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Mencap calls for Government to rethink unfair Disability Living Allowance cut
Tuesday 02 November 2010
Mencap calls for Government to rethink unfair Disability Living Allowance cut affecting 58,000 of the most vulnerable people in society
Mencap is calling for the government to scrap its plans to cut the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which will affect 58,000 people living in residential care homes.
Despite a coalition government promise of choice and control for people with a disability, the cut to DLA, announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, affects the independence of those who are already the most discriminated against and least able to speak out.
Mencap is particularly concerned for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities who do not live in the family home are most likely to be living in residential care homes. This money helps them get the personal support they need to get out and take part in activities. Removing this benefit will result in people with a learning disability being stuck in their residential care homes, stripped of the control they have over their lives.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, said, "The removal of the DLA mobility component and the squeezing of local authority budgets, which help fund residential care homes, is a double blow for people with a learning disability. They rely on this money to access the community and live a fulfilled life. Through this cut the government is targeting some of society's most vulnerable people who cannot always fight for their rights themselves. It also suggests that the government does not believe that people in residential care who receive DLA are entitled to live independently.
He continued: "This cut will take us back to the days when people were left in care homes with just four walls for company and will undo decades of progress. Mencap is calling for the government to urgently review this proposal and prevent this devastating blow to some of the UK's most vulnerable people."
The sum of savings for the government is relatively small but it will have a huge impact on the quality of life for thousands. Mencap is campaigning for MPs to write to Maria Miller, the Minister for Disabled People, and get these plans scrapped. An e-action launched on 2 November and a letter from Mark Goldring, Mencap's Chief Executive and Lord Rix, Mencap's president, will be sent to David Cameron.
For further information, photographs or to arrange an interview please contact the media team on 020 7696 5414 or 07770 656 659 if calling out of hours.
Notes to editors
- Mencap has launched a new web site at www.mencap.org.uk/talklearningdisability where the public can join in conversations and debate on cuts and learning disability through twitter, online discussion forums, facebook and other channels. They can also view Adam's and Jack's video about how cuts could effect people with a learning disability.
- About Mencap
Mencap supports the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and their families and carers. Mencap fights to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
We are also one of the largest service providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. See www.mencap.org.uk for more information.
- About learning disability
A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong and affects someone's intellectual and social development. It used to be called mental handicap but this term is outdated and offensive. Learning disability is NOT a mental illness.
The term learning difficulty is often incorrectly used interchangeably with learning disability.