Apr 082012
 

Speakers

John McDonnell MP
Les Woodward GMB
National Convenor of Remploy
Gail Cartmail Unite Assistant General Secretary
Rob Murthwaite Disabled People Against Cuts

Meeting
Thursday 19 April 7.30pm

University of London Union
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HY
Disabled access via Malet street entrance. Adapted toilet on second floor. Disabled accessible lift.

The announcement by Maria Miller, Tory Secretary for Work and Pensions, that she would close 54 Remploy factories in a two phase attack on disabled people must be fought and challenged by the whole of the Trade Union, Labour and Disability movement.

This attack is a despicable act of barbarism and nasty vindictiveness against the company and its employees. What this act of barbarism will achieve, however, will be misery, poverty and a very early grave for the vast majority of Remploy
workers. Workers who will be paying the ultimate price with their jobs for the economic crisis that they had no part in causing nor benefited from, unlike the multi millionaire bankers and the very good multi millionaire friends in the Cabinet who are doing very nicely, thank you very much out of this crisis.
Tory ministers claim Remploy factories are ineffi cient but fail to mention they handed out £1.8 million in bonuses to Remploy bosses who have deliberately run
down the company in order to ease the way for closure of the factories.

With 6 people chasing every job vacancy in Britain, it is transparently dishonest of the Tories to say the closures are part of a plan to get disabled people into other workplaces. Of the workers made redundant in the round of closures
in 2007 only 6% have found alternative employment.

Instead of slashing jobs and wrecking lives the government should invest and give disabled workers the power to make Remploy the workplace they want.
This is an attack that can be stopped. When construction bosses tried to cut pay for electricians by 35% they fought back and won against huge fi rms like Balfour Beatty. Remploy workers can win too, but like the ‘sparks’ they will need solidarity from the movement to support their struggle. Please come to this
meeting and show your support.

Remploy Workers will not go quietly into the night, we will not go
quietly anywhere!
Remploy factories are not for closure and not for sale at any price!

    DPAC logo

Mar 022012
 

Two leading Scottish disabled people’s organisations have accused the minister for disabled people of lying about their involvement in a UK government consultation on welfare reform.

Three organisations – Inclusion Scotland (IS), Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCIL) and Independent Living in Scotland (ILiS) – were so angry at Maria Miller’s claims that they boycotted a meeting with her that should have taken place last week.

Miller had written in the Guardian: “I have personally met with over 60 disabled people’s organisations in the development of personal independence payment [PIP, the benefit due to replace working-age disability living allowance]and visited disabled people around the country to hear their views.”

A list of 50 of those disability organisations, obtained by Disabled People Against Cuts through a Freedom of Information Act request, included the names of IS, ILiS and LCIL.

But two of them – IS and LCIL – have told Disability News Service that they have never met with Miller.

They are also the latest organisations to express anger at how Miller has “misrepresented” the views of DPOs by implying that the government’s welfare reforms are backed by the disability movement and other disability organisations.

The meeting they boycotted was to take place in Edinburgh last week and was intended to discuss their response to a consultation on the government’s disability strategy.

Inclusion Scotland said it attended two meetings about the development of PIP with Department for Work and Pensions representatives last August, but Miller was not at either of them.

Bill Scott, manager of Inclusion Scotland – a national consortium of DPOs and disabled people – said: “It was a lie and there is no doubt about that. She shouldn’t have said that.

“She then went on to say there was a consensus in favour of welfare reform. There is no such consensus. On welfare reform, we are just implacably opposed to what they are doing.”

Scott added: “We just wanted to make a point last week that we were not going to be misrepresented. We have been very, very vocal opponents of welfare reform.”

He said IS would now have to examine its future involvement with the UK government on a “case by case basis”.

Catherine Garrod, information coordinator for LCIL, also said Miller had lied about meeting personally with her organisation.

She said: “We thought we had been misrepresented by the minister for disabled people. We are strongly opposed to what is happening with the welfare reforms.

“Everybody knows they have consulted, but they have not listened to what the response has been.”

Because of Miller’s actions, she said LCIL would now probably refuse to take part in any future meetings with the minister, although it would continue to provide written responses to UK government consultations.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “The minister for disabled people was not referring to a specific meeting attended by 60 disabled organisations but was intending to make a more general point about the extensive consultation in which she and officials have been engaged since May 2010.”

1 March 2012 – News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

 

 

Feb 122012
 

LABELS-save ilf  for download (Word doc for envelope label size L7160)

Monday 13th Feb Come and join us in delivering Maria Miller (Minister of Disabled People) our protest letter opposing the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

Where: Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9DA

 

When: Monday February 13th 2012

 

Time: Assemble: 2pm next to Caxton House

We really need your support to challenge the fact that funding through the fund, for over 20,000 disabled people with significant support needs are at risk.

 

This decision disregards disabled people’s human rights potentially removing us from the community to the care home. We were not even consulted.

 

Bring people, banners and noise! Invite media friends!

 

For further details contact DPAC: mail@dpac.uk.net or call Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition against Community Care Cuts (HAFCAC) on 07899 752877

Jan 302012
 

Monday 13th Feb Come and join us in delivering Maria Miller (Minister of Disabled People) our protest letter opposing the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

Where: Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9DA

 

When: Monday February 13th 2012

 

Time: Assemble: 2pm next to Caxton House

We really need your support to challenge the fact that funding through the fund, for over 20,000 disabled people with significant support needs are at risk.

 

This decision disregards disabled people’s human rights potentially removing us from the community to the care home. We were not even consulted.

 

Bring people, banners and noise! Invite media friends!

 

For further details contact DPAC: mail@dpac.uk.net or call Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition against Community Care Cuts (HAFCAC) on 07899 752877

 

ILF flyer v2-1 You can download the flyer here (Word Doc)

Nov 242011
 

First of all, I have to say that I would have expected a conference about tackling disability poverty to have included some claimants who actually experience disability poverty however by charging unwaged people £10 to attend this, in spite of the fact that Disability Alliance got the venue free, claimants were by and large excluded from discussions about how to tackle disability poverty.

There were a number of further access issues for disabled people too no blue badge parking nearby, no accessible tube stations nearby, a start time that was so early people couldn’t use their freedom passes on busses and anyone coming from outside London had to pay peak rate fares.

Several disabled claimants tried to get into the event on the day but were refused entry even though they offered to pay. I was on the list though so was able to get into the conference. Access inside could have been much better too, and there was no dedicated accessible toilets and no space to sit anywhere other than right at the back if you were a wheelchair user.

The vast majority of those present weren’t disabled people but professionals who speak for us. Of those disabled people who were there most expressed grave concerns about the nature and organisation of the new organisation DRUK – Disability Rights UK which will consist of  an amalgamation of NCIL, RADAR and Disability Alliance.

ATOS doctors gave an unconvincing talk about how nice ATOS really are, and then we were treated to a fleeting visit from Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people. There were attempts to stagemanage this part of the programme and Liz Sayce looked decidedly uncomfortable at some of the questions us more ungrateful disabled people asked. Miller spouted the usual Condem rhetoric about how much better off disabled people will be with Universal Credit, with no care and support funding, no ILF and how grateful we should all be for all the extra money the Condems have put into disability related matters.  You can listen to her below if you can bear to.

Click the link here to read John Pring’s article about the conference: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/11/28/miller-and-atos-face-angry-heckling-at-disability-poverty-conference/   News source: www.disabilitynewsservice.com

transcript of Maria Miller’s speech

These videos have now been put up by Disability Alliance has been edited to exclude some disabled claimants calling her a “murderer” as she left and has cut out my response to her claims that disabled people need not be afraid of change when I said it wasn’t change people were afraid of it was being trapped in their own homes with no care funding, and another person saying people were afraid of being pushed further into poverty.

report by Linda Burnip

—————————————————————

Questions to Maria Miller (Part One – with Linda’s question sorry no transcripts provided)

Part 2

Part 3


Link to Report from Disability Alliance

Sep 172011
 

I recently learned that the Welfare Reform Bill – which is currently being debated in the House of Lords – was having the debate moved to a smaller not so disabled accessible committee room.

Concerned about this I e-mailed the members of the House of Lords (some of whom are themselves disabled) – about getting the debate back in the House of Lords where disabled Lords and disabled members of the public would have access to debating or viewing the proceedings.

Thinking on – it occurred to me that surely the minister for disabled people (Maria Miller mp) would be concerned that disabled people were not being able to access a bill that affects them substantially and directly and also surely it is her job to ensure disabled access – no matter what the bill.

Thus I e-mailed Maria Miller at  maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk with this

‘Dear Ms Miller

As minister for disabled I would like for you to ensure that the debate concerning the welfare reform bill remains accessible to the disabled many of whom will be hugely affected by the changes suggested within it.

Please read this blog.

http://thebrokenofbritain.blogspot.com/2011/09/urgent-appeal-for-action-now.html

As a representative of the disabled community I am sure you would want us to have equal access – thank you for your help with this.

Kind Regards’

the reply I received was

‘Maria Miller MP

Basingstoke

Thank you for your email, if you live within the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke please make sure your message contains

Full name

Address, including Postcode

Day time telephone number

If you are contacting me in my capacity as Minister for Disabled People please resend your email to

ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk’

and then later

‘Thank you for your email to Maria Miller MP. As the issues you raise relate to Maria’s responsibilities as Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, I have forwarded your email to her Ministerial Office for attention. The email address to use for future reference is ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Kind regards
Anastasia’
I then received a generic response from the dwp!
Now how on earth and why on earth is a minister for disabilities job/post within the dwp? and is it not her job to ensure disabled access for all at the Houses of Parliament?
The reply I got from the dwp, which does not address the point I raised regarding disabled access – but just goes on to wibble about ministers being too busy to reply – that this fits into their remit and a wibble about how all the changes in the WRB are good for the sick and disabled and carers are all great for us!!! lol!! I wish!
The only results I can draw from this correspondence is that the minister for disabled people is not a minister for disabled people at all – but a dwp minister and that there is no minister for disabled people – not even for those disabled people in The House of Lords!!!
Cross posted with thanks from Twisted News
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