welfare benefitsDisabled people will have lost £28.3bn in support by 2018 owing to the cumulative impact of multiple government welfare cuts, according to research. Up to 3.7m disabled people will be affected by the Government’s welfare reforms, research from think tank Demos and charity Scope suggests, with 3,000 individuals being hit simultaneously by up to six different cuts.

Over the next five years, 26,600 people could lose up to £23,000 because of limitations imposed to their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the uprating of ESA capped at 1%, and losses of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). An estimated 12,500 people in receipt of DLA, ESA, and who are living in social housing, will be hit by five cuts and each lose £11,517.

Scope and Demos have said the Government has failed to comprehend the difficulties faced by disabled people in 2013 and must assess the cumulative impact of its welfare cuts. Chief executive of Scope, Richard Hawkes, said: ‘At the moment there’s no place for disabled people in the Chancellor’s aspiration nation. In 2013 disabled people are already struggling to pay the bills. Living costs are spiralling. Income is flat-lining. We know many are getting in debt, just to pay for essentials.

We have to start looking the bigger picture. It’s more than cuts to both social care and welfare. This is about the kind of country we want to live in. In 2013, at the very least disabled people should be able to pay the bills and live independently.’

Deputy director of Demos, Claudia Wood, said: ‘What’s shocking is that the Government doesn’t assess the likely combined impact of these changes – only the impact of each change individually. However, many disabled families are being affected by combinations of four, five and even six changes, so we’re asking the Government to change tack, and start to publish cumulative impact assessments

Source: LocalGove.co.uk

Link: http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=109330

28th March 2013

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