The DBC and Hardest Hit campaign are supporting the team at Pat’s Petition, and their supporters, who are calling on the Government to carry out a cumulative impact assessment into the impact of cuts to welfare benefits and support on disabled people. Last November, Pat’s petition on this issue attracted over 62,700 signatures. On February 6th, Pat, along with 4 others, will meet with Labour’s shadow work and pension Secretary, Liam Byrne, to again raise this important issue. The DBC and Hardest Hit group have provided the following supporting statement.
Supporting statement for a cumulative impact assessment to be undertaken looking at the cuts to disabled people’s benefits, services and rights
Members of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the Hardest Hit coalition back calls on the Government to publish information on the total impact of cuts to the benefits and support disabled people rely on.
The recent restriction of benefit rises to 1% a year for the next three years is the tip of the iceberg for disabled people who have already seen massive cuts to their benefits and support services, including – by 2015 – £18 billion from the benefits budget and £8 billion from social care.
With disabled people already twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people, these changes represent a serious threat to the independence and quality of life of millions. A recent report found that disabled people, who make up 8% of the population, are being hit by a massive 29% of all cuts being implemented.
Disabled people and their families feel they are being ‘squeezed’ from all sides and are worried about losing some or all of the support they get and how they will live without it.
In 2012, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) reported that its inquiry into disabled people’s right to independent living:
“received evidence that impact assessments of current reforms were not adequately carried out, and did not take into account the likely cumulative impact of reforms on disabled people. We therefore argue that the Government should publish a unified assessment of the likely cumulative impact of the proposals on independent living.”
Yet the Government still refuses to seriously look into how the many different cuts will together affect disabled people.