Posts Tagged ‘DLA’

The attack on DLA is part of a wider assault on the disabled

18/02/2011, 04:54:34 PM

by Julianne Marriott

23 people had left comments on Sally Bercow’s article about DLA by the time Uncut’s moderator went to bed last night. Far more than on any article on AV or even any of Dan Hodges’ controversial pronouncements. This is a real issue that will affect real people. Not other, far away people, but people sat right now at their computers (some using access technology) reading Uncut. People currently living with a disability, and the many more who will become disabled. And it’s an issue that Labour is totally ignoring.

Being disabled is an expensive business. Day in. Day out. Everyday tasks can cost money. Take the kinds of things that non-disabled people see as a minor chore: changing a light bulb, sorting out the junk mail from your bills and doing the shopping. Or, more fundamentally, getting dressed, washing yourself, feeding yourself. For many people with disabilities these are not tasks you can do without help. And often that help has to be paid for.

That’s what disability living allowance (DLA) is for: helping with the costs of being disabled. It certainly doesn’t meet all of the costs and, as Sally Bercow’s article states, it’s not means-tested, and you get it whether or not you work. There is no financial disincentive to work. (more…)

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Somebody tell the government that some disabled people are actually, er, disabled

17/02/2011, 07:00:48 AM

by Sally Bercow

The disability living allowance (DLA) is forecast to cost the taxpayer £12 billion this year, the same as the department of transport’s entire annual budget. So briefed the Whitehall machine as the government launched its public consultation on DLA reform in December (the consultation closes tomorrow).

Doubtless, the figure of £12 billion is correct, but before you rush to join the chorus of Daily Mail-minded souls and proclaim your horror, bear in mind that we spend three times more on defence than we do on disabled people (around £37 billion a year), that renewing the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent will cost around £20 billion, that we have spent over £20 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t spend those sums on defence, Trident or our international adventures (well maybe I am  – but that’s a whole different column), but the point is that it’s all relative.

So while £12 billion for disability benefit is a hell of a sum, maybe, just maybe, we spend that much because – and hold onto your hats here – there is actually a genuine need. Could it be that, with a small minority of dishonourable exceptions, the people who receive DLA really are deserving of it? That they actually rely on the help DLA provides, so that they can cover the higher costs of living, care and mobility that come hand in hand with their disability? After all, there is no evidence of widespread fraud – indeed the 0.5% (£200 million) fraud rate for DLA, while unacceptable, is nevertheless the lowest of any benefit. (more…)

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