Outlawing discrimination against the poor – is that so ridiculous?

In France it could soon be illegal to discriminate against people in poverty. Under proposed legislation – already approved by the senate and likely to be passed by the chamber of deputies – it would be an offence in France to “insult the poor” or to refuse them jobs, healthcare or housing. Similar laws banning […]

The Tories are callously redefining what it means to be sick or disabled

Two moments over the past fortnight provide an insight into what this government thinks it means to be sick, or a disabled or unemployed person. One of those is the Conservatives’ welfare bill. Under the proposed legislation, future disabled and chronically ill claimants in the employment and support allowance’s (ESA) work-related activity group will see […]

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 […]