A letter to our local LibDem Councillor , on the eve of the UK Local Elections
(We were very pleased to receive a positive, immediate reply from Norman Lamb MP, Nick Clegg's Chief Political Advisor, to this letter).
We are thoroughly disappointed with politicians and politics ; specifically the constant neglect and harassment of sick and disabled people over the years.
Having a disease that is neglected, not treated , not adequately tested for, nor treated biomedically , despite being a classified neurological disease, and having to constantly endure deliberate misrepresentation in the press and medical journals, and in Govt policies and NHS clinics, as well as our disappointment in the LibCon coalition and its attitude towards disability and benefits specifically; it is particularly galling to read your pamphlet that came through our door this weekend.
Where are the policies locally and nationally that show valuing to disabled and carers.? We do not see them.
We feel that despite the Lib Dems and in particular Nick Clegg having awareness of the very real needs and difficulties of people with disabilities and particularly people with ME, nothing has been done to support disabled people locally or nationally where it counts. Please see attached my husband’s letter to Nick Clegg last year, which sadly , was not replied to.
Financially your leaflet states that :
1. There are fairer pensions and
2. There is money back in your pocket.
Again this leaflet and the LibCon agenda shows total disregard for the disabled who will certainly not have money back in their pocket and certainly not a fair system of benefit. The disabled are being targeted to pay for the disregard of the Bankers to the economy. Rather than restoring the link to earnings as with pensions , for disabled , the cuts to benefit are cruel for the long term sick and punitive.
Please see attached our feedback, written in conjunctuion with the 25% Severe Group, : “Neither Reasonable or Fair on the Government’s Welfare reform proposals.
I am an extremely ill and disabled person who has been so for over 17 years and yet if I am lucky enough to get through the reassessment to ESA benefit from IB then my benefit will effectively be cut.
Not only will this mean I will lose out each year but as things stand the LibCon Government has already effectively reduced the allowance by changing its linkage to the consumer index rather than retail index so I am already relatively poorer without taking into account the VAT increase..
Further the DLA with a current rate of 0.5 % fraud rate, is going to be abolished in favour of a very unfair , dubious replacement benefit PIP which will ensure 20% cuts - so how will that support or protect the disabled and the poor? The consultation process has not listened to concerns or requests to keep DLA as it is successful and effective.
After 15 years of repeated reassessment and proving medically again and again how very sick and severely disabled I am. I was awarded DLA indefinitely. Every time the effort made me even more ill. Now I learn that with PIP I am going to have to keep being reassessed regularly again despite there being no treatment no cure and no policy that validates a biomedical need for my illness. It is simply persecutory to continually hound the severely disabled.
Not only that but people will be hounded on both benefits to keep proving they are sick, the stress of which is likely to increase health issues not the opposite.
Further to this disregard for fair financial support for the disabled, absolutely nothing has been done to pay carers proper rates of income to support them . My husband cares for me day and night year in year out and receives less than £1.00 per hour. A person offering help for 35 hours a week gets the same rate of pay as a person offering 24 hour day care. The unemployed are paid more than carers which is unbelievable.
This is completely unjust and yet no government addresses these very harsh realities and impoverishment of carers. It is just swept aside. we feel that carers and disabled are disregarded as voters and are never considered important sadly. Yet the LibDems stated in their manifesto that they would protect the most poor and disabled and in need. the reality is sadly far from this. I wait with trepidation for the changes in benefits to come in meanwhile my husband worries how we will manage financially and how he can possibly cope if he has to try and do paid work as I cannot manage without his full time help.
On top of this the LibDems made a very clear statement about ME acknowledging the very real need for biomedical input when they were not in government but nothing has been done since to make any change of values in getting the physical needs met of this utterly wronged and neglected subset of society.
We have been trying for over a year to get the NHS to pay for treatment recommended by a consultant , there is nothing on the NHS to help me and the NICE guidelines have yet again been compromised by the psychosocial lobby .
We are thoroughly and utterly dismayed by the lack of policy or recommendations by the LibCon Govt and the targeting of the sick and disabled financially.
Please tell us how voting for you locally would actually help disabled people and carers? Locally and nationally as a party , we feel , you have completely let us down. When can we expect to hear any championing or awareness of the real issues facing disabled people and carers that we have outlined above by the Lib Dems??