With more and more evidence emerging of DWP policy making being influenced by companies which stand to profit from the erosion of provisions for sick and disabled people, it's vitally important that Lib Dems make a stand against government proposals which will be incredibly damaging to some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Just this week there have been proposals to hand responsibility for sickness notes from GPs (who know their patients and their medical history) to panels run by private companies which will have a financial interest in making the process as simplified as possible and therefore more susceptible to potentially devastating errors - it may be cheaper and easier to train someone to fill in a tickbox form than hire an experienced medical professional but the cost to people whose conditions don't fit neatly into boxes will be immeasurable. Personally I think a far better solution is providing better training to GPs but I'm not the one writing the report.
And the reason for this proposal are statistics showing some people are given sickness notes despite not having anything physically wrong with them - completely missing the fact that people can have mental and psychological problems which make them unfit to work.
This week MPs also debated the proposals to cap the amount of money in benefits that people can receive - despite the fact that it will hit disabled households the most given that they, naturally, receive greater amounts of benefits due to having greater need for support than most people.
So this is why it's vitally important that you sign, and get everyone you know, to sign the petition to ask the government to stop and review the impact of benefit changes to sick and disabled people:
All the big disability charities are backing it, including charities like Scope, MIND and the RNIB. The Greens are backing it and so is Compass. Labour and the Conservatives are ignoring it. So please, please, please sign this petition and ask your friends, colleagues and families to sign it as well.
UPDATE: Turns out that the co-chair of the committee producing the aforementioned report works for an organisation funded by Atos Healthcare - a company which already runs ESA assessments for the government and which would be the logical choice for the "independent body" to handle sick notes.