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The Last Leg's Adam Hills And Alex Brooker Praised For Powerful Speech On 'Disabled Genocide' Of Tory Disability Cuts

'This government is slowly killing off a generation of disabled people.'

04/03/2017 08:53 | Updated 04 March 2017

Adam Hills and Alex Brooker have launched a scathing attack on Tory disability cuts likening them to a “genocide” against disabled people.

The hosts of The Last Leg, who both have disabilities of their own, attacked the process of assessment that has seen even double amputees and a man with half a skull declared “fit for work”.

Brooker said: “I get the idea of it - you have to be assessed and they have to weed out the people who are unfairly claiming.

“But what they’re not doing, they’re not applying any common sense to it. If you’re going to an assessment, that’s after they’ve read your doctor’s notes.

“So what they’re saying to [a double amputee] is after they’ve read his doctor’s notes saying he’s got no legs, come in and prove it! It’s not like if you’re missing limbs you’re going to find them down the back of the sofa.”

Earlier this week it emerged a double amputee who was told by the Department for Work and Pensions that he was “fit for work” as he could “climb stairs with his arms”.

In the same week it was reported a father who lost his arm in a horrific motorcycle accident and underwent five major operations in as many months had been stripped of his benefits after his latest assessment in January.

Hills said: “At first these cuts looked like a good plan experiencing teething problems, then it started to feel like a badly executed system but now - it’s beginning to look a lot like disabled genocide.

“This government is slowly killing off a generation of disabled people.”

Hills, who was born without a right foot, hosts the show alongside Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, who was born with hand and arm deformities and without a bone in his right leg that later had to be amputated. 

He continued: “The only question is are they doing it on purpose? Because if you are, why stop at sanctions?

”Why not round us up put us on a reservation and sterilise the drinking water because that is literally more humane than what you’re doing right now. For any Conservatives watching that is not a genuine suggestion.

“The Governement’s Social Security Advisory Committee meets on Wednesday of this week and I want to say this to them: If you really want to make a difference don’t give bonuses for assessing people quickly, punish people for when they get it wrong.

“We’ve been banging on about this for four years and nothing has changed.”

Hills and Brooker were widely praised for the speeches.

The double amputee mentioned above, Julius Holgate, from Hackney, London, won an appeal against the judgement.

A DWP spokesman said on Wednesday: “We have apologised to Mr Holgate for this clerical error, and we are reconsidering his claim.”

The department had previously explained: “When someone comes in for an assessment they are asked to do a number of actions, and the way the scores were translated caused a clerical error.”But the methods employed for disability assessments have come in for much critisims.

The law centre’s chair, Councillor Ian Rathbone, described the cut to Holgate’s benefits as “callous and cold-hearted”. 

He told The Huffington Post UK: “The government needs to stop using these private companies. They are no good. They have targets and they miss stuff. If someone can walk two or three steps it does not mean they can work. It is wrong.

“Over sixty percent of cases [that go to court] are overturned. For people like Julius they might struggle to find the money to do it.

“We would like to see the government restore legal aid as there are now a whole range of problems for people on benefits who suffer because they can’t receive legal aid.”

Last year, the DWP caused controversy when it declared a man with half a skull was “fit for work”

Kenny Bailey, who has trouble walking and needs assistance to get dressed, underwent an individual assessment requested by the Department of Work and Pensions.

They deemed him able to work despite him being paralysed down his left side and suffering from memory problems. 

Bailey later had his benefits reinstated after the decision was overturned following media coverage of his case. 

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