Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)
The Man Who Killed Himself Because His Benefits Were Stopped. the Seriously-Ill Woman Who Was Told to Get a Job to Get Her Cash
Byline: Adrian Pearson Regional Affairs Correspondent ? 0191 201 6286 ? firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVID Cameron has been urged to look again at disability benefit changes after a Northumberland man committed suicide when told he would lose all support.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery told a stunned House of Commons that he had received a copy of a suicide note written by a housebound 54-year-old man in his constituency who took his own life after a battle with the Department for Work and Pensions. In an emotional question to the Prime Minister, Mr Lavery called for those losing disability benefits as a result of Government cuts to at least be allowed to undergo an impact assessment to see how the withdrawal of financial support will affect them.
The Labour MP said: "I have in my hand a genuine suicide note from a constituent of mine who, sadly, took his own life after he was informed that he was no longer entitled to employment and support allowance and disability benefits.
"Across the UK, more than 1,000 people have died only months after being told to find work. This is 2012, we are supposed to be a civilised society. We should be looking after disabled citizens in the UK.
"Will the Prime Minister listen to the 62,000 people who have signed a petition on this and please finally order an assessment of all changes hitting disabled people in this country?" The PM insisted more money was going to those who remained on disability benefits. He said: "Everyone's thoughts will go out to that person's family because of what has happened to them.
"What I would say is that the actual money that we are putting into disability benefits over the coming years is going up, not down. I think that everybody knows and accepts that we need to have a review of disability benefits.
"Some people have been stuck on these benefits and not been reviewed for year after year after year. …