Together we Shout!

The ‘We are Spartacus’ Community Submission to the Government Consultation on Assessments for Personal Independence Payments

The culmination of forum discussions, facebook help-a-thons, website comments and the Spartacus PIP survey is an evidence-based, high quality, forensically detailed response to the consultation on the proposed assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The document, which includes a foreword by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, was submitted to the DWP yesterday afternoon. The WeareSpartacus community has published it so all those who are concerned about the Government’s proposals can use it to fight for a benefit that works for disabled and sick people.

The document includes a huge number of recommendations, some major and overarching and some detailed and technical. It’s hard to identify our ‘key’ recommendations, but here’s a taste:

  • The addition of a new activity based on the need for general supervision
  • That the activity of bathing incorporate the cleaning of the entire body, including limbs and extremities
  • That significant changes should be made to recognise the difficulty and expense surrounding the management of incontinence
  • That the difficulties associated with being unable to handle paperwork and write be taken into account in relation to communication and managing finances
  • That points awarded take account of the high cost of some aids and appliances such as voice synthesisers
  • That the benchmark for considering wheelchair use be increased from 50m to 200m
  • That more account be taken of the need for walking aids (other than wheelchairs), especially those that need both hands to be used
  • That, in addition to asking whether the claimant can undertake an activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely fashion, the assessment should also ask what the claimant can do without severe discomfort.
  • That the Government ‘take every regulatory, contractual and advisory opportunity to ensure that problems reported with the WCA… do not occur in the PIP assessment’.

For details of all the recommendations, take a look at the document!

In the response, the WeareSpartacus community also urged the Government to give careful consideration to some overarching issues we’re all concerned about – for example, the danger that the introduction of PIP will seriously compromise disabled people’s independence and will increase costs for other public services such as the NHS and local councils.

Is the tide starting to turn?

I get the feeling that the tide may be starting to turn in relation to welfare reform. This is just a gut feeling, nothing more, but I have some evidence – not that the Government is starting to  listen, yet, but that other organisations and individuals are finding their voice and that the media is starting to listen. Continue reading

We Are Spartacus campaign site

The Spartacus movement has a dedicated site and a forum for all those who are affected by or concerned about the government’s proposals on welfare reform, especially the proposal to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independent Payment.

The We Are Spartacus website at has been set up to provide an information hub for the Spartacus campaign on welfare reform. It contains all the Spartacus publications, including the original Spartacus Report and the Spartacus unofficial simplified versions of key consultation documents.

The Spartacus Forum, at provides a dedicated place for disabled people to exchange ideas on welfare issues and has dedicated areas to help people understand and respond to the key consultations on Personal Independence Payment, which is set to replace DLA from 2013.