Disabled campaigners launch protests to urge people to vote against ‘nasty, benefit-cutting’ Tories
DISABLED activists protested in Westminster yesterday as part of their campaign to oust the “nasty” Tory government from office in the forthcoming general election.
Campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is urging people across Britain to register and vote to ensure that the Conservative government, which was shamed last year by the UN for its “grave and systematic violation of the rights of disabled people,” is booted out on June 8.
DPAC’s Ellen Clifford said: “The cowardly bully Theresa May wants us to believe that she offers strong and stable leadership but there is nothing strong or stable about persecuting disabled people.”
She said DPAC was unsurprised that Ms May was trying to avoid public debate in this election “as she would be called upon to defend the indefensible actions of her nasty government.”
The Tories have been denounced their shameful treatment of disabled people in Britain and the cumulative effect of seven years of Tory cuts have left disabled people feeling “degraded and dehumanised.”
DPAC argued that the Tories have put disabled people “at the mercy of degrading and flawed testing regimes” such as work capability assessments carried out by unscrupulous profit-hungry private companies such as Atos and Capita.
The group also warned that there were rising numbers of disabled people “trapped in their homes without access to food and water for hours, reliant on foodbanks to eat and expected to rely on incontinence pads as a substitute for support to use the toilet with dignity.”
DPAC co-founder Linda Burnip pointed out that the 13 million disabled people in Britain had the power to influence the election. She urged everyone who understands the need for a new government to get out there and engage with people who might not know what has happened to disabled people since 2010.
Earlier this year the Tories blocked two court rulings which called for an overhaul of personal independence payments (PIPs) and disabled people claiming employment support allowance saw their entitlement cut last month by £30 a week.
The 2015 England boccia champion Rich Amos threw his support behind the DPAC campaign, saying cuts to his care package had left him feeling “degraded, devalued and dehumanised” and that his local council couldn’t fund the support needed for him to play sport.
Further actions are planned across Britain, culminating in a protest in Prime Minister Theresa May’s constituency in Maidenhead.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said the Tories’ social security cuts were “failing disabled people.”
She said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that these flawed Tory assessments only create further waste and expense.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “We will always make sure there’s a strong safety net to provide the right support for disabled people, which is why many disability benefits are exempt from the benefit cap and were not subject to our welfare savings.”