The Spartacus Report – Responsible Reform of the DLA

Yesterday (Monday 9th January 2011) saw the publication of a remarkable report, Responsible Reform – A Report On the proposed Changes to Disability Living Allowance (.pdf). The report was researched, written, funded and published by disability campaigners as a response to the Government’s controversial proposals to replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payments (PIPs).

The report was compiled from responses to the Government’s own consultation, responses which were only released after the submission of Freedom of Information requests and which imply the Government misrepresented the results both to the public and to the Houses of Parliament. This is from the press release which announced the publication of the report:

Our report shows that :

-The Government broke its own code of consultation over the DLA reform
-The Government has entirely misrepresented the views submitted as part of the consultation, giving a partial and biased view.
-The Government claim that DLA must be reformed as claims has risen 30% in 8 years – we find that these statistics are entirely misleading and give a “distorted view”
-There is overwhelming opposition to the new benefit, Personal Independence Payments
-Some elements of PIP appear to already be going ahead, despite a rejection of the plans and before legislation has passed.
-The Government are repeatedly warned that proposals for PIP may break International and UK equality and Human Rights legislation

This is a vitally important report which has received very little mainstream media coverage. It has, however, been shared far and wide through social networking sites (the ‘Spartacus Report’ name is a reference to the Twitter hashtag being used to support and raise awareness of the report) and pressure is building on the media to cover it.

Please read the report if you can. If you don’t have time we’ve reproduced the short Executive Summary on this website here.

Once you’ve read the report please email a link to your MP. You can find your MP’s email address through the theyworkforyou website. Also, spread the word among friends, family and colleagues.

There is a petition on the Government’s website calling on them to review the cuts to benefits and services. please sign it and share it. Every signature helps: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

Photos and Video From Triton Square ATOS Protest 9 May 2011

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This afternoon PCS R&C Euston Branch Secretary Anna Owens and Branch Organiser Dave Plummer joined a protest outside the ATOS office in Triton Square, next to Euston Tower.

It was a small but angry protest with speakers from several different groups, all campaigning against the use of ATOS to assess people for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA),  assessments which are carried out by under-trained staff with an inadequate computer system. ATOS have a vested interest in ensuring as many people are rejected for benefits as possible: they have a contract to carry out the compulsory work programmes which rejected claimants could be forced to endure.

To date approximately 40% of the appeals against ATOS assessments have been upheld, indicating a serious problem with the tests.

This is video of Anna speaking at the protest:

Guy Aitchison from University College London was one of many others who also spoke at the protest:

Dave Plummer played a song written on the bus on the way to work. Fortunately the footage is unuseable.

The protest was part of the week of protest against benefit cuts which features actions across Britain, including the Hardest Hit march on Wednesday. Please visit these sites for more details:

http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/

http://www.dpac.uk.net/

http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/