Petition update

Today is the 2nd Anniv. of my brother David Clapson’s death.

Gill Thompson
Stevenage, United Kingdom

Jul 20, 2015 — Dear All,

….and a year since this petition started.

David was a Type 1 diabetic and sanctioned. With his electric cut off he could not keep his insulin cool to control his condition. David died aged just 59.

It is very hard when you lose a loved one, and for me losing someone under such tragic and avoidable circumstances means the wounds go even deeper.

My brother may be gone, but sadly like so many others that have suffered and died, must never be forgotten. We must honour, treasure and keep dear their memories.
We must also remember the draconian and cruel policies that are inflicted on the vulnerable in our society, resulting in so much suffering and death. Sadly by their very nature the majority of the vulnerable simply do not speak out.

The government states that sanctions are used as a last resort, but having issued over 3m this sounds hollow. They have sanctioned people with serious medical and mental health conditions without care and thought of the outcome of their actions.

The welfare state was brought in to support and help the vulnerable and the needy in our society.
A government is voted in for the people by the people to look after all the people whatever their circumstances.

The word scrounger and skiver is too loosely used and my brother was none of these.
The percentage of misuse of the benefits system is said to be less than *1% (see source below).

David was a private and gentle man who worked 30 years of his life who just hit a time in his life when he needed help which is the case of so many people out there.

This petition and your kind support helped secure a Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry which concluded with 26 recommendations.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmworpen/814/814.pdf

These recommendations included:

1. Call for an INDEPENDENT review
3. Providers’ ability to accept “good reason”
13. Drawing on specialist advice from health experts
25. DWP should make hardship payments available from day one of a sanction period in all cases.
26. Investigate deaths of benefit claimants.

The recent budget talked about £12bn in welfare cuts, which will hit the very people the government claims it wants to support.
How much more can they punish the poor, vulnerable and innocent?

This is not a numbers game, our loved ones are not statistics, and we must never lose sight - or let the government lose sight - of all the suffering.
I will not give up fighting until we see real changes achieving real results and there is no more unnecessary suffering and tragic deaths.
This is about people, not politics, humility and compassion and doing what’s right.

I cannot bring David back, but for me it is now about the many thousands out there still suffering,
we have a duty of care to protect and support the disabled and the vulnerable.


*Source: less than 1% claims are fraudulent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/its-time-to-bust-some-myths-about-benefit-fraud-and-tax-evasion-9520562.html

http://www.welfareweekly.com/government-criticised-emphasising-0-7-benefit-fraud/

I want to thank you for all deeply for your heartfelt comments and personal emails over the campaign.
Your commitment and support is of immense value to me and others and will help make a difference in these very testing times, giving comfort and hope to those still suffering, and we must never give up.

If you wish to keep in touch please do so at gill.a4u@outlook.com

My deepest thanks once again, change is not possible without you.

best

Gill


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