The Green Benches

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The Green Benches
by Dr Éoin Clarke (PhD)

These 10 people killed themselves because of government cuts to their
benefits. #RIP

1. & 2. Helen & Mark Mullins both aged 48 killed themselves together in a suicide pact because they had
become so poor as a result of Helen losing her DLA and having their daughter removed from custody. The
family, unable to afford a fridge, used to hang bags of food in the garden to keep them cold. (see link)

3. Wandsworth’s Richard Sanderson a 44 year old former pilot took his life after he feared his family would
be made homeless due to a cut in his housing benefit because of his inability to find work. (see link)

4. A woman wrote to DPAC to inform them that her 33 year old sister had committed suicide after first failing
to kill herself by overdose and then jumping to her death. (see link)

5. Martin Rust aged 36, from Norwich, was declared fit to work by the DWP. Martin took his life and left his
family with the note "To those I love I am sorry. Goodbye". (here)

6. Sunderland’s Leanne Chambers aged 30 drowned herself after receiving a letter saying that she was fit to
return to work. She had battled depression for years. (see link)

7. Leith’s acclaimed writer 48 year old Paul Reekie took his own life one month after George Osborne’s
emergency budget in June 2010 announced a crackdown on welfare. Letters informing Reekie that he was to
have his benefits cut were found close to his bodily person on death. (see link)

8. Hull’s Elaine Christian aged 57 slashed her wrist ten times and jumped into a river and drowned on route
to a disability assessment to decide if her benefits should be taken from her. (see link)

9. Northants’ Paul Wilcoxen aged 33 took his own life by hanging himself in a forest as he had spent a
summer searching for work. His suicide letter expressed worries about government cuts. (see link)

10. Frank Campbell, aged 55, killed himself in protest because of the red tape bureaucracy required of him to
gain his benefits (here)
See also, Stephen Hill (here)

See also, Paul Turner (here). #RIP

The last paragraph of a Freedom of Information Response by the Department of Work & Pensions yesterday
makes for terrifying reading. It surveys those who were found "Fit to Work" (FFW) by ATOS or abandoned their
claim in the face of a pending ATOS assessment and what they are doing now by way of securing an income.
The results of the second wave (page 37) are chilling, especially because in some cases the persons involved
had been found fit to work 15 months previously. After that period of up to 15 months, 29% of those found fit
to work are actually working. 22% were in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance that is to say trying to find work.
6% were in receipt of other benefits (eg Income Support or a Pension). A staggering 43% of people found fit to
work by ATOS were not only not in work, or trying to find work - they were actually in complete, total and
utter limbo. They have no fixed income by way of a wage or benefit and they are utterly frozen out of
society. Quite how many of those people are surviving is a staggeringly frightful question that I do not have
the answer to. In the survey many do not provide an answer as to how they are coping. A minutiae of
intelligence is required to grasp the fact that if these people who are found fit to work are now a) not
working b) not actively seeking work then they must not have been fit for work in the first place. They very
vast majority I would assume should have their ESA reinstated.

(see the FoI response to Mr Malpas at this link here)

& you can read the May 2011 DWP report (here).

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Description: More victims to add to the ever increasing evidence of Corporate Manslaughter