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News that thousands of disabled people will no longer lose the mobility component of disability living allowance
Thursday 01 December 2011
Mencap welcomes Government u-turn on Disability Living Allowance mobility component
Learning disability charity Mencap has welcomed today’s announcement from the Government that it will no longer stop mobility payments for disabled people living in residential care.
The charity’s chief executive, Mark Goldring, has urged the need for continued “open and frank” dialogue with the Government on wider proposed changes to the benefits system.
Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, comments:
“It is fantastic to have the news confirmed that there will be an amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill, protecting this vital allowance. This is a positive example of the Government listening to disabled people who have been among the hardest hit by national and local authority budget cuts.
“Ultimately, the combination of disability campaigners and the Low Review showed there to be a real flaw in the rationale for this proposal and the very negative effect this would have on disabled people. We need to continue to have the same open and frank dialogue with Government on the other significant changes that are set to happen – including the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with the new Personal Independence Payment.”
The proposal to remove the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing Disability Living Allowance, from people living in residential care was set to affect 80,000 disabled people and would have left many unable to leave their home and denied their independence.
Mencap and Leonard Cheshire Disability asked Lord Low to conduct an extensive independent review into the issue. The Low Review received 800 submissions, and highlighted there was insufficient evidence of overlaps in funding provision to justify the withdrawal of the mobility component. Lord Low concluded that the removal of the mobility component would be a “serious step backwards for disability rights.” Maria Miller MP today recognised the “helpful contribution provided by Lord Low’s review.”
In her written ministerial statement today, Maria Miller, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, stated:
“Having listened to the concerns raised and carefully considered the evidence the Government will now table an amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill for consideration at Lords Report stage to remove the provision which allows for withdrawal of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment from residential care home residents.”
For more information and to arrange an interview please contact Pasca Lane the media team on 020 7696 6017, or Pasca.Lane@mencap.org.uk. Out of hours please call 07770 656 659.
- About Mencap
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
We are also one of the largest providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. People with a learning disability and their carers can find out more about our services by calling Mencap Direct on 0300 333 111 or by visiting www.mencap.org.uk
- What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complex information and interact with other people.
The level of support someone needs depends on individual factors, including the severity of their learning disability.