The Government has decided to concentrate on new claimants by providing an additional £20 a week for people Claiming Universal Credit. By doing this, they’re discriminating against millions of disabled people on other out of work disability benefits.
Disabled people are experiencing extra expenses and risks as a consequence of COVID 19, but are without the additional support they need to manage these. As a result, people are having to choose between heating their home, or paying for a taxi to go and get their medication because public transport is too unsafe.
And they’re having to put themselves in danger by going to their local store because they can’t afford the minimum spend required to get free food delivery.
Disabled people have been expected to endure on meagre benefit level for years and it’s unacceptable that now, in a time of national crisis they are being left behind.
The Government have, by raising the rate for some, admitted that people require more financial help but they must now provide a more reliable safety net for everyone and not just for some.
MP’s and over 100 disability organisations have now called on the Government to provide parity between the support given to new benefit claimants and the millions of people who were already on disability benefits.
What we need is a fair society for all and if nothing else, this new disease tells us that everyone could and should be valued and that within our fundamental similarities and differences we’re all equal as human beings and that the Government shouldn’t leave the disabled people behind.
And as we face the trials of the pandemic, most people are afraid that it will hit our families or friends. Who will get sick, seriously sick or die? Will we or our loved ones be alone as the disease does its worst, and will we or those we care about, die alone?
And it’s less the social isolation that weighs on us as the dread of being isolated from those we love, in sickness and death.
But you can judge a country by the way it treats its most defenceless citizens and one of the rules by which to gauge a society’s reverence for human rights and to assess its level of maturity and generosity of spirit is the standing it gives to the most defenceless members of society such as disabled people, senior citizens and children, and the idea of a caring society is increased when we acknowledge that disabled people enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else and that their quality of life should be encouraged.