Letter: What hope is there for vulnerable people on the Isle of Wight?

With the cuts to national benefits and cutbacks in mental health and substance abuse services, reductions in council tax support, abolition of funding for cross-Solent travel and the Law Centre, and closure of the Local Area Coordination service – this reader asks what hope is there for the large numbers of vulnerable people on the Island?

Poverty graffiti

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Diana Conyers. Ed

Thank you for publishing an article on 18 December about the number of people on the Isle of Wight who have lost their disability benefits when transferring from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

While the problems with Universal Credit have been relatively well documented in the media, very little attention has been given to the equally disturbing situation with regard to disability benefits.

Claims reviewed and payments reduced
It is not only those transferring from DLA to PIP that have had their benefits cut. Many people already receiving PIP have had their claims reviewed and, as a result, their payments have either been reduced or stopped altogether.

And the situation is similar for those claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the out-of-work benefit (now being incorporated into Universal Credit) previously claimed by those unable to work due to ill-health.

12 month wait for appeals
As your article suggests, the cuts in these benefits seldom bear any relation to changes in the claimant’s health and, more often than not, the decisions are reversed when the case is taken to appeal.

However, because of the large number of appeals, claimants now have to wait at least a year for their case to be heard. Those appealing against PIP decisions receive no money during the waiting period, while those appealing against ESA decisions are often forced to transfer to Universal Credit to make ends meet.

Stressful and humiliating
Moreover, as your article also points out, it is not only the financial loss to claimants. The processes of review and appeal are stressful and humiliating. Claimants are treated as second class citizens and have to fight for benefits that should be a right not a privilege.

This in turn exacerbates their health problems, especially those with mental health issues.

A sad state of affairs
When one combines these cuts in national government benefits with those already made or about to be made by the NHS and Isle of Wight Council – cutbacks in mental health and substance abuse services, reductions in council tax support, abolition of funding for cross-Solent travel and the Law Centre, and closure of the Local Area Coordination service – what hope is there for the large numbers of vulnerable people on the Island?

It is a sad state of affairs.

Image: psd under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 27th December, 2018 1:15pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2m1u

Filed under: Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

21 Comments on "Letter: What hope is there for vulnerable people on the Isle of Wight?"

newest oldest most voted
Email updates?

What really gets my goat is when I hear Dave Stewart saying Quote” We are still trying to clear the mess up from the last administration” unquote. How long have his been in charge and the same old rubbish comes out. He needs to change his tune!!!!!;

They didn’t have to clear up any mess they have dismantled everything piece by piece that was good and brought in by the island independents ….. local area co ordinators Cross Solent help for those that are ill The bus shelter Schools are not on the up…. those that were outstanding have slipped Wanting to bring in more parking fees for high streets Beach huts land rent… Read more »

Sorry not to mention the 400k that was used to create a new senior management team…. while hitting our vulnerable …..


Having read the IWC budget report at the time I think you’ll find that the ASDA money was earmarked to buy land at Kingston and East Cowes for the so-called regeneration.

The last two posts sounds like a Tory manifesto. The public services are there as a safety net. People have paid there taxes to have the services they need in times off hardship. The trouble is the current government has underfunded and stripped those services to the bone. Most people are on the breadline and have no savings. Private companies have replaced the public sector supposedly for… Read more »

You do realise the Conservatives won, both locally and nationally.
Perhaps people broadly agree with their policies?


The only reason the conserves are in the majority is they bribed the DUP. People are beginning to see the cuts and how it affects them. I sorry to say in my younger years I was naive and voted for them. Never again.


80% of the UK’s population think that fracking is wrong – how is that broadly?.

Can somebody please explain to me why we have two aircraft carriers when China only has one? And why, having got them, there no aircraft suitable to fly off them? So what was the point? And why there is always money for nuclear armaments? And why there are billions of pounds available for foriegn aid but not to fund services here? And why the bankers got let… Read more »
Barney McGrew

UK Dave if, as you say we must live within our means how come UK Debt is at an all time high of £1.84Trillion up from £0.5Trillion in 2005 and now stands at 80% of GDP. https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_analysis

Ian Young
Contrary to popular belief most people who don’t embrace Tory values are not as a consequence financially illiterate. After Bankers had wrecked our economy most on the Left knew full well there would be a need for constraints on public spending and/or a rise in taxation. We also knew it was always going to be about choices, about priorities, at times about political advantage and eventually about… Read more »
You are quite correct Rea, not enough people do care. Not just on the Island but throughout the whole country. The cuts to the vulnerable in our society have occurred because they are seen as an easy target to make cuts to. Why, oh why do we let this happen and tolerate it? Our politicians, far from doing what they were elected to do (represent their residents)… Read more »
Rea Sheldrake
People can argue about this subject until the cows come home, about whose fault it is and about money etc but the fact is that there is no hope for the vulnerable on the island, nor even the mainland. Why? Because enough people do not care! We live in a society that has become selfish and hard-hearted. Homelessness (including children) is growing, people who are working 2… Read more »
Unfortunately a country must live within its means. Public services are struggling financially across the board, and each sector thinks it is the least deserving of being cut. Ask the head of the sector in charge of social care, highways, schools, defence, hospitals and they will say the same. But with Brexit around the corner, and the as yet unknown financial implications, public spending must be kept… Read more »

Your the kind of person that makes me crave for the Peoples Vote, lets have an election as well and put the Tory party with it’s divided and splintered factions out of it’s misery as well

Well it is a sad situation agreed, but need to be careful of accurate information – cutbacks in mental health services for example, there has been NO cutback – in fact more money than ever is being spent on MH services however the public demands and expectations are such that spending cannot keep up. A better description would be that the increased demands on existing services have… Read more »



What is sad is that there are folks (8 currently) that approve of realitychecks monnomanica and some that dislike you for saying so – hilarious


Giggling here certainly…however this is a forum, for opinion and as such, as entitled as you are to share yours, I am entitled to share mine…

Makes interesting debate…and not feeling even a little sad…

Phil Jordan
Apart from entering into tautological debate about when is a ‘cut’ not a ‘cut’ … let us look at our own Island since 2010. Around £78m of government funding has been lost since 2010 (that now means we are running the Island public services with around £78m less each year than we were in 2010 ( not a one off sum of £78m since that date). If… Read more »