Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How will today's budget affect disabled people?

I didn't watch the Budget live this afternoon, and when I was back online I was expecting a flurry of tweets about how it would affect disabled people. There was nothing. The BBC summary of Key Points, and the Independent's summary do not mention disabled people at all, and the BBC Budget Calculator, to work out how much better or worse off will you be in the coming year following the Budget is only for people in paid employment, with no mention of benefits as income other than non-state pensions.

The one piece of possibly good news is that the government are going to 'revisit the issue' of whether the Mobility Component of DLA should be removed for those in residential care.

In the Guardian Columnists' Verdict of the budget. Jackie Ashley says,
I was reminded of that speech Neil Kinnock made back in 1983, warning of the dangers of a Tory government: "I warn you not to be ordinary," he said, "I warn you not to fall ill, I warn you not to get old."

His warnings seem appropriate today: this budget was all about help for business, but with little regard for those not lucky enough to be able to fund a start-up. What about the old? What about the disabled?
and she summarises that, "There was no mitigation of the £18bn cuts in welfare announced in the spending review last autumn".

And for those of you with private jets, I'm afraid you will be paying a little more, but don't worry, the reduction in corporation tax may help to ease the blow.

It is hard to understand why corporations will be paying less, and disabled people barely merit a mention. If the mobility component of DLA for people in residential care is kept, that is a good thing, but all the rest of the disability benefit cuts look like they are still going ahead.

Like I said, I did not watch the Budget myself, and am relying on others' reports about it, but from what I can see, we are again invisible.

[Edited to add: We have had confirmation from Anne Begg MP about what is happening with the Mobility Component of DLA for people in residential care. She says, "They have just delayed it by 2 years. Savings shown in Red Book from 2013 instead of 2011 which was original plan".]