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HomeBlogGrieving son blasts benefit cuts: My dad looked like ‘concentration camp prisoner’ before he died

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In the last 12 months of his life, the 43-year-old’s weight plummeted and he grew so thin the bones on his shoulder were visible

 
 
Distressed: Ian Carress had his benefits slashed

Distressed: Ian Carress had his benefits slashed


 

A grieving son whose father looked like a ‘concentration camp prisoner’ after his benefits were slashed has blamed Coalition cuts for his death.

Ian Carress scored zero points in a controversial government welfare test which ordered him back to work despite the 43-year-old suffering a catalogue of health problems including failing eyesight and the nerves in his arms being removed.

In the last 12 months of his life, the former school caretaker’s weight plummeted and he grew so thin the bones on his shoulder were visible to his shocked family.

Ten months after his Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which cut his fortnightly state pay from around £130 to just £80, father-of-one Mr Carress, from Bebington, Merseyside, had died.

His devastated son Chris, 23, told the Mirror:

“My dad was not a benefit cheat.

“Out of that £80 a fortnight had to pay his council tax, utility bills and rent, pay for food for him and his dog, and try and find work. It was impossible.

“In less than a year he ended up looking like a concentration camp prisoner.

“He was proactive about getting a job and passed licensing exams in the hope of running his own pub, but couldn’t find any work.

“So, to add insult to injury, he was demonised by the Tories and I believe it killed him.”

Chris is furious at Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith for claiming last week those “who we think are cheating the system” will be rooted out.

At the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week, a trial scheme was announced piling pressure on jobless Brits to find employment.

Suspected cheats or people failing to secure a job after work programmes have to spend at least 35 hours a week at their local centre or their welfare will be docked.

Mr Carress’s health problems began in 2011 when his beloved mother died and he sank into a deep depression which resulted in his decade-long job at a  grammar school in Wirral being terminated.

He became incontinent due to stress, began to suffer from headaches – so severe he had to sit in darkened rooms – and was unable to lift objects due to having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

He died in April, this year, following the government test the previous June.

Chris said:

“At his Work Capability Assessment, he told me he was asked stupid questions like, ‘can you lift your arm’, ‘can you bend over’, which  he could do.

“It was like his whole medical history and illnesses, which he saw doctors for every week, was ignored and they told him he had to go back to work.

“My dad wanted to earn money but he just couldn’t. He had to take 20 tablets a day for all sorts of problems. He was a caring and responsible man.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Work and Pensions said:

“A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough assessment and after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist.

“Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts and charities, we have considerably improved the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process since 2010 to make it fairer and more accurate.”

Daily Mirror

Weeks after his boy killed himself ~ Heartbroken dad reveals agony as decision to axe his son’s benefits is overturned  Posted on October 6, 2013

Never forgotten: (April 2013) Benefit Cuts Caused Disabled Yorkshire Man Nicholas Barker To Take His Life, Rules Coroner

Calumslist

 

 

 

Comments
  • Stephen Bee October 7, 2013 at 3:21 am

    I hope to live to see the day when these bastards in government face a criminal court on charges of manslaughter or better still murder…

    But why is no law firm willing to take this on? Why is Labour so quiet on this issue…its criminal and the silence is deafening!

    • Sam October 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

      It’s Labour’s silence that’s SO disgraceful – all down to the fear of losing votes among people who by definition don’t hold to Labour values. The opposition’s job is to challenge, and if the opposition doesn’t do its job, then any discussion is for all practical purposes dead in the water. It undermines democracy. And that’s before you take it into account that Labour claims to be inclusive of ALL the working classes – including those who aren’t able to work,

    • Mary Jackson October 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      To be fair, Ed Milliband has said that Labour will sack ATOS, if Labour win the next election, Let’s hope he is true to his word, But that doesn’t help all the people who have died, RIP Ian

      • PAULA October 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        WAKE UP MATE, IT WAS LABOUR WHO INTRODUCED ATOS!

    • moyra October 8, 2013 at 8:10 am

      dwp always say that they take into account info from the person’s GP yet some GPs are refusing to provide info as it’s too much bother for them.

  • geoff reynolds October 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    ……..you can mistreat an animal and have recourse to report to the action to the RSPCA,where action will be taken including photo evidence to the courts, yet discrimination to the disabled, is the new norm, and nothing is done whatsoever………………

    It’s not sad, it absolutely disgusting in this century!!!

    Taking away a persons capability to live, is neither a sport, nor a mistake………

    It’s an act of barbarism that has been blessed by the very people who purport to represent the wishes of the electorate.

    We all know that the people of our once proud nation did not want this. It is an organised cull of the most weakest and less likely to protest.

    The welfare reform act has been blessed by our monarch, the Queen. What the fuck does she know about the abuse that has been launched on her plebs, the minions that allow her to waltz around in her robes and jewellery, while we starve.

    My dad always told me that she would’nt know which end of a corgi the shit came out of, because somebody on a minimum wage will have to pick it up. I know what he mean’t.

    Never has society been so divided and the legacy is getting worse. It seems that the only way up a ladder is to push someone firmly down……………

    Killing someone by stealing their benefits is now an acceptable trend. If laws say it is alright to do this, who will argue?

    For one, the UNITED NATIONS and the HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION.

    Our government dismissed the investigations by the special envoy, rapporteur Raquel Rolnic, who put forward a damning report on the “Bedroom Tax”. In fact they ridiculed her publicly and in the tabloids.

    Anyone who is signatory to human rights acts also has a duty to uphold them for the common decency of the people within the act. The UK is in flagrant breach of Human Rights and the government know this, in fact they actively promote it!

    The proverbial shit will hit the fan and who takes the blame is anyones guess?

    How do you compensate for someones life that has been stolen and all the undue pressures on the vulnerable?

    Watch this space as all the ghosts of christmas past, come to haunt them……

  • Dave Madill October 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I had to sit before an individual last year and was deemed fit to work, despite suffering from depression. I too was asked to go through a series of pointless physical moves during my examination.
    My GP refused to write supporting my appeal against this decision, siting that he had given his medical opinion by issuing me with a sick note. He felt that the whole process ignored his and his colleagues’ professional opinion and that further entreaty was a waste of his time, as no-one at the DWP was interested.
    I can see his point. When a Government Department, fuelled by Political dogma, is intend upon reaching a particular conclusion, there is little that we, as individuals, can do to stop it. It is only by collective action that we stand any chance of righting this wrong.

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