The Myths about UKIP and the disabled…
Leah Webster UKIP candidate for Valley Ward 2016.
I find it hard to understand why any persons think it is wrong for someone disabled to stand for a party that think that said party is against the disabled. Yes I am disabled and use a wheelchair and would I be standing for a party that I believe would be a danger to the disabled I don’t think so.
The UKIP disabled policy 2015 was written by people with knowledge, experience, expertise in the policy area. Ordinary members have had input so it is really a manifesto that has been put together with the support and assistance of our members and not dictated by the top brass of the the party. That’s we are the Peoples Party, it is why people are lending their votes to us, from every nook and cranny of the country. People are so tired of the corporate vision of the Old 3 parties and want to have their say, that’s why we have had public meeting all over the country, this has helped give us the peoples input directly Into our manifesto. I will highlight the Partys Disabled policy further on.
They are so many issues that have arisen since 2008, not at least the changes to the welfare system which have hit the sick, chronically ill and disabled people the most. The person needing financial assistance, their families and their Family Carers have endured a massive overhaul of the welfare system which has happened far too fast and without due care for the people needing support.
In 2015 the Independent living fund which allowed a disabled person to employ a personal assistant/carer to help them have an independent lifestyle ceased.
The term “Family carer” is a term I use that are the wonderful people like my husband and others who look after a family member or close friend at home. They get very little help and are often the last people considered when thinking about the needs of a disabled person.
It is very instrumental to me to hear the views of disabled people and their careers.
I want to get the information direct from the people, no middle men, no barriers, just me disabled people and their families and carers by meeting and chatting or even just sharing emails.
So Yes shock horror…. I’m Disabled and am this year’s UKIP 2016 Councillor candidate standing in the Valley ward.
If you become disabled later on in life or become a family carer that is when the real problems become apparent, not just with the welfare system but with Housing, Council, transport the list is endless.
I thought that the UK including Rotherham was very disabled friendly and didn’t really think about access issues or other things until I became ill and had to start using a wheelchair. It was then when I really began to see things from a different angle.
I tried to get help from my local councillors but this never happened so had to rely on my husband to seek help in any way he could, We both knew of the UKIP Disabled spokesperson Star Etheridge and started getting in touch and she helped every step of the way, being disabled herself she knew what I was going through no one else could.
With her help, advise and guidance which was invaluable and sharing information which we found and shared I wouldn’t be where I am now, in a possition to use what we have researched to help those vunerable in our communities like me.
I find it difficult that many of these policy makers don’t ask or find out the needs of the disabled or their carers views. Disabled people should be represented in Rotherham especially in Council from a disabled persons view.
UKIP don’t believe in quotas People are appointed on merit and experience, Life experience at that.
UKIP Value all of its members as each one has something different to bring to the table.
I’ll now tell you about how I think the UK see disabled people.
There are many disabled/ chronically sick people who are simply not being cared for by the Government. The coalition has implemented a new benefits system which has caused fear, doubt, labelled disabled people as scroungers and accused them of cheating the system. These people UKIP would protect.
In the past 4 years over 60 disabled people have committed suicide directly due to the Work Capability Assessments, undertaken by ATOS (who rescinded their contract early).
These people, many of whom had covert chronic illnesses; breast cancer, brain tumour, mental health issues, bowel cancer etc. Yet they have been assessed as being fit for work when it is patently obvious they are not able to work. How can this be right or just?
I understand fully how it feels, I have to use a wheelchair so when people see me they usually understand that I’m unable to do certain activities.
Disabled people today are vilified to such an extent that they are scared of the recriminations from others, many of whom have been fed countless half-truths via the media. Such recriminations accuse them of playing the system. This is causing further discrimination and causing such deep despair that some have sadly taken their own lives because they are unable to cope. The lack of support for the disabled in the UK is an absolute travesty.
At least access to transport in the UK is not so much of a barrier these days.
All taxi firms in the UK must have at least one vehicle that has a wheelchair access vehicle. This can also be said for the Taxi companies in Rotherham. However, the same can’t be said about the state of the pavements and access around the borough of Rotherham which are in dire straits, so when you’re in your car moaning about potholes just think about me and other wheelchair users. I find that just going to the local shops I cannot make my way around without forever crossing roads without lowered curbs having to going all around the streets just to find somewhere to cross safely or even having to ride all the way on the road because the state of the pavements is just as bad if not worse than the Rotherham roads, I would therefore challenge the other councillors and council Chiefs to take a day in an electric wheelchair and come around Rotherham with me so they may see how difficult it is first hand.
This may then ensure some deeper understanding and real help for the people who use wheelchairs, walking aids and then we can start on getting proper help and support This may also open their eyes, words are cheap, what we need is practical assistance not platitudes.
UKIP Rotherham are aware that to make an effective team everyone has to be allowed to share their talents, skills and experiences, UKIP’s ethos breeds a kind of family atmosphere where we can rely on each other.
I hope that most of you can see that UKIP Rotherham want to provide common sense solutions to the problems we all face daily from a normal person’s point of view.
I did say that I would highlight the UKIP Disabled 2015 policy…
We want to see a welfare system that is fairer, simpler and less open to abuse. Our approach isone that firmly opposes the ‘benefits lifestyle’ but also addresses the current welfare regime, which has produced unjust outcomes.
Our common sense approach to benefits includes: –
Supporting a lower cap on benefits
Cracking down on benefit fraud
Ending welfare tourism with a five-year ban on benefits
Stopping child benefit being paid to children who don’t
live in the UK
Limiting child benefit to two children for new claimants.
The ‘bedroom tax’ is clearly unfair and is not working.
Changes to the way housing benefit is paid are leading some
tenants to fall into debt. The Conservative threat to withdraw
Housing Benefit from the under-25s may cause even more
suffering. UKIP will:
Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’
Continue to pay Housing Benefit to young people under
the age of 25
Give tenants the right to request Housing Benefit is paid
direct to their landlords, whatever benefit scheme they
UKIP is fully committed to protecting the rights of
disabled people, as set out in Article 19 of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
We wholly endorse the right of the disabled to access in-
home, residential and community support services and
we support their inclusion in our communities. We also
recognise that there will always be disabled people who are
unable to work and we are committed to supporting them
through a fair and fit-for-purpose welfare system.
We will end unfair ATOS-style Work Capability Assessments and return
assessments to GPs or appropriate specialist consultants, who have full
access to patients’ medical records and are likely to know the patient. We
believe this makes them the best person to undertake assessments and we
will ensure they are adequately funded and resourced to take on this task.
We will also:
Require GPs/specialists to notify the Department for
Work and Pensions when they believe a patient is well
enough to return to work, by issuing a ‘fit note’
Remove ‘tick-box’ and quota arrangements from
sickness and disability assessments, thereby
streamlining and speeding up the assessment
processes and continually respecting claimants
throughout the process.
Millions give up work, or work reduced hours, to care for
elderly or disabled relatives. In doing so, they make a huge
contribution to society, although often at great personal and
Increase Carers’ Allowance from £62.10 per week
to match the higher level of Job Seekers Allowance,
currently £73.10 per week, an extra £572 per year
Improve carers’ access to support by sharing
information on benefit and social care entitlements and
support groups across all public service
INVESTING IN FOODBANKS
It is deeply regrettable that there is increasing demand
for foodbanks in 21st century
Britain. If those who attend
foodbanks are in such dire
straits that they need food
handouts, there is a high
likelihood that they will also
need additional support to deal
with issues such as debt, family
breakdown, addiction and poor physical or mental health.
Many will need employment or legal advice.
We will therefore contribute to the important work done by
foodbanks and develop them into community advice centres
for those most in need.
UKIP will train and fund the cost of 800 advisers to
work in 800 foodbanks, so the poorest in our society
have free and easy access to timely help in their
hour of need.
We will also exempt foodbanks and charity shops from
charges imposed by local authorities to dispose of unwanted
food waste and other goods. They are not ‘businesses’ in the
sense most of us understand the term and therefore should
not be expected to pay fees for waste disposal.
All of the above I full agree with and thats why I choose to stand as a UKIP candidate and by a member of the Party that full supports the disabled.
Leah Webster UKIP Rotherham 2016 Valley Ward candidate and Rotherham disabled spokesperson.