Monday, 25 June 2012

The Real Cost of Losing Motability - #ReversingRecovery

A report released today shows how PIP will be disastrous not only for the disabled community, but also for the car industry. In short, ending DLA will have a serious effect on the economy. The report is calling on the government to reconsider its reforms to DLA, including by consulting more widely.

The report, 'Reversing from Recovery', makes it clear that many fewer disabled people will be eligible for Motability cars under PIP rules. To quote the report, we're looking at "a 27% reduction in the number of working age disabled people, and a 17% reduction in the number of disabled people overall" who can access Motability cars. There will be major effects on the economy as a result, including a £342 million drop in contribution to GDP as a result of the changes. Many disabled people's ability to work will also be drastically reduced. In a time of economic difficulties, this is one cut that will harm, not help, the economy.

As many disabled people will be able to tell you, the changes are going to have a drastic effect on our lives, as well as on the economy. As today's report shows, "85% of Motability car users say the car has a positive impact on their ability to access health services, whilst more than 1 in 3 of those able to work say it maintains or improves their ability to undertake paid employment." Transport is still so appallingly inaccessible for many of us, as DPAC's Right To Ride protest recently highlighted. Other disabled and long-term ill people have medical and social needs for cars that other disabled people do not, and those needs are getting worse as the cuts mean more people are losing the support that might help, like social care. And as we all know, this is not a free car - we pay for it with our DLA Mobility Component. We're not talking about a free ride here, but a positive contribution that disabled people make to the economy and which in turn means we can have reliable, maintained cars through a lease scheme that we can afford. (Don't underestimate the importance of 'reliable', either, for people who have serious health difficulties or live in vulnerable situations.)

Disabled people have been concerned for some time now that our access to Motability is going to be affected by PIP. As we've been arguing, PIP moves the goalposts to such an extent that many people who now qualify for a car under DLA will no longer be eligible under PIP. Despite rather vague promises in the House of Commons (scroll down to Anna Soubry's question to see the non-answer), the government is failing to respond to these concerns. And when it comes to Motability, it looks as though it's not just disabled people who are set to lose out.

Although of course, we're going to lose out the most. I'm really quite terrified about this one. My Motability car has meant that I can pursue a university course and do part-time work as well. It looks like I won't be eligible under the PIP rules, and that will probably mean I can no longer do any paid work or studying. These are the kind of situations that the government should be worried about, but PIP shows that their back-to-work rhetoric is not actually based in reality. As we already knew. As the report puts it, "We’ll see disabled people less independent, less likely to be able to get or keep a job and more likely to close businesses or give up self-employment. Having welfare reform plans which interfere with employment prospects is nonsensical. The Government should think again."

'Reversing from Recovery' is published by the WeareSpartacus campaign group, who have drawn on Motability's own reports. They've provided template letters that you can send to your MP, the Lords or your local newspaper - go to for details. To spread the word, use the #ReversingRecovery hashtag on twitter. This is the kind of news that the government will not be wanting us to talk about. Let's get talking about it.

  • Details of the Government's proposals for PIP, including projections of the number of people expected to be eligible for the enhanced mobility rate, can be found in the DWP consultation document, 'Personal Independence Payment: Assessment thresholds and consultation' (January 2012), available at .


  1. not to mention all the other things we WONT be able to buy as we will have no money after they dem us all fit for work when its OBVIOUS we are NOT! We will end up being prisoners in our own homes, then we will become a true drain, as we will need home care.

    Not that scameron cares as his whole purpose in life it to line the pockets of his mil;lionaire eton pals at the cost of lives.

    That man is evil

    so much for disabled people being able to integrate in to society this will make sure they never ever get out into the world, let alone be allowed to HAVE a life. Of course having a lifde is not permitted under scamerons rules

  2. Don't forget that Cameron a multi millionaire claimed DLA and had a Motability car for his son when he could afford to buy a fleet of cars. Now he is going to take Motability cars away from people with disabilities who cannot use public transport and rely on their Motability car to get out and do everyday things like shopping or getting to work. This shows that Cameron has no understanding of disability or of the effects that these cuts will have.

    1. Very valid point - no different to Blair eduacating his sons and the University fees were introduced

  3. Great article. We know Cameron doesn't care, he doesn't even know what DLA is for - he made that clear in his Bluewater speech today. If he had an elementary grasp of the real issues, we might be more inclined to listen to him, but for a man who had a disabled son his ignorance is astounding. Its simple - if you care, you take the trouble to find out.

    As I cant get to london to support this initiative, and assume many others are in the same position I have created a room in - its free, safe and u dont need a login - please join me - u dont even need to chat - lets see how many people can join in a virtual vigil.

    How it works - from 10:30am Friday 29/6/12

    select guest you can then input a name.
    You dont need to use your facebook login, you dont need to create a login.
    There is a facility to have private chats as well.
    Please lets join together and support our friends who have arranged this vigil and participate as best we can.

  5. I have a mobility car as I have copd. I have to attend the hospital on a weekly basis for injections which is 10miles from my home or 3 busses. I can not use public transport as it aggravates my breathing not to mention I become very wheezy just walking the stairs. Under the new PIP I will not qualify which inturn means I can not get my treatment so will end up in & out of hospital. This will also render me house bound and unemployed as I rely on my car for everything from getting to work to hospital appointments, even taking my kids to school... I feel so angry & upset, my life is going to be hell...

  6. I am a 42 year old double below knee amputee and also an insulin dependent diabetic and for the past 15 years i have remained in full time employment although i have had four amputations as well other surgical procedures due to wounds,ulcers etc through walking but the lifeline that has made it possible for me to return to work has been the motability vehicle i have been fortunate enough to lease.If this is taken away i will face more complications with my health and i will not be able to contribute by paying tax and ni contributions.I on average have two to three hospital appointments per month and also drop and on occassions collect my daughter from school so to lose this lifeline would mean that my life as i know it at present would end and by that i mean i would be suicidal as i could not face further severe pain and possible surgery because the british government has told me i must!Does that mean that if this was to arise and i have an injury or further health issues that i could take the dwp to court?They have to consult/review the pip proposal because as it stands at present it is a shameful attack on the disabled population of this country!