Call for “anti-disability” provisions to be removed from welfare bill

More than 100 politicians, professors and campaigners have written to Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller calling for Disability Living Allowance reform and other "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from the Welfare Reform Bill.

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More than 100 politicians, professors and campaigners have written to Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller calling for Disability Living Allowance reform and other “anti-disability” provisions to be removed from the Welfare Reform Bill when the bill is presented for second reading in the Commons next week.

The letter, published on The Broken of Britain website, reads:

On the grounds of its unfairness to disabled people and undermining of their human and civil rights, we reject the Government’s implementation of welfare reform.

The Welfare Reform Bill, to be presented for its Second Reading in the House of Commons next weeks, contains measures that could be described as ‘anti-disabled people’.

“The Bill disguises cuts and changes to a number of benefits, from Housing Benefit to Income Support, that will punish disabled people, and especially those with fluctuating and hidden conditions. In particular, the Bill will time-limit contribution-related Employment Support Allowance to 365 days, so that a claimant becomes ineligible after a year if their spouse or partner works.

“The Bill confirms that Disability Living Allowance will be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment which will use unfair assessment and conditions to disqualify 20% of the current DLA caseload. The inclusion of this benefit change in the Welfare Reform Bill took place before the consultation on Disability Living Allowance reform was completed.

“The reasons for this reform are unclear, as reported by the Social Security Advisory Committee, with Ministers denying that cuts are the motivation for change. Objectivity and independence of assessment are some of the reasons offered by the Minister for Disabled People and while we understand there may be a case for a more objective assessment of needs, we believe that evidence from GPs and specialists should be sufficient in many cases as it is at present.

We are concerned that the reasons given by the Minister suggest GPs and specialists cannot be trusted to provide medical evidence. This seems to conflict with the Secretary of State for Health’s policy of increasing GP responsibility for commissioning NHS services.

“Available evidence, including DWP research, suggests that Disability Living Allowance is an efficient and well-regarded benefit, with the lowest rate of fraud in the benefits system. As such, any reforms should be undertaken with caution, and it is important that any evidence-gathering is relevant, truly independent, conducted by appropriately qualified professionals, and that proper weight is given to other external evidence, for example from the claimant’s GP.

“For these reasons, we call for the reform of DLA, and other ‘anti-disability’ provisions that will place extra pressure on social care and social services, to be removed from the Welfare Reform Bill.”

Left Foot Forward has reported extensively on concerns about the reforms to Disability Living Allowance and the Welfare Reform Bill, and will continue to do so.

76 Responses to “Call for “anti-disability” provisions to be removed from welfare bill”

  1. Mr. Sensible

    The Coalition’s welfare reform agenda is just based around headlines in the right wing press.

  2. Mike O'Hagan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  3. Fiona Shh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill: http://bit.ly/hWt0gZ reports @ShamikDas

  4. BendyGirl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  5. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  6. chickpea jones

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  7. dan

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  8. Robert Carswell

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  9. Margo Milne

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  10. Double.Karma

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  11. Brian Barefield

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  12. Richard

    And it is the government that is feeding those headlines with denigrating press releases packed with selective and incomplete statistics.

  13. Sue Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  14. Brian Barefield

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  15. AbiliTV

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  16. Double.Karma

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  17. Malcolm Evison

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  18. ray turner

    RT @sinnaluvva: RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  19. Merrow

    Have you heard the joke about the Conservative minister, the employed person and the wheelchair user? They were sitting in a cafe and the waitress brought them a plate with dozen cakes on it. The Conservative minister took eleven of the cakes but left one small, burned cake on the plate, then he turned to the employed man and said,

    “You really should watch that disabled chap – he’s after part of your cake.”

  20. Cameron cuts even Thatcher's disabled benefits | Left Foot Forward

    […] impact of the legislation; here, Neil Coyle continues Left Foot Forward’s analysis of the bill. Neil is Director of Policy for the Disability Alliance and a Labour Councillor in Southwark but […]

  21. dan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Call for "anti-disability" provisions to be removed from welfare bill http://bit.ly/iiB2G2

  22. Second reading of “Welfare reform bill”, where were all the MPs? « Dear England

    […] Call for “anti-disability” provisions to be removed from welfare bill (leftfootforward.org) […]

  23. Iain Duncan Smith and his Eugenics Welfare Bill gets the Nod… « Dear England

    […] Call for “anti-disability” provisions to be removed from welfare bill (leftfootforward.org) […]

  24. pauline

    please spread the word espcially via facebook. thats wer i picked this up

  25. Don Harrison

    The lack of compassion from the Conservative Party is not a surprise

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