I was flicking through the news articles and came across the headline
Nearly 14,000 disabled people have mobility cars taken away! From BBC News Online
I had to double-check to see if it was an up to date article, because this has been going on since our beloved Conservative Government scrapped Disability Living Allowance! They had wanted to make changes to the benefit but that proved too problematic and so they brought out a new benefit called ‘Personal Independence Payment’ or PiP for short. They claimed it better served disabled people, but we knew it was just a way to make the changes and squeeze people who are already suffering, even harder. The joke is that this PiP takes away disabled people’s independence.
I like many other people had an indefinite award for DLA, but that wouldn’t matter. Everyone on DLA or applying would now need to reapply for PiP and it would be carried out by the same people who were screwing up the ESA assessments and costing lives.
So what was new?
Well first off there was only two levels of award for care instead of three, but the problems were caused by the change to the distance people can walk before getting the higher mobility award. It used to be 50 metres with DLA but with PiP this changed to 20 Metres. Well that and the unfair assessment process that has meant people who genuinely qualify for the benefit were not given enough points. However people still qualifying received letter saying they had failed to qualify.
So now were getting there. If you are awarded the higher award for Mobility, you can use that money to get a car on the Motability scheme. You may remember back years ago, there were the blue three-wheeled disabled cars that would speed across town (they were quick), these eventually were scrapped as they were deemed to be unsafe and the Motability scheme was launched. Your high rate mobility component can be used to get you a car, insurance, you don’t pay road tax and all you do is put petrol (or diesel) in.
These cars have been a lifeline for many thousands of disabled people, but now with the change of rules and the disgusting assessments that are somehow finding people who are genuinely disabled as not entitled, people are losing their cars and their freedom. The car is taken away the next day after being notified you haven’t qualified in some cases!
So what is the problem? Some people might ask, there’s public transport!
Okay, 20 metres or just over 65.5 feet, where is your nearest bus stop and how far is that?
How far is the destination from the bus stop at the other end?
I can guarantee that 99 times out of a hundred it will be a lot more than 20 metres! Also take into account hot weather, cold weather, wet weather, icy conditions etc and you now have a housebound person who previously was quite independent.
I fully understand the need to have assessments, there are people out there who claim for benefits and get them despite not being entitled. However in 2014 Tthe official figure for fraud was 0.7% and yet the general public were led to believe it was 34 times higher (23%). It is this that allowed the government to bring in PiP and scrap DLA without the public jumping to defend disabled people and this was two years after the London Paralympic games where disabled people started to feel like the public were more supportive than ever!
Today Tony Blair urged people to rise up against Brexit, I want to know why Labour didn’t rise up and stop DLA being scrapped by our cold and heartless Conservative government who only care about making them and their chums even richer!