Powys has around 24,000 disabled residents and 10,000 unpaid carers. I am one of the latter. My heart sank in my chest on Friday when I learned that Rishi Sunak is coming for our loved ones.

The past fourteen years haven’t exactly been marked by compassion and understanding towards disabled people. But the Prime Minister’s latest speech seemed like the beginning of a full-on assault.

And in an apparent attempt to pit everyone in work against everyone who isn’t, even those with more short-term illnesses are also getting it in the neck, with Rishi’s promise to prevent GP’s handing out sick notes if we choose to re-elect him as our Prime Minister.


What got to me most though was the specific targeting of people with mental health problems. I’ve experienced poor mental health when I was younger.

Those experiences give me no doubt that mental health problems are disabling.

I was lucky enough that my mental health improved and I was able to get back to living my life to the fullest. But that was due to the love and support of those around me. The PM’s plan seems to be to ignore the desperate state of mental health services and the NHS in general, and to instead punish sick and disabled people into wellness.

It’s another personal experience of mine that tells me that plan is not just cruel, it won’t work.

My brother-in-law was disabled due to severe mental health problems. After showing no sign of recovering after several years of poor and inconsistent mental health treatment, he was pushed back into work by the system. But he didn’t “realise his dreams” like Rishi Sunak suggests. Instead, his mental health deteriorated further and he committed suicide.

And that was under our current system, without the destructive changes the PM promises. Maybe Rishi Sunak wouldn’t care though. Dead people can’t claim benefits.

I wonder what my MP Craig Williams thinks about these plans to deprive some of his most vulnerable constituents? Somehow I doubt Rishi’s Parliamentary Private Secretary will have too many criticisms of his boss.
David France, Via email