The phase-out of the Disability Living Allowance from 8th April will impact thousands in Oxfordshire
31 March 2013
The Government estimates there will be 500,000 fewer disabled working-age people able to claim Personal Independence Payments than would have received Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which it will replace from 8th April. About 5000 disabled Oxfordshire residents will be affected, plus those who receive Carers Allowance for looking after people who receive DLA. This follows many other benefit changes which adversely impact disabled people.
Says Green Party County Councillor, Larry Sanders, who will be presenting a motion on behalf of Oxfordshire Green Party on 2nd April opposing the abolition of DLA:"DLA payments are an important part of making life liveable for people with disabilities and their families. The idea that the Government can predict that 500,000 people will lose their benefits when they are reassessed is a clue to its sneakiness. Normally changes are known after assessment. The Government is telling the private companies, which are being paid hundreds of millions for their assessments, the results it wants in order for them to be in line for future gravy trains."
"The opposition of mainstream charities, and many religious bodies, shows how extreme the Coalition Government has become. It is time for the County Council to stand up for the people of Oxfordshire."
The abolition of DLA is opposed by over 50 respected national organisations, including Age UK, Carers UK, Citizens Advice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, Mencap and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, as well as the UK Disabled Peoples Council, the umbrella grouping for over 300 organisations of people with disabilities.A major objection is that there has been no assessment of the:- combined effect on disabled people and their carers of the many reductions in benefits and services;- costs to the Government of the loss of employment by the large number of people who rely on DLA to enable them to work- additional costs to the NHS and local Councils. The Green motion asks the County Council to:
Request that the Government postpone abolition of DLA until such an assessment has been conducted and
Form a cross-party Working Group to report to the Cabinet and Council on what needs to be done to meet the likely increase in demand for this Council's services which would be caused by the various changes (as has been done by Buckinghamshire County Council).