Monday, January 17, 2011
One Month Before Heartbreak
So why is it called One Month Before Heartbreak? On Emma Crees’ blog A Writer in a Wheelchair, in the United Kingdom there is an ongoing discussion about DLA reform ends on 14th February 2011. Emma explains that 14 February is “Valentine’s Day, traditionally a day for love but which could severely affect disabled people if DLA reforms aren’t handled correctly. We need to ensure that our voices are heard. We’re holding this event a month before the consultation ends in order to raise awareness of the consultation and give people to chance to respond to it if they wish. Bendy Girl came up with the name of this event.”
I hope you enjoy Carl's post. It's fantastic to see how much unity One Month Before Heartbreak is demonstrating both in the UK and across the world. (Thanks Carl!)
Luckily for me, I'm not an English citizen, and I'm not facing drastic transformational change in every facet of my life in the coming months. I have stability, I know that I am eligible for my much-needed disability support pension payments, I know when I will be paid and how much I will receive. For me this is clear. Unfortunately, for English citizens under the Conservative government led by David Cameron, all people with a disability, their carers, families and friends will be profoundly affected by a proposed drastic change in the degree of financial support they will receive.
As mentioned prior, I'm not an English citizen. I don't claim to know the ins and outs of their welfare system or their political structure. Here I will not waste words trying to explain to the letter what the changes will be - it would be much wiser to read the ‘One Month Before Heartbreak’ entries written by actual British citizens if this information is what you seek. What I do know however, is that English men, women and children are facing the repercussions of the implementation of multiple government policy changes that aim to pull their country out of a recession - seemingly a noble cause.
The question is how should this be done? Well, according to many governments around the world, the answer is by introducing spending cuts. Cutting wasteful spending and cutting discretionary services are two common methods of tightening a nation's budget. So let's think about that for a moment, and try to relate it to be problem this whole piece is about. In what conceivable way can money that is directed to supporting millions of Britons living with a disability be deemed wasteful or discretionary? This money is used for these people to survive, and survive being the operative word - This money is not surplus to their needs, it's barely enough for them to live day by day. So why is the government even considering making regressive changes in this ever so important area? I don't know the answer, if you do, please tell me.
The Conservative party of Britain will realise that people with a disability do indeed have a voice, an opinion, and maybe more importantly, a vote