As Lords debates DLA reforms, charities call for pause to welfare reform bill

Ahead of today’s Lords debate on DLA reforms, the Papworth Trust is leading a coalition of charities in calling for a pause to the welfare reform bill.

 

By Helen Sampson of the Papworth Trust

Ahead of today’s debate on Disability Living Allowance reforms in the Lords, the Papworth Trust charity is leading a coalition of 16 major charities and organisations in calling for a pause to the welfare reform bill. The bill is now in the final stages of its Parliamentary passage, but the details of how the reform would affect disabled people have not been fully investigated.

However, it was revealed by the government yesterday that the proposed changes will lead to half a million disabled people no longer being eligible for this benefit.

Last week, the Responsible Reform report (pdf) (known as the Spartacus report) revealed strong opposition from disabled people, charities and other interested groups to the government’s proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

As Matthew Lester, director of operations at the Papworth Trust, says:

“We support the report’s concerns that the decision to reduce DLA by 20% may have been based on incomplete or misleading data about the reasons for growth in DLA.

“Our recent survey of over 2,200 disabled people found that almost 9 out of 10 would have to cut back on essentials such as food or being able to get out and about if their DLA payments were reduced or stopped.

“This proposed 20% cut will push more disabled people into poverty. This report was entirely researched, written, funded and supported by the people that these changes will affect. We believe that there should be a pause so that the questions it raises can be answered.”

The charities and organisations asking the government to pause the welfare reform bill are the Papworth Trust, Action on Hearing Loss, Brandon Trust, Campaign for a Fair Society, Disability Rights UK, Disability Wales, Ekklesia, Leonard Cheshire Disability, MS Society, the National Autistic Society, Rethink Mental Illness, RNIB, Sense, Three Cs, United Response and the Westminster Society.

If you would like to support the call for a pause, please visit www.papworth.org.uk.

See also:

Employment minister Chris Grayling does not appear to understand his own disability reformsDaniel Elton, January 13th 2012

Welfare reform bill in tatters after Lords defeatsShamik Das, January 12th 2012

Children’s commissioner slams welfare billAlex Hern, January 11th 2012

Everyone concerned about welfare reform needs to step up to the markDeclan Gaffney, January 10th 2012

Time to step forward on the Spartacus reportAlex Hern, January 9th 2012

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