05 February 2011

Being Disabled in the Worlds 6th biggest Economy

         Being in a wheelchair, or having to walk in crutches, having a severe debilitating illness or Epilepsy is really got to suck big time. I suspect that most people in first world countries are so used to modern medicine, and the benefits of childhood vaccinations that seeing people who aren't in good health is probably quite rare for many.

But of course the disabled are with us, those people who though no fault of their own picked up a design flaw in the womb, had an accident or disease, and are unable to work, or in some cases look after themselves.

Most modern societies understand this, and try to make an attempt to make life bearable for the disabled,  being via a Government benefit, work done by a charity, or some sort of religious organization.

Babies and children are now living when they used to die, but sometimes at a price of their health, and those who would normally have died through neglect or lack of medicine are now living longer, much longer. Some people can lead fairly normal healthy working lives, but others will need Government support. Personally as a tax payer, I'm quite happy for this, while I'm not happy to keep those F^*%&;*g Bankers in Porsches, when they messed it up for everyone.

We have come a long way from Victorian times when Charles Dickens wrote "Nicholas Nickleby" that told of the events of Dotheboys Hall. For those unfamiliar with the Children's orphanages of the times, some not all, were actually set up to kill children, not bring them up or put them up for adoption. Newspapers of the times would advertise child care, for just a few pence, and the child would disappear. It was not until "Nicholas Nickleby" was written that the British govt took steps to end this practise.

Speaking of which, now the UK has a newish Tory Government, and the first thing they seem to need to do is change things, all sorts of things, anything that will look like they are doing something, anything. As long as I can remember, the NHS has been undergoing some sort of "reform", year after year.

Welfare is also a popular political football, over the last few years people on Disability benefit have been the ball, and the Ministers have doing the bend it like beckham kicking.

But is benefit fraud really such a problem? Some suggest not. Currently the plan is to get as many people as possible off benefit's and into work. There are only two major problems

1)The recession

2) The people who say "Yes, this person can work", are not responsible for also finding these (certainly non-existent) jobs.

It's not as if MPs are known for rorting the system is it?

A few things to think about:-
Data from Family Resources Survey and the National Equalities Panel 2010 found that:
· 75% of disabled women and 70% of disabled men are already at the bottom end of Britain’s income distribution scale living in poverty.
· A tenth of disabled woman have incomes below £31 per week and a tenth of disabled men have incomes below £59 per week including earned income and benefits.

I have a friend with epilepsy, suddenly she will fall to the ground, have some minor convulsions, and gets up after a few minutes, oddly enough this can be off putting to some people...really.

So what sets this off you ask?

Lets see..stripey shirts, stripy shadows, car indicators,  fluorescent lighting, bastards with flash cameras who take photos after being told not to, flashing mouse cursors...flickering things..you get the idea. The govt agency that was trying to get her employment tried for 4 years to put her in work, before they actually decided that someone who falls over at the turning on of a light switch is probably a bit in the too hard basket. It only took 7 case managers to decide this.

My friend really would have liked to have been able to get a proper job, you know, have money to travel the world and see things, go on a drive through Paris, Red Square in Moscow, Night Clubs in Rome, cruise the Nile. But no, she lives in the darkness of her flat, someone might take her shopping , sometimes going out to the local shops after the sun goes down.

She won't get better..there is no cure. 

Being disabled...it really sucks..

So the government wants to cut what little they already get. Sickening.

But we are getting replacements for Trident, you know, those submarines that we will never actually use, just in case Russia does something, like turn off the gas, or China sends no more flat screen TVs.

BTW the UK Treasury have done a deal with Liechtenstein and Switzerland about the people hiding their money in the tax exile
The  first is that the Lichtenstein disclosure arrangement will yield up to £3 billion to HM Revenue and Customs, rather than the £1 billion first forecast.   This is, in retrospect, unsurprising .  The Lichtenstein deal is extraordinary.  It  offers a flat rate penalty of 10% for the disclosure of significant tax evasion.  The normal penalty for evasion can be up to 100%, and simple errors made by honest traders can often carry penalties of 30% , even when  voluntarily disclosed to HMRC.

The  second claim is that the forthcoming deal with Switzerland on withholding tax will raise up to £6 billion for HM Revenue and Customs over the next four years.  But in this case the question is why is the capital that underpins these tax evaded funds being ignored?   If the withholding tax is to be at 35%  over £4 billion of income must be involved each year to generate £1.5 million for HMRC.  That implies that HMRC  think there are more than £100 billion  of illicitly held funds in Switzerland  and yet they are doing nothing to recover the tax that should’ve been paid on those funds in the first place.
From Tax Research

But I have to pass you over to someone who really knows what she is talking about, her name is Sue Walsh, she is on twitter here http://twitter.com/#!/suey2y and she blogs here diary of a benefit scrounger , and she has written for the Guardian and she rocks! 

Also to read up on who is and who isn't paying their fair share of tax, read Taxresearch, I certainly am.

  If I have a bad day, it's all over. It's always because of my disability. "Oh, that poor girl, she's upset because she has a disability" and I'll say, "No, I'm upset because my boyfriend left me." "Oh, because he couldn't deal with the disability?" "No, because I slept with his best friend".."Oh, you slept with his best friend because you were feeling bad because you have a disability.”
Ellen Stohl (first playboy playmate with a disability)

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