Ever since the government unveiled its plans for sweeping reform of the welfare system, there has been one area that has received constant opposition; proposed reforms to disability living allowance (DLA). Throughout the consultation period and the first reading of the Welfare Reform Bill, MPs, social care experts and service users have voiced their concerns about plans to abolish the mobility component of DLA for people in residential care and cut the overall DLA bill by 20%. The feeling among critics is that it is motivated by savings, rather than helping vulnerable people. This opposition isn't going away either. Rather, it is gaining momentum and is now getting mainstream national exposure, rather than just within the sector. Indeed, in yesterday's Guardian an open letter to the government, signed by more than 100 MPs, MSPs, AWs and social care experts and professionals and service user groups, called for the reform of DLA, and other "anti-disability" provisions that will place extra pressure on social care and social services, to be removed from the bill. Additionally, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that it received 5,500 responses to the consultation on DLA reform which ended on February 18. Of that, about 5,000 were from members of the public and 500 were from disability organisations. The DWP has admitted that this is one of the department's biggest ever consultations. This should give the government an idea of the strength of feeling against these proposed measures. Given that DLA is a not one of the largest benefits, in terms of number of claimants, that response is huge. However, Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, remained coy over whether this response would have any impact on the government's plans, according to Community Care. While nobody is arguing that welfare reform is needed - and has been for years - what it must not do is make people worse off than they were before; something these reforms would seem to do. But whether the DWP listen is another matter. The government has followed its cuts agenda with unerring zeal thus far so a change in position cannot be expected. It seems the drive to cut the national deficit takes precedence over all other considerations. However, time will tell. The bill gets its second reading in the Commons today [Wednesday, March 9].