Monday, March 03, 2014

What benefit cuts mean in the UK

People starving to death:

A "VULNERABLE and fragile" man starved to death four months after most of his benefits were stopped and he was left with just £40 a week to survive on.

Atos Healthcare – which assesses peoples’ ability to work on behalf of the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – assessed that 44-year-old Mark Wood, from Bampton, was fit to work.

But at an inquest into his death, Oxford Coroner's Court heard testimony that Mr Wood was far from fit to hold down a job.

Weighing just 5st 8lbs when he died of malnutrition in August last year, Mr Wood had obsessive compulsive disorder, Aspergers syndrome, phobias of food, pollution, paint fumes, and social situations, and cognitive behavioural problems.

This should not happen in a civilised society. The welfare system is there to stop it from happening. But since Thatcher, the UK's welfare system has been turned from a system of social support into a system for punishing the poor, with staff given incentives and targets to cut benefits (often illegally). And this is the result: people starving to death in one of the richest societies in the world. It is simply obscene. And then to read about RBS's plunder of half a billion pounds of taxpayer's money for bonuses, it makes you wonder why Canary Wharf isn't under siege by a torch-wielding mob right now.