Today, some big disability campaigning groups are celebrating because re-testing for ESA (Employment Support Allowance), has been scrapped, for those with long-term conditions.
'They' think it is because of their pressure and 'power'!
As a person with Cerebral Palsy, and a 'campaigner' for twenty seven years, I'd like to put forward (what I see as) a more realistic opinion.
Although these days, the opinions of lifelong campaigners (and those with lifelong disabilities, are often not considered). Those who shout loudest get heard.
In my opinion , it was not not a 'win' -for several reasons:
1. Only one 'benefit is affected. Those who are on PIP or still waiting for changeover from DLA to PIP (which includes myself and SOOOO many others, are still in the same situation as we were yesterday.
Those of us with lifelong conditions/ 'lifetime' awards of DLA, are STILL facing retesting - and FEAR. For me, it is NOT any sort of victory until EVERYONE is safe - and that includes from things like Bedroom Tax and Universal Credit TOO!
2. The reality of it is that most likely that the backlog/cost of repeated retesting/assessments is getting even more out of hand. When you add the appeals process to that, (and the fact that so many people are getting DWP decisions overturned), they realise they cannot deliver, so they acted to cut the backlog.
3. Every assessment costs MORE THAN IT SAVES. By the time you take 'Mandatory Reconsideration' and any appeal tribunal into account they are losing money (which we did point out)!
4. The government claim that they have done this to cut down on OUR stress! NO. If that was the case, it would have been done in all the years before, It hasn't been, so why now? Because it suits them! It differentiates clearly between Cameron's leadership and that of Theresa May. It makes the new leadership LOOK compassionate and inclusive. It's all PR! It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with us!
5. How do you know that they're not just throwing us a bone to distract us - while they plan something worse and hit us with it later? It wouldn't be the first time! Also, where's the confirmation of how and when this is going to happen - from sources other than media? As yet I haven't seen any. There are no firm details on anything YET.Misinformation is rife - and I for one, am inclined to take everything this government says or does, with a large pinch of salt!
6. At this point also I would like to mention that it was only a few days ago Labour announced it would scrap reforms on assuming power. Could it not be that this government are getting in first, in a bid to secure re-election in 2020?!
Just some thoughts!
Likely I will be accused be of 'trouble-making' (once again), by daring to offer a different opinion, but I'm going to say it anyway!