Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2342

Bedroom tax is yet another attack on disabled people

I will lose what’s left of my Disability Living Allowance (DLA)and have to find extra money for my second bedroom in April.

I don’t know how I will cope.

When I broke my spine in two places I was told I’d never walk again.

I worked so hard to get myself back on my feet and back into the workplace. I had a job that I was proud of and I was a shop steward.

But that was when I got a higher rate of DLA to pay for someone to clean my house. Then they took that away from me.

Trying to work and keep up standards at home was too much. And the workplace can be the most brutal environment in the world when you are disabled.

So my employers decided I was incapable of working.

They took away my job and my self-esteem with it.

Now I go into shops and see front pages saying 95 percent of disabled benefit claimants are fraudulent. Is that how society sees us?

David Cameron and the Tories are revelling in their attack on disabled people.

Their cuts are despicable. I see the harm they’re doing already. Services in my area are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

I know people who’ve ended up back in hospital because they’re worried about paying their rent.

Me, I’ve got a wee council house in Govanhill, and it’s my home.

I paid the rent when I was working, but in the last few years I’ve needed a little help until I get back into work where I desperately want to be.

And every cut makes it harder. The Tories say they want to help people into work but they are doing the opposite.

Who’s going to employ me, when there aren’t even enough jobs for able-bodied people?

They pick on people when they are at their most vulnerable, trying so hard to pay the bills.

I have nothing left to cut back on and I’m at my wits’ end.

I rely on my politics and on my comrades more than ever, but I worry that most disabled people have no one.

People are scared and alone in their homes—especially those with mental health issues.

Disabled people are living in fear, waiting for the next axe to fall. It’s got to change.

Marion Nisbet, Glasgow

The new Personal Independence Payment benefit (Pip) is due to replace DLA in April.

I was incredulous when hearing of someone who had to declare himself self-employed in order to claim it.

He can then personally employ the people who will care for him.

But he will have the responsibility for writing job descriptions and placing adverts.

If he pays a decent wage from his allowance, the amount of care he can afford will be cut.

If he pays the minimum wage he can pay for more care.

This puts an extra burden and worry on someone readjusting to life after a serious accident or illness.

It also helps the government to manipulate the employment figures.

Dave Ramsden, Bradford

The bedroom tax won’t even be cost effective.

The social housing tenants who get evicted because of arrears caused by the bedroom tax will seek accommodation in the private sector or emergency housing.

Invariably it will cost less to keep a single person in a two bed in social housing than a one bed flat in the private sector.

Samantha Mary Shaw, on Facebook

Nothing surprises me when it comes to the Tories. As long as the rich get richer that’s all they care about.

Adie Twinn, on Facebook

Who values the family?

Laura Miles’ article on homophobia and capitalism (Socialist Worker, 16 February) is thought-provoking.

But she argued that bourgeois reformers, valuing the nuclear family, promoted laws to create the “family wage”. This meant a man being paid enough to support a family.

When did bosses offer male workers higher wages so their wives could stay at home? Workers have had to fight for this, and it has rarely been achieved.

But bosses have used the “pin money” argument to keep women’s wages down.

I don’t know of any law to ensure a “family wage”. “Family values” take second place to the profit motive.

Terry Wrigley, Edinburgh

Sexism at the Games

The arrest of Oscar Pistorias on suspicion of the murder of his partner reminded me of an incident relating to the Olympics.

Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) offered material for the Olympic Welcome Pack. It was to include phone numbers for the Domestic Violence Helpline, Rape Crisis and other support.

Two women are killed by a partner or ex-partner every week in Britain. But the Committee declined. Unlike McDonalds and Coca-Cola, the CAADA brand didn’t fit the Olympic image.

Cathy Eastham, Bolton

Don’t blame Immigrants

I was disgusted to see both the Tory and Labour scapegoating immigrants once again (Socialist Worker, 16 February).

Their comments will give more confidence to fascist groups such as the British National Party.

It is a myth that immigrants are to blame for unemployment or the lack of housing.

Capitalism’s crisis and vicious government cuts have driven unemployment up past two million.

Kate Hurford, South East London

Well done to BBC strikers

I turned on the TV expecting to watch Look North on Monday. I didn’t realise there was industrial action, so the programme was blocked.

This is excellent.

It shows how workers can shut down the mass medium of TV.

Good luck in your action.

Rob Murray, South Tyneside

Say no to cuts in Newcastle

Around 2,000 people marched against cuts by Labour-run Newcastle City Council last month.

A number of organisations supported it, such as the Northern TUC and Save Newcastle Libraries.

People said that services should be a basic right.

Nick Clark, Newcastle

Are private jails better?

I saw a news article claiming that private firms run prisons better than the public sector.

I thought that sounded odd.

But then I saw that it was the result of a study by right wing think tank Reform and it suddenly made sense.

Alison McCarthy, Dundee

Gove wants narrow minds

It doesn’t surprise me that the coalition has failed to increase funding for schools (Socialist Worker, 23 February).

Education helps us expand our horizons and develop our minds.

Not that Michael Gove wants too much of that from working people!

Graeme Kemp, Shropshire

Labour should oppose war

The Labour Party wants to name streets after British soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Jim Murphy, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, said this would allow their names “to live forever”.

Wouldn’t it be better to stop them dying in the first place?

Rukhsana Majid, South Yorkshire

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Article information

Tue 26 Feb 2013, 16:52 GMT
Issue No. 2342
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