It’s astonishing how much more tiring sitting through five and a half hours of the Welfare Reform Bill Committee seems to be than pounding the streets knocking on doors!
Much of the Easter recess has been spent campaigning in the Scottish elections. Due to various boundary changes, there are 4 Scottish Parlaiment candidates ‘inside’ my Westminster constituency and I have been going out with all of them.
However I’ve also managed to fit in some visits to local organisations. One was to ECAS, an organisation with a long history of working with disabled people in Edinburgh, to hear from them their concerns that the Government’s recent statements and consultation paper on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) had misrepresented statistics about claimants to justify proposed benefit changes. A number of constituents contacted me about the consultation on DLA reform and I submitted a response based on this. The Government responded to the consultation just before the Easter break. Despite there being over 5000 individual responses and several hundred from organisations the response is very thin. It’s literally ‘thin’ wwith about 55 pages, 10 of which just list the organisations who responded. The format is commendably ‘accessible’ in terms of print size and white space but that just makes the substance thinner!
The proposals on DLA will be discussed at the committee over the next few weeks – so let me know if you have any views!