Congratulations to John Pring at Disability News Service for interviewing the man who heckled Esther McVey during her evidence session before the Scottish Parliament on Monday.
It turns out that ‘David’ had raised the case of Jodie Whiting, who took her own life after her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was sanctioned away from her. This Site covered the case here.
It is disappointing that the interruption was not reported fully by the mainstream media because it highlights the cruelty of both the Department for Work and Pensions and its current boss, and illustrates why they both have to go:
Ms Whiting lost her benefit because she missed a work capability assessment appointment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst.
Let’s all stop for a moment and think about that.
It is entirely reasonable for a person on a long-term sickness benefit to require hospital treatment for their health condition.
While it may legitimately require people to prove their eligibility to receive ESA, it is entirely unreasonable for the government’s benefits agency to demand that sick people miss their treatment in order to tick a box on a bureaucrat’s paperwork.
Health comes first, or it is the system that is sick.
And the Tory-run system is terminal – for users like Ms Whiting. Instead of rearranging the assessment appointment, the DWP cut her off without a penny, triggering a chain of events that led to her untimely death.
When the case was raised, Ms McVey didn’t even have the decency to apologise. Instead, ‘David’ was removed from the meeting.
Could anything be a better demonstration of the arrogance and ignorance of our current rulers?
Rather than face up to their failings, they remove anybody who mentions them. And their complicit media mouthpieces gloss over the incident.
The mother of a woman who killed herself after her disability benefits were sanctioned has praised a disabled activist who confronted work and pensions secretary Esther McVey about her daughter’s death as she gave evidence to Scottish MSPs this week.
The activist, David*, had told Joy Dove of his plans to question McVey about her daughter’s suicide as the minister was giving evidence to the Scottish parliament’s social security committee on Monday.
Jodey Whiting, a seriously-ill mother-of-nine, from Stockton, took her own life last year after having her employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctioned.
She had her ESA stopped after missing a work capability assessment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst, and never opened the letter telling her about the appointment.
David, from the campaign group Class War Scotland, who was sitting in public seats behind McVey, called out (listen from 52 minutes) as she was replying to a question from an MSP about her government’s policies on social security reform and whether she should apologise to the people of Scotland.
David called out: “What about Jodey Whiting, mother of nine, who committed suicide after her ESA was stopped?
“It was stopped because she missed an appointment.”
The committee meeting was suspended and David left the hearing.
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