Recently the transcript of an address by AM Jane Hutt entitled “An update on advancing equality and human rights in Wales” has been made available. This also includes contributions from Mark Isherwood, Leanne Wood, John Griffiths, Caroline Jones and Suzy Davies. There are many positives in Jane Hutt’s statement together with good contributions from the other AMs. Attached is the link to the full transcript.
The High Court has ruled that the government’s Universal Credit migration arrangements for those who previously received the Severe Disability Premium and moved onto Universal Credit before 16 January 2019 are unlawful.
If the arrangements had been allowed to go ahead they would have left over 10,000 severely disabled people around a £100-a-month worse off.
The case was brought by two profoundly disabled men, known as TP & AR, represented by Leigh Day Solicitors and a woman, known as SXC, also profoundly disabled, represented by Central England Law Centre.
TP and AR argued in their legal case, heard in the High Court on 12 and 13 March, that the government’s provisions for individuals who moved onto Universal Credit before the so-called ‘SDP Gateway’ are discriminatory.
The SDP Gateway came into force on 16 January 2019 and prevents any further severely disabled benefits claimants from being forced to move onto Universal Credit until they are subject to a managed migration process.
Under the government’s regulations those who moved onto Universal Credit before the SDP Gateway came into force would be provided with only £80 per month in compensation, whereas individuals who would be managed migrated would receive a top-up of £180 per month. The £180 reflects the amount actually lost when people move onto Universal Credit.
The provision under challenge that sets the level of compensation at £80 has not yet come into force but if it came into force in the form proposed by the government, the 10,000 plus severely disabled persons who moved onto Universal Credit before 16th January 2019 would receive significantly less in benefits than those who moved afterwards despite their needs as severely disabled people being the same.
TP & AR argued that this difference in treatment is not justified. The High Court has agreed with them and ruled the provision unlawful.
They said they wouldn’t book us because I was a fire hazard,” she says. “That’s absolutely horrendous.” The singer is not alone. A new survey suggests disabled musicians face significant barriers in UK venues. Of the nearly 100 deaf and disabled performers surveyed by Attitude Is Everything, two-thirds said they had to “compromise their health or wellbeing” in order to play live. Twenty per cent said they had been forced to cancel gigs altogether due to a lack of access. Of the nearly 100 deaf and disabled performers surveyed by Attitude Is Everything, two-thirds said they had to “compromise their health or wellbeing” in order to play live.
The disaster of Universal Credit isn’t going away. Right now the government is forcing families into food banks and onto the streets with a system that is meant to help those struggling to get by. It’s so broken, even the UN have stepped in to condemn it.
Right now the new minister in charge of Universal Credit, Amber Rudd, will be deciding what to do about it. She could choose to carry on with Universal Credit as it is, while more people suffer. Or she could listen to the experts – and us, the public – and fix the system once and for all.
Amber Rudd has already admitted Universal Credit isn’t perfect. But when people are suffering every day, we’re going to need more than kind words. If the first thing that lands on Amber Rudd’s desk is a petition, signed by hundreds of thousands of us, she’ll know the public are watching. She’ll know we expect her to act now.
Will you sign the petition today calling on Amber Rudd to urgently fix Universal Credit?#
Measuring the Mountain – Understanding Experiences of Social Care in Wales
Measuring the Mountain is an all-Wales project evaluating the impact of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. It is a collaboration between the public sector, third sector and, most importantly, the people who live here.
Funded by Welsh Government, the project will collect stories from people with recent experience of social care in order to build a picture of what social care feels like for the individuals involved.
The Measuring the Mountain team hope to work with organisations across Wales, both to let people know about the project and to help create a network of Listeners. Listeners will support people to share their stories and will play a vital role in ensuring that everyone who has a story is able to share it. Listeners can be staff or volunteers: volunteers will be able to join Spice’s Time Credits network and earn Time Credits for the stories they collect.
If you have a story to share, or if you know others who do, please get involved.
Measuring the Mountain will share their findings with Welsh Government, social care professionals, participants and, through their website and presentations, with people in Wales. In September, the project will host a Citizens’ Jury at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, to look more closely at key issues that arise from the stories. Members of the public will examine a policy question, draw conclusions and present their recommendations.
Or you can contact Katie, the project manager – email@example.com / 07964 407 739
The Disability Advice Project are applying to the Big Lottery Fund for money to help families bringing up a child or children under the age of 18 with additional needs. One family member needs to be in employment, whether part-time, full-time or self employed. To help us do this we need to learn about the issues that affect families/households and how we can best use this funding to help them. To begin this process we would be really grateful if you would click on the link below and take a few minutes to answer the short survey (only 8 questions)
This is a two year project funded by the Peoples Health Trust.
The project is being run by the Disability Advice Project (DAP). It is targeted at parents of children and young people up to the age of 25 years, with a disability in Torfaen.
Aims of the project are:
- Improved participation of parents of disabled children in community activity, through being actively involved in the design, delivery and development of the project.
- Decrease social isolation, loneliness and stress. Improved community connections and friendships established among participants.
Target area: Torfaen
The project wants to establish two groups in the north and south of Torfaen. The groups will meet every month and develop a network of support in each area. Provide bi monthly training sessions, as requested by members and leisure activities twice a year.
This project isn’t looking for large numbers; its aim is to help make connections between parents in similar situations. Giving them the opportunity to come together, share experiences and support each other while having some time for themselves. Cost of meeting up, training and leisure activities will be covered by the project. Meeting venues will be decided by the participant and they will be encouraged and assisted to become self-directing.
The first meeting will take place on:
Wednesday 21st June 2017
The Ashbridge Inn, Avondale Rd, Cwmbran, NP44 1DE.
Refreshments will be provided.
A chance to relax, have a chat and meet others.
If you wish to know more or could help disseminate this information or if you wish to refer anyone to the project please contact:
Anna Deverill-Smith, Project Coordinator at DAP 01633 485865 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
The ‘two-child limit’ is affecting families now – third or subsequent children born since last Thursday are no longer eligible for child tax credit or universal credit support. This breaks a fundamental premise of our social security system – the link between what families need and the support they get. We’ve been putting pressure on the government to scrap this policy – including by writing to the Times with other concerned organisations last week (see image). Your voice will help us keep the pressure on.
Nothing does more to damage childhoods than poverty. Any family can fall on hard times – we should be providing every child with the opportunities to do well in life, not punishing them and their families for asking for help when they need it. 200,000 children will be pushed into poverty by this policy – we need to put a stop to it.