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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

The Tories Are Trying To Kill Us Again

This image has fuck the tories in balloon lettering on a pink glitter background with a bow and cat ears.
Kawaii bitches against the Tories

As we speed towards local elections in England, Rishi Sunak has unveiled plans to replace Personal Independence Payment with vouchers or more state-funded treatments for 'milder' conditions.

There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to start. First of all, I am so sorry if you're facing these potential changes to your benefit. I see you. It's unfair and inhumane. It's also a curious thing for the Tories to advertise before a local election. By their own admission, rates of people being unable to work due to their heath is increasing. So in order to gain seats, they're discriminating against a rising population?

I guess asking the Tory party to make sense is like asking dogs to talk. No matter how much you may want it, it's never going to happen. The most recent idiocy, the Modernising Support Green Paper, was released this week. The most shocking thing about it is there are some things in there I don't hate, like removing assessments for those with terminal conditions. Justifying my disabled existence was hard enough, I can't imagine needing to beg for support in that case.

The really horrible bit is where they want to change how PIP support is provided. Vouchers have been mentioned, to only help pay for things that are considered therapeutic. Another option could be an expenses style system, where you must submit receipts for treatments or equipment to claim the money back. In the case of 'milder' conditions, they are considering scrapping any financial renumeration to provide additional state-funded care.

To change the support we receive is not only dehumanising, but incredibly out of touch. I don't know anyone who is in a position to just use PIP for it's intended use. Quite a lot of disabled people have to use this benefit just to make sure they can pay all their bills and eat. Changing it to vouchers or additional state funded treatment will put a lot of us into a worse state because we can no longer maintain our independence without that money. You know, the thing this benefit is supposed to provide.

Can you imagine the effect on peoples' mental health if instead of just being disabled, they have to worry constantly about making ends meet? I understand this could be fixed by providing more money with other benefits, but the government isn't going to do that. They're already trying to force disabled people unable to work back into the workplace.

Even if we look at those who don't need the benefit to cover their basic necesities, PIP can still provide a much needed better quality of life. Not having to struggle to meet with friends, or have the odd takeaway, or do the the things that bring you joy can make life a little bit more worth living. At any income bracket, we all need something to make us happy. Solely being able to survive is not a life worth living. Even zoo animals need enrichment activities.

It's almost like the Tories think we're choosing to be too sick to work. I definitely did not ask for this. I had dreams and ambitions that I cannot fulfil, and will never be able to. I have done my grieving over this, but I had to mourn the loss of my plans, my hopes. I don't want to be here, but what choice do I have?

This green paper is genuinely frightening. It wants to "explore how our welfare system could be redesigned to ensure people with disabilities and long-term health conditions get the support they need to achieve the best outcomes" while also aiming to "ensure the large scale of government expenditure on PIP translates into better outcomes for disabled people and those with health conditions." In short, we're too expensive and our costs need to be cut!

I guess we're not seen as people, after all if you don't contribute economically do you even matter? You're just a waste of space, a drain on taxpayer money that could be mismanaged into the coffers of a Tory donor's business instead. You can tell all your gammon pals that those lazy scroungers should get up and do a day's work for a change, why should you have to pay for them? (I felt dirty just writing that.)

It's not all bad news though for some of us. For our Scottish friends reading this, this will not affect you. Luckily, the Scottish Government has control over our disability benefit, and our government is too busy imploding over other things to worry about that right now. Good news for us, not so great for the rest of the UK. If you could be affected by these changes, there is an online consultation form you can fill in to tell them exactly what you think of them. It's right here. Link is at the bottom, maybe check out the full report while you're there. I'd also recommend emailing or writing to your MP. Make your displeasure known. I will be making sure to email my Westminster MP here too. You can find out who they are here.

The only thing we can do now is make sure they know how stupid this is, and how much this will affect the people it's supposed to help. This money is a lifeline for many people. Tax your corporations and millionaires properly then talk to me about using money more effectively. We shouldn't have to suffer for your mismanagement.

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