"A report published today (9 January) finds that Government misled MPs and Peers over the hostility to disability benefit reform. It finds that Parliament has been given only a partial view of the overwhelming opposition to the Coalition’s planned reforms of a key disability benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It finds that this opposition was previously not released to public scrutiny by the Government.
It is based on the responses to the government's own consultation on its planned DLA reforms, which were only made public once disabled people requested them under the Freedom of Information Act. Findings included:
· 98 per cent of respondents objected to the qualifying period for benefits being raised from 3 months to 6 months
· 99 per cent of respondents objected to Disability Living Allowance no longer being used as a qualification for other benefits
· 92% opposed removing the lowest rate of support for disabled people. "
The report has already been backed by organisations and disability experts including:
Disability Alliance, Mind, Papworth Trust, Scope, Bert Massie CBE & Ekklesia.
I am backing it too.
Oh yes, and just in case you wondered: The fraud rate for disability benefits is less than 0.5%, but the Government wants to reduce recipients by 20%!
[Illustration by Andrzej Krauze, first published in the Guardian on 8th January.]