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Sense Urges Government Not To Overlook Disabled People In Upcoming Budget

March 15, 2016

A press release:

Sense urges Government not to overlook disabled people in upcoming budget

National deafblind charity warns against long-term effects of failing to protect welfare benefits and social care for disabled people

Ahead of The Budget announcement this Wednesday [16th March 2016], national deafblind charity, Sense, is calling on the government to put the brakes on further cuts to disabled people.

The last few weeks have seen drastic reductions to ESA and the expectation of cuts to PIP payments, which will adversely affect the lives of many vulnerable people across the country. Sense is asking the Chancellor to seriously consider the impact of these changes ahead of The Budget and to stop further cuts to welfare benefits and to properly fund the social care services that are critical to maintaining the dignity and independence of thousands of disabled people.

There has been speculation that there will be changes made to the management of Attendance Allowance as part of the upcoming Budget. This vital benefit enables older disabled people to continue to live independently rather than being forced into residential care. Sense is concerned that by shifting the responsibility of managing this £5billion benefit budget to local councils, without a national eligibility criteria, there is a real risk that older disabled people will be faced with a post code lottery when claiming this essential benefit.

Rather than focusing on cutting welfare for disabled people, the charity is calling on the Government to make a commitment to improving life chances for disabled people.

Richard Kramer, Deputy Chief Executive for deafblind charity Sense, said:

“All too often, the most vulnerable people are the ones hit hardest by the Government’s spending cuts and the recent changes to ESA and expected announcements on PIP are prime examples of focusing on short-term savings rather than long-term consequences.

Welfare benefits and social care are critical in supporting disabled people to live independently and as active members of the community.  Now there is speculation on changes to Attendance Allowance, which is particularly worrying as it is a vital benefit that protects older disabled people from being forced from their homes and into residential care. The threat of changes to this benefit is further evidence of quick savings trumping preventative measures.

The Government must focus on effective support to help those affected by recent cuts or else it runs the very real risk of dealing with the longer term implications of leaving some disabled people financially struggling, isolated from their communities and ultimately dependent on other services, such as the NHS, at a significant cost.

There is no room for any further cuts, which is why it is time to reframe the debate for disabled people. It is imperative that the Government refocuses on improving the life chances for disabled people and making a long term commitment to protecting the dignity and independence of disabled people across the country.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    March 15, 2016 1:25 am

    i hate to repeat myself but IDS is not and never will change and am sure all sane people will have understood this message by now

    all of these so called charities are run by wealthy individuals and celebrity’s and i myself am doubtful that they have helped anyone ?

    they certainly have never helped myself or anyone that i have ever known and if just being nice on the phone is regarded as helping then yes there good but that’s not what a charity should be about

    a charity should be about understanding the needs of a person following a visit to their home so that a full appraisal can be made in the comfort in there home and not to suppose that person can get to there office

    it is only by visiting a person in their home can you see the full picture and that of the whole family as anything else is a fudge which in turn leads to that’s persons death with so much additional pressure placed upon them

    hopefully one day i will see such a charity that does care and does the job of caring properly but i doubt it and therefore IDS and co wins the day as he can sense there is no care and with that being the case will take full advantage

    All charities at the moment are just shouting from the sidelines they don’t know there sick or disabled or there needs as they have never visited there home and in my mind are just going around and around in circles to the detriment of the people they purport to serve

  2. March 15, 2016 9:15 am

    Disability benefits should be protected by law. The Care Act, Children and Families Act that now is central to changes in services, all advocate person-centred care and much-needed support services, without the slightest mention of funding, cost or availability. As front line services are cut and benefits reduced, care needs are increasing. All disabled people are being forced into supported care as oppose to residential placements regardless of suitability to save money. Once the funding has been reduced, regardless of how unhappy the person is, there is no way back for them. The extra burden placed on the families of disabled people is creating a strain that is affecting relationships. The disabled person is left feeling powerless and depressed. The Government is guilty of Disability Discrimination and should not be allowed to persecute our most vulnerable citizens. There should be a law that prevents any greedy or lazy future Governments who look at disabled people as a quick hit for easy money.

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