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From: The Socialist issue 721, 6 June 2012: NHS cuts... Pension cuts... RESIST CUTS!

Search site for keywords: Socialist Party - Welfare - Cuts - Disability

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Scrap Welfare 'Counter-Reform'!

Ken Richie , Disabled activist and Southampton Socialist Party member

I feel like I've lost everything - day services, home help and back to work support. I have severe sight impairment. For 12 years I was a regular user of the Sembal House Resource Centre, where I had a wide range of activities and advice. It was a day out of the house, meeting friends. Sometimes I would go five days a week. My home help for shopping was really useful, I also had help with my post and filling in forms.

Last year I was deemed fit for work, but that's not true. In the past I did office work, which I was good at. Now if I don't find work I could face losing disability benefit and even my home. They want to put me onto Personal Independent Payment, which could mean a cut in the benefit I receive.

They shouldn't have made these changes without consultation. I'm not able to go out now and can't meet friends.

In the past our own GPs did the assessment, which we prefer as you get more time and are treated better. Now I have been assessed by private company Atos. I was not allowed to see my report. Atos is making a profit from slashing people's living standards, which isn't right. The contract should be withdrawn and the powers returned to GPs.

David Cameron has said if you can't work through no fault of your own, it's a civilized society's responsibility to look after to you. So why are they making these changes?

The Welfare 'Counter-Reform' Act should be scrapped! If you can work you should expect a reasonable job with flexible hours, decent pay and support. These cuts must be reversed with services restored. The trade unions should keep fighting with us.

I joined the Socialist Party because the mainstream parties are all the same. In the Socialist Party I've met other people who are fighting against the cuts and for a better way of organising society.

We hear more and more anger against the cuts on our campaign stalls. Many of these people will join us too.

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