Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Solidarity with the Hardest Hit March

Tomorrow, one year on from the formation of the coalition government, thousands of disabled people, their families, supporters and charities, will march in London to protest against the government’s plans to reform (read: minimise) the welfare state.

The coalition's Welfare Reform Bill sets out some measures that will effectively cut services available to disabled people, and make it harder to claim benefits. For example, abolishing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replacing it with the Personal Independence Payment, which by the way, has has 20% less in its budget than the DLA. The coalition also plans to reassess everyone claiming incapacity benefit, and abolish crisis loans and community care grants. Add into the mix cuts to local services and other benefits on which they depend, its no wonder 9 out of 10 disabled people are worried about how these cuts are going to affect them.

Since the Welfare Reform Bill was announced last October, concern has been voiced by disabled people, their families and carers about how the cuts would leave people struggling to cope and avoid poverty. The Hardest Hit March tomorrow will represent a culmination of the concern voiced over the past 6 months.

Did David Cameron really say “we will always look after the needy, the disadvantaged, the elderly, the frail and the poorest of our country” last May. Really?

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