Mencap call on Government to listen to the public opposition to Government’s cuts to benefits and social care funding

Just 6% of the public think cuts will make the UK a better place for disabled people to live

Adam, who has a learning disability and is having to be re-assessed for Personal Independence Payment worried he may lose support he needs

mencap-logoMencap today warns of a distancing between the Government to disabled people and the general public over decisions to cut key benefits including Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments.

New figures from a general public poll commissioned by Mencap and run by Populus of over 2,000 adults revealed:

  • Only 7% of people thought the government reductions in welfare will make our society more equal.
  • 61% of people think the Government’s cuts to welfare will make our society less equal.

In figures previously released in February 2016 Mencap revealed:

  • Just 6% thought the Welfare Reform and Work Bill would make the UK a better place for disabled people. 
  • 71% said cuts to welfare will make the UK a worse place for disabled people to live.
  • A third (33%) think the Government are not at all aware of the effect proposed reductions in welfare will have on the day-to-day lives of disabled people.

Rossanna Trudgian, Head of Campaigns at the learning disability charity said:

“People with a learning disability already stand to lose £1,500 a year from cuts to Employment and Support Allowance, and are faced with the impact of £4.4 billion worth of cuts to Personal Independence Payments. This is on top of £4.6 billion worth of funding taken away from social care in the past 5 years. Support is being stripped away time and time again with no reassurance that the Government is working in disabled people’s favour.

“People with a learning disability are being forced to the very fringes of our community due to the effects of cuts.  This is having harmful effects to people’s health and finances and placing a greater demand than ever on a social care sector that is at risk of collapse due to a funding crisis.

“We call on the government to listen to the overwhelming opposition of the public, to stop these cuts to disability benefits and end the crisis in social care. Instead they should focus on supporting people with a learning disability into employment and to have the support they rely on live independent and fulfilling lives.

Adam, 31, who has a learning disability and is having to be re-assessed for Personal Independence Payment said:

“Soon I have to fill in a new form and be re-assessed to see if I still qualify for a new disability benefit called Personal Independence Payment. I’m worried I am going to lose the support I need to leave the house, make ends meet and enjoy life. I’m scared about these benefit cuts.

“To me it feels like the Government is behaving like a school bully who has taken away my dinner money. He then tells me that I can have it back, but only if I prove how ‘disabled’ I am.

“Every day I work hard to make the best of my disability. But why does the Government want to make life even harder for people like me to get on in life?”

About Mencap 

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.

www.mencap.org.uk  

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 help@mencap.org.uk

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