People often suspect that the purpose of recent welfare reforms was not to make the system more efficient or more fair, but to make the system so hostile, punitive and humiliating that people would be deterred from claiming. A decision by the DWP has just fuelled this suspicion.
A new report from the TUC says the majority of social security cuts announced by the government will fall on working families, who will suffer twice the level of benefit losses as out of work families.
A friend of mine who uses a wheelchair was recently approached by a stranger who crossed over the road to talk to her. Without knowing anything about her, he told her that he supported her right to die with dignity through assisted suicide. She told him that she was more concerned with her right to live than her right to die.
Budget measures announced by UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne include a cap on the overall amount spent on a range of social security measures. People who become severely ill or injured, or face other unexpected needs, may find their already low standard of living forced down, regardless of how much they have contributed to society.
The full motion (the "question put and agreed", in parliamentary language) in the WOW petition debate on a cumulative impact assessment welfare reform in the House of Commons on 27 February 2014 is set out in full below.