The WOWdebate II scheduled for the 25th October 2018 has been delayed as the Government have scheduled general debates instead of Back Bench Business Committee debates leading up to the Budget.
This is disappointing as Debbie Abrahams MP had hoped that issues raised in WOWdebate II could be addressed by Phillip Hammond MP in his budget. This could be a reason that Parliamentary time for our debate has not been found before the budget.
WOWdebate II, just like the original WOWdebate will not finish with a binding vote or legislation. The motion passed at the end of the WOWdebate in 2014 was not binding and has been completely ignored by Government. This is not a surprise!
What the original WOWdebate did was to bring to public prominence the issues we put forward. It also demonstrated to the Government that disabled people were able to mobilise and hold Power to account as John McDonnell MP stated when he opened the debate in 2014:“We are making history today.
This is the first time in the history of this Parliament that people with disabilities have secured a debate in the Chamber on an agenda of their choosing, so let us pay tribute to the War on Welfare campaigners. They initiated the campaign, drafted the petition that we have before us in the form of a motion, and worked hard for a year to gather more than 100,000 signatures in order to secure this debate. They are heroes and heroines who worked, many of them despite their disability, to ensure that this campaign was a success.”
We believe that the BBBC debate organised by Debbie Abrahams MP and Kate Green MP will highlight again the hostile environment faced by disabled people and as with the ESA debate yesterday, shine a light on the Governments refusal to take responsibility for their austerity cuts by refusing to assess the cumulative impact of these cuts on disabled people.
The Torys, enabled by the LibDems have enacted what could be described as Schrodinger’s welfare reform. All of the cuts happen in a black box and until you shine a light on the carnage left you don’t know how many lives have been destroyed. It is not surprising that this Govt is refusing to turn the torch on, let alone shine the light on what they have done.
We, along with Debbie & Kate, are hoping to shine a little light on the legacy of this Government. That is what we are hoping to achieve.