From The Guardian Letters section: “It seems that these characters are more concerned with demonstrating good spirit, a stiff upper lip and carry-on attitude than creating jobs, security and wellbeing for the citizens of the UK. They have never truly grown up. Life is a game and the person who dies with the most wealth and power has won. It is going to be a long and difficult journey for the UK out of this mess. There is a need for a fundamental change of culture in UK politics.” – TheDanishVIking
Bed-bound MS sufferer has disability benefits halved ‘because he could touch his nose with his finger’
From iNews: After an assessor came to visit Paul, who has MS, over his claim for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), his mobility car was taken off him – which left him virtually housebound in a remote village with no public transport links.
From the Daily Mirror: The reality of life on Universal Credit has been laid bare by struggling families who say it “simply does not work”.
From the Daily Record: A seriously ill woman was refused benefits after DWP officials mixed up sensitive medical information with notes from a complete stranger.
Amy Rose Baddeley writes… “My son Ben is 14 & sufferers from cerebral palsy. He needs crucial treatment that unfortunately is NOT funded on the NHS due to [Tory] funding cuts, leaving us to pick up medical bills of between £1,000 & £2,000 every month.
“My husband & i are trying everything we can to fundraise, work overtime & find the funds to pay for Ben’s crucial treatment because without it his muscles & nerves can’t develop correctly as he grows leaving him in pain on a daily basis.
From the Daily Mirror: Amber Rudd has been busy dismissing concerns about poverty in the UK and the cruelty of the Universal Credit system. While she addressed the Commons as Work and Pensions Secretary for the first time, the Mirror gave some of her battling constituents the chance to speak up themselves.
From the Daily Mirror: Peter Gleave, 56, from Moston, Manchester spent most of his life working as a driving instructor. A type 1 diabetic he can’t work anymore because of ill-health. He relates how his benefits aren’t enough to live on and he often goes hungry.
Former trawlerman battling lung disease hits out at benefit bosses after being declared fit for work
From Eastern Daily Press: A Suffolk man has hit out at benefit bosses after being declared fit to work, despite battling COPD and severe back pain for nearly four decades.
David Macalpine, 62, moved to Lowestoft, Suffolk, from Coventry aged 17 to begin a fishing career as a trawlerman, but has not worked for more than 35 years after suffering a deformed disc in his back.
Yet the Department for Work and Pensions have declared him able to return to work.
Mr Macalpine said: “I am suffering with COPD and it is a long-term illness. The council recognise COPD as a disability but the DWP look at it differently which is just stupid.
“I have also been diagnosed with a muscular disorder because I have a deformed disc in my back since I was fishing and I have been told not to lift anything. I do push myself and just get on with it but I get severe back pain and shortness of breath and I am not fit to go back to work.
“I have got a sicknote from my doctor which lasts until the end of November. They are going against the doctors professional advice.”
From The Guardian: Neil MacVicar writes… “Just a couple of weeks after my brain surgery, still struggling with fatigue and other side effects, I went to the Jobcentre to apply for universal credit. I desperately needed some help, after everything I’d been through. But instead of a saving grace, I was faced with another ordeal as I had to sit in front of a computer for an exhausting six hours to fill in the painstakingly long application form. I couldn’t believe this was the process for people, like me, who had been forced to leave jobs they loved because of ill health and were just trying to get by. Worse still, because I registered at the Jobcentre in Scotland, when I did eventually move back to London, I couldn’t change my home and benefits to there.
“A further insult was that, because I was under 26, I wasn’t termed an adult, so I was entitled to even less. This was despite the fact that I left home at 19 and have been independent since then. The whole thing was humiliating.
“People on the Universal Credit helpline weren’t any better. They dismissed my problems and told me I should go back home to Scotland. I felt real pressure to do this, but there’s nothing really left for me there. I don’t know many people there any more, it would just be me, mum and dad – and I’m no longer allowed to drive, which is a real disadvantage in a rural place like Inverness. I love being independent but cancer stole that and universal credit made it even worse. I feel like I’ve been penalised for having cancer and I just want to get my life back. Universal Credit was the worst part. I could deal with the cancer and the treatment, but not Universal Credit.”
The problem with the UK is that people earning £1000 per hour have convinced people earning £12 per hour that people earning £7.83 per hour are the problem.
— Bryan Weir #UKFUBAR (@weirb) October 17, 2018
From the Daily Mirror: Lisa Bennett, 33, is from Sneydgreen in Stoke. She says: “I have to use a food bank because I just don’t have enough to live on.”
Young people like me don’t vote Tory for one reason:
The Tories introduced austerity to pay down UK debt. It's nearly tripled. They said we need to save money. The rich have doubled wealth.
We’re young, not stupid.
— Hasan Patel🌹 (@CorbynistaTeen) August 23, 2018
Since so many of you individuals and media outlets contacted me to comment on Boris Johnson referring to Muslim women as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes I have taken my time out to make this video. feel free to tweet the link of the video to him 😉
Posted by Umm Abdullah Official on Friday, August 10, 2018
“I am not a letterbox for your information, I am a human being. And I wear the veil.
“Boris, fair enough you have a bad hair day every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to take it out on us.
“I know the USA have produced something called the Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean that we need to compete with it.
“Many people wear the face veil for many reasons… cultural reasons, or their beliefs, or for hiding their identities. This is their own choice. That’s the beauty of having freedom.
“Britain, the country in which I was born and brought up, upholds values of tolerance and freedom. That’s freedom of speech, freedom to wear what you want, and freedom to choose a religion you want to practise.”
From Disability News Service: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has told a disabled woman whose benefit claims repeatedly went missing that thousands of other claimants have lost their applications in the same departmental black hole.
Vicky Pearson, from Lincolnshire, had to survive for nearly two weeks without food over Christmas and the new year, a distressing experience that she believes caused significant long-term damage to her health.
When she asked a DWP civil servant what she should do over Christmas, she was told to “rest a lot and drink a lot of water”.
From The Guardian: When Jill White, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she had three years of treatment, including operations and chemotherapy. It was a stressful enough experience to go through, but White, who is single and doesn’t drive, also faced a four-hour round trip, on a good day, to get to a hospital that was only 13 miles away, because buses from her village of Tatworth, Somerset only run on average every two hours.
“My appointments were often at 9am, so to get to Taunton hospital I would have to leave by 7am,” she says. “And then, even though I would be really tired after treatment, I faced another two-hour trip to get home again. Four hours was a good journey. It could have quite easily been a lot longer.”
White says the service used to be quite good. “When I first moved here 20 years ago, there was a bus every hour, evening, weekend and bank holiday – and they were reasonably punctual. Now they are often 30 minutes late, there are no buses on Sundays or bank holidays – and nothing after 6pm.” White’s situation is far from unique. A report last week by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) found that local authority funding for bus routes in England and Wales has been cut by 45% since 2010 and more than 3,000 routes reduced or scrapped. This prompted the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to raise the bus issue in parliament during last week’s prime minister’s questions, where he promised to “save” the bus industry and give all those aged under 26 free bus travel.
Woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily denied an NHS prescriptions for syringes – “due to cutbacks”
From The London Economic: A woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily has been denied an NHS prescription for syringes – ‘due to cutbacks.’ Charlotte Bonwick, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was told by her doctor that she cannot have a NHS script for hypodermic syringes any longer due to cutbacks – and she says they advised her to go to a needle exchange.
From Daily Mirror: A tearful man who arrived in Britain in 1958 has told how he was barred from attending his mum’s funeral in the UK. Junior Green’s story is one of a string of heartbreaking cases shared by the ‘Windrush generation’ today as pressure mounts on the government.
I had my benefits sanctioned because I was having seizures so missed a JSA appointment. I ended up in hospital twice that week. I sent lots of evidence of this. They’ve just sent me a letter saying they’ve refused my appeal because this isn’t a good reason to miss an appointment.
— Luke (@odekul) March 20, 2018
From Metro: Pippa Hammond’s epilepsy is so severe that someone has to wait in the room with her every time she has a shower, goes to the toilet or even blow dries her hair. Despite this, she has been denied any disability benefit under the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) scheme, with her application scored zero in every category.