As a registered disabled person of working age, I appreciate Lord Freud was trying to be sympathetic and the Labour party have tried to use his recent clumsy statement to gain votes. Unfortunately, Lord Freud is not alone in his naïve ignorance. But his remarks may prove to be positive. Can I ask all disabled people to keep the press momentum going by voicing your concerns as to how badly treated we are in Great Britain? For instance most disabled people of working age have to exist on Disability Living Allowance at far below the minimum wage.
Due to ignorance and discrimination disabled people classed as being of working age suffer from potential employers and society, where we seem to be stuck in the Victorian/Medieval ethos of what we can not do, as opposed to what we can do. Being disabled is very expensive, since the disabled grants were phased out we have to pay for adaptations and aids to help us live safely, independently and with dignity. Most people will assume we get free or help with our extra costs. We do not. We need help with heating and electricity bills, as we tend to be stuck at home more, yet are expected to pay full costs. We need the Incapacity Benefit back, as by nature of our disability, illness, we are genuinely incapacitated. So it was very cruel and callous of this government to take this away from genuine disabled and very ill people, and to place us in the same group as able bodied people looking for work. I know of many disabled people of working age who are having to live on student loans, bank loans, any kind of loans just to exist, as they are having to wait for the their PIP payments (PIP replaced DLA), waiting for over a year. If this was happening to any other age group or ethnic group there would be a national outrage.
A lot of disabled people, like me, have been able to work, paying full NI. Therefore we expect the system to take adequate care of us. No one asks to be born too ill or incapacitated to work. So why, I ask this un-caring government, should disabled people of working age have to be constantly financially penalised for this, and to continually prove our disability in order to qualify for insulting amounts of so called benefit? We deserve better, much better in every way.