Dear George Galloway MP, The Respect Party,
Can I please congratulate you on your barnstorming and sensational speech in the House of Commons on Thursday opposing UK intervention in the Syrian civil war. I watched the whole debate on Thursday and I am in no doubt whatsoever, that your excellent contribution made a significant and positive difference in the minds of many Members of Parliament, including Conservative MP's.
I am writing to you regarding the abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments.
I have written also only to Caroline Lucas MP, The Green Party, whom I also admire in her values, which many I know you share.
My communication to you is to be sent to approximately 140,000 people throughout the United Kingdom and beyond via Causes who has supported my campaign to keep Disability Living Allowance.
Once and if I receive a reply, it will be sent to all the campaign followers.
This communication to you is my personal observations on the subject.
I set up an official government epetition to stop the abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments.
Enclosed here is the petition link - http://epetitions.direct.gov.u
The petition expires on the 5th September 2013 (5 days time).
You can see that the petition has collected the support of more than 49,000 signatures of support to date.
I am aware that Personal Independence Payments has now commenced for new claims and renewal claims but those receiving Disability Living Allowance for life will not have their claims reviewed until after 2015.
I am in no doubt whatsoever, that this is an election stunt by this government to minimise the effects of these cuts on severely disabled people, until after the 2015 general election.
I also believe, this in part, has contributed to the fact that we could not achieve the 100,000 signatures required to have Parliament consider the petition.
Many will disagree with me, but whilst I genuinely believe your opposition to the cuts is real, I do not believe this to be true of The Labour Party. I believe their opposition is/was disingenuous.
I know the Labour Party held an opposition day debate calling for a cumulative impact assessment of the cuts on people living with disability, which was defeated.
However, I believe, this governments welfare cuts agenda was allowed to proceed in Parliament, relatively easily by the official opposition with only the official opposition voting against the reforms at the third and final stage of reading.
The Labour Party, in the unlikely event they return to government in 2015, have not committed to reverse any of the ConDem cuts and in my opinion will not do so.
I opposed the abolition of Disability Living Allowance because as an ex DWP worker at the Invalid Care Allowance Unit and within Fraud and this combined with my community activities over a 20 year period, I know what a difference Disability Living Allowance has made to disabled people in the UK, since its introduction.
Disability Living Allowance has made a massive positive impact to the lives of disabled people in the UK.
I do not and have never received this benefit myself.
The level of fraud to the number of claimant is extremely small. The governments own figures have said that less than 0.5% claims are fraudulent.
Therefore, if it is anticipated that several hundred thousand current claimants will either lose their benefit altogether or have their benefit reduced, this is being done by the government redefining the definition of disability for benefit purposes or lifting the qualifying criteria to ensure the government succeeds in ensuring the change results in the cuts in support they are seeking.
I am fully aware it is very limited what you can do to express your support to people living with disability in the UK in Parliament, who have expressed their anxiety in some numbers with the support our petition has been given and I am delighted that you will be one of only two elected representatives that I have contacted in relation to this matter.
I do not intend to make contact with any other Member of Parliament regarding this matter.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course and your response will be sent to the campaign followers some 140,000 people.
On a personal note, I have found many of your campaigns, speeches, questions in Parliament sensational and wish you well in your future campaigns.