Government ‘consults’ on big cuts in DLA
The government has launched a consultation on its proposals for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age disabled people.
The consultation plans to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new benefit – Personal Independence Payment. They plan to introduce this in 2013/14, at which point DLA will disappear. This benefit will be the means through which the government will introduce a new assessment process for this benefit. This new assessment will be used to cut the number of people receiving DLA by 20 per cent. This cut by one-fifth of the number of people receiving DLA was announced in the Emergency Budget in June and was followed up in the plans set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review in October. This is all now being taken forward in this ‘consultation’.
Cutting DLA on this scale means that, using government figures, up to 400,000 people will lose DLA. It will be a huge blow to independence and a certain promise of greater poverty and isolation for hundreds of thousands of people. It comes on top of the removal of the mobility component of DLA for people living in care homes that the government has already announced.
In addition, although the government is now planning to reassess the entitlement of working age adults, this could be extended in the future. The consultation document says ‘We are considering whether to reassess children and people aged over 65.’
The consultation document was published on 6 December and the consultation ends on 14 February 2011. This is shorter than the recommended 12 weeks for such consultations given in government guidance (and the time is, of course, in effect shortened further by the winter holiday period).
Inclusion London will be publishing an information paper setting out our views on the consultation and encouraging DPOs to respond – and to oppose cuts in entitlement to DLA, in the numbers of people receiving it or in the level at which it is paid.
Meantime, you can read the government’s consultation documents at the following site www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2010/dla
You can also download below media reports which set out our response and those of other disability organisations.