DLA mobility component
The mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance helps meet some of the extra costs disabled people can face getting around.
Without assistance for extra costs, such as electric wheelchairs, mobility aids and taxis where there is no accessible public transport, people would simply not be able to get out and lead active lives.
In February 2011, as part of the Welfare Reform Bill, the government announced it was going to take away the mobility component of the DLA for people living in residential care, believing they were getting that funding from local authorities as well.
At the request of Mencap and Leonard Cheshire Disability, the government agreed to launch an independent review into this, led by Lord Low. The review, which gathered more than 800 submissions, found no evidence to support the government’s claim that funding for the DLA mobility component is duplicated by local authorities.
As a result of this review, at the beginning of December 2011 the government announced that they would not remove the mobility component of DLA for people living in residential care.
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. A combination of disability campaigners and the Low Review showed there was a real flaw in the government’s thinking and that this decision would have a very negative effect on disabled people.
Well done to everyone who campaigned on this!
We need to keep pressure on the government and to challenge cuts, nationally and locally, that would negatively affect the lives of people with a learning disability.
London Taxicard Scheme
Taxicard is a London based scheme. It provides subsidised, door-to-door transport for people who have serious mobility impairment and difficulty in using public transport.
At the end of 2010, the Mayor of London announced that Transport for London would cap its contribution to Taxicard for the next financial year, creating a shortfall of £1.4 million. There was opposition from some councillors, but London Councils across the city voted in favour of the proposed cut to the scheme: increasing fares, reducing the number of trips and ending "double swiping."
But this is not the end of the story. Campaigns were launched to fight this cut, and Mencap is pleased to report there have been a number of victories in several London boroughs, with councillors overturning proposed changes to Taxicard.
- Hillingdon, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham and Tower Hamlets have all decided to protect Taxicard.
- Hackney, Hounslow, Ealing, Greenwich, Bromley and Merton have listened to their Taxicard members and restored doubleswiping. This is in addition to Camden, Sutton, Kensington and Chelsea and Islington who have protected doubleswiping from the beginning.
This is great news and shows that campaigning can work! Thank you to all of those who have written to their councillors about this issue.
However, there are still a number of councils that are cutting doubleswiping. These are Newham, Haringey, Lewisham, Brent, Harrow and Havering.
If you live in a borough where the council is cutting Taxicard provision, it's not too late to act. To find out more about how you can get involved, please read our briefing on London Taxicard.