Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits

It emerged today the Tory-led government has plans to attack the benefits of blind people, reports Shamik Das.

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Not content with taking money off cancer patients and disabled children – and making disabled people’s lives a misery generally – it emerged today the Tory-led coalition have plans to attack the benefits of blind people as well.

The proposals have prompted outrage from disgruntled Lib Dems, who are ramping up the pressure on Nick Clegg to stand up to David Cameron and George Osborne and speak out and defend some of the most vulnerable in society from the Tory thirst for “efficiency” aka austerity.

Blind-personThis morning’s Independent reports:

Government plans which could reduce state benefits paid to thousands of blind people have sparked a revolt by Liberal Democrat MPs in the latest sign of tension inside the coalition over cuts.

The Liberal Democrat rebels are demanding a U-turn after it emerged that many blind or partially-sighted people who currently receive disability living allowance (DLA) of up to £120 a week could lose out when it is replaced by a new personal independence payment (PIP) from next April.

Although Nick Clegg is defending the government’s plans, he is under intense pressure from his MPs to lobby for changes before the new system is implemented….

Critics of the shake-up claim that the points system under which DLA claimants will be reassessed is biased against the blind because it puts too much emphasis on tasks such as the ability to walk and not enough on the special needs of those who cannot see.

Lib Dem backbencher Mike Hancock MP is one of the most strident in his opposition, telling the Indy the plans are worse than anything that happened “in the worst days of the Thatcher government” and that he didn’t get into politics “to punish people who cannot help themselves”.

Of the real life impact on blind people of the proposed cuts, the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s Steve Winyard pointed out:

“Everyday tasks which sighted people take for granted cost people with sight-loss extra money – for example paying for assistance with cleaning and ironing. Other blind or partially sighted people may require food-labelling systems to ensure they don’t eat out-of-date food. These costs are ongoing.”

 


See also:

IDS’s continuing spin war against people with disabilities: part 47 14 May 2012

The government’s replacement for DLA is not fit for purpose 18 Jan 2012

Will the government take away money from disabled people on a hunch? 17 Jan 2012


 

The points system on which the reformed benefit works focuses on whether claimants can walk, not whether they can see, with costs incurred by blind and partially sighted people being disregarded.

The needs of blind people are very clearly not being met, yet their concerns, as with those of terminally ill cancer patients, disabled children and all manner of individuals hit by the government’s cruellest cuts, continue to be ignored.

 


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54 Responses to “Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits”

  1. Lisa Egan

    This isn’t new news… It’s not like blind people were exempt from the cuts and the govt have just decided to rescind that.

  2. Anonymous

    Oh stop pretending that Clegg is a Lib Dem.

  3. Anonymous

    Oh he’s absolutely a Lib Dem.
    That’s the problem.

  4. Anonymous

    It’s going to be news to quite a few people.
    And aren’t you supposed to be a left winger, for reference?

  5. Redstar PCS Stoke

    “@leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/vvW5a0tC”

  6. liane gomersall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/wMUIVduN

  7. sean

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/wMUIVduN

  8. Mark Howard

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  9. F. Bouchiba

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/REbIoXzS

  10. Richard Dunstan

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  11. North Staffs v Cuts

    “@leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/vvW5a0tC”

  12. Phil Irving

    Punishing the helpless: [email protected]: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits: http://t.co/ZtwB0QJZ

  13. Natalie

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  14. Political Fusion

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  15. Annalie Pearce

    @CitehBoy RT @leftfootfwd Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/pcOTwkH6

  16. Kerry Jenkins

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  17. Citizen K

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  18. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/KawAVqnH

  19. Guy Collis

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/m2b6NGJx via @leftfootfwd

  20. Michael H.

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/KawAVqnH

  21. Patrick

    This is classic piece of propaganda.

    Firstly, it uses a highly emotive and inaccurate title, which gives the impression that there is some kind of new and specific campaign against the blind. There isn’t.

    It says that blind people, “could” lose out, without giving any figures. Under any new system, any person, in theory, could lose out, so this statement is meaningless.

    It uses a quote from the RNIB, to give the impression that the RNIB is responding specifically to this article, whereas in fact, the RNIB quote is a general one about benefits relating to blind people.

    There is nothing new in the article. There’s not a single new piece of policy, evidence, figurework. It’s simply designed to tug at the heartstrings. And in case it hasn’t worked, the writer reinforces it in the final sentence with disabled children and cancer patients.

  22. Emma Round

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/MfWVTQEw #pip #spartacusreport #nastyparty

  23. Mark

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/MfWVTQEw #pip #spartacusreport #nastyparty

  24. Mabel Horrocks

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  25. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/vWXdPWkB

  26. Alastair Morgan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/vWXdPWkB

  27. John McNeill

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/KawAVqnH

  28. earlpalmerstonsmythe

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  29. diana foster

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  30. Anonymous

    In other words, it is being noticed that proposals to cut DLA for disabled people by 20% will – shock horror – actually cut DLA for disabled people by 20%. Blind, amputee (ex-service or otherwise), those with learning difficulties, those on the autistic spectrum, spinal injury cases (paralympian or otherwise) – ALL will be expected to bear the cuts. Amazing this has come to light now, a mere two years after everybody remotely paying attention said it would happen. #SpartacusReport anyone?

  31. Ian Roberts

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/vWXdPWkB

  32. Anonymous

    They won’t see it coming.

  33. Melanie RJo

    Frm earlier: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/hbY7wRKF

  34. Rosh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/vWXdPWkB

  35. Arecbalrin

    I’m a left-winger too but it doesn’t stop me also saying: this isn’t news. The Welfare Reform Bill that makes these changes is already an Act now. Before then we disability campaigners were warning as loudly as we could with almost no media attention about the consequences of it. What’s happened is that Iain Duncan-Smith re-announced the plans again this week, like he was hoping it would lead to a poll bounce because kicking disabled benefit claimants has worked up to this point. Yes, they dress it up as ‘we’re against cheats, not ‘genuine disabled’ people’ but when they’re asserting without evidence that most claimants are insubstantial if not fraudulent, then a lot of disabled people get the flak for it.

    What myself and Lisa E are pointing out is that when we screamed about what was wrong to the high heavens, no one listened. It’s news to most people because the media didn’t report it when it would have mattered most and the public didn’t want to hear criticism even as ministers deferred responsibility to them with the weasel words: “the public broadly supports the reforms we’re making”.

    Mason Dixon, Autistic.

  36. cameronsfollys

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/SIowh4Mu

  37. Anonymous

    Mason, with all due respect it’s the spin I didn’t like.

    And it WILL shock a lot of people. You can’t stop hammering away on points like this – the point about blind people ISN’T one I’ve seen before.

    Also, bluntly, arguing on moral grounds was always going to fail with the right. The cost argument wasn’t made strongly enough, afaik.

    Tracking and highlighting that now is also important.

  38. Arecbalrin

    My position remains: nobody has the right to be shocked by this. The media didn’t report it because the public didn’t demand it. That is what is shocking.

    MDA

  39. Anonymous

    Sigh.

    The mainstream press isn’t the friend of the left, we have no major party to represent the left and to carry our message across – certainly all three major parties concurrence on this issue is a problem.

    As I said, this is the first time I’ve specifically heard of it targeting blind people (although I’m unsurprised), and this is an area I’m active in!

    The message needs to be carried better, and the Internet’s just the medium for it. Saying “why are you surprised?” sounds arrogant and is counter-productive.

    I’ve personally convinced several right wingers how expensive this will be for the country and turned their opinions around on it, we need to do that on a mass scale.

  40. Anonymous

    Propaganda? Ah yes, it contradicts the Doctrine of The Disabled As Scroungers.

    The title is quite incorrect, yes – because it’s the Tories, LibDems and Labour coming for blind people’s benefits. There’s a concurrence from all three parties on bashing the disabled, and it’s fuelled the wave of violence against the disabled which you are doing nothing to discourage.

    How DARE real people, and real emotions be deployed by the left. Those Commie Robot Mutant Traitors are not allowed to do that!

  41. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/KawAVqnH

  42. Foxy52

    RT @leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/KawAVqnH

  43. Mr. Sensible

    Sounds like the discredited assessment regime for ESA.

  44. Pamela Heywood

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  45. Andreas Baader

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  46. CrawleyKeepNHSpublic

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  47. o/ /o Hi Drowning

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  48. Gov Manslaughter

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  49. patrick barwise

    Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits http://t.co/g4LQlIY7

  50. Jason Hill

    “@leftfootfwd: Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits, reports @ShamikDas: http://t.co/vvW5a0tC”

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