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Lawrence Bond.


A certain kind of people are going to say that Lawrence Bond died because he was overweight and his heart could not take the strain being placed on it – that his death had nothing to do with the Department for Work and Pensions. Silly, silly people.

Yes, Mr Bond was obese, and needed help to get his weight down. Did he get it? No.

As a jobseeker, he would have had a certain kind of diet forced on him by budget pressures – cheap food with lots of sugars, salts and fats that pile on the pounds – and add stress to the heart.

Theresa May had a chance to put an end to the addition of such ingredients to cheap food, but in one of her first acts as prime minister, she gave in to the demands of profit-driven food companies. This is the result.

And being a jobseeker added to Mr Bond’s mental health problems, the demands made of him increasing the anxiety he suffered, which also added stress to his heart. Was he getting help for his mental condition? No.

Furthermore, he was in the middle of a second appeal against the ruling that he was ‘fit for work’ by the private American contractor, Maximus – meaning more stress.

It is no wonder this man’s heart could not take the strain any more.

But the DWP can absolve itself of any responsibility: “He was overweight”.

He’ll be another benefit saving from a false finding of ‘fit for work’.

Lawrence Bond, 56, suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after leaving Kentish Town Jobcentre on Thursday. His sister, Iris Green, said that he was in obvious “physical distress” when he arrived at the offices in Kentish Town Road.

Mr Bond suffered from prolonged health problems, including difficulty with mobility and breathing, associated with being heavily overweight. But his incapacity benefit, now known as Employment and Support Allowance, was cut following a second “work capability assessment”, which was carried out by American private firm Maximus in July.

A subsequent appeal was turned down and Mr Bond was awaiting the outcome of a second appeal at the time of his death, his sister said.

His sister said: “I think he suffered from anxiety all his life, but held down regular jobs and was never out of work from the age of 16 … but, of course, his diet was shocking so he put on weight.

“He lost his last long-term job two years ago and by then his weight and unfitness made him unemployable.”

Ms Green said his health deteriorated while he was unemployed, adding: “His anxiety was getting worse as he could not pay bills and was afraid to leave home to go to the shops. Two referrals his GP had made for mental health services had been lost and he said he felt annoyed about that.

“The main thing is that they have the means to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We have such a tick-box society. If we can change that, then people can flag things up and really help someone.”

Source: Man dies from heart attack on way home from Jobcentre after being ruled ‘fit to work’ | Camden New Journal

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