Scots MSPs join fight to save DLA and AA plus Pathways crumbling (Benefits and Work)

Scots MSPs join fight to save DLA and AA plus Pathways crumbling (Benefits and Work)

Update from Steve Donnison | 27 August 2009

Firstly, we want to make it absolutely clear that AA and DLA are not going to be abolished on 13 November, because some people seem to have got that impression.

We’re asking you to make your voice heard before the green paper consultation period ends on 13 November because, if you don’t, it makes it much more likely that disability benefits will be handed over to local authorities at some time in the future. But any changes are unlikely to happen for years.

In just three weeks an astonishing 21,770 people have signed up to the campaign. You have made disability charities very aware of the need to challenge the proposals in the green paper. Many, including the Disability Benefits Consortium, have now issued statements saying that they will be opposing any moves to end disability benefits. MPs have begun replying to queries from you about what their position is on the issue of abolishing any disability benefits. We’ve also heard from lots of people who have submitted comments to the green paper consultation at:

The latest news is that members of the Scottish Parliament have tabled a motion calling for the retention of AA and DLA. Hopes that ministers may have had of quietly slipping in proposals to abolish any disability benefits are now in tatters.

Congratulations on achieving so much, so quickly.

In this edition there’s also news of the increasingly disastrous problems faced by charities involved in government back to work schemes. Some are losing millions, some are pulling out altogether and others are fighting amongst themselves about how big a share of the government’s cash they should get.

All in all, it’s beginning to look like the voluntary sector may be regretting getting quite so close to the DWP.

The first of our open training days in Bristol for the autumn/winter are now available to be booked. We’re running an ESA and mental health/learning difficulties training day on Tuesday 27 October and a DLA/AA claims training day on Thursday 26 November. More details and booking forms from this link:

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

MSPs join fight to save AA and DLA
Members of the Scottish Parliament have joined the fight to save attendance allowance and disability living allowance by putting down a motion calling for AA to be protected.

Shaw Trust loses millions on Pathways
Shaw Trust, the only major voluntary sector Pathways to Work provider, lost almost £3 million in the last financial year due to its involvement in the DWP programme.

Charities outraged by DWP funded offers
Charities have been outraged by the ‘insulting’ payments they have been offered by other charities as an inducement to take on volunteers under a DWP funded programme.

Major charities ditch Pathways contracts
Two major charities have ended their role as sub-contractors on the Pathways to Work programme because they were no longer financially viable.

Beware weasel words
Here at Benefits and Work we’ve been discussing how politicians may respond to letters from their constituents about the green paper proposals to cut disability benefits.

Stop press: charities left reeling by your response
17,000 sick and disabled campaigners have managed in just a few days to send shock waves throughout the voluntary sector.

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Decision Makers Exchanges available
Makers Exchanges from April to June 2009 are now available in the members’ area.