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Michael O’Sullivan Case Must Be Turning Point In Cuts Fight, Says SNP MP

September 25, 2015

DISABLED rights campaigning MP Natalie McGarry is planning to hold a conference of disability groups in a bid to fight the Tory’s cruel welfare cuts which are killing vulnerable people.

Westminster’s shadow SNP spokesperson for disabilities insisted the shocking case of a disabled man, who took his own life after being deemed fit for work by Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare regime, must be the turning point in the fight against cuts.

The UK Government’s welfare reforms have, for the first time, officially been blamed for triggering the death of disability benefit claimant Michael O’Sullivan in a coroner’s report.

The report sparked fury among Scottish disability rights campaigners and Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil, who say this is “the most damning evidence yet” which proves that the benefit reforms are killing people.

Now McGarry is stepping up the pressure on the Tories by organising a conference of disability organisations in a bid to put forward a non-political united position on welfare reform.

She also also been invited to a meeting being set up by the disability campaign group Black Triangle at Westminster over the death of O’Sullivan.

McGarry said O’Sullivan’s death is the tip of the iceberg because 90 people a month have died after having work capability assessments (WCA).

She said: “The DWP rules are the same for everybody across the UK, except where the Scottish Government has mitigated or made different decisions, but that doesn’t change the core policy so WCA is carried out in the same way whether you are in London or Glasgow.

“You would hope this ruling by the coroner would be the turning point but this Government is heartless.

“We still don’t know how many people have died through suicide or as part of the condition they had within weeks of being found fit for work.

“The UK Government has not been forthcoming on those figures and we have only just got the information that 90 people found fit for work die every month within weeks of work capability assessments.

“We haven’t got any breakdown of what that means so this is the first time a direct link has been made officially between WCA and suicide.

“We need to know the real figures, how many other families are suffering from the same circumstances and why has it gone so wrong that 90 people a month are dying within weeks of being found fit for work. It is utterly appalling.

“There is an absolute callousness to it. The Tory Government tried to hide these figures for months until they were forced by the Information Commissioner to release them. They know how much damage they are doing to people’s lives and they want to keep everyone in the dark so they don’t ask questions.

“It took months of Parliamentary pressure from the SNP and Labour asking about these figures and involving the Commissioner before they would consider releasing them so you wonder what other basic crimes against humanity have been committed under the guise of WCA that we still don’t know about and we don’t have the information about.”

The O’Sullivan case was exposed by the Disability News Service which focuses on issues such as discrimination, equality, independent living, benefits, poverty and human rights.

McGarry said she would be happy to attend a meeting with Black Triangle in a bid to put more pressure on the UK Government to stop the reforms.

She added: “All we can do is keep pressing them on questions, keep pushing in the Chamber and we are going to try to get an adjournment debate. We had a Westminster Hall debate but they are hopelessly devoted to the current strategy.

“I am trying to meet with the minister and organise a conference of disability organisations across the UK so that we can put forward a united position on welfare reform that goes beyond being party political.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    September 25, 2015 12:22 am

    and another mp coming out of the woodwork saying our outrageous welfare reforms are and all the deaths etc

    well i’m afraid until these welfare deaths are halted then she is just talking and no action like all the other mp’s

    talk is cheep it’s action that is needed

    i was asked the other day what mp will stand up for the sick and disabled and i replied there wasn’t anyone capable of dealing with IDS and he will just go on and on until his death in the persecution of the sick and disabled

  2. September 25, 2015 12:44 am

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.

  3. Bookworm permalink
    September 25, 2015 9:06 am

    John McDonnell and Debbie Abrams have fought for years for justice for claimants. Check out DPACs website for links.

    • Nick permalink
      September 25, 2015 10:01 am

      fighting for justice if fine and worthy and most of us here do that and i know Debbie and john do there best but it’s never going to work with IDS as he far to strong a politician so in reality the other mp’s are just like you and me and that’s just talking and getting nowhere while the deaths of the sick and disabled continue to stack up

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