Posts Tagged ‘Motability Cars’

Vox Political: Man with No Arms to Lose Motability Car

August 5, 2016

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.

See Mike’s article at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/08/02/did-you-think-the-tories-had-given-up-cruelty-to-the-disabled/

So much for Theresa May leading a new, ‘caring’ Tory administration.

It’s Not Just the Disabled Who Lose Out When They Lose their Motability Cars

February 12, 2016

Last Thursday, Mike reported a story by the Beeb that 45 per cent of the benefit claimants, who moved from Disability Living Allowance to the Personal Independence Payments had lost their Motability cars. Motability has said that there will be a one-off payment of £2,000 so that some will get a vehicle. But Samuel Miller, one of Mike’s readers, also points out that this will also eventually be scrapped. Here’s the story: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/02/04/motability-cars-lost-by-45-of-dla-to-pip-claimants-benefits-and-work/.

This is another case of bad politics also making for bad economics. That so many disabled people should lose their mobility vehicles is not really a surprise. When this government talks about welfare reform, this always means finding a way to throw people off benefits. Of course, the talk is always about simplifying complex bureaucracy, providing ‘value for money’, and ‘concentrating help where it’s needed’, but the intention and end result is always the same. Get people off benefits anyway they can, and never mind what happens to them.

It also shows that the Personal Independence Payment is, for 45 per cent of people who’ve moved onto it from DLA, a misnomer. Clearly, some of their independence, which the payment is supposed to preserve and support, has been lost the moment their vehicles were taken away.

This is, of course, all part of the Conservative attitude which says that if you’re too poor to afford it, you shouldn’t have it. Even if you’re genuinely poor. But it’s also an attitude that impoverishes the people and businesses around the disabled. Consider this: motability cars, and other vehicles like it, such as mobility scooters, give the disabled independence. They’re able to get around more, and do more. And people, who are able to do more are able to spend more. This may not be very much. It may be just spending a few more extra pence, or a pound or so on a lottery ticket, newspaper or magazine down at the local newsagent, an extra packed of sweets or biscuits at the local corner shop. But it means that a bit more is being put into the economy, and local businesses in particular get a bit extra trade. And that benefits everyone. One of the hopes FDR had when he introduced the very limited unemployment safety net in America was that, if the unemployed were given more money, they’d also spend it and help the American economy as a whole come out of the Recession. And this is what other people have been saying since. It ain’t rocket science. I can remember thinking about it as a teenager when Thatcher was in power.

She’s gone, but her poisonous legacy remains. And it means that some disabled people are being denied their dignity, their independence, and society is being deprived of their ability to put back into the economy, to generate wealth.

All from the venomous hatred of the poor, who are automatically viewed as undeserving. Well, this crew of bandits are undeserving. Let’s kick them out before they do any more harm.