Overall, RNIB has serious concerns about the combined effect of the various measures in the Emergency Budget. We welcome the increase in the personal tax allowance and the reconnection of the basic state pension with earnings. These changes will have a positive impact on the incomes of many blind and partially sighted people. However, this is likely to be outweighed by the impact of the increase in VAT, cuts to housing benefit, the squeeze on local authority budgets and changes to the eligibility criteria for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
In particular, RNIB has serious questions regarding changes to the eligibility criteria for DLA. This benefit has previously been recognised as well targeted and there is very little evidence of abuse of DLA. RNIB will be looking for clarification on how those with “the highest medical need” will be identified and assurances that all blind and partially sighted people in need of this important benefit will continue to receive it.