26 Jun 2008

The Alan Wheatley column

Community Care magazine columnist Simon Stevens is a disability service
user who employs care assistants. He has kicked up a storm online by
accusing unions of spreading 'caveman propaganda that disabled people
are naturally bad employers' (Community Care, 19 June 2008, page 5).

Meanwhile, as a talented disabled jobseeker and ex-support worker to
adults with learning difficulties I note that New Labour's welfare
reform agenda would rather give £62K for global corporation per disabled
person off Incapacity Benefit and into paid work than invest properly in
extending the personalisation agenda to the point of helping disabled
people become their/our own bosses. At A4e Holloway on New Deal recently
I was told that for signing off Jobseekers Allowance to become
self-employed, I would get £500; the Jobcentre told me it would actually
be just £100 plus 4 weeks Housing & Council Tax Benefit.

Please note also that the weekly 'earnings disregard' on JSA is less
than an hour of the national minimum wage and has not gone up since 1988.

Alan Wheatley
Disability Spokesperson for London Green Party

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