Friday, 11 September 2015

Dying isn't working

Today MPs voted overwhelmingly against changing the law to allow the terminally ill assistance to die.

Meanwhile, people who want government assistance on dying could try claiming illness and disability benefits through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

According to figures just released (that the government didn't want us to know) nearly 90 people die every month after being found fit to work, many of them within two weeks.

Between December 2011 and February 2014, almost 2,500 people died after their claim for long-term illness benefits was suddenly stopped after they were deemed fit enough to work. The new data didn’t provide the causes of the deaths. Many committed suicide. 

Over half of people deemed fit-to-work win on appeal; after the long and daunting appeals process, they are eventually assessed NOT fit to work. Many die waiting for their appeal to take place. The arduous, complicated appeals hearing has to be heard by a doctor and a judge, with some claimants needing legal representation. 

Learning disability charity, Mencap, said that the new figures showed that the fit-for-work tests were failing. Said their head of campaigns, Rossanna Trudgian, “Wrong decisions are disturbingly commonplace and the percentage is showing no sign of improving – causing fear and anxiety.”

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady said, “We need a welfare system that supports people to find decent jobs, not one that causes stress and ill health.”

Commented Guardian journalist, Frances Ryan, “Death has become a part of Britain’s benefits system. 

"That is not hyperbole but the reality that the stress caused by austerity has led us to. Shredding the safety net – a mix of sanctions, defective ‘fit for work’ tests, and outright cuts to multiple services – has meant that benefit claimants are dying; through suicide, starvation, and even being crushed by a refuse lorry when a 17-week benefit sanction forced a man to scavenge in a bin for food.”

Welcome to the first fully fledged Conservative-run Britain of the millennium. 

Related articles by Jon Danzig:


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→ Farewell welfare state? - please shareDYING ISN'T WORKINGToday MPs voted overwhelmingly against changing the law...
Posted by Jon Danzig on Friday, 11 September 2015

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