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“Indefensible, immoral, one cut too far!”

“Indefensible, immoral, one cut too far!”

There has been a lot of talk since the budget about further cuts to disability benefits, namely Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a benefit designed to make a contribution towards the extra costs caused by long term health conditions and disabilities. A few years back readers will recall all disabled people being called “scroungers” insinuating that many disabled people claimed benefits fraudulently. The truth eventually came out that only 0.44% received benefits under false pretences. I do not support any form of fraud but the public was misled by the government exaggerating the figures to be able change Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to a new benefit (PIP) to cut down the number of working age disabled claimants, a financial cut to meet the requirements of the Treasury, not meeting the genuine needs of disabled people. PIP has incurred a lot of court cases, the latter reversing decisions made by the DWP in  favour of disabled people enabling them to regain their benefits again proving they are not fraudsters. One wonders why Ian Duncan Smith (The architect of PIP) having pursued cuts to disabled peoples benefits should find this particular issue a bridge too far. After the constant assault on disability benefits. Independent living fund, employment Support allowance, cuts to local authority grants directly affected disabled people… now (PIP) this added to no increase in Disability Living Allowance this year show disabled people have to meet extra costs of rising insurance and maintenance of their various disability equipment, the living wage for the person employed for their daily support, enough is enough. Whether young or old it is tough to be on benefits. A strict income with constant worry, not only for the disabled person, but their family too. Disabled people with the ongoing extra costs cannot save for their retirement either! This government has become too focused on cutting the deficit down and to do so falling only on the same group of people: disabled people! Society is judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable. Disabled people generally do not agree that we are all in this together. These cuts have gone too far. Time for a rethink Mr Osbourne. F Montford, Project Lead – Independence Access Matters, Ashford. Note to Editor: Independence access matters is run and controlled by disabled people Mrs Montford is a fulltime wheelchair user and has, since 1980, been involved in assessable low floor busses, Wheelchair Accessible Taxis and more, in London and Kent. People assume that disabled people are given a car. This is not the case. Those people assessed as having high mobility needs are paying for a car through the Motability scheme. This can cost the individual over £50 per week and many have to find down payments of thousands of pounds for the necessary adaptations, every three-five years.