Plymouth couple’s benefit nightmare shows Tories have set neighbour against neighbour

Look at what the UK has become under a Conservative government that would penalise disabled people who don’t use their walking sticks while putting out the bins.

Darren and Tracy Grylls, of Plymouth, were told their benefits have been frozen – pending review – because a neighbour had seen them walking without the aid of sticks.

Apparently Mrs Grylls has also been criticised for leaning on a shopping trolley in a supermarket, rather than her walking stick. This is a common habit among people who have difficulty walking.

But the Department for Work and Pensions is already aware that they do not need to use their sticks for everything.

Tracy suffers with severe arthritis and Darren has Spina bifida occulta as well as non-alcohol related chronic liver disease, which makes prolonged movement difficult. Both have diabetes.

And now they are afraid to leave the house, for fear that the person who is spying on them will make another misleading video.

The Tories have spent years promoting a false narrative that people claiming sickness and disability benefits are “scroungers” and “skivers” – in order to deprive them of those benefits and endanger their lives.

That is what Mr and Mrs Grylls are facing now, as their ESA, care allowances and Personal Independence Payments have all been suspended, meaning they have no income at all.

Is this the kind of nation we want to be?

One in which vulnerable people are subjected to misery and poverty because their neighbours have been told to hate them?

Isn’t it time we changed our culture back into one that tries to help people, rather than hurt them?

Source: Plymouth couple’s benefits frozen by DWP because they can walk – Plymouth Live

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12 thoughts on “Plymouth couple’s benefit nightmare shows Tories have set neighbour against neighbour

  1. jezzabeauc

    As somebody who has osteoarthritis, chondramalasia patella and kneecaps not in their right place, I use a walking stick but when in supermarkets I always use a trolley so I can use it as a stable, safe support when walking. When putting bins out a walking stick can get in the way, so if a person is having a ‘good’ day may be left indoors. People who are lucky enough not to be disabled need to walk a mile in the shoes of a person who is, and to stop being so quick to judge and draw conclusions. I really feel for this poor couple, it is hard enough going through life on benefits without having nasty, curtain twitching neighbours.

  2. Jo Owen

    Doesn’t surprise me, a neighbour complained to my son’s landlord about the extension lead going to my campervan in which we are now living. They know that one of us is disabled because my wheelchair is on a converted bike rack because we don’t have enough room in our campervan. Sad days

  3. Simon Cohen

    Mike, this is the result of Cameron and Osborne’s plan to take the focus of the rip-off financial system that collapsed the economy and focus on pitting in-work poor against benefit claimant poor. It was used as a decoy so that the housing scam and financialisation was never looked at as a root cause. it worked. You have been effectively reporting on this for some years.

    Now we have working class people voting Tory in some areas because they have swallowed the guff poked down their throats by a trashy press trying to preserve vested interests. The Tories had a propaganda unit called ‘The Nudge Unit’ that created the verbal framing for this sort of stuff. The Tories laughed as low wage people and benefit claimants viciously attacked each other – all went to plan.

    All I can say, is that those people in Grimsby who are struggling and planning to vote Tory are doing the Turkey voting for Christmas routine whilst shoving the stuffing up their own posteriors. They are in for an interesting time if the lying Johnson gets in.

    Not everyone is fooled but the propaganda, assisted by poverty porn propagating media, worked VERY effectively for neo-liberalism.

  4. Jeffrey Davies

    All part of their aktion T4 plans yet the peasants can’t see that fighting amongst themselves leaves the Tory’s off the hook

  5. Samuel Miller

    Most people who use canes to walk, including myself, will rely solely on the trolley cart when grocery shopping because it affords them greater stability on slippery supermarket floors. It is the equivalent of using a walker. The principle is the same with wheelie bins too.

  6. Ray

    This is starting to turn this country into the Nazi state ideal,where everyone informs on each other regardless if it is true or not,history repeating itself.

  7. hugosmum70

    1. ive used a walking stick for a few years now. 2. i used to push my own supermarket shopping trolley and my daughters food went in same trolley as we are both 1 person tenants in 1 bedroom propertys.
    3. my daughter became ill and also developed foot problems so walking became painful. she asked if she could push the trolley one day. i reluctantly gave it to her knowing she was in pain.
    4.now roles were reversed and i put my food in one ghalf of her trolley. but not being able to push the trolley round was affecting my walking, my legs and back sooooo
    5. next step was buying a 42 whenn shopping trolley…… which could be lifted into a supermarket trolley but
    6.although that worked for a while it was clear we couldnt get everything we both needed in the 1 trolley then there was ……
    7, carrying the rest in carrier bags etc, carrying was something that i couldnt do due to spinal problems. sooooo next step.
    8. a bigger 4 wheel trolley to put everything in.. and a D clip to hand other bags from including my handbag which sits on top for ease of access and less getting out of breath while struggling to find whatever i needed from it, purse, shopping list etc, but now i cant use a suopermarket one.its too big to go in their trolleys. lastly…
    9. we now have to do it differently… on the much rarer occasions i can now go out and get exercise n fresh air i try to combine it with a shopping expedition to buy things i cant get online, either from supermarkets or other online shops. this costs me double because of taxi fares, i cant get on buses on my own, my daughter lives halfway between me and our nearest big town so we pick her up on the way. occasionally to save a bit of money we get the bus from near hers , which costs neither of us as i have a companion OAP pass for buses. this way i have the help i need on n off buses n bus seats. she doesnt have a car . to cut a long story short. there are steps to take as you grow older, grow less confident about going it alone. etc. when i pushed my own supermarket trolley my walking stick went in the trolley to the side so it wasnt taking up much space. now i push my own 4 wheel trolley and my daughter pushes the supermarket one and i always push that with one hand, use walking stick with other. if one fails theres the other that may not.
    I thought my neighbours were bad enough but they simply dont bother with me and i dont bother with them… they are not .so far (in the last 22 yrs i have lived here) been vindictive or nasty(apart from one who hated asian taxi drivers and never failed to shout at me as i got into one of their taxis,things like ” why are you giving your money to them black.B**** (guess the word.i am sure you will and this is one reason i dont talk to THAT particular man anymopre. used to but wasnt having that,)…never, have i had aNYONE DO THE ABOVE, OR KNOWN OF ANYONE DOING IT AROUND THIS NECK OF THE WOODS,…….though i am pretty sure if torys get in on the 12th it will go from bad to worse ,they will make sure of it.(sorry this was so long. hope it doesnt bore people.

  8. James

    I checked out the newspaper item – and the comments. What a mean-minded and vicious lot! I hope the readership of that redtop paper isn’t representative of the people of Plymouth; in fact I’m sure it isn’t, but there ARE are a lot of them about. Humanity…?

  9. kateuk

    People have been conditioned by governments and the press to be selfish. They don’t want “their” taxes going to scroungers and shirkers. Programs like “Benefit Street” and the rubbish printed in the Scum don’t help. I know an otherwise nice lady who claims that “nobody wants to work around here, you see them all going off to sign on”. I wonder where she gets such in depth knowledge that she knows what all these people do each day? She works so I don’t think she really has time to sit watching neighbours all day. I guess she is just regurgitating what the media tell her. It’s very sad that nobody has any compassion any more.

  10. The Toffee (597)

    If I remember rightly, I was once informed that the german city of Wurzburg required only two gestapo officers, such was the voracious appetite of the populace to prove themselves good nazis by ‘grassing’ their neighbours up for the most spurious of reasons or trivial offences.

    This is what the DWP must be apsiring to.

    Sickening.

  11. NMac

    My 95 year old mother relies on her shopping trolley for support rather than her stick. These evil Tories are using their successful, but nasty, divide and rule tactics yet again.

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