Politicians of all persuasions have tended to resort to the blunt stick approach to many issues in recent years, not least the UK’s labyrinthine benefits system.
There is little doubt that a major overhaul is long overdue, but the Government and opposition parties have all veered towards the soft targets rather than focusing their suggestions for reform on the minority who do abuse the system.
The latest attack on the mainly silent majority of genuine claimants is a government green paper proposing to stop paying disability benefits and hand the cash over to social services instead. Claimants would have their disability benefits converted to a ‘personal budget’ administered by local authorities and used to pay for services, not to spend as they wish.
Campaigners claim this proposal would effectively kill off benefits such as Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.
They say claimants have just 100 days to prevent their DLA and AA being abolished by signalling their opposition to these proposals.
Benefits & Work, an independent organisation offering impartial advice to benefit claimants, has launched a campaign to get a minimum of 1,000 claimants, carers and support workers to save these benefits from being abolished.
Other groups, such as Disability Alliance, have welcomed the publication of the green paper and look forward to working with the Government to make progress on creating a fairer system.