There can only really be one major news story this month for the UK’s disabled people. And that’s the new budget and how it’s going to affect them in the coming months and years.
How the papers saw the budget
The Guardian ran a story with the headline ‘Benefit cuts threaten independent living for thousands of disabled people’. It described the plight of a number of people in the UK living with a disability and who relied on benefits to get by. Earlier in the year, a new way of assessing people with disabilities, called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) meant that many people lost access to much needed mobility payments. However, this week the budget dealt others a further blow to their finances and long-term prospects.
The Guardian also reported that Labour estimated that 200,000 disabled people will lose benefits altogether. In the Metro they reported that: ‘Many people with disabilities fear George Osborne’s Budget will have a devastating impact on their quality of life.’ Adding: ‘Research shows around half of disabled people have struggled to pay their bills due to extra costs or inability to work, according to Scope. It’s estimated one in 10 disabled people are turning to services like pay day loans to make ends meet.
Is the tide turning in the wrong direction?
It seems that after a number of years of favourable legislation and benefits for disabled people, allowing them to participate in society more fully, times look uncertain at best for the coming year.
Thanks to better building regulations with improved access and safety equipment like evac chairs as standard, many disabled people have been able to enter the workplace. However, there are still those who can find it very difficult and rely on benefit payments to get by.
What about the long term?
While the long term future is not clear, it looks very much like this week’s budget was bad news for disabled people in the UK. Let’s hope that next month we are able to bring you some better news. Until then, it’s bye for now.