The following is from a very revealing transcript of David Cameron’s interview with Andrew Marr earlier today.
Cameron implied that dying is somehow an appropriate punishment for failing to attend an interview at the Jobcentre, in order to save “the tax payer” money. Cameron thinks that taxing the wealthy is “immoral,” but evidently, formulating policies that cause the death of vulnerable citizens is acceptable. Cameron made it plain that he has no intention of carrying out a policy review, or of investigating the growing number of deaths correlated with the conservative party’s welfare cuts.
He showed a complete lack of remorse and basic compassion for David Clapson (and his family,) who died as a direct consequence of the cruel sanction regime that Cameron introduced as part of benefit conditionality, which is now an integral part of the wider welfare “reforms.”
THE ANDREW MARR SHOW, BBC 19.4.15 (Full transcript here.)
David Cameron before the news:
AM: Well you also talked to Evan Davis about the twenty two billion pounds of welfare cuts you’ve made so far as if that was easy. Do you accept that has hurt a lot of poor and vulnerable people?
DC: Well it has involved difficult decisions. But of course as we’ve done that we’ve been getting two million people into work, nine hundred thousand people…
AM: Difficult decisions for you; a lot of real pain and suffering for people out there.
DC: Well, we have protected for instance the pension, we’ve protected benefits for the lowest paid, we’ve always made sure that we’ve increased spending on disability benefits rather than reduced it. But crucially the nine hundred thousand people we’ve got off welfare and into work that has actually saved money but it’s also been good for ourcountry and crucially good for them:a job is the best route out of poverty that there is.
AM: What about the million people depending on food banks?
DC: Well obviously I want a country where people don’t depend on food banks, we did something.
AM: But why are more people depending on food banks?
AM: And according to the Trussell Trust who run these banks that accounts for just three percent of people using food banks at the moment so it’s not a significant thing. But can I take you to an individual case, James [he meant David] Clapson. Clapson who was a former soldier worked very hard for a long time then was on benefits, failed to turn up to two job centre interviews, [it was just one interview that David missed,] had his benefits removed for a month, he was diabetic, his insulin couldn’t be refrigerated and he died two weeks later.
Now that is the kind of case that is coming up again and again and again and shows that the welfare cuts have been agonisingly painful for real people out there.
DM: Well we have hardship funds and councils have hardship funds for exactly those sorts of tragic cases but if you’re asking me…
AM: It didn’t work.
DC: If you are asking me is it right that people who are asked to turn up for interviews or asked to fill in a CV or asked to apply for a job should have to do those things before getting benefits then yes it’s right that we do have that system in place but we always, as I put it on the steps of…
AM: But the system has been very very aggressive, another case of a man who had learning difficulties and filled in his form by hand rather than by computer and was refused benefits, there is lots of these cases as you won’t have a review, you should have a review of the system surely?
DC: I look at all of those individual cases and all of those cases can be addressed by the hardship funds and by the flexibilities that are there in the system but we have sanctions for a reason, people watching this programme…
AM: You don’t get the hardship fund for two weeks.
DC: Hold on a second…
DC: People watching this programme who pay their taxes, who work very hard, they don’t pay their taxes so people can sign on and show no effort at getting a job, as I put it on the steps of Downing Street those who can should; those who can’t we always help – that is the principle that should always underline a compassionate benefits system.
We do not have a compassionate welfare system: we have a re-designed system that is draconian because of the “reforms” – it’s more about taking money from people than supporting them. It’s about punishing people into work. That is precisely why people like David Clapson are dying. No support was given to David, and many others like him.
Cameron’s rhetoric isn’t remotely coherent or compassionate, let alone honest.
Let’s not forget that it was Cameron’s government that has ruthlessly stigmatised, dehumanised and scapegoated unemployed and disabled people, in order to justify punishing them by removing their support and handing out the subsequent “savings” to millionaires, who gained £107,000 each per year, whilst those who paid for it – and we are also tax payers, Mr Cameron – are suffering and dying, and the establishment look on with contemptible, pathological, greedy, grasping, self-serving indifference.