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Labour’s Emily Brothers has condemned today’s announcements by Chancellor George Osbourne as ‘a disabling budget for disabled people.’
The London Assembly Candidate, who is blind and hard of hearing, said:
“Budgets set priorities. So today the Chancellor cynically pitches his interests towards the better off by raising the higher rate tax threshold, whilst applying severe cuts to benefits that support disabled people.
“This is a disabling budget for disabled people. It will further hinder the independence of disabled people. Restricting our ability to do things independently is a false economy.
“In setting his Government’s priorities, the Chancellor wants 200,000 disabled people to lose newly introduced Personal Independence Payments, with a further 400,000 disabled people having their benefits cut. That comes on the back of an earlier decision to transfer people of working age from Disability Living Allowance, in order to slash support to some of the most disadvantage people in Britain.
“Personal Independence Payments are meant to meet the extra costs incurred by disability. They should help people live independent lives. Yet with reductions in income based benefits, disabled people have to survive day-to-day by drawing on their Personal Independence Payments for essentials. Further cuts may turn their struggles into intolerable conditions.
“Far too many older and disabled people are missing out on the social care they need. In the five years to 2013/14, half a million older and disabled people stopped receiving Government-funded care. Budgets cuts, inflation and increasing demand means care funding has fallen by £4.6BN since 2010. The trend is set to continue and this Government doesn’t care.
“Today’s latest announced cuts will exacerbate the disadvantage faced by disabled people, failing to break the link between disability and poverty. Coupled with closure of the Independent Living Fund, changes to Employment and Support Allowance, the impact of the Bedroom Tax and systemic problems with social care, disabled people are being neglected. That’s why 27% of people in families where someone has a disability is in poverty, compared with 19% overall.
“This budget prioritises give-aways to the affluent and erodes the dignity of disabled people. It is a disabling budget for disabled people.”

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