The PM likes to call carers ‘unsung heroes and heroines’ who deserve a pat on the back for being angels. But in real life he has made our lives more difficult every day, writes CLIVE ARNOLD for Morning Star.
ABOUT a week ago David Cameron was asked to rule out cuts to disability benefits as part of George Osborne’s planned £12 billion welfare savings to be outlined this year.
He failed to do so. He failed to say that disabled people would be protected from the constant onslaught of attacks on disability benefits.
Attacks which have caused over 100 people a week to lose their Motability vehicles because of the change from disability living allowance to cost-cutting personal independence payments, which will mean many disabled people will lose their independence and become housebound.
Attacks which mean people being swapped from DLA to PIP having to wait over six months for a decision only to be refused and have to appeal.
Attacks which mean disabled people being hit by the bedroom tax either being forced to move into a one-bedroom house or flat — preventing family or carers staying to help them — or having to pay for the “extra” bedroom and losing part of their vital disability benefits.
Then there is the attack on carers with plans to scrap carer’s allowance for anyone not on universal credit. Forty per cent of current recipients will not be eligible for universal credit, meaning they will lose their carer’s allowance altogether.
So here we are in the last days of Carers’ Week and I’m amazed to say I’ve something in common with Cameron.
No I’m not a millionaire, I don’t run the country and I certainly don’t lie to everyone I speak to.
I am a carer, he was a carer for his late son Ivan. When I set up my website ukcarers.net, he wrote a nice piece for it in 2005 which went:
“Would a message of support be any use? Perhaps something like:
‘Carers do a fantastic job in this country, looking after loved ones, both old and young. The work can often be lonely, tiring and have effects on your own life, health and happiness.
‘Without the work of hundreds of thousands of carers the health service and social services would grind to a halt.
‘We need to do more to help and support the many heroes and heroines who care for others and give so much.
‘Politicians need to hear your voice and listen to your concerns. Whether it’s about the need for respite, the services and benefits that carers can get or anything else — please make sure that we hear about your issues so that we can give them proper recognition and ensure that the government understands all that you do and all that you need to help go on caring.’
“From David Cameron, MP for Witney”
He wrote this to a dear online friend who helped with the website but who has now passed on. Campaigners lost a special woman when she lost her battle against cancer.
He lied to all carers. People call us “unsung heroes/heroines” and that we deserve “a pat on the back for being angels.” Instead Cameron has made our lives more difficult every day.
Being a carer is one of the hardest things in the world because you are constantly headbutting a brick wall.
While Carers’ Week might sound positive, in reality it does nothing for carers except raise the profile of self-elected carer charities that actually stifle what carers want saying.
Carers tend to be socially isolated and ignore their own health to make sure the person they are caring for is OK — they come first.
We don’t get a holiday from caring, no sick leave, no help with our caring role, not even a couple of minutes to ourselves to just sit back and get our breath.
It’s great to see the Morning Star giving disabled people and carers some coverage, there aren’t many newspapers that do and they have my eternal thanks for having the courage to do so.
But Cameron should be ashamed of himself. He stated that politicians need to hear our voices, yet won’t meet with carers or the people we care for.
The new Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson won’t meet or listen to us.
Mr Cameron I want to talk to you, I want you to hear what I have to say. Be a man of your word for once.
In closing I’d like to ask any politicians or media sources that read this for their help, I want to tell Cameron or Iain Duncan Smith to their faces the damage they are causing to disabled people and carers. If you can help me then please get in touch.
You can email Clive Arnold at email@example.com.
The above article is copied from Morning Star. Find the original here.