Monday, 9 January 2012

We Support the Spartacus Report (and some!)

Today has been an incredible day.

Thanks to the work of Dr SJ Campbell (@spooniedoc), Sue Marsh (@suey2y Diary of a Benefit Scrounger), Kaliya Franklin (@BendyGirl Benefit Scrounging Scum), Declan Gaffney  , Mason Dixon, Leigh James, Sam Barnett-Cormack, Rhydian Fon-James, Dawn Willis and several anonymous writers, the groundbreaking Spartacus Report has been produced. This report on the impacts of the proposed reforms to DLA in the Welfare Reform Bill is groundbreaking because it has been written and researched entirely by disabled and sick campaigners. And because for the first time the statistics the government would rather we didn't see are there in black and white. Statistics like 74% of disabled people surveyed were against reform of DLA - which slightly undermines the government's position that DLA reforms are welcomed by disabled people. Like the fact that DLA fraud runs at 0.5% (unsurprisingly, it's one of the most complicated benefits forms in the universe). Like the fact that the rise in people claiming DLA is 13% not the 30% the government presented to the House of Commons...We could go on, but you get the point and it's all in the report, so go and read it!

And thanks to the wonderful organisation of Sue and Kaliya, Declan and so many others the #spartacusreport has been sent by constituency reps to MPs, been in all the mainstream papers with even the DAILY MAIL reporting the 0.5% figure. Sue has been on Radio 5 Live today, giving Maria Miller a run for her money. And twitter and facebook have been overwhelmed with people writing and supporting the Spartacus Report.

The Welfare Reform Bill is debated in the House of Lords on Wednesday. Sympathetic Lords are reporting Lib Dems are wavering. Let's hope this will push them over the edge.

To quote (or possibly misquote) Miss Maudie in To Kill a Mockingbird. "It's a step. It may be a baby step, but it's a start."

Top marks to one and all.

We Support the Spartacus Report. So should you.

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