H/T @WTBDavidG and @djmgaffneyW4
As sickness and disability activists finally hope to see IDS and others hauled before the Work and Pensions Committee for misleading statistics, it can sometimes seem as though the whole country has turned away, happy to lap up the nasty lies of a government and media intent on painting us all as "scroungers" and "skivers".
If only the DWP could brainwash a whole country eh? Well it turns out they can't.
Oh so quietly, nearly a week ago, the government snuck out this revealing little survey from the beginning of the year : https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/209931/ad-hoc-opinions-survey.pdf
In particular, this shiny little nugget on "Government Spending" (Go to tables 20-22) https://t.co/zMqiCqxdvd
When asked "Would you like to see more or less spending than present on disabled people who cannot work? A full 46.7% would like to see government spend MORE or even much more. Just 4.1 % would like to see them spend less.
As one might expect, amongst sick and disabled people, the figure is even higher, with a whopping 61.4% believing the government should spend more and just 2.2% believing the government should spend less.
And remember, these are, in the government's own words, "disabled people who cannot work" - the group so reviled and attacked by the Daily Mail, Daily Express and DWP ministers themselves.
When it comes to carers, responses are even more emphatic. The survey asks "Would you like to see more or less spending than present on benefits for those who care for someone who is sick or disabled (My italics. Please note they use our language now too!)
A whopping 70.6% would like to see more or much more spending on carers benefits. Just 1.8% would like to see government spend less.
This chimes with a Prospect poll from last year in which just 11% of respondents supported cuts to disability benefits. http://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/02/the-benefits-britons-want-to-save-are-the-ones-the-tories-want-to-cut/
Isn't it odd how this government shout false statistics from the rooftops, claiming that "900,000 chose to drop claims for incapacity benefit rather than face new tougher tests" (When the real figure was just 19,000 and those people found work or got better) yet somehow, it slips their minds to mention that the public do not support the devastation they are inflicting on every area of the lives of sick and disabled people.
I'd heard rumours about this data. Apparently, backbench Tories, are seriously alarmed by the implications, chiming with mailbags crammed with pleas from their sick and disabled constituents, some even urging the government to drop DLA reform. Fearful for their safe shire seats, already under unprecedented fire over Incapacity Benefit reforms and social care cuts, PIP was surely a "reform" too far? Is it purely coincidence that almost exactly at the time these findings were compiled, government announced that they would not be migrating those with lifetime DLA (Disability Living Allowance) awards to the new PIP benefit until after the 2015 election???
For me, this data shows that no matter how hard politicians try to smear one of the most vulnerable groups in the country, simply to cut support away from millions, human nature is what it is. We, the people simply aren't as cruel or cold hearted as those that attempt to control us from Westminster.
Again and again, this government totally ignores the views of sick and disabled people. I have never seen politicians so arrogantly refuse to engage or modify their proposals. They slash their way through already desperately challenging lives, using media and fear to attempt to divide and rule.
This data shows it hasn't worked and they proceed with their devastating agenda at their peril.