Over here in the UK this week we had a Budget, which is basically when a politician who has somehow been given control of the nation's money sets out his plans to waste that money for the next year or so. It's all very thrilling and fun for all the family, provided you're rich. This year's Budget has had a couple of extra fun things - a "Sugar Tax" on soft drinks (joke's on them; I'm perfectly happy drinking water) and the inevitable cuts to disability benefits, which sadly do affect me.( My own ongoing experiences with the DWP )
Currently, the fucking bastard Tory government (that's their full name, don't believe the people who claim they're just called "Conservatives") are trying to make things even worse for disabled people claiming these benefits as well. One thing they want to do is cut the basic ESA benefit for all
new claiments, regardless of marital status or anything else, to £73.10 a week - which as I've already said, is all but impossible to live on. The other thing they want to do is reduce the "scoring" for whether you can dress yourself unaided or use the toilet unaided in the PIP assessment "because those people will already have aids to help them at home and so don't need any extra money", thus reducing the amount of money people can get from PIP by anything from £30 to £50 a week.
Imagine that. You've already had to go through the humiliation and probable soul-crushing acceptance that you can't use the toilet by youself, which is then added to when you have to admit it to an uncaring government official. The government then turns around and tells you that you just aren't disabled enough for them, now kindly piss off and die in a gutter somewhere away from the rich people. For all my problems (and there are a lot of them) I am regularly thankful that incontinence isn't one of them (except maybe for when I drink too much orange juice and then get up and suddenly realise that I really should have gone to the bathroom 15 minutes previously and now have to get up the stairs with my legs crossed, or when I have a sneezing fit because apparently I'm older than I used to be, or at the very least my bladder muscles are), because short of being completely confined to a bed or wheelchair I can't think of a bigger indication of "needs assistance to live the same life as everyone else". And yet the government have decided that it's not good enough any more. "Disgusting" is too mild a word for it.
(I do score points on the "needs reminders/prodding to dress self" scale; not because of any physical problems but because I just don't see the point of doing so. Depression has made it so that I just don't care what I look like most days, especially since I don't leave the house and my makeshift bed/sofa most of the time anyway, but I admit that I find it easier to explain the stupidity of the "toilet needs" cut better.)
Right now, a rare thing is happening though. The government is actually facing opposition to these plans, and not just from the other political parties. Even other Tories are standing up and going, "Actually, this is going too far," So there's talk of possible u-turns on one hand, while others in the government are attempting to hunker down and insist that these changes are going through regardless of what anyone else thinks, and they're good for people, honest, and we're totally spending more on disabled people every year...
Inevitably, these news stories bring out comments from the Peanut Gallery as well. For the most part, it's actually been quite surprising - the majority of people I've seen have been agreeing that disabled people are being treated abysmally and that it needs to be stopped. Of course, there's still the occasional neanderthal who has to come out with the usual lines of, "But I pay my taxes and no-one helps me!" or "But there's benefit scrougers out there and they need to be stopped!" Firstly, I've paid my taxes as well, and the difference between you and I is that you aren't currently classed as a suicide risk, so shut the fuck up right now. Secondly, yes, there are a minority of people who game the system. There's also a minority of people in the country who break the law, but we don't put the entire British population in prison because of them, do we? You wouldn't think you'd see people actually jealous
of the disabled, but wonders never cease.
Welcome to life in Cameron's Britain, where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the disabled get shived in the stomach and left to bleed out in the gutters.