• Michelle Partington

Supporting those who are most vulnerable.

So I’m currently lying in bed at Brize and I just felt compelled to write a blog on something I’ve been pondering since the latest budget was announced. George Osborne smiles through parts of his speech whilst those it affects sit at home in bits!!!!

So they are focusing disability allowance on supporting those who are most vulnerable. Am I the only one who can see that the ‘most vulnerable list’ is just going to grow. Part of my work with our charity has been looking at the mental health needs of those living on the streets. More focus will be on this in the future but those of you who have been reading my blogs will know that the most vulnerable are in that position because ‘the system’ put them there for the most part anyway.

Look at the homeless people next time your walking through town. Don’t turn your head away as you walk past ‘one of them’ in case they make eye contact and ask you for something. Really look at them, they are people and they have all come from somewhere. Some have fought for their country and left the service with nothing and nowhere to go. Some have drunk themselves into debt and lost everything. Some had everything and then lost it again for various reasons. Some through stupidity but for most it’s because they’ve lost someone or actually just been lost in the system. When they try to help themselves find somewhere to live or get a job noone will accept them because they don’t have an address. Some don’t carry ID anymore because it’s not safe to do so, or they’ve had everything taken from them and in some cases, they are so far down the line they have forgotten who they once were.

There are some genuine people who rely on those benefits to keep them going and they are just being shafted all the time. Two people took their own lives this year already due to financial constraints. You only have to look at the increased uptake at local foods banks over the last 12 months to see that the cracks are already there in the failing system. National debt figures will increase as people find any way they can to pay their bills. How can the government expect people already struggling with a disability of sorts to cope with further cuts. So, more pressure is put on the NHS to try to support those who need their help with physical needs. With funding cuts to NHS services also happening this will only stretch things further. What about the stress and strain it will put on the NHS when people start to become mentally ill due to the pressure of having to cope. Oh that’s right, funding and services have been cut already…. The rubber band will only stretch so far before its weakened that much it snaps. Maybe that’s the plan….

How can these polticians get away with playing with people’s lives, it’s absolutely appalling. I’m fully aware that there’s always a bigger picture but I really do feel that this time the bigger picture isn’t going to benefit the majority. We heard all over the news about Ian Duncan Smith resigning because of the cuts but what has he just spent the last few years doing? Cutting benefits that’s what!!! He must have voted for all the policies to go through and I’m sure him resigning has been manufactured to cover up the bigger picture. Watch this space.

Although I receive a medical pension I’m not receiving any other benefit. I work 2 days a week just to keep myself topped up. I don’t take any payments for the media appearances or talks but I do accept a small donation which goes direct to my charity. I’m blessed at the moment not to be in a position where the budget cuts directly affect me but it’s not to say they won’t impact me in the future. Many of my friends do rely on these payments however and I know how hard it has already been for them even without the most recent budget cuts. It is so mentally draining I’m sure. Some of the people who log in to our chat room struggle money wise and I can just see the number affected increasing as the noose tightens around their bank balance (if they even have one). How many people will it take to fall out of the system and onto the streets for anyone to notice. Or even worse, how many have to be in that much of a mess that they feel the only way out from living in constant fear of bills, they actually take their own lives. Because it has happened before and I have a feeling that number will increase. There was someone in the news only last week who died because he’d had his disability benefit taken from him and he couldn’t afford to live.

Decisions to cut PIP or change it has not been monitored properly and people who really need the benefits are having them cut. The assessment system is massively flawed. Don’t get me wrong some people buck the system but there is a majority out there reliant on that money and they are entitled to have it. A couple of weeks ago I was offered a job as an assessor and the role was to interview people to assess their entitlement to benefits. I’m a paramedic yet they wanted to pay me a ridiculous amount of money to carry out a job I really wasn’t qualified to do. Your playing with people’s lives and the system has no concept of that at all. Obviously I took the job…..noooooooo I didn’t honest!!!!

So George Osborne, ‘concentrating on those who are the most vulnerable’, that figure will rise rapidly thanks to your budget cuts and will only end up costing you more. Hope you sleep well in your bed tonight Tory government…


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