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Man dies after Work Capability Assessment declares him fit for work

The Derbyshire Times is reporting…that there are calls for the Government to improve work capability assessments after a man declared ‘fit to work’ died a month later.

Stephen Hill, 53, of Duckmanton, died in December of a heart attack. The dad-of-two had suffered heart problems for and was awaiting major heart surgery but following a ten-minute medical examination on November 17 he was deemed well enough to work….

Read the full story here

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Welfare reform will deepen poverty in Northern Ireland

 

The BBC is reproting that the SDLP have told the government that they must show “flexibility and discretion” when it comes to changing the benefits system in Northern Ireland.

The comments came after the party met with Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud and Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

The SDLP’s three MPs and Stormont Minister Alex Attwood attended the discussions in London.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said government proposals would “simply deepen poverty ” in Northern Ireland.

 

The BBC...

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Liam Byrne tells us whats going on…..

Labour’s Policy Review: THE NEW CENTRE-GROUND
Across the country, local Labour parties are now debating reports on our first year’s work on the policy review – you can get hold of copies here.
To help the debate, I’ve written a new pamphlet for Progress – here’s the link – setting out a few of the key ideas which are emerging centre-stage – both for us in the UK, and for progressive parties around the world.

My article setting out the argument is in this month’s edition of Progress. Here’s the link
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IN PARLIAMENT
Our argument with the government on their welfare changes came to a head in Parliament last week, with a major 7 hour debate on Wednesday.

We want welfare-to-work – but that needs jobs; and the government aren’t helping create enough of them.

Worse, I believe the welfare reform bill crosses a basic line of decency axing, support for patients still recovering from cancer, and young people with disabilities. The government has tried to make the big argument about a cap on benefits; actually we agree with a cap – but we want a cap that doesn’t backfire. Here’s the link to my Telegraph article.
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.IN HODGE HILL
Finally, and most important in Hodge Hill our campaign to get young people back to work is gathering pace.
After securing £167 milllion of new investment over the last 6 years – in new health centres, schools, classrooms, libraries and homes (you can see a map here), and creating a new constituency-wide Community Interest Community to help our local social entreprenuers – our total focus this year is on jobs.

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We’ll hold a major summit for local businesses shortly, to ask what more they can do to help – and we’ll be bringing our young people together to help with job search shortly thereafter. Let me know if you can help!
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Yesterday, I spent the morning with Mayor Robin Wales in Newham , who is pioneering radical new ways of putting the Council’s muscle behind the crucial task of getting people into jobs. That’s the kind of approach I’ll be calling for in Birmingham.
As ever, keen on views on any and all of this!

Best wishes

Liam Byrne MP

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Help the Unemployed become self employed…. Enterprise clubs

More needs to be done to encourage and help unemployed people to see self-employment as a viable route off benefits and into financial independence.

On 31 January 2011, the Minister for Employment announced the launch of Enterprise Clubs which is targeted at unemployed people interested in self-employment

The main aim of Enterprise Clubs is to help people make the most of local knowledge and resources to help unemployed people in their communities set themselves up as self-employed or start their own business.

They will empower local communities and encourage people to work together to offer additional support to unemployed people who are interested in becoming self-employed. They will also help local communities to become more prosperous by encouraging private sector growth.

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Newsletter lords defeat, CDG Shaw Trust, volunteering and much much more…

 

 

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Likely concessions on welfare reform

The House of Lords defeated the Government on seven key elements of the Welfare Reform Bill; one of those elements include the proposal to cap out-of-work benefits at £26,000 per household.

In the Commons today, ministers aim to overturn the defeats and will table their own amendments to reinstate the original plans.

 

It is been reported that Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith is likely to offer “transitional arrangements” to help families who will be hit by the cap which may include a new fund to help pay the moving costs of any family that cannot afford to remain living in a large home once the £26,000-a-year limit is introduced…. the size of the home is really irrelevant; large or small, the cost of living and indeed accommodation is higher in certain parts of the country than in others..

IDS may also offer a “grace period” so that benefit claimants who have lost their jobs after years of contributing National Insurance payments through work will not immediately fall under the cap. but will be allowed to claim unlimited benefits for a period of time.

Naturally the Lib Dems are claiming that they are a stablising force reining in the excessess of the Conservative wing of the Coalition government.. Who Knows…

The Labour Party is planning to table its own proposals which is that the cap should be set a local level… consistent with the acknowledged regional variation in the cost of living and housing…. Even with this, Labour’s general position is far too unclear even confused

Labour will oppose the Government’s amendments and table its own rival proposals — for the cap to be set at a local level, reflecting the cost of housing in different parts of the country.

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