Welfare reforms 'to hit disabled'
Around 500,000 disabled people are "expected to lose out" when the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is scrapped, a report claims today.
The Tipping Point, backed by a coalition of 90 disabled people's organisations and charities called The Hardest Hit, is highly critical of the Government's attitude to disabled people, claiming there has been a £500 million drop in disability support since George Osborne's 2010 emergency budget.
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The report (link, right) highlights the fact disabled people are "twice as likely to live in poverty" and only a small loss of income can "tip people with a disability into greater dependence on health and social care services or friends and family".
It claims the Department for Work and Pensions has "failed to consider" knock-on effects of scrapping the DLA, citing examples such as increased burdens on council-funded care if 500,000 people were to lose benefits.
While the Government expects to save £2bn from ending DLA, the report says the figure could be closer to £400m, with increased costs such as implementation, lost tax revenue and increased dependence on council services cancelling out savings.
'No-one will lose out'
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron said "no recipients will lose out, unless their circumstances change," adding: "The money that is going into disability benefit will not go down under universal credit; it will go up."
Jaspal Dhani, chief executive of the UK Disabled People's Council and co-chair of the Hardest Hit campaign, says: "Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are already at risk of hardship and face massive barriers to getting into work and education.
"Cuts to the support they depend upon risk pushing them into poverty, debt and isolation.
"The Chancellor has just announced a further £10 billion cut to the welfare budget. With £9 billion having already been removed from disability benefits and services in this Parliament, disabled people are already at a tipping point."
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