Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary


The real life stories of disabled people’s experiences of the UK welfare system are being brought to life in a play. But far from being a fringe performance, the cast is taking it to the heart of political decision making – parliament.

Igniting disability

Ignite Me Workshop Theatre was formed in August 2017. And now, it’s bringing its latest work, a play called Lives Like These to parliament on 1 May. The Canary caught up with the group’s artistic director, Bryony Jayne Meteyard, to discuss igniting parliament with some hard-hitting theatre.

The group came about, Meteyard said, because she saw the need for a “people’s theatre” in south west London. The aim of Ignite Me is, in her words, to “hold up a mirror to society and show the truth”. Disabled people in the UK are often portrayed in the press as ‘benefit scroungers’, or ‘living off people’s taxes’, so a theatre company dedicated to busting these myths is refreshing. Meteyard told The Canary:

Disabled people and full-time carers need to have a voice in the current political climate. Austerity is having a major detrimental effect on their lives and bullying, discrimination and marginalisation are still massive issues. Theatre is one way to make an impact.

Damning figures. Damning criticism.

Meteyard is correct when she says that disabled people’s lives have been detrimentally affected in recent years. They have been subjected to seven years of what TV show The Last Leg described as a “genocide” by the Conservative Party. Because since 2010, the Tories have cut:

  • The Independent Living Fund (ILF), which previously supported people with care packages. Since the government cut it, in some areas 88% of people have seen their care packages reduced by up to 50%.

 

Source: Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary

Austerity 1: next year, UK ministers required to report progress on reinstating rights of people with disabilities


What is the point of the UN when nations just ignore it.

We have North Korea thumbing their noses at the UN by continuing with their aim to be a nuclear based country.

But is the UK also doing something similar by ignoring the UN report on the situation of disabled people in the UK.

So on the one hand the UK is condemning North Korea for not abiding by UN directives, while at the same time doing the same over disability rights, so to equalise the situation should not sanctions be raised against the UK.

Political Concern

Equal Lives chief executive Mark Harrison said: “In a very short space of time we have gone from having some of the best rights in the world to a crisis situation where people are dying because of the barriers and discrimination caused by austerity.” 

In 2015, a team of United Nations investigators began a two-week visit to the UK as part of an inquiry into allegations of “systematic and grave” violations of disabled people’s human rights.

Stephen Naysmith Social Affairs Correspondent of the Herald has reported that the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People has issued a 17 page report on the UK which contained more recommendations for improvement than for any other country in the committee’s 10 year history.

UK rapporteur to the committee Mr Stig Langvad, said the review had been “the most challenging exercise in the history of the Committee”, and criticised the government for…

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DWP report confirms fears over impact of ILF closure | DisabledGo News and Blog


Former recipients of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in England experienced a loss of support, a greater reliance on unpaid care and an “adverse” impact on their physical and mental health after its closure, according to a government report. The research, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), confirms many of the warnings and concerns raised by disabled activists who campaigned against the decision to close the fund, before it shut in June 2015. Researchers only spoke to 50 former ILF recipients – or their relatives – out of nearly 17,000 disabled people with high support needs that the fund had been helping to live independently at the time it closed. But they concluded that those former recipients who saw their support “heavily reduced” as a result of the closure – which saw non-ringfenced funding passed by the government to local authorities – “experienced multiple changes” to their lives. The report says: “They argued that reductions in care were unfair and

Source: DWP report confirms fears over impact of ILF closure | DisabledGo News and Blog

Councils ‘levelling down’ care packages after ILF closure | Community Care


Report reveals more than half of local authorities in London have cut care packages since the closure of the Independent Living Fund in June last year

Source: Councils ‘levelling down’ care packages after ILF closure | Community Care

Cherylee Houston Slams Government Over Abuse Of Disabled People


Same Difference

The government are facing accusations of possible human rights violations as they are grilled by a United Nations committee this week – and Coronation Street star Cherylee Houston tells The Canary “people are dying” because of Tory policies.

On Wednesday and Thursday in Geneva, the UN Human Rights committee on economic, social and cultural affairs will be publicly reporting on its conclusions after more than two years of evidence gathering. A report has been submitted from the UK government and a representative invited, but it is unclear whether one will be in attendance.

The concerns of the UN relate to the state of the nation up to 2014, and are overarching: the blacklisting of trade union workers; the inadequacy of measures to prevent forced marriage and FGM; protection of asylum seekers; modern slavery; homelessness and tackling the gender pay gap are just some listed.

But the biggest area of criticism has…

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Government agrees four more years of ILF transition cash for councils | DisabledGo News and Blog


The government has agreed to fund former users of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in England for the next four years, following months of campaigning pressure from disabled activists. The minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, passed on the news yesterday (10 February) to two former ILF-users at a meeting in his department. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday published a six-week consultation on the plans – although it has so far failed to publicise the consultation – which describes the funding it proposes passing on to local authorities over the four years from April 2016. ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and when it closed on 30 June 2015 it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently. But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through DCLG to councils in England and to

Source: Government agrees four more years of ILF transition cash for councils | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled Tories launch investigation into impact of ILF closure | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled members of the Conservative party have launched their own investigation into the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), following widespread concerns about its impact across the country. The Conservative Disability Group (CDG) has issued an appeal to former ILF-users and those who had friends or relatives who were recipients of ILF funding to help with the research. Disabled campaigners have accused the government of trying to “wash its hands of all responsibility” for meeting the social care support needs of former ILF-recipients, with the transition process hit by reports of cuts to their care packages. ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and when it closed on 30 June 2015 it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently. But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through DCLG to councils in England, and to

Source: Disabled Tories launch investigation into impact of ILF closure | DisabledGo News and Blog