The Centre for Welfare Reform has already demonstrated that the fiscal impact of UK government policy targets cuts and income reductions on people in poverty and disabled people is extraordinarily severe. The overlapping impact of social care cuts and benefit cuts for people with the most severe disabilities means that the average burden from the cuts, per capita, is 19 times greater for people with the severest disabilities. This is a shocking state of affairs and an unprecedented attack on a minority group. It is obvious nonsense to suggest that no reasonable Cumulative Impact Assessment of the cuts could have been made. It is clear that the failure to make such an assessment puts the UK Government in breach of its duty to respect human rights.
Baroness Hollins backs Report
Baroness Hollins back the latest report from The Centre for Welfare Reform:
A FAIR SOCIETY? – HOW THE CUTS TARGET DISABLED PEOPLE
Baroness Hollins says:
“I welcome the report. It provides stark reminders of the cumulative effects of the current round of so called ‘reforms’ on disabled people. National debt is being turned into personal debt for some of the poorest people. We know that a reduced income does lead to debt, and we also know that debt leads to mental health problems for many, thus turning a financial crisis into a health crisis. Where is the sense in that?”
Baroness Hollins of Wimbledon is also Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry of Disability, St George’s University of London, President of the BMA and Past President, Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The report provides an overview of all of the cuts in public spending and shows how the combined impact of these cuts targets people in poverty and disabled people, including older people.
The report also describes how the burden of cuts falling on these groups is many times greater than the burden falling on the rest of us:
- People in poverty will lose an average of £2,195 per person, per year – this is 5 times more than the burden placed on most other citizens.
- Disabled people will lose an average of £4,410 per person – this is 9 times more than the burden placed on most other citizens.
The combination of cuts in benefits and services means that:
- People with severe disabilities will lose an average of £8,832 per person – this is 19 times more than the burden placed on most other citizens.
These cuts are not the inevitable result of austerity. Instead the cuts seem to be targeted on those minority groups that lack political influence.
Jim Elder-Woodward OBE, chair of the UK Steering Group of the Campaign for a Fair Society says:
“The UK government is targeting disabled people and others on welfare, mainly for political reasons. The Campaign for a Fair Society has demonstrated the injustice of the government’s plans. There are much more humane ways of cutting the deficit, other than cutting the lifelines to so many vulnerable people. It is time that the opposition, charities and disabled people’s organisations made it clear that these plans are unjustified, unfair and extremely dangerous. In order to do this, the electorate must be made aware of the true facts, not the scurrilous stigmatising misinformation presently being disseminated by the government which labels all on welfare, as lazy scoundrels, crooks and n’er-do-wells.”
Dr Simon Duffy, the author of the report says:
“Since 1948 there has never been such deep cuts in services and benefits as these and these cuts target most the very people you would expect a fair and decent society to protect first. The lack of public awareness about what is really going on is shocking and I hope this report will help people become more aware.”
The report is free to download here: