Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

The situation for disabled people in the UK just got worse

11 Mar 2016It looks like it's going from bad to worse for disabled people in the UK as the current government continues in their effort to incentivise people to get a job by reducing the amount of support they receive. I've read articles in the past about the welfare state and the claim that too many people are taking advantage of the system. But is this the right way to go about getting people into employment?

If anyone who reads this is from the UK maybe they could shed some more light on what the situation is actually like over there.

Cuts have been put through, this time to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The ESA payment has been reduced from £103 a week down to £73. That's the same as reducing it by $70 Australian. Which is a fair sum of money to cut from the benefit. With a recent article reporting that 28% of 500 people surveyed who receive the benefit were unable to afford food while on the benefit. There is going to be some tough times ahead.

When I read other articles about the changes put into place it sounds like burning your house down to kill the termites. Remove those that are taking advantage of the system and anyone else that suffers during the process is just acceptable losses.

Support pensions are expensive; Australia is having issues of its own figuring out how to reduce reliance on the pension. But we shouldn't use the minority to demonise the majority. Most of the people that I have known who received support from the government were genuine. They just needed a fair go. With NOVA placing more than 900 people into a job last year, more than the previous year. I think it shows people want to work.

I guess we'll have to wait for the United Nations inquiry into the UK's violation of human rights to see what the effects of these changes have been. The findings won't be released until 2017 though. If the findings do show the UK government is guilty, hopefully pressure will be put on the government to give people the support they need.

It's like 30 years of disabled people's rights have just been lost in five and a half years. - Linda Burnip (Founding member of DPAC)

Disabled people shouldn't be painted as bludgers just because of a few bad apples.

For those interested, here are some links to articles about the issues I touched on.

UK government pushes through cuts to ESA
UN inquiry into UK human rights violations

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