People on benefits are dying. It’s time for some transparency

If the government would care for an insight into what its “safety net” has become, it could do worse than looking at the case of Nick Gaskin. Gaskin, who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), cannot walk, feed himself or talk but, last month, received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) […]

While “poshness tests” are still in use for top jobs, social mobility will stay a national running joke

I am increasingly convinced the concept of social mobility is some sort of national running joke. Granted, only the richest are laughing but then, that is probably the point. Elite firms in this country are “systematically excluding bright working-class applicants”, research by the social mobility and child poverty commission (SMCP) has found. Class prejudice about […]

Taxing disability benefits is not a ‘welfare saving’, it’s a deeply unfair cut

On inequality, the government is increasingly wearing the Emperor’s New Clothes: it’s not about reality, but how that reality is perceived. We see it with the idea of taxing universal disability benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance and its replacement, Personal Independence Payments – one of the leaked Conservative proposals to help slice £12bn from […]

The abuse of disabled people is a hidden crime we must face up to

Almost 5,000 disabled adults – across 106 councils – have been sexually abused in England in the past two years, new figures show. As the NSPCC put it, this is the “visible peak” of what could be a bigger problem of sexual assault against disabled people. People with learning difficulties were the victims of almost two-thirds […]

Under austerity, deprivation in the UK is becoming normalised. Don’t vote for any more of it

Jenny Tomlinson, 24, hasn’t eaten in two days. She has fibromyalgia, a painful chronic illness that means she can’t leave the house, and feeds herself by online shopping “when [she] can afford it”, but after paying her electric and council tax, her benefits have run out. She’s been waiting six months for an assessment for […]

The Tory response to the pain of austerity: carry on regardless

Iain Duncan Smith may still not know where the Conservatives’ proposed £12bn of social security cuts would come from but his civil servants seem to. A list of “very, highly or extremely controversial” potential cuts to benefits have been drawn up by officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), as seen by the […]

The Disability Audit: the eight coalition policies that have hit disabled people

Listen to the Conservatives promise the electorate £12bn of social security cuts and you have an insight into the thinking that has plagued the last five years. Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have ended this parliament as they began: demonising disabled people and the chronically ill as expensive drains on the rest of society. The […]