Press release received from Disability Equality NW for Preston’s Learning Disability Forum [PLDF]
New benefit rules will force workers with disabilities on to the dole queue, and drive unemployed disabled people further into poverty.
Those are the shocking results of local research into how the new cost-cutting rules will affect some of Lancashire’s most vulnerable people.
Researchers at Preston’s Learning Disability Forum [PLDF] found that half of all people currently claiming Disability Living Allowance would lose some or all of their benefits — and even those who would get more money would have it taken away in charges, thanks to other rules.
Those Employees losing their mobility allowance who can earn a living only because of specially adapted cars would have to give up their jobs, because their cars would be taken away from them and they are unable to use public transport because of their disabilities.
The Government have said the Personal Independence Payment which is to replace the Disability Living Allowance will target the benefit on “those people who would benefit most from additional support, taking fair account of the impact of all impairment types”. However they have planned to take 20% out of this budget.
The Preston Learning Disability Forum who carried out the research found by trying out the new assessments on 44 people found it will be lost by those people who are most in need as they get little help from elsewhere.
PLDF research group member said, “ Our work has shown that there will be winners but mainly losers but every one we talked to said how worrying and frightening these changes may be. None of us are certain but its clear the government want to make big cuts. The government needs to slow.”
The Forum wants the government to think again about how they define the people most in need as these new rules have clearly got it wrong.
Coordinator and Support Worker Rosemary Trustam said, “How can anyone on £141.45 per week afford to lose £71.45 per week let alone when they have extra disability costs as many will”.
The Forum’s report “Fostering dependency, promoting poverty and putting people at Risk” will be published 26th January 2012.
Notes to editors:
* Preston Learning Disability Forum is a user-led group of Preston disabled people and supporting organisations who meet regularly to discuss local services and press for improvements. They provide a hub for information exchange for learning disabled people in the Preston. They are heavily involved with the development of anti-hate crime strategies for the City. They are supported in this work by organisations such as REACT and Disability Equality NW.
* Their report on this work may be found at www.disability-equality.org.uk from 12.00 midday 26th January 2013
* In total 90 cases were studied in the research
* The coalition government have promised an opposition debate in the Commons arising from the successful “Pat’s Petition” campaign. This is currently planned for Wednesday Jan 30th.
* Preston’s MP Mark Hendrick will be holding a meeting in Preston on Friday 1st February 2018 in the morning at the Salvation Army HQ on Harrington Street.
* Information and contacts:
Rosemary Trustam [PLDF Volunteer Coordinator]
07930 803353 email@example.com
Mark Buckley [Disability Equality NW]
01772 58863 firstname.lastname@example.org
full report below.