It was welcome to hear former chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Andrew McDonald, admit the Benefits process is ‘Kafkaesque’. Andrew was informed in April he was no longer eligible for PIP, despite Parkinson’s (a condition affecting similar numbers as Post Polio Syndrome) and terminal cancer. A decision suggesting his condition is improving!
It would be laughable, were it not so serious. The British Polio Fellowship and other charities are routinely ignored on this issue. The powers that be may listen to one of their own but if I was Andrew, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Andrew ‘doesn’t need the money’, but how do you survive waiting for a review if not so lucky? 71 percent of decisions are overturned, but could you cope six months without money with winter upon us? On the up side, there are savings to be made (not to mention a 16.1 percent profit margin) if Andrew and the rest of us conveniently get rejected and/or die in the interim?
Who could argue with Andrew’s assessment that the current system is ‘out of kilter with the best traditions of British public service’. People with Polio and PPS in need of application support can visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship