brutal, Cerebral Palsy, Conservative, cruel, Declan Kemp, Department, Down's Syndrome, DWP, heart, Mike Sivier, Pensions, political, scoliosis, spine, Tories, Tory, UC, Universal Credit, Vox, Vox Political, work
Whenever the Conservatives tout new policies they claim will help people with disabilities, I’d like you to think about their treatment of Declan Kemp.
For me, it is reminiscent of an image I used to run on This Site, of a quadruple amputee. The caption stated that the DWP would interview the subject of the image every few months, “in case they’ve grown back”.
That is the level of ignorance and idiocy that the Conservatives show to people with disabilities, every single day.
No wonder so many disabled people have died.
Now we have Declan Kemp. He’s 19 and, besides Down’s Syndrome, he has cerebral palsy, a hole in his heart and scoliosis of the spine.
He visits a day centre three times a week and sometimes has to go into respite care.
His family applied for Universal Credit, making it clear that he would need a home appointment. He didn’t get it.
Instead, heartless DWP authorities summoned him to Job Centre interviews – two so far.
They said Mr Kemp, who could not speak for himself and fell asleep within 15 minutes of the first interview’s start, had to provide evidence from a doctor that he could not work.
He had already provided this evidence for a prior – successful – claim for Personal Independence Payment.
As his family members asked: why should he have to provide this information again?
Worse still, his mother was told to fill in a Universal Credit journal for him – an online record of what claimants are doing to find a job.
He has multiple – progressive – conditions that mean he will never be able to work, as any DWP employee working with people who have disabilities should know.
Challenged to justify its behaviour, the DWP has apologised for mishandling the case and said there was no delay in processing the claim.
That’s what the department says when its habitually harmful treatment of the UK’s most vulnerable people is discovered.
And we’ve had a succession of Tory ministers, who have announced policy after policy they claimed would make it easier for people with serious disabilities to navigate the benefit system and live in comparative comfort.
And nothing has changed.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been asked to investigate discrimination against disabled people by the DWP – and in This Writer’s opinion, it can’t happen soon enough.
We’re currently in the run-up to a general election, and the Tories have already announced a plan for a £10 million fund to help disabled people claim Universal Credit – that, it seems, is only open to those who are capable of holding down a job.
Declan Kemp would not benefit from it at all.
We have a government that deliberately persecutes people whose health is perceived to be less-than-perfect.
I have stated before that it is as though the Tories were running their own eugenics policy – a plan to remove what a certain kind of people still call “useless eaters” from the benefit system by depriving them of the financial means to survive.
Back in 2015 I managed to force the Tories to publish figures – incomplete figures – that showed an average of 99 people claiming incapacity benefits died every day between January 2011 and February 2014.
The full details were likely to have been much, much worse, even then. Can you imagine how shocking they must be by now?
And the Tories are seeking re-election so they can continue this grisly work.
Anybody who votes for them is supporting this cruelty.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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