Saturday, 28 May 2011

Case #1: Why Welfare Reform Will Be A Disaster (..for the Coalition)

Sometimes things blow up in your face, take an unexpected turn, like when you use your online pseudonym for some serious undercover investigative work but someone you know recognises you and calls your actual name very loudly across the room. Sometimes they go smoothly, random events line up wonderfully in your favour as if someone is playing Tetris with your hygiene on the day, that girl you like and the last strawberry she is eyeing up, which you get because you were closest. Sometimes both of these things happen together(that girl you like may sometimes yell your name followed by 'greedy bastard') and if you're the irritable sort, it's worse than if things just simply went wrong altogether.

That is what happens when I spend days hunting for legal cases concerning DLA and trying to write a summary of the effects that rulings have had in shaping it over 18 years, only to then discover halfway through a certain link which reveals Disability Alliance have already done it. I am reminded while using it of something that has gnawed at me for a while and that is what happens to these rulings when DLA is replaced by PIP? I asked one of the experts at Citizens Advice and she agreed it was very likely they would not be carried over to PIP. I mentioned this to my MP and he at least grasped the problem quickly: these decisions were often based on the Disability Discrimination Act, so if they are reversed due to DLA reform, they're simply going to happen again. These rulings against the DWP will be repeated and because of the precedents set down by the rulings last time, the claimants will almost certainly win. The DWP will then have to back-date all the withdrawn payments and will have incurred massive costs whilst saving absolutely 'zero bloody money'.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Factual Sodomy; Thrusting The Truth Where The Sun Doesn't Shine.

With The Hardest Hit protest march in London today, there has been a sudden spike in traffic to this investigation due to my shameless linking on the Guardian and other places. With this opportunity I felt the need to gather the evidence spread around the blog into one place to summarise certain Facts which are vital to the national discourse on social security for disabled people. At the end of this day, the hardest hit will be those taking the un-lubricated points of data in the tender nethers.

Disability benefits have not been uncontrollably rising in X number of years.

Click to enlarge
This first graph is taken from the Harrington Report, although it is labelled 'Incapacity Benefit' please be aware that IB was introduced in 1995, replacing Invalidity Benefit which is what is represented prior to that date. Invalidity Benefit rose suddenly when DLA was introduced, likely because increased awareness led to an up-take in what was an under-claimed benefit.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Case #3: Moral Kombat 2

There is something called 'Blogging Against Disablism Day' which I had not been informed about and so had no chance to plan this at all. No investigation, no data analysis or evidence-gathering. Having to report on disablism at such short notice eats into my self-management and makes everything I do and say rubbish. Complete rubbish. I'd better think of something good to do with disablism and quickly before you click 'read more'.