Wednesday 23 March 2011

How will today's budget affect disabled people?

I didn't watch the Budget live this afternoon, and when I was back online I was expecting a flurry of tweets about how it would affect disabled people. There was nothing. The BBC summary of Key Points, and the Independent's summary do not mention disabled people at all, and the BBC Budget Calculator, to work out how much better or worse off will you be in the coming year following the Budget is only for people in paid employment, with no mention of benefits as income other than non-state pensions.

The one piece of possibly good news is that the government are going to 'revisit the issue' of whether the Mobility Component of DLA should be removed for those in residential care.

In the Guardian Columnists' Verdict of the budget. Jackie Ashley says,
I was reminded of that speech Neil Kinnock made back in 1983, warning of the dangers of a Tory government: "I warn you not to be ordinary," he said, "I warn you not to fall ill, I warn you not to get old."

His warnings seem appropriate today: this budget was all about help for business, but with little regard for those not lucky enough to be able to fund a start-up. What about the old? What about the disabled?
and she summarises that, "There was no mitigation of the £18bn cuts in welfare announced in the spending review last autumn".

And for those of you with private jets, I'm afraid you will be paying a little more, but don't worry, the reduction in corporation tax may help to ease the blow.

It is hard to understand why corporations will be paying less, and disabled people barely merit a mention. If the mobility component of DLA for people in residential care is kept, that is a good thing, but all the rest of the disability benefit cuts look like they are still going ahead.

Like I said, I did not watch the Budget myself, and am relying on others' reports about it, but from what I can see, we are again invisible.

[Edited to add: We have had confirmation from Anne Begg MP about what is happening with the Mobility Component of DLA for people in residential care. She says, "They have just delayed it by 2 years. Savings shown in Red Book from 2013 instead of 2011 which was original plan".]


  1. I'm sorry to be the one to say it, but we had no mention in this budget because the damage was already done in the last!

  2. What about the old? Sorry, I don't care about them. They have their 10k a year (that'd be like a fucking lotto win for me) they have their free prescriptions, cheaper rent and council tax, free bus passes, cheap gas and electric, free eye care, free dental, fuel allowance, pension credit, cold weather payments and nobody is ever going to turn to them and say "Oh sorry we've changed the rules about what being 65 actually means.".

    Also, you can prepare to be old, 65 years worth of prep. They know it's going to happen. They get all of these benefits whether they've worked and paid into the system or not.

    You don't get to prepare for disability or illness. Everyone in the world is six seconds away from disability that changes their life. I didn't ask to have to stop work because my body turned on itself at 19. I didn't ask for brain damage, or visual impairment, or any of the myriad other problems.

    Old people on DLA won't be getting the trauma of forced reassessment. Old people on AA won't either. Why? The majority of them are able to get out and vote (Tory), a lot of us aren't. That's why they keep shitting all over us and treating them like they're made of glass.

    I'm sick to the back teeth of perfectly fit, healthy old people telling me "Oh you're sooo lucky you're not old." Really? Actually I'll be lucky to ever GET old. Between my disabilities and chronic health issues, and the way the NHS keeps fucking me over, I'll be lucky to see 40.

    Sorry but I hate old people. I hate the news broadcasts saying "Waaah, poor pensioners having to choose whether to heat or eat" Yeah? What about the disabled people who can afford NEITHER of those things? The last two winters have been devastating for me. It got to minus ten in our house. Heating? Too expensive. Food? Couldn't get out to get any. But oh no, I don't exist, and if I do it's because I'm a "scrounger" wallowing in my 5k a year, only entitled to a tiny amount of housing benefit and ten pounds a month CTB while my father in law with his thousands of pounds of savings, and income of 12k a year, gets full HB and CTB. He gets almost three times what I do and yet my income is higher than his? How the hell that works I don't know.

    Sorry but I'm fed up. Disabled people are dying. We have no voice, no choice and no help. Old people can fend for themselves using their money, their influence and their vote.

    Fuck them.

    1. What a speech!!!!!! My frustrations in words!! Im disabled with chronic health issues. No winter fuel allowance here either, i have no choice but to keep warm, if i dont i end up in hospital!! I also have a 9 year old daughter to feed and care for! So we have to heat and eat and get no help with that!!!!

    2. Have you claimed your warm winter fuel allowance from you gas/elec supplier

  3. Colder;

    The bits of your post about how poorly disabled people are treated are very well worded. And I absolutely agree with you.

    But I don't think it's fair to view it as an older people vs. us issue. Not only do people acquire impairments in old age, but also disabled people get old. My 76 year old dad was born with his cerebral palsy. And at least one of his age-related conditions (osteoporosis) is the result of his CP (immobility reduces bone density). He loses £80 a week (£13 more than the £67 DLA care component he gets) towards his direct payments. He has to buy disability equipment. He's in the same boat as a lot of us.

    Yeah, it kinda blows that older people have a minimum income and winter fuel payments. But that's not the fault of the older people themselves. So I think "fuck them" is a little unfair, especially when many of them are in the same fight as us.

  4. I do see it as a OAP vs Disabled issue and it`s not even their fault!
    I`ve had to get in the sealife centre as a OAP and yet they get into Thorpe car and what are they going to go on there? lol.
    They get £200 heating help and yet as we don`t move about as much as some of them, we still get no help to keep warm.
    I love my elderly Mum dearly but her savings put my living in my overdraught to shame!
    I had to weigh up whether to be stuck in my home or lose half my DLA to get a car and learn to drive after my husband left me, and it`s been a financial struggle.
    I respect the older generation, but I do feel that after 60 benefits should be means tested, not automatic as many of them are still walking miles and fit as fiddles.

  5. I do believe that thgis Govt would be good to actually pension off all people whose disabilities are ''unfixable'' as in - They will never get better.

    By doing this the govt could lie to the general public and say 'look unemployment has gone down' when they have just moved the people - Like they always do with putting young people in college or on schemes that just move the numbers etc.

    If they pensioned off people whose disabilities have no cure - Then they would not couint in these numbers.

    YTes it is probably a stupid idea. But - At least those disaled people would get the heating allowance and wouldnt get attacked for ESA when they know they canot work, and they wont have to go through stupid WCA unfair medicals.

    OK it sounds stupid to write - But in my head at 4pm you are lucky to get any sense (well beyond 10am really) it just made sense to me at the time...

  6. @Anonymous: That's exactly what Margaret Thatcher did nearly 30 years ago!

  7. @Lisa - I was an ickle kiddie then so I dont know..... What exactly did she do and was it good or bad?

  8. Thatcher put everyone on Incapacity Benefit to manipulate the unemployment figures.

  9. And Thatcher's figure-fiddling is why 30 years later Cameron is claiming (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) that he isn't really attacking disabled people when disability benefits are slashed and ATOS tests are set up to funnel people on IB onto JSA rather than ESA. The theory the Government, the Hail, Vexpress and Scum would have you believe is that everyone on IB is there not because they're disabled, but because they've been shuffled there to hide the fact they're unemployed and too lazy to do anything about it. But Thatcher's figure fraud was 30 years ago, the IB population is now made up overwhelmingly of people who are there because they need to be.

    We know the truth, that ATOS quacks who've sold their soul for 30 pieces of silver are throwing genuinely disabled people onto JSA when they are blatantly unsuitable for it and the JCP staff are incapable of handling them (been there, done that). The problem is that the general public don't know that truth, they don't understand disability, they don't understand our support needs and the discrimination we face in the job market and ultimately they don't recognise when the government and the media lie to them and manipulate them into becoming disablist bigots

  10. I've been discussing this with my Tory cousin and we're rapidly coming to the conclusion that the attack on disability benefits is just the second round of class wars (why we're being targetted rather than the unemployed doesn't otherwise make sense).

    The Hunt Ban was Labour revenge for the Miners Strike under Thatcher, now it looks like the Conservatives are having another go against Incapacity Benefit et. al (all that rubbish about unemployed men with 'bad backs' putting it on) as a way of getting back for the Hunting ban.

    For heaven's sake people... **enough** with the Marxist inspired class rhetoric and start governing for EVERYBODY instead of caning innocent bystanders!

    At least in Scotland I can vote for the SNP.

  11. I am a oap I have to pay for my glasses and the denist I do get winter fuel but without it I would be cold television free and percriptions any thing else I pay for and i am so gratfull for the help I get I started work at 14 year of age and retierd in 1986 to lok after my husbandwho died 1992 he had been in the army and we had boyj work all are lives I even look after my mother till she died in 20064moth off being a 100 so I have earned my OAP Pennsin

    1. you certainly do deserve it and a lot more

  12. I agree I am currently saving up to buy a mobility scooter, I was also told to buy my own perch for the kitchen (how will I know what size/type to get?) I have to buy my own grab handles and ramps too (so we haven't bothered)