The U-turn announced on welfare cuts by new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb following the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith is a victory for common sense. With apparent cross-party agreement on this issue, it is clear the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) cuts should never have been proposed.
Members of The British Polio Fellowship living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) should not have to live in fear of the changes being introduced and it was pleasing to see the support from all sections of the media, politicians of all colours and indeed the public in recognising that changes to PIP were a change too far.
I welcome Mr Crabb’s announcement that the Government will not seek any further cuts this parliament, but we can all learn lessons from this episode.
Changes to benefits for those with disabilities affect real people.
Mr Crabb acknowledged that “behind every statistic is a human being and perhaps sometimes in government we forget that” and the sentiment could be applied to all of us.
The fact that 120,000 people in the UK are living with PPS is another statistic, but again these are real people and our members are used to living with a condition that a recent YouGov poll confirmed that only seven per cent of people in the UK have ever heard of.
Hopefully this change of tack will herald a turnaround in the government’s attitude towards people with disabilities and lead to a better informed debate more generally in society too.
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship
Help Queen to celebrate
It is remarkable that, as her 90th birthday approaches, Her Majesty the Queen is still working so passionately for our country, and supporting the work of hundreds of charitable organisations.
In recognition of her incredible efforts, I would like to invite readers to be part of an historic online commemoration at www.TheQueensBirthdayBook.com
The Queen’s Birthday Book will form a huge digital collection of messages, photos and film to mark Her Majesty’s special day on April 21.
Anyone can contribute for free by adding their birthday messages and personal stories of meeting the Queen, and they can also share photos and videos of their street parties and celebrations for her official birthday in June.
One of my own special memories is performing for the Queen and other members of the royal family at Her Majesty’s 16th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle, a night which I hope she remembers as fondly as I do.
As well as a great digital archive for future generations to look back on, we’ve created this book to raise vital funds for the charities the Queen is patron of, through the sale of specially issued commemorative medals from the London Mint Office.
I do hope people will join me in wishing Her Majesty a very happy 90th birthday by sharing their messages, photos, drawings and videos, while also helping to raise money for some very deserving causes.
Dame Vera Lynn
Stats leave me puzzled
It is wonderful what you can do with sets of statistics.
Chaucer School in the Government League Table is the worst performing in Sheffield.
However, the headteacher has another set of statistics showing progress by pupils through their school career is the best in the school’s history.
Good luck to those parents deciding which secondary school to send their child to.
J P Sanderson
Running out of steam
Following the recent closure of Scotland’s last coal-fired power station at Longannet, I wonder if any of your readers have, like me, noticed that their kettle seems to boil less rapidly?
John Eoin Douglas