Charities fight cut to DLA mobility component
Thursday 20 January 2011
Disability organisations reveal that benefit is not ‘double funding’
A report launched on Wednesday (12 January) says that the government's claim that the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) mobility component is ‘an overlap of public funds' is a myth.
The report, ‘Don't limit mobility’, comes from a group of 27 organisations representing people with a learning disability, including Mencap, Leonard Cheshire Disability and United Response. It was submitted to MPs for consideration.
Last year's comprehensive spending review outlined the government's plan to remove the mobility component of DLA for people who live in residential care.
Threat to independence
Its removal will affect an estimated 80,000 people. The mobility component of DLA provides support to people who need help getting around. It helps them to leave their home independently and participate in everyday activities that many people take for granted, such as meeting friends or attending a leisure centre.
Despite the government's argument that the removal of the DLA mobility component will ‘remove an overlap of public funds’, not one of the national service providers surveyed for the report said that they receive a contribution from local authorities towards the cost of personal mobility costs.
A second survey for the report found that half of disabled people who live in residential care give either the majority or their entire DLA mobility component to their care home. Of these, 40% said that it pays for a motability car, and 21% said the money goes towards petrol for staff to take them out
You can help to protect the DLA mobility component by taking Mencap's online action to ask the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to consider the findings of 'Don't limit mobility'.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, said that the removal of the DLA mobility component would take away the control people have over their lives, leaving them stuck in care homes.
"This report shows that the government's reason for cutting this funding is simply wrong," he said. "Care homes and local authorities don't cover these costs, and with budgets being squeezed, how can they be expected to in the future?"
Read ‘Don't limit mobility'
Help to protect the DLA by emailing Iain Duncan Smith