Mr Dunne, yesterday I was horrified to find this posted from a desperate woman to a group on facebook.
Hey guys. So a while back I came on here and said basically I wanted to end my life because the government had stopped my PIP and my carers allowance. I had got all things in place for my young daughter for when I left her with safe people who could afford to look after her properly. But then I got so many inbox’s and support saying to wait for my tribunal in court and that most people get it back if they are genuinely ill. So after 16 agonising months in which I’ve lost everything but my child so far my tribunal date arrived. It was Friday. They had strangely offered me a lower rate around 3 days before the court date in which I thought after this long I should go to court. It was horrendous. They were shouting questions at me I could barely answer, they treated me like I was a criminal. They told my carer she couldn’t speak for me until after even though I’d had to stop them and tell them I couldn’t understand much of what they were asking me or what I was saying as I had noise in my head. I cried, I was asked my another lady if I liked to be clean. They didn’t even take into consideration any of my physical problems they just wanted to know about the mental health problems but I tried to explain most of that is caused my the seizures and osteoporosis. They sent me a letter the next day saying they wasn’t allowing my appeal and that they wasn’t even offering me the standard rate I was originally on and that was offered 3 days before the hearing. I can’t do this anymore. There’s nowhere to go from here, there’s no help, there’s no justice, there’s no hope, no care. All there is left is fear how my child will cope for the first few months or so after I kill myself. I did hold on. I did try to fight them I almost froze to death in the 16 months wait for that court date. To the conservative government. You win, I lost.
I am aware many disabled people are finding the way these benefits are assessed inadequate and many have been left in desperate situations, some have taken their own life. I believe the UN found the governments treatment of disabled people in breach of their human rights.
The way Universal credit has been rolled out has been found to be equally damaging. The wait on initial change over putting vulnerable people, often in families with children, in debt which cannot be resolved. The sanctions, which punish the vulnerable, tipping them closer to the edge and despair.
WASPI women denied their rightful pensions. Their later years a struggle as they were unable to plan for the sudden change in their finances.
The rise in homelessness.
The appalling state of social care and the NHS since the policy changes made in 2012.
The rise in knife and violent crime.
The record amounts of SEN children without a school place.
The squeeze on school budgets that has meant some schools having to close early on a Friday, staff shortages, bigger class sizes.
The elderly waiting for their care packages to arrive, often dying before they receive them.
And that despite child poverty and malnutrition being on the rise, I see you voted that in future some children who would have previously been entitled to free school meals will start school and will be no longer eligible.
As a constituent I felt I needed to write to you to remind you of your responsibility towards ‘people’ not your party. I do not need a response from yourself, I just hope when you sit in parliament enjoying a subsidised meal you think of my letter, you think of the people your governments policies are crippling, you think of those visiting food banks and those unable to eat today, and those that consider suicide the only way out.
Regards Michelle Wilkes.