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Mencap criticises Government plan to cut benefit to half a million disabled people
Monday 16 January 2012
Mencap has responded to the Department of Work & Pensions consultation on disability benefit PIP (set to replace the Disability Living Allowance) which was launched today. The consultation document outlines the Government's plans to cut benefit to half a million disabled people, which Mencap believes will ‘threaten the ability of many people with a disability to live independently’.
David Congdon, head of policy and campaigns at Mencap, responds to DWP's 'Personal Independence Payment: assessment thresholds and consultation'
“The Government predicts that half a million disabled people will no longer be found eligible for support through PIP. This directly contradicts the Coalition agreement to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected.
In particular it seems that those disabled people with lower level needs, but who nevertheless face extra costs associated with their disability, will lose out. For example, a person with a learning disability who lives independently but who needs some level of help each week with things like cooking, shopping and sorting their household bills, may no longer be eligible for the benefit. The Government’s plans threaten the ability of many people with a learning disability to live independently.
Disabled people, many of whom already live on the brink of poverty, should not be forced to cover the significant additional costs of their disability on their own. This is yet another move that undermines the coalition’s ‘commitment’ to promoting social justice for disabled people.”
Contact Pasca Lane in the Mencap media team on 020 7696 6017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
· About Mencap
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap fights on their behalf, and on behalf of their carers and families, 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 the largest service provider 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.