‘An Existence, Not A Life’ – Disabled In Glasgow | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland


– There’s nothing to think
about, or concentrate on, other than, “I’m fed up with this,” and I couldn’t do anything about it, and I still can’t do anything about it. You’re still stuck in
the same hamster wheel, going round, and round, and round, with just an existence and not a life, when I had a life before. (dramatic music) – The age of irresponsibility
is giving way to an age of austerity. – They’re all good at shouting about this, shouting about that, they’re not looking at the real issues. – The child poverty rates are staggering. – Over recent years, hostility has definitely risen
towards disabled people. – And I know there are many dedicated public sector workers who work very hard, and did not cause this recession, but they must share the burden
as we pay to clean it up. (dramatic music) (piano music) – Over the last 10 years or more, social care budgets
have been radically hit, so between the rise in need and demand, the cuts to social care packages, the rise in thresholds,
meaning that you have to have far, far more severe impairments and needs to get the social care packages, compounded by austerity
and the welfare cuts, it’s been a perfect storm, affecting the lives of disabled people. (atmospheric music) – You’re almost kind
of made to feel guilty for asking for what you’re entitled to, because there are limited resources that are having to be
spread among so many people, and you’re aware of other people maybe are living in more
difficult circumstances, so it’s almost that feeling of,
“How dare I ask for better?” (atmospheric music) There’s also always that kind of threat that if I ask for something different, or something more, that what I’ve got at the moment could be taken away. It’s that kind of overarching
feeling a lot of the time of not quite being believed as
an expert in your own needs. (atmospheric music) – Yeah, no, that’s what
they were asking people more and more, “Have you not
got any friends and family?” But that’s not a situation I’m in, and I cannae be the only
one in that situation, to be honest. – 25% of disabled people feel that they’re not included in their communities at all, so it’s an unrealistic
expectation that they be connected enough to the communities to be able to come in, and that’s, of course, I’m speaking about people that maybe don’t have family support. (atmospheric music) – It’s not for the first
time I’m left in my own mess, and I’m left sitting in a wheelchair and no one’s there to put me to bed. They just don’t give a
monkey’s, they should not be allowed to do what they’re doing. It should basically be against the law. (sombre piano music) – Being two disabled
people in a relationship, there’s obviously huge
challenges that that brings. But it also means that there is an inherent understanding there of the day-to-day things
you come up against. Particularly, if Maria is not having a particularly good
day, so the extra things like making sure that she’s eating, making sure that she’s taking medication, it’s what I do basically,
because it’s not covered by the support package, because
it was initially assessed that that wasn’t necessary,
and some days it isn’t, but she has a number of conditions that fluctuate, so some days, it is. The kind of public picture
of disabled people, of people on benefits especially, has deteriorated over the last ten years. Hostility has definitely
risen towards disabled people, and I would argue, in
turn, our organisations. We are somehow portrayed as
these layabouts and scroungers that get all this money and are
living in the lap of luxury. And because a lot of
us don’t have a voice, that becomes a very easy picture to sell. We have to be looking at what kind of society do we want to live in, what kind of future do we
want our children to have, and our families, the people that we love? – I was always mixing,
mixing with everybody. But that is becoming less,
and less, and less now. (ambient music) – If someone had a choice about when the get out of bed in the morning, and get washed and dressed,
having enough money to pay for food and bills and transport, we can then focus on,
“What else can I do?” You know, because you’re not having to worry just surviving. (ambient music)

1 thought on “‘An Existence, Not A Life’ – Disabled In Glasgow | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland

  1. "£11.20 better off"…with PIP?
    5:05
    Whoever wrote that response genuinely deserves to die from a horrible cancer.

    I'm not wishing cancer on people willy nilly… Wouldn't you prefer, karmicly speaking… That the author of that response died from bone cancer instead of some innocent child who hasn't grown up to be the scum of the earth yet? For example.

    Just saying…
    A bunch of kids have died from horrible bone cancer in the last few years… But don't worry, they were £11.20 better off with PIP.

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