Reform needed: UK benefit system


So I heard a story today about how the recent cuts to the benefit system have affected a friend of my Aunt’s. This woman is severely disabled. So much so that she is not only confined full time to a wheelchair but cannot push herself in it and is not capable of lifting herself onto the toilet without a hoist. She has such an immense amount of problems that even I can’t explain. Her benefits have been cut because the UK government has for some incomprehensible reason decided that she is actually competent to work. This is a woman who, if she could actually gain employment in the current economic situation, with the lack of experience that she now has for being out of the workplace for so long, wouldn’t be able to access to the toilet while she was at work. Quite frankly, I think that is degrading and ridiculous. This woman has 4 children who she has to support and their father is no longer living with them. So the government now expects her to work, look after herself when she is severely disabled and to parent her children.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cuts, I don’t believe we can continue to work efficiently with such a large amount of debt and matters definitely need to be taken into hand. Yet, these kind of cuts that have life changing consequences to the truly vulnerable in our society, for whom the benefit and welfare system was set up to protect, seems utterly irredeemable. The local MP in our area even got involved to try to prevent her benefits being cut, the outcome to this is still unclear, yet I still cannot believe that the system our government has put in place has led to this situation in the first place.

It seems to be that MPs seem to make decisions that affect people without fully thinking through the consequences of their actions, either that, or they are no long able to fully relate to the issues that face citizens today.

Of course, there are two ends of the spectrum to the benefit system. You have situations such as this where benefits are clearly and obviously needed. However, you then get the over claiming of benefits when they are not truly needed. I’m not an expert on benefit fraud but I do know that it happens, I think that it is probably over-exaggerated by news outlets but I still think that it is something that needs to grind to a fast and resonating halt.

I can’t believe and I don’t want to believe that this is the best we can get from our government and society. I look back in history at how far the UK, and other countries for that matter, have progressed and hope beyond hope that these advancements will continue. It doesn’t have to be fast but I need to see it happening to continue to have faith in my government and civilisation. I hope that benefit fraud will stop as people realise how immoral it is and how it negatively affects others, however, I’m aware that this is probably too hopeful.

A system that has to cater for a whole country is never going to perfect. But surely there is a better, more efficient and worthwhile approach for all that can be taken here. I’m not a believer in standing by and just dealing with what we get given. We elect our government to represent us, it becomes invalid if it’s not achieving what we want and desire, within the remits of what is possible of course, I don’t expect miracles!

Advertisements

About louisepageblog
Student, proudly what most people would call feminist, a strong believer in - 'When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.'

4 Responses to Reform needed: UK benefit system

  1. It’s shocking, isn’t it? Sometimes I have to stop and think what country I am in. I recently acquired a brain injury and have unfortunately had to experience the benefits system first hand. Due to a technicality, the only benefit I am eligible for is housing benefit which doesn’t even cover my rent for a room in somebody else’s house. I cannot work, so as a compromise looked into becoming a part time student while I recover. I cannot: they no longer offer student loans to part time students, as of this year. So I am left with no money, unable to work, with virtually no support from my government. Little over two months ago I had a full time job. I paid my taxes. Now I am soon to become homeless.

    • Thank you for your comment! I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It is awful that our welfare system, and mere technicalities, have left you in this position. I do hope that your health improves and the situation will be remedied!

  2. C says:

    The one thing that I would say that everybody’s situation is different so as you say a universal system does not work BUT nor will an indivdual one, its lucky we have enough money to actually help people in our country and looking forward to having more conversations when I see you thsi weekend.

  3. Pingback: The Debt Crisis: Let’s just stop blaming people « louisepageblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: