Tag Archives: cuts

The Government Benefit Reforms are driving people to suicide

2 Jul

Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!

20120702-054032.jpg Photo credit google images

Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!

I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.

The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.

This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.

This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.

In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.

I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.

If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?

The UK Governments Definition of Happiness

27 Feb

Just when you think the UK government couldn’t get any dirtier, they go that one step further to strike up anger, in their mission to cut the number of claimants claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) amongst a string of other benefits, Job Seekers being top of their list!

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have drawn up a plan which consists of blackmail, good old fashion blackmail!

The long-term sick and disabled will be told…

Engage in unpaid work for an unlimited amount of time or have your benefits cut!

Now, I’m fully aware that there are a huge amount of people claiming these benefits, when in reality a good dose of work is what the doctor ordered, however, lets not paint everyone with the same brush!

Now, I hear the government calling this voluntary work, but I can’t see how threatening to cut somebody’s benefits is voluntary?

But hang on… there will be a medical assessment first, right? Oh, yes, a controversial assessment conducted by those already considered incapable of giving anything other than a dishonest, flawed service! Lets be honest, we’ve heard how fair these assessments are, haven’t we?

There are some people with certain conditions that couldn’t possibly be assessed over one afternoon or a few even. Those on the autism spectrum will be particularly disadvantaged! Autism, a condition that takes so long to diagnosis, as a result of a string of complex assessments, interviews and observations (but, yes, this does require both time and money, something our government are usually reluctant to give)!

Nonetheless, I didn’t want to blog about the whole mess that is the governments medical assessment process, regardless of its relevance to the topic at hand, I want to talk rant about these proposed plans of blackmail inflicted on our societies most vulnerably.

Firstly, few important points need making…

Now, if there really isn’t enough work for today’s unemployed then surely there isn’t enough voluntary positions! I guess that those involved, those happy to be part of the governments plans, will suddenly find work for those forced to undertake it, am I in anyway right?

What happened to the requirement of a least a C pass rate in English and Math’s GCSE results when applying to work in the majority of UK establishments including that of McDonalds? This is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate was reported to have rapidly risen! So, my point being, what about those claiming, not only DLA, but any other benefit, who are being forced into unpaid work, will they require the same GCSE results as those applying for paid positions… I’m, guessing NOT, how disgraceful is that!

What about those on medication receiving DLA will this automatically make them qualify as fit for work?

Why would those high street retailers and public bodies bother employing those seeking paid positions if the
Government is handing them workers on a plate, one’s being forced to work in-order to get by and live? Surly this will only make things more impossible for those seeking paid work opportunities!

Do the government not realise how conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome consist of certain traits all with varying degrees of difficulties with social communication and interaction, as well as a whole host of others? It’s not just a case of being able to bend over and touch your bloody toes.

Nonetheless, what a great idea, for those who are actively trying to get their foot back in the workplace, those happy to participate in such a programme… it’s our basic human right to choose… isn’t it? To actually make such a big proposal a compulsory one is nothing other than immoral! Who, will make all these important work placement decisions for those with complex mental health needs, how can someone from the DWP, be qualified to have this degree of health expertise, the degree needed to make such huge discussions. Where is the safeguarding for those with these long term mental health problems?

The DWP made a statement claiming that what they are doing is a supportive measure and claimants will only be asked to do things suitable to their personal circumstances! Yet, as we know, the DWPs idea of suitable isn’t one many of us share, how can it be, what with what they’re proposing, seriously!

The Wrag (work related activity group) already consists of sanctions, such as a benefit cut for missed appointments. I myself have been told recently that my benefit will face a small cut, for an interview I wasn’t even aware of. Now what annoys me is the fact I’m a career who actually already volunteers giving time to a UK charity each week. I didn’t just get such a position, I trained hard for a year to do so, without any encouragement from the DWP, purely of my own accord! Isn’t this considered work then? As both a career and an existing volunteer, is nether considered to be actual work then? If they are sanctioning me, then what hope does anyone else have, those currently not careering or volunteering in unpaid positions. That’s not all though, I was also informed that the rescheduled interview will now take place as part of a group… Well, that’s great isn’t it!

You, hear murders and rapist claiming they have been breached of human rights and as a result of such claims they are left laughing in the face of the Government and British Justice System! Yet, here’s our government, one rumoured to have spent over 90 million on the 2012 Olympic Games, exploiting the human rights of those with an illness or disability, forcing them into unpaid work that could potently lead them down a messy road. Who’s going to pick up the pieces when those with serious mental health conditions and developmental disorders hit worrying depressive lows, self harm or worse!

The DWP may be saving their pennies, yet the bill to the NHS will undoubtedly rise.

Maybe one of the most disturbing things is the possible truth to the rumour that those with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of over 6 months with be expected to participate in the DWPs demands or face the sanction at an advisors discretion… can our UK Government be this bloody cold hearted to the dying?

Not so long ago, I reported on the blog, how a certain MP had publicly stated that those with disabilities should work for less then the minimum wage, many were appalled by such a discriminating, ignorant comment, and it would seem that the Government was too. Yet not so long down the line, here we are… was this a plan that always lay in the pipeline?

English: David Cameron's picture on the 10 Dow...

Image via Wikipedia

It saddens me that , most of the British public put their faith and hope in the new formed coalition government with its promises of a better ran country (myself not included)! David Cameron was even said to have urged politicians to concentrate more on improving peoples’ happiness and general well-being as opposed to solely focusing on financial wealth, yet it’s been nothing but misery for a large percentage of the UK population, especially for those registered disabled or those who are careers to the disabled. We have watched as some of the most relied upon services have been closed down before our eyes, respite crawly removed, leaving careers on the blink of insanity, while parents to children with special educational needs are fighting harder than ever to obtain an efficient education for their children!

Take the London riots as an example, the man who runs the country was tanning himself in Italy whist families, in their mission to remain alive, jumped out of windows , leaving behind a burning inferno they used to call home.

Another example of the crap that has been thrown upon us since this coalition got their boot in the door, would be that of the Prime Minister’s trip to Pakistan where he handed over a huge sum of money to improve the countries education standards, as way of making amends for his past comments.

However, not only was this a kick in the teeth for those british citizens like myself, struggling to get an efficient education (if one at all) for their children, what with the local authorities continued claim that there was little or not enough funding within its budget, at a time where we struggled on during the height of a recession, the PM handed the massive amount of money to a government harbouring one of the worlds most wanted terrorist! Given the fact the PM had already made suggestions indicating that he actually believed such could be happening, but still to wave the cash about, is actually the ultimate example of disrespect to one’s own people!

Concentrating on societies happiness as opposed to its wealth! Oh… now I understand what he meant! Soon enough we would all be penniless… but never mind, we always have happiness to cloth and feed the kids! As for the disabled and mentally ill, well, they will have the happiness of waking up every morning, getting dressed and heading to that unpaid job they loath love so much!

And the Government?

Well, they lived happily ever after, didn’t they!

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