The Contributory Principle

There is a debate continuing around the social security system on whether those who have paid in more should get back more when they need it. The inverse of this is that those who haven’t paid national contributions get nothing – including those who have not had the opportunity to pay anything. This is where … Continue reading The Contributory Principle


The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

We cannot afford to base policy on public opinion when the public opinion is based on false information. ESA is a good example of this. Public opinion is that a larger proportion of those who were or still are on IB did not need or deserve to be there. Consequently there was room for approval … Continue reading The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

When it’s their word against yours, medical evidence is what proves you’re not the one lying. Medical evidence is what says that you are in pain, or you are blind, or you are mentally ill. It’s what confirms that you aren’t making things up or exaggerating. It’s what tells the decision maker to believe your … Continue reading The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

Conflicting Policies

Just as nature takes millions of years to regain diversity after a mass extinction, so neighbourhoods take years, even decades, to build up informal support networks broken by forced removal. Just as DLA is the means that allows people to work, so informal support is what allows people to work. The government isn’t even identifying … Continue reading Conflicting Policies

Conservatives have ignored their history on disability benefit reform

A new disability benefit should reflect the policy intent that the important factor is not the medical condition but the effect that it has on people's care and mobility needs. The best that an examining medical practitioner can do is to take a snapshot of the person's condition on the day on which he sees … Continue reading Conservatives have ignored their history on disability benefit reform

Bedroom Tax Despair

It’s been a pretty depressing day. Disabled people have fought for change after change to the government’s cuts and austerity measures. We’ve won the support of Lords and Ladies and Labour MPs. We’ve even won the support of some Liberal Democrats too. We’ve presented research and reports, presented data and evidence, campaigned and gone on … Continue reading Bedroom Tax Despair

Something for nothing cultures

I’m getting sick of this ‘something for nothing’ attitude that MPs seem to have regarding social security. They complain about giving Jobseeker’s Allowance to people who haven’t spent many years in employment, and forget that to have spent many years in employment one also has to have lived many years since leaving education. They forget … Continue reading Something for nothing cultures

Beveridge Principles

When Sir William Beveridge wrote his report on social insurance he identified five giant evils: squalor, ignorance,  want, idleness and disease. Squalor, disease and want were all inter-linked. Squalor meant circumstances where disease was rife and often untreated. Want was both created by and a sustainer of disease: want was at times a result of … Continue reading Beveridge Principles

Mobility scooters aren’t an adequate replacement for legs

A couple of weeks back I wrote about a recent experience using trains as a disabled person. As one reader pointed out, part of my problem was that I had chosen to buy a mobility scooter that was too big to be taken on public transport. Scooters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. … Continue reading Mobility scooters aren’t an adequate replacement for legs