If you wish to sign this letter please post your name and location, any organisation you belong to etc. in the comments thread below.
We are writing to you as representatives of Disabled People’s Organisations. We wish to express our disgust and disquiet with the views expressed by the Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in his interview with the Daily Telegraph (published, 14/5/12).
Let us first deal with the “Big Lie” contained in the interview. Iain Duncan Smith believes that the current system of DLA application conceals “massive fraud”. What evidence does Iain Duncan Smith base this assertion on other than his evident prejudice against disabled people. His own Department (the DWP) estimates that fraud accounts for only 0.5% of DLA claims. Since when did 1 in 200 become “massive”? In fact DLA is one of the benefits with the lowest levels of fraud.
Secondly there is the Secretary of State’s use of the phrase “festering at home” to describe disabled people with lifetime awards of DLA. This not only betrays Iain Duncan Smith’s appalling attitude towards disabled people but also a complete misunderstanding of DLA. Many thousands of disabled people use their DLA to maintain themselves in work (e.g. in paying additional transport costs).
The DWP estimates that 550,000 people will lose all or part of their mobility support when the Personal Independence Payment is introduced. So when that mobility support is withdrawn tens of thousands of disabled people will become unable to afford to go to work. Is this an outcome that Iain Duncan Smith desires?
But why should Iain Duncan Smith’s ignorance of the consequences of reform come as a surprise? – given that the EHRC has just issued a damning report showing that Government Ministers failed in their legal duty to carry out equality impact assessments on their proposed welfare reforms. Then as now it seems that the Government prefers wilful ignorance to care and compassion.
Bill Scott, Manager, Inclusion Scotland
Tracy Lazard, Chief Executive, Inclusion London
John McArdle, Founder Member, Black Triangle Campaign
Dr. Stephen Carty, Medical Adviser, Black Triangle Campaign
Linda Burnip, Co-Founder, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)
Debbie Jolly, Co-Founder, Disabled People Against Cuts
Rahel Geffen, Interim Chief Executive, Disability Action in Islington (DAII)
Andy Greene, Islington DPAC, DAII
Anne Novis MBE, Disability Rights Activist, Disability Hate Crime Network
Steve Paget MBE, Chair, Disability Cornwall
Pam Tinsley MBE, Formerly of Remploy
Adam Lotun Disability Risk Management & Reasonable Adjustments Consultant, Workplace Disability Adjustments
Steven Preece, Social Welfare Union
Paul Smith, Atos Victims Group
Sue Marsh, Diary of a Benefit Scrounger Blog, Producer of the ‘Responsible Reform’ Report sent to the House of Lords -”The Spartacus Report”
Kaliya Franklin, Disability Rights Campaigner and writer, Benefit Scrounging Scum Blog
Claire Glasman, Women with Invisible and Invisible Disabilities (Winvisible)
Charley Downey, Trustee for Press, PR and Communications, The Forgotten Heroes “Caring for the Carers”
Rosemary O’Neill, CarerWatch
Ernest Ross, Black Triangle Campaign
Anne Pridmore, DPULO, “Being the Boss” : www.beingtheboss.co.uk
Liz Crow, Roaring Girl Productions
Gillian Raab, Chair, Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community – Sukkat Shalom
Dave Skull, Mad Pride
Pat Williams, 25% M.E. Group
Jason Hill, North Staffordshire Against Cuts
Patricia Walker, Cornwall
Jo Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Jacqui Keam, Registered Blind Person
Karen Gray, Llanilltud Fawr, South Wales
Jan Tchamani, Member of Bipolar UK, DRUK
Merlin Reader, Secretary, Camden Trades Council
Helen Sims, Cerebral Palsy since birth
Sue Brock, Carer of a disabled young man of 18 coming up for 19.
D J Smith, Mature Student OU, Psychotherapist (not currently practising), Unite member
Ke’reth Epetai Makura
Lee Kerr, Father of son with Semantic Pragmatic Disorder and associated autistic behaviours.
Suzanne Lowe, Newcastle upon Tyne
Leon Carter, Disabled Carer and Blogger
Kirsty Birkner, Member of Glasgow Disability Alliance.
Little Gransden, Cambridge Volunteer, former carer & production manager
Kathy Baguley, Disabled person who worked for 30yrs before becoming too disabled to work
Maggie West, :
“There are no words that I have not already written about this subject, often in enormous distress. I await the time when the crimes committed by politicians and the media will be accounted for in law…..The days, weeks, months and years I have watched the two members of my family who are ill, be offended and distressed,insulted and slandered by men and women not worthy to hold a torch up to them.
“They will never have their courage and bravery in the face of adversity and suffering.They are not fit to wipe their boots and I will gladly attend these unprincipled individuals and organisation’s trials when their time comes and it will.
I will eagerly await explanations to the public and their victims as to why they have accused millions throughout the UK of fraud with their sweeping generalisations and cowardly innuendo.
Let’s demand and hear evidence in a court of law of how family members are now free of long term and life shortening illnesses.
Documents to the effect that the illness that keeps the sick, ill and dying from enjoying life,holding a job down,fulfilling their potential and building a future has now left them.
Those guilty and complicit in these crimes are shallow men and women who have no morals ,no qualms at bullying the weak in their race for power and wealth and will be held responsible.”
Christopher Hoggins, ESA Appellant
Phil Barker, Leeds
Dr Anthony Shedden
Sam Barnett-Cormack, Co-author of ‘Responsible Reform’: The Spartacus Report
Christopher Dunn, Father of a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Angela Williams Torbay, Devon. Member of Action for M.E.
Vee StJohn-Byles, Disabled Carer
Tony Dean, The Lizard Cornwall, Member Disability Cornwall, Member National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD)
Neil Anderson Machynlleth, Wales.
Gill Hooper, Neuromuscular patient + paraplegic
C Morgan, Carer for my disabled child
Lesley Brownlie, Parent/carer of a child with Autism and SPD
A. Li, Edinburgh.
I. James, Buckinghamshire
Andrew Clark Chair, Bucks Disability Service (DPULO)
Catherine Lamb Nottingham
Rae Twelftree, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Lynn Rhode, Ex-Royal Air Force
Linda Horton, Parent carer of 2 teen boys with ASD
Sally Bailey Buxton Derbyshire
Jane Clout Hove, Sussex.
Ruth Emery, Member of HMSA – I havean invisible disability and feel very threatened by welfare reform
Calum Smith, Save ILF
Rachel Pridmore, Mum with Autisic Twins aged 12
Mark Harrison, CEO NCODP Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People
Steve Paget MBE As Chair of Disability Cornwall
Debbie Domb, HAFCAC (Hammersmith & Fuham Coalition Against Community Care Cuts)
Vicky Ayling, Leicester
Amanda Buckingham, Carer for disabled son
Barbara Hulme, Manchester.
Sam Sharp, Mental Health Worker
Angela Gunton – Norwich
Graham Linnell – Norwich, Carer for my partner and also disabled
Roderick Millard, BA, MA, Son who has partial deafness and ASD
Sue Campen, Disabled human.
Nigel London, Mobility issues and two clashing and complex life threatening medical conditions
Sue Campen, Findlow, South West.
Pam Long May
Ray Buckley, Brighton
Cindy Lou, South West, Carer for disabled son
John T. Horsfal, Long-term Type-1 Diabetes
J Knight, AFTER ATOS – “Counting the Disabled Back In – Because People Matter”
Chris Gregson, Support Worker, Belper
Dr. David Atoski
Michelle Moakes, Newton Abbot
Jane Young, Disability Consultant and Campaigner, wearespartacus.org.uk
C Richardson, Ouchtoo.org
Kevin Howard, Herts
Sarah Levis May, Ontario, Canada
Jan Pollock, Equalities Officer, Kens. & Chelsea Trades Council and DPAC
Carole Ann Holmes
DAVID A SHAW, Medically retired postal worker of 22 years service
Alexandra Denman, Paignton, I suffer with four lifelong illnesses and am disabled.
Pat Onions, Pat’s Petition
Peter Austin Somerset Member NASS (National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society)
David Maguire, Blackpool.
Jean Paul Beaman – Ex-employer of a closed Remploy factory
Colin Dobbinson, Full time carer for progressive MS sufferer.
Paul Smith, Atos Victims Group
Sue Rees, Parent and carer for my disabled son.
Faye Lowe, Sidcup, Kent
Mark Romano, Swansea, UAF
Mr. B. Sampson
Gordon McFadden (Director, Policy. Limbcare)
Dawn Hanson, Long term health problems, including mobility issues.
Martin Byrne, Nurse, Haslingden, Lancs.
Sarah Kaye Chair of Stockland Green Against the Cuts, Student Mental Health Nurse and sibling of someone with a severe disability who has just been told they are no longer eligible for ESA.
Allison McLean May, Disabled manager of a Voluntary special needs club based in Hartlepool
Rebecca Hodson, West Midlands
Suzanne Elliott, Cambridgeshire Ex- Young Conservative
L S McKnight
Dawn Hanson,C hesterfield, long term health problems including mobility issues
Cristiano Di Carlo, Hampshire
Kevin Leonard, Northumberland.
Patricia Gledhill, Carer and member of West Midlands Act Now for Autism
Christos Palmer, Mentally and Physically Disabled
Kassy Fatooh, U.S.A.
Karen Johnson, One Voice Wolverhampton
Christopher John Ford, Chris Ford, Disability Issues Spokesperson, Alliance Party of Aotearoa, Dunedin, New Zealand
John Morrow, Gateshead. Tyne & Wear
Annie Bishop, Northumberland Deaf Network
Phillip Wilson, Hull
Mrs TN Hughes, Conwy
Paul Rutland, Chair, RMT TfL No.1 Branch
Peter Horning, person living with a terminal illness.
Paul Stygal, Southend-on-Sea
Elaine Grange. Mother of a child with Aspergers Syndrome and Pathological Demand Syndrome,
Jonathan Eyre, “I am Spartacus”
Paul Mansfield, Southend- on-Sea
Denis Donovan May
Teresa Catto-Smith (Act Now For Autism)
Miranda Jackson, Psychotherapist working with clients on DLA and as a long-term sufferer of M.E.
Helen Hale, Mother of a non-verbal adult with Autism and severe learning difficulties
Janet Lewis Hastings “I too am Spartacus”
Linda Pugh May
Jim Ross, Brain Tumour sufferer
Helen Bryant “I am Spartacus”
Bill MacLeod, Mentally and physically disabled
Jim Paterson, Disabled war veteran (Northern Ireland)
Janet Graham, Scotland
Angela G Norfolk
Dr. Raymond Kelly, Manchester
Ian Warner, Disabled Small Businessman. Kittiwake Classics
Marc Rensing, Preston
Councillor Michael Roche
Christina Sosseh, Worker with adults who have learning disabilities
Rachel Shewen, Northampton.
Paul Davidson, Gateshead, Mental Health and Life Long Physical Health Media Campaigner
Darren Lynch, Preston, father of three children with disabilities
James Melson, Newcastle
Laura Walker, Sheffield, Carer & Mother of an 11 year old disabled child.
Bonita Quitenton, North Norfolk, Spartaci
Corinne O’Keeffe, Brighton, multiple chronic illness sufferer.
Ebony Dawn Marsh, Edinburgh, Disability Rights campaigner
Margaret Burton, Kent
Richard Leach, Full time carer for my partner.
Mary Brett, Manchester
Michelle Mackenzie, Dundee
Sue Jones, Autoimmune Illness Sufferer
Ben Gilightly, Swansea Youth Fight for Jobs
Kim Blake FRSA
Ian Cropton, Stevenage
Graham Venn, HMSA, DMuk, EDS UK
Pamela Hartley, Carer of disabled teenager
Marianne Scobie, Disabled, Works full-time, “If I lost my DLA I’d have to give up working”.
Daniel Linger, Spalding, Lincolnshire
Hayley Rowson de Vares
Mr & Mrs Peter and Katie Allen
Geraldine Mitchell, Carer, Therapist
Matthew J. Smith, New Malden, Surrey
Diane Johnstone, Long-Term Sufferer from Crohn’s Disease
Catherine Davis, Disabled Carer of Disabled Partner “Struggling. Terrified.”
Steve Malley, East Kent Chronic Pain Association (EKCPA)
Glynis Ward, (EKCPA)
Denise Longman MSc