Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition

Barely days after proudly pledging her support for the rights of disabled people on International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Department for Work and Pensions minister Maria Miller has now announced that Disability Living Allowance, used by disabled people to pay for everyday things like heating or specialist equipment, is “unsustainable”, with the government launching a consultation on plans to scrap it and replace it with Personal Independence Payment.

On December 3rd, Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People at the Department for Work and Pensions, said:

“The UK has a strong history of disability rights and this is recognised by the international community. We ratified the UN Convention last year, and we are now working with disabled people, organisations that represent them, business and the voluntary sector to ensure that the things we have committed to become a reality.

“We want disabled people to fulfill their potential.”

Support for disabled people to “fulfill their potential”, however, appears to have ebbed away to reveal a government who will not even protect the most vulnerable from the cuts.

The consultation document says that “the rising caseload and expenditure [of DLA] is unsustainable” and will introduce a new assessment from 2013 for all recipients. According to the Disability Alliance, this will have the “primary objective of restricting access to this essential benefit for disabled people”.

The government says that DLA will be reformed to make it a:

“…clearer, more targeted benefit, with an objective assessment. The reforms will also aim to help disabled people take part more fully in society.”

But Disability Alliance disagrees. Speaking to Left Foot Forward, director of policy Neil Coyle said:

“It is bitterly ironic that the government has chosen to announce radical cuts to disabled people’s support so soon after the International Day of Disabled People. It also seems ironic that one of Thatcher’s last acts was to introduce ‘The Way Ahead’ white paper which introduced DLA, but one of the first acts of the coalition government is to axe 20 per cent of the support it provides disabled people.”

What does not appear anywhere in this consultation document is the fact that the government were already planning to cut DLA, with the Treasury stating in the 2010 Emergency Budget that 20 per cent of DLA ‘caseload and expenditure’ would be cut. This is a point not missed by the Disability Alliance, as they argue that this new assessment:

“…has the primary objective of restricting access to this essential benefit for disabled people.”

91 Responses to “Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition”

  1. Alan W

    For a “…clearer, more targeted benefit, with an objective assessment”, read a cheaper, stingier benefit, which you need to be a deaf, blind and dumb, schizophrenic, paraplegic in order to qualify for.

  2. Whisper K

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition: http://bit.ly/fUkfS0 reports Rosanna Singler

  3. Rosie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition: http://bit.ly/fUkfS0 reports Rosanna Singler

  4. zellieh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition: http://bit.ly/fUkfS0 reports Rosanna Singler

  5. caro C

    I can’t believe the DLA application process can get any more stringent. It already states that if you are 100% blind, deaf or lost any limbs – you will not necessarily qualify for DLA!!! I was rejected and therefore severely limited and cold right now.. aye, well done Tories & Lib Dems for making your big society an uncaring, inflexible place of opportunity for so few.

    What can we do to calm their relentless crude cruelty?

  6. Miss cp Churchill

    What can we do??? more shocking Condem crap: RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP

  7. John Ruddy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP <DLA is too expensive, apparently

  8. Sevillista

    The Conservatives made a lot pre-election of Labour’s social care funding consultation including an option where some future claimants with lower levels of need would lose the benefit. I swear they pledged to keep it unchanged in their manifesto.

    So few pre-election pledges left standing now – mostly those around Cameron’s “I’m not an old style nasty party Tory” posturing

  9. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition: http://bit.ly/fUkfS0 reports Rosanna Singler

  10. Chris

    The consultation document from the DWP on this is a total joke, its only criticism of DLA is that some claimants believe it is an out of work benefit not a universal one. If they wanted to remedy that why can’t they just write to all claimants telling them so? No, far too easy and not what there intended purpose is they just want to cut the number of claimants and reduce how much those claiming receive.

  11. Andy Coates

    RT @yonmei: Maria Miller, DWP Minister, says Disability Living Allowance "unsustainable" http://tiny.cc/fw054 #ConDem #ToryFail #Disabi …

  12. Martyn Sibley

    RT @yonmei: Maria Miller, DWP Minister, says Disability Living Allowance "unsustainable" http://tiny.cc/fw054 #ConDem #ToryFail #Disabi …

  13. Patricia Montgomery

    There are no words to express my contempt for this person, for the civil servant who thought up this scheme, and for any Coalition MP who does not fight it.

  14. Pat Raven

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP

  15. hindle-a

    Chris-the Government are forever peddling the idea that DLA is an out of work-benefit -they are lying through their teeth re numbers -they include people over 65 when it suits them -the evidence is mixed as even the DWP re effect on employment-it helps many disabled people to maintain/acquire employment-they constantly utilise the media to portray it as easily got and rife with fraud-it has the lowest amount of fraud associated with it-they intend to remove 20% of the cost as you say by lowering numbers and/or how much people receive-making three categories into two will be interesting-it will cost a lot of money to “retest” people regularly-a waste of money in many cases-long-term conditions -I view with horror that being in possession of a wheelchair etc may result in removal/reduction in mobility payments-it is purely designed to put people off claiming it-the consultation period is ridiculous-the attack against the disabled continues-what happens to Carers Allowance-currently based on receivership of Carees middle rate care ?-the Government is confused ,incomponent,cynical and above all nasty -all decent people must hold them to account-we must not remain silent

  16. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP

  17. Sevillista

    Ah, here we go. Tory broken DLA promises exposed http://www.arbitraryconstant.co.uk/2010/12/previous-tory-v.html

  18. Andy McCormick

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP

  19. Livable4All

    UK cuts via @Dis_PPL_Protest #Disability Living Allowance deemed “unsustainable" http://bit.ly/iiTVjK Gov't will not protect vulnerable

  20. Rich Watts

    Thanks for this post – it’s important to cover this issue as disability often gets overlooked or misrepresented.

    If it’s of interest, I’ve written a full analysis of the proposed DLA reforms here. By far the most worrying elements of this are the arbitrary 20% cut, the introduction of conditionality into disability benefits, and the proposal for this measure to cover not just the 1.8m disabled people of working age who receive DLA but also the 1.2m people under 16 and over 65 who also receive it.

  21. Matthew Beevor

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP (FYI @catherinestribs)

  22. UWMO

    RT @Livable4All: UK cuts via @Dis_PPL_Protest #Disability Living Allowance deemed “unsustainable" http://bit.ly/iiTVjK Gov't will not pr …

  23. Jane Ayres

    RT @leftfootfwd Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition: http://bit.ly/fUkfS0 reports Rosanna Singler

  24. George

    What most people in the media fail to report is that Disability Living Allowance is not paid to people to prevent them from working. The benefit permits people to work, and indeed a lot of people who receive do work. The benefit is designed to pay for expenses that are incurred upon disabled people that act as a barrier to them living an independent life. For example, a person with mobility difficulties, may need taxi’s to get to and from work everyday, but an able-bodied person would not need this. If the disabled person did not get this they would not be able to work, and therefore, the benefit actually helps people live their lives independently and become part of society, unlike in former years when the cost of doing anything was so prohibitive, most people with serious health conditions were not able to dip into their savings, just to go to the local shops. This is reality. Many disabled people face a cost to do ordinary day to day things, and Disability Living Allowance was paid to help people overcome these barriers, and is not an income replacement for people who are not in work. The media fails to report and highlight this difference because there is a lot of hostility in many of the internet message boards about claimants being able to work – no one said that they don’t and rely on this money as their sole source of income. The reason this allowance is being targeted is because it actually entitles people to numerous other services, such as the taxicard, motability, etc. Each of these things help disabled people live independently, and in many cases the services provided prevent people from becoming unwell which would make them a bigger burden on society. The cost of administering a system of continuous tests is absurd and wasteful. They won’t have to check if someone with motor neurone dysfunction still has it after every three years. Either scrap the system altogether, or just let people with permanent disabilities claim this money without the stress of having to have constant tests.

  25. Patricia Montgomery

    Perhaps the Coalition should ask themselves whether THEY are sustainable. Would that there were an alternative.

  26. Sue Bristow

    RT @leftfootfwd: Supporting disabled people not sustainable says coalition http://bit.ly/gLe4gP

  27. John McArdle

    An utter affront to humanity. Indeed, a crime against humanity! How cruel can you get? We must rid ourselves of this poisonous filth before they destroy any more lives! 5 more years? I don’t bloody well think so! 5 hours is too long!
    Solidarity with the sick and disabled! They shall not pass!
    http://www.facebook.com/blacktriangle1

  28. Peter Lockhart

    They promised not to remove DLA or Attendance Allowance for over 65’s. One thing governments are very careful about is protecting benefits pensioners already have. 1. There is a huge number of over 65’s who vote and there is a lot of them. 2. The newspapers are always very sympathetic to pensioners, nothing like a picture of an old granny looking cold and hungry to tug on the heart string’s. When it comes to disabled people who are under 65 then its a different story. There isn’t as many of us, many don’t vote, we’re less active, many disabled people are politicised, the press aren’t sympathetic in fact just the opposite, we’re feckless scroungers, we’re often not photogenic. So we really are an easy target. How many people could we expect to demonstrate and what would the reaction be. Add to that the prejudice that is still rife.

  29. tracy Shave

    I think it’s discrimination at it’s most extreme. We didn’t vote for this party – infact the only reason the lib dems were able to even form a coalition was because of votes it gained from students and those wanting a fairer future and now this? Surely we should all be fighting for another election??? Get them OUT! The damage they will do in 5 years will be a disaster with suicide, homeless, jobless, all rising. We need to fight back! I want another election – I certainly didn’t vote for this party – along with the rest of the country.

  30. eleonor

    We need general election, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
    Demonstrations do not work. M.Thatcher used dressed as miners police to provoke violence during miners’ demonstrations to put the public against them, so did USA during the Anti Vietnam war protests, and possibly during these recent demonstrations – why they all wore balaclavas/masks? I was circulating message that journalists are to inquire into violent participants ID within Freedom of Information Act since Thursday morning, may be because of that only 7 arrests! as they could not arrest the police/hired violators, it would have come out!

    New Government, as suggested by Ken Livingstone should raise taxes for the higher earners, introduce better standard free education for everyone, better medical care like in France.
    Also:
    make agreement with ALL off shore places not to provide off shore services to the UK nationals/residents/businesses, like France did long time ago and the French businesses have to pay ALL taxes in France since and stopped seeking residence in off shores;
    abolish Royal Prerogative by which antidemocratic Acts are implemented ( re Iraq War, etc etc;
    People should participate in the daily decisions/votes directly, without EXPENSIVE CORRUPT MIDDLEMEN/MPs, all have to be given free internet and vote on everything by pressing a button – no useless debates, useless PM’s speeches spending most time attacking the opponents – useless rhetoric costing too much.
    Monarchy/aristocracy concept should be revisited.
    They have to work, as aristocracy do in Europe, do good for their people. Not a single penny should be paid from taxes. They have enough.
    Revolting, how billions are to be spent on the useless Royal wedding while the same money taken from the vulnerable, in fact same young people as William or Katie – why 2 should cost more than the rest of the nation?
    We are not in the Middle Ages any more.
    Royalty and aristocracy are the same human beings as any one else, no exceptions.
    Their argument that they attract tourists have to be looked into: if so, employ them to parade at the shows – or may be wax figurine/look alike do better? No one will care/notice! Just look for a cheaper contractee.
    Existence of apartheid ( private v state education, health care) existence of the parasiting class milking millions if not billions out of the people are violating human dignity within Article 8 HRA. UK is the last in EU retarded in mediaeval state of savageness, disrespect to the people whom the “untouchables” owe everything without giving back anything.
    Reading a book aloud by Duchess of Cornwall to the poor children in Westfield does not compensate billions spent on her upkeeping.
    Let them be a part of the big society, let them work hard, like anyone else.

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