Britain: Welfare cuts leave disabled ‘unable to live’

The Conservative party government’s plan to slash unemployment benefits for disabled people making new claims could leave some unable to afford the essentials of life, opponents warned on February 2.

Under government plans, from April new claimants assessed as fit for work will have their benefits cut by £29.05 to £73.10 a week, the same rate as the jobseeker’s allowance. The government claims the changes will help halve the “disability employment gap” and save the Treasury an estimated £1 billion by 2020-21.

However, the House of Commons work and pensions committee said the cut could leave some people with lower disposable incomes than JSA claimants as they often face higher living costs due to their disability.

The committee said its members had heard “substantial concerns about the possible impact of the new rate on disabled people’s capacity to look for and move into work”.

Disabled People Against Cuts founder Linda Burnip told the Morning Star that the Tories’ welfare changes were painting a “really grim picture” and having a “massive impact on disabled people overall”.

She said there was stark evidence that the latest round of cuts would “push people further and further into poverty”.

[Abridged from the Morning Star.]