Norfolk Coalition Of Disabled People

A report out today shows that in Norfolk as many as 100,000 disabled people and their families face a reduction in their living standards by a third due to the combined effects of the government’s taxation and welfare changes and cuts in services planned by Norfolk County Council

The report: The impact of national budget cuts, tax changes and local reductions in services on disabled people and their families in Norfolk by economist Dr Chris Edwards, has been produced for Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP) and will be submitted to the ‘Big Conversation’ consultation by Norfolk County Council. (which ends on the 10th January)

It was launched at a presentation in The Curve, in the Forum, Norwich at 11am on Monday 10 January.

Also available will be a DVD of case studies, some of which will be shown at the launch. These highlight the impact of the cuts on the interviewed disabled people.

The report reveals:

  • Of Norfolk’s 186,000 disabled people, 45,000 of working age on disability benefits will lose £526 per year, 8% of income each year.
  • Of Norfolk County Council’s proposed £136 million cuts in services over the next 3 years, £45 million will directly and exclusively affect disabled people, representing a loss of services valued at £476 per disabled person per year, or about 7% of their income.
  • Disabled people will also be affected by other services cuts making the full impact even greater.
  • The increase in VAT is expected to add £158 to the essential bills of the average household and will mean a loss of about 2% of income for the poorest 50% of disabled people.
  • As a direct consequence of the above, the poorest 53% of disabled people in Norfolk, around 100,000 people and their families, will see their living standards decline by a third over the next four years.
  • The conclusion is that the impact of the changes introduced by the coalition government together with the cuts proposed by Norfolk County Council will be devastating, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable and poorest group in society.

Mark Harrison, CEO of NCODP said:

“This report provides the evidence for what NCODP has been saying all along about the cuts – that they discriminate against disabled people. Disabled people are experiencing double discrimination – cuts in benefits and regressive tax changes from central Government and devastation of local services, if Norfolk County Council implements its proposals in the Big Conversation.

We knew all along that there is not a level playing field and that disabled people are poorer and have fewer opportunities than their non-disabled peers. This report charts how disabled people are being scapegoated for a crisis which we had no part in creating. My message to Norfolk councillors is that these proposals are both discriminatory and disproportionate. If we are all truly ‘in this together’ and you are working in the interests of Norfolk citizens then you must tell the Coalition Government that it is not possible to implement their cuts.”

Kathy Saunders, Chair of NCODP said:

“The consequences of these proposed cuts are disastrous. They will be felt by all citizens of Norfolk for many years to come and will cause damage to vulnerable people and families which will be unnecessarily expensive or impossible to repair. These changes will blight the lives of disabled people who are finding it difficult enough already.

We know the best way of designing services and promoting independence is to develop provision with the people who use them. That is why NCODP have a co-production relationship with Norfolk County Council, Adult Social Services.

None of these proposals have been co-produced with us and we can see the devastating consequences of these cuts if they are implemented. There are better ways of handling this crisis rather than penalising those who are struggling to make decent lives for themselves and their families.”

Response from young disabled people in Norfolk

Notes

Mark Harrison is also available for media interviews in addition to the launch and can be contacted directly on 07825 600195.

NCODP have launched a website to coordinate their Campaign Against the Cuts, which can be view at www.campaignagainstcuts.org.uk.

This press release can be found along with previous releases
at http://www.ncodp.org.uk/press-releases.

For further information regarding this news item please contact NCODP via info@ncodp.org.uk or 01508 491210

 

###

 

The Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP) is a human-rights group controlled by disabled people and their organisations. They organise and take part in campaigns and run services that promote social equality and dignity for all disabled people.

 

The NCODP regards having an impairment as a normal part of being human. Disability results from people with impairments being excluded by physical and social barriers and negative attitudes. Their main task is to challenge the many forms of discrimination created by these barriers and attitudes.

 

The NCODP believes that disabled people must take the leading role in decisions that affect their lives both locally and as part of the national and international disability movements in which the NCODP plays an active part. There must be “Nothing about us without us.”

Tories Investment opportunity

Tories Investment opportunity

Description: Cameron is seated at a large table opposite Clegg and Miller. Behind him is a large board on which is written: The disabled – Label them all as benefit cheats; ignore all disability equality legislation; take away all of their benefits; get them all into residential care. Cameron is saying to the MPs: “Who wants to become Minister for the promotion of private sector investment in resdiential care?!”

from crippencartoons

DPAC video of protests

December 15, 2010

Hope you like it. Its not definitive – if I have time I will try to improve on it.

Thank you to Captain Ska for letting us use “Liar Liar” and photographers for the photos: Alison Wilde, Lynn Harrison, Debbie Jolly, Mikael Barnard and others. Thank you everyone for being there.

The new Housing Emergency Coalition has called a protest outside Downing St on Wednesday December 15th at 12 30 (or if you want to go en group – there is one setting off from Trafalgar Sq at 12 15)  – they want people to take cardboard boxes and sleeping bags and after the Downing St protest disabled people will move to Trafalgar Square for an alternative Nativity scene at 3pm. (free mince pies while they last and bring your borough name on a placard to be turned away by the inn keeper)
The Housing Emergency Coalition against the Housing Benefit cap and social cleansing start to demonstrate outside Downing Street at about 12.30. They want people to take sleeping bags and cardboard boxes emblazoned with Housing Emergency on them as props to show the consequences of the coalition’s plans.

Why is it important for you to come –

The future prognosis for housing following June’s budget and CSR is grim

• Already 30% of disabled people live below the poverty line and 1 in 4 families with disabled children can’t afford heating.

• The Chartered Institute of Housing has calculated that the cumulative effects of the coalition’s proposals mean that by 2020 every tenants’ Housing Benefit will be too low to cover their rent.

Proposed changes to Housing Benefits from April 2011

The size criteria will be adjusted to provide for an additional bedroom for a non-resident carer ( ie not a member of your family who shares your home) where a disabled customer has an established need for overnight care. This must be claimed for and will not be awarded automatically.

While this is a very small positive change it still totally fails to address Lack of an extra room for disabled children who need an extra bedroom, pensioner and other couples who need an extra room due to their medical needs, and a wide range of other disability related factors which mean disabled people need extra housing space including the need for space for dialysis, room to store equipment, room to use a wheelchair, ground-floor and level access accommodation. The recent DWP Select committee into LHA said that these factors were posing considerable barriers to independent living and should be addressed urgently but still have not been. In essence the overall proposed changes to LHA will simply increase these barriers.

Under 35s
Anyone under 35 years of age who is disabled but not in receipt of middle or higher rate DLA care component will not be able to claim for more than a shared room rate.

From October 2011

The Local Housing Allowance will be set at the 30th percentile rent in each Broad Market Rental Area, rather then the 50th percentile as now. Disabled people will only be able to afford to rent in the cheapest properties in an area, which are more than likely to be inaccessible.

This will also increase the difficulties disabled people face in finding suitable accommodation to live independently , increase homelessness amongst disabled people and push disabled people further into poverty especially if DLA recipients are cut by one-fifth as planned by DWP.

The proposed changes to the 30th percentile, rather then the median, rent being used to calculate LHA from October next year will only make these matters worse than they already are and will constitute serious breaches of UNCRPD particularly article 28, article 19,and article 7. New changes to our legislation should not be allowed to contravene these convention rights.

Longer term reforms

These will require primary legislation

from 2013-14 Local Housing Allowance and Housing Benefit rates will be upgraded in line with CPI ( Consumer Price Index) rather than on the basis of local rents. CPI does not include any account being taken of housing costs so this will result in the amount of money people can get to help pay their rents being even lower. At the same time this will apply to increases in other benefit rates and an estimate I have seen is that disabled people will be £300 per month worse off because of this.

Social Rented Sector
There are plans to remove any security of tenure from social housing tenants and to increase rents to 80% of market values. Together with the caps on Housing Benefits this will make renting in the social housing sector unaffordable in many higher priced areas of the country.

From 2013 housing benefit for working age social rented sector customers will be restricted for those who are occupying a larger property than their household size would warrant. This is something that the Labour government and DWP tried to introduce in Welfare Reform bill 2007 but were forced to drop by pressure from Housing Associations. It means that if you are living in an adapted property which may have cost thousands of pounds to adapt then if you also have an extra bedroom you have no apparent need for you will only get HB paid at the one bedroom rate.

Time limiting Housing Benefit customers who are claiming Job seekers allowance will only receive their full Housing Benefit award for a period of 12 months. After that their benefit will be reduced by 10% and they will continue to be ineligible for the full out of work Housing Benefit rate until after they have left the benefit system and been in work for a period.

This needs to be understood in conjunction with the work capability assessment for ESA which is designed to get as many disabled people as possible off Incapacity Benefit and into non-existent jobs which should be completed by 2013. therefore this will probably affect a lot of disabled people too.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Recognising the chaos their HB reforms are going to make the sum allocated by government has increased by £10 million in 2011 and by £40 million in 2012. This will apparently give more flexibility to local authorities but DHPs are not supposed to cover long term housing costs and have to be applied for every 13 weeks. There is no right of appeal if they are refused although you can seek a Judicial Review. Leicester for example has now introduced a policy where they will only pay for a maximum of 13 weeks during which time disabled people getting a DHP are harrassed to move to a cheaper property, regardless of their independent living needs.

Less important changes for disabled people who live outside of London, but disastrous for anyone living in London.

Local Housing Allowance levels will be restricted to the 4 bedroom rate. The 5 bedroom rate has been scrapped.

A new upper limit will be introduced
£250 a week for a one bedroom property
£290 a week for a2 bedroom property
£340 a week for a 3 bedroom property
£420 a week for a 4 bedroom property

According to government figures about 3-3,500 disabled people rent privately in central London. DPOs in London however have raised concerns that as the centre of London becomes unaffordable to most disabled people then there will be additional pressures on local councils for example in Brent where there is already a 10 year waiting list for re-housing as more people are forced to move.

Mortgage Interest changes
Changes to the amounts paid to mortgage interest for disabled claimants have been estimated to potentially lead to an additional 64,000 disabled people becoming homeless.

A Day of Mourning for the Welfare State, Justice and Equality has been arranged to co-incide with the royal wedding on Friday 29th April, 2011 at 1400 hrs. This is just one of the expressions of outrage being expressed by people effected by the cuts to education, housing, public transport, the NHS, the Welfare State and much more.

Whilst bankers and speculators celebrate another year of profit and Tory and LibDem politicians congratulate themselves on having continued to fool the vast majority of the public, students and school children, teachers and lecturers, trades unionists, disabled activists, mums and dads, grandparents, NHS staff, public transport workers, Local Government workers, etc., all continue to unite their voices in protest.

Disabled people are also taking to the streets like never before, fighting back against the claims that they are responsible for the state that the country is in by fraudulantly claiming benefits that they are not entitled to. Scapegoated once again by a government determined to distract people away from where the blame really lies. Which is why they view this royal wedding as such a good thing – more televised opiate for the masses!

Regular Crips, who used to look at Disabled activists as a different species altogether are now joining with us to protest against the unfairness of the government’s slash and burn tactics. We need this new energy that these newcomers are bringing to the fight. Many of us, having been protesting and fighting for Civil Rights for more years than we care to remember welcome this infusion of new blood.

Unfortunately though, not all protesters see things this way. Although united in their stand against the ConDem’s devisive policies, many non-disabled protesters still don’t understand that Disabled people have just as much right to protest as they do. This has manifested itself in inaccessible venues being chosen for protest meetings, no provision being made to allow us to transcribe information into alternative formats, no accessible transport being arranged to travel with others to different areas of the country, etc.

inclusion within protest

If anything, we have more right to be on the front lines of this current period of protest. We’ve been the ones, albeit not receiving much coverage in the press, who have been fighting consistently against oppression in these forms since the first World War. We are the one’s who, having amassed a great deal of knowledge around civil disobedience campaigns can bring a whole wealth of experience to this current fight.

We’re not asking for ‘special’ allowances to be made, just that our right to protest with other members of society is acknowledged. Because, let’s face it, this is basically what we’re all protesting about anyway – the right for everyone to be treated equally, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, impairment, age or ethnicity and with full access to education, housing, health care, employment and retirement without a few fat cats siphoning off all the cream!

To all of you non-disabled protesters out there, look upon Disabled people as a resource, rich in experience and networked into thousands of other Crips all around the world.

Together we can change society into a fairer, more equal place to live.

Linda Burnip

Linda Burnip

DPAC members, Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip, will be attending the Coalition of Resistance Conference .  Linda Burnip will be speaking.

Saturday November 27
Camden Centre
Bidborough St, London WC1H 9AU
10am-5pm
Tickets:

  • Unemployed/Student Rate £3
  • Standard Rate £5
  • Representative £10

Conference Agenda

10:00 – 10:30 REGISTRATION

10:30 – 11:45 OPENING PLENARY
Mark Serwotka PCS, Andrew Murray, Jean Lambert MEP, Bob Crow RMT, Christian Mahieux (Solidaires unions, France), Clare Solomon NUS, Heather Wakefield UNISON, People’s Charter, John McDonnell MP, Lindsey German CoR.

12:00 – 13:15 ORGANISING AGAINST THE CUTS LOCALLY
Range of speakers from anti-cuts and other organisations from around the country

ANALYSING THE CRISIS
James Meadway, Stathis Kouvelakis, Derek Wall, Hilary Wainwright

MOBILISING THE UNIONS
Alan Whittaker President UCU, Rebecca Allen PCS, George Binette UNISON

WHAT SHOULD POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES DO?
Liz Davis, Samir Jeraj (Green Party), Billy Bragg, Laurie Penny

YOUTH, STUDENTS AND EDUCATION
Speakers from recent school and student protests, Alex Kenny NUT, Jean-Baptiste Tondu (NPA student , France)

RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Chris Baugh PCS, Jonathan Neale CACC, Peter Robinson

13:15 – 14:00 LUNCH

14:00 – 15:15 DEFENDING THE WELFARE STATE
Colin Leys KONP, Chris Nineham CoR, Dr Jacky Davis, DCH

ALTERNATIVES TO THE CRISIS
Ozlem Onaran, Richard Brenner, John Hilary (War on Want)

STATES OF INEQUALITY
Zita Holbourne, Terry Conway, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Katherine Connelly, Linda Burnip

COR: HOW AND WHY
Paul Mackney, Andrew Burgin, Lindsey German

DEFENDING BENEFITS AND PENSIONS
George Thompson PCS, Colin Hampton (Chesterfield UWC), Pip Tindall (BBC), Pensioners’ Convention

15:30 – 17:00 VOTING, ELECTIONS AND CLOSING PLENARY
Dot Gibson (Pensioner campaigner), Lee Jasper (BARAC), Jeremy Dear (NUJ), Jeremy Corbyn MP, John Rees (CoR), Kate Hudson (CND), Chris Bambery (RTW), Lowkey, Tony Benn. Chairing by Paul Mackney and Romayne Phoenix

There will be elections for a National Steering Committee – nominations will be taken at the conference from individuals,organisations and anti-cuts groups that support Tony Benn’s statement. There will a vote on a campaigning plan for the forthcoming period. The plan of action will be amendable at the conference and will include suggestions from the sessions. This is a founding conference and we are proposing that the incoming steering committee prepare a resolution based conference to take place within 9 months.

The PM's Fair Cuts strategy

 

Crippen’s description: Two white men in matching blue suits are stood watching the PM David Cameron. One of the men is holding a piece of paper with ‘more cuts’ printed upon it. Cameron, also clad in the Tory uniform, is holding several darts, one of which he is aiming at a darts board on the wall opposite. He has his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth. The dart board is split into segments which include Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Tax Credit, Housing Benefit (HB) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The wall around the board has darts stuck into it, with a single dart stuck in the Tax Credit section. One of the men watching has a bemused expression on his face, whilst the other one is smiling and is saying: “The PM’s working on his new ‘Fair Cuts’ strategy!”

Rally tomorrow Birmingham 2pm

November 12, 2010

see you all there. We will be tweeting from the event for those who want to follow the event.

poster Cuts Kill

The first virtual protest page was set up for the 3rd Oct Protest.

This is for continuing protest for other demonstrations and links to other protest against cuts.

For example, I was told about the message thread on BBC Ouch message board :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/messageboards/F2322273?thread=7835380

Feel free to alert us if you want to add others.

Thank you for your support on October 3rd and 20th to help us fight against cuts to care funding and benefits. We are now trying to apply for some funding to help make our campaigns as strong and effective as possible and it would help with that if anyone who hasn’t already joined up to our facebook and/or blog could do so and please add a link from your own organisations.

Linda