WOW Campaign secures debate in House of Commons

The debate will discuss the urgent need for a cumulative impact assessment of all cuts to disability support.

Action | 16.10.18

The WOW Campaign, with the support of MPs Debbie Abrahams and Kate Green, has secured another debate in the House of Commons through the Back Bench Business Committee to discuss the urgent need for a cumulative impact assessment of all cuts to disability support.

The provisional date for the debate is Thursday 25 October 2018.

Michelle Maher of WOW Campaign said:

“We ask that you look to your MP to attend the debate. To fight for the truth, that individual impact assessments don’t show the true picture. That disability support has been cut by billions without taking into account cost of social care cuts, respite care, NHS, housing benefit and Universal Credit. The most severely disabled children and adults have been hit the hardest. In whose world is it OK for severely disabled children and their carers pay for the mistakes of bankers.”

Dr Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform said:

“The Centre has carried out several analyses of the cumulative impact of austerity on disabled people since 2010. The results show clearly that disabled people and families have suffered severely from combined cuts in income, housing and social care. For example, adult social care has been cut by 50% since 2009. Quite rightly, the UK Government has been condemned by the United Nations for imposing a "human catastrophe" on disabled people.

“After the last WOW debate in 2014 the then Minister of State for Disabled People, Rt. Hon Mike Penning MP promised to put his people in touch with the Centre for Welfare Reform. We have published our subsequent correspondence with the DWP. What was clear was that: (1) the DWP had no intention of looking at the cumulative impact of Government cuts, as they refused to involve anyone from the other relevant departments (such as the Department of Health of DCLG) nor to discuss cuts in social care or in other services outside the DWP; (2) they would not offer any critique of our published data or the underlying methodology and (3) they were committed to a blindly optimistic view of the outcome of their own policies which was completely at variance with the facts. In fact the whole exercise demonstrated the complete failure of the Office of Disability Issues, as it refused to take a cross-Government perspective on the impact of Government policy.

“Today these cuts continue. The cuts are also combined with programmes of 'conditionality' and 'sanctions' which are effectively bullying disabled people (and others). The research evidence suggests that people are frequently internalising the sense of shame and stigma associated with the Government's programme, and that is connected to increased levels of mental illness and suicide. The UK Government should be deeply ashamed of the policies it has imposed on disabled people, the elderly, people with mental health problems and the families of children in need. It is time for an end to these attacks on those in greatest need; instead we need a radical rethink of disability policy, income security and employment support.”

You can support the debate in a number of ways, please visit the WOW Voices website for more information:

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