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Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

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Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:02 pm

Original including links is at: http://wp.me/p2sftc-4f4

400k to lose mobility benefit & car for walking 20m? Just not cricket!



As a report by the excellent campaign group ‘We are Spartacus’ (WaS) disclosed yesterday, the government is going to change the rules around “mobility component” assessments for disabled people when Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefit is changed to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

As its name suggests, the mobility component of DLA/PIP provides extra funds to disabled people with severe mobility impairment, to fund the additional costs involved for them to get around, for example the cost of assistance or a specially-modified car.

The mobility component of DLA is awarded at two levels. The lower level is currently £20.55 per week and the higher is £54.05. Under the current rules, the higher level is awarded to anyone who is unable to walk 50m (164ft) unaided, and qualifying for this higher rate also entitles disabled people to qualify to access a car under the ‘Motability’ scheme, which is paid for out of the additional allowance.

The government has announced that, under the new PIP scheme, the criteria for awarding the higher rate are going to change. Under PIP, nobody who can walk 20m unaided will qualify.

20m. That’s about 21 paces for a typical non-disabled person, or just a fraction shorter than the distance between the stumps on a cricket pitch (20.12m) – the distance a decent fast bowler can bowl a cricket ball in about 0.5 seconds.

Any disabled person who can walk that distance when tested – no matter how painfully, slowly or haltingly, and even if their condition is variable and they can't walk 5m on a bad day – will no longer qualify, and will instantly lose not only £33.50 a week from their income but also their eligibility for Motability.

If you’re on a good wage, £33.50 a week might not seem peanuts, but you could live with the loss. But the maximum total DLA is currently £131.50 a week (assuming the maximum mobility component of £54.05 and the maximum care component of £77.45). The lowest amount of DLA a person currently qualifying for the higher mobility component receives is only £74.60 a week.

This means that the loss of £33.50 a week will represent between 25% and 45% of this crucial income – because they can hobble the length of a cricket pitch.

If you’re in a position to do so, get up now and walk 21 paces. See how far it gets you.

I just walked from my back door to my front door, and then 2 good paces out onto the garden path in front of my house. Then I stopped, because that was my 20m. Even being able to walk 50m wouldn’t allow you to go shopping without a vehicle, and a disabled person who can manage 20m, even starting from just inside their front door, might not even be able to reach their car without help. Except they’re unlikely to have a car, as many will be unable to afford one without the higher mobility component and access to Motability.

The DWP says it spends around £12.6 billion a year on DLA. Its own stated reason for the change to PIP is to cut about 20% from this figure. So our government, which is supposed to protect us and especially the more vulnerable, has pre-decided that 20% of disabled people are no longer going to qualify for a crucial benefit, and has re-cast the rules and boundaries to achieve this end. It doesn’t matter whether they need it by any reasonable criteria – the rules are being changed to whatever is necessary to achieve the target.

The WaS report calculates that the changed mobility criteria will constitute around £980m, which is peanuts in the context of the overall budget (or compared to either the £7bn in tax that Vodafone was let off with, or the £3bn cost of reducing the top rate of tax for the very wealthy from 50% to 45%).

For an amount of money that could easily be recouped elsewhere, the government is prepared to take away vital income from over 400,000 disabled people, and to remove their access to a huge factor in their quality of life: their car.

This is a clear and classic example of the callousness of this Tory-led government – but it’s also a clear and classic example of its blinkered shortsightedness:

Car sales

The direct saving for the Treasury of this change will be under £1bn. The estimated direct loss to the economy, just in terms of impact on the new and used car industry, will amount to around £540m, plus around £126 million in tax revenues. We’ve had good news for the economy – a very rare commodity – this week about an upturn in UK car sales. Removing £540m from motor industry sales is going to be highly damaging both to the industry and to the economy. The government continues true to form.

Lost jobs for non-disabled people

The Motability scheme supports around 21,000 jobs in related industries, according to the Oxford Economics 2010 report quoted by WaS. Even taking only the impact on the these industries into account, the changes will cost around 5,700 jobs. The people losing their jobs will no longer contribute to the economy; their tax contribution to the Treasury will be lost; and they will now be a cost to the Treasury in terms of unemployment benefits.

Lost jobs for disabled people

Between disabled people and their carers who are able to work because of access to Motability, the Oxford Economics 2010 report estimates that disabled people and their carers contribute around £1.2bn to the economy. The reduced eligibility will reduce this contribution by up to 42%, a loss to the economy of around £504 million.

Alternative transport

The disabled people who will no longer qualify for Motability will still need transport to medical appointments etc. The additional cost of providing Dial-a-Ride and ambulance transport for them to get to these essential appointments is estimated at £8 million.

All these add up to a loss to GDP of well over a billion pounds, plus substantial tax revenues lost to the Treasury. Yet again, this government has demonstrated a shortsightedness that amounts to severe myopia – or more likely, a complete disregard for the health of the economy if it thinks it has an opportunity to slash the welfare state that we should be proud of.

This all looks bad enough, but the report bases its figures on around 27% of disabled people losing their eligibility for the higher-rate mobility component and with that their access to Motability. The government’s stated aim in making the DLA to PIP change is to remove around 500,000 people out of the 3.2m who currently qualify from eligibility for any kind of disability benefit.

However, Conservative minister Esther McVey recently told the House of Commons that of the 560,000 people who will be assessed for the new benefit by 2015, 330,000 are expected to be excluded from it. That’s an exclusion rate of 59% and equates to about 1.9 million people excluded from disability benefit altogether if that rate is maintained throughout. So the real impact of the changes could be far worse than indicated above.

The foolishness and malevolence of this measure in terms of its wider economic impact is enough to have me grinding my teeth in frustration.

But even that pales into insignificance compared to the simple, nauseating fact that this government – this odious pack of grinning, jeering, rich and heartless buffoons – is prepared to ruin the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people to save ‘peanuts’ (even if they’re not eaten up by the impact of the changes anyway).

This change will effectively condemn hundreds of thousands to a life within 4 walls and to stress, misery and fear – and the overall, reckless, venal changes to eligibility will increase that number to almost 2 million.

I’m not prepared to have that done in my name no matter what it costs – and I hope you’re not either.

If you weren’t an opponent of this government before you started reading this post, you should be now. And if the bare facts of their actions aren’t enough to make them despicable, consider that, in order to get away with this and other cuts, they routinely demonise the disabled and other vulnerable people as scroungers and fraudsters.

Out with them!


Last edited by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Title changed to 'house' more general discussion)
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by boatlady on Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:00 pm

It's becoming very clear what this government's agenda is, and I weekly see people at the sharp end of cuts.
The rhetoric still seems to work, though - people will still say ' It would be OK (being treated this way) if I were one of those benefit cheats'
The message is still not out there that this is class war.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:24 pm

None better-equipped to fight a class war than those at the top.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by KnarkyBadger on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:19 pm

This will affect me. Goodbye independence.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:47 am

It's so cruel and unfair
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:18 am

Time to sack the Captain and select a New Team.
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New DWP mobility criteria are cruel - and nonsensical

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:14 am

Original including links at http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/dwp-insanity-remove-mobility-cash-from-those-who-cant-walk-outdoors/


Iain Duncan Smith: cruel and insane disabled-bashing

Iain Duncan Smith and other government spokespersons have repeatedly claimed, with regard to the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) planned changes to disability benefit, that the changes result from detailed consultations with disability campaigners and groups.

This is patent nonsense, and I read tonight about one of the DWP’s measures that couldn’t be a clearer demonstration of this government’s complete disregard for the wellbeing of disabled people, its complete lack of concern for or understanding of the realities of living with a disability, and its complete contempt for the ‘consultation’ process.

Let me make clear: I am not disabled (not yet, at least). But it doesn’t take a great deal of thought or sense to have at least some idea of the kind of challenges a disabled person faces, or the kind of support that he or she needs in order to live with a measure of dignity and independence.

Apparently, though, such thought and sense is beyond the wit – or more likely the interest – of Iain Duncan Smith and his party. In its response to a consultation (in other words, the DWP heard the concerns of interested parties and still thought the following made sense), the DWP clarified the following:

  • To score the required 12 points to get enhanced rate mobility for physical health problems, a claimant has to show that they are unable to move 20 metres even using aids and/or with assistance.

  • The basis for this distance is that “20 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence in the home such as the ability to move between rooms.” while “50 metres is considered to be the distance that a claimant is required to be able to walk in order to achieve a basic level of independence such as the ability to get from a car park to the supermarket.”


The enhanced mobility rate is the higher level of payment provided to those with the greatest difficulty walking – but, crucially, you have to receive the enhanced rate in order to qualify for the Motability scheme that allows you to purchase a vehicle (adapted if necessary) on special terms.

Now re-read those quotes from the DWP’s response. Yes, it says what you think it says:

If you’re disabled, you need to be able to walk at least 50m to be able even to get from the car park to a shop; but you probably won’t be able to get to the car-park in the first place, because if you can walk that far we’re going to take your enhanced-rate allowance – and therefore your access to an affordable vehicle – away from you. Even if you can’t walk that far, but can manage more than the 20m we think you need to get around indoors, we’ll still take it away.

However, if you can only walk far enough to get around the house and not far enough to even think about walking from a car-park to a shop – we’ll give you the enhanced allowance!

The cruelty and callousness of this government makes me want to spit. I hope it does the same to you, and that like me you’ll be writing to your MP, signing any petition on the matter that you hear about – and if necessary coming out onto the streets to demonstrate against the whole, callous, illogical, twisted mess of the changes that Duncan Smith and his DWP want to inflict on people who face enough challenges at the best of times.

Out with him and all of his ilk.

(If you can bear to read more, please take a look at the article I read earlier: http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2215-pip-enhanced-mobility-only-for-indoor-problems)
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by boatlady on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:42 am

Just hope there will be plenty of challenges in the courts and lots and lots of appeals - further raise the profile of these abominable abuses.
Fortunately, there are highly educated prople in quite significant jobs who depend on Mobility componenet, who will not take this lying down and have the resources to mount a proper challenge - let's hope they are prepared to do so - possibly there are even grounds to take this to the European Court of Human Rights.
It will take time, and individuals will be harmed, but this kind of determined political and legal action by an interested group does have the potential to give a government a very bloody nose.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:29 am

Why does Iain Dumkopf Schmidt always throw the cost of benefits into his attacks on the disabled and needy. The costs should mean sweet FA. The cash needed to meet our very necessary benefits is now as I type sitting in some offshore bank somewhere doing bugger all, other than making the wealthy even wealthier, it is cash that probably will never see the light of day as any one person can “lets face it “only spend so much a day“ and will become some future Etonians nest egg that will enpower them to shit on the plebs as their parents did.
Those we have in Government are far from entrepreneurs and have proven " they couldnt run a piss up in a brewrey, so will not invest their wealth in business. Their wealth wasn‘t gained by doing an honest days work or by being a striver but was awaiting their arrival on the birthing bed when they slithered out of ma ma‘s pussy. These slimy pond life do not need to work on building their bank balances or how to make their wealth work, everything was done for them by their equally crap arsed illegitimate ancestors.

What it seems they do is to cut budgets without a thought as to who gets hurt, then distribute what is left. What they should be doing is to calculate what is needed, then adjust taxation to suit. As has been pointed out we have this Government letting off God knows how many Tax dodgers which include some of his front bench old Etonian mates. If the same energy was spent in closing the Tax dodge loopholes as the energy spent damaging the lives of the poor sick and needy, we wouldn’t have a problem as all we need for a decent society would be available.

I strongly believe that the benefit cheats, and we all know there are some out there should be bought to book, as what is unfair is that the genuine claimants which I’m sure are the vast majority, are losing out because the cheats give this evil Government an excuse and they think credibility.

People say we should cut our cloth according to our means, but if the cloth doesn’t suit our very necessary requirements it becomes a rag unsuitable for anything.

All that this Tory Led unelected Coalition Government is doing proves beyond any shadow of a doubt, is Ideology based an absolutely nothing to do with what is needed for this country.

This country is sick but the greedy bastards with all the wonga are keeping the medicine for themselves.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:41 pm

The World's richest countries according to Forbes Magazine:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethgreenfield/2012/02/22/the-worlds-richest-countries/

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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:07 pm

Yes OW but there lies the rub. What would Forbes be saying if all wealth where to be disclosed.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by methought on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:07 pm

And once they've battered the unorganised non-unionised disabled they are after taxing any inherited jewelry anyone might have, to remove that out of the hands of the less well off as well.

In the end only they and their narrow band of cronies will have everything. Everyone else will be either homeless or servants.

Reminds me of playing monopoly as a kid - you end up losing everything and the winner takes it all.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:31 pm

All things must pass. In due course the excesses of this spiteful Coalition Government will pass into History and nature will take its course. Ian Douglas Smith will fade into the record and become confused with Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler and Adolf Hitler - The Bogeyman, who is an essential part of bringing up children.

It's a funny old world that we live in.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by methought on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:47 pm

When you put it like that I must concede - things could be worse.... Smile
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by Shirina on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:23 am

My advice? Fake it. Yep, that's right. Be dishonest. Why not? It's not as though this government is trying to help you - or being honest in your own capabilities, for that matter. So if you normally get the highest allotment, start faking it around 13m. "Ahh, I can't go any further!" Screw honesty. That's what gets you denied for benefits. Little do these idiot government officials realize is that, the more they try to weed out benefit fraudsters, the more dishonest one has to be in order to get the needed benefits. I don't mean the *real* fraudsters - I mean people with actual disabilities have to start lying. Right-wingers in both our countries are notorious for concocting solutions that only exacerbate the problems they are trying to solve. It's like the classic case of abortion - yeah, they don't want women to get abortions while simultaneously trying to abolish birth control. That's right-wing logic for you and why you should NEVER vote for a Tory. A bag of bricks has more critical thinking ability than the entire Tory party.

Here in the US, they pull the same deceptive crap. Here's an example: While applying for disability, the government-employed disability doctor asks me a very simple question - Can you sit for 4 hours? Most people are probably going to pipe up and say, "Sure, doc, I can do that!"

But it occurred to me that all of these questions are in relation to what kinds of jobs I can perform. So instead of saying, "Why yes, sure, I can sit for four hours," I asked, "Can I sit for four hours doing what?" The doctor responded saying, "Just sitting for four hours." To which I replied, "Oh no ... there's not a job on the planet that pays you just to warm a chair for four hours. Simply sitting there is irrelevant to the purpose of the question, so ... sitting for four hours doing what?"

Apparently they think everyone who walks through the door is stupid. The problem is that I can't see what those doctors are scribbling down in their notes. Can I sit for four hours? Sure ... but that doesn't mean I can sit for four hours taking calls or typing or focusing on an actual task. I can sit for four hours and howl in pain, of course, but no one is going to hire me to do that, either. Other deceptive questions include, "Can you hold a pencil?" Sure ... but holding a pencil for a few minutes is a far cry from filling out forms for 8-10 hours per day 5 days a week. Holding a pencil and writing with one are two different things. Another one, "Can you prepare your own meals?" Yes, but preparing a meal involves throwing something in the microwave or putting a pizza in the oven. It does NOT involve chopping, basting, stirring, and hovering over the food for half an hour - and even THAT is an entirely different animal than working in a restaurant kitchen all day.

Once I realized how the disability doctors try to railroad you into admitting you're capable of performing job-related tasks when you CAN'T, my blood boils. I wasn't told I'd make an excellent attorney by one of the Queen's personal lawyers for no reason, ya know. But without checking their notes for accuracy, who knows what they wrote ... but I DO know I was denied.

That's what happens when you have right-wingers influencing social programs. It's also why people like me, who have a legitimate disability, STILL has to lie in order to get what they need.
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by Ivan on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:02 am

Shirina. The man in charge of benefits in the UK is Iain Duncan Smith, a fascist who repeated on television that chilling phrase “work makes you free”. He tightened up the test for disability and set a total of how many people were to receive disability benefits, regardless of how many actually need them.

The French firm conducting the tests (which amount to ticking boxes on lists rather than conducting proper medical examinations) has devised all sorts of tricks to invalidate claims. One is to hold the tests on the top floor of a building which has no lift for disabled people. Any disabled person who can actually get to the test is deemed fit for work, while those who don’t get there lose their benefits for non-attendance.

I’ve read all sorts of horror stories on Twitter and elsewhere. Terminally ill people have been told they’re fit for work, people receiving chemotherapy (which in itself is debilitating) are denied benefits and several claimants with heart disease have died from stress while still in the building where the tests are conducted. Someone in a coma was denied benefits for non-attendance at the test. The relatives of one man received a letter on the day of his funeral declaring that he was fit for work; I don’t somehow think he faked his disability.

The firm, ATOS, gets paid a bonus of £300 for every person booted off benefits, yet over 60% of the decisions have been overturned after appeals, the need for which wastes more public money. However, the last I heard was that Duncan Smith was considering a new plan to save money – to abolish appeals.

Whilst capping the total amount of benefits any family can receive at £35,000 a year (even if rent may take up more than half of that), Duncan Smith claimed £98,000 in expenses in 2011 – on top of his ministerial salary. He expects people to live on £73 a week if they’re unemployed (and to do shelf-stacking in a store for nothing), yet he’s been known to spend £39 of our money on a breakfast for himself.

Duncan Smith is a sociopath who lied about his own qualifications and has grossly exaggerated the extent of benefit fraud. Everyone who votes Tory should have the actions of him and his henchmen on their conscience. Scum like him make me ashamed to be British.


telegraph.co.uk
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:22 pm

Why does that photo make me think of (Japanese Emperor) Hirohito?

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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by Ivan on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:34 pm

Duncan Smith reminds me of Mussolini:-


Source: mentormob.com
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Here's one they took of Mussolini later ....

(May cause distress to those of a nervous disposition)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Mussolini_e_Petacci_a_Piazzale_Loreto%2C_1945.jpg/220px-Mussolini_e_Petacci_a_Piazzale_Loreto%2C_1945.jpg
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by Ivan on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:01 pm


twimg.com
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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:08 pm

A long time ago, two other Politicians had an exchange of views ending in the assertion, "He is a modest little man. With a lot to be modest about."

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Re: Is there fairness and sense in the new mobility criteria?

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