The UK claims to be a world leader in rights for disabled people but money wasted on overpayments has prompted authorities to replace the current system with a ‘personal independence payment’ (PIP) by next year.
The current system, the ‘disability living allowance’ (DLA), offers two kinds of payments: one for weekly care costs and one for mobility. Under the new PIP system, more money will be given to more severely disabled people, and less money will be given to less severely disabled people. This, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, reflects the ‘right values’.
However, a survey of over 4,500 disabled people by charity campaign Hardest Hit found that 80% were afraid their benefit cuts will drive them into debt and isolation.
The report, called The Tipping Point, claims that up to 500,000 people will miss out on ‘vital support’ under the new PIP system.
65% of respondents said that they would not be able to work without the DLA, and 30% said without the money they would not be able to afford carer fees.
Jaspal Dhani, chief executive of the UK Disabled People’s Council and co-chair of the Hardest Hit campaign, said: “Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are already at risk of hardship and face massive barriers to getting into work and education. Cuts to the support they depend upon risk pushing them into poverty, debt and isolation.”
£9 billion has already been removed from the welfare budget, with an additional £10 billion cut on the way.
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