DAA News Network

UK: Government targets disability benefits

Posted 28/6-10 at 21.46

The Coalition Government is taking a hard line on cutting spending on incapacity benefit (IB)/Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). These benefits are for sick and disabled people between 18 and 65 who because of ill health or impairments are unable to work. 2.6 million people receive IB or ESA.

The chancellor, George Osborne, said that efforts to take more of those on incapacity benefit off welfare will form a significant part of plans to cut the deficit, saying: "It's a choice we all face. It is not a choice we can duck."

It has also been suggested that the government is considering whether the new system can be operated by a private company.

As we reported in our April edition, the previous government's similar effort to cut back incapacity benefit, led to disabled and seriously ill people being deemed fit for work. This included people with advanced Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, with severe mental illness and those awaiting open heart surgery.


Editorial comment: First, in reply to George Osborne: Having your income slashed is clearly not something you are going to face. On the other hand, it is something disabled people will not be able to duck. If some of us could actually ‘duck', then we would probably be considered fit to work!

More seriously, this is another piece of a ruthless strategy being set in place to rescue the country from the excesses of the rogue financial sector. Along with cuts to IB, there will be tougher tests for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), a freeze on grants from the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and massive cuts to spending on social services. The latter provides most of the funding for the individual budgets that allow disabled and older people to live independently in the community. These moves will bring untold hardship to a great many disabled people, already the poorest group in the country. To make matters worse, there is virtually no political party who can challenge the government's plans. Except for cuts to DLA, the new government is simply taking off from where the Labour government left off in their financial attack on disabled people. The backbench Labour MPs who tried to stave off the worst excesses of their government no longer have any political leverage. Liberal Democrats, who previously could be counted on to support the living standards of disabled people, have been politically neutered within the Coalition.

The next few years promise to be an extremely tough time for disabled people in the UK and, as we have shown in other articles, for disabled people throughout the world.




Comment added 13/7-11 at 15.13 by: author (smart201@yahoo.co.uk)

yeh this makes sense chuck people off ib and onto the already overrun jsa to get a job that doesnt exist and even if it did what chance has someone who is disabled got of getting it anyway, this is one thing and one thing alone a goverment execise in saving money and not giving a monkeys how they do it and no giveing a monkeys about the effects on seriously ill people ..

nice one cameron you thick ++++

Comment added 08/1-11 at 15.47 by: author (itwontbeboring@hotmail.co.uk)

I am disabled 59yo & unemoployable.
I'm very distressed by the governments dispicable attacks on the most vulnerable section in society.
Is there an active campaign against the proposed changes?
How can I help?

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