Socialist Worker

Welfare reforms will kick 500,000 off disability benefits

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2303

The Tories’ welfare reforms will kick half a million disabled people off benefits—according to the government’s own figures.

Work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith has warned that even those who have lost limbs should not assume that they will continue to receive benefits.

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (Pip) next year.

Some two million DLA claimants are to be reassessed as part of the change—and as many as 500,000 will be denied the new benefit.

This would mean taking £2.24 billion a year out of the pockets of disabled people.

Smith says that the changes will focus benefits on those who need them most.

But the testing methods mean that those most likely to miss out are those with less visible conditions, such as epilepsy or ME. Around a third of disabled people already live in poverty.

The benefit cuts will make them more isolated and more vulnerable.


The Tories claim that DLA is open to massive fraud. But the fraud rate is only 0.5 percent, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.


The cuts won’t help disabled people get jobs. Unemployment is already at 2.65 million in Britain. Having less money will make it harder for disabled people to find work.


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Article information

News
Tue 15 May 2012, 16:57 BST
Issue No. 2303
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