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RADAR event - "This house believes that the majority of disabled people can and should work"

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John
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Joined: 09/03/2008

An interesting afternoon at the British Oval at a debate hosted by RADAR. Very well attended.

Following on from this initial posting - click here

Was disappointed that Anne McGuire the Minister for the Disabled was ill and unable to appear. She was replaced by Lord McKenzie another DWP minister who only stayed for the first half an hour.

Centred around the question "This house believes that the majority of disabled people can and should work". Every one agreed that disabled people should have the right to work and the initial vote on the motion passed 73 for, 19 against with several abstensions. David Freud happy at the majority in his favour as I think every was assuming this motion implied this right.

However as the various speakers for and against spoke. What was clear is that the support systems that would need to be in place for this to happen are missing and government is not "joined up" across departments for facilitating this. Mention was made of the "sticks" in the new Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) system and the unfairness of the WCA (Work capability assessment) taking over from the current PCA (Personal Capability Assessment) faced by current Incapacity Benefits claimants. This contrasted with the lack of the "stick" for employers.  

I also noted that Lord McKenzie when asked about the "severely disabled" in relation to the new ESA was unable to give any detail.  There was nothing from him that was new.

At the end of the debate and the vote cast again. It was defeated. A suggested amendment to the motion was voted through. Bring together the need for support, protection and the right approach of the benefits system to facilitate this.

Benefits did not feature greatly in this debate.  Mainly centred around Incapacity Benefit. The point was made by one of the speakers regarding the unfairness of the DLA system and the fact it takes 3 months for a new claim to process.  There was agreement that the benefits system, even with the new proposed changes still didn't meet the needs of those who needed it.

I wasn't aware of any HIV organisation also present. If anyone was and reads this please let me know.  

Some Statistics -

By 2009 the government plans to move those 25 & under currently on Incapacity Benefit over to the new ESA system.

By 2013 the government wants to have moved the rest of claimants currently on Incapacity Benefit.

Many disabled people are not eligible for Incapacity Benefit as they have never worked so are hidden in the Income support/ Job seekers figures.

About 2.8 million disabled people are currently in the work force with only, in the last year of figures 2006/7, 15,000 having ever lodged a complaint through an employment tribunal for disability discrimination.

RADAR will publish details of the the meeting on their website and I will comment further when they are available.

An interesting afternoon at the British Oval at a debate hosted by RADAR. Very well attended.

Following on from this initial posting - click here

Was disappointed that Anne McGuire the Minister for the Disabled was ill and unable to appear. She was replaced by Lord McKenzie another DWP minister who only stayed for the first half an hour.

Centred around the question "This house believes that the majority of disabled people can and should work". Every one agreed that disabled people should have the right to work and the initial vote on the motion passed 73 for, 19 against with several abstensions. David Freud happy at the majority in his favour as I think every was assuming this motion implied this right.

However as the various speakers for and against spoke. What was clear is that the support systems that would need to be in place for this to happen are missing and government is not "joined up" across departments for facilitating this. Mention was made of the "sticks" in the new Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) system and the unfairness of the WCA (Work capability assessment) taking over from the current PCA (Personal Capability Assessment) faced by current Incapacity Benefits claimants. This contrasted with the lack of the "stick" for employers.  

I also noted that Lord McKenzie when asked about the "severely disabled" in relation to the new ESA was unable to give any detail.  There was nothing from him that was new.

At the end of the debate and the vote cast again. It was defeated. A suggested amendment to the motion was voted through. Bring together the need for support, protection and the right approach of the benefits system to facilitate this.

Benefits did not feature greatly in this debate.  Mainly centred around Incapacity Benefit. The point was made by one of the speakers regarding the unfairness of the DLA system and the fact it takes 3 months for a new claim to process.  There was agreement that the benefits system, even with the new proposed changes still didn't meet the needs of those who needed it.

I wasn't aware of any HIV organisation also present. If anyone was and reads this please let me know.  

Some Statistics -

By 2009 the government plans to move those 25 & under currently on Incapacity Benefit over to the new ESA system.

By 2013 the government wants to have moved the rest of claimants currently on Incapacity Benefit.

Many disabled people are not eligible for Incapacity Benefit as they have never worked so are hidden in the Income support/ Job seekers figures.

About 2.8 million disabled people are currently in the work force with only, in the last year of figures 2006/7, 15,000 having ever lodged a complaint through an employment tribunal for disability discrimination.

RADAR will publish details of the the meeting on their website and I will comment further when they are available.

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