Tag Archives: scoliosis

Tory treatment of this Down’s Syndrome teen shows their attitude to disability is as evil as ever

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.

Source: Disabled teen with Down’s syndrome made to attend Jobcentre assessment | Metro News

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Bedroom tax is not the way to cut the housing benefit bill

They've started: Vox Political has spent the last year warning the UK that the bedroom tax will lead to unfair evictions - now they are starting to happen.

They’ve started: Vox Political has spent the last year warning the UK that the bedroom tax will lead to unfair evictions – now they are starting to happen.

Before you all hit the ‘comment’ button to say the headline is stating the blindingly obvious – of course it is. But some of our public servants just don’t seem to get it!

Today we have learned about the first eviction directly caused by the bedroom tax making it impossible for a person to pay their rent.

Mother-of-two Lorraine Fraser, who has scoliosis, arthritis and is a wheelchair user, is being kicked out of her home by Labour-run North Lanarkshire Council, for failing to pay £248 in arrears.

The event will be considered a double victory by the Department for Work and Pensions. The eviction will be blamed on a council run by an opposing political party, even though it is being forced to push through changes imposed on it by the Conservative-led Westminster government (the majority of people will not see this). And it will remove another disabled person from the benefit books in a way that will not be blamed on the DWP (even though disabled people were supposed to be protected against the effects of the bedroom tax).

This is the sort of dishonesty that will go down in history as the Coalition government’s trademark.

It may also be the reason why grassroots members of the Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion to go before their party’s conference, demanding a review of the policy.

The motion states that most areas outside large cities do not have the diversity of social housing necessary to make moving into a smaller property, locally, a viable option. In the words of Lib Dem councillor Robert Brown, it is “damaging and unfair”.

It is.

It was always meant to be.

And it’s a little late for Liberal Democrats to be reconsidering their part in making it happen.

However, there are constructive arguments to be made. For example, the government has always said the aim is to get the housing benefit bill down. If that’s the case, then it should be encouraging people to get off it – and the best possibility for that lies with working people.

Indeed, government policy is to encourage working people to seek more hours of work, or higher pay, at every opportunity – and if they achieved these aims, it would be possible to wipe huge amounts of spending off the housing benefit bill.

But that isn’t happening. Instead, we have an environment in which top bosses pillage their companies, taking home 133 times as much as the average wage while their workers have to supplement the pittances they earn with taxpayer-funded benefits.

That isn’t right.

After all, the economy is said to be improving and – while that has nothing at all to do with any efforts of the Coalition government; George Osborne is a fool – every working person should benefit from the increased wealth that we are told is now available.

Perhaps it’s time to ask comedy prime minister David Cameron when he’s going to ‘encourage’ (he likes that word) business bosses to pass the benefits of their success down the line.

When Hell freezes over, perhaps?