I wrote the following just prior to the 2010 spending review – interesting, and depressing, to compare what was promised with what’s happened since and what’s going to happen.
I would draw your attention to the section on the loss of DLA, near the end – the ramifications of which extend well beyond just DLA.
Spending cuts are coming – are you worried?
October 13, 2010 by Ron
Before we – the chronically sick and disabled – get further shafted by next week’s spending review, let me remind you what Cameron said during his general election campaign:-
“We’ll keep the free television licence, we’ll keep the pension credit, we’ll keep the winter fuel allowance, we’ll keep the free bus pass. Those leaflets you have been getting from Labour, the letters you have been getting from Labour are pure and simple lies.” (my bold) Note, March 7 2012 – the WFP supplement, now removed, was never intended to be permanent.
He also said: “We will keep what we inherit in all of those important areas.”
That creaking noise you can hear? That’s the truth – under intolerable strain!
I think we’ll see who’s been lying, won’t we, as both he and his poodle, Clegg, have already reneged on a bunch of election promises.
Over the road, DWP Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, in a Commons statement, said that there would be:-
• No tightening of benefit conditions.
• No possibility that child benefit could be subsumed into his planned universal credit until at least after the four-year spending review.
• No target to drive 500,000 claimants off incapacity benefit**. Duncan Smith said the 500,000 figure was an estimate of “where we could and should be. They are not hard targets. It would be quite wrong to set targets.”
(Source: the Guardian, today.)
**Is it me, or is there the stink of mendacity about that statement.
No mention, you’ll notice, of DLA. But let’s look at that last point again – half a million IB claimants shouldn’t be getting the benefit – that’s what he’s saying. What he’s not saying is why, or that the target can be achieved, over time, through “natural wastage,” to borrow a phrase from industry. Or death, as it’s known in this context. And if it can’t be achieved that way (it could, but not quickly enough, I suspect), it can only be achieved through further persecution of the sick and disabled – removing benefits from those who have legitimately claimed them, and denying new, equally legitimate, claims.
But here’s a question – there are, inevitably, going to be many thousands of people who, by any measure, are too sick and/or disabled to work, yet forced out of the disability benefits system – so what do they live on, how do they pay their way? Are they to be cast out, onto the streets, with no income and no support?
IDS also fails to mention that IB claimants are being transferred to ESA, a benefit deliberately designed to be as hard as possible to claim.
As for “… the Work Programme,” that’s the sloppiest, steaming, heap of bovine ordure – because there are no sodding jobs! And even if there were, who would employ someone who had been unable to work for, maybe, decades, who had lost whatever skills they might once have had, and who would probably be hopelessly unreliable anyway? The overwhelming majority on IB are sick and disabled, and could not successfully work even if they were levered into a job by means of tax breaks and wage support – or employer bribes, as they’re known.
And what about DLA anyway? IDS, according to the Guardian some weeks ago, is on record as saying he is totally opposed to it, so I doubt there’s much hope there, especially as he’s sent on the creation of a universal benefit system. Just one tiny snag – when it comes to benefits, this idea that one size can possibly fit all is positively insane.
IDS says that failure to tackle to deficit “will dwarf everything we do”, insisting that reassessing incapacity benefit claimants and capping benefit handouts was “fair”.
Hands up all those who think that “fair” translates as “screwing with the lives of those least able to defend themselves.”
Bear in mind, too, that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is Lord Freud, who is none other than David Freud, the mendacious prick who, in a Telegraph interview a few years ago, claimed, among much else that wasn’t true, that the majority of IB claimants were frauds.
Another thought – abolishing DLA would kill off the Motability scheme, throwing the staff out of work. and the loss of the scheme would also put a serious dent in new car sales, particularly for Vauxhall, major suppliers to the scheme.
Being in receipt of DLA can result in extra income and benefits, from:-
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
(Source: DWP website.)
The loss of DLA would also see the loss of those fringe benefits
Personally, I could scrape by if I lost just my DLA – I could not survive, financially, the resulting shortfall in my Housing and Council Tax benefits, or Pension Credit. I mean that seriously – my outgoings, assuming I want to continue to indulge in luxuries, like food, and clothes, would actually exceed my income.
And I am not, by any means, alone in that.
Think about all that next time you wonder why you voted for that egregious waste of blood and organs, Nick Clegg. And remember that all these ferocious cuts and changes are being foisted upon the chronically sick and disabled by a Conservative prime minister with no mandate from the people, and could not happen at all without Clegg’s connivance.
When this country comes apart at the seams, dissolving into industrial and civil unrest (if not worse), and/or plunges into an even deeper recession as the effects of the lunatic level of cuts bite ever deeper, remember where the blame lies.
Had not Clegg been so bent on power at any cost, and his party so utterly, pathetically, gutless, the Three Stooges – Cameron, Osborne, and IDS – would just be a bad, unelected, joke.