People supported by learning disability charity Hft used a visit by the minister for disabled people, Maria Miller, to make a stand against proposed cuts to the mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA).
The Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions visited residents at Hollycroft, in Shefford, Bedfordshire, to get their views on DLA. There, 6 of the 8 people supported by Hft expressed their concern at the government proposals to change DLA, and in particular the plans to abolish the mobility component for people living in residential care. The residents – many of whom rely on the mobility component to live independently in the community – told the minister that the cuts would impact greatly upon their lives. They explained how they would lose contact with their friends or be unable to travel without the additional support.
Hft’s assistant regional director, Julie Meredith, said: “If the government cuts the mobility allowance, the people who live here at Hollycroft are quite literally scared of becoming stuck in their own homes, unable to get out and about. It’s the difference between a life of little or no community participation and being a real member of society.” In response, Miller said: “The government is totally committed to protecting DLA for the future, we will make sure that the £12 billion spent on it every year goes where it is needed to make a difference. That’s why we will be working across government and with disability organisations to ensure that disabled people continue to have their needs met.”