Aside Posted on
The DWP placed sanctions on a schizophrenic man when he fell into difficulties. It was an aggressive and destructive way to treat someone so vulnerable
Luke Alexander Loy was not one of George Osborne’s “hard-working people”. The 42-year-old had schizophrenia and was unable to work (or “do the right thing”, as David Cameron now ominously terms being employed . But Luke’s story – his life – is one worth talking about.
Luke lived with his mother in their two-bed council house in Birmingham and had built a stable rhythm: carving wood sculptures as art therapy in their front room, going for walks five times a day, and shopping for his elderly neighbours.
But when his mother died of cancer, Luke found his housing benefit cut: the bedroom tax meant that from 2013 his late mother’s bedroom was classed as “spare”. A year later, another piece of support was pulled from him: Luke had been receiving incapacity benefit for over 20 years, but after a work capability assessment (WCA) in late 2014, he was declared “fit for work”.