Campaigners warn that people with disabilities are losing rights due to government cuts
- 18 Jun
Over a 100 charities have signed a letter that has said decades of advances for people with learning disabilities could be lost.
Charities are concerned that the rights of people with learning disabilities to live independent lives are slipping due to government cuts to benefits and social care, reports the Guardian.
A letter sent to the Guardian, signed by over 100 charites and Lord Brian Rix, president of Mencap, has said that the shrinking welfare state risks leaving people housebound and cut off from communities and work.
The letter stated: “Campaigners fought for over 60 years so people with a learning disability can make their own choices in life and be part of mainstream society, however I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society. I have seen great strides since the 1950s, when I was advised to ‘put away and forget’ my late daughter Shelley, who had Down’s syndrome. However, expected £12bn cuts to social security, combined with huge reductions in funding for local government, and therefore social care, is causing fear and anxiety among the 1.4 million people with a learning disability and their families in the UK. Support through welfare and social care allows people with a learning disability to leave their homes, be active in the community and seek employment. For family carers, it recognises their vital role, and supports their immense contribution to loved ones and to society. I, and other campaigners, feel if we make the wrong decisions now, we threaten the basic rights of disabled citizens in a way that no civilised country should be willing to contemplate.”
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “As we work to get the overall benefits bill under control, we will always operate on the very clear principle that we will protect the most vulnerable.”
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