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Monday, 30 March 2015

Benefit scrounger rhetoric has gone too far now

Reading in the Telegraph today about a blind man who arranged a charity darts event to raise money for Guide Dogs for the blind has now been investigated by the DWP for frauding the system. This idea of scroungers has gone too far now and is causing unnecessary stress and unease on many innocent disabled people. This has got to end. The fact someone would report someone to the DWP for attempting to do normal things as a blind person so thinking they can’t be blind is a disgrace and brings real shame on us as a society. I know people who have been refused disabled benefits as they can walk to their local pub all be it in great pain but they do it because they wish to get out and socialize. If we are going to start going down this route of if you are not at home all the time practically bed ridden you are not disabled in the DWP's eyes. This incident roubles me greatly on many levels. It will send out the message that trying to live independent and be active in your community is not to be encouraged as you may be suspected as being on the take in terms of your benefits. What a ridiculous situation we are in. "A blind man who held a charity marathon darts event was investigated over benefit fraud because he was too good. Visually-impaired Robert Boon, 50, organised a ten-hour "arrow" throw to raise £500 to buy two guide dogs. Mr Boon is registered blind as he is completely blind in one eye and only able to see shadows in the other. He scored an impressive 61,000 points on the night by standing and playing darts on his own for ten hours. Mr Boon said due to the repetitive action of dart throwing he was able to maintain some degree of accuracy. But shortly after the event he was called to a meeting by the Department for Work and Pensions to assess his eligibility to claim benefits. He was stunned to discover a member of the public had reported him - claiming someone that good at darts could not possibly be blind. Robert Boon, of Paignton, Devon, said: "I got a letter saying I had to attend a meeting. "I felt humiliated because I don't think it is right to report me when I have tried to do something good. "I rang the hospital to get my medical records on my eye condition. I don't see why people should put me down. "I feel really intimidated now. I am registered blind and can't see virtually anything out of one eye and shadows in the other. "To be fair when I spoke to the DWP they said they would not be taking the benefits away. "I have other things lined up now including a comedy night and don't intend to stop." "It's only right that we investigate a person's benefit claim when we receive information that suggests they may not be entitled." Mr Boon held the charity event at Pond Coffee Shop in Paignton as part of a larger fundraising drive to raise £10,000 so he can buy two guide dogs. " For me this is deeply worrying and something which we should all be aware of. The deep suspicion in this country now that all disabled people if they show near normal signs of living are to be suspected as fraud is a troubling development. This links into disability hate crime where many more disabled people are being targeted due to the scroungers rhetoric coming from our dear media and politicians With extracts from the Daily Telegraph piece http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11503598/Blind-darts-player-targeted-in-benefit-fraud-probe-for-being-too-good.html. Peoples uncaring and untrusting attitudes worry me in this day and age, Where is this all leading, I dread to think.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this encouraging blog Mark. I own the coffee shop where Robert did his darts marathon. The guide dogs Devon have set up a just giving site on Roberts behalf. The link is https://www.justgiving.com/GuideDogsRobert/
    Many thanks
    Wendy Arscott

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  2. No problem at all happy to share. best of luck with raising the funds for a great cause. all the best mark

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