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Down with Benefit Cuts for the Disabled

16th March 2016

Down with Benefit Cuts for the Disabled

By Ian Malcolm-Walker

The LRC condemns the latest cut in benefits for disabled people that the Tories have announced.

As with many such cuts it appears just to be a technical matter.

There is nothing technical in losing £55 a week from your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and up to £100 a week on top of that in the amount of other benefits that that might trigger.

This cut follows a short consultation that included the Christmas period.

The majority of the majority of responses correctly:
>questioned the robustness of the current assessment process,
>believed that aids and appliances were a good indicator of additional costs, and
>expressed concern about the impact of any “reforms” on claimants and public services.

The assessment scores of 600 000 plus claimants will be cut from 2017.

PIP was introduced solely to reduce the number of claimants by the use of an arbitrary points system akin to the discredited Work Capacity Assessment.

PIP is still not fully in place with many Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants still to migrate.  Although many people have already lost money or even lost entitlement altogether, as predicted by Esther McVey, the damage is not severe enough for Iain Duncan-Smith.

Many people with physical impairments are getting the 8 points necessary to get the lower payment for daily living as they use aids or adaptions for a range of activities.  To stop these points adding up to eligibility Duncan-Smith is lowering the score in two areas from 2 points to 1.

Many people have settled for 8 points as it triggers money rather than appeal for more points despite evidence that ATOS and Capita are giving people 2 points in various sections when the qualify for more.

Both on PIP and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), these crude points based systems linked to computer based assessments need to be replaced with a proper system developed with disabled people.  Labour needs to do that work now, so that a new system is ready to run when it takes power in 2020.

It also needs to demand the Tories come clean on how much disabled people have lost in total since 2010 and on how many resultant deaths there have been.


The first thing that happened after this article was published was the closure of the Conservative Disability Group website: see here

A message was posted on the website: “This website is now permanently closed owing to Disability Cuts and will no longer be developed.”

Then Iain Duncan Smith resigned from the Tory Cabinet over the welfare cuts criticised in Ian Malcolm-Walker’s article. An almighty row has enveloped the Tory Party. We would encourage our Ian to write more on the LRC website to see how many other resignations he can provoke.

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