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Call for UK benefits protests

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Crippled Monkey | 00:00 UK time, Thursday, 26 January 2006

SWAN - the Sheffield Welfare Action Network - are calling on disabled people all over the UK to follow their lead and mount simultaneous peaceful local protests against the newly announced changes to Incapacity Benefit.

SWAN plan to protest outside Sheffield Town Hall at 1.00pm on Saturday 4 February.

An email distributed by the organisation reads: "we are calling on all decent and caring people, claimants, campaigners, activists, faith groups, churches, individuals to support our call and peacefully protest in your locality".

Crippled Monkey asks: could the IB reforms be lighting the touchpaper for a new wave of disability protests like those we saw in the 90s? And are discrimination laws strong enough to help the government make this new system work anyway? Many disabled people don't work because of discrimination, and have found their way onto Incapacity Benefits as a result. Might the DDA have to be strengthened to stop employment discrimination more effectively, in order to help the government save money on benefits?

As the changes sink in, the discussion moves on and there's a significant number of people out there who nodded their heads and felt the government were right to crackdown on this. Incapacity Benefit costs the UK a lot of money and we all want to know it's going to the right people. Could there ever be a foolproof test for disability in order that so-called 'scroungers' are cut out of this loop?


  • 1.
  • At 12:00 AM on 26 Jan 2006, gary butler wrote:

i think that disabled people are getting a rough deal out of all this i was a tanker driver for about twenty years but in 2000 i suffered two heart attacks and have not worked since, i had my HGV revoked because of my condition i would like nothing more than to go back to work but i just could not do it some days iam unable to get out of bed let alone go to work, i think they need to concentrate on the so called sick which as we know accounts for most of the incapacity disabled people have a rough time living on the money we get without being ordered to go back to work .

  • 2.
  • At 12:00 AM on 30 Jan 2006, Julia wrote:

It is deeply insulting of this government to keep chivvying disabled people back into work. I used to work as an occupational therapist, but due to long term health problems I have been unable to work for 10 years. I don't qualify for incapacity benefit, so claim income support instead. There is nothing I would LOVE more than being able to return to work again. Whilst I was working I don't think I EVER came across anyone who had suffered illness or injury who WASN'T very keen to return to work. It is such a shame that there ARE a few unscrupulous people out there who make bogus claims for sickness benefits, when they are just too bone idle to work. But the vast majority of people have too much pride to fake claims about how "ill" they are. If anything, people try to go back to work too soon and end up relapsing. I don't understand why the government seems to think that peoples own GPs are NOT somehow responsible enough to advise patients about their fitness to work and when its appropriate and when it isn't? I had my DLA taken away, and had a hell of a stressful time appealing to get it reinstated. The are always trying to take away the pittance the DO give you, and you are then left feeling like some scrounger who is taking something they don't deserve to have because you haven't "earned it" yourself. MOST people LIKE working, it provides a role and purpose in life, as well as the financial side of it. I can't understand the mentality of the people who "fake" illness or injury and make bogus claims? They must have the morality and ethics of sewer rats!

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