The impact of the 2012 Autumn Statement on disabled people

The Hardest Hit campaign, a coalition of over 90 organisations representing disabled people, has cautiously welcomed the government’s decision to raise disability benefits in line with inflation, but warned that cuts to other benefits will hit disabled people very hard.

The Government has announced that out of work benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance  and Jobseekers Allowance will only be up-rated by 1% over the next three years.

This has come at a time when the government’s Work Programme is failing to help disabled people back into work. Last week we learnt that only 1,000 disabled people out of the 79,000 referred to the flagship scheme have secured a job outcome that sees them employed for six months or longer.

The decision to only up-rate ESA for people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) by one per cent will represent a significant cash loss for thousands of disabled people who rely on this money to live their daily lives. Further below-inflation rises to a range of other benefits such as housing benefit and working tax credits were also announced and will have a significant impact on disabled people.

Steve Winyard, spokesperson for the Hardest Hit coalition, said:

”We welcome the decision to raise disability benefits in line with inflation, but this isn’t the be all and end all for disabled people. Thousands rely on benefits like ESA and Housing Benefit to live their daily lives. The decision to break the link with inflation for these benefits will result in a cash loss that is set to get worse over time.

“Disabled people are already twice as likely to be living in poverty and a cash loss of this kind will represent a serious threat to independence and a major compromise on quality of life. We estimate a typical disabled person in the ESA WRAG will be £180 worse off over the next three years than would have otherwise been the case had this benefit increased by 2.2 per cent.

“The 1.3 per cent portion of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants securing work through the Work Programme is a risible return and reflects, not a desire on the other 98.7 per cent of claimants’  to stay in bed, as the Chancellor appeared to suggest but huge inefficiency in Work Programme contracts and ongoing barriers to work for disabled people.”

12 thoughts on “The impact of the 2012 Autumn Statement on disabled people

  1. OMG IM fuming, i have a severelly dissabled grandchild, and MR CAMORON !! is throwing a special party at downing street, for dissabled children and my grandchild is invited, but my daughter isnt letting her go because of what camorooon has done to disabled people all over the country, my daughter feels very strongly how dissabledpeople and children are being treated by this moron of a priminister, so my daughter wont allow her child to go to this so called party in downing street, he will have the press there and television making out hes a caring person, and yet hes treating disabled people so badly, hes disgusting as a priminister he has no empathy for no one just himself, were all in it to gether yea right, where has it hit his pocket, has his children suffered, have they gone hungry, are they cold because the daddy has lost his job, will they wake up xmas morning to no presents from santa, all these questions and one answer NO they wont be cold, or starve, or wake up xmas morning to no presents from santa BECAUSE we are not all in it together are we, and thats the difference and the truth mr CAMORON, so stop using disabled children to get votes it wont work, my granchild needs a new wheel chair an electric bed but its charities who are buying these NOT mr CAMORON NO we are not all init together,

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