I’m thinking of last winter, a snow-blurred landscape and my agonisingly permanently cold blue feet, painful hands, the shaming underweight lecture from my consultant: “eat much more and you must keep warm with raynauds” she said. I told her I couldn’t do both, and she looked at me uncomprehendingly, though she usually understood me.
According to the Daily Mirror, Circle Health has been given £1.36 billion of health work after investors gave £1.5 million to the Tories; and Care UK – who bankrolled former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley with £21,000 during the seven years he was secretly working on the Health and Social Care Act while Tory leaders were denying any plans for the top-down reorganisation it would authorise – has won £102.6 million in contracts and its chairman John Nash has been made a lord, in return for a £247,250 donation to the Tories.
Last year over 100,006 people said Hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his misuse of Statistics, both The Work & Pensions Select 3rd Report Monitoring the Perfomance of DWP 2012/13 and the Public Administration Committee 1st Report Agreed.
We demand The House accepts these Recommendation and Ensures Minsters and others present statistics in a way that is fair, accurate and “unspun”.
French readers of Le Monde get to read an interview with three disabled people regarding the Work Capability Assessments by Atos and the fear it engenders in those who are at risk of being forced to attend them. I think the translation of the article into English has been done with one of the online text translation tools but, as Jayne says in her intro, it is still readable and understandable even if a little difficult to parse because of grammar and pronoun irregularities.
“Disabled people clearly don’t matter. Poor people clearly don’t matter. Older people matter a bit, but not enough to ensure social care is properly funded. But suddenly, after lots of people and communities have been suffering from dreadful flooding for many weeks, the Thames breaks its banks. As if by magic, the Prime Minister tells us “Money is no object. We are a wealthy country”. I feel sick.” (my emphasis)
One of the things that depresses me the most, living in Somerset (fortunately in a higher area and never likely to flood), is that come May 2015 whatever turn out we actually have will be almost evenly divided between Tory and LibDem tribal voters. It doesn’t matter how devastated families have been by the actions of this government, they will still turn out to vote the way their parents and grandparents voted. Because that’s the way it’s done here! Which one of them gets in will depend on how the splinter vote goes, whether more jump ship from Tory or from LD and which way they go (to the other or to a smaller party – around here that includes Labour). The incumbent will get back in unless they do something to seriously piss off their supporters in the 3 months before the election.
Why was there no representative of sick and disabled people on the Big Benefits Row on Channel 5? There was supposed to be. But, if you could stomach watching media whores Katie Hopkins (I had absolutely no idea who this woman was until recently – a nobody who spouts whatever crap she is paid to ) and Edwina Currie (nasty woman with no sense and less taste) spout their vile drivel, you’ll have noticed that there was no mention at all of the millions of chronically ill and disabled people who have absolutely no option but to rely on benefits (well, death is an option, I suppose). No mention of the millions who are being forced onto Jobseekers despite being completely unfit for work. No mention of the hundreds of thousands of DLA/PIP recipients who will lose their benefit as the goalposts are moved and they are deemed “not disabled enough” – we haven’t recovered, our extra expenses have actually increased, but you know, the financial crisis is all our fault. Got to cut the welfare budget so the banks (including the ones we now own after bailing out) can continue to pay huge salaries and bonuses as they trundle along the well-worn path to the next financial crisis.
Some facts about benefits for the sick and disabled taken from Sue’s blog
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being cut by 20%
The criteria to qualify for DLA slashed has been by 60%
1 MILLION people are to be stripped of Employment and Support Allowance
The Independent Living Fund has bee scrapped**
1500 people lost their jobs as Remploy factories were all closed
Just 3% of the entire welfare budget goes to unemployed people
Social security fraud is around £1.2 Billion per year – less than half of 1%, or 0.15% of total welfare budget. That’s just £1.50 lost for every thousand or 0.15% of the total welfare
The DWP pay out much more in their own errors – 2.2 Billion
A whopping £16 BILLION goes unclaimed, generally to avoid the stigma of “welfare”
We have some of the toughest criteria for claiming social security in the developed world.
Is our UK social security systemn too generous? No again. In international terms we come just 46th out of 51, paying some of the lowest benefits anwhere
440,000 sick or disabled people will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. That’s over 2 thirds.