ENABLE Scotland has welcomed the news that the House of Lords has rejected three elements of the Welfare Reform Bill. The Bill proposes cuts to vital benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.
On 11 January, the House of Lords voted down the following changes to Employment Support Allowance (ESA):
The means-testing of ESA payments for disabled people after only a year
Plans to time-limit ESA for those undergoing cancer treatment
Restricting access to ESA for young people with disabilities or illness.
ENABLE Scotland is calling on the UK Government to reconsider its plans on cutting benefits for people who have a learning disability.
The Government is planning to remove 20% of its spending on Disability Living Allowance when it is replaced with the new Personal Independence Payment. This will result in thousands of people across Scotland losing their Disability Living Allowance. The House of Lords will debate and vote on these proposals next Tuesday (17th January).
Mike Holmes, Executive Director of ENABLE Scotland said:
“People who have a learning disability will be pushed further into poverty and social isolation by proposals contained in the Welfare Reform Bill. We welcome the House of Lords rejection of some elements of the Bill.
However, there is still more work to be done to stop disabled people being disproportionately affected by cuts to benefits that are vital to supporting their independence. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is about supporting people to meet the extra costs of living with a disability. These costs have not reduced or gone away.
“We have been contacted by many people who have a learning disability and their families who have expressed grave concerns about the impact these changes will have on their lives. We believe the Government has to give a commitment to protect those in the greatest need.”
Notes to Editors
- ENABLE Scotland is Scotland’s leading charity for children and adults who have a learning disability and their families and carers.
- ENABLE Scotland campaigns for people who have a learning disability to live full and independent lives.
- ENABLE Scotland is a member-led organisation formed in 1954 by a group of families.
- Local ENABLE branches are made up of volunteers – mostly people who have a learning disability, their families and carers.
- 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability. The most well known learning disability is Down’s Syndrome, although there are many others.
- ENABLE Scotland provides services, information and advice to allow people who have a learning disability to live, work and take part in their communities – living the life they want.