Thursday, January 26, 2017

What sort of a world do you want?

I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks.  Being alone gives you a lot of time to think without interruption, and while Tom has been away I have been thinking a lot.  One of the things I had been thinking about was how stupid it is that our government is subjecting the ill and disabled to assessments and denying them the benefits they need, and that this is costing more than it used to when we relied on doctors and medically qualified people to do it and were less punitive.  So many news stories have been published recently about people dying shortly after they were assessed as fit for work.

I live in a mainly Conservative area, and I can't understand it!  The people here are lovely, kind and warm, and it seems impossible that they should support a party which is forcing families and the sick and disabled into abject poverty.  So this morning I printed out and stapled together a poster I have pasted to the big window in my house.

What sort of world do you want to live in?
One in which disabled and sick people are cared for by all of us?
Or every man for himself?

This government and the previous government have been systematically dismantling the welfare state

They are now subjecting disabled people and terminally ill people to long assessments and interviews and 40-page forms, and their new system is actually costing MORE money than simply paying the disabled and sick and accepting some people may be frauds.  Many people who need benefits are being denied them.

People on benefits are "sanctioned" which means removing all financial support and the right to free prescriptions etc, in order to meet targets set by the profit-making companies now in charge of these things.  It isn't only the people on benefits who are suffering, many of the employees of these companies are under extreme stress.

More people than ever before are on the streets, or admitted to
hospital with malnutrition.  Use of food banks has grown dramatically.

Not only do sanctions cost more to administer than they save, (National Audit Office) which means we're paying more to starve families than we did to feed them,  if we closed the loopholes which allow corporations and rich individuals to avoid paying a fair share of tax, that would gain £37 billion - more than we need to offer social care and support the NHS.

If you  agree with this, please write to your MP, and consider whether you want to support these changes in our country.

Is this the world you want for the future?
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 
I believe that love requires us to act now.

I put a PS on the bottom to say that I am neither on benefits nor disabled, because I wanted people to understand that it wasn't my own self-interest which was driving me to take action, but a wish to help those who are being penalised by the crazily awful system we have in place.  Although there would be nothing wrong with someone who is on benefits or disabled writing such a thing, of course, they would be open to the accusation that they would feel that, wouldn't they?