Mike put up this story on the 2nd, and I’ve only just now got around to covering it. And it needs to be covered, because it shows the Tories’ attitude to the disabled. Richard Brookes, a man with no arms, who relies on a wheelchair and his motability car to move around, has been told by the DWP that he will lose the car. Because they’ve assessed him as able to walk up to 50 m with ‘walking aids’. His wife, Sarah, is understandably furious, and asks the obvious question how her husband could walk with aids, when he has no arms. She is particularly bitter because her husband used to work for the DWP until last May. This is another person, who has worked all their lives, and now found themselves penalised by an intolerant and punitive system, that punishes the poor and disabled simply for being poor and disabled.
Mike in his comments says that it reminds him of the other times various stupid DWP officials have asked those, who have lost their limbs, how long they believed it would be before they grew back. Mike also makes the point that the comments section on Mrs Brookes’ Facebook page where she vented her feelings about this judgement against her husband was full of comments, ranting on about how it was all the fault of ‘benefit scroungers’ committing fraud, and that was why penalties like this were being inflicted.
It isn’t. As Mike points out, the amount of fraud committed is negligible – about 0.4%, or one in 250 people. But the impression of massive fraud has been enthusiastically promoted by the Tories and the right-wing press, as it gives them a pretext for cutting benefits. Mike points out that the Tories are keen to put more obstacles in the way of claimants, so that they either go away or die before their claim is completed. And the only thing that has changed is that benefits have been cut even more.
So much for Theresa May leading a new, ‘caring’ Tory administration.