Another person has died as a direct result of Duncan Smith’s draconian welfare reforms.
Ex-soldier, David Clapson, 59, died of diabetic ketoacidosis because he could not afford the electricity needed to run the refrigerator where he kept his insulin, died with no food in his stomach and only £3.44 in his account, the coroner in Stevenage has found.
David was penalised under the draconian new benefits rules after missing an appointment with an advisor last summer and had his £71.70 per week Jobseeker’s Allowance stopped.
Without any form of income, David died alone in his home – alone, hungry and penniless. He had just six tea bags, a tin of soup, and an out-of-date can of sardines in his cupboards, and his electricity card was out of credit.
David was no ‘scrounger’. David joined the army at 17, and during his career served two years in Belfast at the height of the troubles in the 1970s. After leaving, David joined BT where he worked for 16 years. David then had different jobs until he became his mother’s full time carer after she suffered dementia.
When David’s mother was put into a home, David claimed benefits while he desperately looked for work. When David was discovered dead at his home, a pile of his CVs were found close to his body.
Talking to the Mirror, David’s sister, Gill Thompson, believes her brother may have stopped injecting himself with insulin after becoming desperate because of his situation after having his only source of income stopped. “I think he just gave up. I want the lessons to be learned. I don’t want anybody else to die. He shouldn’t have died like that. You wouldn’t let an animal die like that, would you?” she said.
“I just, I look at food now and think, ‘My brother didn’t have any.’
“My brother was not a scrounger. He was getting £71.70 a week. He was not living on champagne and caviar. They should have taken into account his past work and his condition.”
Stevenage council leader Sharon Taylor slammed Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith over David’s treatment.
She stormed: “He should hang his head in shame. David served his country. Treating him like this is disgusting. This tragic death is a direct result of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.”
Gill told the Mirror that officials knew he was diabetic because he nearly died when his benefits were stopped previously, and she demanded change to the welfare system.
After David’s death Gill wrote to officials. She said: “The answers came back, ‘Oh well, we followed procedures.’ Well I’m sorry to say the procedures don’t work if people die.”
Gill also told how David was also sanctioned in 2010 after not putting enough information down on a claim form. He fell ill but was rescued by a neighbour.
A spokesman for the DWP gave the usual callous answer one would expect from a fascist dictator’s henchman, “Claimants can get financial support through the hardship fund. People can also appeal against sanctions.”
Of course what the DWP doesn’t say is that doing either (if the person is aware of it in the first place) is a purposely obstructive process which puts people already under yet more unbelievable pressure.
Contrary to the image the idiots in government like to portray, most people on benefits – especially those with a long previous work history – DO NOT want to be held to ransom when they are genuinely trying to help themselves. They need proper and meaningful support – not penalisation.
People like David are vulnerable. After having their lives turned upside down by unexpected or devastating life events, the last thing they need is a bureaucratic robot moron reciting standards lines from their PR manual. They need people who will listen, properly explain things in easy to understand language, and who will provide real practical help. People in a pressured situation may not fully understand what they can and can’t do – and we are not too sure if DWP staff understand it.
Duncan Smith has a lot of blood on his hands. This very nasty excuse for a human has done nothing but destroy the welfare system, and a lot of lives with it – let alone costing the taxpayer millions of pounds (if not more when the true cost finally becomes public) in unnecessary expenditure that could have been spent on health, welfare, and social care.
He is more than happy to spend taxpayer’s money to promote himself, having recently wasted £30,000 on a YouTube channel for himself that no-one watches!
It is way past time that this inhuman trash was made accountable for his actions and the deaths he is responsible for. He values nothing but himself and what he and his cronies can steal from the taxpayer for their own greedy self-interests.
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