The government is in denial over the impact of cuts on disabled people


Neil Coyle is the director of policy and campaigns at Disability Rights UK and a Labour councillor and Deputy Cabinet Member for Welfare in Southwark

The prime minister has claimed disability organisations support his government’s welfare reform agenda – and the DWP Minister for Disabled People has suggested disabled people are protected from cuts.

These two myths need debunking.

Disabled-person-silhouetteFirstly, many disability organisations do support welfare reform which delivers improvements in the way benefits are delivered or which cut the bureaucracy involved. Some aspects of current reforms deserve support – for example the taper in Universal Credit which allows people to keep more of their earned income when starting work.

But there is no disability organisation supporting the total package of government reform because the combined effect is catastrophic.

Just a quick recap on some headline figures:

100,000 disabled children to lose under Universal Credit;

600,000 disabled people 16-64 years of age to lose Disability Living Allowance (DLA); and

300,000 disabled people to be cut off from all out of work support after just 365 days despite 75% receiving regular NHS treatment.

So it’s no surprise the most representative group – the Disability Benefits Consortium (almost 60 national disability, advice and welfare-focused organisations) – doesn’t support the government agenda. Nor is it a surprise the prime minister can’t name any relevant, representative organisation which does. If there was such an organisation ministers would name it.

Secondly, DWP minister Esther McVey suggests disabled people are protected from the cuts. Saying this may make the minister feel better about making drastic reductions in support but it is somewhat undermined by the statistics above.

Usually, ministers suggest disabled people ‘with the highest needs’ are protected but here’s two points showing how even this is inaccurate:

• The government has confirmed that the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will close in 2015 – the ILF supports 19,000 disabled people with the highest care needs to live independently; and

• Under the abolition of DLA and introduction of the restrictive Personal Independence Payment, 430,000 disabled people with the highest mobility support needs lose out.

Ministers must come clean about the lack of support for the cuts it is imposing on disabled people. Sadly, we are about to witness a vast rise in poverty and social exclusion for disabled people, and, with an NHS and councils also facing a significant squeeze, the ability of the state to proffer alternative assistance is reduced. With charities also facing a tough financial climate and unable to fill the gap, the future is far from bright for disabled people in the UK.

But the government is refusing to assess the impact fully – as requested by Disability Rights UK, carers’ organisations, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Labour and an e-petition. The reason appears to be ministers are in denial.

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  • Newsbot9

    Aw, are you taken aback by your own tribe’s insults? Oh wait, you can’t deny it, it’s true. Moreover, the constant refrain from the right is isn’t racist, are you saying that you’re a liar?

    I’m not a socialist of course, and your Jew-hatred is typical of you, and your claim to be “socialist” is pathetic too.

    In other news, keep counting all NI as a pension contribution so you can lie about pensions, and keep up your Jihad against British people getting them, foreigner!

  • LB

    Ah that awkward little fact.

    So how does one compare the state with the FTSE?

    The same way that people compare the FTSE with and without charges.

    Exactly the same method.

    550,000 if a 26K a year worker had put their NI into the FTSE.

    The state pension, if bought from one of those profiteering private companies cost 130K. Since they aren’t involved the cost to the state must be less. What profits are they making if they can sell a state pension for 130K? According to you that means the state must be providing the pension at less cost.

    Bugger isn’t it. The state has taken at least 420,000 pounds from someone earning 26K a year.

    Redistribution
    No compound interest
    A tax, because the money has leaked
    Charges, because its costs lots to run
    Theft.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, you’re a thief. Keep repeating your lies.

    Yes, the NHS *alone* is cheap compared to America’s healthcare, before we consider pensions. Thanks for keep restating a statistic which shows you’re simply a common-garden hatemonger.

    Keep on pretending that NI is purely for pensions, keep pretending that you’re after anything except abolishing pensions.

  • LB

    Ah yes.

    Lets see what you said. “Foreigners go home”.

    BNP have quite socialist policies as well.

  • LB

    Ah yes.

    Lets see what you said. “Foreigners go home”.

    BNP have quite socialist policies as well.

  • LB

    Ah yes.

    Lets see what you said. “Foreigners go home”.

    BNP have quite socialist policies as well.

  • LB

    Ah yes.

    Lets see what you said. “Foreigners go home”.

    BNP have quite socialist policies as well.

  • LB

    Ah yes.

    Lets see what you said. “Foreigners go home”.

    BNP have quite socialist policies as well.

  • Newsbot9

    Aw, again, are you startled that I am using your own slurs against you. When are you leaving, foreigner? If you don’t like it, you can always change your political position, after all.

    Yes yes, you try and excuse your policies by claiming they’re left wing. You keep claiming killing off the Jews is left-wing policy…

  • Zulu

    They only want to line there back pockets even more,they don`t give a dam about its Countries People FULL STOP.