Spartacus is a grass-roots movement that started with the publication of the Responsible Reform report which revealed overwhelming opposition to the Government’s proposed welfare reforms, in particular the proposal to reform Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The Report was entirely researched and written by disabled people, including Sue Marsh, Kaliya Franklin, Sarah Campbell, Declan Gaffney, Mason Dixon, Leigh James, Sam Barnett-Cormack, Rhydian Fon-James and Dawn Willis and several others.
Responsible Reform was based on a rigorous analysis of the 523 organisational responses to the Government’s consultation on reform of disability living allowance which closed in February 2011. The report also analysed the reasons behind the increase in recent years in the number of DLA claimants.
- Only 7% of organisations that took part in the consultation were fully in support of plans to replace DLA with PIP
- There was overwhelming opposition in the consultation responses to nearly all of the government’s proposals for DLA reform
- The government consistently used inaccurate figures to exaggerate the rise in DLA claimants
- The report shows that nearly all of the recent increase in working-age claimants of DLA has been associated with mental health conditions and learning difficulties. Between 2002 and 2010, the number of working-age DLA claimants – excluding those with mental health conditions and learning difficulties – remained remarkably stable
- 98% of those who responded opposed plans to change the qualifying period for PIP from three months (as it is with DLA) to six months
- 90% opposed plans for a new assessment, which disabled people fear will be far too similar to the much-criticised work capability assessment used to test eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA)
- Respondents to the consultation repeatedly warned that the government’s plans could breach the Equality Act, the Human Rights Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities