Exemplifying the Tory government’s continuing attack on the working class are the new changes to the benefit system. No where are the effects of this seen more cruelly than in the lives of sick and disabled living in the U.K. Those with enduring mental health issues are being forced to prove and authenticate, not only the disabling effects of their particular conditions, but, also, that these conditions prohibit their employability.
For many people affected by severe mental distress, the introduction of Disability Living Allowance (D.L.A) provided the only means to engage with a society, where status and acceptability is often dictated by our bank balances. The eventual eradication of D.L.A, incapacity benefit etc, and the introduction of a universal benefit, means that many will not only lose money and dignity, but, also, that societal attitudes towards disability are changing, adversely.
Supported by the right wing propaganda of the press and media, we are being fed the lie that “benefit scroungers” i.e those too sick or disabled to work, are draining The State and thus, the pockets of rightful thinking, honourable tax payers. Not only is this creating a culture, where hate crimes against sick and disabled are increasing almost daily, but, it has perpetuated fear and stress amongst a populus which is already fearful and anxious.
Additionally, the assessment procedure for benefit claimants, by itself, is so degrading and stressful that many are subject to a deterioration in their health, even before a decision has reached about their entitlement to the benefit.
As a result of benefit changes people are becoming unwell and lives have been taken, rendering this, not only a political issue, but a moral one, too.