If you thought Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ was bad – read this
TruePublica Editor: Recently, TruePublica reported that 166,000 people are currently trapped in debt for their social care, and 1,178 people have faced court action over arrears and that 78,000 care users have had debt management procedures forced upon them by their local authority. We also reported after a High Court ruling that Tory disability assessment rules were “blatantly discriminatory”, with up to 220,000 people getting extra money backdated to 2016. However, payments have now been delayed until late summer – for reasons we can’t fathom. As hostile environment’s go, being poor is definately up there.
Whilst the state continues to batter the poor and vulnerable, more dispiriting numbers only demonstrate that Britain is now entering some sort modern-day Dickensian era as we also know that 772,000 people are now surviving through food banks each and every week as one in every 8 people go hungry, with 1.3 million 3-day emergency packs going out to keep people just above the water line each year. You would think this was a rationed post-war Britain in the 1940s we were reporting on. Sadly, that is not the case.
You would also think it would be hard to top stories like that in the sixth wealthiest nation on the planet. But no, the latest piece of news from the front line of the battle against Britain’s most defenceless is this ghastly and utterly depressing piece that pained me to publish.
From Welfare Weekly: The mother of two children who were stabbed to death by her husband says she fears being made homeless after callous benefit bosses stopped her disability benefits – despite knowing about the severe trauma she had experienced and how it has severely affected her mental health.
June Martin, who has been diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression, was deemed by the Department for Work and Pensions as being ineligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), following an assessment by Independent Assessment Service – formerly known as Atos Healthcare.
An independent tribunal later upheld the decision. A spokesperson explained: “Whilst the tribunal accepts Ms Martin has mental health problems and balance problems, the nature and extent of the resulting limitations are insufficient to score the required number of points.
I don’t know what you think, but in my humble opinion, I think it would be a pretty normal human response to suffer from PTSD after having both her children murdered. The onset of depression is, to be fair, understandable. The response by a responsible government department is far from normal, inhumane in fact, and is definitely not understandable.
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According to the powers that be today, having your two children stabbed to death didn’t quite score enough points in Britain to be awarded a few quid to get on with the tremendous stress that such an event would cause. Perhaps a few aunts and uncles might have swung it, maybe a sibling or two – who knows.
To some extent, you could imagine that Ms Martin is using the event to pull the wool over official’s eyes to keep state cash rolling in. The obvious way to combat that would be the use of highly trained official’s who have at their disposal a ‘tool-box’ of clinically accepted methodologies to ascertain the correct way forward. But no.
The assessment was particularly bizarre. Ms Martin said that the assessor only “wanted to know if I could spell ‘world’ backwards and hold my arms above my head”, she told the Sunday Post.
Ms Martin had been in receipt of £55.10 a week in disability benefits prior to being reassessed for PIP.
“Neither the assessor or the tribunal last week seemed to want to know about the trauma I suffer daily,” she said.
“I’ve battled so very hard to try and go on, but I’ve had to accept I’ll never get over finding my babies murdered, their blood on the walls and over their toys and teddy bears.
“My disabilities are invisible. They cannot be tested by spelling a word backwards or holding my arms above my head.”
She now fears losing her flat “because I can’t keep up the £35 a week I have to find to make up the difference to housing benefit”.
Perhaps government officials should get their priorities right. We are spending billions on foreign aid, very often on highly dubious causes, failed vanity infrastructure projects like HS2, a department for culture media and sports – and yet we can’t prioritise what is ethically and morally important for our own.
It makes no difference if Ms Martin is a professional barnacle to the welfare state or a genuine individual suffering from a crisis that is the stuff of nightmares, you’d have to be psychologically impaired to even consider throwing her out of her home given the circumstances and have no right to be presiding over such matters.