Campaign news

Death by Sanction

13th January 2015

Death by Sanction

Tim Salter was found hanged by his sister Linda Cooksey at his home in September 2014. He had been sanctioned by the notorious firm ATOS. That means his incapacity benefit had been cut off from December 2012 on the grounds that he was a scrounger, not seriously looking for work. Tim was penniless, as the inquest found out.

Tim Salter was partially sighted and had been suffering from mental health issues. He was also agoraphobic. Tim hanged himself two days before he was due to be evicted from the home in Stourbridge where he had lived all his life.
Linda Cooksey explained, “Stopping his ¬benefits sent him over the edge. When his small savings ran out he got in trouble with his rent, and his £30 disability allowance a week just wasn’t enough.

“Tim ran out of money. He was a proud man and never let on to anybody. It’s so sad. I want everyone to know what this government is doing to ¬vulnerable people on benefits.”

“He had a certificate to say he was blind. When we got into his house there was no food, he practically starved in the last weeks.”

The coroner concluded, “A major factor in his death was that his state benefits had been greatly reduced leaving him almost destitute and with threatened repossession of his home.”

A spokesperson for South Staffordshire Housing Association added, “Cuts to benefits are causing distress very widely, including to many of our customers.”

Linda Cooksey told how his fitness to work test was carried out by a physiotherapist with no experience of mental health issues or knowledge of his blindness.

Linda found out that her brother Tim was not the only one. She said: “I was really shocked to find out that 60 people have killed themselves after benefit decisions. It’s the vulnerable people who are going to be affected the worst.”  There have been independent reviews into all the suicides. “Linda went on, “The DWP need to publish these reviews.”

The DWP said it had no plans to do so. It is quite clear that Iain Duncan Smith and the top officialdom at the Department of Work and Pensions could not care less. All they want to do is cover up the circumstances of the deaths they are responsible for.


Bookmark and Share

Find us on Facebook Follow LRCinfo on Twitter

Corbyn for 2020:


Subscribe to Labour Briefing

Labour Briefing