09 October 2008
The Welfare Reform Green Paper has been the focus of a number of meetings this week.
On Monday 6 October, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) held their second consultation event, this time in Cardiff. Yesterday the Rt Hon James Purnell MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, answered a number of questions from people with M.E. at the APPG in London, the minutes of which will be available shortly and a further DWP consultation event took place in Edinburgh today.
Monday’s meeting in Cardiff was attended by Action for M.E. as well as a range of other patient organisations not specific to M.E.
The speakers for the day were not as expected, following the Cabinet reshuffle which took place the day before.
Linda Badman, Director for Wales of JobCentre Plus and Wayne David MP, newly appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales stepped in to replace Stephen Timms, former Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform (who has moved to the Treasury) and Huw Irranca-Davies (who has moved from the Wales office to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Other speakers included John Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Skills, Roger Pugh, DWP and Professor Mansel Alylward, Director of Unum Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, who gave a presentation about the psychosocial effects of work.
Delegates attended two workshops. Choices consisted of: Active steps towards work; Strategies to increase parental employment; Simplifying and streamlining the benefit system; Encouraging innovation and the process for providers; ESA as an active benefit; The role of employers.
Presentation slides from the conference should soon be available from the DWP website.
Action for M.E. is currently collating and analyzing responses from its recent survey and focus groups in preparation for its consultation response to the Welfare Green Paper: No one written off - reforming welfare to reward responsibility.
Further information will be posted in due course.