The Tories have found a new way to strip disabled people of their independence


The Conservative government’s relentless austerity programme just sunk its ugly teeth even deeper into the disabled people of Britain.

Nearly 14,000 disabled people have had their mobility cars confiscated after a change in benefit assessment.

Back in April 2013, the government introduced the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is assessed by private companies. This began replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Placing ‘independence’ in the title is a cruel joke, disguising the fact that half the people who have been assessed have had their mobility cars taken away. The Tories strip disabled people of their independence, while implying they are gifting it to them.

The Motability Scheme currently bestows 650,000 disabled people with mobility cars, powered wheelchairs and scooters. If the current trend continues we could see tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of disabled people losing out on their free movement.

A Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) spokeswoman told the Canary:

The continued attack on disabled peoples’ support is relentless. The fact that 14,000 disabled people have lost their cars is yet another example of the unacceptable measures of this Government. These cars are used to get to work, to get to hospital appointments, to stay in touch with friends and family. The loss shows us yet again that this Government is not interested in supporting disabled people, but in denying them support.

Under the Tories, the UK has already become the first country to be investigated by the UN for violating the rights of disabled people.

Last June, the government stripped disabled people of their Independent Living Fund (ILF). ILF liberates disabled people from being stuck in care homes, through providing carers. It enables them to seek employment and flourish in society.

This funding is now the responsibility of local authorities. However, this is typical Tory subterfuge: the funding is not ring-fenced, so will bear the deep cuts the Tories impose on local councils. Local councils will then be forced to carry out the Tories’ dirty work, with a squeezed budget set by Westminster.

And austerity is not even necessary. It is a con to justify the selling off of public assets to private hands. George Osborne privatised a record-breaking £26bn worth of our assets in 2015. Meanwhile, he has piled on more debt than every Labour government combined, because investment in infrastructure and institutions is what makes money in the long run. That’s why profit-seeking private companies want to purchase our assets.

As disabled people continue to be hammered by austerity cuts, and the middle-class see their living standards drastically fall, it seems the only ones who are safe from the wrath of Iain Duncan Smith and the Tories, are their wealthy mates.

Is this the Britain we want?

Get involved!

Support Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

Write to your MP to ask them why continue to attack to disabled people.

Join the DPAC for a day of protest on 4 March.

Support the Canary so we can continue to hold the Tories to account.

UPDATE 5/2: This article originally referred to the ‘Motability Scheme’ as the ‘Mobility Scheme’ in error. It also stated PIP replaced the ‘Motability Scheme’, when it is replacing the DLA. We apologise to our readers.

Featured image via Twitter.

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