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Developing Positive Policy Proposals March 2011 Webinar
1. The historical context 2. Cuts & the challenge today 3. Positive policy alternatives
1. Our History. . . Moving beyond the institutional walls and building community. . .
There is a long history of confused policy on disability and old age. . . • • • Benefit or services? Local or central? Personalised or institutional? But there has been progress. . .
There is a long history of resistance and innovation by disabled people and their allies
‘Personalisation’ is just another name for the long-term effort to restore citizenship to the many who lose it through prejudice and institutional responses ‘The technologies of personalisation’ include: supported employment, supported living, self-advocacy, citizen advocacy, individual budgets, person-centred planning, direct payments, self help, centres for independent living and many more. . .
Six Keys to Citizenship from Keys to Citizenship by Simon Duffy
Real Wealth from A Fair Start by Pippa Murray
Personalised Transition from Personalised Transition by Alison Cowen
I want patients to have far more control over the care they get. So people with long term conditions get to be part of designing the care they need. Choosing what suits them - and making it work. For mental health patients. For pensioners in need of care. For people with disabilities. It works. A couple of weeks ago in Sheffield, I met a wonderful woman called Katrina. She's got three disabled sons. The oldest is Jonathan, a charming, warm hearted young man of 19. He can't walk or talk clearly, or feed himself alone. He's had a breathing tube in his neck since he was a toddler. Under a scheme the new Liberal Democrat council in Sheffield is extending, Jonathan's just got his own individual budget and care plan. Now he's doing work with a local charity, attending a music group, has his own personal assistant. A child whose potential seemed so limited. Finally as a young man, engaged in life in a way he and his mother never thought possible. Katrina told me with the biggest smile I've ever seen. She said: We've gone from having nothing to having everything. I wish every child's needs would be taken this seriously. Nick Clegg, LD Conference Speech, 17 September 2008
All this enthusiasm and rhetoric, but. . . • • • Virtual budgets used to maintain status quo • • Commissioners limit choice and market development Individual budgets bureaucratised and controlled Rationing becoming more obscure, entitlements weaker Advocacy and legal aid slashed Personalisation is struggling to survive
Reform has always been met with resistance - and that resistance takes different forms at different stages. . . Personalisation will not move forward unless we tackle the deeper systemic blocks of power, money and legislation that undermine it.
2. The Unfair Cuts. . . what do they mean for disabled people and other vulnerable groups?
An economic crisis caused by the bursting of a bubble created by. . . • • Bankers who benefited from bonuses • Investors who benefited from unsustainable profits in finance industry • Politicians who benefited from the illusion of a booming economy Home owners who benefited from unsustainable house price increases Who did not benefit from the bubble? - the poor and disabled people
But where will the cuts fall? Part 1 - on Local Government services Local government will face (excluding police and fire) a cut in funding of 28% from £ 28. 5 to £ 22. 9 billion - in real terms. However approximately £ 21 billion of local government expenditure is on social care services (for children and adults). By 2014 - in order to deliver these cuts - local government will be forced to: • Cut £ 5. 9 billion from social care • Reduce eligibility - 250, 000 people will lose vital supports • Cut staff - 250, 000 people will lose their jobs and/or • Cut the salaries of the some of the lowest paid workers
Where will the cuts fall? Part 2 - on benefits, income and housing The multiple benefit reforms and the creation of a system of Universal Credit mean final impact is uncertain in many areas. However government strategy is to: • protect and strengthen pensions • invest more in back to work programmes to reduce the tax burden on those on the verge of work • reduce the overall cost of benefits The only way of squaring this circle is to reduce spending on disabled people, families and carers.
Benefit Retirement Pension Tax Credits (£ billions) £ 72. 392 protected 10/11 (mn) pc pa 12, 509, 000 £ 5, 787 £ 24. 000 protected 7, 200, 000 £ 3, 333 Housing Benefit Disability Living Allowance £ 21. 519 vulnerable 4, 750, 000 £ 4, 530 £ 12. 467 vulnerable 3, 214, 000 £ 3, 879 Attendance Allowance £ 5. 436 vulnerable 1, 635, 000 £ 3, 325 Child Benefit £ 11. 000 questionable 7, 200, 000 £ 1, 528 Income Support £ 5. 763 vulnerable 1, 746, 000 £ 3, 301 Pension Credit £ 7. 673 vulnerable 2, 664, 000 £ 2, 880 Council tax benefits £ 4. 085 vulnerable 5, 794, 000 £ 705 Jobseeker’s Allowance £ 4. 841 questionable 1, 402, 000 £ 3, 453 Carer’s Allowance £ 1. 000 vulnerable 566, 000 £ 1, 767 Employment Support Allowance + IB £ 6. 869 questionable 2, 469, 000 £ 2, 782 Independent Living Fund £ 0. 200 terminated 21, 000 £ 9, 524 TOTAL £ 177. 245 2010 -11 Figures from DWP for major benefits - child benefit and tax credits from other sources
Examples of cuts already lined up include: • a change in indexation of uprating benefits from the higher Retail Price Index (RPI) or Rossi to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI), said to save £ 6 billion a year by 2015 • the reassessment of claimants of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to drive a 20 per cent reduction in costs [c. £ 2. 4 billion] • and the reassessment of Incapacity Benefit (IB) claimants to move more onto JSA – a plan first proposed by the previous government and intended to save £ 1. 5 billion, and which the current government believes will see 23 per cent of IB claimants moved to JSA Demos, Destination Unknown, 2010
This is a pincer attack on the rights of disabled people. If we just focus on the 1. 5 million people with the most significant disabilities - they will lose: • £ 5. 88 billion in social care support • £ 1 billion in disability living allowance • Termination of ILF • Cuts to Supporting People • Many further cuts in housing support and other benefits So, more than £ 7 billion of the total £ 27 billion (>25%) which government is saving from departmental budgets is being born by less than 3% of the population - those who are least able to bear these cuts.
This is an unprecedented attack on the rights of disabled people - which must be challenged
And many other cuts will continue to fall on: • People with less severe, but still significant, disabilities • People with mental health problems • Women suffering domestic violence • • People not in work Refugees and asylum seekers
3. The future. . . beginning to challenge third institution: the welfare system itself
There are opportunities, amidst the madness • Lets remember and clarify the values that have helped us make progress • Lets keep working at the technologies that we know work, • But let’s also propose policies and legislation that will support progress • And let’s build bridges with other disadvantaged groups
At the heart of our values Everyone is equal, no matter their differences or disabilities. A fair society sees each of its members as a full citizen - a unique person with a life of their own. A fair society is organised to support everyone to live a full life, with meaning
Seven key principles. . . 1. Family - we give families the support they need to look after each other. 2. Citizenship - we are all of equal value and all have unique and positive contributions to make. 3. Community - we root support and services in local communities. 4. Connection - we all get chances to make friends and build relationships. 5. Capacity - we help each other to be the best that we can be. 6. Equality - we all share the same basic rights and entitlements.
Good work must continue
But current policy must be challenged • Weak entitlements - eligibility thresholds high and rising, housing rights weak, legal rights weak - the cuts demonstrate the fragility of the current system • Super-taxation for disabled people - means-testing, charging • Poverty traps - benefit systems that punish families, savers, earners and disabled people • Weakened families - support focused on crises, family control undermined, families disrespected • Imprisonment for many - up to 20, 000 people with learning difficulties in prison, 7, 000 with IQ less than 70 and many more people with mental health problems
Instead 1. Integrate tax and benefits - remove stigma and complexity 2. Take means-testing out of benefits - we’ve already paid our taxes. . . we don’t need extra taxes on vulnerable people 3. Define minimum level of eligibility for all - transparently define a level sufficient for citizenship 4. Constitutional rights to support and control - clear law that can be tested and protected 5. Fix a robust organisational framework - escape the era of ‘organisational fixes’
A system of ‘family security’ is necessary
Current system panders to the swing voter and median-earner. . .
Current system undermines local democracy and centralises power From Women at the Centre (forthcoming) by Simon Duffy & Clare Hyde
Can we build the necessary bridges? • Avoid blaming local government, instead make alliance with local government • Avoid falling back on a defence of ‘services’, even when services are not the answer - we need rights • • Build an alliance across and beyond ‘disability’ Connect to the general public’s common-sense understanding of fairness and social justice
www. campaignforafairsociety. or g The Centre for Welfare Reform The Quadrant, 99 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Business Park Sheffield, S 9 4 WG T +44 114 251 1790 | M +44 7729 41 [email protected] org Get a free subscription at: www. centreforwelfarereform. org