LETTER: More distress for the vulnerable

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Recently I met a local lady in evident distress, suffering not what John Major drew attention to – a question of Eating or Heating – but from time to time both eating and heating.

This throughout the 18 month period of exceptional rainfall, through two consecutive cold winters also. Disabled and with no less than five debilitating medical conditions she was twice in a ‘touch and go’ condition due to recurring pneumonia. Returning to a damp and cold home from a warm hospital didn’t help. Worse was to come however.

This Horsham district resident then was subjected to the imposition of ‘Bedroom Tax’, some £66 per month payment deducted from her DWP Disability Allowance.

Shortly afterwards I noticed that our Parliament debated the Lib-Dem Con proposal to scrap the Independent Living Fund, a last ditch net to catch and help the distressed when other provisions prove insufficient. Fortunately this Lib-Dem Con proposal was defeated, albeit by only a handful of votes, a narrow squeak this.

It makes your weep doesn’t it when this predominantly Conservative driven Coalition Government, elected to serve the people’s needs, actually sets out to pile further distress, anxiety, indeed oppression upon those its duty is to serve.

Since the General Election of 2010 inflation has been a significant factor and, compounded, now amounts to some 11-12 percent over three and a half years.

In addition we all experience massive price increases this winter of basic needs, food in our supermarkets, electricity in our homes, way above present supposed national inflation rates. Still this Government blusters and prevaricates.

I remember also this very WSCT reporting, as indeed the Daily Telegraph had just apparently done, that our own Horsham constituency MP, none other than over ‘Silent’ Conservative had helped himself to some £803 so many pence of taxpayers’ money towards electricity for one of his three homes, one of his two London homes.

Nice for him isn’t it? Is this the same London home for which he charged £36k of taxpayers money towards his mortgage, only £6k of which did a certain D Cameron require repayment?

Meanwhile here in affluent Horsham, affluent West Sussex, the Salvation Army are relieving some three score or more residents of want with their emergency Foodbank.

Today, bless them, a band of humble volunteers were seeking donations of non-perishable food items collected by Horsham Matters on behalf of Churches Together for a couple of hundred or so also in food poverty, on a crisis management basis, a fully legally established Charity Foodbank to be opened early in the new year.

Well done those who have got these crisis initiatives under way, The Bank also. Just in the nick of time I would say. Heart-warming, the generous shoppers donations dropped into the waiting retail outlet trolleys. Well done.

Shame, however, on this heartless Lib-Dem Con governance who have presented this situation, the Lab profligacy which initially pitched our economy into downturn and recession in the first place leaving our Treasury empty!

Lamentable also our Conservative MP who as Cabinet Minister bears full collective Ministerial responsibility for this consequent horror policy of repression upon those least able to cope.

When elections come may the electorate decide just how best to reward this MP, or will he flee to the House of Lords for yet another generous helping of taxpayers’ money, some £320 per day attendance allowance?

You won’t need your jumpers there Francis Maude, it’s nice and warm at taxpayers’ expense. No charge for electricity here for you.

There are a couple more Chancellor’s Budgets to present and worse to come for us however, the least able to cope in particular.

GRAHAM HARPER

Stane Street, Adversane