Developing Positive Policy Proposals March 2011 Webinar
1. The historical context2. Cuts & the challenge today3. Positive policy alternatives
1. Our History...Moving beyond the institutionalwalls and building community...
There is a long history ofconfused policy ondisability and old age...• Beneﬁt or services?• Local or central?• Personalised or institutional?But there has beenprogress...
There is a long history of resistance andinnovation by disabled people and theirallies
‘Personalisation’ is just another name for the long-term effort to restore citizenship to the many wholose it through prejudice and institutional responses‘The technologies of personalisation’ include:supported employment, supported living, self-advocacy, citizen advocacy, individual budgets,person-centred planning, direct payments, self help,centres for independent living and many more...
Six Keys to Citizenship from Keys to Citizenship by Simon Duffy
Personalised Transition from Personalised Transition by Alison Cowen
I want patients to have far more control over the care they get. Sopeople with long term conditions get to be part of designing the carethey need. Choosing what suits them - and making it work. Formental health patients. For pensioners in need of care. For peoplewith disabilities. It works.A couple of weeks ago in Sheffield, I met a wonderful woman calledKatrina. Shes got three disabled sons. The oldest is Jonathan, acharming, warm hearted young man of 19. He cant walk or talkclearly, or feed himself alone. Hes had a breathing tube in his necksince he was a toddler. Under a scheme the new Liberal Democratcouncil in Sheffield is extending, Jonathans just got his ownindividual budget and care plan.Now hes doing work with a local charity, attending a music group,has his own personal assistant. A child whose potential seemed solimited. Finally as a young man, engaged in life in a way he and hismother never thought possible. Katrina told me with the biggestsmile Ive ever seen. She said: Weve gone from having nothing tohaving everything. I wish every childs needs would be taken thisseriously.
All this enthusiasm and rhetoric, but...• Virtual budgets used to maintain status quo• Individual budgets bureaucratised and controlled• Rationing becoming more obscure, entitlements weaker• Commissioners limit choice and market development• Advocacy and legal aid slashed Personalisation is struggling to survive
Reform has always been met with resistance - and thatresistance takes different forms at different stages...Personalisation will not move forward unless we tacklethe deeper systemic blocks of power, money andlegislation that undermine it.
2. The Unfair Cuts...what do they mean for disabledpeople and other vulnerablegroups?
An economic crisis caused by thebursting of a bubble created by...• Bankers who beneﬁted from bonuses• Home owners who beneﬁted from unsustainable house price increases• Investors who beneﬁted from unsustainable proﬁts in ﬁnance industry• Politicians who beneﬁted from the illusion of a booming economyWho did not beneﬁt from the bubble?- the poor and disabled people
But where will the cuts fall?Part 1 - on Local Government servicesLocal government will face (excluding police andﬁre) a cut in funding of 28% from £28.5 to £22.9billion - in real terms. However approximately £21billion of local government expenditure is on socialcare services (for children and adults). By 2014 - inorder to deliver these cuts - local government willbe forced to:• Cut £5.9 billion from social care• Reduce eligibility - 250,000 people will lose vital supports
Where will the cuts fall?Part 2 - on beneﬁts, income andhousingThe multiple beneﬁt reforms and the creation of asystem of Universal Credit mean ﬁnal impact isuncertain in many areas. However government strategyis to:• protect and strengthen pensions• invest more in back to work programmes to reduce the tax burden on those on the verge of work• reduce the overall cost of beneﬁtsThe only way of squaring this circle is to reducespending on disabled people, families and carers.
Beneﬁt (£ billions) 10/11 (mn) pc paRetirement Pension £72.392 protected 12,509,000 £5,787Tax Credits £24.000 protected 7,200,000 £3,333Housing Beneﬁt £21.519 vulnerable 4,750,000 £4,530Disability Living Allowance £12.467 vulnerable 3,214,000 £3,879Attendance Allowance £5.436 vulnerable 1,635,000 £3,325Child Beneﬁt £11.000 questionabl 7,200,000 £1,528 eIncome Support £5.763 vulnerable 1,746,000 £3,301Pension Credit £7.673 vulnerable 2,664,000 £2,880Council tax beneﬁts £4.085 vulnerable 5,794,000 £705Jobseeker’s Allowance £4.841 questionabl 1,402,000 £3,453 eCarer’s Allowance £1.000 vulnerable 566,000 £1,767Employment Support £6.869 questionabl 2,469,000 £2,782 eAllowance + IBIndependent Living Fund £0.200 terminated 21,000 £9,524TOTAL £177.245 2010-11 Figures from DWP for major beneﬁts - child beneﬁt and tax credits from other sources
Examples of cuts already lined upinclude:• a change in indexation of uprating beneﬁts from the higher Retail Price Index (RPI) or Rossi to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI), said to save £6 billion a year by 2015• the reassessment of claimants of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to drive a 20 per cent reduction in costs [c. £2.4 billion]• and the reassessment of Incapacity Beneﬁt (IB) claimants to move more onto JSA – a plan ﬁrst proposed by the previous government and intended to save £1.5 billion, and which the current government believes will see 23 per cent of IB claimants moved to JSA
This is a pincer attack on the rights of disabledpeople. If we just focus on the 1.5 million peoplewith the most signiﬁcant disabilities - they will lose:• £5.88 billion in social care support• £1 billion in disability living allowance• Termination of ILF• Cuts to Supporting People• Many further cuts in housing support and other beneﬁtsSo, more than £7 billion of the total £27 billion(>25%) which government is saving fromdepartmental budgets is being born by less than 3%of the population - those who are least able to bear
This is anunprecedentedattack on therights of disabledpeople- which must bechallenged
And many other cuts will continue tofall on:• People with less severe, but still signiﬁcant, disabilities• People with mental health problems• Women suffering domestic violence• People not in work• Refugees and asylum seekers
3. The future...beginning to challenge thethird institution: the welfaresystem itself
There are opportunities,amidst the madness• Lets remember and clarify the values that have helped us make progress• Lets keep working at the technologies that we know work,• But let’s also propose policies and legislation that will support progress• And let’s build bridges with other disadvantaged groups
At the heart of our valuesEveryone is equal, no matter their differences ordisabilities. A fair society sees each of its members as afull citizen - a unique person with a life of their own. Afair society is organised to support everyone to live afull life, with meaning and respect.
Seven key principles...1. Family - we give families the support they need to look after each other.2. Citizenship - we are all of equal value and all have unique and positive contributions to make.3. Community - we root support and services in local communities.4. Connection - we all get chances to make friends and build relationships.5. Capacity - we help each other to be the best that we can be.6. Equality - we all share the same basic rights and entitlements.
But current policy must bechallenged• Weak entitlements - eligibility thresholds high and rising, housing rights weak, legal rights weak - the cuts demonstrate the fragility of the current system• Super-taxation for disabled people - means- testing, charging• Poverty traps - beneﬁt systems that punish families, savers, earners and disabled people• Weakened families - support focused on crises,family control undermined, families disrespected• Imprisonment for many - up to 20,000 people with learning difficulties in prison, 7,000 with IQ less than 70 and many more people with mental health problems
Instead1. Integrate tax and beneﬁts - remove stigma and complexity2. Take means-testing out of beneﬁts - we’ve already paid our taxes... we don’t need extra taxes on vulnerable people3. Deﬁne minimum level of eligibility for all - transparently deﬁne a level sufficient for citizenship4. Constitutional rights to support and control - clear law that can be tested and protected5. Fix a robust organisational framework - escape the era of ‘organisational ﬁxes’
Current system panders to the swingvoter and median-earner...
Current system undermines localdemocracy and centralises power From Women at the Centre (forthcoming) by Simon Duffy & Clare Hyde
Can we build the necessary bridges?• Avoid blaming local government, instead make alliance with local government• Avoid falling back on a defence of ‘services’, even when services are not the answer - we need rights• Build an alliance across and beyond ‘disability’• Connect to the general public’s common-sense understanding of fairness and social justice
www.campaignforafairsociet y.org The Centre for Welfare Reform The Quadrant, 99 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Business Park Sheffield, S9 4WG T +44 114 251 1790 | M +44 7729 7729 41 firstname.lastname@example.org Get a free subscription at: