The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Battleground
I want to use my own account of living with cerebral palsy to question the logic behind the Government’s thinking around the issue of reforming the benefit system. During his recent Emergency Budget, George Osbourne announced changes to the way Disability Living Allowance (DLA) would be administered. It was stated that this wasn’t simply a ‘cutting exercise’ but part of a raft of measures to assist disabled people ‘into the labour market’.
If this is to be taken at face value then why has a treasury document since confirmed that all existing DLA claimants of working age to will be required to undergo a medical using the new system between 2013 and 2016, leading to savings of over a billion pounds a year by reducing DLA claimant numbers? This amounts to 1 in 5 DLA claims losing their benefits, yet the DWP’s own figures show that the level of fraud stands at less than 0.5% This would suggest the new system will alter the goalposts and thereby making it into a ‘cutting exercise’.