The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has bee

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of a “brazen repetition of a known lie” about the impact on disabled people of one of the government’s major spending cuts, following the publication of a damning new report.The report by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) found that social security reforms over the last decade – mostly under successive Tory-led governments – had hit disabled adults four times harder than non-disabled adults.It found that disabled people had lost out by an average of about £1,200 a year, compared to an average of about £300 for non-disabled people.The report, Has Welfare Become Unfair?, shows that the higher a person’s support needs, the more they have lost out, with someone with six or more impairments losing over £2,100 a year on average, compared to someone with one impairment losing about £700 each year.But when DWP was asked to comment on the report’s conclusions, it claimed that “disability benefits are exempt from the benefit freeze”.This is not true, which has been repeatedly pointed out to ministers and DWP press officers over the last three years.In March, the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson (pictured), failed to apologise after telling the Commons work and pensions committee that “disability benefits were exempt from the benefits freeze”.In June 2018, his predecessor, Sarah Newton, made the same claim in a Commons debate.This apparently deliberate attempt to mislead the public about the working-age benefits freeze dates to its introduction in 2016 by the then chancellor, George Osborne.Disability living allowance, personal independence payment and the employment and support allowance (ESA) support group top-up are all exempt from the benefits freeze, which has frozen most working-age benefits at the level they were at in 2015.But there is no exemption for the main component of ESA or the top-up paid to those in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG), which continue to be frozen.This means that every disabled person receiving ESA, the main out-of-work disability benefit – and its equivalent under universal credit – has been and will continue to be hit financially by the freeze, including by its impact on non-disability-related benefits.Although DWP could argue that the main ESA component is set at the same level as the mainstream jobseeker’s allowance, the WRAG top-up is only available to people with impairments that affect their ability to work.Bob Ellard, a member of the national steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “The DWP’s brazen repetition of a known lie shows they believe they are immune from being held to account.“I urge everyone reading this to sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition for an independent inquiry into the DWP, not just for the people who have died but for all who have suffered hardship and distress in dealing with the DWP. Let’s hold them to account.”The petition* calls for an independent inquiry into links between DWP and the deaths of benefit claimants, and was launched following the death in February 2017 of Jodey Whiting, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment.The Independent Case Examiner concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling her case.The DBC report says the benefit freeze “has been a major factor in reducing the incomes of disabled people and pushing them into poverty”.And comments this week by both contenders for the Tory party leadership, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, suggest the freeze might not end next year as previously planned.Asked to comment on the department’s comment about the benefits freeze, a DWP spokesperson said: “On the DBC report, you have our statement and of course you are free to write up the story as you see fit.”The government has previously suggested that the main ESA element and the WRAG top-up** are included in the benefits freeze because they are “a work-related benefit”, rather than a disability benefit, even though they are benefits paid to disabled people.There was further misleading information in the DWP response to the DBC report, with the department claiming that “in many cases our reforms mean people will receive more money on average, with one million households gaining an average of £100 more on Universal Credit”.The department’s own equality impact assessment and the Office for Budget Responsibility have both made it clear that there would be both winners and losers from universal credit.But the DWP spokesperson claimed that – even though it had provided figures for those gaining from UC – the department did not publish figures showing how many million households would lose out through UC and by how much on average.The report by DBC – whose members include Inclusion London, Disability Rights UK and Transport for All – warns that when disabled people move onto universal credit there will be “dramatic increases in the levels of poverty among people who are already at a crisis point”.The report says this is a “disaster waiting to happen”.The report, funded by The Three Guineas Trust, concludes that changes to the social security system since 2010 have had a “devastating impact” on disabled people’s wellbeing and right to independent living.The report, which makes 22 recommendations for government action, concludes that people claiming disability benefits “are leading precarious lives characterised by financial insecurity, with immediate and enduring worries over money, bills and what the future may hold”.*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**New claimants placed in the WRAG after starting their claim from April 2017 onwards no longer receive the top-up A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Parliament approves GRDA

first_imgThe draft legislation for the setting up of a Gozo Regional Development Authority (GRDA) had passed through the last stage of approval from Parliament at the end of the third reading. A vote was not taken on the act as no division was requested.In a press release, the Ministry for Gozo said that it believes that this is am important and historical step for the island’s regional development.No names have yet been made as to who will be on the Authority.The government did not approve the amendment proposed by the Opposition which asked for the representation within the Authority to not fall under the full remit of the Ministry for Gozo. The Opposition had previously declared that it was against the draft legislation as they believe that the Authority is just another measure to keep the Ministry for Gozo in full control without providing any autonomy.Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) shadow minister for Gozo Chris Said said that “the government felt that the Opposition should not be represented on this Authority”. He added that this authority is not just appointed but also controlled by the government and is not holding any executive powers.This draft legislation had caused negative reactions amongst stakeholders in Gozo particularly businesses. The Gozo Chamber of Commerce had stated that Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana did not accept the proposal presented to her regarding board representation.In a press release, the Government stated that the authority will strengthen the institutional framework in Gozo and will ensure that the island will have a regional development strategy that could be updated according to the island’s social, economic and environmental frameworks exigencies.WhatsApp <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Watch Updated 44 migrants including 3 children disembarked in Malta

center_img SharePrint Marc Tilley Miguela Xuereb A source told that the migrants originated from Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Guinea.The youngest of the three children is understood to be 15 months old, while the other two are aged 3 and 5 years old.AFM had earlier told that those on board the ‘Alan Kurdi’ rescue vessel, were set to be transferred to a Maltese patrol vessel, bound for Malta.They did not, however, provide details of when the disembarkation will take place, although this was later confirmed to be 4.15PM local time.Unsere Crew an Bord der #AlanKurdi hat am Abend 44 Menschen gerettet, darunter vier Frauen und drei Kinder.Die Menschen gaben an, schon seit Samstag unterwegs zu sein. Auf See sei Ihnen dann der Treibstoff ausgegangen.— sea-eye (@seaeyeorg) July 8, 2019According to the vessel’s German NGO operator Sea Eye, the crew of the Alan Kurdi received a distress call about the migrants during Monday late afternoon.  It is understood that the migrants had been adrift in a wooden boat since Saturday. The rescue vessel promptly responded to the emergency.The rescue is understood to have been conducted in cooperation with the Maltese authorities.The news of the rescue comes only a few short days after the Alan Kurdi had rescued 65 asylum seekers which were later disembarked in Malta on Sunday evening.Updated (2): Asylum seekers rescued by Alan Kurdi disembark in MaltaWhatsApplast_img read more


first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Our new daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Tuesday 20 August4.00 YarmouthExcellent Aim 11/4 > 7/46.30 LeicesterDon Padeja 9/4 > 15/86.40 WorcesterTulla Emerald 25 > 12In the golf we’ve seen support for Jim Furyk in The Barclays tournament this week.last_img

STAR PREVIEW Punchestown Day One

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s nice when a project comes together and it did at Dean Court last night when there wasn’t a moments worry (for once) with the recommended HT/FT full time recommendation on Bournemouth.The profit on the daily preview column now stands at 90.97 points since the World Cup last year !!!All eyes on Punchestown this afternoon for the start of the 2015 Festival – run on expected good to yielding ground.Not the easiest punting card today – three odds on favourites – an impossible looking handicap and two bumpers with a high number of debutants making them even more trappy than normal.The money buyers will no doubt be out in force in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at 4.20 where red hot favourite Douvan probably doesn’t need even to reproduce the same level of form he showed when storming clear to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Certainly it’s hard to see how Sizing John (second favourite in today’s race and third at Cheltenham) can turn around the seven lengths he was beaten by. The others have 20lb and more to find on the formbook.The meeting starts with a likely odds-on shot in the shape of Wish Ye Didnt – although this one is very much priced on the reputation of connections rather than anything she has shown on the racecourse. Trainer Enda Bolger has won four of the last five runnings of this and although Wish Ye Didnt looks to have the profile of a horse likely to extend the run – at odds on with no wins from seven starts I don’t want to pay to find out.The Champion Chase at 5.30pm must have given Ruby Walsh some headaches. He’s chosen Champagne Fever over the Mullins stable companions Felix Yonger and Twinlight. I’m not sure though. Champagne Fever looked in need of a break to me when well beaten in the Melling Chase at Aintree last time out.Don Poli is a highly unoriginal selection for day one – but he was so impressive when winning the RSA Chase at Cheltenham that he has to again carry my money today in the Champion Novice Chase. A 10 point bet to hopefully edge us closer to the 100 point profit level. A better priced pick tomorrow – promise!RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK DON POLI (6.40 Punchestown) for 10 points at SP with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 90.97 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more