Brandon Cran, the autistic Scottish teenager who has written to berate David Cameron and George Osborne for their “ableist” policies, is to be praised.
He told the two greedy politicians their bid to take even more from people already struggling to make their disability benefits cover their costs had made him fearful for his family’s future.
Brandon has to younger disabled brothers – Kainan, 12, and Oaklin, nine – who suffer from autism, among other health issues.
Less praiseworthy is the Daily Record’s willingness to accept pro-government claptrap – for example, the nonsense about the Work-Related Activity Group of Employment and Support Allowance being for claimants who are “trying to work”.
Let’s be clear: It isn’t.
The WRAG is for people who are not fit for work, but may become fit in the near future. Run properly, it would provide support that would keep people mentally prepared to return to the workplace – but of course it isn’t run properly and many people have been wrongly placed in the WRAG when they needed longer-term assistance.
There are many other people who have fallen ill, claimed ESA, got better and returned to work, though. They are described as part of the regular “churn” of claimants.
The Conservatives have been trying to muddy the difference between those who are unfit for work but taking part in preparatory exercises for when they are able to do so, and those who can work and are seeking employment. That is one reason the difference between ESA-WRAG payments and JSA has been eliminated.
But you would be a fool to accept what they are saying.
In his letter posted to Osborne at HM Treasury, the teenager, from Aberdeen, said his treatment of the disabled stripped away their “dignity and sense of worth”. Brandon added: “No one should promote ableism to balance the books and to keep the money flowing for the most wealthy.”
In another letter posted to the PM at 10 Downing Street, Brandon said the threat to PIP was just the latest in an ongoing “public attack” against the disabled, which has included cuts to Employment and Support Allowance for those trying to work, and £4.6billion of cuts to social care in the past five years.
In his letter to Cameron, Brandon said: “Your party has and does promote ableism by publicly attacking disabled people year after year to balance the books when people like me and my brothers and millions more face the fear of being left financially broken. More importantly, we are left to face life feeling worthless as a person and no one should feel like that.”
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