Government of millionaires attack benefits

TheSocialist spoke to William, a disabled low paid worker and single parent in East Belfast who relies on benefits which are now coming under attack. “I’ve been receiving a small amount of disability benefits for a number of years following a serious breakdown caused by stress and overwork. Although I’ve managed to get back into some work, its only part time and at a very low wage. I get about £2,400 a year in benefits on top of my wages of £9,700, so life is a struggle.

“I’ve just received a letter saying I have to prove I’m entitled to benefits again. If I lose that £2,400, I’m in big trouble. Among the criteria to prove you are entitled to benefits are – you must be seeing a psychiatrist or counsellor – and also – you must be on medication.

“I saw various psychiatrists for years before they ended treatment because they said there was no point. I was “untreatable” they said. I still feel this decision was partly based on the cost of treatment rather than a medical decision. Either way I didn’t decide to stop treatment but I wasn’t given a choice.

“Also, I stopped taking tablets years ago after taking them for 6 and a half years. The tablets made me put on several stone, made me sweat a lot, made me fall asleep all the time and made me feel dopey. How was that supposed to make me feel better? Again, at the time the docs thought in my case it was probably the best thing to do. But in no way does this mean I am recovered. I still struggle to cope with even everyday stress.

“Every penny counts for me, so to lose £2,400 on my income will be a huge drop in living standards for me and my family. Frankly, since I got this letter I have been extremely stressed and struggle to keep doing my job.

“It is sickening that the Tories and Liberals are attacking the poorest in society. They know mentally ill people will struggle to organise any resistance to this, especially with all the propaganda in the papers about “scroungers”. Things are just going to get worse for ordinary people until we get organised and fight back. I’m joining the Socialist Party.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Politicians betray Ballymac Playzone

Next Article

British Labour Party Leadership Election - How Red is Ed?

Related Posts

Massereene Shootings

9 March, 2009

At a time when the working class in Northern Ireland is suffering record job losses, deep cuts in pay and public services, the perspective raised as a result of the Real IRA’s shooting of soldiers and two workers in Antrim of a possible return to sectarian conflict outlines the utter reactionary role of such attacks.

KICK THE BNP OUT

Shut down BNP ‘call centre’

The BNP is operating from a secret office in Dundonald in Belfast. Located at a business park this ‘call-centre’, as they describe it, is used to recruit people. They also use it to distribute their far-right propaganda and spout their racist rhetoric around the Britain.
The BNP has recently made an electoral breakthrough by winning two seats in the recent European elections in England. In recent years the BNP have relied on using far-right populism, and have tried to disguise their fascist past. It would be a mistake to confuse the protest vote the BNP are receiving (as a result of the lack of a genuine mass socialist alternative) with a shift in support for fascism. But it would also be a mistake not to recognise the BNP have been strengthened by these electoral victories.

South Africa wins the World Cup … of inequality

Let them eat cake - the ugly backdrop to the beautiful game

Nothing symbolises more graphically the ugliness that forms the backdrop to the beautiful game than all the scandals, corruption and greed surrounding the mega event on which the entire world’s media is focused – the 2010 World Cup. The first to be held on the African continent, it is being presented as an opportunity to contribute to the development of sport and the economy. Through amongst others, “football Fridays” (when the national anthem should be sung by all and the national football jersey worn), and the special “diski” World Cup dance, it will brighten up the fading colours of the “Rainbow Nation”, boost “nation building”, provide redress for historical injustices, create jobs and help SA escape the effects of the global recession and kickstart economic recovery – a panacea for all social and economic ills.

‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’

Written by Bertolt Brecht

It has been a long time since the people of Belfast, has had the opportunity to enjoy ‘Left Wing Theatre’.  This opportunity recently took the form in the presentation of Bertolt Brecht’s most notable and potent play ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’.