List of MPs who voted or otherwise to crush disabled people in preparation for tax cuts


Wirral In It Together

IMG_20160312_123525Like a Robin Hood in reverse, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, the path is now clear for Chancellor George Osborne to share the spoils of these heartless attacks by divvying up the ‘stolen money’ between greedy middle class voters in the comfortably-off Tory heartlands.  And in return, these underdeveloped, amoral human beings will put their ‘x’ in the right box.

There were 16 Tory abstentions:

David Cameron and 15 others (names to follow as I locate them…) Jeremy Lefroy, Gary Streeter, Fiona Bruce, David Amess, Pauline Latham, Andrew Murrison, Helen Grant, Ian Liddell-Grainger, Rebecca Pow, Eleanor Laing, Tracey Crouch, 

26 Labour MPs did their bit to stick the knife in by not voting for whatever reason (names to follow as I locate them…) Gavin Shuker, Stephen Twigg, Kate Green, Albert Owen, Dawn Butler, Mike Gapes, Lindsay Hoyle, Bridget Phillipson, Sadiq Khan (Labour candidate for London Mayor), Barry…

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Councils apologise over ILF delays and confusion, but blame government


Original post from Disabled Go News

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Fresh evidence has emerged of delays and cuts to care packages as local authorities prepare for the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has admitted to Disability News Service (DNS) that there are problems with the transition process – ahead of the fund’s closure at the end of this month – but insists that central government is to blame.

Last week, despite many ILF-users telling DNS that they had yet to be informed by their own local authorities how much support they would receive once the fund closed, both the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused to comment on the apparent confusion and delays.

Now both DWP and DH have been accused of “washing their hands” of the problems caused by the decision to close ILF, and the failure to plan for its closure.

Faced with reports of problems across England, ADASS today (Thursday) apologised for the problems ILF-users were facing.

Ray James, president of ADASS, said: “We are concerned by any evidence that people who use our services are not satisfied with them and we recommend strongly that individual councils should engage with local recipients of the Independent Living Fund as soon as possible.”

But he said the closure was “very much at the behest of central government, and comes at a time when local authorities are reeling from a £4.6 billion reduction in their budgets in the past five years”.

James said directors were doing all they could “in an extraordinarily difficult financial environment”, and had already been hit by the need to carry out extra assessments of disabled people following last year’s Supreme Court rulings on deprivation of liberty safeguards.

He admitted that there “will be some difficulties for which I am sorry”, but that most authorities would be “pressing ahead” in line with guidance published last November by ADASS, ILF and the Local Government Association.

James said the problems with transition “should have been envisaged by central government”.

He said: “Where there are difficulties I urge colleagues to resolve them as swiftly as possible.

“They would have been caused by a lack of money: not a lack of concern.”

ILF is a government-resourced trust which helps about 16,500 people with the highest support needs to live independently, but the coalition government decided that it should close on 30 June, with one year’s worth of non-ring-fenced funding transferred to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.

The Scottish government announced last year that it was setting up its own ILF, for both existing and new users in Scotland, using the UK government’s funding and an additional £5.5 million of its own money.

The Welsh government has opted to transfer the Westminster funding to its local authorities – with conditions attached – and will protect the budgets of existing ILF-users for the first nine months, with funding after that dependant on the UK government’s next spending round.

Sue Bott, former director of the National Centre for Independent Living and now deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK (DR UK), said: “There is a lot of concern and confusion out there.”

She has spoken to four ILF-users in three local authorities whose councils have indicated that their care packages will be cut, following reassessments. All four are appealing against those decisions, a step she said DR UK would always recommend in such circumstances.

She said both DWP and DH appeared to be “washing their hands” of the consequences of ILF closure, while the Department for Communities and Local Government could also not escape blame.

She said: “It is not a good example of good government and joined-up government. It just seems that the two departments [DWP and DH] never talk to each other, which is extraordinary.

“It is people trying to get on with their everyday lives who suffer the consequences.

“Good joined-up government is what a minister for disabled people is supposed to ensure. It clearly hasn’t happened in this case.”

Bott said that the transition work of ILF itself had been “exemplary, and they have done absolutely everything that they can”.

But she said: “ILF-users have been caused an awful lot of anxiety. It is really not acceptable because this is not anxiety about some little matter that may not happen.

“This is about people’s basic quality of life and what happens to them on a day-to-day basis.

“We are talking about people with the highest social care needs. I think a lot more could have been done to resolve people’s anxiety.”

Some ILF-users are receiving better treatment from their local authorities.

Consultant and campaigner Miro Griffiths has been told by his local authority – Wirral council – that his overall package will stay the same for the rest of the year after ILF closes.

He said: “They were fairly empathic to the situation but were unable to explain what happens after the first year.”

Meanwhile, solicitor Kate Whittaker, from lawyers Scott-Moncrieff, working with ILF-users, Inclusion London and Disability Sheffield Centre for Independent Living, has produced a new guide for ILF-recipients and other people with high support needs.

The guide aims to help ILF-users “understand legal and practical issues about community care assessments and support and how it will apply to them” following the ILF closure.

Disabled People Against Cuts is organising a lobby of parliament on Wednesday (24 June) in a final bid to persuade MPs to reverse the closure, and is asking as many ILF-users and supporters as possible to attend.

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Aden

Hi I’m Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

More posts from author  ………………….’

Financial sustainability and the impact of funding reductions on local authorities 2014


Below are two reports from the National Audit Office

Financial sustainability of local authorities 2014* from the National Audit Office

An extract ‘Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress. The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities’ financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office. ……………..’

The Impact of Funding Reductions on Local Authorities* from the National Audit Office

An extract ‘Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress. The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities’ financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office………………’

While this is not a coment on the details of the reports, by viewing each report you will see how the National Audit Office appears to respond to managing its costs. As it appears the same report is being used in each instance, so it is two reports for the cost of one.

As to what it is saying, just what is it saying?  Starts by saying ‘ Local authorities have coped well…’, then goes on to say ‘some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of Financial stress….’ then further states ‘The department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities..’

So what is it, are they coping well or have clear signs of financial stress, I would say the latter. But then it is correct to say the Dept for Communities and Local Government do have a limited understanding of authorities, or should it be no understanding?

For many authorities the Government austerity cuts are having a massive impact on local authorites and many essential services are being seen to be suffering, as are the persons who rely on these services.

Enough is enough the funding for essential services as to be safeguarded and the Government needs to understand this and act accordingly, for at the momment it appears they do not care.

 

* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Safeguarding will an issue happen in Sheffield?


Sheffield Social Services are they creating safeguarding issues

Sheffield Social Services (1) are currently in a financial dilemma, with an anticipated budget overspend, do they cut spending in the department or endeavour to obtain monies from other budgets, it would appear the former, but what will this eventually create?

What has occurred?

The Social Services budget for 2012/2013 was overspent by £6.3 million and there is now a projected overspend for Social Services of £11 million, of which £6.5 million is in Learning Disabilities (1).

So if there were not significant changes in practices or other means from 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 there would have been an expected overspend of £6.3 million. But due to Government austerity cuts, it is said that savings of 20% need to be made.

The following is an extract from  Budget Conversion 2014-2015: Shaping our future together (1)

‘But Sheffield Social Services accept that we have an increasing number of older people, particularly very old people. They also expect a 32% increase in people aged over 85 in the next 10 years.

For disabled Adults with complex needs (2), there is an increase of 5% each year.

This is in addition to an increase in the number of older people being discharged from hospital who need social care support.

There is more people with mental health issues seeking social services funded support – a 64% increase from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013.

An increase in the demand and cost of support packages for people needing support. Between 2011/2012 and 2012/2013

– number of customers supported increased by 11%

– average cost of support per customer increased by 8%.’

This is at a time when according to the article 72 more jobs in social services are at risk. Who will be going and what action is being taken?  Is this action appropriate? As the facts are extremely limited, and knowledge is not forthcoming due to apparent employment restrictions.

So at a time when demand is increasing to make savings staffing levels are being reduced.

If by any methods of reducing costs the demands on the service are not met, this will result in some safeguarding issues for the most vulnerable adults residing in Sheffield.

While this may not be at the scale of Winterborne (2) or Mid-Staffs (3). It will cause a degree of risk to some, at least, of these adults who are vulnerable.

These are not people who can be discarded or left to fend for themselves.  Without the services they require to ensure their critical needs are met, these needs will not be met.

These social services are priority services and need to be maintained at all costs.

While I do not have the figures to hand, it is logical to assume, if there was an over spend in the budget of 2012/2013, then there would be an over spend in 2013/2014, before taking into account the budget reduction, and the increases in the demand and resultant increase in costs.

You have to question, was the budget set for 2013/2014, a realistic budget (1) and if not, it was doomed to an over spend greater than in the previous year.

As the budgets, I assume, are monitored by the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council, why have they been so quiet?

Some budget information was apparently released, but no apparent mention re Social Services

Is Sheffield being fairly treated by Central Government.

(1) © Copyright of Sheffield City Council 2013

(2) Crown Copyright. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0

(3) © The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry 2010

The Other Care Crisis – 1000’s struggling to eat, wash or leave their own homes


The Other Care Crisis

The report The Other Care Crisis is published by Scope, Mencap, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The leading disability charities are concerned that the debate about social care reform has focused on the needs of an ageing population and sidelined the thousands of disabled people under the age of 65 who rely on care in everyday life.

All persons should be able to expect a reasonable standard of living and a social life, while for most of us, this will be reliant on ourselves to fund all of this by gaining employment and then organising our spending budget accordingly.

But there are persons within all communities for whom this is impossible or extremely difficult. Here I am referring to persons with a disability for whom the prospects of employment are not possible, or can only be gained by some considerable effort.  For many persons, their only or main knowledge or involvement with people with a disability, will be academics who are disabled like Stephen Hawkins or the athletes who are disabled like in the Para-Olympics.

But, I am afraid these people are in the minority, there are many disabled persons for whom, none of the above is possible, even some basic employment may not be possible.  The only income these people with disabilities will have, come from State Benefits, provided they are lucky to live in a country which provides these benefits. I say lucky and perhaps, this is not the correct word, because no matter how it is reported in local and national media regarding benefit fraud, State Disability Benefits are not easy to obtain, especially in the current financial climate. Please also bear in mind that these benefits are only to provide a reasonable standard of living, what ever reasonable means. Is reasonable another way of saying standard or average?

The report mentioned above ‘The Other Care Crisis’ is focused on the situation in the UK, where the provision of these benefits are from Central Government agencies, mainly connected to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The current benefits are:

Carers and disability benefits

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults – what you’ll get, eligibility, applying, Personal Independence Payment

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) rates

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you

  • Carer’s Allowance

    Carer’s Allowance is money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for – eligibility, apply, claim for DS700

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) money if you can’t work because of illness or disability – rates, eligibility, apply, assessment

  • Access to Work

    Access to Work is money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition – eligibility, how to apply

  • Attendance Allowance

    Attendance Allowance helps pay for your personal care if you’re older or disabled – rates, eligibility, apply, claim form AA1A

  • Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits

    Apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits – how to apply, stop being an appointee

But DLA is for 16-64 years olds, to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from April 2013 for new claimants, with existing DLA claimants being contacted over the next 2-3 years.

To some extent, PIP is being introduced to ensure only genuine claimants will be entitled to it, but at the same time the eligibility criteria is being made more restrictive. So this will mean some genuine claimants receiving DLA, will not get PIP or their rate will be reduced.

But as stated above, if your only income is State Benefits and these are cut, this is bound to affect your standard of living. If, this was only reasonable to start with, then what will it be called. If reasonable is standard or average, then is this bringing the funding down to provide a sub-standard of living or below average?

If you feel this is unreasonable you can contact your MP by following the link

PIP Emergency – Act Now!.

In addition to the State Benefits, a person with a disability may be entitled or may be in receipt of a care package from their Local Authority from funding provided by Central Government. This will be in the form of Direct Payments from a Personal Individualised Budget. An individual will be expected to make a contribution from their own income towards their budget. These Direct Payments are not additional general income, but are there to pay for the costs of care, which have been shown to be required from the Assessment of Need and the resulting Support Plan. The Assessment of Need will be undertaken by an assigned  Social Worker and the Support Plan from information in the Assessment will be prepared by either the assigned Social Worker or an assigned Support Planner. The Support Planner could be either employed by the Local Authority or from an independent organisation.

But due to the current financial crisis in the World and especially the UK, all Local Authorities have been directed by Central Government to make savings from their spending. This is not only for this year, but from the last few years and also for some years to come. All persons in receipt of a service from a Local Authority are effected, not only those receiving benefits. So, not only could your sole income of State Benefits be cut, but Local Authorities will also be tightening their own eligibility criteria for entitlement to Direct Payments. This will further affect your standard of living.

Should this essential spending, even be subject to cuts?

Hello world!


Hi

I am Chris Sterry from Sheffield UK and I have started this blog so I can express my views and thoughts on the various subjects in which I am interested.

In Sheffield, I live with my wife and our adult daughter, who has multiple physical and learning disabilities. My main thoughts and views are therefore centred around disability issues, whether being local to Sheffield, the UK or in fact Worldwide.

That being said, I also have many other views on which I will wish to express on.

These will include UK and World Politics, health issues from anywhere in the world and many other varied points of interest.