This isn't a case of negligence.
When David Cameron was re-elected as Prime Minister last year, it was not without controversy. Because of low voter turnout, technically only 24% of people eligible to vote in the UK actually voted for him- and as a result the Tory party managed to gain substantial power over the British government despite the fact that few people actually support the party or their policies (via). There's nothing implicitly wrong with a platform of austerity- which is what Cameron has been advocating. But instead of targeting tax evasion, which costs the British government £34bn ($48.16 billion U.S.) in the 2012/2013 tax year (via), the Tory government has been cutting disability benefits. And the results are horrific.
So horrific the United Nations is currently investigating.
Which makes the United Kingdom the first country in the world to be investigated for violating the human rights of people with disabilities by the UN (via). Why? Because the cuts that the government is making are literally killing people. At least 49 suicides have been attributed to budgetary cuts (via). A diabetic man died from diabetic ketoacidosis- a severe lack of insulin- because his benefits were cut after missing only one meeting (via). His stomach was completely empty. Thousands of people have died after being declared fit to work (via).
How much have these disability cuts saved the government? They estimate the cuts would save £1.4bn- over four years.
(Via). Let me remind you again that tax evasion cost them £34bn in ONE year. It would take them almost a hundred years to save that amount from these budgetary cuts.
This isn't austerity. This is murder.
Austerity measures wouldn't mean a 6% increase in spending for the Royal Family in 2014 (via)- double the rate of inflation. Austerity wouldn't mean a decrease in revenue via a corporate tax cut, even though the UK already had the lowest rate in the G20 (via). These policies are not about rescuing the budget. They are about making an incredibly vulnerable group of people the scapegoats for a larger problem. People with disabilities aren't burdens. They're human beings who deserve the same respect and whose lives hold the same sanctity as the rest of us. They're not lazy and looking for a handout. They often need some extra support, or special programs to help them succeed, and that is something they absolutely deserve.
They're ashamed, and they should be.
Last week, Parliamentary authorities forced the BBC to stop filming a live broadcast because the report showed disability benefit cuts protest in the background (via). The British Government doesn't want the world to know how its policies are destroying lives. But it's not enough for them to be ashamed. They need to fix what they've broken, they need to listen to activists and protesters demands, and they need to learn to treat their citizens, ALL of their citizens, with respect.