New Inclusion Scotland Survey & Events - Smith Commission
The new Inclusion Scotland survey, 'Powers for a Purpose: Your Say on Further Devolution for Scotland' is now live. The survey will close on 7th November 2014.
The purpose of the survey is to discover what additional powers disabled people in Scotland would like to come to the Scottish Parliament. The answers will help to information Inclusion's response to the Smith Commission's recommendations, when they are published.
If you would like more information around the survey or the events please contact Rosalind Greig: Rosalind@inclusionscotland.org or telephone 0131 281 0863.
Inclusion Scotland respond to the Smith Commission
Inclusion Scotland's response to the Smith Commission is now available.
New briefings from our Rights Now! project
We have two new briefings from our Rights Now! project:
Please note that the information is correct at the time of publication and should only be used as guidance, and not a definitive document.
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Friday, 14 November 2014
Wheelchairs or pushchairs: Who should take priority?
A court will decide whether wheelchair users have priority over pushchairs on buses, but how do you decide who is more entitled to the space?
In February 2012, wheelchair user Doug Paulley was not allowed to board a bus in Leeds because the wheelchair space was taken by a pushchair. The mother, not wanting to wake her sleeping baby, refused to move.
Paulley was left with no choice...
DWP admits investigating 60 benefit-related deaths since 2012
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has carried out 60 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths in less than three years, Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal.
DWP released the figures in response to a series of Freedom of Information Act (FoI) requests by DNS.
It said in one response that DWP had carried out “60 peer reviews following the death of a customer”...
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Housing body calls on commission to get welfare sorted
A leading housing body has told the first public session of the Smith Commission that the bedroom tax debacle was a classic example of Westminster getting it wrong for Scotland.
Mary Taylor, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ chief executive, said there had to be better mechanisms for managing the boundary between the two parliaments to ensure effective policy making.
Motherwell charity cuts ties with controversial work scheme
A Motherwell charity has pulled out of a Government employment programme after being targeted in a ‘slave labour’ protest.
LAMH Recycling says it has been bombarded with abusive messages and its Range Road premises have been vandalised since the Motherwell Times highlighted a daily vigil being carried out by former employee John McArthur.
He has been spending two hours...
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Soaring fuel bills will kill a pensioner every SEVEN minutes this winter, a new report reveals
The survey for the charity Age UK also warns that one in three pensioners now fear they cannot afford to heat their homes.
A pensioner will die from cold every seven minutes in Britain this winter, a damning report warns today.
Soaring fuel bills and poorly insulated homes are blamed by Age UK for the tens of thousands of older people who die due to cold weather each winter.
Iain Duncan Smith to meet Universal Credit target in 700 years' time
Ian Duncan Smith promised that more than a million people would be signed up to his universal credit scheme by April 2014, with twelve million signed up by 2017.
However, new figures released today reveal the DWP currently have just 17,850 people on their caseload.
This means that at the current rate of progress, it will take them almost 700 more years to meet their original target...
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
MSPs urged to uphold human rights legislation
Politicians from all parties in Scotland are being urged to show their support for the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights ahead of a Holyrood debate.
The Scottish Human Rights Commission said the act and convention were the “legislative bedrock” for realising human rights in people’s everyday lives and needed to be protected.
In a briefing...
Monday, 10 November 2014
Firms' disability access 'unlawful'
The government is writing to a string of high street chains urging them to improve after a BBC London investigation revealed a 'depressing' failure to accommodate disabled people.
Two researchers, one blind, one a wheelchair-user, documented their daily travails with pinhole cameras.
Some of the UK's top chains failed to provide ramps - while five cabs refused to take a guide dog.
Court of appeal set for definitive ruling on bus access priority
Campaigners will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice this week for the start of an appeal which should finally provide a definitive ruling on disabled people’s right to access wheelchair spaces on buses.
The case is being brought by First Bus, which is appealing against a county court judgment that wheelchair-users should have priority over other bus-users in wheelchair spaces.
Friday, 7 November 2014
‘People are dying!’ Oldham MP blasts Iain Duncan Smith over benefit claim sanctions
Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams has sensationally accused the Government of contributing to the deaths of vulnerable people due to sanctioning benefit claims in order to improve figures.
The Oldham East and Saddleworth constituent publicly lambasted the secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, at a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Select Committee yesterday.
Welfare impacts study
Those affected say changes to system do not help people find work.
Changes to the welfare system are not helping people to find work, a report published tomorrow will suggest.
The report tracks the impacts of welfare reform over time through in-depth interviews with a cross-section of people and was compiled by the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University and the...
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Energy rich Scotland facing fuel poverty “scandal”
Fuel poverty is a “scandal” and should not exist in an energy-rich country like Scotland, a conference has heard.
Minister for housing and welfare, Margaret Burgess, told the Energy Action Scotland annual conference in Aviemore that the Scottish Government was committed to ending fuel poverty and was working to combat the problem, especially in rural areas.
Expectant mother-of-two says inability to use computer has left her without cash for food or heat
An expectant mother of two was left with no money to buy food or heat her home after having her benefits stopped due, she says, to her inability to use a computer.
Angela Foley, from Menzieshill, who is nine weeks pregnant and has two children aged eight and 10, was sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after failing to properly use the agency’s online Universal...
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Comment: Public transport for disabled people to improve
Committment to provide good level of access to transport for those with special needs is up and running but still needs work, says David Hunter.
For disabled Scots, access to public transport can be a postcode lottery. If you use a wheelchair in Pollokshields you will find your local taxi to be wheelchair accessible; but not necessarily if you live in Perth. In many rural areas, public transport...
Work Programme adviser: ‘Almost every day one of my clients mentioned feeling suicidal’
A scandalous picture of suffering, trauma and destitution is painted by a former Work Programme adviser who was tasked with getting claimants off the employment and support allowance (ESA) sickness benefit.
Speaking to the press for the first time since she quit the job last year, Anna Shaw (not her real name) says: “Some of my clients were homeless, and very many of them had had their...
IDS and Government under fire for 'massaging' unemployment figures via benefit sanctions
Iain Duncan Smith came under fire today after a study suggested cruel benefit sanctions may be helping the Government massage jobless figures.
Campaigning Labour MP Debbie Abrahams asked the Tory Minister how many people were excluded from unemployment figures after being sanctioned but not going into work.
The MP was referring to an Oxford University study – seen by the Daily...
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Mental health charity could close due to “devastating” cuts
Vulnerable people will end up on the street and in jail cells if council cuts force a charity to close.
The Glasgow Association of Mental Health (GAMH), which helps more than 1,000 people a week, is facing “devastation” after its budget was cut almost in half.
Glasgow City council is to slash funding to the group, which helps some of society’s most vulnerable people,...
The truth about welfare spending: Facts or propaganda?
Forget the number of shopping days till Christmas. We are now just six months away from a general election.
Party strategists are already reviewing their tool-kits: opinion polls, focus groups, ministerial visits, or celebrity endorsements perhaps.
But for credibility, nothing beats statistics. It's hard to argue with them.
However, in one of the first salvos of the campaign,...
Monday, 3 November 2014
UK disabled employees still face discrimination in the workplace, report finds
UK businesses are still discriminating against disabled workers as one in five feel they are unsupported and treated differently, according to law firm Leigh Day.
The organisation's Purple Workforce report also found that almost half of disabled worker respondents admitted they would not feel comfortable disclosing a disability when applying for a new job.
In addition, the study found...
Severely disabled teenager turfed out of Harvester - for making too much noise
A disabled teenager was ordered out of a Harvester pub… for making too much noise.
Megan Brennan, 19, and family were enjoying her last meal before she started full-time care when staff asked them to go.
The manager complained that Megan, who is severely -disabled and has a mental age of one, was annoying customers, they say.
The “family friendly” chain later apologised...
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