Community Action Party sources have confirmed that 500,000 people that currently receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in the UK will either have their benefit cut or stopped altogether when the DLA benefit is abolished and replaced with a new system of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from 2013 onwards.
The staggering number of people likely to be affected claims Community Action is not widely known by those living with disabilities and/or long-term illness.
Sources have claimed those living with “hidden” disabilities will be seriously affected and thousands living with physical disabilities will not qualify for assistance when the new medical assessments commence.
Everyone receiving Disability Living Allowance will undergo a new more stringent medical test as part of the governments welfare reform agenda which many believe has been designed to implement savage cuts on the most vulnerable in society.
It has now been revealed that the controversial company ATOS that has been administering the medical assessments for Employment Support Allowance which has resulted in serious concerns raised by senior politicians including disability campaigner Dame Anne Begg MP, that in one contract for the North & Scotland the French firm is expected to pocket a staggering windfall of £40 millions and in another contract for the Southern region will collect tens of millions of pounds more.
An Atos Risk Management Plan, seen by Labour MPs, reveals they expect to make £40,535,679 on the £206m contract if they hit targets for the North and Scotland. Even if they miss targets, they will trouser £28,636,419 by 2017, enough to pay a year’s disability allowance for 7,664 people.
A petition has been submitted by Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader of the Community Action Party on HM Government epetition website which opposes the abolition of Disability Living Allowance. The petition says :-
“Stop the Abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
The government intends to abolish Disability Living Allowance and replace it with Personal Independence Payments. We feel the government is doing this because it is clear by awarding the contract to assess Personal Independence Payments to ATOS, it is a means to make savage cuts welfare to the most vulnerable in society. We believe peoples lives will be lost as a result of the scrapping of DLA for Personal Independence Payments assessed by ATOS.”
Michael Moulding says “It is clear that central government have lifted the threshold to qualify for support under the new system. I have received information from senior politicians that have confirmed to me that they believe half a million people who currently receive DLA will have their benefit cut or stopped altogether.”
“Two million people approximately receive DLA and this means up to 25 % of current claimants will lose out which substantiates our concerns that the new system was indeed designed to make savings of 20% or thereabouts irrelevant of the consequences and the massive impact on those living with disabilities or long-term and/or life-long illness.”
To sign the petition opposing the abolition of Disability Living Allowance click the link and follow the instructions – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38182
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures it will force parliament to debate the petition.
To follow this and other campaigns by the Community Action Party on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/COMMUNITYACTIONPTY