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Sync: e-bulletin Oct 2010 easy read

 

October – what a month!

cuts cuts cuts - cutting up money

October is always a time of change.

As people who lead other people, we need to know what is changing. Its hard work keeping up with changes, but we are here to help!

Two big things happened in October

  • the new Equality Act

  • the spending review

This bulletin aims to bring you up to speed on both of these – giving you some headlines letting you know where you can find out more.

And however bad things may look, remember its autumn - we may have winter to get through, but spring will always come round!

The Equality Act

The Equality Act - one law covering all.


outlines of card people against a green background. The row of 5 people includes 2 wheelechair users.

Instead of having one law covering disabled people, another covering people of different faiths, another linked to race and so on, the UK now has one single law.

Most of the Disability Discrimination Act is carried through into the new act, but there are some big changes too.

So who is covered by the Act?

The government looked hard to see which people still faced most discrimination in the UK. It chose 9 different things to include within the act.

These are now called ‘protected characteristics' and they are:

  • Disability

  • Gender reassignment - when you are born a man and feel like you should have been a woman or when you were born as a woman and think you should have been a man

  • being married or in a civil partnership

  • being pregnant or just having had a baby

  • Race

  • Religion or belief

  • Sexual orientation - being gay or straight, or bisexual

  • being male or female

  • Age

And best of all, the Act doesn’t just cover people in those groups anymore, it also covers those who are discriminated against when they are with people who have those protected characteristics (meaning parents, carers and friends can also take action on discrimination) – this is called discrimination by association.

And there is now ‘discrimination by perception’ too. This means if someone thinks you are in one of the groups above and discriminates against you because of it, you can also take action, whether or not you are in that group or not.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has some great bite sized resources available to download from its website to help you get to know the act in easy, digestible chunks.

To go to the commission’s online starter kit…

The Spending Review

We are entering not just an age of austerity, but one of uncertainty (Gaby Hinsliff, Channel 4)


cartoon of disabled people being protected

Everything in the news recently has been about the cuts.

The government told us what cuts were happening on 20th October - and everyone will feel them there are so many.

The government had to think about how the cuts impact on different groups, including disabled people – and they have made some changes to their plans just to support us.

To download the equality impact assessment on the spending review…

Spending review – arts and culture

the torso of a man showing his empty pockets

The money the Arts Council gets is going down by nearly a third - this is a big cut but it won't all go at once.

The Arts Council want to help the organisations they fund most and protect them from too many cuts.

The Creative Partnerships programme - which pays for artists to go into schools - has been cut completely.

The government is keeping free entrance to national museums and galleries.

There are no cuts to the Olympic budget.

To read what the Arts Council are saying about the cuts…

Spending review – local authorities

image of people sitting around a table with an arrow on the table going round and round and around.

Local authorities are having cuts too. Their money will go down by 7% each year, reducing their money by nearly a third by 2015.

This will hit the arts hard as many councils have already said that they will have to cut arts services as they need the money for schools, hospitals, roads and so on.

Each local authority is making its own decisions about what to cut and what to keep so to find out more, you need to get on line and check local papers and websites

To find your local authority…

Spending review – benefits

image of a pile of £1 coins.

Some benefits will be cut - this is very worrying for lots of disabled people.

People claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will only be allowed to claim this for a year and then will move to a different benefit Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA).

As ESA is often more than JSA this could make a big difference. This 12 month rule won't be put in place for ‘the most severely disabled people’ and disabled people on low incomes.

There is also a new ‘Benefit Cap’ - this means the most benefit one person can claim would be £500 per week. Disability Living Allowance claimants will be not be included in this.

There will be a big freeze in benefits – with all benefits frozen for three years - even though the cost of things may go up.

Tax Credits are being frozen too.

Housing Benefit changes too - if you are under 35 years old - you can now only claim the single room rate and not for a flat or house. Again, they have thought about the impact on disabled people though and those on middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance can still live where they want.

Find out what BBC Ouch's 'Disability Bitch' makes of the impact of the benefits cuts on disabled people...

Happy Halloween!

a pumpkin with happy halloween carved in it

We wanted to link to an article and a case study by Rachael Wallach, another one of the individuals on Sync Intensives this month.

Rachael works for a local authority and has been too busy dealing with the cuts so keep checking the site through the next few weeks and we'll put up her stuff as soon as it's ready.

Next month, Deepa Shastri explores Deaf Leadership - interesting stuff!

Thats all for now,

Jo Verrent

Project Manager, Sync

www.syncleadership.co.uk

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