The DWP’s latest insult to disabled people is disgusting

The DWP logo and a man holding his head
Fréa Lockley

On 7 August, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) insulted millions of disabled people. It issued a tweet that totally ignored nine years of Conservative-led cruelty, benefit cuts, and a situation for disabled people in this country that’s so bad, the UN called it a “human catastrophe”.

 

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“Stop killing people and harming so many more!”

No matter what the DWP says, some disabled people simply can’t work. And the situation for those people is terrifying. They face constant assessments, humiliation and financial destitution from benefit cuts. Too many disabled people, meanwhile, are now dead as a result of DWP actions.

As The Canary has reported for some time, the government’s flawed and controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and ongoing welfare cuts have left thousands of disabled people in financial crisis. Tragically, others have died after being declared ‘fit for work‘. Government records show that, between 2011 and 2014 alone, 2,380 people died after being declared fit for work. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, the situation is so bad that Labour MP Debbie Abrahams has called for a full investigation into DWP-related deaths and asked that any evidence of wrongdoing be handed to the police.

So the DWP’s tweet, quite rightly, caused outrage:

Others, meanwhile, pointed to the shocking news of Victoria Smith’s death. Capita, one of the private outsourcing companies used by the DWP, stopped Smith’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP) despite medical evidence. She died weeks later. Capita has since tried to block a successful legal challenge from Smith’s mother.

“human catastrophe”

In 2017, the UN described the situation in the UK as a “human catastrophe” due to “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights under successive Conservative-led governments.

As a disabled rights group noted, the UN also established that:

  • 62% of people that the DWP sanctions live with mental health issues.
  • 10,600 people died after their benefit claims ended.
  • 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit-for-work’.
  • 590 people have taken their own life due, in part, to DWP fit-for-work tests.

Minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson quite rightly explained that there are “nearly seven million working age adults” in the UK who’re also disabled. And for some, the government’s Access to Work scheme may indeed be a huge help. But he completely ignored the brutal reality for those people under this Conservative government. Perhaps this should come as no surprise since his voting record shows he’s consistently voted to cut benefits for disabled people. Yet Tomlinson claimed that this scheme is life-changing:

The support worker budget awarded through Access to Work means Ross now makes a living, owns a home, goes on holidays and lives life on his own terms.

It’s not clear what reality Tomlinson lives in, but it’s certainly not the same one that most disabled people in the UK live in.

Featured image via pixabay and Wikimedia – UK Government

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  • Show Comments
    1. The Tory Government is skinning all Social Services and the NHS and Council Budgets because it has to Buy 310 Billion Pounds worth of US Treasury Bonds each year, to support American Debt. Thats 310 Billion Pounds thats Not making UK Ciotizen`s life better. They only spend 1 Billion on the NHS.

    2. The Tories turned to quacks and quackery to deny disability benefits, particularly PIP. A century ago people with some medical training who faked it as doctors were called quacks and their practise quackery, and now these quacks overrule the diagnoses of qualified doctors who said people had medical problems.

      They won’t let qualified doctors anywhere near this denial-of-benefits process, so it’s can’t be medicine.

    3. The DWP’s latest insult to disabled people is disgusting
      GOOD POINT-Commenter—–foghornleghorn
      /////
      If this waste of our public cash is going on now
      will it stop? when we leave E.U. or will this bill,
      go up to us U.K. taxpayer to pay for Tory Govt bills only on the C**p W/BILL made up by D.U.P. party plus Ms May C**p Minister that failed to deliver anything for us residents + voter in U.K. or Northern Ireland /Wales/Scotland as well.
      ///
      So, what will we all suffer under Tory rule now?
      If a new G.E. is not held in NOV 2019.
      I am asking all Tory party members here???
      //
      1- N.H.S. sold off to U.S. + China firms
      2- Then our N.H.S. not free to use (will need medical insurance)
      3- No more Northern powerhouse C**p
      4- Our total transport needs to link all area of U.K. going down the toilet.
      5- Our capability to police our water on fishing + terror attacks come from E.U.
      6- More and more child poverty plus people killing themselves over not getting the help they need plus getting the Tory Govt SCAM U-CREDIT payment they are entitled to.
      7- Tory Govt looking after the rich party funder for cash payments to party with new Tax breaks laws plus new changes to pension pots so they benefit ONLY.
      This is just 7 things going on now that will get out of hand.
      if Tory Govt keep in power voters.
      Therefore, I believe it time for a new Govt in Parliament WHO I here you ask well that is up to all U.K. voter Not me personally.
      ///
      Just so you understand me I am a free voter No party ties to any Govt party be them in power or out of power I vote to make changes on voting days any time in G.E. ,Byelection, Local are Cllr election (I also pay No fees to any party)
      I do also seek over member to help” out in election time up and down the country including Northern Ireland/ Wales/Scotland/ not just in U.K. area.

    4. I’ve been waiting since January 2019 to go to court as the dwp think they are aloud to withheld my pip and not even keeping me updated on a court date. I had a text in March saying we will message you by the 15th may 2019, and nothing else has happened. Despite me asking over and over again, my claim gos back to January 2017 and have been fighting over every step and for every penny, when will the dwp or government sort it out what about our human rights? I find it very funny that people in prison are better looked after than disabled people and our ex-servicemen and women saying its about the human rights so if you can give everything to the people that are in prison how rob steals drink/drugs drives murder and many other crimes because of human rights then why the hell does this country not give a crap about ex servicemen and women and disabled people sort it out dwp before you kill anymore people

    5. My message to the Government is this. Look around you and see what you have created. A population living in poverty, living in fear, looking towards a future with no job security, no home and no hope. You are now seeing the results. They are going to get worse, much worse.

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