Author Topic: The Tories’ vindictive and expensive fight to deprive disabled people...  (Read 1422 times)

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Offline K@

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...is a national disgrace.

If a genie popped out of a lamp one night while I was setting about it with the Brasso and offered one wish in the field of political reform, it would be this. “Henceforth, the government must explain itself to a bright seven-year-old. If after 15 minutes the kid is scratching her head muttering, “But that’s just silly” or “Why are you being so horrid?” the policy is instantly revoked.

How would the Prime Minster explain to that kid why last year the Government wasted a bare minimum, though probably much more, of £39m in legal costs fighting challenges to benefit reductions or denials from the sick and disabled?

What would she tell the little moppet when asked why she wants to take more money from people who have very little and are not well enough to earn more? How would she justify the Government having already paid some £600m to two private firms, Atos and Capita, to do the dirty work for it?

If that strikes you as childishly simplistic, so it should. Since David Cameron came to power in 2010, the abuse of the disabled and ill has been a filthy, indelible stain on not only the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat enablers, but an apathetic country.

Far from channelling the power of public opinion to correct a hateful aberration, the passage of time has normalised it. Weary familiarity has anaesthetised us to toxic immorality.

We have all read many accounts which straddled the borderline between outlandish auto-satire and vicious cruelty: the letters reassuring rejected applicants of their fitness for work which arrived a tantalising few days after their death; the incapacitatingly depressed effectively told, sometimes apparently by a physiotherapist, that they are fine. Those who can hobble for 20 yards, but not a marathon 50, having mobility vehicles confiscated. Families with an extra bedroom used to store life-preserving medical equipment forced to move; and so on, and on, and on.

One multiplesclerosis sufferer lost her amazingly generous personal independence payment (PIP) of £87 per month because she was able to squeeze someone’s thumb.

Neither the incumbent nor previous PM can use ignorance or lack of imagination as a defence. Just as Cameron knew the ravages of grave disability from caring for his late son, Ivan, May knows the horror of MS. It killed her mother.

Yet while she has done zero for her cherished “just about managing”, she has been busy doing minus for the “not managing at all”. Her government is spending almost twice as much vindictively fighting Employment and Support Allowance applications this year as last. In the first quarter of 2017, judges found that claimants were too ill to work in seven out of 10 cases – an even higher proportion than in the equivalent period of 2016.

Anecdotally, the blithe callousness of Atos and Capita assessors seem undimmed. These sad, ignorant, barely trained drones must disregard blatant incapacity to meet targets, and so maximise profits for private firms whose respect for human dignity would grace the management of one of Alabama’s less genteel penitentiaries.

Even if the purpose is solely financial, the effect of the maltreatment radiates beyond robbing the wheelchair-bound to help fund (entirely legal) tax avoidance from the likes of Atos, a French firm which with a sprawling history of paying £0.00 in corporation tax despite its massive UK turnover.

Stigmatising the disabled as crooks, who fake or exaggerate symptoms to defraud the state of almost enough weekly income to buy May and that Arthur Askey husband a Wiener-schnietzel-and-gluwein supper after a merry day’s hiking over an Alp, has encouraged the surge of verbal and physical violence against them.

God willing, in a century or two people will read about this with the stupefaction slavery incites in us now. Even today, it would take some explaining to the smart six-year-old interviewer. “Why don’t you believe them, Auntie Theresa, when they say they can’t work? Why do you think they are lying?”

As for her father, he was a hospital chaplain before becoming a vicar, so let’s hope he had more empathy than his daughter. If not, he’ll have been charging round intensive care banging a metal tray, yelling at the old boy flatlining in bed 4 to stop malingering and put in a shift as a porter over on orthopaedics.

I had come to assume that the young Theresa paid no attention to her dad’s work, being too enraptured by fantasies about girlhood hero Geoff Boycott playing the forward defensive to hear a word the Rev Hubert Brasier recited from his Oxfordshire pulpit.

But perhaps that wasn’t it at all. Perhaps she was listening intently, but he used a different version of the Bible to the King James. The Thatcher Bible, presumably, with its celebrated passage about Christ halting his mule during the journey to sneer at the Ephesian lepers.

“And Jesus did come upon a cripple begging beside the road. And lo, He did kick away his staff, saying unto him: ‘Weep not for hunger, and cease thy begging. For though you lay claim to be lame, verily I believe you have lain here contorted and sobbing these days and nights in the hope of cadging a weevil and a crust of bread. Besides, there is a food bank in Jericho but 4,000 cubits hence’” (Book of Tebbit, 2:14-15).

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/dwp-disability-allowance-esa-pip-39m-defending-decision-disgrace-disabled-a7918791.html
The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact. - P. G. Wodehouse

Offline Tâf

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Our lad was on the receiving end of this policy. Turned down for disability aid (Personal Independence Payments) by ATOS and the DWP, turned down again after "reconsideration", but won for both care and mobility at tribunal.

But they have allowed him Employment Support Allowance as being "unable to work"... by the same company, ATOS!!!

But the group he has been placed in (don't work, but get training ready for work) was abolished last year, as was the budget to provide training. So now he is in limbo until he gets retested, and will no doubt be taken off ESA and put onto plain Jobseekers Allowance, with all the palaver that entails, and which he could not cope with (according to his previous ATOS assessment).

"It's not what you've got, it's how it affects you" is the mantra behind PIP, and it looks like it will be extended to ESA.

And they move the goalposts over and over and over. Can't make journeys alone because you get anxious? Tough, they changed the rules to not allow anxiety to be considered. Can't move around on slopes or uneven surfaces? Tough, that is no longer considered. Can't prepare a meal using an oven below waist height? Tough, they only consider using one above waist height now. Can't produce a hot meal from scratch? Tough, they now allow reheating of ready meals in a microwave, or just cold preprepared meals. And the list goes on and on.

ATOS /Capita receive payments to get copies of medical records, but they don't do that. They insist the applicant does at their own expense.

Want to record your assessment to expose the assessor's lies? Yes you can, but you have to get the assessor's written agreement and hand them a duplicate recording at the end of the assessment, on CD or Cassette tape. Other "modern" recordings are not allowed. And the applicant has to provide the equipment!!! And the assessor can refuse to be recorded!

Pol will have to go through this too, I fear the arrival of her "invitation" to claim PIP letter, as it's a terrifying process, even for someone as level-headed as myself.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 11:40:55 AM by Tâf »

Offline El

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I remember us studying the Victorians with many classes in school. How aghast the kids were at some of the cruelty of the treatment of the poor such as the workhouse etc.
Seems to me that we have gone full circle. The government would relish the workhouses for the disabled. They can even bring back Bedlam for the brain injured.
Just think, in one fell swoop they can do away with any payments at all. Your payment can go to the private, foreign owner of H.M.Workhouse. No carers payment either, that carer can go to work till they drop with stress . Then they can go to the workhouse too. Your house can be sold to pay for your care......wait a minute,  that's happening now .in 2017  :-X

Offline Tâf

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A tory "think tank" has put forward the idea that Personal Independence Payments (cash) should be replaced with Personal Independence Aid. That is, no cash, just free disability aids like (basic) wheelchairs, walking sticks, kitchen aids and conversions, et al. All provided by one private company. The aids would have to returned if you die or lose the right to them. Plus any conversions to your home would be repayable on a sliding scale. No more Motability cars or conversions, just private hire contracts that you are liable for even if you die or no longer qualify.

And to qualify you would have an ANNUAL reassessment by a private company with no recourse to an independent tribunal. And so, in most cases, you would be ready for reassessment within a few weeks of qualifying. No more long periods of qualification, no more lifetime qualification, and the end of Disabled Living Allowance for under-16's.

And to top it all, there are many families out there that would lose Carers Allowance if their charges became disqualified. So Caring becomes a Zero Hours contract.

Offline El

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That stinks
And if you based how civilised society was by how the vulnerable are treated, this country would be deemed uncivilised  :'(
As for the disabled facilities being charged for, that is happening to us now. Fair enough we are not being charged outright, but the cost is going on as a charge to our house as a sliding scale .
We bought Chris's hospital bed and over bed table ourselves because I was gullible  (since been told it should have been free) and it was even suggested that we should employ contractors ourselves to extend and install bathing facilities. Different agencies gave us different information and not one person would help with PIP.  I told one department that we were living on 80 pound a week and who could help us until we sorted out ESA and carers allowance?  She told me to sign on. But who will look after my husband ? I said. We will put carers in she answered  :'(
The slow slide of cruelty is happening now and basically nobody gives a shit unless it affects them because they have no idea what so ever of how a disability impacts on your life.

Offline Tâf

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ON a FB forum, a nurse, wife to a disabled person, was aghast at the lies the ATOS assessors put in her husband's assessment.

And she knew the assessor as they had both worked together as assessors for ATOS the previous year!

Offline K@

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The UN has said that  "UK welfare reforms have led to grave and systematic violations of disabled people's rights".

The UK government said "At the heart of this report lies an outdated view of disability which is patronising and offensive. We strongly refute its findings. The UN measures success as the amount of money poured into the system, rather than the work and health outcomes for disabled people. Our focus is on helping disabled people find and stay in work, whilst taking care of those who can’t".

I fully expect them to hold a referendum to get us out of the UN, too.

Who votes for these lying wazzocks?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 20:45:11 PM by K@ »
The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact. - P. G. Wodehouse

Offline El

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As she said :we can now make our own rules to abide by"
Of course you can Theresa  :'( and then you can just get rid of these people who are so offensive to you  :'(

Offline Tâf

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I think it all started when a report said that disabled people employed by Remploy felt they were discriminated against, and would rather work in "normal" places. But every single disabled person they interviewed after the closure of the Remploy facilities said they had been happy to work in Remploy and were now unemployable, and thus a "burden on the state".

Iain Duncan Smith got his teeth into that report and used it to form his new policies for the disabled and unemployed, especially PIP and Universal Credit. Both of which are running over budget and massively delayed.

He then bailed and moaned about the heartless way his plans were being forced into operation before safety nets were set up.

Offline K@

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A future, under them, looks really worth looking forward to.

"Gassing Chavs and shooting peasants".

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-gassing-chavs-whatsapp-messages-group-chat-activate-members-leaked-a7921086.html
The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact. - P. G. Wodehouse

Offline El

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 :o

Offline K@

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They're only copying their leaders, after all...  :-\

If Brexit actually happens, this is going to become a Nazi state.
The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact. - P. G. Wodehouse