Our demo yesterday was quiet but emotionally exhausting. We are hearing a lot of stories from people who are very obviously chronically ill. These people are all Ill and had sick notes from their doctors but the Jobcentre yet again are saying that these sick notes aren’t good enough. They are ignoring a lot of sick notes and in some cases loosing them and claiming that they didn’t exist. One lady who was obviously very ill and disabled has her money stopped for 3 months all over christmas. She was freezing cold because she didn’t have the money to put her heating on due to having pay as you go metres. She didn’t realise that she could get her housing benefit paid to her on a zero income basis either so she is now in debt to her landlord. She challenged her non payment and won but the job centre have refused to pay her the back pay that she deserves and is entitled to. On top of all this the job centre staff phoned her doctor up just to see if she was ill. They were so rude to the doctor that she felt the need to apologise to her doctor on their behalf. To add insult to injury they have now made her attend the Jobcentre every day to complete a computer course…. Part of her illness is that she has memory problems. Hearing this story I can see that they have broken many rules but even when you complain nothing happens. They seem to think that they are invincible.
Another man who suffers badly from depression has been totally worn down by the staff in the job centre. He’s tried everything to help himself even researching his own illness in the hood of understanding it. He says all that he’s received off the Jobcentre is cruelty. He was at the point of giving his life up, he couldn’t take anymore. My friend persuaded him not to and he’s still with us thankfully.
A man suffering from chronic liver disease was refused his p.i.p payment because he could still use his microwave.
How cruel can they get? It seems that they have no limit, they have a bottomless pit of cruelty that they delve into with great pleasure when encountering the most vulnerable in society. This just cannot be allowed to continue. It’s beyond cruel.
An event well worth attending this week in manchester. I have attended each year since it was created and had hoped at one time to create a peoples assembly in Tameside but it didn’t happen. People are too scared in many cases to join in any political activity even if it would help them get a voice.
Don’t forget to watch dispatches on the 2nd of March. I worked closely with them on this and another programme. We need to stop this governments crimes against humanity!!