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This is yet another example of the Conservative Government creating a ‘hostile environment’ for disabled people, and carers. Is it any wonder the UN concluded that this Governments disability policies had created a ‘human catastrophe’ – once again, many thanks to Kitty Jones for this piece. Please read and share.

Politics and Insights

Thanks to for the copy of a patient work coach letter to GPs.

One of the most worrying comments is that despite claiming the work coach service is voluntary, and that if a patient refuses to engage “it won’t affect any benefit they get”, the letter then goes on to suggest that doctors may consider the issuing of subsequent fit notes conditional (“with the proviso that”) on their patient attending a meeting with the work coach. That one sentence simply makes a mockery of the claim that patient engagement with work coaches is voluntary. 

Illnesses don’t respond to provisos or caveats. People don’t suddenly recover when the Department for Work and Pensions decides that they are fit for work. When job centre staff tell GPs to stop issuing sick notes to patients it can have catastrophic consequences, from which the government never seem to learn. In…

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Politics and Insights

Image result for brandon lewis and theresa MayI was surprised to get the following email from Brandon Lewis, the Conservative party chairman, yesterday. 

I’ve published my response below the email.

Brandon lewis1Brandon Lewis 2brandon lewis 3My response:

I want to share some news with you Brandon,

I won’t ever be supporting the Conservatives. 

The government claims that austerity will ensure that our children don’t inherit debt. That’s utter rubbish. I have seen my 2 youngest sons struggle making ends meet and get through university. Their tuition fees cost a lot more than our young people are permitted to borrow through the student loans company to meet their living costs each year. Despite the poorest students struggling to get by, they will still come away from university with a debt that is the same size as my mortgage was in 2003. My sons also lost their Education Maintenance Allowance because of your government.  To be frank, your party have caused my family nothing but…

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Again, as with anything Kitty writes, please read and share – the work she puts into these pieces is amazing and she deserves our thanks and support.

Politics and Insights

Image result for 3 year study show sanctions don't workTwo days ago I published an article about people who have been harmed by welfare  sanctions because they were chronically ill. Two of those people died as a consequence of actions taken by the Department for work and Pensions – see Welfare sanctions are killing people with chronic illnesses

Several studies over the last few years have found there no evidence that benefit sanctions ‘help’ claimants find employment, and most have concluded that sanctions have an extremely detrimental impact on people claiming welfare support.

However, the Conservatives still insist that benefit conditionality and sanctions regime is ‘helping’ people into work. 

Yesterday, an important study was published, which warned what many of us have known for a long time – that sanctions are potentially life-threatening. The authors of the study warn that sanctioning is  “ineffective” and presents “perverse and punitive incentive that are detrimental to health”.

The study – Where…

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