Timed to coincide with the return of the Welfare Reform Bill to the House of Lords, today sees the formal launch of a new report, “Responsible Reform”. Written, researched, funded and produced by sick and disabled people and their friends and family, Responsible Reform is a detailed investigation into the Government’s consultation on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform which ended in February 2011.
The Broken of Britain Blog reminds us: “Once a consultation has been started, regardless of whether there is a duty to consult, there are clear legal duties; particularly that there must be sufficient time allocated to complete that consultation… Despite an established legal guidance on consultations, the consultation into DLA was two weeks shorter than it should have been, and ran across the Christmas and New Year period…. The consultation into DLA was closed two days after the Welfare Reform Bill returned to the Commons, meaning that there was no way the results of the consultation could be properly considered as part of the bill.”
In a blog on the Guardian website, activist Sue Marsh writes “when sick and disabled people can design their own working models, they can be productive, empowered and creative. New technologies open up a new way of engaging with work. If we can fit tasks around our disabilities, we can contribute our huge potential. Among politicians, “reform” has become a byword for cuts; yet, as our report shows, true reform ought to find solutions to makeBritainfairer, more inclusive and more productive. That we should have to go to such extremes to be heard should concern – and perhaps shock – us all.”
United Response supports all efforts to ensure disabled people are listened to as the Government makes crucial decisions on welfare reform and cuts to public services. We are creating an easy read translation of the report, available soon. Later this week, we will also be launching our own report by people with learning disabilities, looking at why social care is so crucial.
In the meantime, to find out more about the Responsible Reform report, or to take action, click here. Twitter users can take to their accounts and show their support by tweeting “I support the #spartacusreport”.
Jaime Gill, head of press and public affairs, United Response