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Welfare Reform Bill Vigil and Lobbies

January 22, 2012
Welfare Reform Bill — no going back to Dickensian days
Next Vigils & Lobbies: 1pm-3pm, MONDAY 23 JAN, WEDNESDAY 25 JAN, TUESDAY 31 JAN.
* Defend Child Benefit for all * Oppose all benefit caps and sanctions
Cap greedy landlords, not low-income people!
 
called by
Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, WinVisible, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
 
Meet opposite Parliament – Lords’ entrance
Old Palace Yard, Abingdon St SW1 – Westminster tube
All welcome
We have had two very successful vigils attended by over 30 people – people with disabilities, single mothers, claimants and other activists. The Royal College of Nursing joined the vigil last Tuesday. Alex Callaghan, who leads their policy work on the social determinants of health, had photos taken for Nursing Times.
·         Monday 23 January, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds plans to raise his amendment to keep Child Benefit out of the benefit cap which will be taken from the poorest families.  See SMSD & Global Women’s Strike press release: http://globalwomenstrike.net/content/press-release-child-benefit-all-%E2%80%93-mothers-earn-it-children-need-it
Baroness Hollis and Lord Ramsbotham will raise amendments proposed by Zacchaeus 2000, protecting people forced to repay overpayments made in error, and consideration of claimants’ circumstances before sanctions.
·         Wednesday 25 January,  last day of Report stage.
·         Tuesday 31st January, 3rd reading of the Bill where it will be passed or not as a whole by Lords.
Government defeats so far:
  •  no cut to Housing Benefit for having a spare room.
  • to keep benefit entitlement for young people who are severely disabled, so they have financial independence coming into adulthood;
  • increasing to two years the one-year time limit on National Insurance-based sickness benefit for people who are recovering;
  • entitlement for terminally-ill people – the government wanted to force people who have longer than six months to live, to attend work-focussed interviews to get benefit.

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