A letter a day to number 10. No 1,042
Sunday 29 March 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
The Disability News Service (DNS) yesterday reported that a terminally ill woman “risked being charged with an ‘offence’ and would lose part of her benefits if she used an insurance policy windfall to pay for her own funeral”. What we have seen over the past five years of Tory misrule is the extraordinary lengths to which your government will go to interfere in peoples lives depriving us of autonomy and choice and imposing top down intrusive micro management of our lives. The Claimant Commitment Contract enforced under the threat of sanctions is a prime example of this.
Regarding the woman’s funeral arrangements a DWP spokeswoman said: “A decision-maker looks at each case on its own merits to decide whether any capital asset should be taken into account. These decisions carry a right of appeal”. Implicit in that statement is the lack of the application of any human discretion towards people managing their own affairs. Of course there needs to be measures in place to detect whether people are wilfully disposing of income in a way that “could be considered deprivation of capital” in order to exploit the benefit system and, indeed, such measures have always been in place. What we are now witnessing and experiencing is the blunt brutality of a DWP dictatorship that is devoid of any humanity.
The DWP stating that their decisions carry the right of appeal is about as helpful and welcome as a rat in a larder. That someone with a terminal illness might be forced to waste their last precious days on Earth battling with the DWP is an abomination!
But let’s move on to the leaked documents ‘prepared by civil servants at the request of Conservative Party officials’ seen by the BBC about proposed cuts to welfare. You and George Osborne have refused to give any details of what Osborne’s proposed £12 billion in welfare cuts, on top of the £20 billion already made, are likely to be. The BBC reports: “A spokeswoman for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “This is ill-informed and inaccurate speculation.” Maybe, but speculate we must because we are the ones who will be paying for these cuts with our lives. I have no sympathy for villains who are caught out behaving like victims and crying foul play.
The truth is that these cuts will cost lives and this is, as fellow blogger Mike Sivier of Vox Political powerfully put it, a Tory plan for a benefit system massacre through “chequebook euthanasia programmes”. As one of the people at risk of paying the ultimate price in this lottery of death I take extreme exception to the thought of having the means of survival further stripped away to the point where I am likely to be starving or freezing (or both) to death whilst waiting for the DWP to grant me the right to appeal the decision to kill me. These murderous policies must be exposed and challenged whilst I am still living as once I am dead I’ll be no good to man nor beast but I’ll not be shamed by you or anyone for the necessary paupers funeral. In fact the thought of such a state funeral is pleasingly farcical, a touché to the public’s very generous £3.6 million state funeral farce for Thatcher who was, as far as I know, neither disabled nor poor.
DWP ‘threatened to dock terminally-ill woman’s benefits’ if she paid for her own funeral