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Cardiff Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts – 9th April

April 19, 2011

Monday, May 9 · 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Disability Benefits Building, St Agnes Street, Gabalfa, Cardiff

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171127669607093&ref=mf

As part of the National Week of Action against Benefit Cuts and Atos Origin kicking off on Monday 9th of May, we will be staging a protest outside the Disability Benefits Building at St. Agnes road, Gabalfa, Cardiff.

Bring music, drums, banners, placards, snacks to share and brighten up the faceless corporate wasteland that is the Benefits Building!

Musicians, poets, orators, ranters, shouters, all benefit claimants and supporters… welcome. Please help spread the word, invite your friends and let’s make this the biggest stand against attacks on welfare ever seen in Wales!

Supported by local claimants and disability campaigning groups.

BENEFIT CLAIMANTS FIGHT BACK

The planned cuts in welfare benefits target the poorest and most vulnerable. The biggest losers will be people with disabilities. Currently 2.6 million people claim incapacity benefit, 40% of them on account of mental health problems. The government intends to move 1.5 million of them onto the new Employment Support Allowance (ESA), paid at a much lower rate, via a test of their capacity to work. If after a year on ESA they have still not found work, despite the “assistance” provided by private agencies such as the hated Atos Healthcare to which the government has outsourced this task, they will be moved onto Jobseeker’s Allowance of £65 a week.

DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE SHAKE-UP

Disability living allowance (DLA) has been paid to those people who cannot do things such as walk, wash or dress themselves and helps them to live independent lives

The proposed scrapping of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will have a devastating impact. Now, disabled people who meet the criteria will receive the so-called personal independence payment, (PIP), which entails a 6 month qualifying period and regular reassessments.

There will be no automatic entitlement for those suffering particular impairments or health conditions and the majority of cases will be fixed-term payments.

No matter how you dress it up, the government is looking to spend less money on the new allowance than they were with the DLA

The DLA shake-up has received far less attention than tough new tests for incapacity benefit claimants, but has the potential to affect more people.

Concerns include:

Doubling the wait before people can claim, from three months to six months;
Suggestions that the new payments will be limited to bare essentials, such as washing, rather than enabling people to be as independent as possible.

Charities also warn of higher poverty among disabled people, predicting higher costs to the NHS in the long term because of cuts in athome support services.

WHO ARE ATOS ORIGIN?

Atos Origin have recently begun a £300 million contract by the Con-dem Government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’ on all of those claiming Incapacity Benefit.

It is claimed assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer.

The proposed scrapping of Disability Living Allowance reveals that this intrusive testing is likely to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

To date around 40% of appeals against Atos Origin’s decisions have been successful.

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