Draconian eligibility rules for disability benefits are preventing people suffering with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) from accessing the support they desperately need, a leading charity has warned.
People with MS have been losing support since Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was replaced by the Tory-led coalition Government in 2013 with Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the MS Society claims.
The charity argues one of the main reason for this is the introduction of the 20 metre rule, which is used to assess disabled people’s mobility.
Under DLA the measure was 50 metres, but was reduced by more than half in spite of concerns raised by charities and disability rights campaigners that the move would impact upon large numbers of severely sick and disabled people and limit their independence.
According to a report from the MS Society, the change is causing preventable harm to MS patients who have transferred from DLA to PIP.
The charity has also calculated that the NHS is spending more than an additional £1.8 million a year on GP services and £5.9 million a year on A&E services for people with MS who’ve lost support when moved to PIP.
Source: ‘Senseless’ disability benefit rule costs the NHS at least £7.7 million a year
A “Disability Confident” company owned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) subjected a disabled member of staff to repeated abuse from strangers after it refused for more than 15 months to make a simple alteration to his parking arrangements.
It is now more than 15 months since wheelchair-user Jamie Shield reported to managers at BPDTS that he was receiving abuse from other workers at the Benton Park View complex in Newcastle because of the way he was forced to park his car.
Instead of arranging for him to have an accessible parking bay, BPDTS had allocated him two spaces next to each other and told him to park in the middle of the pair of bays, allowing him space to slide from the driver’s seat into his wheelchair.
But from the first day of the new arrangement, Shield began receiving abuse from passers-by, criticising him for parking in the middle of two spaces.
The abuse was so bad that he has considered reporting it as disability hate crime.
BPDTS was set up two years ago by DWP to provide it with its IT services, and is based at offices run by HM Revenue and Customs in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Source: ‘Discrimination’ by DWP’s IT company ‘exposed disabled employee to months of abuse’ | DisabledGo News and Blog
Prevent avoidable deaths by making autism/learning disability training mandatory
My son Oliver was only 18 when he died in hospital on 11 Nov 2016. I believe his death could have been prevented if his doctors and nurses had received mandatory training. He had autism and a mild learning disability, and they weren’t trained to understand how to make reasonable adjustments for him.
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Source: Prevent avoidable deaths by making autism/learning disability training mandatory – Petitions
“I was given only five minutes to say goodbye,” said J.I.L., a Salvadoran woman whose children were ripped away at the border. “In tears myself, I asked my boys to be brave, and I promised we would be together soon.”
But J.I.L., like thousands of other immigrant parents in her position, doesn’t know when or if she’ll ever see her boys again. She’s part of our lawsuit and a victim of the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border – a cruel scheme to discourage immigration by using children as pawns.
This is the worst thing I’ve seen in my 25+ years of civil rights work. There’s no time to waste. Will you add your name now to demand that the government stop separating children from their parents?
Why is the Trump administration separating parents from their children? The administration has provided no detailed reasoning, constantly skirting this issue when pressed in court.
The clearest answer we’ve received is from Chief of Staff John Kelly, who said outright that family separation is a “tough deterrent” for future asylum seekers. “The children will be taken care of – put into foster care or whatever.”
We have an opportunity now – with public outrage at a fever pitch – to pressure the administration more than we ever have before. If we have any hope of putting an end to this inhumane policy, we must act now.
This scheme to terrorize immigrant parents and children must stop. Please add your name now to demand an end to family separation.
I’m fighting family separation in the courtroom, but we need you to show the government we won’t stand for this shameful policy. It’s a national disgrace and violates the core values of this country, and it needs to stop now. There are too many lives on the line – and too many children at stake.
Thanks for your support,
Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Source: Separating Families is Inhumane | American Civil Liberties Union
A petition to force a debate on a referendum on the future of the House of Lords has so far gathered more than 145,500 signatures.
Just 10,000 are required to warrant a Government response.
And now those who signed the petition have received emails announcing MPs will debate the issue this summer.
Source: House of Lords scrapped: Will a debate in June spell the end for peers? | UK | News | Express.co.uk
Kuwait has expelled the Philippines ambassador and recalled its own envoy from the Philippines as the diplomatic rift between the two countries over the abuse of Filipina domestic workers widens.
The oil-rich Gulf nation has long been dependant on the 260,000 migrant Filipino workers in the country, but reports of severe abuse and the horrifying murder of a Filipina whose body was stuffed into a freezer by her employers prompted a migration ban by the Philippine government.
The two nations had hoped to negotiate an end to this ban, but this week the arrests of two Filipinos associated with the embassy — who allegedly convinced abused domestic workers to flee their employers’ homes — and comments from Philippines Ambassador Renato Villa proved too much for Kuwait to bear.
TIME reports that Villa is likely being expelled for saying the embassy would step in to help domestic workers when Kuwaiti authorities do not:
Source: The Philippines Ambassador Spoke Out. So Kuwait Expelled Him. – FreedomUnited.org
SNP Health spokesperson at Westminster Dr Philippa Whitford, has launched an on-line petition to address one of the major problems of the current Universal Credit (UC) roll out – namely the UK government’s insistence on payments to a single household bank account, which ‘makes women more financially vulnerable’.
In PMQs today Dr Whitford asked about ending the practice – still part of the Universal Credit roll out. As it stands UC is, as a rule, only paid into one bank account per recipient household and there are real concerns this could keep women, and to a lesser extent men, trapped in abusive relationships.
In addition, paying the combined benefits of a couple into a single bank account could prevent funds reaching their intended beneficiaries, such as partners and children.
Today, in evidence to the DWP Select committee on Universal credit and Economic Abuse, Refuge reiterated the need for split Universal Credit payments to be the default.
Source: Universal Credit: women forced to choose between poverty and abuse : Welfare Weekly
But us Brits still chuck away 2.5 billion plastic-lined coffee cups every year — and hardly any get recycled!
We have a chance to stop this. The government is asking the public whether we’d support them charging a 25p ‘latte levy’ for takeaway coffee cups.
Can you sign the petition to say YES and demand they don’t delay in cutting plastic waste?
Desperate parents are trying to cure autism by making their kids drink poisonous chemicals.
At least six police forces across Britain have questioned families over allegations children as young as two were forced to drink bleach and turpentine.
Some were also given bleach enemas to purge “parasites” which a church cult and unqualified advocates like ex-drug addict Danny Glass blame for causing the behavioural condition.
Tonight, as a task force of MPs and campaigners investigated, a doctor warned that the quack remedies will end up killing children.
One in every 100 kids in the UK suffers from some form of autism, for which there is no medical cure.
Source: Desperate parents forcing kids to drink bleach to cure autism in sick cult : Mirror
Three leading disabled campaigners have backed a petition that calls on the government to force all new large buildings to include a Changing Places toilet.
The petition, launched by Lorna Fillingham, who has a disabled child, has now been signed by more than 50,000 people, and will soon be delivered to the prime minister.
The campaign has been boosted by support from the crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell – herself a regular user of Changing Places toilets – Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike, and journalist and presenter Mik Scarlet.
There are currently only about 1,060 Changing Places toilets – facilities with extra space and equipment for disabled people who cannot use standard accessible toilets – across the whole of the UK, even though there are believed to be more than 250,000 disabled people who need them.
Guidance provided under British Standard 8300 recommends that such facilities should be included in larger buildings and complexes such as motorway services, sports stadiums, shopping centres, airports, town halls, schools and hospitals.
But Fillingham, who is working closely with Wafula Strike on the campaign, wants the government to make changes to building regulations to ensure that planning permission cannot be granted for such developments unless they include a Changing Places toilet.
The call in Fillingham’s petition mirrors a recommendation in last year’s report on disability and the built environment by the Commons women and equalities committee, which called for all large building developments to include a Changing Places toilet.
Source: Trio of disabled campaigners back Changing Places petition | DisabledGo News and Blog