Join us to protest at the Tory Party Conference – Birmingham, England, on 3 October, by Debbie Jolly

August 27, 2010

Disabled people and their lives are under threat

  • The Tories have threatened to remove our Disability Living Allowance (DLA) saying that the number of claimants must be reduced by one fifth. Even those who have been awarded DLA for life now seem certain to have to undergo a rigorous medical to see if they still qualify


  •  Employment Support Allowance and work capability assessments have been criticised by the Citizens Advice Bureau, disability charities and Disabled People’s Organisations. Even people with terminal cancer have been declared fit for work and removed from Incapacity Benefit. The government have now said that from October 2010 they will speed up the re-assessment of everyone currently claiming Incapacity Benefit so that 10,000 claimants a week are ‘processed’


  • These assessments which ignore doctors and consultant views are earning Atos healthcare £100 million a year


  • Housing Benefits for all tenants will be reduced. From October 2011 for those 2 million disabled people living in private rented accommodation and from 2013 for anyone living in social housing which is deemed too large for their needs


  • There are 1.8 million people on social housing waiting lists. Currently 1 million children live in overcrowded households


  • Already 30% of disabled people live below the poverty line and 1 in 4 families with disabled children cannot afford heating


  • The Chartered Institute of Housing has calculated that the cumulative effect of the coalition’s proposals mean that by 2020 every tenant’s Housing Benefit will be too low to cover their rent


  • Benefits will be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Price Index, so claimants will lose £300 a year as the CPI ignores any housing costs you might have


  • Value Added Tax increased to 20% will hit those on the lowest incomes the hardest – it is estimated this rise will increase each household’s costs by £500 per year


  • Added to that funding from the Independent Living Fund for care and support has now ceased to all new claimants and any additional needs cannot be met by them


  • Social Services budgets are under extreme pressure and nearly all Social Services departments have been told to reduce their budgets by 25% which has an obvious knock-on effect to their provision of care and the amount people need to pay towards this. In Warwickshire it is anticipated that one-third of people who currently receive free care will no longer be eligible.


What disabled people say about these changes

“At the moment I am able to claim £17.75 per week for care and £49.50 for mobility which goes straight to the Mobility Scheme and in total that comes to £269 a month. Now consider the fact I work four days a week and roughly pay £160 in tax. Without DLA I wouldn’t be able to do my job, so I wouldn’t pay tax. Without DLA I wouldn’t be able to hire a Motability car which in turn means I wouldn’t be paying tax on petrol. Without a car I would be less likely to travel to shops or be able to engage in leisure activities; things which impact, albeit in a small way, to the British economy.

According to George Osborne the Government will introduce measures to assist disabled people ‘into the labour market’, however, I have shown that the removal of DLA would not only take me out of the labour market, it would also halt the spending power I currently have.

By going down this path, once at 2013 we could see disabled people like myself thrown onto the scrapheap and potentially becoming a greater drain on the Government’s own financial resources. I don’t need an Eton or Oxbridge education to know that this is a bankrupt political move which will do more harm than good to the economy, my life and family, as well as those of other disabled people.”

Bob Williams-Findlay, MA.

“I am in receipt of DLA, without which I could not survive. I have severe allergies, home bound, mostly bedridden.  I have carers, and have to pay for extra hours not subsidized by social services. My utility bills are extremely high, and I have to contribute to the rent, which is not met by housing benefits. I also suffer from malnutrition!! Being chronically ill is costly, being depending on carers for everything.

Cutting DLA would mean, that I have to find housing within the Housing Allowance which is much much lower than rental market. There are pockets of housing, in undesirable areas, with mould and cockroaches, and no amenities, no lift, or if on the ground floor, simply not safe.
I could go on and on, about the misery it would cause, to remove DLA.
It would lead to a slow death painful death. Worth adding here, I have spoken to many in my situation, who are discussing mass suicide, rather than suffer more health miseries, for which there are no cures! They are not depressed, but pragmatic about what awaits all of us.”

Disabled woman living in London


We will have our own disabled people’s section of a legal organised march to protest against Tory Party attacks on disabled people. Please join us and ask others to come too.

When –                       Sunday, October 3rd, 2010.

Where-                       International Convention Centre, Birmingham

Rally– noon

March– 1 p.m.

If the weather is good we will meet at the fountain in Chamberlain Square at 11.30 am and walk to the ICC together otherwise, or for anyone who finds it easier, we will meet inside the ICC in the room where the rally will take place.

If anyone has any specific needs which they need to have met in order to attend this protest march please contact  –

or  Mobile phone number for those needing contact on the day itself is 0771 492 7533


7 Responses to “Join us to protest at the Tory Party Conference – Birmingham, England, on 3 October, by Debbie Jolly”

  1. mand Says:

    I have an idea – order a few dozen / few hundred blow-up dolls and giving them t-shirts (or big stickers would be cheaper) saying, ‘Couldn’t get here because I am disabled!’ They’d take up the space that our bodies WOULD have if we COULD have attended. 😉
    Plus, what a point it would make.

    I am so worried about the changes, that I have to keep NOT thinking about it as I feel completely helpless to do anything – my disability is too time-consuming to take on even the slightest extra thing (especially while battling for the help I’m entitled to from Social Services). I don’t know how to spread this idea, hope you’re the right person to suggest it to. Perhaps a blow-up doll manufacturer would give a discount.

  2. NELSON Says:

    please write to your mp, cba, local radio, papers and tv, we need to be united in this the money that all these al=ppeals are going to cot, the jobs that are just not there, having employed 25 people in my own business until, 3 years ago I have done my bit for this coutry, I would not employ me if I had applied to a job, the Health and safety risk would be too great. I woudl not get insurance cover either, What do the govenerment think they are doing I would welocome any government member to come a live with me as i do for a month or so they would soon get the message. Help is need now not when the rules have been changed

  3. Ranald Says:

    I had been planning on attending the Conference on my own but now i see there are a whole group of us crips who feel strongly enough to stage a peaceful protest, count me in!

  4. failed at every turn Says:

    The blow up dolls are a brilliant idea. I am very likely to be too sick to either march or attend, even with help. Oh, but of course, now I’m this disabled by illness; am to be assessed as just fine & dandy & ‘fit for work’ (a forgone conclusion; even the prospect of the process is making me suicidal & I’ve not even started with the forms or ‘medical’).
    A disgrace.

  5. MAGGIE WEST Says:

    My family’s already abnormal health levels have been dramatically affected by the recent governments counter productive,inhumane and short term thinking in threatening reduction of hard won and long fought battles to achieve a reasonable quality of life whilst suffering with long term chronic illness.We have had 5 years of finally receiving these benefits after a lifetime without this vital safety net.It has been exhausting,we have suffered Drs flippantly writing incorrect statements causing a year of extra distress owing to the wrong levels of help then being given.We have been subjected to years of disdain,disbelief,silent innuendo suggesting fraud from family and those ill educated and ignorant in the pure sense of the word. Basically we are either in a country that has compassion or it does not and the conservatives are showing their true colours.Please everyone attend the rally and tell the politicians these are lives they are playing with,boys and toys come to mind.NO,they are toying with real people,their children and families caring for them.All of whom are already struggling to cope with pain and depression from chronic illness.This is what they are trying to worsen.Do not vote conservative,never be tricked again!

  6. Rebecca Says:

    Wonderful to see that this protest has been organised.

    I have been trying to encourage people to keep a complete diary even if only for one day showing exactly what life is like with whatever disability or disabling long-term condition they have and send it to their MP. By doing this we worked out that my husband spends 11:24 hours each and every day caring for me, at minimum wage saving the economy over £24k per year yet the Government appear to be penalising and criminalising people with disabilities and their carers.

    My IB is currently going through review. I was sent a 4 page booklet which asked whether anything had changed. Having already heard people say that by simply saying “No, nothing has changed” and ticking the appropriate boxes they have lost their IB, I included pages and pages of additional information however 6 weeks later have still heard nothing.

    I receive middle-rate Care element of DLA and higher-rate Mobility component (which pays for my mobility scooter). Although it was initially embarassing having a scooter at only 34 (now 36) I wouldn’t be able to get around without it. If I lose DLA, to all intents and purposes I might as well lie down and die. What DLA gives me is a small amount of independence and self-respect. It allows me to do something and contribute in some small way.

  7. failed at every turn Says:

    I hope all those who could attend felt rewarded by the comfort & care of their marching fellow men & women; those outside, with hearts,not those soundly indoors with the new world order police force protecting them.

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