In his Budget speech, the Chancellor talked about giving families economic security, claiming that spending on disability benefits is set to rise by £1 billion and that government will “target benefits at those who need it most".  The financial statement confirmed the changes to welfare benefits announced last week, CUTTING £1.2  billion.

The assessment of aids and appliances component of Personal Independence Payment is to be revised, halving the points awarded for use of lower cost and widely available equipment.  For many disabled people this equipment may be both cheap and easy to source, but nevertheless make the difference between a life of relative independence and dignity and one of reliance on costly personal care, inactivity and isolation.  

According to Scope this is likely to result in around 640,000 people receiving reduced payments or failing to qualify for payments entirely. This comes alongside a cut of £30 per week in Employment Support Allowance, also introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.  So it’s unclear how exactly this offers economic security to those families for whom these benefits are a vital source of household income.

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