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Disabled people take the front line

All power to the Lords, led by the Baronesses Lister and Hollis! They orchestrated a well-deserved defeat for the Government on three fronts yesterday. They blocked the means-testing of ESA payments for disable people after one year, the time-limiting of ESA for cancer patients, and the restriction of access to ESA for disabled or ill young people. All utterly shameful initiatives of the IDS so-called Welfare Reform Bill.

Without the rebellion in the Lords by Labour and independent peers, they would have gone through because the Whip in the Commons is so tribal that any deprivation for the poor and vulnerable, however unjust or repellent, would have been automatically carried by the Tory majority. Even if they hadn’t bothered to find out what they were voting for. But picking on the disabled and on cancer patients is going to cause big trouble for the Coalition.

More that two-fifths of families with a disabled child are already below the poverty line: should they be further penalised when the mother can’t work and has additional childcare costs? There are some 25,000 young carers currently looking after disabled parents: should they be rewarded for their selfless devotion by being deprived of £70 a week, as the Bill decrees?

Most disabled children will lose £27 a week under this IDS Bill, even though Cameron pledged before the election that “I would never do anything to hurt disabled children”. If there were two disabled children, he would now be hurting them doubly, because they would lose £50 a week. We’ll soon find out what more than a quarter of a million disabled, young and old, feel about having vicious cuts to their benefits when they’re imposed within the next 3 months on 1st April.

One Comment

  1. Teddy Mcnabb says:

    This was a victory for all those associated with the Spartacus Report, and most certainly not one by labour. Personally i believe Lord Patel [ crossbencher] made the strongest statement. Errr excuse me the wrb came fronm the tories? ESA? they just continued the brutalisation of the vulnerable which labour [ blue open tory [blairites], &milli type closet tory] rather ironic that the unelected chamber support the disabled and those in the elected chamber want them to live in hell!

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