Archive for June 21st, 2012

Opposition Day Disability Debate

Cartoon image entitled ‘The Great Disability Debate In Brief’. Shows a practically empty house of commons with two figures from opposite sides of the house shouting “This is your fault” whilst lone voices say “Remploy!”, “Is it lunchtime yet?” and “The disabled… are those the poor ones?”. You can click the image to enlarge.

The wonderful DrHackenbush produced this cartoon which fully sums up yesterdays Opposition debate on the following motion (emphasis mine);

That this House believes that cuts to support for disabled people and carers poses a potential  risk to their dignity and independence and will have wider social and economic costs; regrets that the Department for Work and Pensions has dropped the aim of achieving disability equality; whilst recognising that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) needs to be reformed, expresses concern that taking DLA from 500,000 disabled people and contributory Employment Support Allowance from 280,000 former workers will take vital financial support from families under pressure; expresses further concern at the Work Programme’s failure to help disabled people and the mismanaged closure of Remploy factories; notes the pressing need for continuing reform to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to reduce the human cost of wrong decisions; agrees with the eight Carers’ Week charities on the importance of recognising the huge contribution made by the UK’s 6.4 million carers and the need to support carers to prevent caring responsibilities pushing them into ill-health, poverty and isolation; and calls on the Government to ensure reform promotes work, independence, quality of life and opportunities for disabled people and their families, restore the commitment to disability equality in the Department for Work and Pensions’ business plan, conduct a full impact assessment of the combined effect of benefit and social care cuts on disabled people and carers, reform the WCA descriptors as suggested by charities for mental health, fluctuating conditions and sensory impairment and re-run the consultation of the future of Remploy factories.

The end result was Aye’s 236 (in favour of the motion) No’s 298 (against the motion). The No’s won. Of course the ConDems voted againsteven though many argued that the WCA was broken (and blamed labour) and that the cuts faced by disabled people (blamed labour) were hurting constituents – a nice bit of hypocrisy there. 

It showed the true nature of the House of Commons in stark reality. These debates are not about helping people or trying to make the world better but about point scoring. Team blue & yellow stopping team red getting a goal. Simple as that. 

Sue Marsh wrote a decent explanation of events (if you’d like to read some more click here). Personally I can’t be bothered to dissect a debate that the politicians attending & voting on didn’t treat with seriously any more than already have I have.

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