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Support people living with a disability – Email your MP

January 25th, 2012 by

“The Lords have told government to ditch plans that would leave people struggling financially if they became sick or disabled. Now 38 Degrees members can help make sure MPs listen.” Kathy Peach, Head of Campaigns & Social Change, Scope

In the next few days we could help stop some of the worst cuts to support for sick and people living with a disability. When the plans were debated in the House of Lords, Lords and Baronesses voted to stop some of the most unfair cuts – including support being ended after only a year for some people recovering from very serious illnesses, like cancer.

Now, the government is threatening to reverse these decisions and bring the cuts back. But they can only do that if they can persuade enough MPs to do what the government tells them. If we work together, we can push our MPs to stand up for what’s right and defend sick and people living with a disability.

All over the country, people living with a disability and their families are anxiously waiting to see what will happen. The decision could be the difference between a decent life and serious poverty. Becoming sick or disabled could happen to any of us. Now, we’ve got a chance to stop MPs making a tough package of cuts even worse.

Even with the changes the Lords have made, there are big worries about what these plans mean for people living with a disability. But if MPs don’t back the Lords’ changes, it could end up being even worse. Our voices will be joining hundreds of other groups, including Scope and Sense, who want MPs to protect these improvements.

Right now, many MPs could be on the verge of doing the right thing. A final, people-powered push from thousands of 38 Degrees members could convince them to back the Lords’ changes to the bill.

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  • Redisbleu

    Well well, now we seem to be trendy!  We do appreciate this (although some would say it has been a long time coming)!  I will hope that we can put the past behind us and give this one final push and get it out there, so here’s to hoping we can do this with solidarity.

  • Bluesky

    Finally!!  Maybe we can all work together and make a difference now. Thank you for listening to us, even if it did take rather longer than it should have.  Onward and upward, and hopefully all this support will make the difference, you have restored my faith in 38Degrees!

  • Jane Young

    Please see 
    http://janeyoung.me.uk/2012/01/19/thousands-could-lose-motability-vehicles/ which analyses the effects of the current proposals for Personal Independence Payment, which is intended to replace Disability Living Allowance. You need to know that Disability Living Allowance, and it’s proposed successor, Personal Independence Payment, are payable regardless of work status and that many disabled people can only work because they get DLA, often because they need the vehicle they get through Motability to get to work. My own situation is that after waiting 10 months for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, which was part-funded by a grant from the government’s Specialist Vehicle Fund, I could lose the vehicle because although I use a wheelchair when I’m out, I can walk a little and I walk at home. The vehicle enables me to go out independently again. It would be such a ridiculous waste of government money if it was taken away because the vehicle was made specifically for my needs at the government’s expense. If I lose it, the reason will be that the government have changed the goalposts, not that I no longer need it!

    See also http://wearespartacus.org.uk which is our campaign’s website.

  • http://twitter.com/patspetition patspetition

    You haven’t mentioned Pat’s Petition, the grassroots people’s petition by disabled people and carers – asking for a pause to consider ALL the changes which are affecting this one group of people. 

    Any change you name – welfare reform, NHS. legal aid, independent living fund, local authority budgets, access criteria for support and much more – affects disabled people disproportionately. Pat’s Petition calls for a pause to review the impact of these changes and has already reached 24,000 signatures.

    Please sign the petition and share it. With your support, Pat could easily reach the necessary 100,000 signatures.

    The link is http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

  • http://twitter.com/catchedicam voynich

    Nice to see some support at last from 38 degrees but just a pity no link as you say to Pats Petition.  I fully support PP and think it is the only way forward.

  • hamsterkel

    If you haven’t done so already, please sign Pat’s Petition to stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families and forward the link to everyone you know:

  • David Gillon

    I wish we had had this support in time for the major votes of committee phase in the Lords over the past fortnight, that is where we could have made major changes to the Welfare Reform Bill and perhaps saved DLA, preventing 500,000 disabled people from losing the support they desperately need to be able to function as equal members of society, but we still have the chance to force the government to accept the changes we did get, and we need every bit of help we can get to counter the systematic demonisation of disabled people which has soiled our society over the past few years.

    For those who don’t know the extent of the attacks on disabled people, I cover most of them in the guest blog I did for 38 Degrees at http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/12/01/on-being-demonized-a-disabled-38-degrees-members-perspective/ 

    If you can help us, we desperately need all the support we can get.

  • David Gillon

    There is an absolutely huge omission in the post by Bex Hay for 38 Degrees, and that is any mention of the disabled people who have driven the campaign for changes to the Welfare Reform Bill over the past year and more. It is individual disabled people, such as Sue Marsh and Kaliya Franklin, who have campaigned even at a significant cost to their health, who put together the Spartacus Report and who successfully convinced the House of Lords to reject significant parts of the Bill.

    It’s good to see 38 Degrees in the fight, but ‘Nothing for us, without us’ is a fundamental part of that fight.

  • #spartacusreport

    Finally, the plight of the sick and disabled has come on to your radar.  Thank you 38 degrees.

    If you are opposed to the privatisation of the NHS then you also need to oppose the Welfare Reform Bill. 

    It is simply about privatising the Welfare State.  It means that paying National Insurance Contributions for 30 years will get you nothing except the label of scrounger, if you ever have the misfortune to become too ill to work, either short or long term.  Meanwhile the insurance companies, notably UNUM have been in the forefront of developing this Bill, in anticipation of all the profits to be made from selling Private Payment Protection Insurance. Look up their track record in the US.  Banned and sued. Their computer test for denying claims is basicaly the same version Atos are now using to deny ESA claims. The definition of disability has been changed, not the needs of those affected.

    Dig deeper. You will be shocked. Don’t buy private insurance – they will happily take hundreds of pounds a month from you, give you false assurances and then, when you need it, they won’t pay out. Ask those who have tried.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/fionajnicholson Fiona

    Do we have exact date (with url!) for when the Commons starts considering the Lords amendments? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638977017 Clive Arnold


  • diversejustice

    This was just tweeted a short time ago Fiona   Lords amendments to Welfare Reform Bill will be debated in Commons next Wednesday. #wrb  If you follow the hash tag #wrb get most updates there.

  • David Gillon

    Spammer? For asking people to sign a petition against the Welfare Reform Bill? The petition disabled people have been asking 38 Degrees to get behind for months.

  • Anonymous

    1st February!!!

  • http://some.randomhash.net/38d/support-disabled-people-email-your-mp:01281301.36 @somerandomhash » Support disabled people- Email your MP

    [...] @38Degrees @ME / social 0.3.8:ShareEmail # 38D activism, crisis2012, disability, government, healthbill, [...]

  • https://twitter.com/#!/fionajnicholson Fiona

    Thanks for this. I just wrote to my Labour MP. I’ve put it here in case it helps anyone wondering what to say http://edyourself.org/articles/MPletterWelfareReformLordsamend.php 

  • Diana Jakeways

    Here is the response to my lobbying letter from my
    MP (Greg Mulholland, LibDem, Leeds North West)

    Diana Jakeways

    ——– Original Message ——–


    Welfare Reform Bill


    Tue, 07 Feb 2012 12:45:06 +0000


    Greg Mulhollands Office



    Thank you for contacting me to raise your concerns about the Welfare

    Reform bill and the affect this could have on vulnerable people.


    As you may now know the bill was debated in Parliament on 1st February,

    where the amendments made in the House of Lords were debated.

    Unfortunately the seven amendments introduced by the House of Lords were

    defeated and the Government has reinstated their original proposals into

    the legislation. The Government did announce one concession, a nine

    month transitional period for families affected by the newly introduced

    benefit cap. The bill will now return to the House of Lords, possibly on

    the 15th of February, when the Lords may make further changes.


    I voted in support of a number of the amendments made by the Lords,

    including the amendments concerning the under occupancy of homes and ESA

    for adults who became severely disabled as children. I had serious

    concerns about the Government’s proposals to reduce housing benefit, if

    they are living in an under occupied home. I felt that there were many

    occasions when such a penalty would be extremely detrimental and

    harmful, such as upon the death of a family member. To be informed that

    your housing benefit is to be cut after a family death would be

    extremely inappropriate and unacceptable.


    I was of course disappointed that these amendments were defeated,

    although I am hopeful that once the bill is discussed in the Lords and

    House of Commons, further changes can be made to ensure that this bill

    does not cause unnecessary hardship to those vulnerable and disabled

    people, who rely on the welfare system for the help and support that

    they need, and I will continue to push for a fair and progressive



    Thank you once again for contacting me about this matter.


    Yours sincerely



    Greg Mulholland

    Member of Parliament for Leeds North West

  • Roni goff

    Its the usual stuff …The government are not listening because they don’ t want to listen.

  • Mike Renwick

    What next concentration camps? This appears to be to be a form of fiscal eugenics. I feel sick!
    Is there no way of bringing a prosecution against these people? Preferably one that carries a sentence of hard labour?

  • Sheilawatson05

    Why do they have to rush everything without testing.
    Why cannot they take on one thing at a time, like the banks it’s not resolved, yet they start on other projects, so nothing get done !!