DAA News Network

USA: Budget cuts unfairly target disabled people

Posted 05/6-11 at 19.50

The state of Illinois is planning deep cuts to independent living support for disabled people. This is being done to help balance the state's $13 billion deficit.

The governor's proposal, one of three possible budgets being considered (from the governor, the state's senate and house of representatives), would spend $30 million on state institutions and cut community-based services by $76.3 million. This could happen despite the numerous studies that show community services are safer, more effective and efficient. For example, four people can be served in a community setting for every one person in an institution.

All three competing budgets deepen the already weakened services for disabled people and do nothing to address the 21,000 people on the waiting list.

Editorial comment: Similar cuts are being imposed throughout the USA, mirroring what is happening in the UK and Ireland, as well as the rest of Europe. It is obscene that the while those working in the taxpayer-bailed-out financial sector, directly responsible for the deep and ongoing economic crises, are seeing their profits and incomes rising sharply, disabled and older people, as well as many others, are being left to pick up the bill. An illustrative cartoon would show a picture window of an exclusive restaurant. Inside are tuxedoed fat cats lounging around a table loaded with food and wine. Outside in the nighttime rain and looking in is a crowd of people dressed in rags being presented with the check for the meal by a disdainful headwaiter. That headwaiter is the state.




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