We have a brief window of time to affect the upcoming budget on Thursday November 17th.
Our GM Big Disability Survey has the hard evidence that shows further austerity will harm disabled people and lead to loss of life.
So to get that message to Westminster we need you to contact your MP and tell them to look at the survey report and to tell the government that austerity must end.
It's an easy 2 step process:
Step 1. Copy the text below (you can then change as you wish or even just write your own message)
Disabled people and our organisations ran a huge survey across Greater Manchester this summer to gain hard data on disabled people’s lives and particularly how the cost of living was affecting them. The results and our report represent the largest survey of its kind in the UK currently. Disabled people are under a threefold assault on our rights and quality of life: firstly, through austerity, then Covid-19 and now as a result of the ‘cost- of- living’ crisis.
20% already cannot afford essentials, and an additional 28% can only afford essentials. A third cannot pay all their bills and 68% have changed their diet to save money on food. That is before the extra costs of winter bite. Overall what the survey revealed was an ingrained poverty and collapse of support for our lives and rights after 12 years of austerity. Social housing, social security, and social care, have all failed. Conditions had deteriorated over the last 2 years from our 2020 survey. The benefits system is most commonly described as abusive and close to impossible to navigate. While out unemployment rate is 50% and for those in work 80% did not get the same pay of career opportunities as non-disabled people.
People were generous in giving us pages of text responses too, from this we know the incredible resourcefulness and resilience of our community, fighting to survive. However there comes a point where survival becomes impossible and any further austerity is simply going to shorten and ruin more lives, there will be greater excess death. In total we asked 97 questions, and have long and detailed reports, analytics and policy recommendations. But our stark and simple warning is this: More austerity will equate to harm and loss of life, disabled people need significant above inflation increases in income coming into their households and services immediately.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said in response: ‘No decisions should be made until [the survey report] has been fully absorbed at a Westminster and Whitehall level because this is the picture that needs to guide all of those decisions’. He said there was ‘nothing left to cut, actually, other than people’s hope, people’s support, and in the end risking people’s lives. It’s that severe.’
The Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel is an independent body made up of 15 Disabled People’s Organisations (that is majority or 100% staffed and run by disabled people), we have a partnership agreement with GM Mayor Andy Burnham and the GM Combined Authority. We operate from a Social Model of Disability perspective. The full survey reports, analytics, and accessible version are hosted here: gmdisabledpeoplespanel.com
Step 2. Click to go to the Write to Them Website, put your postcode in the search box there and the site will tell you who your MP is, click on their name and it will help you send the message.