Dear Mr Burstow,
My husband and I would like to express my anger and distress over the following:
- The restructuring of the NHS, which seems unlikely to save any money, but which will put a lot of the NHS into private hands, worsen care, and cause chaos and unemployment. (My husband and I both work in the NHS and thus are particularly concerned about this – not the unemployment personally, but the overall effects.)
- The cuts to the Disability Living Allowance and disability care/benefits in general. The estimated rate of fraud re disability benefits is 1%, which makes a 20% cut in care completely immoral and unfair. The disability activists I know believe that these cuts will result in appalling poverty and conditions for many, many disabled people. I’m very ashamed to be living in a country which can contemplate this. Please look at wheresthebenefit.blogspot.com if you haven’t already, for more on this.
- The general focus on punishing the poor for being poor and on encouraging the rich to stay rich through tax evasion and large bonuses.
- The impending loss of the Education Maintenance Allowance, which was helping many teenagers to stay in school and improve their prospects. This, and many of your other measures, will make social mobility much harder.
- The enormously increased cost of going to university, which again will make social mobility harder (even if the cost is deferred), plus the slashing of academic departments and posts and cuts to both arts and science funding. All of this will have a very worrying impact on the next generation. As someone who is trying to raise two of the next generation, I’m very concerned.
- The loss of the Future Jobs Fund; and the general attitude that everyone should be working no matter what their state of health or responsibilities, even though work is often difficult or impossible to find. Disabled people in particular will often find it hard to find work through no fault of their own, because employers will be reluctant to make the necessary adjustments. Bearing all this in mind, the demonisation of people on benefits leaves a very unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- The cuts to legal aid. I would ask you to look at www.justice4all.org.uk if you haven’t already.
Thank you for your time.
(He replied. When I have time I’ll post some quotes from the reply.)