From Jan over at Glasgow Against Atos, though it could have been from thousands of you all over the UK with exactly the same story:
IN ALL YOUR DECADENCE, PEOPLE DIE !!
I never imagined that when my husband became too sick to work he would be treated as an enemy of the state, I never thought when my daughters grew up and moved away from home that I might face eviction and homelessness, I didn’t expect the unemployed would be resented by the working/striving members of their community for having their curtains closed after 8 am and when I became angry about the treatment of the poorest, most vunerable people in society and decided to protest I never dreamed I would be arrested for dressing in a costume and having a toy gun from the pound shop. This is not some crazed right wing nightmare, you won’t wake up and everythings alright, it has already happened.
This is an attack, a deadly attack on the poor, I hear ordinary people say “oh well we need to have cuts because we have so much debt” when it was obiviously the banks that gambled billions of pounds they didn’t even have on their books that are responsible, and as the city of london is the most unregulated banking sector in the world and billions are stolen every day from fraud, not to mention billions lost on tax evasion, why are ordinary people accepting responsibility!
I have been through a year of hell and worry due to atos notorious work capability test, I care for my husband, he has profound mental illness and was diagnosed with advanced heart disease aged 35, after two heart attacks/surgery and worsening mental health which has confined him to home for the past four years a general nurse employed by ATOS decided by looking at the answers on a form that he should be in the work related activity group. Now if he was fit for work, he would be working, I know many think the vast majority of disability claimants are fraudulent when the official figure is actually 0.5 percent. Thanks to the daily mail and other fascist media who tell you the party is over for scroungers, oh yes £71 a week JSA, who are they kidding, that wouldnt even cover a tory loving journalists restraunt bill. This tory propaganda is working, sympathy for the sick, poor and unemployed is falling every year, disability hate crime on the rise, documentaries focusing on deprived areas help to give the impression that everyone on benefits is a drug addict/alcoholic, petty criminal and this helps drain any sympathy or solidarity that the general public have for those on benefits. You just have to look the change in language, workers are now strivers (labour also quite happy to use this horrible word) anyone on any type of benefit is a shirker, scounger, sponger, dole scum, benefit payments are now government handouts, public money is now called tax payers money and the media have been happy to use this newspeak, if i was working i would take offence to being called a striver, somehow i dont think the woman working for minimum wages in greggs dreams of being on the board of directors one day, who are they talking to, how long will they be allowed to patronise us and treat us like idiots!
So after this atos decision was made i appealed and six months later i received an unexpected letter from DWP saying that they had looked at his claim again and after reconsideration put him in support group which he should have been in from the beginning, during this time his health worsened and their change of decision never made him feel any better, he just said “they will just come after us next year for bedroom tax or another WCA or DLA, it will never end” he truly believes this government will kill him because he is a burden on society that can not be tolerated anymore, a useless thing that cannot work or contribute and therefore is not required.
So this is the year of the revolting bedroom tax. When cameron spoke of the bedroom tax in 2010 I thought it was some perverse tory fantasy they had dreamed up at a champagne breakfast and thought “no they will never get away with that”, they did and now thousands of poor and sick people on benefits could lose their home. I have been a tenant of my housing association for 28 years and have never been in arrears, losing a quarter of my housing benefit is a very worrying prospect. We have been in our flat 10 years, I raised two intelligent, compassionate daughters who stayed on at school and have never claimed benefits, so that’s a myth buster for the politicians who speak of generations of scroungers. Ironically if they did stay at home and “languish” on benefits I would not be having to pay bedroom tax. My husband has multiple health problems which means he wakens up during the night with violent nightmares where he acts out fights and shouts loudly, If i didnt have a spare room i would never get a proper rest, my other so called bedroom is six feet by ten feet and therefore under the minimum size (according to the overcrowding act, 2003) to be suitable as a bedroom for an adult, only for a child over 10, it also says the window needs to be accessible but with only a single bed in this room, the window is blocked. To say they are doing this to free up housing stock and bring waiting lists down is a lie, if this was the case then working tenants would be asked to downsize, in fact your working neighbour can have as many spare rooms as he wants and let out those rooms for profit, whilst his disabled neighbour is punished for being sick and unable to work. I doubt i could find a 10 year old lodger for my small bedroom that will cough up rent every month! Also how dare they suggest vunerable people take in strangers as lodgers which could lead to all other kinds of problems.
Consider this senario, In april bedroom tax begins, having to make a choice to eat or pay rent, eventually we get into arrears, my landlord does not have a one bedroom property even if we were willing to move, which we are not, so we get evicted and are homeless and have to turn to the private sector and they end up paying more in housing benefit for a one bedroom flat than they were for the flat I was evicted from. This does not make any sense to me especially as that housing benefit, public money goes straight into a private landlords bank account instead of a non profit housing association, and if they have to put people in temporary accommodation that will cost much more than social housing rent. So if you are a private landlord the government pay inflated rents for slums, whilst the local housing association with affordable rents will be evicting people from their home, they are not a co habiting couple on benefits residing in an underoccupied property, THEY ARE PEOPLES HOMES, my husband was born on and raised on this street, we thought that was our last move, that we would be here for life, now i don’t feel safe and secure here anymore, i doesn’t feel like my home now, like we are in limbo with an uncertain future, we have been together 33 years since age of 14 and over the years I have been through countless traumas and undescribable crisis points due to his mental health but I have never felt so frightened and despairing as i do now.
What kind of future do they want? Where drug addicts will rip your face off for a few quid because they have been left with no money or support, or single parents will get desperate and turn to the sex industry to feed their kids and put themselves in danger, and the sick and disabled are left to die of poverty and neglect, so that’s it, as they say, “the party is over scoungers” couldn’t have been a very good party, I don’t even remember it.