DR UK condemns austerity cult as disabled man kills himself after £20 benefit cut

Mon,3 September 2018
News Benefits

Disabled West Sussex landscape gardener Mark Barber took his own life shortly after learning his benefits would be cut by £20 a week.

Read the full story in the Huffington Post

He left behind a small square Post-It, which says simply: “I am officially begging you please help me!”

I am officially begging you please help me!

This was the last of a series of post-it notes he wrote, detailing his money troubles whilst on benefits – a sad testament to the effects of austerity.

One note even describes how he spent £12 on a phone call to the Department of Work and Pensions to sort out his benefit payments.

Philip Connolly, policy manager at the charity Disability Rights UK, said:

“The Equality and Human Rights Commission, the government’s own advisory body on equalities, has just completed a study on the cumulative impacts of austerity and it documents for the first time, in one place, what the impacts have been.

“Not surprisingly it has found disabled people and single parents have been amongst the most adversely affected by austerity and this is all based on data analysis.

“So, we’re able to say from all these studies that many disabled people have been made poorer, some have been driven into destitution and some have suffered such despair that it appears, from their testimony, to have contributed to them taking their lives.”

Disability Rights UK is calling on the government to urgently review PIP and make much needed improvements including simplified application forms, better trained assessors, and indefinite awards for people with progressive conditions.