Mental health

90 “Fit for Work” Die Every Month – Benefits Cut Hits 80,000

Benefits cut by Tory stealth

The benefits cut by the conservatives have been reported everywhere and even by AutoExpress who reported individuals claiming exemption from vehicle tax reduced by 80,000. From 1.35 million claimants in February 2015 to 1.26 million claimants in 2016. Although there is no exact explanation for the reduction, it is almost definitely an effect from cuts in other benefits.
Free road tax is claimed by disabled people if they receive the higher payment of the mobility part of either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Yet, figures acquired by the Labour Party say that in 2016 more than 134,000 people had their PIP claim denied. Also, 51,000 individuals have lost their government-provided ‘Motability’ vehicles since 2013. These are vehicles adapted for a person to get around, even for those that need to get to work!

Assault on the ‘welfare state’

However, these figures are merely the tip of the iceberg. In just one year, the UN has already released 3 reports into the current and previous Conservative governments, and the Coalition one. In each report, it massively criticised the Tories’ policies on sick and disabled people. Even saying these governments had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for the sick and disabled by a third. This alone will affect half a million people.

As a result of their agenda of austerity since 2010, of which the UN said “disproportionately” hit disabled individuals the worst, the Tories have cut:
  • The Independent Living Fund (ILF) of which supported those in need with care packages. Since the government cuts, 88% of disabled persons have had a 50% reduction in their care packages.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for the sick and disabled by a third. This alone will affect half a million people.
  • A shocking 55% per week from ESA for the sick and disabled aged 18 to 25.
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from approximately 164,000 people suffering with mental health illnesses.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lowered or stopped PIP for almost half (45%) of all claimants.

Tory violations

It’s not just Tory benefit cuts that have hit the sick and disabled so harshly:
  • The DWP was in a scandal in which assessors asked people the reason why they hadn’t “killed” themselves.
  • A research study established that the DWP “fit for work” assessments caused permanent damage to mental health.
  • 62% of individuals the DWP sanctions live have mental health illnesses.
  • 10,600 individuals died soon after their greatly needed benefit claims stopped.
  • 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit for work’.
  • 590 people have committed suicide because of DWP fit-for-work tests.

But will the Tories be held accountable?

Parliament’s summer season recess has meant bad news for sick and disabled people. The Tories’ have been sneaky with cuts and burying reports, without scrutiny. At the moment, the Rights of Disabled People by the UN Committee have been investigating the Tories over its treatment of disabled people. The Conservatives will not come out well from this.

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Alan is a mental health service user in Cornwall, UK. Although generally the NHS has been very good with his care, their are some weak links. Thats why he started this blog, to share experiences and resources on various mental health illnesses. Also, to bring the headlines about mental health to the foreground. Alan enjoys walking his dogs, taking photos, watching movies and playing the PS4 :-)

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