As the UK budget looms, myself and many other disabled people continue to worry about what will happen next….
David Cameron says that ‘we can not have people who are not working, better off than those in work’……well, I have something to say about that!
- Many of us can’t work, through disability, illness or looking after children, and there are NOT enough jobs.
Well, first I’d like to paint a small picture of what it’s like (for me) being disabled and living on benefits….. Paying my bills and buying food are all I seem to worry about. I have debt like most of us which I also struggle to pay. The last few years I was only able to work part time due to my disabilities, and was only able to survive with tax credits. My income working, and now on benefits, is about the same. I also worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 10 years – at my expense.
So even while working, and now while on benefits, I have never been able to do certain things, for example:
- Consider buying property – I have to rent and have to move every 3 or 4 years. This is expensive in itself!
- Think about having an annual holiday – I think I’ve had 3 in more than 15 years.
- Save – for anything like Christmas, friends/family birthdays.
- Buy ‘nice’ thing like clothes or shoes, having to buy cheap alternatives
Now, I’m not saying the state should be handing out money like confetti, I’m trying to point out that at times, being on benefits feels a bit like being a prisoner – not having freedoms that others have – and knowing that I can never have those things. You’re also made to feel like a criminal with all the checks that are made, including asking about stuff you really don’t want to be telling strangers, but you HAVE to.
So Cameron, why don’t you just raise the minimum wage (instead of cutting benefits) to £10 per hour. Instead of tax credits, give small businesses tax breaks allowing them to cope with the rise in wages. Surely this would help the economy as people would have more disposable income? Stop taking from the people who have the least. Get off your ass and make sure corporations are paying their way, and that the rich are paying their fair share.
You want people to work? Then raising the minimum wages is the best way to do that. All the time it is so low, that people’s standard of living is so poor, then people don’t have the drive to work. Why the fuck in today’s world, where there is SO much money around, are so many of us suffering austerity that don’t need to? It makes me sick to the stomach hearing about the money some people are getting – even failed bank managers! I think the CEO of RBS complained when his bonus was cut from £2 million to a paltry £1 million, while i’m worrying about transferring £4 (yes, four pounds) from one account to another to pay a bill…..
Somehow, we need to find a way that people who really can’t work, do get fair pay as well. I’ve worked most of my adult life and I don’t see why the state shouldn’t be providing for me (and everyone else in my boat) now – and those who truly can’t get a job. It’s a joke that those on benefits should get less than the living wage, the amount that is supposedly the least a person is deemed to need to live on.
Lastly (for now) – social housing. We need MORE – I believe people have the right to a DECENT roof over their head, even if they can’t work.