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Blow from benefit cuts
10:00am Friday 13th April 2012 in Letters
THE other evening my cousin phoned me in a rather distraught condition.
He informed me that his state benefit had been substantially reduced, which in the present climate came as no enormous shock to me, although I should have expected it to be his Disability Living Allowance which had been cut, as is indeed occurring right, left and centre.
It later transpired, though, that it was his other benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, the successor to Income Support, which had been removed and replaced by Jobseeker’s Allowance, with the obvious implication that he is deemed fit, at least officially, for gainful employment.
All being “well”, he will be 58 next month and undisputedly suffers from – wait for it – intermittently excruciating and crippling osteoarthritis (now spreading from feet to hands) angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and a hiatus hernia, so at least potential employers will not exactly be falling over one another in order to engage him, though this is hardly the point.
He has a right of appeal but scarcely needs the consequent stress and there appears to be no guarantee for how long his DLA will be safe either.
A former canvasser for the Conservative Party, my cousin will no longer even be voting for them, having it on good authority, moreover, that his current Conservative MP would be unlikely to take any interest in his plight.
I could only suggest that he contact the local newspaper which has in the past offered us both considerable support over different issues.
DAVID DIMENT Riverside Court Oxford.
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