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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Research Welfare Reform impact ...

Hi guys, I'm busy again and back on the campaign trail!
This time, I've agreed for the next three years, to take part in a research program regarding the effects of Welfare Reform.
The aim of the study is to explore the impact of welfare changes over time on a range of households in Scotland. The project is being carried out by the Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Stirling on behalf of the Scottish Government. 
I think it's important for people to speak out, share their experiences both good and bad and as both Carer and disabled person, Coo and I, have had to struggle through and find a way to navigate the recent sorry system of changes!
The initial issues and stresses of the move over from Incapacity Benefit to ESA (Employment Support Allowance).
Next, the seizures, stress and the hassles of coping with the ATOS people and their...'you need a medical' - 'no you don't'...'yes you do' approach!
Last and by no means least, our struggle with 'Bedroom Tax' and securing a HDP (Housing Discretionary Payment).  Both our MSP Margaret Burgess and MP Katy Clark helped us through what was a difficult time. Katy raised our case in the commons and we did get a reply from David Cameron PM.

I am ashamed of the rhetoric the UK Government and media have used in relation to Welfare Reform. The 'Scroungers and Strivers' rhetoric has only succeeded in fuelling anti-disability feelings, further alienating disabled people and dividing our communities.
I honestly feel, most of the stress and issues created by this Welfare Reform process could have been avoided, if the policy had been planned and executed fairly in the first place!

It seems so incredibly unfair that most of the 'cuts' have fallen disproportionately on families with disabilities and their Carers and it's important the true hardship people find themselves in through no fault of their own is shown!
It's so very important to speak out if you get the chance!
Maz x

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