It is in the courts, not Parliament, that people with disabilities may find justice.

The words of Corri Wilson MP, which appear below, can only be strengthened by the fact that disability hate crime in London has more than tripled in a single year.

Can anything better illustrate the fact that this government has been “sending a dangerous message to the public that some disabilities are more worthy of support than others, and adding to the increasingly negative perceptions of disabled people that this Government has actively perpetuated”?

I don’t see that yet another debate in Parliament will help the cause of people with disabilities. We’ve had plenty of them before and nothing has changed.

It’s really long past time someone put together a legal case to show that government policy is responsible for the rise in hate crime, the increase in mental ill-health among the disabled, and for the many deaths – either self-inflicted or due to a formerly-treated condition running out of control due to lack of funds.

If a single person has died because of this, then the Tory government must be made to pay.

Just when it seemed that the UK Government’s cruel disregard for disabled people could not have been clearer, the Department for Work and Pensions ‘quietly’ announced another devastating barrage of cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) at the end of February, ultimately excluding an estimated 160,000 people from vital financial assistance.

One thing is crystal clear – these new restrictions are targeted squarely at those suffering from mental health conditions, including autism, dementia and schizophrenia.

Invisible disabilities such as these are too often overlooked and misunderstood, and yet can be just as debilitating as many physical conditions. This was starkly exemplified last week during an LBC Radio phone-in when a clearly distressed caller spoke of his despair over the new raft of cuts.

In a scenario that has become all-too-familiar in the Tory era, he recalled friends suffering from mental health conditions who had attempted suicide following removal of their financial support.

That the Government’s approach forces him to think “People hate us. People hate our guts”, is a damning indictment of seven years of division and failed policies.

In the absence of a U-turn, the democratic way forward is for the Government to commit to a debate in Parliament, where MPs can stand up for the thousands of people in my own constituency, and in constituencies across the country, who will be impacted by this policy.

Accordingly, I have written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, urging a fundamental re-think of the policy and calling for a much-needed debate.

Source: With Fresh Restrictions On Personal Independence Payments, The Tories Continue Their Assault On Disabled People

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