Monday, 11 June 2012

Petition re Benefits

If you click the title it'll take you to the petition. I'm not entirely clear on what the petition is trying to achieve, but I agree with what it says, and if there's any chance of it making a difference I'm all for it.

In the name of austerity, the UK Government is slashing benefits which sick and disabled people rely on to be able to function in our homes and communities. The results are truly horrific.

Jamal died within 3 weeks of undergoing an assessment where he was told he was fit to work. He was not the only one. Other people's conditions have deteriorated badly from the stress of it all. And those of us who have not yet had to face these assessments live in fear.

Lucy was stripped of her benefits by ATOS (the company paid millions to cut the welfare bill) and before her appeal could even be heard, she had lost her home. Too many people to name, with mental health problems, have committed suicide when they have been told they are fit to work; some just on receiving the letter telling them they had to go for an assessment.

Andrew’s MS caused him to lose his job and though he went on re-training courses, he couldn’t find another, because his hands had gone numb. But ATOS found him ‘fit to work’ and now he has no car, next to nothing to live on and no way forward.

Jenny lives in remote rural village and depended on her car to reach local shops and her friends. But she was told she no longer qualified for mobility benefits and her car was taken away immediately. She was stranded, with a wait of many months before her appeal could be heard. Even if she is successful, she will have to apply and pay for a new car on the Motability scheme.

The biggest tragedy of all is that society will no longer be able to benefit from our skills, experience and insight. Amongst disabled people there are talented artists, scientists, researchers…you name it, all wanting to contribute.

I was lucky, because I had the support of benefits, in particular a car, all my adult life. It meant I could go to university, gain professional qualifications and become a respected consultant and trainer, in demand nationally. It meant I could pay taxes!

If you think that is how it should be, NOT being reduced to utter dependency, please sign this petition. The current situation must not be allowed to continue. Together, we can force the government to rethink these harsh and unnecessary cuts.

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