Monday 16 January 2012

The Big Guns...

Clearly the government are worried enough about tomorrow's DLA vote to call their buddy Rupert to get him to spin some propaganda.

This article is in today's Sun. It's almost all bollocks, of course.

ONE in every 17 people in Britain will be on disability benefits in three years' time, shock figures show.

What's wrong with that? Given that almost one in 5 people have some kind of impairment I'd say that's pretty good. Yes I know that with the DLA criteria being very specific a lot of disabled people aren't eligible. But still, if nearly 1 in 5 are disabled and only 1 in 17 are getting DLA; that would suggest that there are probably some people not getting it who should be.

The number of claimants will soar by 1,000 every WEEK to 3.5million by 2015 unless there is urgent reform.

And how many people become eligible every week? Children who were born with conditions like cerebral palsy or osteogenesis imperfecta reaching the minimum age. People developing cancer. People falling off roofs and breaking their backs. People losing their leg in a motorbike crash. People at the upper end of the the "under 65" age limit developing arthritis or Wet AMD. Disabled people die more often than non-disabled people, but the numbers are increasing due to more people joining our team than leaving it. I can easily believe there are 1000 new disabled people a week.

That's six per cent of the entire population getting Disability Living Allowance — meant for those with problems so severe they need care or help walking.

It's really so hard for Graeme Wilson to comprehend that with around 18% of the population being disabled, that one third of those people will meet the DLA criteria?

Already the number on DLA has TREBLED from 1.1million at its launch in 1992.

There are several reasons for this. Mainly medical advances. There are many medical conditions that, 20 years ago, were a death sentence. HIV, many cancers and a most muscle-wasting conditions claimed a lot more lives in 1992 than they do today. But just because people with these conditions are living longer doesn't mean they're cured; they're just pootling along, still impaired, for much longer. A decline in the death rate of disabled people will result in a higher number of claimants because the people becoming impaired isn't matched by the number of impaired people dying.

There is also an element of increased social tolerance towards disability. Yes there are still people that would rather be housebound than apply for DLA which would allow them to get out just because they're embarrassed to admit to being disabled. But for the most part, removing some of our culture's shaming of impairment has made many more people "come out" about having an impairment so they're more inclined to want to claim the DLA that will allow them to partake in life than stay at home feeling embarrassed about not living up to our society's ideals.

It now costs the taxpayer an eye-watering £12.6billion a year — the same as the entire budget for the Department for Transport.

But what about how much DLA saves on: NHS bills, social care bills, care home costs. And then there's the amount of DLA that gets put back into the economy because of people spending it on a Motability car (and the petrol to run it), on ready meals and takeaways when they can't cook, on adaptive equipment...

(And then there's the fact that if the transport budget was bigger we might have a slightly more functional train network...)

Ministers will spell out plans in the House of Lords tomorrow to bring in a new system to cut the number of 16 to 64-year-olds on the allowance from 2.2million to 1.7million.

I don't see how the Sun can think that taking DLA from half a million genuinely disabled people like me is a source of pride. But it's not like News International are known for their morality.

Changes won't hit disabled children and pensioners.

Well, they will hit disabled children. You see, disabled children have this unfortunate habit of growing up into disabled adults. The only disabled pensioners that get DLA in the first place are the ones who became impaired before the age of 65 (over 65s have to apply for Attendance Allowance instead). The under 65s who get shafted by the DLA to PIP change will, eventually, become pensioners just like those disabled children will become disabled adults.

Under current rules, thousands can get DLA without seeing a doctor and by simply filling out a form.


There is also no system for checking that existing claimants are still entitled to the cash.

Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller plans to replace DLA with PIP — Personal Independence Payment.

Claimants will have a face-to-face assessment before getting cash and regular check-ups.

Tackled this one last night But in summary: There's such a thing as an incurable condition.

Ministers say MORE disabled people will actually get the highest payments under the new system.

Even if this was true, would it justify so gleefully removing all support from half a million disabled people?

Mrs Miller said: "With DLA there are hundreds of millions of pounds of overpayments. The vast majority of people get it for life. Under PIP, support will be focused on those who need it most."

Again, as I explained last night: It's £220 million lost to overpayments. But of that, only £60 million is lost to fraud (and failing to report a change in circumstances if you've gotten better would count as fraud). The rest is lost to error. And if the DWP are making decisions more often by calling people in for more frequent reviews then you're increasing the opportunities for them to make mistakes.


  1. Ms Miller has no clue *rolls eyes* and the reputation of the Sun is so low it barely gets attention from right thinking people, apart from derision.

  2. WE knew the govt would use all means to force feed the people yet more anti disabled/sick propaganda and use as many falsehoods in thier so called reports as possible but the trouble is people believe this crap as do many mps so the message we have must get out by whatever means we can and its not just about dla its about incap/eas too and all the others.If you are on incap.eas and its taken away then you get nothing ...they need to realise this...