– STOP THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE
– 48% ARE LOSING BENEFITS
Edinburgh demo/ lobby
4.30pm – 5.30/6pm Mon 26 June
At Ben Macpherson MSP’s surgery
Leith Library, 28 – 30 Ferry Road, EH6 4AE
11.30am onwards Thurs 29 June
At Scottish Parliament, Holyrood – to coincide with First Minister’s Questions
Disability Living Allowance claimants are currently being re-assessed for Personal Independence Payments, even those who were awarded DLA for life.In the course of this re-assessment, 25% lose all this benefit, and receive no PIP at all. 23% lose some of their benefits, being awarded PIP at a reduced rate. (1)
The decision to replace DLA with PIP was taken by the Westminster Government with the deliberate aim of cutting the benefits paid to the most seriously disabled people.
However DLA and PIP are now devolved to the Scottish Government. Nevertheless the DLA re-assessments are set to continue for another four years. The voluntary sector paper Third Force News reported :
“Scottish ministers won’t stop Westminster from forcing disabled Scots to endure hated capability assessments, TFN can reveal. Despite new welfare powers being devolved to Scotland this year, the Scottish Government said it will continue with the current arrangement until at least 2021.
It means an estimated 100,000 Scots will lose either some or all of their disability payments by the time the new social security system is in place “ (2)
This lack of action by the Scottish Government has been condemned by people directly affected. Jenny Scott, spokesperson for East Ayrshire Carers Forum, hit out:
“This is a death sentence for people facing these degrading assessments. The utter misery and anxiety they cause has to be halted.
“It is dreadful news and a huge disappointment for the thousands of disabled people and their carers that this hell will continue.
“We expected so much under the new powers but this a real bitter blow. I’m not convinced at all the Scottish Government can’t do more. It must.” (2)
The Week of Action is called by the Action Against Austerity Network to demand the Scottish Government act now to stop this brutal attack on disabled people. In addition to demanding an end to the re-assessment of DLA claimants, we demand that the Scottish Government cover the loss in benefits (and Motability rights if that applies) suffered by DLA claimants who have already been re-assessed for PIP, and any who are still re-assessed. We see this Week of Action as part of the struggle against all the cuts to social security and against the whole austerity programme, which is no less than global class war by the rich against the poor. We need to organise autonomously from the grass-roots to take direct action and resist, and to challenge the whole profits system.
Actions are being organised round Scotland. In Edinburgh protesters will lobby and demonstrate at the surgery of Ben Macpherson MSP on 26 June, gathering from 4.30pm till 5.30/ 6pm at Leith Library, while in Dundee pickets are planned on 23 and 30 June at the offices of Joe Fitzpatrick and Shona Robison respectively. In Glasgow West Gap and the Anarchist Federation are organising a public meeting for 22 June. More activities are expected to be announced soon.
NOTE: DLA claimants who were over 65 in April 2013 are not affected by the re-assessments