Disabled man took own life due to benefits ruling

Cahal Milno writing in The Independent – A coroner concluded for the first time that a man with severe mental illness killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit for work” by the Government’s disability assessors.

Michael O’Sullivan, a 60-year-old father from north London, hung himself after his disability benefits were removed despite the opinion of three doctors that he was suffering from recurrent depression and certified as unable to work by his GP.

Figures released b the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last month showed that nearly 90 people a month died between 2011 and 2014 after being declared fit for employment following a work capability assessment (WCA).

Ministers insisted the statistics provided no basis for a link to welcome reforms but a coroner has ruled that in the case of Mr O’Sullivan the WCA and anxiety caused to him by its findings were the direct cause of his death. Mary Hassal, senior coroner for Inner London, wrote to the DWP warning that she believed there was a risk of similar future deaths and demanded preventative action.

PM David CameronIt’s official –  this guy and his cronies destroy lives

It is believed  to be the first time that a coroner has explicitly blamed suicide on the welfare reforms being spearheaded by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr O’sullivan died in 2013. In its 16-page response to the coroner, the DWP admitted that its own “clear policy” that further evidence should be sought when claimants mention suicide was “regrettably not followed in this case” and it was issuing a “reminder” to staff about its guidance.

“It would not do for me ! – Judicial Review at least and find a solicitor to take it on. They killed this bloke and you can’t get better legitimate evidence than from a coroner’s investigation into a death. Iain Duncan Smith and his masters and underlings don’t give a damn”

 

Benefits Cap – large areas off-limits to poorer families

Large parts of the country are about to become off-limits for tens of thousands of poorer families because of the planned cut in the annual benefit cap, David Cameron is warned today by housing experts.

The Government is pressing ahead with moves to reduce the limit households can receive benefits from £26,000 to £23,000  in England, Wales and Scotland as a priority after the Tory election victory. The move is expected to quadruple the number of families who lose benefit because of the cap.

Money ImageMinisters say the policy, described yesterday as a “matter of fairness” by Chancellor George Osborne and the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, encourages the jobless to look for work.

However, the Chartered Institute of Housing said larger families would be priced out of their current homes because they would not be left with enough money to cover their rent, and claimed the policy would increase homelessness and poverty. The institutes calculated that couples with three children would be left with £110 a week after their living costs are excluded, which is well below the average rent for a three-bedroom housing association property in the South, the Midlands and many areas in the North. The problem is expected to be just as acute in high-rent areas of Scotland and Wales.

Some groups point to evidence that the benefits squeeze since 2010 has forced families on benefits out of expensive parts of central London, but that it disputed by the Department of Work and Pensions, which says very few of the people affected have moved – and when they have it has only been for a short distance.

A DWP spokesman said: “This type of scaremongering happened when the cap was first introduced – when in fact over 22,000 people who had their benefits capped moved into work, reduced their Housing Benefit claim or no longer are claiming Housing Benefit at all. As well as restoring fairness to the system, the benefit cap provides a clear incentive for people to get into work.”

But Gavin Smart, the institute’s deputy chief executive, said: “People affected by the current cap already face significant barriers to finding work, including a lack of job-seeking skills and affordable childcare. Our UK Housing Review briefing shows lowering the cap would make huge swathes of the country unaffordable for larger families on benefits.”

George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have insisted they will push ahead with plans to slash another £12bn a year from the benefits bill.

“It would be nice if  the Government and the DWP could leave “FAIRNESS” out of their reasons for attacking  disabled people, the elderly and vulnerable – it’s a rubbish excuse and shows how stupid they are”