Campaigners against cuts in services to the disabled are expected to protest outside Croydon Town Hall from 5.30pm, ahead of tonight’s council meeting.
This follows another Croydon Council “consultation” which many disabled people say was inaccessible to them, and included no detailed information about the cuts proposed to vital support services that the most disadvantaged members of the community depend upon.
“Disabled people should not have to choose between eating and heating,” local activist Stephen Aselford told Inside Croydon.
“We are very concerned that on top of year on year reductions by Croydon, and the huge central government cuts to disability-related benefits and entitlements, these cuts represent a further attack on the quality of life of disabled people. The cuts are adding injury to injury, and mean yet more pain for disabled people in Croydon.”
The campaigners say that changes coming in from April will make more disabled people destitute:
- Disability Living Allowance is to be removed from more than 600,000 claimants
- Universal Credit will leave half a million disabled people worse off.
- 420,000 disabled tenants will be affected by the Bedroom Tax.
- Benefit caps, cuts in money allocated for the Social Fund and the 1 per cent uprating will see disabled people further impoverished.
- The closure of the Independent Living Fund will result in a loss of support for disabled people with high support needs and could mean forced moves into residential care
In December, Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for communities and local government, announced cuts to central funding for local authorities, meaning further cuts to vital support services at local level.
Aselford points to two telling stats based on where the cuts are being made: disabled people make up 8 per cent of the population but are bearing 29 per cent of all the cuts. The 2 per cent of the population with the severest disabilities are suffering 15 per cent of all cuts.
“Disabled people are facing a triple whammy through cuts to personal income, cuts to disability income and cuts to social care,” Aselford said.
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