location?
Reviewing awards and reporting changes in circumstances
30. The new benefit will be simpler and easier to understand, therefore individuals should be
better able to recognise when they need to report a change in their needs. However, we also recognise that some people’s needs may change gradually over time, and that these changes can sometimes happen so gradually that the individual themselves may not notice. Most of the under- and overpayments of DLA identified in the most recent formal review of the caseload were because of unreported changes in individuals’ circumstances . This can mean that,
over time, support is not always targeted at those who need it most. Within DLA, there is no systematic process for checking the ongoing accuracy of awards which means individuals
could carry on receiving an incorrect award for a significant period of time.
31. We want to change this approach. We want Personal Independence Payment to recognise an individual’s changing needs over time. This will help us to ensure that everyone continues to receive the correct level of award and that Personal Independence Payment is better equipped to reflect further changes in our society. We will, therefore, periodically review all Personal Independence Payment awards.
32. During these periodic reviews, individuals will be assessed against the same criteria as
used in the new assessment. The frequency and format of reviews will vary depending on
the individual’s needs, the likelihood of their health condition or impairment changing and, potentially, the successful use of aids and adaptations. Depending on individual circumstances, these reviews might involve gathering evidence from various sources, including self-report forms, information from relevant professionals who support the individual and face-to-face or telephone discussions.
Question 12
How should the reviews be carried out? For example:
• What evidence and/or criteria should be used to set the frequency of reviews?
• Should there be different types of review depending on the needs of the
individual and their impairment/condition?
Penalties for not reporting changes in circumstances
33. The individual will still be responsible for reporting any changes that occur between reviews.
We will explain clearly at the award stage how people should report changes which might lead to a reduction in an award. There is evidence that, currently, individuals do not always report changes in circumstances . Personal Independence Payment will be easier to understand, therefore we would expect claimants to be able to identify changes in their needs and report
the changes accordingly.
34. In line with the Government’s new strategy on fraud and error , there will be penalties for
failing to report changes in circumstances. If an individual is found to have knowingly withheld information about a change in circumstance which would have resulted in a reduction in benefit, they will have to repay the amount claimed. In addition, a penalty or a prosecution may result.
Question 13
The system for Personal Independence Payment will be easier for individuals to understand, so we expect people to be able to identify and report changes in their needs. However, we know that some people do not currently keep the Department informed. How can we encourage people to report changes in circumstances?
Linking people to support
35. We want Personal Independence Payment to be a more active and enabling benefit, so we are exploring ways to help inform individuals of the positive steps they might take to better manage or improve their situation if appropriate – for example, by accessing other forms of support in the health and social care systems. We are therefore considering whether there are ways of doing so as part of the administration of the benefit. There are a range of possible options, including providing guidance to individuals on the options open to them; signposting them to the support available elsewhere; or ensuring that they can discuss their situation with an appropriate professional who would be able to offer advice and help them access specialist support.
We could potentially explore making elements of this part of the requirements of the benefit, where appropriate.
36. Aids and adaptations help some individuals to lead fuller and more active lives.
For some people these are provided by other parts of government, like the National Health Service (NHS) or through one-off grants, but we are aware that others may use DLA to fund their aid or adaptation. For example, some individuals currently use some of their DLA to lease a Motability car, where others may put it towards paying for an assistant. We will explore the funding sources available at a national and local level for one-off aids and adaptations, and consider the role of DLA in meeting one-off costs as well as providing ongoing support.
Question 14
What types of advice and information are people applying for Personal Independence Payment likely to need and would it be helpful to provide
this as part of the benefit claiming process?

Question 15
Could some form of requirement to access advice and support, where appropriate, help encourage the minority of claimants who might otherwise not take action? If so, what would be the key features of such a system, and what would need to be avoided?

Question 16
How do disabled people currently fund their aids and adaptations? Should there be an option to use Personal Independence Payment to meet a one-off cost?
Carers
37. We recognise the important role that carers play in supporting disabled people. The White Paper Universal Credit: welfare that works states that the Government is considering
whether changes to Carer’s Allowance will be necessary to take account of the introduction
of Universal Credit.
Children
38. We are considering whether to apply these new eligibility and assessment criteria to children to ensure that they are also assessed in an objective and consistent manner. We recognise that the needs of disabled children and adults are different, and that children’s needs may change gradually as they approach adulthood. Personal Independence Payment needs to reflect these issues appropriately. In discussion with specialists in this area, we are considering to what extent we could apply the new assessment to children, and whether eligibility requirements should differ depending on the age of the child.

39. We are also considering how we could share information from other assessments which disabled children undergo, for example to determine special educational needs, and whether
or not we should take into account a child’s support needs if they are being met from public funds by another institution, such as a school.
Question 17
What are the key differences that we should take into account when
assessing children?
Over 65s
40. People who become disabled after reaching 65 will remain eligible to claim Attendance Allowance, which provides support based on care needs. However, at present claimants who are already in receipt of the benefit when they turn 65 may continue to receive it past the age
of 65, for as long as they require support.
41. We will consider whether the upper age limit for new claims to Personal Independence Payment should rise in line with State Pension age, once it has equalised for men and women in 2018.

Chapter 3: Delivering the new benefit
The claims process for new and existing claimants
1. Once the new benefit is introduced in 2013/14, new claimants will submit a claim for Personal Independence Payment and will be assessed under the new system (see figure 3 opposite).
Reassessing existing claimants
2. Individuals who are currently receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will remain on
the existing benefit until we begin the process of re-assessment. From 2013, we will begin
a managed programme to reassess the existing caseload and transfer people to the new benefit, starting with those of working age. The reassessment will require claimants to submit
an application for the new benefit and further information will be gathered from a combination
of different sources, including face-to-face meetings and factual reports, to decide eligibility under the new assessment. We will contact individuals before the reassessment, giving them plenty of notice and explaining what will be required (see figure 4 on page 24).
3. Individuals who believe the decision made at the point of reassessment is incorrect can ask
for the case to be reconsidered by the Department. If the individual still believes the decision
to be incorrect following the reconsideration, they can submit an appeal.
A passport to other support
4. As well as the cash support provided by DLA, entitlement to the benefit ‘passports’ the recipient to a range of additional help and support (both cash and in kind) administered across central and local government. This includes things such as access to Warm Front Grants and the Blue Badge Scheme. We recognise the importance of passporting, both to disabled people and administratively, as people do not have to be assessed twice. We will, therefore, take into account DLA’s role as a passport to other support as we design the new benefit.
5. Under the current system, DLA passports to disability premiums in the means-tested benefits. The White Paper, Universal Credit: welfare that works , stated that the Government believes the existing structure of overlapping disability premiums is overly complex and causes confusion, and that consideration is being given to what, if any, extra support may be
needed for disabled people in Universal Credit.
6. Currently, some people choose to exchange their DLA for a Motability vehicle. We will work
with Motability to ensure this is still supported under the reformed system.

Question 18
How important or useful has DLA been at getting disabled people access to
other services or entitlements? Are there things we can do to improve these passporting arrangements?



Question 19
What would be the implications for disabled people and service providers if it
was not possible for Personal Independence Payment to be used as a passport
to other benefits and services?

Sharing information
7. We are exploring whether it might be possible to share information, with the individual’s permission, from an individual’s assessment with other government departments or Local Authorities that are responsible for administering other benefits or services for disabled people. This could include an electronic link to Department for Work and Pensions data so that other authorities could automatically check entitlement on the basis of a Personal Independence
Payment award.
Integrating with other provision
8. We recognise that there are many different funding streams available to disabled people and there are some areas of overlap, for example between the current care component of DLA and adult social care. In addition, some people may undergo many different assessments to access various forms of disability support, for example, during the assessment for Employment and Support Allowance and Local Authority care assessments. We will explore whether it is possible to share information from other assessments and eliminate areas of overlap.
Question 20
What different assessments for disability benefits or services could be combined and what information about the disabled person could be shared to minimise bureaucracy and duplication?
Social care
9. One of the biggest challenges society faces today is reforming adult social care to ensure that older and disabled people have more choice and control, and reducing the insecurity they face. The Government has set up the independent Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, chaired by Andrew Dilnot, to consider how we ensure affordable and sustainable funding for care and support for all adults in England, both in the home and other settings, in the face of growing demand. The Commission will consider how adult social care and the support provided by the benefits system interact in any proposals it might make.
10. Many people receiving social care want to live independently and remain in their own home, wherever possible and for as long as possible. We recognise that the cash support provided by the benefits system or through the social care system is playing a crucial role in helping people to stay independent, as they can choose how to spend it according to their needs. We will explore, with the Department of Health, how the support provided by Personal Independence Payment along with other forms of support from public agencies or the voluntary sector can help disabled people lead independent lives and remain in their own homes if that is what they want. We will also carefully consider the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission on the interaction between Personal Independence Payment and the social care system, to ensure people receive the support they need, when they need it, in the way they need it.

Chapter 4: Impact Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment
1. The purpose of this public consultation is to inform secondary legislation on the detailed
design of the benefit. We are seeking views on the ideas covered by this document to inform
the development of firm proposals. We will assess the impact of our more detailed proposals and we will produce a full Impact Assessment at the appropriate time. We are considering equality impacts as the policy develops and we will produce an Equality Impact Assessment. The overview below is our initial assessment of the potential impacts for the different equality groups, based on what is known at this stage about the proposals for reform.


Table 2 Overview of Potential Equality Impacts
Equality Area Impact
Disability By definition, all people affected will be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the vast majority of whom will also be defined as disabled according to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) definition. Proposals to replace DLA with a new benefit that is better focused on helping disabled people to lead independent lives provide an opportunity to promote equality of opportunity to those least likely to live full and active lives. It is likely that some disabled people with lesser barriers to leading independent lives will receive reduced support, but this has been justified by the policy aim to focus support on those with greatest needs.
Proposals to move away from automatic entitlement on the basis of a specific impairment to assessments based on the impact of impairments and to regularly review all cases, should help to remove differences in treatment which can currently arise depending on an individual’s impairment or whether an award is made on a fixed or indefinite basis.
If the new benefit improves understanding that support is available both in and out of work then it is possible that it may remove a barrier to working for some disabled people, promoting equality of opportunity.
As well as this formal public consultation, we are working informally with
disabled people and disability organisations throughout the policy development process. They are helping us to understand the impact of our proposals on disabled people. We will consider further the impacts on disabled people, including analysis by income distribution, once information on who will be affected by the policy is available.
Age The majority of people receiving DLA are aged 16 to 64. This reflects the DLA rules whereby all recipients have to be aged under 65 on application, but may retain an award of DLA beyond 65 provided conditions of entitlement continue to be met.It is proposed that these arrangements will continue under the new benefit. This is justified as we recognise that many people who have become disabled earlier in life have had fewer opportunities to work or save for later life. At this stage, it is not possible to assess the impacts of the policy on different age groups, beyond continuation of the rules relating to the age at which benefit can be claimed, but this will be considered further once information on who will be affected by the policy is available.
Race Although no administrative data is collected on the ethnic background of DLA recipients, based on the Family Resources Survey, people from ethnic minorities are slightly less likely to receive DLA than white people. At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest that the policy would impact disproportionately on any ethnic minority group, but it will be important to consider this further, particularly in relation to the claiming and assessment process.
Gender Overall, the number of men and women receiving DLA is almost equal. At this stage, no disproportionate impacts on either gender have been identified, but it will be important to consider further once information on who will be affected by the policy is available.
Sexual orientation No data is collected on the sexual orientation of DLA recipients. However we believe that there are no grounds to suggest this policy will adversely affect DLA recipients based on their sexual orientation.
Religion/Belief No data is collected on the religion/beliefs of DLA recipients. However we believe that there are no grounds to suggest this policy would impact disproportionately on any faith group.¬¬¬¬

2. We will continue to consider equality impacts as the policy develops, working with disabled people and disability organisations to inform our thinking. During the consultation process we would welcome views on the impact of the ideas on the people covered by equality legislation
to inform the Equality Impact Assessment.
Question 21
What impact could our proposals have on the different equality groups
(our initial assessment of which is on page 28) and what else should be considered in developing the policy?


Chapter 5: Questions
1. What are the problems or barriers that prevent disabled people participating in society and leading independent, full and active lives?
2. Is there anything else about Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that should stay the same?
3. What are the main extra costs that disabled people face?
4. The new benefit will have two rates for each component:
• Will having two rates per component make the benefit easier to understand and administer,
while ensuring appropriate levels of support?
• What, if any, disadvantages or problems could having two rates per component cause?
5. Should some health conditions or impairments mean an automatic entitlement to the benefit,
or should all claims be based on the needs and circumstances of the individual applying?
6. How do we prioritise support to those people least able to live full and active lives?
Which activities are most essential for everyday life?
7. How can we best ensure that the new assessment appropriately takes account
of variable and fluctuating conditions?
8. Should the assessment of a disabled person’s ability take into account any
aids and adaptations they use?
• What aids and adaptations should be included?
• Should the assessment only take into account aids and adaptations where the person
already has them or should we consider those that the person might be eligible for and
can easily obtain?
9. How could we improve the process of applying for the benefit for individuals and make
it a more positive experience? For example:
• How could we make the claim form easier to fill in?
• How can we improve information about the new benefit so that people are clear
about what it is for and who is likely to qualify?
10. What supporting evidence will help provide a clear assessment of ability and who
is best placed to provide this?
11. An important part of the new process is likely to be a face-to-face discussion with
a healthcare professional.
• What benefits or difficulties might this bring?
• Are there any circumstances in which it may be inappropriate to require a
face-to-face meeting with a healthcare professional – either in an individual’s
own home or another location?
12. How should the reviews be carried out? For example:
• What evidence and/or criteria should be used to set the frequency of reviews?
• Should there be different types of review depending on the needs of the individual
and their impairment/condition?
13. The system for Personal Independence Payment will be easier for individuals to understand, so we expect people to be able to identify and report changes in their needs. However, we know that some people do not currently keep the Department informed. How can we encourage people to report changes in circumstances?

14. What types of advice and information are people applying for Personal Independence Payment likely to need and would it be helpful to provide this as part of the benefit claiming process?
15. Could some form of requirement to access advice and support, where appropriate,
help encourage the minority of claimants who might otherwise not take action?
If so, what would be the key features of such a system, and what would need to
be avoided?
16. How do disabled people currently fund their aids and adaptations? Should there
be an option to use Personal Independence Payment to meet a one-off cost?
17. What are the key differences that we should take into account when assessing children?
18. How important or useful has DLA been at getting disabled people access to other services
or entitlements? Are there things we can do to improve these passporting arrangements?
19. What would be the implications for disabled people and service providers if it was not possible for Personal Independence Payment to be used as a passport to other benefits and services?
20. What different assessments for disability benefits or services could be combined and
what information about the disabled person could be shared to minimise bureaucracy
and duplication?
21. What impact could our proposals have on the different equality groups (our initial assessment
of which is on page 28) and what else should be considered in developing the policy?
22. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about the proposals in this public consultation?

Chapter 6: How to respond
to this public consultation
Purpose of the public consultation
1. This consultation seeks views to inform our policy for reforming Disability Living Allowance and introducing a new objective assessment. We would like to hear from all who are interested, including disability organisations and disabled people. The public consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland.
Duration of the public consultation
2. The consultation period begins on 6 December 2010 and runs until 14 February 2011.
3. The Government Code of Practice on Consultation recommends a minimum 12-week consultation period for public consultations, unless there are good reasons for a limited consultation period. In this case, we are consulting on general principles only. We intend to further consult on specific details as these are developed, and therefore our Minister has agreed that a limited consultation is appropriate.
Northern Ireland
4. Social Security is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. The Government will continue to work closely with the devolved administration in Northern Ireland
to seek to maintain a single system across the United Kingdom.

Consultation arrangements
5. Please send your consultation responses to:

DLA Reform Team
1st Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA
Fax: 0 2 0 7 4 4 9 5 4 6 7
Email: consultation.dlareform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
6. Please ensure your response reaches us by 14 February 2011. We will acknowledge all responses. Please say whether you are responding as an individual, or on behalf of an organisation. If responding on behalf of an organisation, please make clear who the organisation represents, and how the views of members were obtained.
7. If you have any queries about this consultation, or would like to receive the consultation document in a particular format, for example, large print, Braille, audio, or Easy Read,
please contact:
8. DLA Reform Team
1st Floor
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA
Tel: 0 2 0 7 4 4 9 7 6 8 8 – answering machine only
Textphone: 1 8 0 0 1 0 2 0 7 4 4 9 7 6 8 8 – answering machine only
Fax: 0 2 0 7 4 4 9 5 4 6 7
Email: consultation.dlareform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

9. We have given notification about this consultation to a large number of people and organisations who have already been involved in this work or who have expressed an
interest in it. Please share this document with, or tell us about, anyone you think will
want to be involved in this consultation.
10. We will publish the responses to the consultation in Spring 2011. A pdf of the
responses publication will be available online on the consultations section of our website http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/ The publication will summarise the responses
and the action that we will take as a result of them.

Freedom of information
11. The information you send us may need to be passed to colleagues within the Department
for Work and Pensions, published in a summary of responses received and referred to in the published consultation report.
12. All information contained in your response may be subject to publication or disclosure if requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. By providing personal information for the purposes of the public consultation exercise, it is understood that you consent to its disclosure and publication. If this is not the case, you should limit any personal information provided, or remove it completely. If you want the information in your response to the consultation to be kept confidential, you should explain why as part of your response, although we cannot guarantee to do this.
13. More information about the Freedom of Information Act can be found on the
Ministry of Justice website:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/freedom-of-information.htm
The consultation criteria
14. The consultation is being conducted in line with the Government Code of Practice on Consultation: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/better-regulation/consultation-guidance
and its seven consultation criteria:
• When to consult. Formal consultation should take place at a stage when
there is scope to influence the outcome.

• Duration of consultation exercises. Consultations should normally last for at
least 12 weeks, with consideration given to longer timescales where feasible
and sensible.

• Clarity of scope and impact. Consultation documents should be clear about the
consultation process, what is being proposed, the scope to influence, and the expected
costs and benefits of the proposals.

• Accessibility of consultation exercises. Consultation exercises should be designed to
be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people the exercise is designed to reach.

• The burden of consultation. Keeping the burden of consultation to a minimum is essential
if consultations are to be effective and if consultees’ buy-in to the process is to be obtained.
• Responsiveness of consultation exercises. Consultation responses should be analysed
carefully and clear feedback should be provided to participants following the consultation.

• Capacity to consult. Officials running consultation exercises should seek guidance in
how to run an effective consultation exercise, and share what they have learned from
the experience.
Feedback on this consultation
15. We value your feedback on how well we consult. If you have any comments on the process
of this consultation, for example, how it could be improved, but not about the issues raised, please contact our Consultation Coordinator:
Roger Pugh
DWP Consultation Coordinator
1st floor, Crown House
2, Ferensway, Hull HU2 8NF
roger.pugh@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
16. In particular, please tell us if you feel that the consultation does not satisfy the Government Code of Practice on Consultation, or if you have any suggestions about how our consultation process could be improved further.

Annex 1:
Table 3 Conditions and impairments which currently lead to an automatic award of DLA
Condition/Impairment Description Award
Severely mentally
impaired Severe behavioural problems
which require help day and night DLA higher rate mobility component
Double amputee Born without legs or later amputated DLA higher rate mobility component
Deaf/Blind
80% deaf and 100% blind DLA higher rate mobility component
Haemodialysis
Renal dialysis carried out in
own home DLA middle rate care component
Special Rules
Terminally ill and not expected to live more than a further 6 months DLA highest rate care component
Severely visually
impaired*
Visual acuity of less than 3/60 or a visual acuity of 3/60 and a central visual field restricted to no more
than 10o DLA higher rate mobility component

• This provision will come into place in April 2011

Annex 2:
Glossary of terms
Decision Maker
Someone who works for the Department for Work and Pensions and makes decisions
on whether an individual is eligible for DLA and at what rate.
Devolved administrations
The countries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These countries have some powers
to decide what happens in their countries.
Disability Discrimination Act
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 is an Act of Parliament which has now mostly been
repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010. It made it unlawful to discriminate against people
in respect of their disabilities in a wide range of areas of society, including employment, the provision of goods, facilities, services and premises, access to larger private clubs and to
functions carried out by public bodies.
Disability premiums
Additional amounts of certain benefits which are paid to disabled people on top of the
standard rate of benefit.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 simplifies previous equality laws and puts them together in one piece
of legislation which aims to tackle discrimination and inequality. It provides protection from discrimination for people with a protected characteristic, one of which is disability. It provides
legal rights for disabled people in the areas of:
• work
• education
• access to goods, facilities and services including land-based transport services
• functions of public bodies, for example the issuing of licences
• access to associations, including larger private clubs
• buying and renting land or property.
Green Paper
A government publication which seeks views from the public.
Impairment
Impairment is an injury, illness or a physical, sensory or cognitive condition for
example being blind, having a learning difficulty, having restricted mobility or
having multiple sclerosis.
Independent living
Independent living is about disabled people having the same level of choice,
control and freedom in their daily lives as any other person.

Local Authority
Local Authorities are elected independent bodies. They are largely independent
of central government and are directly accountable to the people who elect them.
They are responsible for delivering some services locally, including social care services.
Medical model of disability
Many people think that disability is caused by an individual’s health condition or impairment.
This approach is called the medical model of disability.
The medical model says that by fixing their body, disabled people will be able to participate in society like everyone else.
Motability
Motability is an independent charity which operates a scheme allowing people to exchange either their higher rate mobility component of DLA or their War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement to obtain a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
National Insurance contributions
Individuals pay National Insurance contributions to build up entitlement to certain
state benefits, including the State Pension. The contributions paid depend on how
much is earned and whether the individual is employed or self-employed.
Public body
An organisation providing public services or functions, such as a local authority
or Jobcentre Plus.
Social model of disability
The social model of disability says that disability is created by barriers in society.
These barriers generally fall into three categories:
• the environment – including inaccessible buildings and services
• people’s attitudes – stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice
• organisational barriers – inflexible policies, practices and procedures.
The social model argues that these barriers, unlike most impairments, can be changed or removed: for example physical barriers in the workplace can be removed and attitudes of employers changed so that disabled people no longer face discrimination in the workplace.
Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a radical new approach to welfare:
• It will bring together different forms of income-related support and provide a simple, integrated, benefit for people in or out of work.
• It will consist of a basic personal amount (similar to the current Jobseeker’s Allowance) with additional amounts for disability, caring responsibilities, housing costs and children.
• As earnings rise, we expect Universal Credit will be withdrawn at a constant rate of around 65 pence for each pound of net earnings. Higher earnings disregards will also reinforce work incentives for selected groups.
White Paper
A government publication which says what government intends to do.
Work Programme
The Work Programme will provide more personalised back-to-work support for long-term unemployed people and for those with more significant barriers to employment. It will be delivered by contractors drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors, as well as social enterprises.
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