The Impact Of Sweeping Cuts To Services On The Disabled

  • Sickness and disability campaigners have argued over time about the negative impacts of the sweeping government cuts and had begged the government to conduct a cumulative impact assessment.

    With all areas being attacked at once, helplessness and hopelessness becomes the order of the day for most of the vulnerable people in our society.

    There will be a meeting for politicians in parliament on Wednesday to debate and vote on behalf of their constituencies.

    It is great to know that this meeting has finally been agreed upon after the ministers had refused to assess what will happen if several or all of these cuts hit the same people at once, saying it will be too expensive and is "too complex".

    This will be the subject of Wednesday's debate.

    The Guardian gave the following reasons why the sweeping cuts should be looked upon:

    "Imagine for a moment that you rely on a carer coming to your home just to help you get out of bed. Without them, you can't get dressed, can't prepare a meal or have a wash. Yet as local authorities try to cope with eyewatering 25% cuts, social care has been slashed up and down the country.

    Imagine that day the doctor diagnoses terminal cancer or lupus or a broken spine. You can hardly take it in, let alone think about going to work. You will need time to adjust, to put away those lifetime ambitions or cherished dreams. Yet our politicians aim to remove employment and support allowance (ESA) from up to a million devastated lives.

    Imagine you cannot walk well around your own home. You can shuffle a few painful steps, but no further than the end of the drive. You rely on your car for everything, for getting out to see friends, for getting to work, without it you would be completely isolated. Yet this government plan to remove disability living allowance (DLA), the benefit that provides sick and disabled people help to fund transport, from half a million people.

    Imagine you are so profoundly disabled that you cannot eat or communicate without help. You use a wheelchair and your home has been modified to ensure that you can carry on living in it as independently as possible. Until recently, you received top-up payments from the Independent Living Fund, but that has been scrapped too.

    Now just imagine what might happen if all of these cuts affect you at once. No carer to help at home, no ESA to replace your lost income, no car to get about and no support to stay in your own home. What might have been manageable becomes the most terrible, frightening scenario possible. Without these vital elements of your life, you are left with nothing; bedridden, housebound, isolated and living in crushing poverty. Add in cuts to housing benefit and the NHS, and it doesn't take much imagination to see that the results could be devastating."

    Hopefully, the outcome of the meeting on Wednesday will be favourable.

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Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life


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