For example, the government will put a one-year limit on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments for claimants in the work related activity group. This could force some people with a learning disability back into work when they are not ready or onto Jobseeker's Allowance, which will mean cuts to other benefits. However, it is possible that this will only affect a small number of people, as the limit will only apply to those who have previously been employed, made National Insurance contributions and received ESA on the basis of these.
More worrying is the removal of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) paid to 58,000 residents of care homes. "This money helps people living in residential care get the personal support they need toget out, take part in activities they enjoy and live a fulfilled life," explains Mencap's chief executive Mark Goldring. "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."
On top of this, cuts to Housing Benefit and a 60% reduction in capital funding for affordable homes will put added pressure on the already limited opportunities for independent living for people with a learning disability.
At a meeting about the CSR for several all-party parliamentary groups Maria Miller acknowledged that the government has made "tough decisions". However, she claimed that "even in the teeth of a massive deficit challenge, we have married a real appetite for reform with a determination to support those people who need our help".
But, says Mark Goldring, "the spending review confirms that the war on cuts has become a reality," and Mencap is determined to fight.
Join the debate on cuts at Mencap's new Talk Learning Disability website
Get more information on the Learning Disability Coalition's campaign against cuts on the Learning Disabilty Coalition's website
This article appeared in the November-December 2010 issue of Viewpoint