Dear Prime Minister,
Immoral targetting of disabled people
I would like to protest at the unjust and cruelly vindictive bedroom tax which you have imposed on 660,000 households in publicly rented housing across the country, up to two-thirds of which are estimated to include a disabled member. This measure, along with others, constitutes a deliberate and purposeful targetting of disabled people, people for whom life is a struggle in any event, and people who are vulnerable in a variety of ways.
It is hardly credible that a normal human being with the usual sort of moral sense would for a moment consider enacting such cruelty. What you are doing is unconscionable.
Your policies, and you as individual person, are in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (ratified by the United Kingdom in 1951, and fully incorporated into UK law with the Human Rights Act 1998).
You have breached Article 1 of the Declaration: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
You are not acting in a spirit of brotherhood. Indeed, your policies, and the general approach of your government, have been to demonise and stigmatise all social security claimants and people who through no fault of their own cannot be productive in terms of earning a wage, yet of course contribute to the social and cultural life of this nation in many ways.
You are in breach of Article 25(1): “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
On a continuing daily basis, even before the new changes to social security took effect in April 2013, we hear accounts of how more and more people have to attend food banks even to maintain a basic standard of sustenance, and this being so, clearly social security support is not adequate for some people. (One of your responses has been to blame such people for their own plight as a result of frittering away their money on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling, a claim that would be just laughable if it were not also shamefully false.)
By uprating most benefits by only 1%, at less than the rate of inflation, you have effectively cut social security payments for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Considering that our nation is one of the richest in the world, this can only be considered as a deliberate act of malice, a policy whose known and intended result is increased suffering for people least able to bear it.
Your claim that you need to “make hard choices” is bizarrely spurious in the extreme, and your talk of the “need to reduce the deficit” is nothing more than a smoke-screen designed to bamboozle the economically ignorant whom you are treating with contempt and derision. Any need to alter the fiscal arrangements of this country can easily be accommodated without harming poor and vulnerable people, not least by dealing with the scandals of tax avoidance and the grotesque levels of bonuses paid to bankers, and most certainly by introducing a just and progressive income tax system.
I am able to test your moral bankruptcy by predicting that before you read this sentence you were already laughing contemptuously and dismissively at this letter. If you lack moral integrity, others do not; and the people of this fine land will find ways to challenge your harmful influence. I for one will be working to vote you out at the next election.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Purposeful stigmatisation of social security claimants (many other sources could also be cited)