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Old 07-12-10, 09:55
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Default DLA reform consultation

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A tweet led me to this breakdown of the Disability Living Allowance consultation. The planned changes affect children and are therefore relevant to many Home Edder's.
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I am linking through this forum so that any useful articles people find can be added and hopefully the thread will become a useful resource for people responding to the consultation.
If you find a link you find informative please add it.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:58
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The Department of Work and Pensions own statistics* cite the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5%, compared to the 0.8% of offical error the DWP themselves admit to making. So, according to the official figures, less than 0.5% of those claiming DLA are considered to be fraudulent. Compare that to the much higher rates of fraudulent claims in Income Support of 2.9%, Incapacity Benefit at 1%, or Jobseekers Allowance at 2.8%**. The only benefit which has an overall fraud rate of 0% is the state retirement pension.
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Old 07-12-10, 16:37
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And compare all of the above with the colossal fraud perpetrated by tax evaders! Tax avoidance is legal, though the rules are far too slack,ut evasion is criminal and plenty are 'at it'.... Go get 'em, Mr Plod!
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Old 08-12-10, 10:43
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Yep, all those criminal ill people and ones who go about plotting to get all the rich people's money while coping with mental disabilities and legs crushed in accidents at work. When they're all sorted the country will be awash with gold (or it would be if Brown hadn't sold it all at rock bottom price!)

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Old 08-12-10, 15:19
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I used to think I was cynical - then along came Diane!!!
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Old 09-12-10, 18:18
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Anyone got the figures for the rate of MP's fraudulent claims last year?

Would be interesting to compare the fugures

The way the government was advertising and hammering on about fraud in the benefits system, I thought the rate must have been about 50%
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Old 10-12-10, 13:54
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Remember David Chaytor? He who was in favour of home educators being monitored etc.

MPs' expenses: David Chaytor pleads guilty to charges

Former Labour MP David Chaytor has pleaded guilty to three charges relating to his expenses claims.

Chaytor, 61, the former MP for Bury North, was charged with false accounting totalling just over £20,000.

He claimed rent for his own flat in London and rent for a house in Bury, which was owned by his mother.

He would have been the first Parliamentarian to stand trial over his expenses but changed his plea before it was due to start on Monday.

Family member

Chaytor stood down as an MP at the general election - having been barred by Labour from standing for them again.

He was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on 7 January at Southwark Crown Court. He faces a maximum seven years in jail but is likely to receive a more lenient sentence because of his guilty plea.

Start Quote
There is no loss to the public purse. Any sums claimed have been, or will be, repaid”
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James Sturman QC
Two other former MPs, one current MP and two members of the House of Lords are due to face separate trials over their expenses claims.

Chaytor had claimed £12,925 between 2005 and 2006 for renting a flat in Regency Street, near Westminster, which he owned - producing a fake tenancy agreement which said he was paying £1,175 a month rent.

He also falsely claimed £5,425 between 2007 and 2008 for renting a home in Castle Street, Bury, which was owned by his mother. He admitted he had not paid his mother, who had moved into a home because of illness. Under Commons rules he was not allowed to rent from a family member.

A third charge related to falsely charging £1,950 for IT support services in May 2006. The charge said that he supplied two invoices from a man named Paul France for his professional services "when in fact the services had not been provided or charged for". However in that case, Chaytor had not received the money claimed.

'Abused trust'

He had denied the charges but appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday to change his plea, having failed in a court bid to argue that expenses cases should be heard by Parliament, not the courts.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
Nothing that happened today should reflect on any defendant in any other case”
End Quote
Crown Prosecution Service
Chaytor's QC James Sturman told the judge, Mr Justice Saunders that £13,000 had already been repaid: "There are many misconceptions about the case which we will wish to put right on January 7.

"Obviously he accepts this is a serious matter. There is no loss to the public purse. Any sums claimed have been, or will be, repaid."

He said there had so far been "a total failure to reflect that his case reflects appropriate claims gone about in the wrong way".

Asked for his reaction to the verdict, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "We take seriously any breaches of rules on expenses. It's for the court to reach its judgement in that case."

He added: "It is very important that we do all we can, as we have done in Parliament, to clean up our expenses system."

Chaytor was mobbed by photographers as he left the court with his legal team before getting into a taxi. He did not comment.

Media disclosures

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Simon Clements, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "David Chaytor has admitted his dishonesty and will now face the consequences of his actions.

"No-one, no matter what their position, should be allowed to take money they are not entitled to.

"By his actions David Chaytor has abused the trust placed in him by the public.

"I would remind everyone that today is about David Chaytor alone.

"Nothing that happened today should reflect on any defendant in any other case."

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson says that MPs hope Chaytor's conviction might allow public feeling on expenses finally to cool off.

Chaytor, who was elected during Labour's 1997 landslide victory, had spent his 13 years in the Commons on the back benches.

He was suspended by the Labour Party and barred from standing for them again after stories about his expenses claims emerged when the Daily Telegraph published hundreds of claims made by MPs over several years.

At the time he apologised for what he called accounting errors and referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for investigation.

But after a lengthy police inquiry the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February he would face criminal charges

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11904007

Apologies for quoting from the BBC.

Diane
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Old 12-12-10, 15:43
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We, the undersigned, urge the Minister for Disabled People to recall the Public Consultation on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform, and to cease work on reform of this benefit, due to serious flaws in the consultation paper. As such, the consultation questions are deeply skewed and any answers will be likely to support wholesale reform. This is both unfair and unwise, and will cause hardship for many disabled people.

The case for reform has been criticized, and then completely demolished, by the various disability rights groups fighting reform. They accuse the DWP of building their argument without sufficient evidence. The claims that DLA can act as a barrier to work, in particular, are robustly questioned. Questions are also raised concerning the accuracy of the representation of supporting data. For example, the claim is made that DLA claims have risen by 30% in eight years - without accounting for population growth of 5% in this period, a pronounced demographic shift, and increased awareness of DLA.

Most devastating to the case for reform is the critique of proposed amendments, leading one to ask whether augmenting DLA might not be a better, cheaper way of improving employment opportunities, rather than launching an entirely new benefit. It would seem that the costs of such rebranding are only justified when savings are made by cutting the DLA caseload by 20%. This figure is, in and of itself, questionable – how is it possible to know that this many people can be removed?

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appears to be a case of cuts dressed as positive reform. Disability rights groups and charities have uniformly condemned the proposals, warning of dire consequences. The list of those affected includes: people who are mobile with aids; people with disabilities so severe that they are unable to be very active; care home residents; those who receive local authority care packages. Most other disabled people will suffer through needless reassessments upon the introduction of PIP, and re-testing every few years even when a condition cannot be treated.

There is a strong feeling amongst people with disabilities that the Coalition Government have declared war on us, with a continual ratcheting of pressure on us since the Emergency Budget in June 2010. Announcements on Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, and Disability Living Allowance have made us feel that the Government is scapegoating us and removing the support on which we depend. Iain Duncan-Smith’s comments to The Sun newspaper [01/12/2010) suggesting that Incapacity Benefit claimants were partly to blame for a large fiscal deficit caused by a recession, a bail-out of the banks and quantitative easing. Whilst there may be ways to improve DLA, they do not involve replacing it with a new benefit, and neither do they involve removing anyone from the claimant caseload
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Old 13-12-10, 20:22
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"We, the undersigned, urge the Minister for Disabled People to recall the Public Consultation on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reform, and to cease work on reform of this benefit, due to serious flaws in the consultation paper. As such, the consultation questions are deeply skewed and any answers will be likely to support wholesale reform. This is both unfair and unwise, and will cause hardship for many disabled people."

The consultation questions are deeply skewed? Surely not. This is the government of which we are speaking.

Diane
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Old 14-12-10, 18:01
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And don't you dare become ill and claim benefits - Benefits are for those who run the country - You lower lot can do without - What a load of moaners! - Think on them who made this financial mess - Are they not now more disabled than before? - Or maybe not? -
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