There's one cut that I've heard almost nothing about. I mean literally only 2 tweets and one blog comment. There's been nothing about it in either the mainstream press or on leftie/disability blogs.
At the moment there's an Income Support top-up called the Severe Disability Premium (SDP). It's often confused with Severe Disablement Allowance because of the similar sounding names despite being very different things.
The amount of money the law says you need to live on each week depends on your circumstances. If you're considered "severely disabled" for the purposes of benefits it's regarded that you need £151.65 a week to live on.
As someone that gets the middle or high rate care component of DLA and as someone who lives alone I'm considered "severely disabled" for such purposes. My Incapacity Benefit, including age-related premiums, is only £108.05 a week. This leaves me with a £43.60 shortfall between the amount of money the law says I need to live on and the amount of money I get. This is where the SDP comes in: I get an Income Support payment of £43.60 to bridge that gap.
The Welfare Reform Bill is scrapping the SDP. Entirely. Not replacing it with something different and stricter like the DLA to PIP changeover: It's just going.
The cost of living is going up, not down. So why do I suddenly need £43 a week less to live on?
I know that to a Tory £43 a week is a drop in the ocean. To a Tory it's maybe the cost of dinner if they eat somewhere cheap. But to me it's almost a third of my week's income. To me it's the difference between being able to visit my father or not. To me it's a grocery shop.
Crossbencher Baroness Meacher put forward amendment 21A on the second day of the report stage in the Lords which would have preserved an SDP-esque payment after the WRB had gone through. It didn't even go to a vote: Freud pointed out to her that letting severely disabled people retain their current income level would cost more than the amount the bill budgets for, so she withdrew it (it's not "cost-neutral").
It's not only people in similar circumstances to my own that will be affected, during the discussion Baroness Grey-Thompson brought up the fact that this will have a huge impact on young carers. People love to don a Red Nose to raise money to send young people assisting a parent 10 Pin Bowling once a fortnight, but where's the outcry over the fact that the government is stripping away financial support from parents which will make the young person's life harder?
All in this together? How about we knock 33% off the MPs' wages instead of severely disabled peoples' incomes. It'd be a much more sizeable saving than the mere £43 a week that makes such a huge difference to someone like me.