So. There are two news stories that have grabbed my attention this morning. Two stories which need to be investigated and which need to be shared as widely as possible. Two stories which are indicative of the pain and suffering this Conservative Government is inflicting on the people of Britain. Two stories which make no sense.
The first is about a woman, a victim of domestic violence and rape, who has had a ‘panic room’ installed in her home, by her local police force, for her safety. Our government has decided, in it’s infinite wisdom that this room is an unused bedroom in her house and they have charged her ‘Bedroom Tax’ for it. This woman took her case to court and the court found in her favour. Our petty Government has decided to spend, what must be, thousands of pounds of tax-payers money appealing this judgement. It makes no sense.
And this is not the only story I have read recently about Bedroom Tax. Stories abound about how unfair it is or how cruelly it is being implemented and imposed. Disabled people who are being charged for rooms where they have to store necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hoists, ventilators and medication. These are not bedrooms, they are storage areas. Then there are the disabled people who have a bed in a room that is not used every night. It is a room that is used when that person has to have to have a carer stay overnight sometimes to keep them safe and out of hospital. Then there are the rooms that were used by a disabled person who has died or by someone who has had to go into permanent care. These people’s relatives are not being given time to grieve or adjust to what has happened before the draconian Bedroom Tax is imposed. How insensitive, how stupid, how uncaring can this Government’s policies be? It makes no sense.
The second story is about all the disabled people who have been been reassessed for their welfare benefits due to the change over from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). These are people who are severely disabled and who, under DLA, were awarded the highest level of payment for mobility. As a result they were able to access a specific charity, Motability, which allowed them to be able to lease a car and, if needs be, have adaptations made to that vehicle so they could use it or drive it themselves. A vital lifeline. Now, thanks to the reassessment many people have had to have, their mobility needs have, in the eyes of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), improved and downgraded so they have lost their vehicle. And we’re not talking about one or two people, no, the number we’re currently talking about is in excess of 14.000 people. 14,000 people whose medical condition has, miraculously, improved to a point where they no longer have sufficient mobility difficulties to warrant needing a car or adaptations. 14.000 people who may be using these cars to get to and from their place of work and who may now have to give up their jobs and claim unemployment benefits instead. Is this what the Government wants? They are forever reciting and repeating their mantra of ‘You can work your way out of poverty’ but how can disabled people do this if Government policies are meaning they can no longer get to the jobs they already have. As a disabled woman on the news last night said, the new benefit, PIP, is neither personal nor promoting independence. It makes no sense.
How is our government, our Tory government, getting away with wasting so much of our money? How are they getting away with it?
Challenging a legal ruling about Bedroom Tax such as the one about the woman with the panic room, installed for her safety, by the police, makes no sense. Imposing Bedroom Tax on disabled people for having a spare room which they us for their carers, makes no sense.
If disabled people need their vehicles so they can go out to work and contribute to the economy rather than claim welfare benefits and be an economic drain then reassessing them so they lose those vehicles makes no sense.
This Government needs to stop, and stop now, before they become a worldwide laughing stock. There should be no more wastage of the money that they purport to want to save on legal challenges and benefit changes that must cost more overall, than they keep in the country’s coffers. People are suffering. Our country is suffering. How much longer will it be before everyone at home and our trading partners abroad start to realise that everything that is now happening, everything this Government is doing, makes no sense.