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The First Cut Is The Deepest....
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The First Cut Is The Deepest....

As if life is not already hard enough for disabled people everywhere, here in the UK the government is currently changing the welfare system, which millions of people rely on, by cutting the budget for state benefits (welfare payments), including child benefits, housing allowances and disability benefits. It seems that disabled people will be amongst the recipients the hardest hit by these new measures. In the Autumn statement of 2012 the Chancellor George Osbourne was misleading disabled people into thinking he was protecting them, when in fact a lot of this demographic group will probably lose around £400 from their benefits over the next three years. This is due to the uprating of most working age benefits by 1% for the next three years, rather than by the rate of inflation. 

State benefits (welfare) are in any case barely enough to live off: I know from personal experience that an average claimant of Incapacity Benefit or Disabled Living Allowance will usually only receive around £90-95 per week, after their housing costs are taken care of, which are covered by Housing Benefit (depending on the nature of their condition and how long they are likely to be in receipt of benefits. If they are long-term sick or permanently disabled the amounts are more, although not significantly so). Which means that many disabled people are already living on or below the poverty line, and these new cuts are likely to drive them into an even more desperate situation.

Apparently the Employment and Support Allowance is being introduced which is the replacement for Incapacity Benefit, and it is one of those payments restricted to a 1% rise. It is only given to someone whose illness or disability affects their ability to work.

Certainly it is people with disabilities, the elderly and struggling families who tend to rely heavily on services that are provided by local authorities. Those services, which can take many forms from help with care at home to early intervention services, are already being squeezed, so the outlook is extremely grim, following the news of these latest cuts. Another factor is that the cost of the Disabled Blue Badge for parking has also risen, which again causes hardship to badge-users. The latest increase has been from £3 for processing to £10, which, whilst not a great amount, can have a significant impact on someone already struggling to live on state benefits, and now likely to be struggling even more! I know myself that when you have very little money to live off, a price hike of a few pounds can seem like an awful lot.

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Your votes and comments are always appreciated.

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  1. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    #2. Voted. Did they vote on it, yet, in Parliament?
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    1. Broken English
      Broken English
      Thanks for the vote Susan. From what I have found out, it seems as if they have voted, which is very bad news.
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  2. SignLanguage
    Whoa. This sounds pretty severe. And England was always known as a country, like Canada, to be fair to people who can't work. Crazy... ! Voted!
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    1. Teresa Thomas
      Teresa Thomas
      Just voted. Broken English, it's not only happening there in the U K, but also, here in the U.S. as well. I'm sure, that people who are on disability aren't liking it too well either.
      Log in to reply.
      1. Broken English
        Broken English
        Thanks Teresa. Yes, I had heard that it is happening in the US too, shocking. Penalise the people who are least able to look after themselves, earn money, etc? Disgusting.
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      2. pftsusan
        pftsusan
        No, they haven't cut our pay on disability. We still get the same 2% cost of living raise every year. Instead they made cuts in our medicaid program. Big time cuts there...To save Social Sercurity money, they gave people the option to retire at 62 or 64 now....In the state of NJ, teacher's pensions and retirements were cut. That's why Gov. Chris Christie is not well liked...Also all the more reason why teaching is a calling.
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      3. pftsusan
        pftsusan
        No, they haven't cut our pay on disability. We still get the same 2% cost of living raise every year. Instead they made cuts in our medicaid program. Big time cuts there...To save Social Sercurity money, they gave people the option to retire at 62 or 64 now....In the state of NJ, teacher's pensions and retirements were cut. That's why Gov. Chris Christie is not well liked...Also all the more reason why teaching is a calling.
        Log in to reply.
    2. Broken English
      Broken English
      That used to be the case in this country Annie, but not any more it seems! Our country now seems to have turned into a complete plutocracy - you have to pay through the nose for absolutely everything, and there is a very big social divide. Maybe this is going on in a lot of other countries too though. Thanks for the vote.
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  3. sweedly
    sweedly
    I am sorry to hear this. It is the same here in the USA. The poorest people are the ones that suffer when governments decide to save money. Government never cuts its own wages or limits its agenda to save money. They create programs they can not afford and get lots of good folks on them then when the bottom drops out those who can least afford the cuts are the ones who pay the price. Good post. I voted.
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  4. Zhyrae
    just voted. to bad. the budget can really help disabled person to live life normally.
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