Update from Benefits and Work’s Steve Donnison
Benefits and Work
FINAL NEWSLETTER AND UNMISSABLE HALF-PRICE OFFER
This is the final newsletter in the No More Benefits Cuts Campaign. We will be deleting all the email addresses from this list on Friday afternoon.
However, if you want to stay informed about government plans for DLA and AA there are details of how to sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter below.
Also below is an unmissable half-price offer on membership of Benefits and Work, exclusively for subscribers to this newsletter.
WHAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED
Within hours of our announcing our 100 days campaign, news of the danger to DLA and AA spread across the internet on blogs, forums and social networking sites and you began to make your voices heard.
Contributions to the Big Care debate website went from a few hundred to over 4,000, almost all hostile to the plans for disability benefits.
Many disability charities were unaware of, or reluctant to admit, the existence of the threat. But a deluge of emails from you made them realise that they had no choice but to respond to the green paper.
Almost 22,000 people signed a petition protesting against threats to DLA and AA on the No 10 website – the petition remains open until 7th December.
Virtually every MP in the UK received faxes and letters from you expressing your anger and concern.
Motions criticising the attack on disability benefits were laid before the Scottish and Welsh assemblies.
Questions were asked about the future of DLA and AA in debates in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Lord Ashley of Stoke warned that “any attempt by the Government to withdraw these benefits, or any benefits at all, will be very strongly resisted by disabled people, by their organisations and by many Members of both Houses of Parliament”
The Conservatives announced that they would oppose plans to incorporate AA into funding for the National Care Service.
Forced into the open by the growing clamour, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced that he had ‘heard the concerns and worries about disability living allowance’ and “I can state categorically that we have now ruled out any suggestion that DLA for under-65s will be brought into the new National Care Service.”
So, in just one hundred days, and with no support whatsoever from claimant- bashing tabloids, you have forced the government to rule out any hopes it had of snatching DLA for under-65s to fund the National Care Service.
And you’ve also finally forced them to disclose, even if only by omission, that DLA for people aged 65 and over, as well as AA, is still under threat.
All this whilst proposals are still at the green paper stage, when ministers would normally expect only a few professionals and specialist organisations to even notice their existence, let alone express an opinion.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
We hope that all the disability charities that took part in the green paper consultation will publish their responses online. Perhaps you could encourage any charity with which you have a connection to do so?
If they don’t, we will be making freedom of information requests for copies of their submissions.
Aside from that, it’s now largely a question of waiting to see what is in the white paper, if it is indeed published early next year.
We don’t yet know what role – if any – Benefits and Work will have if the white paper poses a serious threat to disability benefits. We’re hoping that disability charities will show real determination and leadership in their opposition to any proposed cuts and that we will be irrelevant.
If not . . . we may be back.
When we began this campaign we were repeatedly accused by individuals and organisations of inventing the threat to DLA in order to make a profit. In truth, as we’ve discovered in the past, campaigning costs us money.
In fact, whilst this campaign was at its height, subscriptions to the site actually fell.
The reason is simple: most individuals and agencies subscribe to the Benefits and Work website when they have a specific benefits problem that needs a solution, not to support a cause. Campaigning takes up a huge amount of time that we would otherwise devote to producing and promoting new material that helps people solve those problems. Less new DLA, IB and ESA material means fewer new subscribers.
So, we offer no apologies whatsoever for making an offer to readers of this newsletter who perhaps haven’t got an urgent benefits problem now, but foresee the possibility arising in the next year and who would like to become part of the Benefits and Work community:
Subscribe by Paypal before 5.00pm on Friday November 20th and get a year’s subscription for £9.25 – less than half the standard price of £18.55.
To take advantage of this offer, register with the site, if you haven’t already. Then log in, click on the New subscription link on the left hand side of the page and type the following code in the coupon box:
If you’re an existing subscriber and want to take advantage of this offer, you can extend your current membership by another year using the same code. But please drop us an email to tell us you have done so, so that we can make sure the software has added the extra year to your subscription.
Visit the Join us page to begin the process:
We’re also offering a reduction to organisations who subscribe to this newsletter.
Purchase your organisational subscription by Paypal before 5.00pm this Friday 20th November and get a year’s professional membership for £60 instead of £93, using the following code:
Existing professional subscribers can extend their current membership by a year using the same method – again please email us to let us know you have done so.
This offer applies only to Paypal payments – which can be made using any credit or debit card – we can’t accept payment by invoice for this offer.
Visit the professionals subscription page to begin the process.
We provide a completely free email newsletter which we now publish every fortnight. It covers all the news relating to incapacity and disability benefits and will keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in relation to the National Care Service. You can sign up for it by typing your first name and email address into the boxes on this page:
And that’s it.
Many thanks for the literally thousands of letters, emails and phone calls offering support and information we’ve received over the last 100 days. It’s been a real privilege to hear from – and campaign with – so many people who aren’t prepared to be pushed around by politicians.
Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666
POST YOUR NEWS
Finally, remember that you can post your news in the Benefits and Work forum, if you’re a member, at:
and/or in the free welfare watch forums at:
You can also keep up with news about opposition to the green paper at the Carer Watch campaign blog:
Unfortunately, we’re getting so many emails on this subject that we are unlikely to be able to respond individually. But we do appreciate hearing your news and views and we do encourage you to publish them for others to read on the forums detailed above.