It was a simple case of “now you see it now you don’t” when the 47-year-old’s incapacity benefit vanished.
“I went for a medical and before you could say ‘abracadabra’ they’d stopped my money,” said Owen. “I’ve been registered disabled since birth and now, suddenly, they say I’m fit to work. That’s the best trick I’ve ever seen.”
Owen, from Brackenbury Road, Preston, suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Yet benefits staff have now decided he is capable of doing a full-time job. So Owen, who has a permanent tremor and can’t even hold a cup of coffee, has decided to mark the Government’s card by setting himself up in business as a magic teacher.
“Telling me I could do any job was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard,” he said. “So I thought, if they’re going to be ridiculous, I’ll be ridiculous too. I’m going to set up the most ridiculous business I can come up with. Magic is something I love. I’ve been doing it for years. So I’m going be a magic teacher.”
Owen is calling his company “Preston Magic” and is offering to give lessons up to advanced level. “But there’s a serious side to all this,” he added. “Without my employment and support allowance I need to get a job.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “The decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough independent assessment. Anyone who disagrees with the outcome of their assessment can appeal.”