Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/518/3693
Incapacity benefit cuts hit the sick
THE GOVERNMENT'S plans for 'welfare reform' are raising concern among people on Incapacity Benefit (IB). People on this benefit are unable to work because of a certain illness or disability. If plans to cut the benefit go ahead, expensive new tests and check-ups will cut the number of people claiming it. Nooshin Shabani spoke to two people on incapacity benefit.
BEVERLY WILSON has suffered cancer of the bone twice and has also lost muscle and nerve in her right leg which has resulted in her not being able to walk correctly without aid.
She explains: "If the government decide to cut my benefit, I will no longer be able to live away from my mother's home in Newcastle. I would need to leave my partner and move back home with my parents which would be very upsetting to me as a 25 year old woman. I would be forced out of where I now call home - London.
"We are very much discriminated against already. For example, 90% of housing agencies don't accept people on benefits even though you would work if you were able to, we are not lazy."
Josephine Joseph has been claiming Incapacity Benefit temporarily for the last few months due to her being too ill to work.
"In my opinion, IB does not even cover basic needs. Electricity, gas, water, and other bills are much more than this, leaving little left over for food or anything else. I live on bank overdrafts and other people face the same problem. Some of them cannot even afford to turn the heating on in winter.
"If the government wants to cut down the amount, I will be forced to work when ill as I have no other means to live on."
In The Socialist 30 January 2008:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Debt and Housing Feature
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news