Today, 31 January 2012, Crossbenchers and others in the House of Lords will seek one more time to amend the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB) to prevent a reduction in the amount of money paid to disabled children.
Previously, this particular amendment was lost by only two votes. The government has been defeated six times in the second chamber, and its welfare proposals have come under massive scrutiny and opposition from charities, poverty and disability groups, medical professionals, civic organisations, trades unions, faith groups, academics, public figures and politicians of all parties.
But while making concessions it has set itself against a change of direction. The Commons will discuss the Bill on 1 February, in a schedule deliberately designed to make opposition more difficult. MPs are being lobbied heavily over the disastrous impact of the current WRB.
At the moment, in relation to the key 31 January amendment, children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, whose parents earn a low income or are out of work, receive a ‘disability addition’ worth £53.62 per week. Children in receipt of higher rate DLA receive an additional £21 per week on top of this.
Under the new Universal Credit system, says analyst Jenny Morris, the government proposes that children in receipt of the higher rate Disability Living Allowance will receive a total disability addition of £77 while children in receipt of medium and lower rates of DLA will only receive £26.75.
About 100,000 disabled children will be affected by this reduction in the amount of money paid as a contribution towards the additional costs they and their families face associated with impairment and disability.
* More from Jenny Morris: http://tinyurl.com/7botasv