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People with disabilities ‘hit 19 times harder’ by Government cuts, report claims

The combination of cuts in benefits and services means that people with severe disabilities will lose an average of £8,832 per person per year – 19 times more than the burden placed on most other citizens – a report has claimed.

The report, A fair society? How the cuts target disabled people, by Dr Simon Duffy from the Centre for Welfare Reform, provides an overview of the cuts in public spending and shows how the combined impact of these cuts targets older people, the disabled and those living in poverty.

Analysis within the report, using the Government’s own figures, indicates that, over the past two years, social care has already been cut by nearly £4 billion, and this will rise to by £8 billion by 2015, a reduction of about 33%.

This, combined with the effects of cuts to welfare and disability benefits, housing benefits and tax increases, means that people with disabilities will lose an average of £4,410 per person, but those with severe disabilities face losing double that, the report found.

A fair society? is published on behalf of anti-Government cuts pressure group The Campaign for a Fair Society. The group is calling for:
• A halt to the current programme of cuts
• An independent assessment of the cumulative impact of the cuts on disabled people and other vulnerable group
• The development of a fairer and more sustainable welfare system that recognises the equal worth of everybody and the protection of human rights for all.

Jim Elder-Woodward OBE, chair of the UK Steering Group of the Campaign for a Fair Society said: “The UK government is targeting disabled people and others on welfare, mainly for political reasons. The Campaign for a Fair Society has demonstrated the injustice of the government's plans. There are much more humane ways of cutting the deficit, other than cutting the lifelines to so many vulnerable people.

“It is time that the opposition, charities and disabled people's organisations made it clear that these plans are unjustified, unfair and extremely dangerous. In order to do this, the electorate must be made aware of the true facts, not the scurrilous stigmatising misinformation presently being disseminated by the government which labels all on welfare, as lazy scoundrels, crooks and n'er-do-wells.”

Dr Simon Duffy, the author of the report, added: “Since 1948 there have never been such deep cuts in services and benefits as these and these cuts target most the very people you would expect a fair and decent society to protect first. The lack of public awareness about what is really going on is shocking and I hope this report will help people become more aware.”

The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/uploads/attachment/354/a-fair-society.pdf

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