So, on this morning's Andrew Marr show, they said claiming benefits was 'easy'.
Only it's not. I've just heard of another friend's friend who's taken her own life because she couldn't handle dealing with the benefits system. She was found fit for work, and they cut her PIP. She stockpiled paracetamol and took her own life.
Unfortunately this is a story we are hearing all too often now.
Claiming benefits is one of the hardest things anyone that needs to claim them has to do. Not only are the forms complicated, and you're made to jump through hoops to get everything right, the assessments can be degrading and demoralising. Not to mention the stress if you get turned down and you have to go through the mandatory reconsideration and tribunals process afterwards. It's too much.
And then there's peoples pride. A lot of people in this country were brought up to be proud people. To be proud to have a job. The British stiff upper lip and all that. But then they fall ill (not just the common cold mind you - a long term chronic illness I'm talking about here), or they're made redundant, and they lose their job, and suddenly their pride turns to shame as they realise they can't live on their savings alone - if they have any at all. They realise they need to claim benefits for the first time in their lives to help them survive - only some find that the shame of becoming one of those people they were previously so proud NOT to be haunts them so bad they can't survive - and they take their own life.
Think claiming benefits is easy? Think again.