Ideal for All

Anne McGuire at AGM 2012

 

 

Anne McGuire, Dave Healey and Carol Goff plant a tree at Ideal for All

Reforms ‘smokescreen’ has harmed disabled 

Public and media hostility towards disabled people and their benefits have become a ‘smokescreen’ for the Government’s current welfare reform programme, said Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, Mrs Anne McGuire MP, speaking in Sandwell. 

Mrs Anne McGuire was speaking on Tuesday 16th October at the 16th annual meeting of Ideal for All, a Sandwell charity run by disabled people and working on their behalf, at the Sant Nirankari Centre, Wednesbury.

The Government should not have used a crackdown on cheats to camouflage an attack on the benefits that some of the most vulnerable people in Britain rely on,” she told the annual meeting.

I hope I speak for all of us when I say I have no truck with benefit fraud. Those who pretend to have a disability when they do not have one are not disabled people, but people pretending to be disabled.”

Anne McGuire speaks at Ideal for All's AGM 2012 She accused the Government of starting its welfare review from the point of cutting benefits for 500,000 people to save over £2 billion rather than introducing a new system to improve the lives of disabled people. 

The Shadow Minister said: “There have even been times when senior Government Ministers have said, for example, that getting Disability Living Allowance is just about filling in a form, implying that there is no back up evidence to be presented. This is simply not true. 

Over the past couple of years or so, we have seen a steady stream of media stories that have shown disability in a very negative light. Media stories have fuelled a view that most disabled people are cheating the system, that they are not as disabled and that benefits are too high.”

Mrs McGuire quoted a recent Glasgow University Media Monitoring Report which showed how stories about disabled people had become “less sympathetic.”

Mayor of Sandwell Keith Davies walks in with MP Anne McGuire and Carol Goff at Ideal for All AGM 2012

She also quoted a new survey which indicated that over 70 per cent of people believe that most claims for disability benefits were fraudulent – despite the fact that there was only a tiny level of fraud. 

 Mrs McGuire praised the work of Ideal for All and urged the charity to take part in Labour’s new ‘conversation’ with disabled people which aimed to find out what was wanted for the future.

The Ideal for All AGM was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Sandwell, Cllrs Keith and Pat Davies and the charity’s Patron, West Bromwich fundraiser Mr Dave Heeley.

For further information please contact Ideal for All Executive Director Naeem Arif on 0121 558 5555

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