A disabled woman says she feels pressured to hand

first_imgA disabled woman says she feels pressured to hand back her Motability vehicle, after the government’s Access to Work (AtW) scheme told her it will continue to pay her travel expenses to work if she does so.Pauline McGuigan, from Dunbartonshire, said the suggestion from AtW “makes absolutely no sense”, but that she will probably be forced to accept it so she can keep working.She works three days a week for a large insurance company – a job she has had for nearly 20 years – and uses AtW funding to pay for her daily taxi journeys to and from work.Last week, Disability News Service reported that AtW threatened to stop paying the £90-a-day for taxis she needs to get to work – she contributes £5-a-day herself – because she has a Motability vehicle and should use that instead.McGuigan has told AtW that she cannot access the car in her power-chair, and has no-one who can drive her to work and collect her at the end of the day.She doesn’t drive herself, because she has no use of her legs and limited use of her arms, and cannot use a personal assistant to drive her to work because she needs the powerchair, while she has been told the car cannot be converted to allow her to travel in her powerchair.She and her partner currently use the Motability car at the weekends, when he is available to push her in a manual wheelchair, which can be carried in the car.But this week, AtW told her it would continue to fund her taxis to and from work if she returned her car to Motability.She is set to accept AtW’s suggestion.She said: “It is the only option that I have got that I can still keep my job, so that is what we are going to do. We will have to get a cab at the weekends.“I can’t get my head around the whole thing.”She said Motability had been “really, really good” and had agreed not to charge her for ending her contract early.She has not ruled out applying for a grant from Motability in the future to try to lease a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that can take her power-chair, but because she and her partner both work, she thinks it unlikely that they would be successful with such an application.Now their only option is to take out a loan to buy a car, a solution that is likely to be far more expensive than the Motability option, which was designed specifically for disabled people.A DWP spokesman said they did not want her to have to return her Motability vehicle, and that they had offered a number of solutions to the problem, including obtaining a similar Motability vehicle to her current car, which could be adapted to take her power-chair.He said: “At no point have we encouraged Ms McGuigan to hand back her Motability vehicle.“We want to provide Ms McGuigan with the freedom of a car and her local Motability supplier can offer a similar vehicle to the one she has now which can be adapted for her specific needs.”DWP said that AtW had to support the most “cost-effective” solutions for its customers, that no final decisions had been taken on her award and that it was continuing “to explore all options for the best solution”.last_img read more

Australian media charges over Cardinal Pell trial chilling for open justice –

first_img SharePrint David Crosling/via REUTERSDavid Crosling/via REUTERS Charges against dozens of journalists and publishers in Australia over the reporting of Cardinal George Pell’s child sex abuse conviction will have a chilling effect on future news reporting if they are found guilty of breaching a suppression order, a lawyer defending the press told a court on Monday.Prosecutors in the southern state of Victoria have accused 23 journalists and 13 news outlets of aiding and abetting contempt of court by overseas media and breaching suppression orders aimed at ensuring Pell a fair trial.Pell became the most senior Catholic cleric worldwide to be convicted of child sex abuse and was jailed for six years in February. He is awaiting an appeal.Among those facing contempt charges are Nine Entertainment Co, the Age, the Australian Financial Review, Macquarie Media, and several News Corp publications.Breaches of suppression orders can be punished with jail for up to five years and fines of nearly A$100,000 ($71,000) for individuals, and nearly A$500,000 for companies.Monday was the first day in court for a case that at once underscores the potentially severe consequences of breaching court reporting rules and their ineffectiveness at containing coverage in the digital news era.A guilty verdict would have a “chilling effect” on open justice and democracy in Australia, said Matthew Collins QC, a lawyer representing all of the charged media organisations and reporters.The county court of Victoria last year put a suppression order on reporting of Pell’s trial, or its eventual outcome, to prevent jury prejudice ahead of a second trial, which was eventually dropped.In December, the jury in the first trial found Pell guilty of abusing two choir boys. The verdict was widely reported by foreign outlets online. Some Australian media alluded to the conviction without naming Pell directly.Collins pressed the prosecution for more information about how Australian journalists could have broken court rules because none mentioned Pell by name or his conviction.“I am at a loss to understand how they could have scandalised the court,” he said.“They didn’t reference the cardinal, just referred to the fact that there was a broader story that could not be told.”None of the accused journalists were present and Supreme Court Judge John Dixon ordered that prosecutors file an outline of their case by May 20 and that the matter return to court on June 26.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Saturday

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