Changes in Widowed Parent’s Allowance robs dying man’s family

April 5, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

Reuters photo



Hazel Speed

Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC programme broadcast a most moving feature. It also took a lot of courage for Victoria herself as she returned to the programme after her own cancer treatment, yet she presented the story of a dying man (renamed ‘Alan’ to protect his family).

You will see by the above link that the Government will be changing the rules of Widowed Parent’s Allowance in a couple of days’ time which means, if Alan does not die before then, his family will lose £50,000.

Alan spoke eloquently despite the initial source of his cancer being in his tonsils.

Baroness Altmann was also included in the video link between Victoria in the studio, and Alan speaking from his bed. The three screen images were shown collectively at times, then individually, Alan, Victoria and Baroness Altmann who all spoke in turn. This added to the poignancy of the whole discussion.

Alan presented the facts about the loss of the benefit in question. He said, bravely, that he contributed towards his health insurance stamps in the hope he would receive a pension when retiring as an older man.

He has a good legal point right there, surely.

Alan also made a further valid point that he probably paid in sufficient monies that even if his family were paid what is due to them under existing terms, the Government will still have saved money on his contributions.

Alan is expected to live a few more months, however, the benefit rules change this week. Obviously Alan and his family would prefer him to be well and live to be a pensioner – something above the value of money.

Baroness Altmann was wonderfully respectful to Alan and honest that in her view these changes basically constituted a money saving project, and when Alan asked if the Lords could raise discussions across all parties she immediately promised she would do this – in fact, I would not be surprised if she contacted the Prime Minister pdq.

He said this was something an Opposition Party should raise but as there isn’t one he thought that only the Lords could consider situations like this. What an Indictment for Mr Corbyn, from a dying man.

Alan showed dignity throughout the broadcast and portrayed great courage and sharp intellect. The whole interview must have taken a lot out of him.

The dilemma for Mrs May, if she is made aware of this case, I am sure a waiver could ensure full benefit to Alan’s family before this week’s benefit changes.

To glean money in this cold and calculating way is a type of moral blood money. Years ago Carers were cheated out of their Guaranteed Pension Credits – the WASPI Campaign refers.

If a country is judged by the way it treats its carers, sick, disabled and dying then this one must surely be considered as morally lacking, that such groups in society are robbed of their earned financial rights, legally taken away – as Alan himself says – it is ‘daylight robbery’.

At the end of the day, we all want to die ‘in peace’ and I trust Baroness Altmann will do her best to expedite that Alan can have that last privilege.

He is obviously a wonderful man, Husband and Father and at this time, every minute of every day, weeks and months left to him should be spent with emotional and spiritual support given from, and reciprocated to, his family. He should not be burdened with these issues at all.

If anyone reading this can help by expediting any initiative I am sure Alan and his family would be most grateful.

Mrs May, do we have to start crowd-funding to help the dying now?










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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