Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/843/20086
From The Socialist newspaper, 11 February 2015
Welfare cuts kill!
Last summer a retired gardener from Newham, east London, killed himself. 66 year old Malcolm Burge had been driven to this desperate act because the government had slashed his housing benefit in January 2013, leaving him in his own words: "Depressed, stressed and suicidal".
To compound his difficulties Newham council were relentlessly pursing an £800 overpayment caused by its bureaucratic bungling.
Mr Burge wrote letters to the Labour council pleading for help but these were ignored. Instead they insisted on the repayment even though he couldn't afford it.
In a final plea to the council Mr Burge wrote: "I cannot remember the last time I had £800. I am not trying to live, I am trying to survive."
According to the coroner, the council "didn't fully address Mr Burge's queries and their tone was not appropriate. It seems clear that he was a man who needed help and was in distress. Unfortunately, Newham borough council were unable to give it to him."
In response the council blithely replied: "We are sorry if this contributed to his death in any way."
- In December 2014 the Department for Work and Pensions admitted, after anti-cuts campaigners submitted a freedom of information request, that it had carried out internal reviews into 60 suicides resulting from benefit cuts since February 2012. Campaigners believe this figure is just the tip of a large iceberg of such cases.
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In The Socialist 11 February 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Take the wealth off the super-rich!
Is Labour anti-big business?
Welfare cuts kill!
Azure Card: isolation and stigmatisation of asylum
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Conflict between Syriza and EU escalates
Is Podemos the Spanish Syriza?
Political vendetta against water charges activists
"I've taken off the shackles" of the Labour Party
'TUSC has my values and principles'
A working class party needed
Appeal: Back the real opposition to brutal austerity
Socialist Party workplace news
London buses: Same job - We want the same pay
National Gallery strikers march down Whitehall
ICO staff take strike action over pay
Lewisham: support anti-academy dispute
Wales FE workers accept 1% offer
Unite: elect fighting socialist reps
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Campaign saves Bury Sure Start centres
Rotherham: Farage humiliated by protesters
Give tax avoidance the Boots!
Gateshead: Pensioner 'bundled off' by bureaucrats
Campaigns news in brief
1918: When German workers entered history
The Socialist 11 February 2015 |
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