When the ongoing process of cutting and restricting access to disability benefits began, we were told it was necessary because spending on them was out of control. A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that, in fact, the exact opposite was the case.
In the last Parliament, people with disabilities who challenged government cuts were labelled extremists. Political opposition was weakened by a fear of being seen as on the side of ‘scroungers’. But with more cuts coming, perhaps that is about to change. As more and more lives are affected, awareness of just how bad these policies are is growing.
Statutory maternity pay may be axed, and incapacity benefit and housing benefit for under-25s removed if the Conservatives return to power. The Guardian has revealed details of possible further ‘welfare’ cuts set out in leaked documents.
John Pring is an experienced journalist, who has been reporting on disability issues for nearly 20 years. He launched the Disability News Service (DNS) in April 2009 to provide in-depth reporting on issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities.
In a column in the Telegraph, Fraser Nelson has stated: "David Cameron should not be afraid to talk about food banks. Rather than a sign of social decay, they are a sign of the ‘big society’ in action."
Benefit ‘reforms’ which are supposed to get more people into paid work have often made life harder for those in, or seeking, jobs, research reveals. They have also undermined independence in other ways and caused suffering and injustice.
By publishing today’s report on benefit sanctions it feels as if the Department for Work and Pensions Select Committee has caught up with what the churches, campaigning organisations, and benefit claimants have been saying for a long time.