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New report from international disability charity CBM claims disabled people are one of the world’s biggest ‘untapped resources’

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Kirsty Smith, CBM UK

Kirsty Smith, CBM UK

A recent report co-funded by Cambridge-based international disability charity CBM UK, claims that disabled people are one of the world’s biggest untapped resources.

This claim from experts in Cambridge follows a study into the costs of exclusion from education for disabled people, as a cause of lower employment levels and opportunities for people with disabilities all over the world.

The report suggests that people with disabilities suffer ‘widespread exclusion as a result of physical, attitudinal, financial and policy barriers’, and as a consequence, they are not able to contribute to the economy of the countries they live in. Read the rest of this entry

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Family with disabled Grandson tells David Cameron: ‘Visit our home and you’ll drop the Bedroom Tax’

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Paul Rutherford with his disabled Grandson, Warren Todd

Paul Rutherford is grandfather to Warren Todd, a 14-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder, Potocki-Shaffer syndrome.

Paul believes that David Cameron must understand what his family goes through on a daily basis, as David and Samantha Cameron’s son, Ivan, also needed constant care as he had cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, and died at the age of six in 2009.

Warren also has epilepsy, as well as severe learning disabilities and skeletal problems.

Warren’s grandparents, Paul and Sue, have made a request for David Cameron to visit their home and family, and they make this request without any malevolence, as they can only imagine what the Cameron’s went through when they lost their son.

Paul states: “We want to ask David Cameron to come to our home and visit our family.

“We think if he could see how we live and what we do, and meet Warren, he would change his mind about the Bedroom Tax.”

Read the rest of this entry

Cuts to Disabled Students Allowance could have disastrous effects

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Universities minister David Willets has announced proposed government cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), meaning many disabled students could be prevented from going to university.

The DSA is a grant given to disabled students to meet extra costs of studying incurred because of their disability. From September 2015, the government plans to cut this allowance, only giving support to students with ‘complex’ needs.

The DSA will no longer pay for computers for disabled students, or fund non-specialist help such as note-takers and learning mentors. In addition, the costs of specialist accommodation will only be provided in ‘exceptional’ circumstances. Read the rest of this entry

Stop Taxing Periods. Period.

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Laura Coryton has created a petition on Change.org, to persuade Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to reduce tax on sanitary products to 0%.

Her arguments are outlined below:

The Government taxes the masses of people who have periods, but not for enjoying a lean crocodile steak. Does placing exotic meats above sexual hygiene truly reflect society’s values?

A 5% tax rate has been placed on sanitary products, whilst exotic meats walk tax-free. HM Revenue and Customs justify this rate by labelling these sexual health products as ‘non-essential’ items, costing you an average of £1,500 per person over a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry

Understaffing in Hospitals Pose a Danger to Patients

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recently warned that registered nurses’ workloads should not exceed more than eight patients at any one time, as patient safety will be at risk.

Nice spent several months examining evidence on the impact staff numbers have on the quality and safety of the care which patients receive.

This intervention will put more financial pressure on hospitals, many of which are already struggling. Campaigners believe at least 20,o00 extra nurses are needed across the country, at a cost of £700m.

Until now, government ministers have refused calls for the NHS to introduce minimum staffing levels, due to worries about costs.

In one serious case, a previous official inquiry found that understaffing at Stafford hospital due to cost-cutting by the trust, directly contributed to “appalling care”, including patients dying and suffering serious harm. Read the rest of this entry

Cancer Sufferer’s Benefits are Cut and the Public Turn Against Him

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Pete Woodcock

Pete Woodcock

The government have recently cut a man’s state benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Pete Woodcock of Scunthorpe has been unemployed for around eight years, but has spent his time job hunting and volunteering for up to 40 hours a week.

When diagnosed with cancer, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) cut his benefits by 40% (from £140 to £84 a week).

Mr Woodcock stated that this was because he was unable to attend job clubs due to his numerous hospital visits on both sides of the Humber Bridge, meaning he had to claim sickness benefits instead.

Mr Woodcock states: “When a person has cancer the last thing a person needs to worry about is finances but I now have to look after my family, pay bills and finance my trips to hospitals on less than £100 per week.

“The DWP even told me that if I went back on to jobseekers and gave up my treatment I could go back on to £140 per week to live on – meaning if I decided to die, I could be richer!” Read the rest of this entry