Remember Jamie Oliver, who the Tory government said wasn’t sick enough for PIP, right before he died?
It seems the Tories would rather you forgot about him – they have cancelled a petition to get justice for him, by calling the general election.
Mr Oliver died on April 9 after a long battle with chronic liver disease – and after being refused Personal Independence Payment by the DWP on the grounds that he wasn’t sick enough – twice.
Five months after his death, in one of the hugely distressing and insulting cock-ups that have made the DWP infamous, one of Mr Oliver’s children discovered a letter saying an appeal hearing had been arranged for late September.
The situation infuriated Mr Oliver’s brother, Dave Smith, who stated that “one of the last things he said to us [was] “I don’t believe it. I’m going to die and I’m still not sick enough for PIP.”
Mr Smith said: “I honestly cannot think of an organization as shambolic, insensitive, incompetent and unhelpful as the DWP and the sooner all this PIP/Universal Credit fiasco is kicked into touch the better.”
Last month (October) he launched a petition that he hoped would secure enough signatures – 100,000 – to ensure the issues are debated in parliament.
The petition on the government website called for an end to the use of private contractors for DWP disability benefit assessments, both for PIP and for employment and support allowance (and its universal credit equivalent).
He said the disability benefit assessment system is linked to many suicides and “accelerated deaths”, like his brother’s.
And he said he believed there have been “multiple lies” in the written assessment reports completed by nurses, paramedics and occupational therapists working for Atos and Capita (the other PIP assessment contractor).
But with the dissolution of Parliament and the launch of the general election campaign, not only have any Bills been dropped but all petitions have also been cancelled and will not be reopened.
Mr Smith told Metro:
“They have taken the f***ing piss, not just after all the hours I and my supporters have put in but all those poor people who have reached 100,000 signatures will now never get their debate.
“I am angry beyond belief, for me, for other petition creators and for every supporter of every petition. ‘There is something badly wrong here. The problem you are petitioning about hasn’t gone away and you can’t use another petitioning site as the results are not recognised.”
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