A grieving brother has slammed the Government after his petition to get justice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was scrapped because of the general election.
Parliament was dissolved yesterday to make way for five weeks of campaigning ahead of the election on December 12.
It means any bills going through Parliament and any petitions on the government website were dropped and will not be reopened.
Dave Smith spent weeks building his campaign to stop the DWP contracting out health-related assessments to private companies.
He claims his terminally ill brother Jamie Oliver, 49, was twice refused disability benefits, but was offered to appeal his case five months after he died from chronic liver disease.
Dave was so angry he took his brother’s ashes to the DWP meeting as a ‘matter of principle’, calling the department ‘shambolic, insensitive, incompetent and unhelpful’.
His campaign hoped to revert the controversial Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments back to a ‘fairer system’ in place under the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Dave said: ‘They have taken the f***ing piss, not just after all the hours I and my supporters have put in but all those poor people who have reached 100,000 signatures will now never get their debate.
‘I am angry beyond belief, for me, for other petition creators and for every supporter of every petition.
‘There is something badly wrong here. The problem you are petitioning about hasn’t gone away and you can’t use another petitioning site as the results are not recognised.’
Speaking of his brother’s final moments, Dave recalled how Jamie was heartbroken to hear that he didn’t have long left to live, and was still waiting for benefits.
In a Facebook post, shared with their final picture together, Dave said: ‘This picture was taken less than 12 hours before he passed away.
‘One of the last things he said to us being: “I don’t believe it. I’m going to die and I’m still not sick enough for PIP”.’
He added: ‘The consultant said to him: “I can’t lie to you it’s not going to be long now”.
‘You can understand how anybody would react. He was beside himself.’
Jamie suffered with chronic liver disease for years but his health deteriorated in 2016.
According to his brother, he could barely walk a ‘few yards’, was almost housebound and underwent hundreds of blood transfusions.
But Dave said an assessor still scored him ‘zero points’ on each criteria on both occasions he applied for PIP.
Dave told Metro.co.uk: ‘He was really really struggling to make ends meet, he couldn’t go out.
‘He only went out to the local supermarket 500 yards up the road. He went out at five and wouldn’t get back until seven or eight.
‘500 yards and that’s how long it took him, he was absolutely exhausted – like he had run ten marathons.
‘Eventually it killed him because he collapsed one day on the way back from Lidl and was found in a pool of blood. It is pitiful to be honest.’
Dave said his brother first applied for PIP in February last year but his last few months were dominated by thinking ‘PIP doesn’t want to help’.
He added: ‘I don’t want anybody to go through what my brother did, and it’s far too common in this day and age. It’s disgraceful.’
At the time, a Government spokesperson said they were ‘very sorry for the distress caused’ and were ‘looking into this to prevent it happening again.’
You can view Dave’s petition here.
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