Changes in ben­e­fits for dis­abled peo­ple

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

It is good to see Damian Green dis­cussing changes to dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits with those di­rectly af­fected; thank you for cov­er­ing this im­por­tant issue (Au­gust 3).

Whilst as­pects of Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment (PIP) may be bet­ter than Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance (DLA), it is far from perfect.

Is there re­ally any logic in sub­ject­ing a blind or para­plegic per­son, who is prob­a­bly quite rightly al­ready in re­ceipt of the high­est level of ben­e­fit, to an in­ter­view ev­ery three years to see if their award should be re­duced?

By the same to­ken, if some­one has a per­ma­nent award of the high­est level of DLA from a tri­bunal con­sist­ing of highly qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced med­i­cal and le­gal as­ses­sors as well as lay peo­ple who act as a “jury”, what is the point of re-as­sess­ing ev­ery three years? It can only be to try and save money and meet ar­bi­trary wel­fare sav­ings tar­gets.

There are men­tal health con­di­tions such as psy­chosis and se­vere de­pres­sion, with or with­out ag­i­ta­tion, where it is not only cruel to sub­ject suf­fer­ers to a stress­ful face to face in­ter­view but it is also dan­ger­ous for all con­cerned; in such cir­cum­stances, the per­son may well choose to forgo the ben­e­fit al­to­gether rather than put them­selves and oth­ers at risk of se­vere harm.

Al­ter­na­tively, they might de­cide to in­crease their med­i­ca­tion to cope with the stress in which case they may end up half-con­scious and thus un­able to talk or to move from one room to an­other at home let alone travel to and at­tend an in­ter­view some 20 miles away. In such cases, there are other ways that con­di­tions and needs can be as­sessed and risks min­imised, for ex­am­ple on­line in­ter­views and/or us­ing re­ports from car­ers, men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als and/or GPs.

Par­tially thought through wel­fare re­forms should not be al­lowed to pre­cede on the premise that there will in­evitably be an “ac­cept­able” level of “co-lat­eral” dam­age with pos­si­ble changes be­ing made down the line af­ter many lives have been lost or ru­ined. Jonathan Dance North­brooke, Ash­ford I saw the pic­tures and com­ments re­lat­ing to the hare sculp­ture on the round­about (Au­gust 3).

In my opin­ion the hare is star­ing at the car­rot won­der­ing what the UK will do in re­la­tion to food trade un­der any Brexit ar­range­ments. Bill Ben Ash­ford

De­spite that, in my opin­ion, the so-called stench, since the in­tro­duc­tion of flush­ing mech­a­nism for the hold­ing tanks has, if any­thing, di­min­ished.

The very hot weather we have ex­pe­ri­enced this summer is likely to have caused a hard crust to form on any re­main­ing sludge in large hold­ing tanks, which will smell.

The an­noy­ing thing to me is that the coun­cil was warned that any hous­ing de­vel­op­ment pro­posed for the Lit­tle Bur­ton Farm or­chards would be sub­ject to odours from the waste wa­ter plant, and the fac­to­ries in Willes­bor­ough Road, depend­ing on which way the wind blew.

They were warned but they went ahead with the de­vel­op­ment re­gard­less. Profit might have been an in­cen­tive.

I have worked on the said plant, plus oth­ers in Eng­land and Wales and abroad. It was a mis­take to build homes in such cir­cum­stances and so near to the town centre. Ted Prangnell Ken­ning­ton


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