An ‘Attempt To Help People’ It Just Doesn’t Ring True Eddie!

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

Manx politician David Cretney is kicking off about disability assessments and some cynics have accused him of electioneering – strange as he’s safely ensconced in Legco although I suppose he could be trying to breathe life into Manx Labour.

Personally I don’t care anyone how kicks of about this iniquity gets my vote metaphorically speaking and in thirty years as a Trade Union activist and Official Cretney is the only politician I can remember in that time getting out of his bed to be at a meeting of workers some of whom were being made redundant at 7:00 am – so he has some social credibility!

The focus of Cretney’s ire is the form a ‘stonking’ 20 page document to be filled in by the disability recipient.

Now in terms of bodies like DHSC (formerly DHSS) jumbo documents of this type are not new. When I sat on the old DHSS Disability appeals tribunal the applicant’s case was often accompanied by a welter of paperwork including an assessment. The assessment was detailed and usually compiled by a GP employed by the Department from a roster list. The applicant’s case would often be accompanied by supporting comment on that assessment by his/her own GP. Cases were very often complex and the tribunal system would often tease out information which made the case stand or fall. Indeed to be fair to the DHSS assessment officers presenting the case if new evidence emerged in the hearing they would frequently request an adjournment to take the case back or determine that a different benefit of method of support was available.

To put it bluntly the old system was both rigorous and fair. Neither it seems applies to the new procedure instituted on the governments behalf by a contractor.

It appears from cursory scrutiny that people with disabilities are now being treated as numbers not individuals.

Of course Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK and his side-kick Bell Henderson (also an MLC ensconced safely in Legco) see it differently. Eddie says:

‘This is not just about making cost savings. It is a genuine attempt to hep people escape the benefits trap and realise their full potential’

As I said in an earlier post helping people escape the benefits trap and realise their potential as Eddie so blithely puts it is killing a considerable number in the UK within months of there transfer of disabilities.

Cretney is right to kick-off and I don’t care if he’s doing it as a plug for the Labour Party – most of his political colleagues are sitting in Tynwald like a bunch of mutes as this travesty unfolds.

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

11/02/16

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