Government cuts ‘could see disabled people slide back to the bad old days’
Summary: Government policies on social care, health and benefits risk sending disabled people sliding back to “the bad old days of dependency, isolation and poverty”, a disabled peer has warned.
In a Lords debate on the Queen’s speech, Baroness [Jane] Campbell urged the government to work closely with disabled people – as Tory governments in the 1980s and 1990s had done – and said that cutting social care was “a false economy”.
She told fellow peers: “The Independent Living Fund has been closed, independent living care packages are being cut and disabled people really fear where the £12 billion in welfare cuts will fall.”
Baroness Campbell said that the proportion of disabled people who feel they have choice and control over their lives dropped from 76 per cent in 2008 to 66 per cent in 2014, while 97,000 fewer disabled people were now receiving support compared with five years ago.
The crossbench peer also called for more support for working-age disabled people, rather than the current focus on older people.
Of 91 Better Care Fund plans – designed to support councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local health and care services – that were approved in October 2014, only 14 included a focus on working-age disabled people, she said.
She said: “The government must now look much more closely at how the Better Care Fund can support people of all ages, if they want us to work and participate in society.”
And she said the government must also examine how the extra £8 billion a year it has pledged to invest in the NHS in England by 2020 would support social care.
Baroness Campbell said: “Social care enables disabled people and informal carers to become more socially and economically active, avoiding expensive residential care and hospital admissions.”
Her speech came as the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care issued an “urgent plea” for “sustained and substantial” extra spending, in the face of an expected fall in the adult social care budget of £1.1 billion in 2015-16.
In an ADASS survey of social care directors, half said they believed fewer disabled people would get access to support over the next two years, 58 per cent believed personal budgets would be smaller, and 17 per cent thought that quality of care would worsen.
And a national survey of NHS leaders for the NHS Confederation – also published this week – found that 99 per cent agreed that cuts to social care funding were putting increased pressure on the NHS, while 92 per cent agreed that cuts to social care funding were increasing pressures on their own organisation and services for patients.
Responding to the NHS Confederation survey, a Department of Health spokesman said: “We have given an extra £1.1 billion to councils to help protect social care services this year, and have committed £10 billion extra by 2020, which is going into health and social care systems that are being merged for the first time.
“The £5.3 billion Better Care Fund is the first ever national programme to join up health and social care, which will focus resources on helping people to live independently, saving money and improving care closer to home. These figures show the need for that holistic approach.”
But Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, called on NHS leaders to do more to highlight the “crisis” in social care funding, and the impact on the NHS of social care cuts.
She said: “NHS leaders are continuing to highlight the lack of resources for social care, but I believe they need to go further.
“They have the ear of government and the general public so they have a crucial responsibility to spell out exactly what the social care crisis means, including increased mental distress, higher admissions to hospitals, and loss of independent living.
“Whilst the high expenditure on agency nursing care is significant and should be highlighted, I believe the social care crisis will end up costing the NHS far more.”
In the Lords, Baroness Campbell also called on the government to merge assessments for health and social care eligibility and those for benefits, to avoid “wasting public funds on bureaucracy and appeals”.
And she suggested a “triple lock” on the value of personal independence payment (PIP) – which meets some of the extra costs of disability and is replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA) – to match measures taken by the coalition to protect the value of the state pension.
The triple lock was introduced in the last parliament, and ensures that the state pension increases every year by the higher of inflation, the increase in average earnings, or 2.5 per cent.
Baroness Campbell said that research by Scope estimated that disabled people spend on average £550 a month on disability-related expenditure such as daily living equipment, higher heating bills, taxis and higher insurance premiums. Her own annual bill is about £12,000.
Her fellow disabled peer, the Liberal Democrat Baroness [Celia] Thomas, told the welfare reform minister Lord Freud that she and other peers were “understandably fearful of the £12 billion of planned cuts” to the budget of the Department for Work and Pensions.
She said she feared the government could be about to introduce the “nightmare policy” of taxing or means-testing disability benefits, and called on Lord Freud to make a commitment not to cut the Access to Work budget.
She said: “We do not know nearly enough about where these cuts will come.”
Lord Freud said he was “not in a position” to tell Baroness Thomas and other peers where any cuts to welfare would come from.
He said: “We are looking at how to make those savings and will set out those savings when the work is complete.”
Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service later that she had written a letter to Lord Freud to ask him why he had ignored her questions when responding to the debate, including – for the second time – her request for the government to introduce a PIP “triple lock”.
Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Kate Green, has written to the new minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, to ask him whether the government has any plans to cut disability benefits.
She said in the letter that “disabled people, their families and carers remain deeply fearful about the government’s plans”.
And she pointed out that Labour’s shadow employment minister, Stephen Timms, had asked the prime minister to rule out any further cuts to disability benefits, at prime minister’s questions this week, but he had failed to do so.
Instead, she wrote, she was surprised to hear David Cameron tell MPs that PIP was “more generous to those who are most disabled” than DLA, when the highest level of PIP is no higher than the highest DLA rate, while “the government’s policy intention for PIP is to reduce spending on this benefit by 20 per cent compared to spending on DLA”.
Source Disability News Service
Other recent news items:
- Doctors’ union finally agrees to spread the word
- Disability Politics UK: call to prioritise step free access
- Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility
- Dementia care: how social enterprises are developing products and services
- Adass spring seminar: four things you need to know
- The Disability Audit: the eight coalition policies that have hit disabled people
- DWP told to publish ESA deaths report, after two-year delay
- The struggle to find work when you have Down's syndrome
- PIP Delay Crisis Over, Claims DWP
- Meet Justin Tomlinson MP- New Minister For Disabled People
- A quick guide to new care minister Alistair Burt
- How to use your disability as a strength when applying for jobs
- Devastating impact of cuts on disabled people
- NHS ‘has wasted more than a year’ on latest bid to improve wheelchair services
- Five Thousand Disabled Adults Sexually Abused In Last 2 Years Says NSPCC
- ESA Claimant Takes On Maximus And Wins
- One in five benefit-related deaths involved sanctions, admits DWP
- Manchester United tell family with disabled son to watch Stockport instead
- Joint mental health commissioning strategy
- New parliament sees number of disabled MPs plunge
- Motability under spotlight over cuts to grants… despite £190 million reserves
- Disabled people ‘should come together in new national body’
- 'It's a great honour': Selby appoints UK's first mayor with learning disabilities
- Voluntary Community Social Enterprise Review website
- Cameron downgrades minister for disabled people
- Poor UK cancer survival rates linked to lack of GP direct access to scans
- Charity highlights role of siblings in supporting adults with a disability
- Queen’s Speech fails to mention social care funding
- Queen’s speech ‘suggests the worst is yet to come'
- TV industry must improve representation of disabled people
- The bionic suit helping wheelchair users get back on their feet
- New project to tackle mental health issues
- Equality watchdog contradicts football’s Premier League over access
- Schools 'must improve support for diabetic children'
- National Theatre plans shows on issue of disability
- Rise in mental health bed occupancy
- Watchdog writes to Man Utd after stewards confiscate walking aids from fans
- Government cuts ‘could see disabled people slide back to the bad old days’
- Disabled payment delay unlawful, judge rules
- The 'dragons' who want to help disabled people start their own business
- Boy, 12, wins £120,000 in damages after swine-flu jab left him 'severely disabled' by narcolepsy
- DWP ignores watchdog’s deadline over benefit-related deaths
- Man who cannot walk or talk called for jobcentre 'back to work' interview
- UK woman can ride bike for first time with 'world's most lifelike bionic hand'
- GPs to refer more patients with low-risk cancer symptoms under new NICE guidance
- Disability campaigners clash with police inside parliament over benefit cuts
- Indefinite Award DLA Transfer To PIP Will Start From July In Certain Postcodes
- Disabled children less happy with hospital care than peers
- ILF closure: Process has caused ‘fear, stress and anxiety’, say researchers
- Disability poverty rose sharply in fourth year of coalition
- UK services failing patients with dementia
- Shadow disability minister admits backing assisted suicide bill
- Disabled people's rights threatened by government cuts, campaigners warn
- BBC Three’s ‘Defying The Label’ Season
- From 'bloodied knees' to the House of Commons as a disabled MP
- Mental health patients sent hundreds of miles for beds as out of area placements rise 23 per cent
- Systematic over-medication blights learning disability care
- The Superhumans return to Channel 4
- Accessible Information Standard Approved
- Doctors demand return of lung cancer awareness campaign
- David O’Mar, 58, Found Fit For Work Two Weeks Before His Death
- World First Bionic Eye Gives Hope To Millions
- Seven-day NHS to include child mental health services, minister confirms
- Court hears appeal on ‘unfair’ PIP 20 metre rule consultation
- New report by Business Disability Forum cites lack of skills in line managers as major barrier to retention of disabled employees
- Tanni says 10,000 signatures could finally transform wheelchair services
- BBC3 presenter and journalist crowdfunding to transform the lives of people with disabilities in Ghana
- Disabled voters take pioneering legal action over election access
- Has disability sport lost its London 2012 Paralympics momentum?
- NHS Announce New Care Guidelines For Learning Disabilities
- Fresh evidence that ‘benefit scrounger rhetoric’ is causing hate crime
- Sanctioned Jobseekers With Mental Health Problems Are Not ‘Vulnerable’ Says DWP
- Clubs “Neglecting Responsibility” To Disabled Fans
- Latest Figures Show Massive Rise In ESA Sanctions
- ‘Bizarre’ figures raise fears over ministers’ plans for ESA
- School nurses ‘need better mental health training’
- Number of people developing dementia 'stabilising'
- Boy, nine, fitted with first prosthetic hand that can change grip with gestures
- Iain Duncan Smith criticises employers over disability employment gap
- Disability benefit sanctions soar by 30% in a year
- Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show
- Goths at risk of depression or self-harming, research says
- Elderly 'ripped off' in mobility scooter market
- GPs are missing cancer in children - because they 'don't have enough training'
- IDS announces 'fitness for work' U-turn that was five years in the making
- People with autism and learning disabilities excel in creative thinking, study shows
- Starbucks apologises for telling woman she was not 'disabled enough' to use the toilet
- DLA Lifetime Award PIP Transition Started from 1 September in 29 New Areas
- Successful 'Fit for Work' Appeals at Highest Ever Level, Show DWP Stats
- Why is our justice system failing vulnerable people?
- UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
- Coroners 'ground breaking' verdict: Suicide was 'triggered' by 'fit for work' test
- Schoolboy calls for more disabled characters in children's books
- The quadruple amputee who needs the correct prosthetic
- Welfare to work programme failing disabled and ill jobseekers, say charities
- Disabled fans 'delighted' as Premier League finally acts on access
- Two-thirds of adult social care requests rejected by local councils
- Independent Living Fund: Government silence 'suggests something to hide'
- UK employers report rise in mental health problems: CIPD study
- UN inquiry considers alleged UK disability rights violations
- Parliament's own disability group picks first non-disabled chair in nearly 50 years
- Dementia drug 'keeps patients out of nursing homes'
- Disability benefit cuts will actually make it harder for disabled people to find work,coalition of 60 charities warns
- Problems with the care and treatment provided by the NHS and/or difficulties in accessing health services?
- Consultation on the proposed new adult social care strategy
- The Leicestershire Advice Service for Social Care is here to guide you
- Minister: MPs must help 'open doors' for disabled jobseekers
- 'Homes not hospitals': learning disability care to move to community
- Equality Act 'simply isn't strong enough' for BSL-users, peers are told
- Disability Hate Crimes Rise 41% In A Year
- Companies fear employing people with learning disabilities, survey reveals
- DWP cuts specialist disability employment advisors in jobcentres by over 60 per cent
- Watchdog 'must do more to support disabled people to fight discrimination'
- ‘We must keep banging the drum,’ says bus campaigner after five-year fight for justice
- 2,000 disabled people wrongly declared ‘fit to work’ by DWP in just three months
- Local authorities 'spend close to nothing on mental health'
- Rock band with learning disabilities release first single
- NICE seeks to improve diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy
- Premier League clubs face legal threat unless disabled access is improved
- UK’s progress on disability rights ‘patchy and tortuous’, UN told
- Peer pressure sees minister finally announce date for taxi access laws
- Stop the NHS slashing vulnerable people’s care packages in and around Leicestershire
- Minister tells industries to increase representation of disabled people
- Disabled children in England 'finding it increasingly hard to access council care'
- Wheelchair Rugby Loses Funding Appeal
- Plans that could force people into institutions could be ‘front line’ of national problem
- Young people 'fear stigma' if they ask for mental-health help
- Disability benefits process is 'inherently flawed', MPs told
- Businesses woefully ill-equipped to deal with Britain's rapidly growing mental health crisis
- Cash boost for pupils with special needs and disability
- PIP investigation: ‘Horrific’ suicide question sparks fresh assessment inquiry calls
- Disability report: Being disabled in Britain
- Stop PIP reassessments for patients with progressive diseases, campaigners say
- Patients with learning disabilities missing out on health checks
- Thousands have disability vehicles taken away
- Aspire announces GLL and LCiL as first partners to lead InstructAbility
- Easy read guide to voting by post
- Online campaign ‘could enable disabled people to affect election outcome’
- Health Committee inquiry and report: Brexit and Health and Social Care – People and Process
- Women’s Resource Centre report: the Impact of Austerity Measures on Women’s Voluntary and Community Organisations
- Disabled people ‘forced into dangerous workfare that breaches health and safety laws’
- Mental Health Foundation report: Surviving or Thriving? The State of the UK’s Mental Health
- Stirling University to launch home dementia app
- General Election 2017: What are the parties promising disabled people?
- Anger, resignation… and optimism in wake of general election result
- New disabled MPs pledge to fight for rights in parliament
- Queen’s speech: May ‘abandons’ election pledge on access
- The waiting time for a vital disability benefit has risen hugely in 6 months
- Almost 6,000 mental health patients sent out of area for care last year
- Patients increasingly forced to crowdfund their own wheelchairs as NHS provision not enough, doctors warn
- Years of austerity have left personal assistance in ‘very fragile state’
- Over Half Of Foodbank Users Are Households With A Disabled Person
- Prince Harry launches brain injury card in Suffolk
- Iain Duncan Smith says work capability assessments don't work and are 'too harsh'
- PIP investigation: 200 cases of dishonesty… and still DWP, Atos and Capita refuse to act
- Global blindness set to 'triple by 2050'
- My disability abortion bill could halt Britain’s slide towards eugenics, says Tory peer
- Jobcentre Staff Have An Alarming Lack Of Confidence Dealing With Disabled Claimants
- BBC initiative for disabled actors is a ‘wake-up call’ for producers
- Bus industry set to face fresh legal action over access to wheelchair space
- Government accused of breaching UN convention in its treatment of disabled people
- Theresa May admits UK mental health services are 'patchy'
- 2,000 children with learning disabilities left without a school
- UK faces UN examination: Government cuts caused ‘human catastrophe’
- Half of parents of disabled children forced to reduce working hours due to 'unlawful' cuts to school transport
- Summit meeting will aim to bring movement together on independent living
- Have you got the wrong impression about schizophrenia?
- Quarter of 14-year-old girls 'have signs of depression'
- Council’s review finds PIP ‘not fit for purpose’
- Epilepsy medication impact not shared
- What is universal credit - and what's the problem?
- Calls for Amazon to ban 'anorexia hoodie'
- Green man crossings 'too fast' for people with arthritis
- Mental health patients being failed as services face 'potent mix' of workforce cuts and rising demand, shows report
- Universal Credit helpline charges scrapped
- Hate crimes against disabled children rise 150 per cent in two years
- Modelling debut for boy, 11, with Down's syndrome
- Wheelchair access at Premier League grounds improved after campaigning
- Mental health sees 300,000 people leave their jobs each year
- Care Quality Commission report: Annual State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2016/17
- Access to Work: ‘Scheme’s future in jeopardy through cuts and incompetence’
- Tailored treatment study aims to improve prostate cancer care
- Government admits disabled people have been receiving too little financial support from DWP
- Disabled people worry about telling employers of their condition
- Disabled woman takes DWP minister to court over PIP mental health changes
- Women and disabled people hit hardest by years of austerity, report confirms