Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Cuts in Disability Living Allowances..another kick in the jacksie for disabled people and MH charities don't give a shit!!!

From benefits and work website:

A government green paper has revealed plans to stop paying disability benefits and hand the cash over to social services instead.

The Shaping the Future of Care Green Paper published by the DWP and the Department of Health on 14th July sets out government plans to get rid of attendance allowance and, depending on public reaction, also leaves the way clear to end the care component of DLA.

The consultation period for the green paper ends on 13 November. If there has been no significant outcry against the plans by then, it seems very likely that whichever party is in power after the next election will seize this opportunity to cut public spending by over a billion pounds a year.

Unfortunately, so far, that outcry has been very muted indeed, with only a few agencies – including RNIB and Age Concern and Help the Aged - speaking out. Shamefully, at least one major disability organisation, Disability Alliance, immediately announced its support for the green paper’s proposals.

This is in spite of the fact that a report in November 2008 by the Institute for Social and Economic Research warned that taking DLA and AA from claimants and making it part of a ‘personal budget’ administered by social services will leave millions of disabled people worse off and with less independence.

The lack of protest is caused at least in part by ministers deliberately choosing ambiguous terms for their plans. The green paper refers only to cutting ‘disability benefits, for example Attendance Allowance’. Some organisations with predominantly younger members clearly believe that because DLA isn’t specifically named, that therefore it isn’t in the firing line.

But they are forgetting all the deception and weasel words that have surrounded the introduction of employment and support allowance. For example, ministers said that ESA would be paid at a higher rate than incapacity benefit. In fact, it turned out that cuts in related premiums mean that many people are very much worse off on ESA than they would have been on incapacity benefits.

The reality is that if the government was intending to axe only AA it would have said so clearly, instead of deliberately and repeatedly using the term ‘disability benefits’ to cause uncertainty and confusion. Writing on Rightsnet, Neil Bateman, a respected welfare benefits consultant who also writes for Community Care magazine argued:

“Based on what I heard last week at the DWP Policy and Strategy Forum, both DLA and AA are in the DH's [Department of Health’s] sights and DWP are closely, involved in these developments.”

Even Paul Treloar, until recently Disability Alliance’s Director of Policy and now Head of Information at Gingerbread, wrote that:

“From what I understand at the moment, it is certainly attendance allowance that is being considered for the chop and reallocation to means-tested social care provision via local authorities - but given that the ultimate aim is to come up with a comprehensive and sustainable system of social care for all ages, it's difficult to see how DLA care component won't be similarly up for inclusion, in my opinion.”

Here at Benefits and Work, we’re convinced that the threat to DLA as well as AA is very real and the that time to act is short.

As a result, we’re launching our own campaign to save these vital benefits. We’re looking for one thousand people to sign up for our No More Benefits Cuts campaign. All you need to do is provide us with your email address and first name and be prepared to give up a few minutes of your time once a week to send an email or post on a forum.

Although we know it’s a very tough target, we won’t begin until we can get 1,000 people to sign up for the campaign, simply because we don’t believe that a smaller number will have any effect at all. In truth, many more will eventually be needed.

You don’t need to be a claimant – you might be a carer or support worker, for example – and you don’t need to be a subscribing member of Benefits and Work. You also don’t have to send any emails if you choose not to and you can remove yourself from the list at any time you wish. And, of course, we will never pass your details on to anyone else under any circumstances.

On the other hand, if you think that here at Benefits and Work we’re just being doom and gloom mongers and that only attendance allowance is really under threat then please consider this:

If we let them get away with this, if we all look the other way as one and a half million sick and disabled pensioners have their attendance allowance stolen from them and are plunged into deepest poverty, how long do you honestly think it will be before the government comes back to steal your benefits as well?

And who will you ask to speak out for you in the future, if you remain silent now, just because you don’t think this affects you?

If you wish to sign up to the campaign to try and prevent allowances being withdrawn go to:

The site has been accused of cajoling people in to paying a joining fee but I think that is a bit iffy for people who are on low incomes. I signed up for the campaign and received an email about it made no mention of a joining fee...only what people can and are doing to try and stop Disability Living Allowance being taken away from those who need it.



  1. That petition by Benefits and Work is over 14000 . So they have exceeded their target easily .

    The MH charities are just too full of corporatists and privileged middle class admins and some of the toppery ones - like Rethink and MHF have ex Dept Of Health staff .

    Not a credible credential for true independence - more like networker weavery and civil services snakery and a bit too far up the Govt's anus territory .....They are off into funding cycles and Blue Peterish stigma bollox as usual when in fact there is poor patient choice hardly any control over recovery treatments in the community and mystification amongst Users that supported "reform" ...

    C'est la pee ..

  2. Dear Co-De-Strapochacoccolus

    My sentiments exactly :>)

  3. Meant to tell you a few weeks ago that hubby was turned down for DLA ! Not a surprise as it happens, but was worth a try. V angry that sister in law gets it really for being fat !

  4. Hi Sis

    The DWP are going to be turning the screws much tighter from now on.

    The country is in crisis and it is the weak and vulnerable that will pay the price for that.

    I can't bare the thought of social services getting people's DLA as I don't envisage a social worker coming round and taking me to visit Dad or the zoo or shopping or anything. People with mental illness won't see them for dust.

    And I bet whatever money is supposed to be going on front line services will pay for more suits.

    The future is grey (with more pin stripes)