Take Action to Help Older People Get The Care They Need.

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the  children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy  and the handicapped.”
Hubert H. Humphrey

As a result of Tory austerity polices the most vulnerable in our society are suffering and continue to suffer.

Here is but one example:

In the 6th richest country in the world, the UK, more than 1.2 million older people in England currently can’t access the basic care they need to do everyday things, like get dressed and make themselves a meal. Things need to change for vulnerable people, things need to change for everyone.

Right now, the government is devising new plans for social care in England. We need to make sure that the needs of older people are addressed.

Please sign petition

Sign our petition for fair care:

Dear Jeremy Hunt

We believe that everyone should be supported to lead the lives they want for as long as they can.

That’s why we are calling for a care system that:

• Makes sure that everyone who needs care gets it.

• Gets rid of poor quality care.

• Values carers and care workers.

Read full petition and please sign and share:

https://campaigns.independentage.org/node/82/utm_source=email&utm_campaign=GP1&utm_term=b1#

Please sign even if like me you loathe and detest the Tories for the misery and suffering they have inflicted on vulnerable people such as children, the sick and disabled, low paid workers, the elderly and do not forget the NHS upon which the vast majority of us rely be we rich or poor and which they are systematically destroying with cuts to funding.

While it is good to sign petitions and work within the existing government to bring about change to the unfair policies of the Tories , we must in the end be rid of them if anything is to really change for the good of the majority of us.

Petitions are always well worth signing

Signing a petition sends them a message, lets them know that we do not approve of the grave injustice inflicted on our most vulnerable citizens.

“We need leadership in this country, which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick     and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger.”
Bernie Sanders US senator

The above quote applies to the UK and anywhere else that fails to improve or even makes worse the lives of the majority of it’s citizens, particularly the most vulnerable such as those with disabilities, elderly people and children. It may shock you to know that one fifth of our citizens – 14 million people – live in poverty with the worst decline among children and the elderly. There are  1.9 million pensioners (16 percent) living in relative poverty according to these statistics:
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/money-matters/rb_aug17_briefing_poverty.pdf

Fifth of UK population now in poverty amid worst decline for children and pensioners in decades, major report reveals

“Britain’s record on tackling poverty has reached a turning point and is at risk of unravelling, following the first sustained rises in child and pensioner poverty for two decades, a major report has warned.

Nearly 400,000 more children and 300,000 more pensioners are now living in poverty than five years ago, during which time there have been continued increases in poverty across both age groups – prompting experts to warn that hard-fought progress towards tackling destitution is “in peril”. ”

Continue reading:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/poverty-britain-joseph-rowntree-foundation-report-theresa-may-social-mobility-commission-million-a8089491.html

This country is in a really sorry state, most people are suffering as a result of the misery inflicted by a bunch of over privileged bastards who have never known a day of poverty in their lives, who have never known what it is like to be hungry and cold shivering on the streets, no home, no hope no future. Never felt the anxiety of financial insecurity, never felt the anxiety for the future of their children, never had to work for all the hours god made to eke out a pittance now often not even enough to buy food or pay the rent. How many Tories have had to send their children to school hungry, how many go home to an unheated house, how many face retirement struggling on a pittance which barely pays the huge council tax , food, rent, repairs if you own your own home after paying an extortionate mortgage for the best part of your life! Most older people watch their home fall apart unable to afford the huge cost of repairs! Recently I had an estimate to fix a lock on a window – I can’t open the window without this – cost £ 145, more than a single pensioners entire income for a week. How about clothing or  a holiday – A Holiday!!!!!! how many elderly people get even a weeks holiday?  Not many. Things have to change we cannot allow our lives to be ruined by the greedy few, not only here in the UK but the world over.

We must rid this world of the vile cancer of greed and exploitation namely right wing ideology of social inequality. We must end the society of greed, the corrupt exploitative capitalist system that is destroying lives, destroying the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Our land, our oceans, our planet is dying as are the myriad species with whom we share it, killed by the voracious  greed of the few at the expense of the many.

Please sign and share this petition and every petition that sends a message that you have had enough of social injustice which treats our citizens so shamefully, enough of inequality, of environmental damage to our world, of the exploitation of human and nonhuman animals.

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A Christmas Message for Theresa May

A Christmas Message for Theresa May:

Spare a moment over the festive season in your warm centrally heated home with luxury food in abundance for the 300,000 people in Britain who are homeless, including 128,000 children and over 4,000 rough sleepers; the result of Tory policies which have taken money from the most vulnerable in our society and handed it to the better-off. While you enjoy your opulent Christmas sadly it’ll be a different story for homeless people waking up shivering on the pavement, families with children waking on Christmas day in cramped depressing B&Bs or hostel rooms. The children will have few if any new toys for Christmas, their parents having been made destitute as a result of Tory benefit cuts and other austerity measures.

Are you even aware that only last Sunday a thirty-eight year old man died sleeping rough in Birmingham on a bitterly cold night. 

Take time to reflect on the increase in childhood and pensioners poverty which has soared by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively since the Conservatives came to power, the worst decline in decades. Now in the world’s seventh richest country 14 million people currently live in poverty. Shameful.

This Christmas think about the disabled people whose already difficult lives have been detrimentally affected by your so called welfare reforms which the UN have condemned. Vicious attacks on the most vulnerable in our society which have resulted in an increase in poverty and the overall death rate including a high rate of suicides by disabled people after the withdrawal of welfare benefits. This also includes the mentally ill of course who now have to increasingly cope alone as there are 6,700 fewer mental health nurses and 5,000 fewer mental health beds since 2010.

Take time from your hectic schedule to spare a thought for the thousands of people on universal credit who will not receive a payment at Christmas.

Please consider the overworked and underpaid NHS staff who have seen drastic cuts in their numbers, who struggle to cope with underfunding that has resulted in such outrages as 10,000 patients a week left waiting in ambulances outside A&Es ;  Long waits in A&E which have increased by 557% in seven years  and cancelled surgery for 10s of thousands of people.

Thanks to you Theresa May and your government we are now living in a period of great social injustice of which sadly some people are not aware. You and your predecessor have managed to turn the clock back to a time most of us do not remember and thought had been consigned to history.

Tell me: How do you sleep at night?

Related Links

Perhaps Theresa May and other Tories should also consider the following questions:

“It’s like an ordinary day, to be honest”: How the cuts stole Christmas

As foodbanks stockpile and benefits are withheld, Britain faces crisis this festive season.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/12/it-s-ordinary-day-be-honest-how-cuts-stole-christmas

As a result of conservative policies it is estimated that over 4,000 disabled and vulnerable people may have died, but this figure could be much higher as a result of welfare cuts:

Welfare Reform Deaths – Memorial Page – Please Stop Killing Us
http://calumslist.org/

Recent research shows the conservative party’s austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html

More UK children homeless or in temporary housing than during crash crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/06/more-children-homeless-or-in-temporary-housing-than-during-crash-crisis

One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/08/one-in-every-200-people-in-uk-are-homeless-according-to-shelter

I never thought the day would come when the UK would be subject to UN condemnation concerning human rights, particularly in respect to its treatment of disabled and vulnerable people. Anyone reading this please consider the above, Theresa May is not solely responsible.  If you voted Tory and continue to support them you are complicit in this, the greatest social injustice in our country in a long time. It is shameful that so many people either are ignorant of what is happening or simply do not care.

“Stand for what is right even it that means standing alone”
Suzy Kassem

 

The toll of Damage done to disabled people by the Tories

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Disability Confident by Byzantine_K

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Disability Incompetence by Byzantine_K

“The DWP went from an assessment system which fairly assessed fitness to work using a doctor and other professional consultants, with information taken from relevant sources to support the claim, to a system which mostly uses random idiots with some vague health qualification assessing with the aid of a computer based system deliberately designed to find any excuse to find people fit to work. And if that fails they sometimes outright lie.

Result: over 600 people have committed suicide. Over 10,000 people (well over by now) have died after being declared ‘fit for work’. Hundreds of thousands are being plunged into deeper poverty. Foodbank use has increased at least 2000% since 2009/10 (yes that is accurate). Jobcentres have been vandalised or set on fire. Many peoples mental and physical health conditions have worsened as a direct result of the tests and the cuts.”

Continue reading and source of graphics:

Disability Confident
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/24630424399/in/dateposted/

Disability Incompetent!
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/24371211253/in/dateposted/

A good graphical summation of the damaging effect the Tories have had on the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. Please share. 

The treatment of sick and disabled people continues to get progressively worse, yet there are few who speak out. The more of us who do the more likely it is that things will change. Frankly the lack of outrage against the government’s welfare reforms has shocked me. The fact that few speak out shames us as a nation. The fact that the Tories are allowed to do as they please while the lives of people who already suffer as a result of illness and disability ,which includes the mentally ill , are ruined, is something that I never thought I would witness here in the UK. The fact that the government gives concessions to corporations, ignores tax which is owed by big business while disadvantage people on benefits are plunged further and further into poverty is a grave social injustice that has no place in the modern world. Not to mention the psychological torment which has scarred many beyond anything that could ever have been envisioned a couple of decades ago.

Contact your MP and demand a return to a more fair system of assessment and a standard of living for sick and disabled people that allows them to live as full and as meaningful a life as possible.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/22/bedroom-tax-my-spare-room

Thousands of Disabled People Loose Motability Allowance

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“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert Humphrey

This vile government has most definitely failed this test.

Please read the following and take action – Petition and MPs contact details further down

Thousands lose Motability allowance under new scheme:

“Almost 14,000 disabled people have had their specialist cars taken away following a government welfare change.

Approximately half of the owners who were reassessed under the scheme lost their Motability vehicle.

With many fully reliant upon the specially-adapted vehicles, this new move could mean a loss of independence for thousands of users.
In response, the government has argued that the new process is designed to be fairer. Drivers can also appeal the decision should they disagree.”

The current scheme uses a government-funded allowance to help more than 650,000 people lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair.

The Motability Scheme also helps disabled people fund the cost of adaptations such as a wheelchair hoist or hand controls.

Read More:
http://cars.aol.co.uk/2016/02/04/thousands-lose-motability-allowance-under-new-scheme/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D427024

“So far, around 51,200 people have joined the Motability scheme using PIP.

But out of the 31,200 people who were on the higher rate of DLA who have been reassessed, 55% – or 17,300 – have kept their car.”

Read More:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/thousands-disabled-people-mobility-cars-7304763

Note in the first article  that the government have the audacity to claim that the changes are designed to be fairer!!!! 

Fairer to whom? Certainly not the 17,000 who are left without a mobility vehicle, not to mention the many new and deserving applicants who will be rejected by the private companies that do the unfair points scheme assessments.

“Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life.”
Emma Thompson

Take Action

Contact your MP

Please write a polite letter or email but in the strongest terms to your MP expressing your outrage:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Petition

Please sign the following petition relating to the mobility allowance:

SCRAP THE CHANGE IN MOBILITY RULES FOR PIP

Scrap the change in rules for the Personal Independence Payment that reduces the distance threshold to determine if someone is eligible from 50 metres to 20 metres. This new reduced threshold does not reflect the true reality of the hurdles disabled people face not being able to walk more than 50 metres. We are calling on Iain Duncan Smith to scrap this unfair change and return to the old standard of 50 metres. I urge you to re-think this obviously money saving measure and think about the impact in will have on the disabled, and your possible re-election.

Please read more and sign the petition concerning the mobility allowance.
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/twenty-metres-instead-of-fifty-to-qualify-for-higher-mobility-allowance

“This government has gone too far – I think they have actually gone insane. They either fall or are removed by the people, we – the majority – whom they are supposed to represent, and certainly do not. ”
On line comment

I would like to think they do not represent the majority, and perhaps they do not though the majority of people are either ignorant as to what is happening to people on benefits or they are indifferent or simply too burdened with the misery inflicted on them by this government to have the energy or the wherewithal to do anything about it, for with the exception of the very rich in one way or another everyone has suffered. However the main target for the Tories, using the excuse of austerity,  is the sick, disabled and unemployed. And it has to stop.

Please read the following article which in addition to highlighting the shocking impact to a disabled women who needs her vehicle for work also gives a good description of many of the abuses which take place as a result of government welfare cuts, such as a reduction of income for those disabled people found not fit for work and placed in the Work-Related Activity Group who are to have their social security support cut by nearly £30 a week, from £102.15 to £73.10.

Disabled woman told she’ll lose car that allows her to work after ‘degrading’ DWP assessment told she’ll lose car that allows her to work after ‘degrading’ DWP assessment

“A disabled woman who has worked all her life has been told she will lose the Motability car that allows her to do her job, after being subjected to a ‘degrading’ capability assessment.”

Read More:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-woman-told-shell-lose-7092414

Tory Mindset: More reasons not to vote conservative in the next election.

“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert H. Humphrey

In just eight months time here in the UK we have an important choice to make at the next general election. Don’t be led astray by Tory lies as many people where last time, such as promises not to privatise the NHS.

The reality is, The Tory party are the party of the rich for the rich, it has always been so and continues to be so. There is a certain Tory mindset which belongs to a time of great social injustice and unfairness that we had thought was consigned to history.

Here is a recent example of this mindset concerning the disabled.

tumblr_ndjqk6vqML1rj6mfgo1_1280

 A Freudian Slip?

That this man continues to have such an influence over the lives of the sick and disabled – and for that matter the unemployed plus the many underpaid workers on benefits – is an outrage. Some have tried to defend him but his alleged intentions don’t compensate for the rampant bigotry, the second-class citizen perception of the disabled which he perpetuates.

Read More:
Fickr User Byzantine_K :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/15574139462/

Lord David Freud Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Welfare Reform doesn’t think disabled people are worth the minimum wage:

The above poster refers to a recording, made during a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference where Freud said that some disabled people could be paid just £2 an hour if they wanted to work.

 “Now, there is a small … there is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually …”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/10/15/lord-freud-minimum-wage_n_5988374.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D300549

These comments are discriminatory and offensive yet Freud has gotten away with a weak apology and gets to keep his job.

Please sign the following petition

According to the Centre for Welfare Reform, recent Government cuts absolutely hit the disabled hardest, with the burden of cuts on the disable 9x as painful as those affecting the general public, and the cuts on those with the most severe disabilities 19x worse than those on the rest of the population.

Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform has suggested that disabled people in the UK could be paid £2.00 per hour!  The Current minimum wage is £6.50 (£8.80 in London).

These comments are offensive and demeaning to all disabled people and he should be sacked immediately.

This Government seems keen to abolish slave labour in the UK, but £2.00 per hour is just that – Slave Labour!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/246/951/429/?z00m=22232375&redirectID=1495188941

Why not write a e-mail or letter to tell him what you think. Please be polite you can express yourself in the strongest terms without being abusive. Abusive correspondence doesn’t get read and is unlikely to receive a response.
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-freud/3893

This kind of mentality is yet another reason we need to get rid of the Tories in the next election

It is more than likely that Freud is voicing the Tory party’s opinions but has made the mistake of  voicing them in public. Freud has made previous unacceptable comments including saying that families affected by the”bedroom tax” can “go out to work” or use a sofa bed when the children come to stay.

What right has this millionaire with his eight bedroom house to say that disabled people are not worth the minimum wage, which in any case is grossly inadequate. Lets see him live for a year on a £2 per hour wage – no not in his mansion but in the real world were most of us live from day to day struggling to make ends meet with extortionate rent or mortgages, rising prices, low wages, unemployment and increasing poverty.

Who can live on £2 per week, it’s simply not possible. It appears that the Tories are determined to make wages as low as possible and are desperately looking for places where this may be implemented. Right now so called apprentices get only £2.95 ! I used the term apprentice lightly as do the Tories who consider such jobs as retail placements in shops such as Shoe Zone as an apprenticeship rather than the more usual trade apprenticeships such as a mechanic, a plumber or a hairdresser. Even if this applied to genuine apprenticeships this wage is inadequate and is nothing other than exploitation, but to use the excuse of apprenticeships to make paying people a low wage for learning a trade is unacceptable.  This low wage is applied to anyone between 16 and 18 and anyone over that age for one year. Cameron intends to reduce the benefit cap further in order to finance these sham apprenticeships.
http://news.sky.com/story/1356326/pm-ill-cut-benefits-to-fund-apprenticeships

Here are more comments by Freud

November 2012: Appeared to compare welfare claimants to corpses.

Asked whether he could not understand the reality of life on benefits because of his wealth, he replied: “You don’t have to be the corpse to go to the funeral, which is the implied criticism there.”

Argued that the benefits system allowed claimants to “have a lifestyle” on the state.

In the same month, he told a magazine reporter that the welfare system discouraged people from “taking risks” to make money.

“People who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks; they’ve got least to lose,” he said.

July 2013: Insisted the increase in numbers of families using food banks was not necessarily linked to benefits sanctions or delays.

Suggested more people were going to food banks because more of them existed – and even denied they were even part of the welfare system.

May 2013: Said children of families affected by the so-called “bedroom tax” could use a sofa bed when visiting a separated parent.

Added that families with young children in social housing who have more than their allocated number of bedrooms could “earn more money”.

March 2014: Claimed it was “hard to know” why people turned to food banks.

“Clearly nobody goes to a food bank willingly. However, it is very hard to know why people go to them,” he said in response to a question on welfare cuts “driving families” to the facilities.

Read More:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/lord-freud-past-gaffes-on-welfare-food-banks-and-bedroom-tax-revealed-9797082.html

Freud’s remarks, particularly his latest, are not really much of a surprise are they considering the Tory party’s discriminate attitude to sick and disabled people with their unfair welfare reforms. This government’s assault on the most the vulnerable and poor in our society is just so typical of the Tory right wing mindset.

Freud’s comments well demonstrate the mindset of the Tory government concerning people with disabilities. Never forget the many deaths that have resulted from unfair benefit assessments by ATOS as instructed by the DWP which have found seriously ill people fit for work. Also benefit sanctions that have seen claimant’s benefits cut or stopped altogether. Welfare reforms are not an issue of incompetence but a deliberate attempt to leave sick and disabled people and the unemployed without an adequate income or in many cases no income at all. It is an attempt to slowly whittle away at our welfare system to eventually eradicate it altogether.  The government deny any culperbility in the deaths by suicide and even starvation of benefit claimants, yet there is no doubt that in one way or another welfare reforms have been responsible for the deaths of many vulnerable people along with the suffering and misery of insecurity, poverty and in some cases homelessness and destitution with charity from a local food banks as the only means for people to feed themselves and their children.

Freud played a leading role in the vicious welfare reforms that have destroyed lives and continue to destroy the lives of society’s most vulnerable.  The government’s reforms, which have come to the attention of the UN, have no place in any progressive society.

Here is comprehensive information concerning the affects of benefit reforms now and in the future. 

Welfare Reform Changes Affecting Disabled People

How are welfare benefits changing for disabled people?
No group will be more affected than disabled people under welfare reform changes. This is due to the culmination of multiple cuts to disability and carer’s benefits, the abolition of entitlement to some benefits and tax credits under universal credit (2013-2017) and increased restrictions to benefits linked to wider welfare reform changes.

By 2017/18 these include key changes such as:
– the 1% capping of rises to benefits and tax credits
for three years
– the abolition of the disabled element of Child Tax
Credit, Working Tax Credit and Severe Disability
Premium (SDP) under Universal Credit (UC)
– Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and
Workplace Capability Assessment (WCA) changes
under Universal Credit (UC)
– the abolition of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and
introduction of Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
– housing benefit restrictions due to the Benefits Cap
and ‘Bedroom Tax’
– the abolition of council tax benefit
– the abolition of the Social Fund including
Community Care grants.

Research by Demos/Scope show that by 2017-18 around 3.7 million disabled people will collectively lose £28 bn in benefits.

The table below shows how many disabled people will be affected by each benefit change.

benefit change chart 2

Read More:
https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/On%20line%20Catalogue/21709.pdf

Comments from else where on the net:

The Tory message to disabled people: you’re just not worth it

Lord Freud’s comments on the minimum wage articulates what we already know – that this government sees disabled people as less than human
This news does not come in isolation. We are in the climate of the Work Programme and employment and support allowance travesties, in jobseeker’s allowance sanctions and personal independent payment delays. Coerced, free labour and a shrinking, ever conditional benefit system. Freud has not spoken out of turn, but encapsulated Conservative attitudes to both disabled people and workers: pay them as little as possible and they will be grateful for it.

The Tories are not content with forcing disabled people into work. They want to pay them a pittance when they get there…

Read More:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/15/tory-message-disabled-lord-freud-minimum-wage?CMP=twt_gu

Anyone who thinks Lord Fraud ‘mispoke’ or was just ‘thinking outside the box’ when he made the shameful comment that some disabled people are not worth the minimum wage has really not been paying attention.

This is the man that helped devise the despised Atos benefit assessments that have driven disabled people to suicide and ill health in the name of strippping their benefits or forcing them into endless ‘work related activity’.  The same Minister whose department introduced the Work Programme, on which sick and disabled people can be sent on workfare, potentially for months on end.

Read More:
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/freud-must-go-urgent-call-out-monday-october-20th-caxton-house-12-30pm/– I love this blog, Johnny Void speaks with unreserved passion against this government and speaks out for people who are vulnerable in society.

David Cameron vows to create 3m apprenticeships

Cut to welfare cap and removal of housing benefit from 18- to 21-year-olds on jobseeker’s allowance will pay for new scheme

The reduction in the welfare cap will have an impact on an estimated 70,000 households, with 40,000 hit for the first time according to figures released by the Conservative party to the Press Association.

Up to 30,000 young people will be hit by the removal of housing benefit from those aged from 18 to 21 who will see their jobseeker’s allowance replaced by an allowance limited to six months. Claimants who fail to find a job or an apprenticeship after six months will be forced to perform community work.

Read More:
 http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/oct/20/3m-apprenticeships-david-cameron-welfare-cuts

 

 

 

Reasons Not to Vote Tory: Violations of Disability Rights as a result of Benefit Reforms

A few years ago who would have thought that the UK would come under the scrutiny of the UN in regard to human rights violations against sick and disabled people?

During the lead up to the next election here in the UK I am going to include a series of entries under the simple heading: Reasons Not to Vote Tory. These periodic postings will as the title suggests concern the many reasons why we should not vote conservative in the next election. Each post will centre on one issue beginning today with the shocking fact that sick and disabled people are suffering and dying as a result of the present government’s welfare reforms.  Always though keep in mind that the Tory’s were invariably aided and abetted by their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats without whose support many of their draconian polices could never have been implemented.

“For a government to be so implacable in insisting on its course of action without any resort to due care and attention is appalling.

“The breaches are now so blatant, the fact that people are dying and the coroner’s courts are recognising suicides or lack of care as direct results of benefit reform… there is a limit to how much can be said without anybody listening, and if it has to be from outside the country, so be it.”
Julie Newman, acting chair of the UK Disabled People’s Council

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This issue has certainly not gone away. Still every week I hear of someone who has committed suicide due to some aspect of benefit or service cuts – and that’s just the very few that are ever reported. Many more people are in dire poverty due to cuts – and to needless sanctions. The Jobcentre has targets to move people off of benefits whether it is justified or not. Usually not. And the consequences are appalling.

Many of our politicians and many civil servants need literally imprisoning for their part in fueling mass poverty and in particular for their responsibility for so many deaths.
Flickr user Byzantine_K

Credit Poster: Flickr user Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/15032839585/  – larger sizes available of this and other posters with a creative commons license, ideal to spread the word about the coalition’s treatment of sick and disabled people and other issues. You would be amazed at how many people have fallen for the government’s scrounger propaganda, a deliberate and shameful Nazi Style campaign designed to turn people against the most vulnerable in our society.

Here’ s an idea, why not print a few out and stick in public places, for example on the doors of public toilets for a captive audience. (Please use only blue tack or other method which does not damage surfaces.) People need to know what is happening to genuinely sick and disabled people in our society as a result of Tory Benefit reforms.

Below is a list of some of the deaths that are connected to welfare reforms, there are thousands more.

Some Welfare related deaths:

Nick Barker – RIP

Former sheep farmer, Nick had a brain haemorrhage which left him struggling to walk. The father of two shot himself after the DWP claimed he was fit to work. Recording a suicide verdict, coroner Michael Oakley said the benefits assessment was key to the tragedy.

Robert Barlow – RIP
Robert worked as a Government scientist but gave it up when diagnosed with severe cardiomypathy. The DWP deemed him fit to work. He died penniless under 2 years later.

Cecilia Burns – RIP
Cecilia had cancer. Atos called her in for one of their assessments. The DWP declared her fit to work, but she appealed the decision. She died shortly after winning her appeal.

Read More:
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/category/death-after-fit-to-work-decision/

As a result of ATOS work capability assessments People with serious health problems and disabilities have been declared fit for work.

…a 39-year-old woman from Livingstone with a brain tumour was fit to work just weeks before she died and a double heart and lung transplant patient from Essex dying nine days after being declared well enough for employment.

Colin, 59, from Flint, worked in the steel industry for more than 25 years, before a car accident and a nasty fall down the stairs finally forced him to give up work. His left hip and leg are so damaged that he is in constant pain and uses a stick to walk. But Atos assessors said he was fit to work, leaving him to live off Red Cross parcels while he waited for the reassessment.

Read more:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-claimants-lose-all-their-income-under-disability-benefits-reform-9107586.html

People with serious disabilities and health conditions are being left for weeks with no financial support as a result of Government changes to benefit assessments.

Under new rules implemented by the Tory government

…anyone wanting to appeal a decision that they are fit to work first has to have all their paperwork looked at again, while receiving no sickness benefits. The Citizens Advice Bureau believes this will result in thousands of people being wrongly forced to survive on no income at all.

The Government said that this “mandatory reconsideration” would cut down on bureaucracy and take just two weeks, but some disabled and sick people are being wrongly assessed and left with no support for months on end.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-claimants-lose-all-their-income-under-disability-benefits-reform-9107586.html

The UN are investigating the UK welfare reforms.

The above and other Benefit reforms have resulted in a UN investigation.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has opened an investigation into the recent welfare reforms instigated by the present government. Concerning disability rights the UK, which once led the way internationally for decades, is now, thanks to the Tory government, set to be the first country to be investigated for violations regarding disability rights.

Disabled activists have welcomed the UN’s apparent decision to launch an inquiry into allegations of “grave or systematic” violations of its disability convention by the UK government.

Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last week that the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) appears to have made the UK the subject of its first inquiry into alleged violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Read More:
http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/08/activists-welcome-un-inquiry-decision/

According to the declaration of human rights:

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 25 http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ – clearly the government are in breach of this article and and many others as you will see if you read the entire declaration.

As a result of benefit reforms many disabled people are facing absolute poverty, a far cry from the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being...

Reforms such as the bedroom tax, unfair Work Capability Assessments with seriously ill and profoundly disabled people being declared fit for work, benefit sanctions for people on Employment and Support Allowance and other unfair reforms have left thousands in poverty, hopelessness and despair.

According to Disability News Service the figures show that 2,882 decisions were made to sanction claimants of employment and support allowance in December 2013, rising to 3,750 in January 2014, them 4,698 in February and 7,507 in March, an increase of nearly 580 per cent since March 2013.

Sanctions in some cases can mean no income – no money for food, gas and electricity, rent and so on.
“Sanctions are cruel and can leave people utterly destitute – without money even for food and at severe risk of homelessness. It is difficult to see how they are meant to help people prepare for work.
Matt DownieDirector of policy and external affairs, Crisis quoted in ‘Shocking increase’ in ESA sickness benefit sanctions:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28776102

Over ten thousand people have died after being found fit for work, still others have taken their own lives as a result of fear, anxiety and stress as a consequence of vicious welfare reforms and unfair assessments. Untold thousands more have suffered serious detriment to their lives because of these  reforms. According to the DWP’s own figures 10,600 people died during the months of January and November 2011. There are no records for 2012 and 2013. Therefore the number of deaths are much higher.

The list of injustices to sick and disabled goes on, for instance DLA (Disability Living Allowance).

Thousands will lose benefits as a result of the change from DLA to PIP including
100, 000 people in Scotland where a roll out of PIP began in January of this year..

Scottish ministers said the Personal Independence Payment, which replaces disability living allowance, would result in thousands losing benefits.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28766917

Well I could go on the list of injustices is extensive. Even if there were no other reasons not to vote Tory or Liberal Democrat surely the coalition’s treatment of sick and disabled people alone is enough not to vote for either of these right-wing parties whose interests are only for the rich and privileged in our society.

What about Labour? Why not write to your MP or Milliband and ask him or her what they intend to do to rectify the injustices of the present government.

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/

At the time of writing as far as I am aware with the exception of the bedroom tax Labour have been quiet on the matter.

The UK has a long way to go concerning its treatment of the disabled and human rights in this regard are not as good as they once were. In some cases there are shocking discriminations which have been around for a long time and about which few people are familiar for instance regarding the abortion act:

The 1967 Abortion Act permits babies to be aborted right up to the moment of birth if the baby has a ‘serious’ disability? – See more at: http://prolife.org.uk/2009/01/aborting-disabled-babies/#sthash.2E8F9hWX.dpuf

Related Information

Number of Sick And Disabled Claimants Facing Sanctions Triples In Just Six Months:
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/number-of-sick-and-disabled-claimants-facing-sanctions-triples-in-just-six-months/

Never Forget, it is David Cameron Who is Ultimately to Blame for Welfare Reform Deaths
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/never-forget-it-is-david-cameron-who-is-ultimately-to-blame-for-welfare-reform-deaths/

Mark Unravels After Sanctions: “The process left me feeling Suicidal”
http://annmcgauran.org.uk/2014/08/19/mark-unravels-after-sanctions-the-process-left-me-feeling-suicidal/

KB’s list. ”Benefit Reforms Death Scandal Must Stop”
https://www.facebook.com/pages/KBs-list-Benefit-Reforms-Death-Scandal-Must-Stop/144196972397240

Wealth of UK’s Richest 100 Rose Last Year to Two Hundred and Nine Billion While One in Three people in the UK Live in Poverty.

The wealth of the richest 100 people rose last year to £297billion – more than the wealth held by 30% of the population. This rise in wealth could pay the energy bill for all 26.4 million UK households for over a year.
Jason Beattie writing for the Daily Mirror.

Yes you read that correctly: The increase in the wealth of a mere 100 people could pay all our energy bills for more than one year! While millions have shivered in unheated homes suffering the consequences of such with ill health even death, the over privileged in our society have seen an increase in their obscene fortunes. And that is just the increase in the wealth of these parasites who have become increasingly more rich while the overwhelming majority of us have suffered as a result of our unelected government’s austerity measures. Measures which moreover have fallen disproportionately on benefit claimants, including the seriously sick and profoundly disabled.

Did you know that the UK has more billionaires per head of the population than any other country?
The number of billionaires has risen to over one hundred with a combined wealth of £301 billion. This number has tripled in the last decade. Yet increasingly more and more people are pushed into poverty – in fact a staggering one in three. A study led by Bristol University, has revealed the following shocking facts concerning the rise of poverty here in the UK.

Almost 18 million cannot afford adequate housing conditions. 1.5 million children live in households that cannot afford to heat the home 2.5 million kids live in properties that are damp More than half a million children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly 12 million people are too poor to have a social life 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing One in every six adults in paid work is still poor.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breadline-britain-one-three-now-3721284#ixzz35cw9Rmld

The UK today is one of the developed world’s most unequal countries.

What are we going to do about it? And when are we going to do it?

If we do not take action to stem the tide of inequality, as inconceivable as it might be, we could one day finish up like India where millions live in abject poverty, were 20 – 40 million disabled people receive little or no support, where if you cannot work you do not survive.

Read the tragic story of a young disabled boy and his aging grandmother:
‘Invisible’ in India:
The story of the disabled boy tied to Mumbai bus stop http://childreninshadow.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/invisible-in-india-the-story-of-the-disabled-boy-tied-to-mumbai-bus-stop/

Gandhi once said “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live,”

Poverty, and lack of care for those unfortunate to be sick or disabled is a tragedy in India, a grave social injustice. It is a grave injustice anywhere in the world in any varying degree, including here in the UK , when sick and disabled people are discarded, when people have insufficient food, or die of hunger, live in poverty with poor or no shelter and frankly no hope while others live decadent lives gathering more and more wealth, squandering the earth’s precious resources for their own selfish ends seemingly with no conscience, no thought or care about their fellow human beings , other creatures or the every earth itself. We cannot allow this government or any other to destroy the progress of the last sixty years. We cannot permit the destruction of our welfare system that provides us all in times of need as a result of unemployment, ill-health or disability. A welfare system that we paid for with our National Insurance contributions. We want what we paid for and moreover we want a fair deal for all those who through no fault of their own could not contribute either as a result of ill-health, disability or unemployment.

No one should go hungry, cold or become homeless regardless of who we are or how much we have or have not contributed. In a land of plenty – well for the obscenely rich – where shops are brimming over with food in abundance far in access of our combined needs we cannot stand by and allow people to go hungry. The fact that they do is shameful. The fact that half a million children live with parents who cannot afford to feed them properly is a national disgrace, not only for our government of millionaires whose interests are for the rich, but for all those of you who condone the systematic destruction of our welfare system falling for the Tory rhetoric of scroungers and skivers, a shameful propaganda similar to the one used by the Nazis to turn people against the sick and disabled prior to World War Two. Be under no illusion, austerity is merely an excuse to plunge people into poverty, enslave them to low wages or no wages, as in the case of workfare, and discard sick and disabled people to a life of destitution replying on whatever charity can hand out.

We cannot stand by and allow the destruction of our free health care, the NHS, once the envy of the world. In a civilised society no one should die because they cannot afford health care. We should not allow the placement of our health care into the hands of the greedy private sector whose only motivation is profit. We cannot allow millions to silver in unheated homes riddled with damp suffering the deprivations of hunger – this includes 40% of cancer patients who can’t afford to heat their home properly

In short we cannot allow one in three people including children, the elderly, the sick and disabled, to lead impoverished lives while billionaires and millionaires accrue increasingly more wealth.

It has to stop now!

When are we going to say enough is enough before it is too late ?

More information

Hundreds of Thousands Of Households Staring Homelessness in The Face

Changes to Housing Benefits have led to desperate housing insecurity.  What this means is in practice is families unable to plan for the future, children going to bed at night frightened of losing their homes or desperate stress and worry for disabled people receiving help with the Bedroom Tax and knowing that support could be removed at any time.

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/hundreds-of-thousands-of-households-staring-homelessness-in-the-face/
Welfare cuts one year on: Now Britain’s poorest are on par with former Eastern block.

Ros Wynne-Jones meets the people who are suffering a year after Bedroom Tax as rent arrears have rocketed, more families have resorted to food banks and now as Austerity Britain bites the Met Police have invested in water cannon

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/welfare-cuts-one-year-on-3713263

Rise in number of billionaires:
http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/national/news/11205187.Rise_in_number_of_billionaires/