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Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Let's tailor technology to make life easier for disabled people
Barclays' Talking ATMs are an example of technology being used to increase accessibility, but more needs to be done. It is increasingly impossible to live and participate in society without access to digital devices. As someone who is passionate about technology, I'm worried that not enough is being done to make them accessible to all.
The longer the digital inequality gap is allowed...
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Hunger crisis: Number of Scots relying on food banks soars five-fold with almost one third of parcels going to children
The number of food parcels handed out to people in Scotland has risen five-fold in just a year – and almost one third of them went to children.
Many of the estimated 65,000 turning to charity are in work but so poorly paid they cannot afford to feed their families.
The shocking figures were revealed by Christian charity the Trussell Trust, who provide most of Scotland’s...
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Disabled people 'pay penalty' on everyday costs
Disabled people pay 'a financial penalty' on everyday living costs, spending an average of £550 a month extra, according to a report by Scope.
They needed specialist equipment and had to pay out for things like taxis instead of public transport, it added.
Disabled people were, on average, £100,000 worse off when it came to pensions and savings, the charity said.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Extended Benefit Sanctions Push Up Numbers Seeking Advice On Paying Bills
There has been a 60% spike in the number of people seeking advice about paying bills as a result of increases in the length of benefit sanctions, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
It came as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a new survey showing that women make up four in five people losing money from the £500-a-week benefit cap. Almost all have dependent...
Swindon mayor resigns over disability comment
Swindon's mayor has resigned after making derogatory remarks about disabled people in a training meeting.
Conservative Nick Martin, 63, was found guilty of breaching the members' code of conduct after Labour complained about comments he made last year.
Labour councillors said they heard him say: 'Are we still letting Mongols have sex with each other?'
The standards committee...
Friday, 11 April 2014
Dumfries Community Cafe, The Usual Place, scoops Ł1.1 million in lottery funding
The Usual Place, Community Café, has been awarded over one million pounds from Big Lottery Fund Scotland. This is a very exciting new development which will see the old Academy dining hall on the corner of Lovers Walk and Academy Street in Dumfries transformed into a fantastic new venue.
Linda Whitelaw, Director, said, 'The café will have a retail area, exhibition space and...
Help for those in food poverty
£1 million to support work of emergency food providers as demand soars.
People who have to access Scotland’s foodbanks will receive help through a support package of £1 million over the next two years, the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.
Around £500,000 will be given to organisations who work with those in need, and are helping to address...
Scottish Independent Living Fund
Multi-million pound fund to help disabled people to stay in their own homes.
Thousands of disabled people in Scotland are set to be supported through a new Scottish Independent Living Fund (SILF), Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.
The scheme will safe-guard support given to more than 3,000 disabled people across Scotland and will build on existing care through...
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Maria Miller quits as culture secretary after expenses row
Maria Miller has insisted it was her decision to resign as culture secretary amid claims she was forced out by No 10 after a row over her expenses.
She said the row had been an 'enormous distraction' from 'the incredible achievements of this government'.
In the Commons, Labour leader Ed Miliband accused PM David Cameron of having 'undermined trust in politics' with his handling of...
DWP target mental health claimants for ESA sanctions
A staggering six out of ten employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants hit with a sanction are people with a mental health condition or learning difficulty, according DWP figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The proportion has rocketed from 35% of sanctioned claimants in 2009 to a massive 58% in 2013. The statistics prove that sanctions are now overwhelmingly aimed...
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Benefits sanctions show this government at its Kafkaesque worst
Ideological convictions about why people are unemployed have created a bureaucratic nightmare that manufactures injustice and mistakes.
It is nearly 30 years since the BBC first aired The Insurance Man, Alan Bennett's masterful, nightmarish tribute to the work of Franz Kafka. It is set in a grey, labyrinthine office complex, where working people who have been left penniless and desperate...
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Civil servants deployed to help Capita clear PIP assessments backlog
Ministers have been forced to intervene and deploy civil servants to shore up a private company struggling to clear a backlog of medical assessments for payments to tens of thousands of terminally ill, sick and disabled people.
In a letter leaked to the Guardian, a senior civil servant says the 'one-off' step will be taken because Capita is failing to process the recently introduced personal...
Monday, 7 April 2014
Eight out of 10 voters think Maria Miller should lose cabinet job, poll finds
Pressure on the culture secretary, Maria Miller, has been ramped up by a poll suggesting a large majority of voters think she should be dropped from the cabinet, stripped of her responsibility for press regulation and thrown out of the House of Commons over her expenses.
A Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday found that almost three-quarters of voters (73%) thought her 32-second apology...
Combination of welfare reforms pushing families into ‘chaos’, report claims
The cumulative impact of last year’s welfare reforms has left people less able to cope with work or support themselves, a report claims.
One year on from introduction of the Government’s flagship benefit reforms, research by Community Links suggests the ‘complexity’ and ‘rushed’ delivery of the changes has pushed families into ‘chaos’.
Friday, 4 April 2014
DWP’s impact assessment refusal exposed as a sham by EHRC and Treasury
The refusal of the Department for Work and Pensions to try to assess the impact on disabled people of all of its welfare reforms has been exposed as a sham after new research was announced by the equality watchdog.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is working with the Treasury and other “key” departments to develop a way of assessing the cumulative impact of government...
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Tax And Benefit Changes Mean Households Are Ł974 A Year Worse Off Under The Coalition, Say Labour
Tax and benefit changes introduced since the coalition government took office in 2010 mean households will be worse off by an average of £974 a year by 2015, say Labour.
Figures released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and analysed by the Labour Party, take into account tax and benefit changes affecting households since 2010; including Personal Tax Allowance, cuts to tax...
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Housing benefit changes distress disabled people, say MPs
Changes to housing benefit in England, Scotland and Wales are creating 'financial hardship and distress' for disabled people, MPs have warned.
The reduction of payments for social tenants deemed to have a larger home than they need have hit vulnerable people not intended as targets, the Work and Pensions Committee said.
It said the rules were having a 'severe' effect.
Benefits cuts slammed as 'crime against humanity' as charity claim sanctions are levelled at most vulnerable
An angry charity boss yesterday accused Westminster of committing a “crime against humanity” by imposing benefits sanctions on the most vulnerable.
Bill Scott of Inclusion Scotland hit out after it emerged 36,000 Scots had payments stopped or cut within eight months of new rules being brought in.
He said many people with mental health problems are being plunged into poverty...
A Toolkit on Disability