Commenting on the 'Hardest Hit' march and the government's cuts to benefits and services for sick and disabled people, Simon Barrow, co-director of the beliefs and values thinktank Ekklesia, said:
"Today we are releasing a summary of key recent research, 'Betraying disabled people and welfare', which maps out the contours of a revolution in Britain’s benefits and welfare system.
"But the evidence examined and evaluated indicates that, far from enabling and supporting sick and disabled people, the changes and cuts the UK government is making – disguised by a superficial rhetoric of compassion and empowerment, and eased by ungrounded prejudices stoked in sections of the media – are causing real harm and destroying the fabric of national care and genuine opportunity.
"Today's march and protests by disabled and sick people and their supporters put the voices and lives that really count at the heart of this debate.
"Our paper - and the work of many other researchers and NGOs - amounts to disturbing evidence that disabled people are being betrayed, the public misled, and the welfare system endangered.
"The government needs to change its mind and its policies, those at the sharp end believe. This is a moral, political, social and economic issue of the highest order."
* Ekklesia research paper: 'Betraying disabled people and welfare' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14675
* Hardest Hit website: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/
* Broken of Britain: http://thebrokenofbritain.blogspot.com/