Dan Scorer, Head of Policy at Mencap said:
Today's welcome decision not to proceed with hugely damaging cuts to PIP may be long overdue recognition by the Government that disabled people and their families have already endured massive cuts to benefits and care services they rely on.
However, many people with a learning disability in future stand to lose £1,500 a year from cuts to Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit that the government forced through parliament earlier this month. This is on top of £4.6 billion worth of funding cuts to social care in the past 5 years, which has reduced disabled people's access to vital support, pushing them to the fringes of society.
The decision to go back on cuts to PIP will be a huge relief to hundreds of thousands of disabled people across the UK, who time and again have been hit hardest by cuts to the benefits and social care they rely on, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. We urge the Government to focus instead on improving support necessary so that people with a learning disability can find employment, be part of their communities and live independent and fulfilling lives.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or firstname.lastname@example.org or for out of hours 07770 656 659.
Notes to editors
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, 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.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email email@example.com
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.
Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.
“We look forward to hearing from the Government on how they will deliver Stephen Crabb's commitment to listen to disabled people and their families about the changes they want to see.”