Latest Public Sector News

14.01.13

Transport payments for disabled people to be cut back

Thousands of disabled people are to miss out on transport payments, according to a new report by the campaign group ‘We Are Spartacus.’

Under tighter rules that will be enforced from April, those who cannot walk over 20 metres will retain their payments. However, the previous system gave payments to individuals who were unable to walk more than 50 metres.

About 3.2 million people currently receive Disability Living Allowance, a payment of between £20.55 and £131.50 a week.

The Department for Work and Pensions maintains that it is making an out-dated benefit much clearer and expects to save around £2bn. Broadly speaking, it also states that the same number of people will be entitled to extra mobility help.

But report co-author Jane Young said: “This not only condemns thousands more disabled people to the worry of losing out under the new benefit and the isolation this will bring. It also highlights the lie that the government's reforms are targeted to support those in need.”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, a crossbench peer and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Disability Group expressed a “real fear” that disabled people would be “ghettoised and excluded from society” under the new rules.

She told BBC Breakfast: “I'd really like the Government to think again. Not just about changing the distance but about actually what the regulations say to ensure that disabled people are really protected.

“It could be that over 400,000 disabled people won't get support – and that means they won't get help with transport, maybe getting their children to school or to getting work, and this really radically changes how disabled people are able to integrate into society.”

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