How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people


9:05 am - March 7th 2011

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contribution by Andrew Kaye

Apparently there are 400,000 benefits cheats in Britain, which shows what a workshy country we have become. Shockingly 75% of individuals on sickness benefits are faking. Furthermore, it is nothing short of a scandal that there are 86,000 people under the age of 24 on sickness benefits.

Well, I might think that if I got all my information from certain newspapers that deliberately distort the figures. With the Government’s flagship Welfare Reform Bill scheduled for its Second Reading this week, it is incumbent on all those who participate in the debate to temper passion with reason.

I recently wrote a report on welfare on behalf of the Royal National Institute of Blind People and six other sight-loss charities. “More than meets the eye” exposes some of the myths about the UK’s benefits budget, but crucially, it shares disabled people’s experiences.

The impact
The Government plans to replace Disability Living Allowance using a new assessment, to reduce total benefit expenditure by one fifth.

Around 85% of registered blind and partially sighted people aged between 18 and 64 are currently receiving DLA (nearly 60,000 people). We could be looking at as many as 12,000 people registered with a visual impairment losing their entitlement to DLA from 2013.

This matters in the context of work because blind and partially sighted people in employment tell us that without their DLA they do not think they would be able to manage.

More poverty
The decision to limit the time a claimant can receive contributory Employment and Support Allowance and the switch to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the price indexation of all benefits (including DLA) will represent a total loss of up to £360 per year for some.

This could mean claimants having to sacrifice the equivalent of ten or eleven days’ home care.

The extra costs associated with living with a visual impairment look set to rise but blind and partially sighted people’s disposable incomes will shrink.

Blind and partially sighted people on the lower rate of DLA (mobility) are looking at having to forgo 20 Taxicard journeys in 2014/15 due to the changes in up-rating the benefit.

People I interviewed told RNIB that with access to community transport and other council services restricted to people with the most severe needs, blind and partially sighted people will feel cut off.

Only then can we hope to reform welfare in a way that respects disabled people without intensifying the problems they already face or making them feel too stigmatised to speak up for their rights.

—-
Andrew Kaye is Policy Manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People

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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Fight the cuts ,Westminster

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Reader comments


This Evil Coalition is Hell Bent on Cutbacks and nothing else. The Sick, Disabled and Vulnerable are the victims of Lies and Deceit inflicted upon them by this Evil Coalition of Misery. My Evidence is as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UvqmZlaAPY

In addition to this the Sick and Disabled have suffered increasing Hate Crime because of all the false and misleading information pushed out by the Tories and this Coalition of Hate and Misery to justify their Deceitful Cutbacks to the most Vulnerable in society. My Evidence is as follows:

http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2010/12/recorded-hate-crime-nearly-doubles-in-one-year/

David Cameron and others are Bare Faced, Despicable, Evil Liars that should be forced to ” FORFEIT” their right to Govern this country.

2. So Much For Subtlety

“Blind and partially sighted people on the lower rate of DLA (mobility) are looking at having to forgo 20 Taxicard journeys in 2014/15 due to the changes in up-rating the benefit.”

You know, this doesn’t seem such a big sacrifice to me. Why precisely should anyone go to the wall for 20 Taxicard journeys?

“People I interviewed told RNIB that with access to community transport and other council services restricted to people with the most severe needs, blind and partially sighted people will feel cut off.”

You mean their feelings will be hurt? I am sorry they will feel cut off. But again can you please explain to me precisely why anyone should suffer to pay for this benefit? You may notice that the economy is teetering. We cannot afford to be generous as we were. So why does this deserve to be funded and not, say, childhood leukemia research?

“Only then can we hope to reform welfare in a way that respects disabled people without intensifying the problems they already face or making them feel too stigmatised to speak up for their rights.”

So this is all a matter of respect, stigmatism and other hurt feelings? Not, say, hunger? Again I don’t want to be unsympathetic, but why should the rest of us be working until June every year just so that some partially sighted people do not feel stigmatised? What you are saying is that other people should not have what they want. You are saying that young couples should not be able to buy their own homes. You are saying that other people should not be able to afford to give their children what they themselves never had. Why precisely is that better than this?

It is typical of this administration that this bill is being heralded as the ‘greatest reform since Beveridge’ and at the same time it will drive hundreds of thousands of people into poverty. How Citizen Dave or Iain Duncan Smith can equate the post-war emergence of the Welfare State with their divisive and cruel changes baffles me.

@3 Hubris perhaps?

So Much For Subtlety there, demonstrating perfectly why rightwingers are such utter cunts. Thanks for that.

Tacitus@3, friend

If Politicians promise things during an Election Campaign to gain votes and try and Deceitfully give the impression that they are caring they should keep to there promises otherwise that is Deceit/Fraudulant.

All I have seen and heard from David Cameron on this particular subject is utter lies. David Cameron should be held to account for lies of this nature because he has made people vote under false pretences.

It is wrong to let a Government continue to govern when they have lied so much throughout an Election Campaign then go on to break those promises and then make things up as it goes along. The people of the United Kingdom deserve fairness even if it is a Coalition that is now running the country.

I hope that this Evil Coalition of Misery gets a taste of their own medicine and soon, I really do Prey that they choke on their own Deceit and lies.

@6 I seem to remember that it was established in a case against one Gordon Brown that there is “no reasonable expectation” that can be applied to manifesto promises.

On a more general point, is it really the case that expenditure must always go up or the government is evil?

Falco@7

This issue is regarding some of the most Vulnerable people in society that cannot help themselves in most cases. As David Cameron said ” The most vulnerable people in society need caring for in Bad times as well as in Good times”. That was the issue.

No one implied that expenditure must go up otherwise a Government was evil. If David Cameron made a promise to protect the most Vulnerable in Bad Times then surely David Cameron recognised that the Vulnerable should be protected from Cutbacks.

Lastly what ever Gordon Brown said in the past is irrelevant to this particular issue regarding the most vulnerable in society. We are supposed to be living in a civilised society and this Government has a moral duty to care for those in need what ever you may think.

SMFS @ 2

You know, this doesn’t seem such a big sacrifice to me.

No doubt it isn’t a sacrifice to you, but then again, you are a fucking Tory sociopath so anything a disabled person suffers is no big deal.

Again I don’t want to be unsympathetic

Er, yes, I bet you don’t.

Over the last couple of months, certain people on this board have criticized me for using, shall we say, ‘confrontational’ language. Some have went so far as to suggest that I am a bigot.

I have to be honest, I despise the Tories. I am not ‘jealous’ of the Tories or indulge in the ‘politics of envy’ or suffer from ‘anti Britishness’, ‘anti business’ or any other of the myriad of accusations thrown at people like me.

I grew up in the late seventies, early eighties and became politically aware around the end of that decade. My only real contact with people in political contexts were on the media, things like Question Time (Robin Day and three or four panellists), ‘Any Questions’ on radio and a few other programmes scattered round the schedules. Later, I got myself online and found myself in various forums, message boards and the like. I have to say in all honesty, the people who make the most despicable, misanthropic remarks over those last twenty five years have been the Tories and their fellow travellers, the off shoots who leave the Tories because they are not idealistically ‘pure’ enough.

There are plenty of people within the Labour movement who I have fundamental issues with. I would never call myself a Socialist, Marxist, Stalinist or follow any kind of ‘ism’ or whatever. I have never voted Labour (New or Old) in my life, mainly due to their commitment to CND at the height of the Cold War (different thread folk and a ‘different me’ as well), but although I dislike many of the policies of ‘the Left’ and have a great distrust of the personalities, I have never felt that they have outright hatred for millions of our fellow citizens.

The people who make the most outrageously despicable remarks regarding the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society are the Tories. It is rarely (though occasionally) a Labour person that attacks the poor or the weak, the ill or the mentally ill, it is seemingly the Tories that make those remarks. Last week on ‘Radio 5’ there was a discussion regarding disabled children and a ‘Tory’ woman caller declared to the mother being interviewed the plight of her family (a disabled child) were a ‘drain on society’. She then announced with all the gusto she could muster that, in her situation, she would have (from memory) ‘abandoned the child at the hospital and left’. What I found that angered me most was not so such that this evil piece of filth was allowed on the air (not blaming the BBC for this), but rather this ‘woman’ thought it perfectly reasonable to phone up and hector this poor mother. These were not the mutterings of a harassed person at the end of the day who then thought better of it when she got home. This was not a quiet night in and going over the top as the wine flows nonsense. This was a seemingly calm woman, explaining in that condescending tone, that disabled people are less than human.

Here is the thing though. When the poster above makes those remarks, when the MP makes a racist joke, when the nutter denies Climate Change or when the Tory suggests that the unemployed are all lazy and shiftless it is the ‘Left’ that confront them and challenge them, never the ‘decent Tories’

I keep hearing about these ‘mythical Tories’ who are decent people, who just hold different views on ‘public services’ than me, yet why do I never hear from them? Why is it that a Tory never explains climate change to a fuckwits or explains that disabled people are human, or that ‘being isolated’ means far worse that ‘hurt feelings? Why is it that these people are perfectly at home making the most extremely offensive remarks? Could it be that among Tories, Howard was right? They are all thinking what he is thinking? If someone from the ‘Left’ makes an outrageous remark, it will be the Left that slap him down. If I said most ‘Tories are paedophiles’ then I bet you that it would the Left that would get on my case, quickest.

I have been told that most Tories are ‘irritatingly nice’, yet why is it that you cannot throw a stick at the audience of a Tory conference without hitting someone with nasty views? Why is it that when I call the Tories ‘scum’ you can bet your last fiver that some arsehole will go out of his way to confirm that?

10. James from Durham

“so much for subtlety” merely shames himself by his ignorance. He is beneath contempt. To be blind is a really desperate condition and to describe the isolation and lack of moblity that a blind person experiences as “hurt feelings” is simply stupid. You should get out more and meet a few people, mate.

Lets go back a bit, Blair brought out the work shy scrounger bit, he then said why should somebody spent a life time on benefits because their GP says so, except of course as he knew the lying little toe rag, ATOS does the medical not the GP.

But again it was Brown and Purnell that worked out the new WCA thats causing all the problems.

The old PCA stated can you pick up a twenty pence piece off the table.

WCA states can you move the twenty pence piece using any part of your body including your stumps.

PCA if your a wheelchair user then your disabled.

WCA can you move your own wheelchair 50mtrs, if so this will deemed you mobile as if you have legs.

The sad fact all the problems for the new medical are Labour, Brown stated DLA was a wasted benefit, the Tories took him up on it.

Here is what the nerd using a computer said to me.

Are you disabled….. yes.

what is your disability,…. I have a partial lesion of the L5 leading to paraplegia.

he replied those are just words.

No thats what the medical profession calls my disability.

yes but we call it a bad back..

Why bother…

Good on you Jim, I don’t agree with your comments on the left and CND, but you are spot on about the tories. For me, they have not merely got it “wrong”, they are immoral, twisted freaks who actively enjoy hurting the poor and vulnerable. If anybody could ever doubt this, just remind yourself of the cheers of delight that errupted from the tory benches as Osborne announced the massive cuts to public services. Utter, utter scum to be hated violently. If you don’t then you are not part of the left.

Hear hear Jim!

This would explain a lot – http://www.hare.org/links/saturday.html

14. James from Durham

Jim’s piece is absolutely splendid. It sets out exactly why so many people with wildly varying beliefs hate Conservatives. It’s just they that they are really unpleasant people.

15. Left not Liberal

Jim should be given posting rights here. He is a legend.

All tories are scum.

16. Andrew Kaye

Hi

With a short article it’s sometimes tricky trying to communicate all your concerns, and to put these in context. I should add that RNIB and the other charities behind this report are committed to blind and partially sighted people playing their part in the economic recovery. To make this a reality, however, the debate cannot just focus on moving people off benefits. Economic recovery in this context should be built on inclusive recruitment and retention practices so people with sight loss can move into employment.

Shockingly, 92 per cent of employers surveyed by the DWP believe it would be “impossible” or “difficult” to recruit a blind or partially sighted person. These figures date back to the early 2000s, but we have little reason to believe attitudes have changed dramatically.

I guess the point is this: reforming the benefits system will always have human consequences. For someone who has lost their sight and fallen out of the workplace, the news that contributory Employment and Support Allowance for people in the work-related activity group will be time limited at 12 months will have consequences in terms of their income and the support they receive to re-train and become work-ready. Ministers must engage with and listen to disabled people to hear their concerns.

We are not suggesting the benefits system is in no need of reform whatsoever. DLA claim forms for example are extremely long and can be off-putting. The Work Capability Assessment has been shown to cause stress and anxiety amongst claimants. What we are concerned with is reforming the system in the way that best reflects the reality of disabled people’s lives. Surely what matters most is what will work best to help disabled people become more independent.

What we are arguing with “More than meets the eye”, our new report, is that all these issues are at risk of getting overlooked. First, some newspapers and commentators would like us to focus on the “work-shy”. We are also being informed we need not be too concerned because disabled people will do well out of the universal credit. Perhaps, but we don’t really know. One needs to look beyond some of these “headlines” and scrutinise what the Government is proposing in much greater detail. The immediate threats are cuts to people’s DLA and other vital benefits that cover the extra costs of being disabled. The principle that it’s better for disabled people to be in employment is, on first inspection sound and innocuous…

But when unemployment is at a 17-year high and employers cannot look beyond your disability, it’s of course much harder to achieve this in practice. The Governments risks intensifying the problems of dependency and worklessness by removing the support disabled people need for day-to-day living. We are not against reform; it’s just got to work in the interests of disabled people.

17. James from Durham

Andrew – “DLA forms … can be offputting”! Is this an early bid for “Understatement Of The Year 2011”?

18. So Much For Subtlety

9. Jim – “No doubt it isn’t a sacrifice to you, but then again, you are a fucking Tory sociopath so anything a disabled person suffers is no big deal.”

So no, you cannot explain why we should fund this and not childhood leukemia research. Fine. You don’t need to be so long winded about it.

10. James from Durham – ““so much for subtlety” merely shames himself by his ignorance. He is beneath contempt.”

And neither can you. Fine.

“To be blind is a really desperate condition and to describe the isolation and lack of moblity that a blind person experiences as “hurt feelings” is simply stupid. You should get out more and meet a few people, mate.”

We are not talking about the blind. We are talking about the partial sighted. And of course the original poster was talking of hurt feelings. Taxes come from somewhere. When you take money from some people to give to other people, you are denying the first lot of people their dreams, their choices, their freedoms. You are denying young people a chance to buy their first home. You are denying people a chance to go home to visit their grandparents. You are denying the next start up that could turn into another Apple. And yet you cannot explain why your friends ought to get the money rather than the people who actually went out and earnt it. Why is that?

19. So Much For Subtlety

16. Andrew Kaye – “Shockingly, 92 per cent of employers surveyed by the DWP believe it would be “impossible” or “difficult” to recruit a blind or partially sighted person. These figures date back to the early 2000s, but we have little reason to believe attitudes have changed dramatically.”

Why is it shocking? Some jobs need sighted people. A lot of jobs as it happens. But the good news is that Britain has millions of employers. And eight percent of them seem willing to employ a blind or partially sighted person. More than enough for all of them to get jobs.

That’s good news, right?

20. So Much For Subtlety

5. Kanda – “So Much For Subtlety there, demonstrating perfectly why rightwingers are such utter cunts. Thanks for that.”

Thank you too Kanda. For demonstrating why spittle-flecked hate speech is no substitute for logical argument.

I take it that this means you too cannot justify this spending?

Given the utter lack of any case for said spending, why are we spending it?

@19 According to a one Mr Iain Duncan Smith MP “The fact is there are around half a million vacancies in the economy at the moment”, and according to a BBC report from February the number of unemployed is around 2.49 million.
So lets see, there are apparently 500,000 “employment opportunities” going at the moment, and about 2,490,000 people out of work.

Why is it shocking? Some jobs need sighted people. A lot of jobs as it happens. But the good news is that Britain has millions of employers. And eight percent of them seem willing to employ a blind or partially sighted person. More than enough for all of them to get jobs.

Er, wrong.

“Thank you too Kanda. For demonstrating why spittle-flecked hate speech is no substitute for logical argument.”

Why would I waste my time engaging in logical argument with a low life piece of rightwing shit like you? I don’t occupy a different universe to you. Now FOAD.

SMFS @ 18 “So no, you cannot explain why we should fund this and not childhood leukemia research. Fine. You don’t need to be so long winded about it”.

“And neither can you. Fine.”

Cancer research and DLA come from different funding streams you fucking idiot.
Brief enough for you?

Slightly more long winded: Cancer research pulls a significant amount of its funding from private companies and charitable institutions. State benefits draw their funding exclusively from the taxes raised in the UK.

“We are not talking about the blind. We are talking about the partial sighted. And of course the original poster was talking of hurt feelings. Taxes come from somewhere. When you take money from some people to give to other people, you are denying the first lot of people their dreams, their choices, their freedoms. You are denying young people a chance to buy their first home. You are denying people a chance to go home to visit their grandparents. You are denying the next start up that could turn into another Apple. And yet you cannot explain why your friends ought to get the money rather than the people who actually went out and earnt it. Why is that?”

Blindness and partial sightedness are on a spectrum, they are not: blind = no sight at all, Partial sight = needs glasses to read. Think before you post something so dumb and callous in future you utter doofus.

24. So Much For Subtlety

21. Cylux – “So lets see, there are apparently 500,000 “employment opportunities” going at the moment, and about 2,490,000 people out of work.”

And in the real world, there is not a fixed number of job opportunities. They vary over time. They are determined by supply and demand. What you mean is that at the present moment, with wages and regulations where they are, there are about half a million jobs going. That does not mean that as these reforms start to kick in, the economy won’t have picked up. Or that people who have been bullied into work won’t work for less than they would like to now.

23. arfarf – “Cancer research and DLA come from different funding streams you fucking idiot. Brief enough for you?”

Well accurate and brief would be nice. No they do not. They come out of taxation. Taken from the rest of us. We need to cut spending and reduce the debt. A lot of things are going to be cut. Not just welfare.

“Slightly more long winded: Cancer research pulls a significant amount of its funding from private companies and charitable institutions. State benefits draw their funding exclusively from the taxes raised in the UK.”

State benefits do. So does State funding of Cancer research. The point you are missing is that when we fund something, we cannot fund something else. Why should this type of funding be exempt? Why should some other area get cut. It is not a hard question. But answering it seems difficult.

“Blindness and partial sightedness are on a spectrum, they are not: blind = no sight at all, Partial sight = needs glasses to read. Think before you post something so dumb and callous in future you utter doofus.”

I am not sure that is even relevant to what I said. Some people getting support are going to have their benefits cut. Not all of them. Not even most of them. I would guess that those getting said cut are those at the margins of partial sight. The problem with a spectrum disorder of any sort is why does the person just on the wrong side of the arbitrary line not deserve welfare and the person just on the right side does. So they will shift that line a little to the left. Why is that a moral crisis?

Besides, I would think that blind does mean no sight. Which is why the article talks of the blind, the partially sighted and the visually impaired. But it is still not relevant.

@24 I’m pretty sure that there will be less jobs and more unemployed once these reforms kick in. Plus bullying someone into work is only one small step away from forcing someone into work, which is generally known as slavery.

SMFS @ 18

So no, you cannot explain why we should fund this and not childhood leukemia research. Fine. You don’t need to be so long winded about it.

So is it one or the other? Is it beyond you to accept that we can fund both? Is that the best you can manage? Take from the blind so we don’t have to take it from the childhood cancer suffererrs?

Why not take it from the tax avioders and then use it to fund both? Ah, but the tax avioder can and will fight back, but the ‘blind’ and sick kids? What a typical Tory. You cunts are only interested in the weakest members of society and giving them a good kicking.

Cylux@25, friend

In addition to what you have said the Sick and Disabled will be unfairly taken of whatever benefit they are on, then force to find work within a year and then go on to lose money if they cannot find work within that year.

It is already agreed that unemployment is very high and the jobs that do become avialable is no where near enough to fill that void.

The young cannot find work, people are being layed off, people will be retiring later, immigration is still rising which means more people looking for work.

When you have many people that are Fit, Strong and well qualified in vast numbers seeking employment what hope do the Disabled have of getting work? Employers may not always admit it openly but they will prefer and will take on someone that does not have disabilities..

I think that everyone in Government are more than aware of what is being inflicted upon the vulnerable in society and what makes it worse is that David Cameron recognised this Hence his Televised Electoral Campaign Promise that Society is judged by how it cares for the most vulnerable in it’s society and needs to protect them not only in Good Times but also in Bad Times.

The most vulnerable in Society have been Deceived, Lied too and been seriously Abused by this Evil Coalition of Evil.

David Cameron should be held to account for such Lies and Deceit because what he and this Government has done regarding the most vulnerable in society is completely Dishonest and a Disgrace. The most Vulnerable in society most certainly need protecting and no one doubts that, to think otherwise is selfish and inconsiderate.

This is the difference.

DLA Forms new WCA

Can you walk 50mitrs without stopping due to pain or being out of breath.

New test

Can you walk 50mtrs

Can you move a 20p from here to here.

New

can you move this object from here to here using any part of your body including stumps.

PIP test.

A person shall not be deemed disabled if he is blind deaf or has no legs.

So far 90% of people are being rejected by the new test persons who have had no training what so ever on disability or illness, people who are dying with cancer are being found able to work.

Then 70% are winning the appeals, somebody is making a lot of money out of this.


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    RT @libcon: How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people http://bit.ly/hgC0gY

  41. Fiona W

    RT @BeatriceJBray: RT @libcon: How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people http://bit.ly/hgC0gY

  42. Liberal Ideals

    How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people …: If Politicians promise things during an El… http://bit.ly/foPWn4

  43. Armchair Army

    http://tinyurl.com/6xh822h more reasons to join Armchairarmy http://tinyurl.com/62c3gqj if you can't attend #march26march to bombard media

  44. Jill Goble

    RT @BendyGirl: How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eunZiDy via @libcon

  45. Armchair Army

    RT @BendyGirl: How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eunZiDy via @libcon

  46. Daniel Pitt

    Upcoming welfare cull will hit blind & disabled hard http://bit.ly/hgC0gY #ConDemNation

  47. IDEAS – Humpty’s Refrain: The 4 myths behind the coalition cuts – Ceasefire Magazine

    […] social injustices of the post-war era in domestic politics’ particularly for the poor, women, the disabled, the young and the old. In other words the population, save for a very narrow, and very rich, […]

  48. “If Cameron and Osborne get their way disability benefits will be a thing of the past” Thank the bloody disability charities for that ….. « Dear England

    […] How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people (liberalconspiracy.org) […]

  49. coastlightbeep

    How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people … http://bit.ly/lppYI4

  50. Diane Brighton

    How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people http://t.co/b1pIMUq

  51. Diane Brighton

    How the upcoming welfare cuts will hit blind and disabled people | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/k1Oum8P via @libcon





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