Eighteen-year-old Lydia Scott wrote a scathing letter to David Cameron condemning the cuts to disability benefits this week.
Her message was shared on Twitter by her father Greg:
The post has since been retweeted over 7,000 times in the space of mere days.
Lydia suffers from a multitude of illnesses, including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Pain Amplification Syndrome and Hyper-mobility Syndrome.
These attack her joints, and cause her immense pain, disrupting her everyday life and prohibiting her from living like a 'normal teenager.'
My disability means I am unable to work. I am unable to work because my conditions mean I am unable to stand for long periods of time. I cannot walk for long periods of time, but at the same time I cannot stand in one place for long periods of time. Every single joint and muscle in my body us affected through my conditions.
Chancellor George Osborne plans to raise £1.2 billion for the Treasury through heavy cuts to disability benefits, and as much as 400,000 people suffering from disabilities may see their weekly £82 drop to £55, analysis by the Guardian has shown.
Lydia also addresses a contentious issue surrounding the debate around disability benefits:
I’m being told by this government that if they make cuts to my ESA claim, it may give me some incentive to work. It’s as if they’re calling me lazy. As if I choose to be like this.
The cuts will limit the independence of many people suffering from a disability, and Lydia hopes that her letter will ignite the necessary debate.
Lydia spoke to indy100:
I know what I’m going through. I just don’t know how much pain one has to be in to qualify for such help. The thought of being in any more than I am already, is unimaginable. My mobility is such that when it comes to using public transport, standing at a bus stop, getting on and off trains, getting to train stations - cause me huge amounts of pain. I’m virtually trapped in my own home.
What about George Osborne's comments about disability benefit?
As a disabled person, I feel looked down on, unimportant, an unwanted irritation and most of all, like a liar. Saying that by cutting benefits will 'incentivise' the disabled to go to work? I am ILL. I cannot work.
It will only serve to make life more difficult than it already is.
I cannot stress enough that if I could think of ANYTHING I could do to earn a reasonable living, I would do it. But my body simply will not allow it.
What would you say to George Osborne?
Spend a day with me to see what I have to go through to have even just some semblance of a ‘normal’ life.