Here's a Press Release from DAN
The Conservative party's summer conference will be host to some of the most important protests of recent times.
Birmingham on Sunday October 3 will see disabled people from across the UK unite to rally against the drastic welfare cuts proposed by the Coalition, which are set to hit disabled people hardest.
The cost of the cuts will push disabled people, of whom three-quarters already live in poverty, towards levels of destitution that should be a distant memory in a first world society.
Campaigners say this group are being unfairly picked on by direct and indirect cuts because they are seen as an easy target.
Like many on the lowest incomes disabled people bear the brunt of the austerity drive. The cost of the cuts will mean some essential care and support is lost, meaning some cuts are quite likely to be life threatening.
Disability benefits designed to pay the extra costs of disability and originally awarded for a lifetime term are being reassessed. Many who were certified by medically qualified and independent doctors are losing their meagre incomes to politically appointed and performance incentivised ATOS assessors.
Data from the National Equalities Panel shows that over three quarters of all disabled people live in poverty with a tenth of disabled women attempting to live on less than 31 pounds a week. Yet ATOS makes millions in profits. This is part of the new economy of Britain.
Cuts in housing benefits, cuts in services, the closure of the Independent Living Fund, job losses in the public sector and VAT increases will impact severely on the poorest in society - however it is disabled people who might just pay the ultimate cost - their lives.
Linda Burnip said: Disabled people will be descending on Birmingham on October 3rd to tell all politicians that enough is enough. We are fed up with being vilified as scroungers by successive governments, we are sick of hearing about disabled people who have died from neglect and lack of services or who have committed suicide because services and benefits were withdrawn from them. We are fed up with being unfairly picked on because we are seen as vulnerable and we want to make sure politicians know we will not accept these attacks on our lives any longer. As disabled people we can and will fight back, and we plan to start in Birmingham on October firstname.lastname@example.org
0771 492 7533
Notes to editors:
Data from Family Resources Survey and the National Equalities Panel found that:
75% of disabled women and 70% of disabled men are already at the bottom end of Britain’s income distribution scale living in poverty.
A tenth of disabled woman have incomes below £31 per week and a tenth of disabled men have incomes below £59 per week including earned income and benefits.
Under the coalition government’s economy drive disabled people are set to lose at least £140 per month through direct cuts to disability benefits (initially devised to pay the extra costs of being disabled) alone.
The Tories have threatened to remove our DLA saying that the number of claimants must be reduced by one-fifth.
Employment Support Allowance and work capability assessments have been criticised by CAB, disability charities and Disabled People’s Organisations. The government have now said that from October 2010 they will speed up the re-assessment of everyone currently claiming Incapacity Benefit so that 10,000 claimants a week are ‘processed’
Housing Benefits for all tenants will be reduced. From October 2011 for those 2 million disabled people living in private rented accommodation and from 2013 for anyone living in social housing which is deemed too large for their needs
There are 1.8 million people households on social housing waiting lists. Currently 1 million children live in overcrowded households
Already 30% of disabled people live below the poverty line and 1 in 4 families with disabled children cannot afford heating
The Chartered Institute of Housing has calculated that the cumulative effect of the coalition’s proposals mean that by 2020 every tenant’s Housing Benefit will be too low to cover their rent
Added to that funding from the Independent Living Fund for care and support has now ceased to all new claimants and any additional needs cannot be met by them
Social Services budgets are under extreme pressure and nearly all Social Services departments have been told to reduce their budgets by 25% which has an obvious knock-on effect to their provision of care and the amount people need to pay towards this.