Erm, nope... When I'm 64 I could still have another 6 years of work ahead of me before I retire. That is of course if I am still alive and fit for work. My father died at 57, mother survived a heart attack at 66. At 39, I already have chronic osteo-arthritis so things look bleak under our Coallition government.
Much has been said in this past week about DLA, which was introduced under John Major in 1992. Briefly, it is an allowance to enable recipients to live as independently as possible. Measures are to be introduced to cut down on the claimants, who will all now face a medical examination. If I were entitled, I would use my allowance to pay for transport as I can only walk short distances and struggle to drive. I do not qualify however as I currently only score 6 of the necessary 15 points, despite being signed off working as a carer as I can only stand for 5 minutes at a time. Once my shoulders completely freeze and I can no longer raise my arms above my head, I will qualify.. something to look forward to then..
My point is, this allowance is difficult to qualify for.. currently it is belived that 0.5% of claims are fraudulent. In order to hunt out the 15,000 odd fraudsters, around 3 million people will face the medical exam. At what cost? This raises a massive paperwork issue and more doctors and clerical staff will have to be recruited to implement it. When you consider that the lower-level care allowance is just £18.95 per week, the ends cannot possibly justify the means.
The majority of DLA claimants are people who suffer from Mobiliby problems, Autism and anxious behaviour. Getting to this examination will be an ordeal in itself and surely can be avoided through proper contact with their GP, Social Worker or Specialist?
And so, to Retirement.. our Beloved Leader wants us to work for longer before claiming our State Pensions. Immediately raising the retirement age to 66 with a view to increasing it to 70. Sounds fair enough, we live longer right? Sure! Maybe thats why George Osborne has abolished the back to work allowance for over 55's? But lets look at a few scenarios for workers over 55...
Politician - "No worries for me, I ll be in the Lords and dont really have to show up that often"
Dentist - "Sorry about your bleeding gums, my grip isnt what it used to be"
Teacher - "Please excuse me again class"... runs to loo before she wets herself
And how about the "normal folk".. the 69 year old bricklayers, electricians, cooks, hairdressers, care assistants.. can you imagine.. ?
I can, and it is ridiculous. I ConDem this Budget to the House!
UPDATE: FANTATSTIC GUARDIAN ARTICLE ON DISABILITY BENEFIT TESTING
Fact check by Cathy Newman