I’ve put a new video on youtube about the victory for blind people, when the Government accepted the amendment I had tabled to the Welfare Reform Bill on Tuesday evening.
It changes rules from 1992 which restricted the higher rate of mobility allowance to people who were physically unable to walk, which meant that a blind person who could walk was denied this extra support for getting around – when you cannot drive, use public transport or walk to places safely this support is truly needed. It was always a test that didn’t make sense, because whilst a blind person may physically be able to walk, it’s absurd to pretend that they can therefore get around in this way. The old rules discriminated against a sensual disability, in favour of a physical disability, when it should really have been looking at mobility.
This evening the amendment on DLA I put down to the Welfare Reform Bill got through Parliament with Government support. I will put more on the website about this tomorrow, in the meantime below is the press release for this:
Blind people liberated as discrimination comes to an end
New Clause to Welfare Reform Bill from John Robertson MP ends years of injustice
A new clause to the Welfare Reform Bill tabled by John Robertson MP, Member of Parliament for Glasgow North West, today successfully got through Parliament with Government support to remove the discrimination of blind people from the higher mobility rate of disability living allowance. For a blind person on the lower rate this will mean a difference of £29 a week or over £1,500 a year towards mobility. This amended the Social Security and Benefits Act 1992 which granted the support only to those who were physically unable to walk despite the insurmountable barriers faced by blind people in getting around.
Campaigns Content Coming Soon
Expense claims publications
The files below detail my expense claims from the 2004-2008, those which have been made available to MPs. As you will see some of the details have been redacted by the fees office. This is to comply with Data Protection and remove people’s personal details which cannot be published (sigantures, bank account numbers, addresses etc.). There are also some sheets which have been deleted by the fees office – these are sheets that are not receipts for claims which have been made: for instance the terms and conditions attached to bills which have been submitted; in one instance sheets have also been deleted for a bill that was not submitted by me and processed on this file by the fees office in error. You will note that the Communications Allowance receipts are published only for the year 2007-08 which was when this allowance was introduced.
On the homepage and YouTube I’ve posted another video update on recent work and events – it covers Northern Ireland, which I’ve asked a number of questions on in Parliament in the last few weeks, Royal Mail – many people have written to me about this – and a new survey on the site.
You can access the survey from the site contents on the left and I would welcome responses about your priorities for my work as your MP and how the website can be improved.
Thank you Mr Speaker. I beg to move that leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for a statutory right to an employment retention assessment to determine entitlement to a period of rehabilitation leave for newly disabled people and people whose existing impairments change; and for connected purposes.
This is the fourth time I have brought this Bill before Parliament and the inevitable question I face is ‘why do so again?’. In answering this I want to begin by outlining the purpose of the Bill, something many members will already be familiar with. It’s fundamental aim is straightforward, namely to help people who become disabled or who have an impairment which changes, to stay in work and to enjoin and guide both them and their employer, in the process of retention.
Today I moved two amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill and will be bringing my own Bill, on Employment Retention, before Parliament. I’ve written an article on the Bill for the epolitix website (a screenshot of this is above) and you can read it here: http://www.epolitix.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/john-robertson-mp-justice-for-disabled-workers/. If you want to watch my speech on this at 3.30pm you can do so at the following link: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Live.aspx (in the House of Commons chamber) – I will post a copy of the speech on the site over the next few days.