Disability News Roundup: welfare reform and the 'fit to work' test
The welfare reform bill suffered defeats on three issues in the House of Lords on Wednesday.
Peers rejected means testing of the employment support allowance for some cancer patients after 12 months, extending it to two years. They also voted down the proposed 12-month limit on ESA claimants judged capable of work in the future, and rejected moves to stop young people who have never worked due to illness or disability from receiving contributory ESA.
And the national newspapers have reacted to the hat trick of government defeats.
Ministers are now facing a £1.6 billion black hole in their welfare reform plans, said the Daily Mail. And the Daily Telegraph suggested the vulnerable are being asked to pay the price for bankers' failures.
In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Polly Toynbee writes:
"If not these cuts, then what, the government challenged the Lords rebels yesterday? The answer is to cut almost anything else before picking on the disabled."
Employment minister Chris Grayling told the BBC that ministers would seek to reverse the amendments in the Lords when they came back into the Commons.
Elsewhere in the news
I just want to live independently (BBC Radio 4's Today Programme)
Carers need a break, too (Comment is Free, The Guardian)
Inaccuracies dog 'fit to work' test (Guardian)
We're all desperate for welfare reform, Mr Cameron, but hiding the truth is not the way to achieve it (Opinion piece, Daily Mail)
Stephen Hawking: defying the odds of medecine (BBC News profile)
Funeral tribute for X Factor star Kerry McGregor (BBC Scotland)
Sinead O'Connor makes plea for psychiatric help on Twitter (Daily Mirror)
Around the world