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Iain Duncan Smith – his very name still triggers hate and fear in people with long-term illnesses and disabilities, in roughly equal measure.
It is now nearly five years since This Writer demonstrated that his Department for Work and Pensions had been responsible for more than 100,000 excess deaths of people claiming sickness and disability benefits.
The deaths had happened after he became Secretary of State and changed the way benefit entitlements were assessed, making it much more difficult for people who deserved them to make a claim.
And he perverted the appeal system into a labyrinthine, Kafka-esque nightmare designed to drive people to despair or starvation before ever seeing a penny.
Now, the right-wing think tank that this vile creature founded – and still chairs – is trying to interfere in the lives of vulnerable people once again.
The shockingly-misnamed Centre for Social Justice has launched what it calls a “Disability Commission” which it hopes will influence the Johnson government’s strategy for dealing with disabled people.
According to Disability News Service:
The commission appears set to focus on the role of business, employment and the free market, with CSJ calling on the government to use the disability strategy to “prove that only a market economy delivers sustainable social justice in a way that enables everyone to realise their potential”.
So it seems the plan is to throw people with disabilities into a free-market nightmare in which any skills they have will be ruthlessly exploited to make cash for the already extremely wealthy, while paying them as little as possible.
(Remember when Lord Freud suggested paying them as little as £2 per hour because they were “not worth the minimum wage”? That is what Tories think of the talents of people with disabilities.)
There appear to be a few names on this “commission” who have spoken out against Tory “reforms” in the past, but these seem to be token placements, intended to lend credibility to the project.
This can only be bad news for people on Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit and/or Employment and Support Allowance.
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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