Posts tagged ‘Austerity’

IAPT -The Governments Magic Cure for Mental Health


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Most people will have heard of CBT therapy for helping those with mental health problems, some may have received it and felt it helpful,but for the majority with serious mental health problems this will not make a jot of difference and in some cases cause more harm. What is insidious about this is that it will be forced upon those who claim Social Security payments in helping them get back to work with their new  health and work programme which is integral to Universal Credit.

This is most likely going to be part of the so called ”Universal Support’ in Universal Credit where the government has target groups, and I’m sure this isn’t the worst of the many packages this government proposes to force upon those groups mentioned in my other blog ‘Universal Support’.

The government in its wisdom wants to half the disability employment gap which most governments have failed to do consistently for decades. The base rate of 5% has never really changed,so it is folly for them to think so , as employers are reluctant to take on people who have mental health or other disabilities let alone the many with chronic ill health which is never catered for in any policy they dream up.

Work is not a ‘cure for all ills’ as this government would like to peddle to media and swallowed by the gullible public who seem to resent our very existence until they are affected personally because of selfish desires not to pay taxes for those needing support from the state,which I hasten to add have paid their own taxes until they became mentally unwell or disabled, so are eligible to claim payment,after all that’s what NI was all about an insurance to cover you if you fell on hard times .

In an ideal world it should be standard practice for disabled people to obtain work on merit if able, but it all comes back to that real issue of ‘productivity and profit’ so  majority of disabled people don’t tick that box precisely because we are not as productive as our able bodied counterparts by the very nature of disability,being off sick when things are bad, hospital appointments,or regular treatment or surgery.

Its a no- brainer to a rational thinking person, but we know our government don’t think like normal people, they just dream up pointless expensive schemes to waste taxpayers money to show the public they are doing something even though they have demonstrated  most fail and cost more than paying benefits in the first place.

Many more dark oppressive schemes are coming to light so we must be vigilant and stand up against forcing people to be so distressed that they harm or worse death to its citizens. It is not like we don’t know how many have decided to end it all over the constant pressures they are put under daily by the DWP monsters, who are out of control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Will It Take ……….


 

 

What will it take for the people of the UK to wake the hell up? There is hell of a difference in a british stiff upper lip to standing idly by, and getting shafted right up the rear end. The Government openly shows it contempt for the people time and time again and all you do is shrug your shoulders and walk on by those less fortunate, and blame them for the countries ills. Today Budget is for the wealthy yet again while most of the population is crawling on its knees to survive. Angry doesn’t come close and you should be angry too.

Without workers ,nurses and doctors,teachers,emergency services and many other professions this country would not be able to operate, the machinery would stop, yet you all seem content with having your faces rubbed into the mud, or your palms crossed with silver  while the wealthy fleece you and take the clothes off your back and food out your child’s mouth or for some bizarre reason think you are part of a class you are not. You work, your Working Class! 

Globally we are a laughing stock  and productivity is low while this shower of traitorous fools laugh in your faces while asset stripping our country. You want to take your country back well get off your high horses and do something about it, stop ignoring the reality. We are not a poor country and these ideological policies are designed to make the poorest pay for a crisis they created by their constant mismanagement  for decades and the constant crises would have removed any other Government from power forthwith, so who is pulling the strings besides the obvious global barons and media corps?

Now they want to invest in technologies that make you redundant and driverless cars, while not investing in solar power  and address the climate changes that are killing us all, including the animals we share it with.

We have families surviving on food banks , diseases long gone returning,malnutrition a potential public health timebomb building,rising numbers of homeless people on our streets , disabled people denied their rights and a basic income, our elderly freezing to death or being cruelly beaten in care homes  and suicide rates escalating around the globe and worst of all a total disregard for human life unless you are productive  and this is progress .What fucking planet are you on?

 

This social engineering project needs to stop!  It is time to remove this Government from power before it is too late for the many,not the few.

 

Revealed….How Private Insurance Moves to Replace the Welfare State


Image result

Image Courtesy of Legal & General

 

I have in many of my blogs mentioned the fact that Insurance was to replace the welfare state, many still don’t think it will happen well listen up, it is around the corner and thanks to deregulation via brexit it going to happen, and would have happened sooner if EU law had not protected you. There will many who will live to regret the vote for Brexit.

The government has finally introduced it ugly game plan and they wont stop there as the same insurance company is linked to social care which is undergoing a review also.

Looks like insurance for care through legal and General. Names of independent experts invited by government to provide advice and support engagement in advance of the green paper:

Caroline Abrahams – Charity Director of Age UK
Dame Kate Barker – former Chair of the King’s Fund Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England
Sir David Behan – Chief Executive of Care Quality Commission
Dr Eileen Burns – President of the British Geriatrics Society
Professor Paul Burstow – Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence
Jules Constantinou – President-elect of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
Sir Andrew Dilnot – former Chair of the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support
Baroness Martha Lane Fox – Founder and Executive Chair of Doteveryone
Mike Parish – Chief Executive of Care UK
David Pearson – former President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and Corporate Director for Social Care, Health and Public Protection at Nottinghamshire County Council
Imelda Redmond – National Director of Healthwatch England
Nigel Wilson – Chief Executive of Legal and General

Quotes Linda Burnip DPAC

Many income related benefits are being moved across to Universal Credit the governments flagship policy which is sinking fast as the holes in this policy are more flawed than the WCA where more complex claimant issues are exposing the holes in a policy which in theory was meant to revolutionise social security and catapult it into 21st century. Well now their focus are those on contributory JSA/ESA which they plan to be part of the Social Insurance Scheme and the only reason they have not done so already is quoted below

Had contributory benefits been abolished whilst UK social
security was bound by EU law, this would have exposed Universal
Credit (the significantly larger budget) to exportability. In light of the
British vote to leave the EU, however, there is now the possibility of
reforming contributory benefits without breaching EU law.

Employers and all those with a stake in this horrendous policy will not just be looking at savings made, but also the huge concern is denial when it comes to delivering on payouts as long as the state doesnt have to foot the bill. Insurance schemes around the globe are littered with claims of those who took out Insurance only to be denied it  upon making a claim leaving many no option but to be destitute or borrow money to take companies to court to get what was rightly their’s in first place. We keep hearing that state support isn’t sustainable, NHS isn’t sustainable yet majority of the country fell for the last National Insurance Scheme which isnt paying out either, due to an empty pot, which is incredulous really given some dont live to collect a state pension, and those who do never get payments reflecting the thousands they paid in over 40yrs of their worklife.

The only winners here are the banks who underwrite such policies. However Legal & General have Capita to manage the shareholders assets Capita’s Shareholder Services Team is available to answer any questions that you have in relation to your Legal & General shareholding.

and non other than….

  • Group Health and Safety Committee – Chaired by Ian D Smith – Head of HR, Shared Services.

It sure as hell is a murky business, this government is up to its neck and following it mantra “we are all in it together”

So whats the crack I hear you all say get to the point, well this is how it meant to work:

The larger the number of premium payers, the lower the risk profile across the total claimant

population and the lower the total cost of enrolment. L&G estimate
a cost of around 0.5% of payroll earnings at approximately £11 a
month. Total pay-out would be £900 a month for a maximum period
of one year, with a 50% replacement rate.6
After one year, a claimant would return to the state benefit system.
A total of £10,800 could be claimed via the social insurance product.
Ultimately this ‘rainy day guarantee’ has been designed so that a
claimant would receive more than they otherwise would have on
state welfare, and so that significant costs are delivered to both the
taxpayer and to employers.

Individuals
previously eligible for contributory JSA and ESA would fall into one
of three categories: ‘full Universal Credit entitlement’, ‘partial entitlement,’
and, finally, ‘no entitlement’. The projected annual savings
from individuals who fall under ‘no entitlement’ and have no welfare
claim would amount to £60m from JSA and £290m from ESA per annum. Total savings over the 2015–2020 period would come to
approximately £1.66bn

So when many breathed a sigh of relief they were not included in Universal Credit  , they soon will be under a different process.

Read Documents Here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QBdAdIfZCAv4uC5L_zK8ozaPE0WCHxQj/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iuQAL0YlsiVS8ypZn3P3jQWEvou3eFAG

 

Universal Credit and Housing


Universal Credit is confusing many people especially around housing, so I have managed to put a simple powerpoint together so you get the basics. Hope this helps?

Health & Work Programme -Universal Credit


Many of my blogs on Universal Credit thus far have been showing how this is a monster of a programme which incorporates the Health & Work Programme. Due to my nocturnal nature I was digging about when I came across these slides and thought this demonstrates how this is intending to operate. Presenting it was more of a challenge but hopefully I have managed to do if my powerpoint works.

The wey weasel are always  ‘Making Work Pay’ or Fullfilling their Potential’ or some other buzzword they embed in the public psyche to hide the abhorrent fuck up and complicated mess this really is in reality for those who are the governments guniea pigs , who have gone from stock to customer and now a ‘benefit unit’!

So fill your boots

 

 

 

 

The Spectre of the Welfare Card Rises Again for Claimants! Updated


Image result for universal credit logo

 

Way back In 2013 I raised a letter signed by many leading campaigners and claimants against the proposal of the introduction of a prepaid benefit card proposed by IDS under a Coalition Government . Well just when they  think  you’re not looking  it came to my attention its back on the agenda .

Well  it been used for a long time to administer help to asylum seekers, social care to enable carers to help the person they are caring for and is used now to help in welfare assistance cases. Well I have found research from 2016 where DWP are still talking about it and another link to show it could be planned for Universal Credit which I assume will come into Personal Budgeting Support or as many have seen in my previous blogs Universal Support  with a list of target groups.

So are we going to stand for this hell no.  This will dictate choice and restrict what claimants can spend their money on. Previously we have had letters  with signatures sent via a change petition yet they still pursue this ideological state control of those who are least able to fightback.

After a tip off I found out that, the government behind the scenes and Financial Sector are pushing this idea out yet again. They seriously have not grasped the nettle that removing a claimant’s choice of how they manage their finances is potentially illegal and contravenes their human rights. Way back In 2013 I raised a letter signed by many leading campaigners and claimants against the proposal of the introduction of a prepaid benefit card proposed by IDS under a Coalition Government.

Some Claimants due to their disabilities cannot manage their money and appoint a responsible person to manage them for the disabled person. Some care services have been paid this way for a while, which enables the carer to support the disabled person and allowed the cared for to limit what can be spent in the shops when they are unable to go themselves, without risking giving out passwords to a disabled persons bank accounts. They are also rolled out for asylum seekers.

Well I have found research from 2016 where DWP are still talking about it and another link to show it could be planned for Universal Credit, which I assume, will come into Personal Budgeting Support.

The UK makes an estimated £3 billion of transfers each year, with political rather than practical issues being the cause of the slow uptake to date – the UK government also stands to make sizeable savings by adopting the new method at a time of tight public spending.

Currently 200 public sector programmes across local authorities, National Health Service organisations, housing associations, social enterprises and charities are using prepaid cards to distribute payments such as central welfare disbursements.

“Fact

“Prepaid products are issued for many different purposes so there may be some exceptions such as when products have been designed to address certain consumer or business needs.  This means that some prepaid products may have specific inbuilt controls limiting where they can be used.”

Kevin McAdam, Director of Prepaid at allpay comments: “We’re seeing much greater acceptance from the Department of Work and Pensions for the benefits prepaid cards bring to schemes such as the distribution of Universal Credit. At the same time, local authorities and housing associations are increasingly switching to prepaid to help fulfil their social care obligations.

“As a result of this growing appetite we’ve recently established a number of similar schemes to that in Edinburgh across the UK and have more lined up to begin soon. It’s conceivable that over the next decade virtually all of the UK’s £3 billion of cash payments could have been replaced by prepaid.”

However, the push for prepaid is not solely to bring costs down and increase security. The wider goal of increasing social inclusion and preventing people from being excluded from the modern digital economy is also leading to calls for the switch from cash.

People who receive government benefits in cash, who may not have access to a full current account or credit card, can often find the cost of living increased. Research shows those who are financially excluded pay a ‘Poverty Premium’ as they are unable to shop online or benefit from Direct Debit discounts. This cannot be allowed where a section of society is treated differently to everyone else, just because they are unfortunate to be needing state support. This is highlighting the ‘Nanny State’ mentality of a government out of control.

 

 

 

Well I have organised another petition which I need 150,00 signatures or more to get this debated in HOC. We shouldn’t be complacent and underestimate the problems of state control this will cause. So please support this! I will add  this later when it gets approved. I will also share on Social Media

Updated here is the petition Link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202796

 

http://www.24housing.co.uk/opinion/prepaid-solutions-to-universal-credit/   

 

http://prepaidforum.org/prepaid-schemes-step-shadows-start-delivering-dividends-uk-government/

http://prepaidforum.org/prepaid-myths-facts/#toggle-id-10

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-the-prepaid-card-live-test

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/australia-a-letter-to-liam-byrne/

http://www.welfareconditionality.ac.uk/2016/01/cashless-welfare-card-experiments-regulating-vice-and-virtue/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-smart-cards-plan-revealed-by-iain-duncan-smith-to-stop-claimants-spending-welfare-money-on-9763854.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29414565

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jan/29/welfare-cash-cards-state-control

 

UPDATED:  This has cropped up time and time again this must not happen as those dependant on state support are being socially engineered to accept whatever the government feels free to do to them without redress.

http://www.ukauthority.com/news/6410/labour-raises-alarm-over-blockchain-at-dwp

https://theconversation.com/why-a-blockchain-startup-called-govcoin-wants-to-disrupt-the-uks-welfare-state-88176?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutto

https://hansard.parliament.uk/

https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/uk-trials-blockchain-based-social-welfare-payments/

https://bravenewcoin.com/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/12/moves_by_dwp_to_stick_personal_data_on_blockchain_slammed/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36785872

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/tag/govcoin/

https://cointelegraph.com/news/a-trap-to-spy-on-benefits-spending-uk-government-tests-blockchain-for-welfare-payments

DWP Actually Do Mean No Reassessments for LCWRA (Support Group)


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Well I said  seeing is believing well they have surprised me ……..Not ……….no right to appeal

 

From the 29 September 2017, when considering the re-referral period, the HCP will consider
whether the condition or its functional effects meet the new Severe Conditions criteria. Where the
criteria is met, the HCP will advise no further assessments are needed (unless there is a change
in circumstances).

Q: How can I dispute a decision not to be placed within the severe conditions criteria?

The severe conditions criteria sits alongside the current re-referral periods of 3,1,2,18,24 or 36 months, and comes within the Secretary of State’s discretion as to how often the DWP should review a claim or ask for further information, to which there is no right of appeal.

We can of course look again at any claim where asked by a claimant who feels it has not been processed correctly. However this would not be by the formal Mandatory Reconsideration process and would not carry the right of appeal.

Well as I said in my last blog ‘it seemed too good to be true’ however it’s not all doom and gloom as hopefully you will still meet that criteria  under UC, Unless they pull the reducing someone’s award to WRAG. Nothing would surprise me to see a new directive being misunderstood by HCP or some other skullduggery behind the scenes and  massive spike in reviews downgrading awards. Keep your eyes peeled don’t trust them an inch.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/360863418/WCASevereConditionsFAQs-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/360863511/DWP-WCA-Guidance-on-Severe-Conditions

https://www.scribd.com/document/360863614/Severe-Conditions-Guidance

 

The 2 yr Job Rule for Disabled on Universal Credit is not True!


 

In the last few days it has been widely reported by various bloggers that those disabled claimants claiming Universal Credit are subjected to finding a job within two years or face a 1 year sanction. This is utter fabrication and feeding many claimants fears which could potentially cause harm. So today I called Welfare Rights ,who called DWP while I remained on the phone, they denied that this information was correct and was downright alarmist and dangerous. That doesnt mean I trust DWP and have submitted a FOI too given 7 years of shenanigans. So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts!

Those who will be put on Universal Credit (UC) will have to sign the claimant commitment regardless, some will be subjected to full conditionality some will have their conditionality limited depending on the circumstances, and subject to sanctions if they fail to comply with the agreed commitments they agreed with work coach via the Work Plan,My 4 steps,My Values documents.  (Document links provided at bottom of the blog.)

As promised last night, the SKWAWKBOX has been looking further into conflicting reports from DWP insiders concerning the WRAG (work-related activity group) category into which the government, more or less arbitrarily, places some disability benefit claimants and the possibility of sanctions after a fixed period of two years under the Universal Credit (UC) system if claimants have not found work.

Some activists insisted that this was part of the UC system and this was initially confirmed by long-term DWP employees. Others subsequently disputed it. The only thing all were agreed on was that the rules are ill-conceived and extremely confusing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted a PCS union official who specialises in UC for clarification and received this response:

 

I’ve been looking at the regulations and I can’t find anything that refers specifically to a fixed time limit in which to find employment.

That is right, because no fixed time limit exists in the regulations

 

The ‘disabled’ argument, as I’m sure you are aware, is notorious because ultimately the Department through the provide contractors are essentially able to define who is fit or not for work.

For example, a claimant maybe moved from ESA to UC on the back of a WCA [Work Capability Assessment]. The claimant may disagree with the decision but they are stuck.

If they are adamant they are not fit for work, they could refuse employment in an environment they believe will affect their health.

 

If they have been found to have no Limited Capability for Work, they cannot refuse employment. The fact that claimants think they are unfit for work has been the main issue with the flawed WCA since 2008

 

This is where the sanction process comes in – a 13wk, 26wk and 156wk sanction could apply (although similar regs existed prior to UC and the 2012 Welfare Reform Act if not as harsh or severe).

 

In this case you’re looking at failure to apply, not accepting work or leaving on one’s own accord. Their argument is they aren’t fit, the department will still look at sanctions.

The circumstances described here apply to somebody who has not been found to have Limited Capability for Work.

 

The sanction regime is clearly arbitrary, deeply unfair and dangerous – but there is no rule mandating a fixed time-limit for a claimant to find work.

Again no time limit

 

However, another PCS/DWP source warned that while the rules don’t include such a limit, the way they are applied may not be as clear cut:

I can tell you that we have received complaints from WRAG claimants about having their ESA revoked after two years. And now they are treated as JSA claimants because they are ‘fit for work but not necessarily their precious occupation(s)’.

ESA cannot be revoked. It simply cannot be claimed after a claimant has been found fit for work. Previous occupations are not a consideration. That has always been the case.

 

Sanctions have been applied because the claimant has not fulfilled their requirement to find work. The purpose of the WRAG was to enable people to return to work despite being disabled, but this component has now been removed as WRAG claimants are now treated as jobseekers.

 

WRAG claimants under UC are described as having Limited Capability for Work.. They are not required to search for, be available for and start work, and cannot be sanctioned for not doing so, but they are required to accept work preparation requirements within their commitment and attend WFIs

.

 

Other WRAG claimants have been booted off ESA or the sickness element of UC after a period of two years because they failed their WCA – deliberate decision to bully them back to work.

 

Some claimants will fail their WCA after 2 years. Others after 6 months, 12 months  etc.

2 years is actually a prognosis period, meaning a number of people are reassessed at this stage. Unless there is any evidence of a pattern, this period of 2 years is meaningless

 

Thanks too to Anita Bellows who has worked with me on this 🙂

 

So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts! 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353594773/4c-ESAHWC1

https://www.scribd.com/document/353595852/CC-O18-E15

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/353603319/1359203507-UJcompanyleafletJCP

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185048/CC-Requirement-to-Accept-a-Claimant-Commitment-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185364/cc-commitment-not-accepted-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185650/My-4-Steps-Template

https://www.scribd.com/document/354187257/1816-my-values-1-pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520361/FTS-FTP-in-WFI-and-Failure-to-Undertake-Work-Related-Activity

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517543/Handout-08-01-Commitment-Pack-v7-7

https://www.scribd.com/document/354182466/Dealing-With-Sanctions-Facsheet-4

https://www.scribd.com/document/353627563/HWC-Exemptions

 

Read Frank Zola Blog below;

https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/disability-rights-uk-disrightsuk-questions-why-dwp-esa-health-work-conversation-mandatory-foi/

Update…….. “The Article originally produced by SKWAWKBOX. Claiming to that Disabled Persons could only claim UC for 24 months, is a mishmash of quotes from Gen William Taggart, who was actually talking about an Early ‘Draft’ of the Welfare Reform Acts. At no time did Gen. T directly associate this with Disabled Persons, in fact it was just a heads up for activists/advocates etc, to remember not to get complacent about the Statutory Instrument placed within the Welfare Reform Acts. “

 

Further confirmation from DWP to my FOI

My FOI response

“Claimants on JSA or UC, who are expected to look for and be available for work, must do all
they reasonably can to find and take up a job. However, the DWP sets no specific time limit for
how long a claimant is given to find a job.
Sanctions are only used in a minority of cases when people fail to attend work-search reviews;
fail to meet the work-related requirements they have agreed in their Claimant Commitment;
fail to apply for work or take up an offer of work; or leave a job, without good reason.
The DWP does not have any statutory powers to sanction or reduce benefit payments solely on the basis
that a claimant has been trying but has been unable to find work within 2 years.”

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/js_a_two_year_clause#incoming-1019979

Universal Credit Report -Hidden dangerous policy decisions that will cause harm


This report from Disability Campaigner Gail Ward is a must read for all benefit claimants and those claiming  ‘in work’ benefits claimed by millions in the UK. It has plenty of references and downloads contained within the document and it will alarm many, it should, as this government is targeting the poorest in society at the expense of saving the rich. Some of those already transferred will know the horrors already highlighted recently by Citizens Advice (CAB),but the majority do not. This blog doesn’t have the capacity to embed the entire report to enable reading online ,but you can download it from the link below in the hope that this will help many prepare for the next onslaught by this barbaric government whose sole purpose is to hound claimants, and save money for the state putting profit before people. If you thought WCA (ESA) was bad this will make it look relatively tame.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353794654/Universal-Credit-Report

Tory MP Dismisses Disabled Activist Live on TV


Watch The  Video Here…..

//players.brightcove.net/624246174001/82f79524-152c-485f-bcb0-09197a216c87_default/index.html?videoId=5452010632001

 

Reblogged Article  Courtesy of  May Bulman -Independant Newspaper 29/5/2017

 

A Tory MP has dismissed a disabled woman on live television after she told him tens of thousands of disabled and sick people were dying every year due to cuts in health and social care.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab responded to an emotional address from Fiona, a disability activist from Aberdeen, in which she said she had known disabled people who and committed suicide, by saying it was “just a childish wish list” if there was not a “strong economy creating the revenue”.

During the open debate on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Fiona said disabled people were “fleeing” from England to Scotland where she said the devolved parliament was doing more to protect them.

“You’re all talking about numbers and money, and there is an ocean of suffering under that. Oxford University just released research showing that in 2015 in England and Wales alone there were 30,000 excess deaths caused by cuts to health and social care,” she said.

“Tens of thousands of disabled and sick people are dying every year. We are dying. There have been hundreds of suicides. I spent hours after the last general election trying to talk people out of killing themselves, and I didn’t always succeed.

“People are dying here and nobody cares. I have friends who have been helping resettle disabled people in Scotland because at the very least we have a Scottish parliament which is trying its best with limited funds to protect people against the worst of these cuts. People have been fleeing England for their lives.”

Fiona cited a study by Napier University that found the work capability assessment causes deterioration in people’s mental health and can lead to thoughts of suicide, adding: “It kills people. It is an act of violence and we are dying.

“This election is life or death for us. Anybody who votes for the Conservative Party, who are going to further these cuts, they are complicit in those deaths.”

In response to Fiona’s comments, Mr Raab said: “There are plenty of heart-rending stories here, and no one could be anything other than moved by it. We have put in 11,000 more doctors into the NHS, 12,000 more nurses. We have got a renewed focus on mental health and also making sure we’re trying to take the pressure off big hospitals in the manifesto.

“But the real truth is the money’s got to come from somewhere, and I can think of lots of things that I would like to avoid making difficult decisions on and lots of areas like the health service or schools that I want to put even more money in, but unless you’ve got a strong economy creating the revenue, it’s just a childish wish list.

“We’re trying to do our best to get the balance right between responsible public finances and investing in some of those crucial areas you discussed.”

Fiona responded by saying: “So you choose to sacrifice tens of thousands of disabled people, for the sake of that? This is the sixth richest country in the world. It is a choice that people make.

“In Scotland, we have a limited block grant, and they still manage to create a health service which functions, they still manage to create a care service which functions. And you are choosing to sacrifice us.”

It comes after Theresa May refused to rule out making further cuts to disability benefits in the next Parliament if the Conservatives are returned to government.

Asked by The Independent at a campaign event in Mansfield earlier this month whether she would rule out any further cuts to support, the Prime Minister responded: “If you look at what we’ve been doing on disability benefits, what we have done is look at focusing disability benefit payments on those who are most in need.

“In fact, we are spending more on disability benefit payments than has been done by any government in the past.”

 

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