Alexander Solzhennitsyn

 

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Docking benefits from sick and disabled people unable to work is barbaric” was written by Sharon Brennan, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 4th September 2012 16.36 Europe/London

Make no mistake, the government’s plans to dock £71 a week from disabled benefit claimants for breaching work plans will be a tax solely on the poor and isolated.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to become seriously ill, you’ll know that your priorities are dramatically and rapidly redrawn. You and your family will simply ask: “How do we get through this?”. Work, holidays, and all the minutiae of daily life fade into the distance as you focus on having the bare minimum of income, or fall back on your savings, to get through your health crisis. At this point in your life all you want is to stay alive.

Which is why the government’s plan for the sick and disabled to lose 70% of their benefit support if they fail to comply with mandated work-related activities is so heartless.

Don’t misunderstand this, these sanctions apply only to people who have already gone through the merciless work capability assessment and been deemed ill enough by the government’s own harsh standards to need employment and support allowance (ESA), the new incapacity benefit. By the government’s own admission, people who are put into work-related activity group ESA are sick and not yet well enough to go back to work, although they may be able to in the future. People on work-related ESA include those who are rehabilitating from strokes, undergoing intensive cancer treatment, or have recently lost limbs and may perhaps be the future Paralympic stars that Cameron and co are so keen to venerate. All these people will have a future in which they pray work will once again feature. But that will only come if they are allowed to focus solely on getting well again in the present.

But the government expects such ESA claimants to sign up to work-related activities including attending training courses or job centre interviews. Even more outrageously it is finalising plans on whether to make unpaid and unlimited work experience placements part of such work-related activities, even though those fit and healthy and in receipt on jobseeker’s sllowance are at worst expected to do just three months of unpaid work experience.

Previously this paper has reported on work programmes attended by people who were receiving radiotherapy for prostate cancer or on very high doses of morphine for pain caused by a recent pancreas operation. Ask yourself this: if you were this ill would you risk your recovery by putting yourself through these mandated activities unless you were facing absolute poverty if you didn’t receive ESA?

The middle classes of Britain will rally round their sick family member and pitch in financially rather than see their loved one risk their lives by enduring such heartless treatment from the Department of Work and Pensions. The only people who will be forced to go through the process, and face these sanctions, will be those too poor to say no, or those without family members to help them out. I have no doubt that if these plans go ahead, we will see the life expectancy gap between the rich and poor continue to widen in the future. No doubt the government will say that people won’t lose their benefits if they do what is expected of them, that only those well enough to do work-related activities will be asked to participate.

But the logic breaks down. Either the government supports the findings of its controversial WCA medical tests or it doesn’t. Or does it believe that people are too sick to be paid to work but not too sick to work for free? The Department for Work and Pensions’ attitude to the disabled is in chaos and frankly becoming barbaric. Every MP must now ask him or herself, could I endure what we are asking genuinely sick and disabled people to endure? When will enough ever be enough?

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Comments
  • Andrew Healey September 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    It must be plainly obvious now to the majority of people that the only policy this government has, is to kill off as many sick and or disabled people as possible by any means possible, they have AtoS finding seriously sick and or disabled people fit for work with a massively flawed W.C.A test, they have AtoS employees committing fraud when filling out the forms, when medical reports alone should be enough after all these are completed by professional medical people who know what they are talking about.How better to kill off a few more thousand by sending them to do work or interviews knowing full well these poor sick people are not capable of working and no scrupulous employer would take them on anyway, they would not be able to insure them, but wait is this were UNUM come into it, someones sick and or disabled relative dies at work and they refuse to pay up saying they were ill and should not have been working. If my E.S.A is stopped which it will be next April, AtoS have miraculously cured me, or is even cut you can say good bye to me. Apart from a sister who is 10 years older than me and whose health is worse than mine ( she worked for 40 years ) We have no family left, just the two of us. I crippled myself working for 30 odd years making other people very rich. Sometimes the pain alone puts suicidal thoughts in my head, after a week of no sleep and very little food to eat, life does seem pointless I have to keep telling myself I might get a little bit better, it hasn’t yet and on top of this we have this NAZI government trying ever more barbaric schemes to push us quicker towards our deaths. I’m an Atheist but I do hope Hell exists because I will wait for these bastards and the torment I will have in store for them will last an eternity.

    • jacqui butterworth September 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      ATOS are to take over Works and Pensions 2013! WHY? Why do we have French companies runner our services?

  • DAVID A SHAW September 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    This government disgust me with each passing day, let us not mince our words any longer, they are NAZIS, YES NAZIS, ideologically planned eugenics to rid the country of what they consider are the scrounging workshy poor. We know what you are doing Cameron et al, and you will pay in a court of law, do NOT think you will get away with this, i tell you now , you will NOT.

    • David Andrews June 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

      I’m not going to invoke Godwin’s Law here. Your comparison is entirely correct.

  • jed goodright September 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Andrew
    Don’t worry. When labour get in they will change things immediately – they will erm end the err no wait ….they will plan to ……….erm …. kill people quicker than the tories ….. saved, saved at last!!!!

    • Andrew Healey September 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Hello there Jed, I am under no illusion about any of these Fabian Socialist there is not one jot of difference between any of them, they have all conspired against Britain and its people. They have sold us all out, it has been their plan for decades. Once they have destroyed the sick and or disabled, the unemployed, the low paid, the homeless, the poor of society with their £2 an hour wages if you are lucky 40 hours at poundland for £60 and the slum ghettos we will all be moved into, they will start on the middle classes. Divide and conquer. First they took our industries put hundreds of thousands out of work then blamed them for being unemployed. Then sold all our utilities to their cronies abroad. Destroyed the best education system there was, after all they do not want an educated populace that will question their criminality, British law the benchmark for the world being rewritten to cover their crimes. The fraudulent bankers stealing our money, so the government gives them more of our money, then our services are cut to pay for it services we have already paid for, then they put up taxes apart for the rich that is, we are being hit 3 times or more for what the banking system did to us. The list is almost endless, the whole establishment is corrupt and it will not stop till the 99% are living in abject poverty. It will take the 99% to stop it, but as long as we are divided it will continue. I live in a rundown council flat that is not fit for human habitation but its better than the street, I have friends that live in houses worth a quarter million I have spoken to their neighbours and people from all sections of society and these NAZIS are not liked or trusted, some of these people are old Tories in their 60s, 70s and 80s, the word is getting about but we need a general strike now and a mass march on parliament we all need to stick together, there is too much apathy that is also part of their plan. Good luck for the future and keep on truckin never say die

  • Christina Klein-Bissett September 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Dear black triangle web designers: when I forget to click the I am not a spammer straight away I write in great length only to c it all deleted. Could we adress this pretty pretty please?

  • Laz September 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I am waiting for my third Atos appointment since becoming ill.Nothing revesable for me though but I expect this time I will be told I am fit for work .

  • jeffery davies September 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    they doing me now by time limited having worked 41yrs ive been done as i thought by paying into the goverment tax that i would be looked after when you become sick but no only if you can get better in 1 yr after you got to die as your benefit is not as youhave reached the majic number so out how kind that they can starve me back to work only to die in it thus making a mockery of their actions jeff3

  • Laz September 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    They can send me to a Job but I won`t be able to do it because of multiple health issues .When the employers realise there are people who are not able to work no matter what is offered what happens then?
    It realy is a sad state of affairs that our so called leaders are not bright enough to realise this.If employers are saying the client is unfit for employment at the job offered then it will only support the real medical evidence and the fact that the Atos Medical is a wast of time and money as is the time spent at the job center .
    There is then a supported case to return to Disability Benefits .I hope that someone in parliament will grow a pair and stand up for our rights .What are they scared of ?
    Even the official figures show the whole thing has been a propaganda campaign so are all our MP`s being ordered to carry this out regardless of party ?Why has no-one bought up the John Major Law that if over ruled ,which it has for foreign workers,make past employers responsable for later diseases and disabilities that emerged after three years of leaving the company .This would mean a big number of people could have benefits payed by the companies that caused the illness rather than the Tax payer picking up the bill.
    Obviously this wont happen as Parliament is too scared to take on their sponsers.

  • Christina Klein-Bissett September 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Has anyone experienced what happens when you are physically not well enough to leave your house for being assessed? ?

  • Thomas September 5, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Only scammers would want me, I’m sure of that.

  • hedleylamarr September 5, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Re: Christina Klein-Bissett September 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Dear black triangle web designers: when I forget to click the I am not a spammer straight away I write in great length only to c it all deleted. Could we adress this pretty pretty please?

    I’ve been commenting on this for weeks but nothing has happened – no response – nothing – it is so demoralisng when this happens – iT MAKES ACCESS IMPOSSIBLE – so I give up and will not post here again despite the good work being done – their loss

    • JJ September 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      I’ll send the request to our IT people. Sorry about this!

  • ODIN September 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Surely this barbaric treatment of the vulnerable can be taken to the European Court of Human Rights or the United Nations? If this were going on in a different country everyone would be up in arms trying to get it stopped, look at the Nato involvement in Libya , oh wait wasn’t there oil involved there? I wonder if it would be a good idea for everyone to give what they can so that we can get a lawyer to take this case to the European Court of Human Rights and sue the arse off this NOT ELECTED Nazi Fascist s**t for brains excuse for a democratic government. We need to get rid of these Fascist bastards as soon as humanly possible.

    • jacqui butterworth September 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      One would think so-how do we go about it?

  • kasbah September 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    It is utterly incomprehensible- the evil that is happening at the hands of this blood sucking “government”. I do not use terms like “evil” readily.

    Either these cruel, perverted politicians must be prosecuted fast or we will have to remove them by whatever means possible. Make no mistake once their plans are happening it will be very hard to reverse them. Time is ticking away.

    • JJ September 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

      This is a “feature” of a SPAM plugin that was originally installed by the previous website guy.

      I never use that plugin myself. I have now removed the plugin from the website. Instead the site is now using the default and very effective SPAM filter that comes with all wordpress websites by default. Should be fine now.

  • laineynic June 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I would never of imagined how hard and traumatic it is to be sick and disabled applying for ESA and DLA. I have worked since I was 17 years old and bother me and my husband have contributed our fair share. I have numerous health problems and 8 weeks ago I underwent major heart surgery. I class myself as to ill to work as recovering from the heart surgery alone has left me shattered. I have to face ATOS for my assessment as to whether I am ok to stay on support group ESA. I thought it would be nothingto worry about but it seems that so many others have lost there ESA i am starting to worry. Financially we can’t afford to loose the ESA if I am put in the working group I will automatically loose my benefit because of what I earn. I have paid tax as an individual allmy life but when it comes to this ESA claim I am no longer individual. The whole thing with ATOS is ridiculous the assessments are not rue reflections on what a daily strain being ill and disabled putson y0ou. Adding this whole thimg is enough to send anyone over the edge.

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