Friday, 21 January 2011

Benefit Claimants Fight Back

Latest News - National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts

Cities and towns across the UK are mobilising for the second National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts on 24th January 2011. Atos Origin, who carry out medical testing on behalf of the DWP and are likely to be involved in testing DLA claimants in future, have been named one of the main targets. Workfare sharks A4e are also set to be visited in Newcastle and Leeds.

A wide coalition of local and national groups, as well as autonomous benefit claimants, are holding events and protests around the country. For those unable to attend protests in person the Second National Troll A Tory Day has been called:

In London a Party and Picnic at Triton Square NW1, home to Atos Origin's UK headquarters, will begin at 2pm prompt.

Atos' Scotland offices in Livingston also will be visited from 10am, whilst claimants in Leeds will be gathering outside Atos at 10 and then heading to A4e at lunchtime.

Tyneside Claimants Union will be at A4e Newcastle from 11am and call on people to join them. In Birmingham students will be holding an event to warn that the upcoming benefit cuts will harm the ability of Disabled Students to continue with their education.

Atos are also set to be visited in Glasgow and events are also planned in Lydney, Burnley, Brighton, Hastings, Crawley, Chesterfield and Oxford.

For full details of all events please visit:

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

DLA Reform: #TBofB One-Page Summary

We have drawn up a one-page summary of the proposed reforms to DLA.

The file is accessible via Google Docs and is downloadable as a PDF.

TBofB DLA Summary Sheet

Draft Letter to AMs (Wales)

Now that Leanne Wood AM has tabled a Statement of Opinion in the Welsh Assembly opposing DLA reform, we need to keep up the pressure by getting as many of the 60 AMs as possible to support it. If you live in Wales, write to all your AMs (constituency and regional) and ask them to sign the statement. Below is a short bilingual letter draft:

Annwyl Aelod Cynulliad,

Ysgrifennaf er mwyn gofyn i chwi arwyddo'r Datganiad Barn: "Gwrthwynebiad Cymru i ddiwygio’r Lwfans Byw i'r Anabl". Mae Leanne Wood AC wedi gosod y datganiad, gyda'r geiriad:

Mae’r Cynulliad hwn yn erfyn ar y Gweinidog dros Bobl Anabl, Maria Miller AS, i ddwyn i ben yr Ymgynghoriad Cyhoeddus ar ddiwygio’r Lwfans Byw i’r Anabl, a rhoi’r gorau i weithio ar ddiwygio’r budd-dal hwn, oherwydd y diffygion difrifol yn y papur ymgynghori. Ychydig o dystiolaeth sydd ar gael i gefnogi achos yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau dros ddiwygio, ac mae lle i gredu y bydd hyn yn achosi caledi i lawer o bobl anabl. Yn ogystal รข hyn, mae’n debygol y bydd diwygio’r drefn yn lleihau gwariant ar fudd-daliadau ond yn cynyddu gwariant ar iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, a bydd hyn felly yn trosglwyddo baich y gost i’r Cynulliad hwn.

Gofynnaf i chwi arwyddo'r datganiad ar ran eich etholwyr anabl, ac er mwyn amddiffyn cyllideb Cymru rhag y torriadau Prydeinig.

Yn gywir,


Dear Assembly Member,

I write to ask you to sign the Statement of Opinion entitled: "Wales' opposition to DLA reform". Leanne Wood AM tabled this statement, which reads:

This Assembly urges the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller MP, to recall the Public Consultation on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform, and cease work on reform of this benefit, due to the serious flaws in the consultation paper. There is little evidence to support the DWP’s case for reform, and there are grounds to believe that they will cause hardship for many disabled people. Additionally, it is likely that the reform will reduce benefit expenditure but increase health and social care spending, thus transferring the burden of cost to this Assembly.

I ask you to sign the statement on behalf of your disabled constituents, and to protect the Assembly's budget from British cuts.

Yours sincerely,

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

#TBofB Twibbon - LIVE

We now have a Twibbon in support of The Broken of Britain's submission to the Public Consultation project. Please support this campaign by adding the badge to your Twitter and Facebook profile photos.

Thank you for your continued support!

TBofB against DLA Reform


Lisa J. Ellwood   @IconicImagery / @BrokenOfBritain

Wales Opposes DLA Reform

This is the first piece of good news from the political arena for a while: the National Assembly for Wales has stepped up to oppose DLA reform! The Broken of Britain has been speaking to two brilliant Assembly Members - Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins. Leanne tabled this statement, and she and Bethan have written to Welsh Assembly Government Ministers who will put pressure on the Westminster Government.

The Assembly has no power to control benefits, meaning that they will not be able to mitigate DLA reform - the Assembly Members who tabled this statement are worried about their disabled constituents. There are wider implications for Wales too - because the Assembly does control health and social care spending. There will be more pressure on health and social care when DLA is cut, and it is the Assembly who will pay.

If you live in Wales, e-mail your AM, and ask them to sign this Statement of Opinion. If not, write to your representatives in Scottish Parliament, the NI Assembly or the House of Commons to do similarly.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Submission on DLA Reform - Second Draft

There's less than a month left to run for submissions to the DWP's consultation on DLA reform. The first draft of The Broken of Britain's submission was posted on this forum a few weeks ago. The response has been incredible, with over 100 replies to my call for evidence and ideas. I have compiled this into a second draft which is posted on our forum. I have tried my best to reflect all your views in the document. Even if you were not quoted directly, your evidence did contribute fundamentally and I thank you sincerely. I now need you tell me how I've done, and to criticize it thoroughly.

This second draft of The Broken of Britain's submission to the Public Consultation on DLA reform still requires your input. Being an user-led group, we are interested in everything you have to say, even if you have never been on our blog or forum before. Read what we've written, take bits out, put new bits in, tell us what you like and don't like, and tell us if you disagree with us - we just want to make sure that we're accurately putting your views across.

On testimonies, we still need:

• A paragraph long testimony from DLA claimants who are enabled to work because of DLA
• A paragraph from a claimant who is chronically ill and will not ‘get better’ about why re-testing every few years is a waste of their time
• A paragraph about why you think DLA is fit for purpose
• A paragraph explaining why three rates of Care component is easier to understand than two (i.e. if you have medium care needs, how do you choose?)
• Why renaming the benefit PIP will not change your life
• A paragraph about the barriers to life that you face because of disability or illness?
• A paragraph on ‘[things] about DLA that should stay the same’.
• A paragraph on the main extra costs you face due to disability or illness.
• A paragraph about what would happen to you if you went down from Middle to Lower rate of Care (losing up to £29.85 a week).
• A paragraph about the broad range of specific activities that you consider essential to your life.
• A paragraph on how DWP can appropriately take account of variable and fluctuating conditions

You are welcome to post replies on this blog, on the forum, or to e-mail

Please help us to submit a document worthy of your support!