Sunday, 6 November 2011

Squeeze and then squeeze some more

Squeeze and then squeeze some more, but what if we can be squeezed no more?
What if you have gone from being a household with two working adults to a household where no one is able to work?

What if after 25+ years of employment one of you becomes too sick/disabled to work? How about if your then previously hard working partner has no option but to give up their job to become your carer?

Their choice you may say but let's look at that assumption-

Social services no longer have the finances they need to provide the daily care people need, those care services have been cut to the bone, so where once upon a time you may have got shopping/housework/daily care you are now only able to get the bare minimum care you need to survive if you are lucky enough to get even that.

Day centres? Closing

Private care? Expensive

So what other options do you have?

Family? I am sure they help all they possibly can but they also are fighting for their own survival, they may have young families of their own, live too far away, or be elderly themselves.

Would you leave a loved one with no care/help while you work long hours each day to make ends meet? Would you fret all day over how they were managing? Had they eaten the sandwich you left them? Had they had a fall? Well would you?

If you answered no then the second earner from that family has no option but to become the carer for the loved one and suddenly a two earner family becomes a family surviving on benefits.

You can no longer continue living as you lived before, you have to think carefully before you purchase anything, do we really need it? Can we do without heating for a few weeks longer? Can we cut down on our shopping bill? What about extra costs associated with disability? Mobility aids? Special foods? Speciality equipment?

Disability Living Allowance is to help with extra costs but as the cost of living rises how many are spending that money to keep afloat? For day to day essentials?

And then the benefits get squeezed.

Money you believed you were entitled too, money you had factored into your monthly finances are under threat, being taken away-

ESA (contribution based) going?

Cold weather payments-gone?

DLA- under threat

Housing benefit-under threat

And many more, some out in the open and some via the back door but all just as crucial to the survival of many people.

So we alter out lifestyle, adapt to our new situation and then the goalposts move again and again and again.

We are proud people, we try to look after ourselves and not burden society, we still have our same values, dreams and needs but it feels very much like we are pushed aside, hidden away, punished by Government, media, and even society that turns its eyes away from us with a shrug of the shoulders and a muttered 'at least it's not our problem'

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


feline9 said...

It is bloody terrifying to think about the future isn't it? It's not like you have any choices, you don't choose to be unable to work, you dont choose to have to depend on benefits to stay afloat, you don't choose to become a 2nd class citizen, you don't choose to become invisible, but that's what you become.....

Ron Graves said...

Penny, as far as I can see, Cold Weather Payments are still with us. Are you thinking of the premium on the Winter Fuel Payment?

That's gone, but it was never intended to be permanent anyway, though we've had it for so long many people don't know that, or have forgotten.

Not saying I'm happy about it, but if Labour had been in power it was always going to be one thing that could be justifiably cut, as it was a temporary measure in the first place.