Current events areunprecedented.Never in living memoryhave we seen...
• Reductions in income for disabled people and the poorest• Deep cuts in public expenditure• Cuts that target services for disabled and older people• Increased hate crime towards poor and disabled people
So much has happenedso quicklyit’s hard to take it all in.
• 58% of all cuts target disabled people and people in poverty• 36% of all cuts target disabled people• 24% of all cuts target those who need social care - 1.9% of the population [Source: Manifesto for a Fair Society]
This means:poorest 10% of familiespay the most tax - 47%
There are many hidden taxesthat hit the poor hardest
Television Income Tax Licences Customs Council Tax Duties Tobacco Air Passenger Duty Duty on & Northern Ireland Duty onEmployees NIContributions Rates Hydrocarbon Oils Industrial Rates VAT Commercial & Betting Taxes Insurance Premium Tax Excise Duty Employers NI Duty on VehicleCamelot Duty on Wines & Beer & Cider ContributionsNational SpiritsLottery Stamp Duty on Fund Social Care House Charges Purchases
The cuts are hidden in aseries of measures which areoften called “reforms”or they are hidden in othertechnical changes.
• End of Disability Living Allowance• Cuts in Housing Benefit• Reductions in Access to Work• Reduced eligibility for ESA• Increasingly intrusive testing by ATOS• Introduction of Universal Credit• Benefits reindexed to increase poverty• End of Independent Living Fund• Increased eligibility for social care• Increasing bureaucracy in social care• Reducing budget levels in social care• Return people to institutions and care homes• Increasing social care charges• Increased taxes, e.g. VAT, Council tax• and many, many other measures
Possible explanations include:• Prejudice against disabled people• Fragmentation of disability groups• Complexity of welfare system• Ignorance about our welfare rights• Pandering to key electoral groups
And all this has happened despite:• Equalities & Rights legislation• UN Convention on Disabled People• Office of Disability Issues• Disabled people in Parliament• Personalisation & Direct Payments
All this happened despiteGovernment pledging tomake cuts fairly
Cuts are unfair in every sense of the word• Targets the most disadvantaged• Makes society even more unequal• Hits the groups that didn’t benefit from nor cause the crisis
The current crisiswas not created by the poor,it is the result ofan economic bubble.
This bubble benefited some:• Bankers - with high salaries and bonuses• Home owners - with increased house prices• Investors - with high profits in finance industry• Politicians - with illusion of booming economy
But none of this benefited:•Disabled people•People who rent•People in poverty
Everyone is equal, no matter our age,differences or disabilities.A fair society sees each of us as a fullcitizen - a unique person with a life ofour own.A fair society supports everyone to livea full life, with meaning and respect.
1.Human rights - not just services2.Clear entitlements - not confusion3.Early support - not crisis4.Equal access - not institutional care5.Choice & control - not dependence6.Fair incomes - not insecurity7.Fair taxes - not injustice8.Financial reform - sustainable
1. Human rightsNOWThere are many services; but our legalrights are far too weak.INSTEADWe should make sure we have enough, sowe can each be active citizens.
2. Objective entitlementNOWThe current system is confusing; youdon’t know where you stand.INSTEADWe should have clear entitlements; weshould know our rights & responsibilities.
3. Early supportNOWIndividuals and families have to go intocrisis before they can get any help.INSTEADWe should help each other early, so thatwe can keep individuals & families strong.
4. Equal accessNOWToo much money is spent on services thatcut people out of community.INSTEADWe should all be able to get fully involvedin our communities.
5. Choice and controlNOWServices sometimes take away basichuman freedoms.INSTEADWe should each have the right to controlour own support and direct our own life.
6. Fair incomesNOWThe benefit system is a confused messand poverty is growing worse.INSTEADWe should guarantee each other areasonable minimum income.
7. Fair taxesNOWMany taxes - like social care charging - hitthe poor hardest.INSTEADWe should overhaul the tax system andban unfair taxes like charging.
8. Sustainable reformNOWThe economy & government areenmeshed in debt.INSTEADWe must stop taking citizens, families,communities & our ecology for granted.