Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Disabled people march against cuts

Thousands of disabled people took to the streets of London yesterday to march against cuts to services.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 people marched through central London from Victoria to Westminster to warn the government that public spending cuts will push disabled people over the edge. The protest coincided with the first year anniversary of the formation of the coalition government. The march was organised by the UK Disabled People’s Council and the Disability Benefits Consortium and aimed to highlight the issues that the Hardest Hit campaign has been highlighting.

These include:

  •  Scrapping plans to cut disability living allowance, a vital benefit that enables disabled people to live independently 
  • Ensuring employment and support allowance, which replaces incapacity benefit, has a fair and effective assessment process, does its job and supports disabled people 
  • Stopping cuts to services that are essential to disabled people’s quality of life, such as day care, transport and respite care services.

After the demonstration protesters met with their MPs to lobby them on cuts to benefits and services. Some 2,000 people were hoping to meet an MP.

Jaspal Dhani, CEO of the United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council, said: “[Yesterday] London hosted one of the biggest protests ever by disabled people, their families and friends against the cuts. It was a great success and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved. It’s now up to the Government to listen to what we are saying: stop the cuts.”

A number of celebrities also threw their weight behind the campaign and took part in the march, including actresses Jane Asher and Julie Fernandez and Labour activist and writer Sally Bercow.

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