Home Is Where The Heartache Is …

aloneOur Government is probably completely disinterested to know that since April this year, over 50,000 Motability vehicles have been removed from people with disabilities.

Happy now? Did you claw back that money? Come down hard on those who ‘con the system‘?

Contrary to popular belief, these cars are not ‘free‘; people who qualify surrender most of their disability benefits to pay for them. They have no doubt carefully weighed up the options and decided that independence is worth the financial sacrifice.

It’s no coincidence that Personal Independence Payments arose at the same time as Austerity, aka, The Banking Crisis. Unwilling to blame those who should have carried the can (Bankers), our Government decided instead to target those who played little, if any part in this debacle.

However, at times of financial crisis, it’s always easy to blame the weak and powerless (as history has proven time and again), and our Government, in collusion with the right-wing press, has stoked the rage. How many times can you read the same article about a so-called benefit cheat who is actually a trapeze artist? A mountaineer? A stripper?

Over and over again, the Government perpetuate and encourage these stories – about us – that are simply untrue. Poverty-porn programmes now fill our TV schedules – Benefits this, Benefits that. Cheat, charlatans, wasters.

However, back to those 50,000 vehicles removed. Result? What do you think these families do now? Because 50,00 vehicles equates to at least two people per vehicle, and probably more. So, at least 100,000 people with a disabled person at home now have no access to a car. Or independence.

What do they do? Well, they revert to the bad old days when they relied on a complicated network of favours. So they do less and less as the independence simply isn’t there. They stay at home.

Home should be a safe haven. A place of comfort and family, yet now it is more akin to a prison.

And even there, the claws of right-wing nastiness strikes. I’ve read the comments on social media after every poverty-porn programme – ‘well, they all have massive tellies, they can’t be that poor.’ 

Here’s the thing. When your options are limited, when you’re shoved back into your little box and the door is slammed shut, a TV is a window on a world you simply don’t have access to, and it’s probably being paid for week by week through some money-grabbing company such as Bright House.

The bigger the better – and why not?  All the better to see what we’re missing out on. And it’s a cheap and effective way to educate the kids, to encourage them to aspire for more – look – there’s a world outside of this box we can’t leave, now our car is gone.

Am I angry? You bet I am.

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10 thoughts on “Home Is Where The Heartache Is …

  1. Suzanne says:

    Preaching to the choir sista…. but don’t stop. I am unbelievably angry too. We all should be. Well said.

  2. The savings the government achieves by taking away the mobility allowance is pitiful and minute compared to the loss of independence and social capital for the people who are affected by this act of vandalism. This damage will scar a generation

    The disabled are seen by too many of today’s society as an easy and soft target. Lets not give them a job, lets reduce their benefits, lets pretend they don’t exist.

    I am a person, I do exist, I can do a job. I’m getting angry because of the complexity and injustice of the welfare system. If I am meaningfully employed then my need for benefits is significantly reduced but I am disabled because of an incurable disease so …

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Exactly! I thought I was doing the right thing, continuing to work, be out and about in society, etc. So I don’t then access costly social care services. Keep my chin up, struggle on. Seems I was doing it all wrong and really shouldn’t have bothered. x

  3. Patricia says:

    As always you hit the nail on the head. They have slammed and nailed my box. I’ve had a relapse. They gave me 0 points and I went crash bang . I hit the bottom. I am just getting
    back up. But I need help with the form, when
    I reapply. Where do I go? H E L P !!!!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      First stop is to contact the MS Society or Citizens Advice Bureau. The MS Society produce a great PIP booklet you can download that has a list of organisations that can help on the back pages. This absolutely stinks. O points?? x

  4. Dave says:

    I used to think it was a cull on mobility cars but now I see it’s a cull on the disabled! Keep us indoors and out of sight. The safety of my home became like a prison cell, was just bouncing off the walls. Both metaphorically and literally. Anger can be your best friend when dealing with this system

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I was having the same conversation yesterday with a friend – it’s definitely about keeping us trapped at home. Much more difficult to fight back then.
      My home can already be a prison when I’m having a relapse. My only saving grace is having an understanding boss who picks me up for work. x

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