15 March 2017

Rights! Said Fred: Disabled Employment


This is the first in our series ‘Rights! Said Fred’, where disability campaigner and Ability Plus customer Fred gives an insight in to issues facing people with disabilities in the UK today.



Today, I’d like to talk to you about an issue that is very important to me, and anybody else who suffers with a disability. This Guardian newspaper article, titled “The truth behind rising disabled employment: cuts, death and zero-hour contracts” explains it very well.


In 2010 when David Cameron became Prime Minister, significant changes were made to the disability benefit system. In my view, the changes introduced were designed to take as many disabled people out of the welfare system and put them into work. I believe there was one major flaw with this approach, and that is that Mr Cameron, and the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith did not give consideration to the many different types of disabilities there are, and that each person’s case is unique and complex.


Everybody was just put into the same box and tossed up in the air. There were people who, in some cases were, quite frankly blown to bits, as members of the Armed forces, severely disabled people, unable to make judgements for themselves and had to attend day-care centres all their lives, people who were blind and/or deaf. All these people had for their whole lives been told they were not fit for work, and now were suddenly being told abruptly to just “GET A JOB!” and many had their benefits stopped.


Recently, I heard of a young man with cerebral palsy, unable to do anything for himself. His mother was told that her son was fit for work!


Theresa May, now the prime minister has decided to hold back on the PIP (Personal Independence Payment) changes to tighten up on the rules, and this is because a lot of her fellow Conservative MPs are against the changes. My guess though? I think she’ll bring them in through the back door and hope no-one notices! Although most of the changes are to do with mental health issues which will spark off deaths, but I don’t really think the government care anyway if that happens, because that way they’ll save money!