Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: Prabhakari on 14 May 2012 04:40AM

Title: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Prabhakari on 14 May 2012 04:40AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9263453/500000-to-lose-disability-benefit.html


We do not have a nice government.

With metta to all disabled people, Prabhakari.   >wheelchair<

edit to add the text - Sunshine

500,000 to lose disability benefit

Half a million people are set to lose disability benefits as the Government pushes ahead with plans to rid the system of abuse and fraud, Iain Duncan Smith says.

By Robert Winnett, Political Editor

10:00PM BST 13 May 2012

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary says that he is determined to introduce radical reforms to disability benefits which will see more than two million claimants reassessed in the next four years.

Iain Duncan Smith says that the number of claimants has risen by 30 percent in recent years “rising well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness, disability”. Losing a limb should not automatically entitle people to a pay-out, he suggests.

The cost of disability living allowance, which is intended to help people meet the extra costs of mobility and care associated with their conditions, now outstrips unemployment benefit and will soon be £13 billion annually.

Under the reform plans, the existing benefit will be replaced with a simpler “more focused” allowance and only those medically assessed to be in genuine need of support will continue to qualify.

An official impact assessment of the plans, released this month, reveals the scheme will cut benefit payments by £2.24 billion annually – and lead to about 500,000 fewer claimants.

The rigorous new process being introduced by Mr Duncan Smith could lead to those without limbs, including former soldiers, having their payments reduced as their everyday mobility is not undermined by their prosthetic limbs.

The Work and Pensions Secretary says: “It’s not like incapacity benefit, it’s not a statement of sickness. It is a gauge of your capability. In other words, do you need care, do you need support to get around. Those are the two things that are measured. Not, you have lost a limb...”

The reform of disability benefits will be the next major challenge in the Government’s welfare reform programme and is expected to lead to high-profile protests from disability campaigners.

Tony Blair was forced to abandon a plan to reduce disability benefits after people in wheelchairs chained themselves to the gates of Downing Street.

Mr Duncan Smith says that the current system has been exploited and abused because of political fear over reforming a benefit for the disabled.

His department will now replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (Pip) which will have tighter criteria and a simpler approval system.

“We are creating a new benefit, because the last benefit grew by something like 30 percent in the past few years,” he said. “It’s been rising well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness, disability or for that matter, general trends in society.

“A lot of that is down to the way the benefit was structured so that it was very loosely defined…Second thing was that in the assessment, lots of people weren’t actually seen. They didn’t get a health check or anything like that.

“Third problem was lifetime awards. Something like 70 per cent had lifetime awards, (which) meant that once they got it you never looked at them again. They were just allowed to fester.”

Ministers are currently consulting on the new eligibility criteria which will be announced in the autumn but they now appear keen to begin discussing publicly the need for reform.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to lose the benefits which are worth up to £120 a week. Others will have them cut while some of the most severely disabled Britons are expected to be awarded higher benefits. The mentally ill may also benefit from the changes.

Each of the two million people of working age claiming the benefit will have to see a medical expert and everyone will have been assessed by 2016. There are then expected to be regular reassessments. Currently, only about half of claimants have ever been medically assessed.

Mr Duncan Smith is also working on plans to encourage and help more disabled people to return to work. Many people wrongly believe that they will lose their disability benefits if returning to work, but they are not means tested. However, officials believe that other benefit bills may fall if more disabled people return to work once the new system is explained personally to them.

The changes only affect people of working age, not children and pensioners.

The planned assessments for disability benefits are similar to those underway for incapacity benefit. The Government is currently in the process of reassessing millions of incapacity benefit claimants and has judged that almost 80 percent are either fit for work immediately or in the future.

The level of potential abuse in the incapacity benefit system has shocked ministers, who now believe that many people are also being wrongly categorised as “disabled” by the benefits system.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said: “It’s like incapacity benefit, we’ve got to be careful because these are vulnerable people. There has been a lot of nonsense talked about it in the last few months, lots of letters asking about it. It’s now just beginning to seep in what we are doing. There are all sorts of scaremongering going on about how we are getting rid of it, slashing it, cutting it. The reality is that for the most part that’s not true.”

He added: “There is a big difference between what Tony Blair tried to do and what we are doing. Tony Blair’s government tried to attack DLA, just to restrict it. We’re not doing that. What we’re saying is we need to address DLA’s problems, to reform it. We are creating a new benefit, which we think will be better. We are actually reforming this process to improve it.”
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: seegee on 14 May 2012 08:14AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18054734
 
From the BBC - this is their report on what IDS told the Telegraph.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: myrtlemaid on 14 May 2012 09:06AM
Some of the comments there are very unkind and upsetting I have posted but I doubt itll make anyone think.. never mind it made me feel a bit as if id released som anger about many of the posts.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: devine63 on 14 May 2012 09:19AM
I've asked www.fullfact.org.uk to take a look at IDS's comments

regards, Deb
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: seegee on 14 May 2012 10:14AM
Thanks, Deb. 
I hope they make him swallow the "current system has been exploited and abused because of political fear..." "They didn't get a health chech or anything like that", "They were just allowed to fester" along with "...slashing it, cutting it. The reality is that for the most part that's not true."

If he actually told them people will be assessed by "medical experts", that's a simple lie.  >steam<
It would be true if all those with mental health problems were assessed by psychiatrists and all those with joint problems assessed by rheumatologists, while those with long-term mental illness and arthritis were assessed by both... but in fact most already have been, by people working within the NHS.  >erm<
What makes a midwife with a month's additional training better able to make an assessment than most people's own GPs is a mystery.  >whistle<
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: Ricardomeister on 14 May 2012 12:05PM
Thank goodness for copy and paste! Can copy my post from Digital Spy, where surprise surprise we have people waffling on about how amputees etc should get a job even though the discussion is about DLA!


Typical rhetoric which is short on fact and high on misrepresentation from a member of a government that is desperate to put the blame for the current mess on those who are least able to fight back. Decent people will not support such bullying.

It is again the sort of misrepresentative rhetoric that is fuelling the large increase in hostility towards the disabled and disability hate crimes.

IDS is wrong about the increase in claimant numbers as proven by the Spartacus Report. The cuts are against working age DLA claimants and the increase is 13%.

There are 2 million working age DLA claimants (ie the object of the cuts), so a 500,000 cut represents a 25% cut in claimant numbers....which is FIFTY times the official fraud rate.

I note also that IDS conveniently forgets to mention that official figures show that DLA is actually underpaid by £80 million pa more than it is overpaid.

As for lifetime awards, they do not exist (apart from, obviously, the terminally ill) . They were changed to indefinite awards a few years ago, where you could be called in at any time. In any case, DWP figures for both 2009 and 2010 (the only ones I have found) show that more than 3/4 of new claimants are awarded DLA on a fixed term basis.

It is a fallacy that DLA is somehow easy to get. Most claimants are turned down. At the moment, less than 30% of working age people with a disability get any form of DLA. This will drop to less than 22% after the brutal cuts.

PIP is an expensive waste of money...£675 million to create the test and anything from £300 million to £1 billion to run over 4 years....yet more money for old rope for the corporate welfare leeches. Given the tick box assessment, which will be run by a company such as Atos or the even worse Serco, I think it is safe to assume an increase in appeal costs as well.

Nobody is against looking at ways to reform DLA or even at making cuts. However, such draconian cuts would not be supported by anyone with any empathy or knowledge of how disability affects people, and the associated costs.

A survey from earlier this year for Prospect magazine actually showed that nearly 3 times as many people supported an increase in taxes to pay for increased support via DLA as supported lower taxes to pay for less support via DLA. Maybe that is why the government are being so economical with the truth over PIP and DLA.

Sadly it is no surprise that the government are refusing to say what advice they have received from local councils and the department of Health about the impact of these cuts. The DLA-PIP cuts will cost the taxpayer in lost tax receipts as people are forced to give up work and there will also be extra care costs and costs to the NHS. Not for the first time, the government is being both fiscally and morally irresponsible. 
     
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......
Post by: Sofie on 14 May 2012 12:21PM
Quote
As for lifetime awards, they do not exist (apart from, obviously, the terminally ill) .

If your death can be reasonably expected within 6 months, you get a 3 year award and are automatically entitled to HRC.
Title: Further analysis from Guardian writer
Post by: Prabhakari on 14 May 2012 04:51PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/14/disability-living-allowance-reform-analysis

adding the text - Sunshine.

DLA reform: coalition is exaggerating benefit fraud for its own benefit


Disability living allowance claimants have risen by 30% – but for more complex reasons than Iain Duncan Smith would have you believe

    Amelia Gentleman, Guardian staff byline
        Amelia Gentleman
        guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 May 2012 13.40 BST

Few people would argue with the government's desire to tackle benefit fraud. But more problematic is the persistent exaggeration of the scale of abuse within the system that accompanies any statement of reform.

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, set out the need to reform disability living allowance (DLA) in an interview in the Telegraph, pointing out that the number of people claiming it had risen by 30% in the past few years.

The cost of DLA, which is intended to help people meet the extra costs of disability-related care and mobility, will soon cost around £13bn a year – more than unemployment benefit, he told the paper.

"A lot of that is down to the way the benefit was structured so that it was very loosely defined," Duncan Smith said.

Justifying the decision to introduce a reformed system designed to cut benefit payments by £2.24bn by 2015/16, resulting in 500,000 fewer claimants, he said the current system was riddled with abuse and fraud.

From next year more than two million people would be made to undergo a face-to-face assessment, to gauge their eligibility for the replacement benefit, personal independence payments (PIP), he said.

Anyone not close to the issue would probably skim the article and link the 30% rise in the cost of the benefit with Duncan Smith's comments on fraud and abuse, and assume that a reformed assessment system will weed out those who should not be receiving the payments.

Anyone who claims the benefit has a different perspective. The response from disability campaigners and charities has been furious, with anger focused, firstly, on the suggestion that the 30% rise in cost reflects a huge rise in fraudulent claims and, secondly, on the idea that regular reassessments will lead to a fairer allocation of benefits.

On the first point, campaigners point out that Duncan Smith has deliberately neglected to talk about significant demographic and medical changes that help explain the rise in claimant numbers.

On the second point, they point to the ongoing chaos associated with the reassessment of all incapacity benefit claimants (the parallel out-of-work benefit). The work capability assessment, outsourced to Atos, a private healthcare organisation, has made it harder to qualify for the benefit, but the assessment process has been highly erratic, with thousands of patients with chronic, lifelong disabilities being wrongly found fit for work.

Around 40% of those who are found fit for work are currently appealing against the decision, and about 40% of cases which go to tribunal are overturned in the claimant's favour.

Why has the DLA bill grown so dramatically? Neil Coyle, director of policy and campaigns with Disability Rights UK, says the biggest area of growth is down to the ageing population –
people who have been granted DLA earlier in life can continue to claim when they pass pension age. Since this is a relatively new benefit, launched in 1992, the number of older people claiming it has ballooned, he says. There has also been a growth in younger claimants. "We have more disabled children surviving, which is a positive thing," he adds.

"What is disturbing is the suggestion that this is down to fraud and abuse. The DWP's own estimates put fraud at 0.5%. There isn't a 30% of abuse of DLA," he said.

"There has been a rise in verbal abuse of disabled people, which is inflamed by comments like these which suggest that people are on the fiddle, when actually they have a higher cost of living. The language used, and the assumption that there is a large level of fraud and abuse will inflame hostility towards disabled people."

Around one-third of disabled people already live in poverty, because of the higher cost of living associated with disability. With councils also making cuts to the amount they spend on supporting disabled people, Coyle warns that the savings-driven reform of DLA is likely to cause real hardship.

DLA is not an out-of-work benefit, and many people use the money to help subsidise the extra costs of getting to work. Disability Rights UK estimates that at least 25,000 people could be forced to give up their work as a result of the drive to restrict payments, pushing up unemployment payments.

A DWP spokesperson said: "DLA is an outdated benefit with £630m of overpayments and the vast majority of people getting the benefit for life without systematic checks to see if their condition has changed. We are replacing DLA with personal independence payment (PIP) and introducing a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews – something missing under the current system."

Campaigners have pointed out that in fact many people already undergo repeated checks of their eligibility for the award, and it is only those who are deemed to have a lifetime condition who are exempt from these checks. The ongoing reassessment of claimants' eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA, the replacement for incapacity benefit) has seen people with permanent, degenerative conditions such as, for example, blindness, called back annually for their condition to be checked.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, which supports disabled people and their families, said the highly flawed nature of the current reassessment process for claimants' eligibility to ESA gave legitimate cause for alarm about the prospect of a new drive to reassess two million people to determine whether they should receive PIP. If the new assessments were anything like the current one, the process could result in hundreds of thousands of people being wrongly assessed, he warned.

The government is due to announce before the end of this month whether Atos will be given part of the contract for the new PIP assessments, which has a net value of between £300m and £1bn.

Reform, said Hawkes, should be driven by genuinely wanting to ensure that the right people get the right benefits, rather than in response to a sense of outrage that the bill has grown by 30%.

"It doesn't help the levels of fear and anxiety that lots of disabled people and their families have at the moment, as a result of the cumulative impact of the cuts," he said.

"We are in daily contact with people who fear that the gains made over the past 20 to 30 years risk being thrown away. People are worried that we are not going to continue to support disabled people living independently in the community."

    © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.





edit - I am going to merge this post into the more active thread - Sunshine
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: devine63 on 14 May 2012 06:08PM

Hi
see
http://fullfact.org/suggest   for suggestions from me and at least two others (one goes to some length!)

they have responded to my suggestion by saying they have a fact check about his claims coming up - so hopefully that should be out by tomorrow

regards, Deb
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: lankou on 14 May 2012 06:49PM

Hi
see
http://fullfact.org/suggest   for suggestions from me and at least two others (one goes to some length!)

they have responded to my suggestion by saying they have a fact check about his claims coming up - so hopefully that should be out by tomorrow

regards, Deb


Tis out now:- http://fullfact.org/factchecks/DLA_growth_Iain_Duncan_Smith_Telegraph-27217
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: devine63 on 14 May 2012 09:50PM
Fullfact's conclusion:

"Iain Duncan Smith can point to evidence to support both of the claims he makes about the current operation of the Disability Living Allowance, however the significance of each is hotly contested.

While there has been a 30 per cent growth in the raw number of claimants, this is significantly lower once demographic changes are accounted for, and the discrepancies in the relative growth rates of various conditions suggest the link to wider societal trends might be more complex than the Secretary of State acknowledges.

Similarly, while it is true that over 70 per cent of DLA claimants are on indefinite awards, it isn't necessarily true that these people are 'never looked at again".

But I'm rather disappointed that they have not commented at all on the representation of the 500,000 DLA claimants who will not get PIP as frauds.
regards, Deb



Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: hossylass on 14 May 2012 10:45PM
They admitted it was 16% at some point during last years riots.

Another good day to hide the truth, when the truth is not as good as the previous lies you told.

IDS - benefit scrounging scum and a lying bastard.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Jockice on 15 May 2012 07:16AM
You're being too nice about him Hossy.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Jockice on 15 May 2012 09:37AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9264729/Benefits-the-disabled-and-deserving.html#disqus_thread


I think this guy was on Newsnight a few weeks ago and came across as an utter bellend. But this is actually vaguely fair, at least as far as DLA is concerned.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Prabhakari on 15 May 2012 10:34AM
We are just an econonic, useless drain on resources.
So, the fewer of us there are, the better for the rest who are not sick and disabled.

This is the logic behind P.I.P.

If we all vanished, our dept problem would be lessened, and everyone who is not sick and disabled would be able to breathe a sigh of relief and get on with having a 'good time'.

Look out for me, in a wheelchair, with a box of matches round my neck.

We can gaze in the windows of bakery shops, looking and hoping for a stale crust of bread to keep us alive.


Scenario: ten years from now.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 15 May 2012 03:14PM
I am not exaggerating when I say that for a long time (two or three years) I have been carefully watching the local beggars and street sellers.  I know where the good begging spots are and when they are or aren't occupied.  I know which ones are occupied by people who move on when someone else gets there first and which ones are occupied by people in a little group.  I know some of the local tricks of the trade.  (I don't mean cheating.)

For example, there's a local woman who carries a handful of lighters and asks people to buy one.  I observe you can buy 5-6 for a pound but if someone's out for the night, they may well pay a pound or more when they find they haven't got a light.  She sells secondhand bus tickets.  (Round here you can buy an all-day or all-evening ticket.)

Some have blankets and curl up.  I thought you don't get much money but then I went online and researched it.  You can get quite a lot.  Last year, I was selling poppies and I noticed which places attract the most generous givers.  Stand outside Poundland for people to give you pound coins not pennies.  Pick a middle-class supermarket for more generous offerings.

Big Issue sellers can make quite a bit of money but round here, as in some other places, it's dominated by a Romanian cartel.  Others can sell, but you have to move on when the regulars turn up.  If you can only afford to buy a few Big Issues (instead of getting them in bulk via the cartel) they get tatty, so you need a decent see-through cover for them.  I know what I'd sell instead, though - the local community magazine. 

If you sell something (like the lighters) you can register as self-employed and get tax credits so long as you average at least 16 hours a week, but that includes preparation time, marketing time and doing your accounts.  So I could clock up the hours when manic and not worry about not doing much in other weeks.  Once you're set up as self-employed, you can get housing benefit.  There's no minimum wage for self-employed so it doesn't matter if you only sell one lighter an hour, you can still get WTC.

I'm still exploring whether if Dad paid me for caring for him, I could do it on a self-employed basis and claim WTCs.

Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 15 May 2012 03:42PM
I forgot to mention that if I lose my benefits and go begging, I shall shamelessly target TA and army recruitment centres and beg outside wearing my medal and beret.  OK, it's tacky, but if that's what it takes to stay alive, I'll do it.  Say a specialist army base where civvy professionals do their TA training.  They'll be on anything up to £100,000 in civvy life (which gives you an idea what sort of jobs they're in) so let's say twenty of them give a couple of quid each, that's £40.  Give them something in exchange - a nice picture of poppies or something - and it becomes a business (selling pictures), so the income can be topped up with WTCs, housing benefit etc.  You could say it's not genuinely selling something, but then I bet a lot of people who take Big Issues don't actually read the magazine, they just buy it to give money.  I could do a different picture every week, maybe sometimes military cartoons or something.

Don't take me wrong, but if the Romanians can do it, so can I.  Having advised at the CAB, I know what's legal that way so I know how to stay on the right side of the law.

 
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 15 May 2012 04:56PM
Jockice,

I read the artcle you linked to and its a bit worrying really because IDS spouting of like he did is more likely to help us over time because people will start to realise the sick and disabled are being used as scapegoats.

One thing I don't get is why the Con Dems are using this benefit scroungers fraudsters rhetoric when they could actually talk about the way changes in society and medicine mean some people who were too to work can now work, but then of course the Con dems methods are pushing society back towards a Dickension viewpoint and stress and abuse is making disabled people who might work to sick to work.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: lankou on 15 May 2012 05:09PM
Jockice,

I read the artcle you linked to and its a bit worrying really because IDS spouting of like he did is more likely to help us over time because people will start to realise the sick and disabled are being used as scapegoats.



The Wrightstuff was VERY much in our favour this morning. It is the tone of IDS comments that is grating with people.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Prabhakari on 15 May 2012 05:20PM
The Daily Telegraph is reliable in one regard. They print the nastiest comments I have seen anywhere.
The Daily Mail is not quite as bad, although it always gets a few, usually from totally ignorant people.

Why does the B.B.C. allow such a short time to comment on the stories they do allow comments?
I think that they will only write about benefit changes after they have become law, and when it is too late to do anything about it.

Not well just now, so may not be making sense.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sofie on 15 May 2012 05:27PM
If you sell something (like the lighters) you can register as self-employed and get tax credits so long as you average at least 16 hours a week, but that includes preparation time, marketing time and doing your accounts.  So I could clock up the hours when manic and not worry about not doing much in other weeks.  Once you're set up as self-employed, you can get housing benefit.  There's no minimum wage for self-employed so it doesn't matter if you only sell one lighter an hour, you can still get WTC.

I've heard they're cracking on this. Which makes no sense - like you've implied, a self employed person isn't getting paid for every working hour they do. Whereas if you employ someone, you've got to pay the minimum wage for each hour they do.

Quote
I'm still exploring whether if Dad paid me for caring for him, I could do it on a self-employed basis and claim WTCs.

Will this then solve the issue you have with carers allowance? It was something about the 35 hour rule.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 15 May 2012 05:50PM
"One thing I don't get is why the Con Dems are using this benefit scroungers fraudsters rhetoric when they could actually talk about the way changes in society and medicine mean some people who were too to work can now work,"

Because it's not just about saving money.

I'm trying to remember a bit in 1984 about hating.  It was something like a one minute national daily hate. 

Anyway, the emotion thing's important.

Take your typical voter.  He's probably not young (old people are more likely to vote), he's not terribly cynical (or he would have given up voting), he's probably not severely disabled (although postal voting is changing this) etc. 

Then out of these, they need to disregard those who'll vote Tory until the cows come home regardless of whether they stick to traditional Tory policies or not.

That leaves the floating voters and voters for rival parties.  The floating voters need to be placated but often only as the election approaches.  Voters for rival parties need to be wooed.

A lot of those will be people who are, or have been, reasonably well off.  Like a lot of people who are in this position, they like to think that they are because they have worked very hard.  No one wants to  think they don't deserve to be where they are and thinking it's pure chance isn't as nice as thinking you deserve it.

But these people can easily turn on a government if they think they aren't getting what they've earned and deserved.

Now they're seeing the bankers and people running certain companies getting very, very rich and they're comparing themselves with them.  Their own situation seems less and less attractive.

So how do you change their mind?

You distract them, you frighten them and you make them angry with others, not with the rich people they think they should be themselves.

You tell them that the poor people and disabled people and unemployed people are taking what is theirs.  You direct their anger towards those people.  You also stir an unease that they could end up like that so you direct their energies towards maintaining their current status.

You justify the increasing wealth differentials by saying the country is in crisis and 'we're all in it together' but then you tell them that we're not all in it together, the people on benefits aren't, they're getting an unfair deal.

Compare with 1930's Germany.  Hitler may or may not have had a personal grudge against Jews, but look at the way they were used (long before the Final Solution was thought up).  It was convenient to blame them for making money at other people's expense.  It was convenient to make everyone else feel included and united by singling them out as different.  The Nazi regime was in no way unique in this.  It's a technique that's been used around the world.

People who can be singled out morally for communal outrage are useful for getting people to conform to a moral code and people who can be singled out socially can be useful for getting people to conform to a social code.

Also, it is a lot easier to direct someone's anger at someone he perceives to be different when he sees him.

Take your stereotypical potential Tory supporter.  He may be a professional, he may work in an office or a trade.  There's a very good chance he wears a suit and tie and if he doesn't, he probably wears some sort of uniform, often self-imposed.  So very rich people don't actually look very different except that their suits are bespoke.  But the person with no job often comes from a different social group, dressing differently, behaving differently, speaking differently.  Nice, easy targets. 

What's more, they're next door.  You  bought your council house and you have a mortgage you struggle to afford and you're finding you have to pay for major repairs and redecoration and the council house tenant next door doesn't. 

It's a lot easier to resent that than the man in the mansion you never see.  If they are in a mansion, you only know about it because the papers tell you.  They tell you about the one immigrant on benefits who's in a mansion (if there were loads, they wouldn't always tell you about the same one), but they don't bombard you with pictures of people in scruffy social housing or Rachman housing with mould and a boiler that doesn't work and a broken toilet cistern.

It also helps if they look different.  Take certain tabloids and Muslims.  There's no point in simply attacking Asians because a lot of Muslims are Africans but a lot of Black people are Christian and a lot of Asians are Hindu/Sikh/Christian/Buddhist etc.

But one group makes a lovely, lovely target.  Women in Burkhas.  There's also niqab, but best not to make the distinction, just have one word and hammer it home.  Link the idea with extremism and you're home and dry.  Personally I loathe it when women cover their faces, but there's a difference from disliking something someone does out of choice and disliking the person.  A clever hate-monger conflates the two.

Maybe I'd better pause for breath there.



Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 15 May 2012 05:53PM
"Will this then solve the issue you have with carers allowance? It was something about the 35 hour rule." (Sophie)

Yes, because I wouldn't be claiming carers allowance, I'd be working as self-employed and claiming tax credits.

Random musings...

Did anyone know that after the Boer War a law was brought in that made it illegal to display one's war injuries for the purposes of obtaining money?  So far as I know, it hasn't been repealed.  I must look at the wording of it and see whether it is just war wounds that are covered or all physical impairments.
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: seegee on 15 May 2012 06:34PM
I don't feel very comfortable with people covering their faces either, SC; because I rely largely on the way someone looks to judge if they may be friendly/ shy/ angry/ scared so I wouldn't know how to interact with them or even whether to give a wide berth to a very cross person - but the discomfort is mine and if I do want to/ have to interact with them it must be up to me to act reasonably and try not to behave oddly because I feel less than at ease.  Not always easy to do when I can't see a face.  >blush<

I do find it very odd when a woman covers all of herself (even eyes with a thin veil so she can see) but wears lots of flashy jewellery outside her gloves and other clothes, though - seems a bit like saying, "You can't see me but you can see I'm rich"... does that not rather defeat the point of dressing so that others can't judge you by your appearance, or is that no part of the reason for covering up?
Title: Re: The attack on us continues.......500,000 to lose disability benefit
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 15 May 2012 07:20PM
Yes, the jewellery thing puzzles me, too, but it seems to be a minority thing.  There used to be a woman in a shop I went into regularly who covered her head and body yet wore very obvious make-up.  That always puzzled me.  Why cover your body then advertise yourself physically?  But then different cultures see things differently and people aren't always logical in what they do.  I'm certainly not. 

But the visible thing is terribly useful with disability.  It can be twisted in all sorts of ways so you can't 'win' whether you hide your disability or flaunt it or just carry on as normal.

I was talking with two neighbours about benefits recently.  One was stressed but I think he gets JSA not ESA and he made it clear he just doesn't think he can work right now but he's keeping an eye open for something suitable.  The other is a parent with shared custody who's on income support because although his child isn't small, he'd disabled so his parent gets benefits for looking after him.  The parent was chilled.  It made me realise how panicky I've become. 

But the discrimination locally is appalling.  I think the biggest mover and shaker in the area has an issue over mental illness in particular, probably from the job she was in before she retired.  I think that when I speak out, some people are shocked.

I'm getting pretty up-front about my disabled status.  Nowadays when I sit on the bus, I always hold my orange pass in my hand.  Only when everyone is on board do I turn it round with the orange stripe hidden.  If I'm standing up, I carry it not put it away so when, as often happens, I fall on top of other passengers, it diffuses the aggression.  Quite bluntly, if they get stroppy, I can drop it and anguishedly ask them to pick up 'my disabled bus pass' because 'I need it to get a disabled priority seat'.  Very occasionally, someone offers me a seat, and I don't turn it down, but I don't demand one because I'm too chicken.