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Response to my call for a ‘no confidence’ vote in Maria Miller

September 7, 2011

On the 26 May, I, along with many others, emailed my MP calling for a vote of no confidence in the Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller, citing her refusal to engage with disabled people, her support for the flawed ATOS ‘Work Capability Assessments’, and her failure to address the increasing scapegoating of disabled people in the media and abuse on the streets.

Since I am registered in a Tory safe seat, I was not expecting much of a response, and to be fair to Stephen Dorrell MP his response, although late, does address the concerns in my letter in order, suggesting that he had actually read it. However, the responses he gave were nothing more than restatements of government policy, expecting me to take his word that this was the case, and that there was no need for him to actually do anything to represent my concerns.

The letter in full was as follows:

Please accept my apologies for the length of time it has taken to respond to your email of 26 May. [the letter is dated 1 August].

The Government is doing a great deal to help people with disabilities and I believe the Minister, Maria Miller, is competently taking the lead on these matters.

The substantial recommendations made by the independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, by Professor Malcolm Harrington, have all been accepted by the Government. The improvements planned include greater personalisation of the process, additional safeguards to protect the most vulnerable claimants and taking into account how well claimants have adapted to their conditions before determining whether they can be given specialist help to return to work.

The Government is fundamentally reshaping the benefit system but it does not aim to reduce levels of support for the most severely disabled people. It is important that benefits are appropriately targeted, fair to those on low pay and that the right money goes to the right people; those who are genuinely sick, disabled or retired have nothing to fear.

The Government also owes a duty to disabled people to promote their independence and equality but over the least four decades progress on some issues has been stubbornly slow. The Equality Act 2010 provided a new cross-cutting legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all; to update, simplify and strengthen the previous legislation; and to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

Suffice it to say, I’m totally reassured that the government cares about disabled people and that it’s all going to be ok.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 12:33 pm

    If there was any sign that they had a clue what was going on from their replies, or how sick and disabled people really feel or any understanding at all of what they’re actually doing ,then I wouldn’t mind so much, but the fact they try to tell us things like “does not aim to reduce levels of support for the most severely disabled people” when they’re reducing it by an eye-watering 9 billion or ” additional safeguards to protect the most vulnerable claimants” – there are none at all or “those who are genuinely sick, disabled or retired have nothing to fear.” I shudder – it’s literally sinister.

    I wonder if your MP would like to tell the people dying before their tribunals can be heard that “those who are genuinely sick, disabled or retired have nothing to fear?”.

    Can they really not know how wrong these responses are and how little they will do placate anyone with even a basic understanding of the issues?

    • January 22, 2012 12:25 pm

      late fragment by raymond carter

      ..beloved on this earth.

      you are.

      thinking of you and your family
      and the spartacus report.many thanks.

    • January 22, 2012 12:58 pm

      i am sorry to have intruded on private griefs.

      there are people in the hospital dying and i have wasted so much time with you

      -anna swire

  2. January 22, 2012 10:57 am

    well re djing for the fbi,cessa have visited a skype contact of yersels.

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