I’m saddened to hear the announcement in the ConDems emergency budget that the DLA forms are to be replaced with a medical assessment and there are to be overall cuts. Whilst I get the ideology behind the reasons that every part of society needs to feel the brunt of the deficit, I’m a bit bewildered as to why this particular benefit has been targeted, especially considering Mr Cameron has first hand experience of disability.
Sorry, I nearly forget there, he’s an ‘I’m Alright Jack’ Tory Boy.
OK, Political party snipe over; the DLA papers forms are to be replaced by a medical test for new and existing claimants. Will this be across the board? Lifers, as well as though on the allowance for a certain amount of time? Who will administer these tests? Will there be an independent, non-profit organisation put into place? Or a private enterprise, focused on cost-cutting targets to satisfy the governments demands? This itself fills me with dread.
Anyone who has applied for this particular benefit will know that it can scare even the bravest and most tenacious of people, despite what the daily hate rags would have you believe.
My memory is hazy, but if I remember rightly, back in 1997, New Labour had a good go. I remember hearing stories of people who could not even get to the toilet unaided, having most, if not all of their benefits removed to satisfy the whims of the statisticians. My worry is that this will happen again, regardless of people who say if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear, which if you’ve been in front a panel of ‘professionals’ who know jack about your particular medical condition, is very frightening. The stress of these assessments are immense and no genuine person applies for this particular benefit lightly.
I guess the only consolation is that we’ve been told it’s coming. Gee whizz thanks Mr Osbourne. Brace yourselves again people!
- Read the Disability Now article on the proposed cuts »
- Read the comments on the BBC Ouch disability messageboard »
- Disability Alliance’s response »
- TUC Touch Stone’s Blog article on the proposed changes »
If you’ve got a while, read the full budget report » (PDF over 2MB)
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