Apr 042013
 

With austerity Armageddon about to hit, the Tories have been on a calculated and cynical media offensive that confirms just how nasty these millionaire scumbags really are.

Sadly the range of vile attacks on disabled people that Monday ushered in were no April Fool. Over the past few years of ConDem assault on our rights and entitlements we have suffered the notorious Work Capability Assessment, cruelly designed and brutally run by private company Atos with the aim of pushing disabled people off benefits and the income they need to survive. Disabled people found fit for work related activity have been pushed into workfare and then sanctioned when they have been unable meet the conditions of their placements. To add insult to injury the harassment and destitution of disabled people has been justified by a narrative repeated and enflamed with relish by the right wing media that paints benefit claimants as scroungers and has led to a rise in hostilities towards disabled people and an increase in disability hate crime.

Now a whole host of new benefit changes and cutbacks are about to hit including:

–          The bedroom tax (or ‘under-occupation penalty’)

–          The end of Council tax support

–          The benefit cap

–          The scrapping of Disability Living Allowance and reassessment for Personal Independence Payments

–          The introduction of Universal Credit

–          The closure of the Independent Living Fund

Meanwhile benefits have only been uprated by 1% which is far below the rate of inflation.

Meanwhile legal aid for welfare cases has ceased which will leave many claimants unable to access representation to appeal decisions.

Before this government came into power disabled people were twice as likely as non-disabled people to live in poverty. Discrimination and prejudice against disabled people was rife in every aspect of live from unequal access to healthcare to discrimination in the workplace to prevalence of abuse and all too frequent occurrences of disability related murders.

This is the group of people the Tories have taken on and deliberately targeted to bear the brunt of the cuts. By 2015 over just five years disabled people will have lost more than 28 billion pounds in welfare while the poorest 21% of the population are carrying 39% of the cuts. For disabled people with the highest level of support need they are being hit 19 times harder than the average person in this country. After the new range of cuts hit even more people will be left with 0 or even minus income, dependent on food banks they cannot get to, facing eviction from their homes.

All of this is far from fair or decent.

The Tories therefore have to make a special effort to justify what they are doing and over Easter weekend we have had to endure the most sickening display of Tories at their worst. The frontbench, and Esther McVey, have been paraded one by one through the media pulling out their usual range of dirty tricks but with an audacity that, despite all we have been through, is yet able to shock.

On Saturday Esther McVey, Minister for Disabled People, denied people are disabled. On Sunday Grant Schapps pulled out Employment and Support Allowance figures as evidence of the success of welfare reform, celebrating how few claimants had been found eligible for the full benefit while endlessly repeating the mantra that people are being freed from a life trapped on benefits (freed by being pushed to their deaths?). On Monday Iain Duncan Smith assured everyone he could live on £53 a week if he had to. Then today George Osbourne talked at low paid workers in an attempt to stir up hatred against benefit claimants (while at the same time his government is looking to reduce the minimum wage).

The lowest point came with the release of the Daily Mail’s front page for 3rd April which cites the conviction of benefit claimant Mick Philpott for the manslaughter of his children as proof that the welfare system in the UK is broken (‘Vileproduct of Welfare UK’). As if everyone who claims child benefit turns into a murderer. It’s also not just disabled people and unemployed people who claim benefits, an increasing number of low paid workers are reliant on benefits as rents and costs rise while wages are drive down by schemes like workfare.

The timing of the Philpott court case and judgment that led to this story breaking is no coincidence. We know that the government uses the right wing to its advantage feeding in misrepresented statistics on ESA and DLA, but to use the tragic deaths of six children at the hands of an abusive father to score political points is just truly nasty.

It also shows that the Tories are scared.

We cannot let them dominate the news with misrepresented figures and statistics, stirring up hatred against disabled people and division between workers and claimants.

We must fight back.

Evict a Millionnaire – 13th April 2013 www.ukuncut.org.uk

Benefit Justice Summit 2 – 11th May, Westminster Central Hall, 11am  benefitjustice@gmail.com

To make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission cite the demonisation and outright harrasment of benefit claimants as apparently taste and decency are not sufficient grounds for a complaint: http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/makingacomplaint.html

 

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  7 Responses to “The Nasty Party go on the Offensive Against Disabled People”

  1. “Margaret Thatcher the tax snatcher? Mystery of her £6m house with links to THREE tax havens”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-tax-snatcher-mystery-1828441

  2. Tony, you miss the point – this coalition government continues to mislead, by using incorrect information, blatant lying, or by scaremongering; their behaviour is not acceptable. Whatever Philpott has done in his life, surely the most important aspect of this tragic lifestyle is that 6 innocent kids died.
    Today, we hear that MPs can claim up to £3750 expenses to travel back from wherever they are in the World, to mourn the death of Thatcher. What another waste of public money; if you ask me, they should all have been provided with broomsticks!!

  3. complaining to the pcc is pointless unless you have virtually limitless resources to fight the press in court.

  4. These people not stop UNTILL we are dead and gone, I really hoe that they will never be in power ever again,
    I got the letter yesterday, saying I’m now on ESA and I’m in the work group to see if they can find me work and what suites me best, I have 10 separate illnesses and 4 , diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, C O P D and that’s just four of them, I take 30 pills a day plus 7 injections and 3 different inhalers, morphine patches, I really don’t know what they hope to achieve.

    These evil doers brought the poll tax in and they had to change their minds about that, this time there won’t be when the vote comes let’s chuck them out.
    Fat boy george even got caught using a disabled parking spot.
    They just hold us in the contempt they deserve.

    • I am disabled because of a work related injury sustained in October 1997. I used to work in a factory seven days a week up to 72 hours a week until my injury, I’m I a scrounger? I have lumber disk disease with multiple prolapsed disks and one disk has been worn away completely. I have Osteo Arthritis of the entire spine and both hips, which means I use crutches to get about; I also suffer other conditions each delivering their own individual ailments/symptoms.

      Because I was hardworking I find myself disabled and unable to bend, stretch, lift or turn without fear of severe pain or muscle spasm. I did what this government asks for but refuses to offer help when there are negative consequences.

      Because of certain conditions in my spine, signals to my Glutimus Maximus (backside) muscles have wasted away leaving little more than skin, which means sitting is very painful, consequently I spend 98% of my life horrisontal but like many others, today I received an appointment via ESA get back to work, how many jobs are there for people on Morphine who cannot sit or stand longer than ten minutes max?

      I’m on highest rate care component and when asked on the ESA form if I can pick up a pound coin off a table, said “no I cannot” yet supposedly I am suddenly fit for work, does anyone actually read these forms?

      I write this now living down in bed because I cannot sit at a computer, I wonder what job they think I can do?

      I hope everyone suffering as we do will try and rebell against these ridiculous attempts to stereotype us disabled people as demonic parasites trying to blead the country dry, we are only people suffering pain and hardship every day of our lives. My wife and children have suffered so much since my accident in 1997 through no fault of there’s, no holidays or dad to kick a football with etc. each of us have our story to tell because we are human beings just like everyone else, please treat us as such.

  5. Does this mean then, if generalisation is at work here. That all MP’s are actually corrupt,greedy,geriatric and out of touch,money grabbing,monetary parasites and therefore should be pilloried in public for all the blood on their hands.

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