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80,000 U.K. Disabled Risk Losing PIP Mobility Benefit

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-06-22 - This is a policy that would have an appalling impact on thousands of disabled people and the Government must think again - Leonard Cheshire Disability.

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MP's voted by a majority of 56 votes to give the Government the power to remove the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people living in residential care.

Leonard Cheshire Disability has been campaigning closely with the disability charities Sense and Mencap on this issue. The three charities have expressed their disappointment in the outcome.

Guy Parckar, Acting Director of Policy, Campaigns and Communications at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said, "It is devastating for disabled people that the powers to remove mobility payments from disabled people living in state-funded residential services are still in the Welfare Reform Bill as it moves into the House of Lords.

"Over the last few months, disabled people across the country have written to and met with their MPs to explain how the Government's plans will affect their lives. Around 5,000 people also came together for the Hardest Hit march - the largest disability protest the UK has ever seen. Yet, the plans remain.

"This is a policy that would have an appalling impact on thousands of disabled people, and the Government must think again. We would like to thank MPs who did vote against this power, but it is now crucial that when the Bill goes to the House of Lords, peers act to remove it and save disabled people's independence."

Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy at Sense, the national deaf-blind charity, says, "We are disappointed with this result. This decision lets down the 80,000 disabled people who live in residential care and rely on this benefit to enjoy things we take for granted. The onus is now on the Government to design a fair system that does not target disabled people, including deaf-blind people, living in residential care and keep their promise of giving disabled people choice, control and independence."

David Congdon, Head of Campaigns and Policy at learning disability charity Mencap, said: "This result will be devastating for the thousands of people who will affected by these changes to PIP. This money helps people living in residential care get the personal support they need to get out and take part in activities they enjoy and live a fulfilled life. Removing this benefit will take us back to the dark ages, essentially stripping people of control over their lives and leaving them stuck in residential care homes."

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