I am writing as your constituent to ask you to represent my views in Parliament.
I signed and supported a government e-petition, the WOW petition, which passed the 100,000 signature mark, and on the 10th December 2013 was granted a full chamber debate by the Back Bench Business Committee in the New Year. This in itself is a historic event as it is the first time in the history of this country that disabled people have secured a Main Chamber debate.
The petition calls for a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform as it affects sick and disabled people and carers, and an end to the Work Capability Assessment, as demanded by the British Medical Association.
Please add a personal message here to illustrate how this Government's Policies are either directly affecting you, your family, people you know or society and why you believe the Government should properly debate their policies, the effect they are having and the hardship they are causing to specifically targeted groups with UK society.
I know you are very busy, but please allow me to present some evidence to support the need for these measures.
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 was promoted as the biggest shake up in welfare for 60 years, so it was extraordinary that no assessment was carried out on how it would affect the most vulnerable people in society. I believe the government now needs to take stock, and face the fact that sick and disabled people have been caused great distress and hardship by measure such as the bedroom tax, the twenty per cent cut in the budget for Disability Living Allowance, the closure of the Independent Living Fund to new applicants, and many more measures. The think tank Demos has calculated that disabled people, already more likely to be living in poverty, will lose around £28 billion over five years. This hardly seems to be sharing the burden of austerity fairly.
As for the Work Capability Assessments, these have been a disaster. The British Medical Association last year called for them to be scrapped with immediate effect. Parkinson’s UK’s research found that almost half of people with a progressive illness, when assessed, are told they will get better and placed in the Work Related Activity Group. This means they are required to prepare for work, and if they are unable to do what is required of them can be sanctioned leaving them with no income. Please remember these are people with Parkinsons Disease and other progressive illnesses.
As my representative in Parliament I am requesting that you attend and speak at this debate so that your constituents and I can understand your views on Government Policy towards sick and disabled people.