City disabled group hits out over cuts in welfare

WELFARE cuts have rolled back years of progress for disabled people, according to campaigners in Glasgow.

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Tougher work capability assessments removing benefit and the 'bedroom tax' have led to fears that disabled people will become poorer and more isolated from society.

Glasgow Disability Alliance has responded to the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee by giving their members' experiences of the cuts and fears for the future.

Many are concerned with cuts to benefits they will lose the cash used to pay for adapted cars and electric scooters.

Other are concerned the loss of payments for life they will not be able to keep up pay for adaptations to their homes

In the submission to the committee, Tressa Burke, chief executive of the GDA, said: "The raft of measures being imposed on disabled people have already rolled back decades of progress in relation to disabled people's civil and legal rights to Independent Living.

"In addition, the DWP will introduce further measures which will cause thousands more disabled people to be imprisoned in their homes, homes which are no longer secure or affordable, thanks to the bedroom tax."

Changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) make it harder to claim with the benchmark of being able to walk 50m considered fit for work, being cut to 20m meaning many are now ineligible.

Ms Burke added: "Many people, who can walk a little, 50m rather than 20m, will lose essential vehicles, including adapted cars or specially converted wheelchair accessible vehicles.

"Those who use their higher rate DLA to hire/purchase a specialist powered wheelchair scooter will in effect 'lose their legs', their independence and the means to travel outside their home with some dignity."

The GDA asked members to tell of their experience and told the committee how changes has affected individuals

The responses included one from Kirsty B, aged 33 from Glasgow. She said: "If I go on to PIP, and if the criteria changes I could lose my mobility car, which for me is an absolute life line, it's my legs. As I keep telling my family, if I lose my car I lose my legs, I lose my independence, my dignity, and I lose control over the choices I want to make rather than having to depend on everybody else 24/7."

Gary, aged 25, said: "The government is wanting me to pay for an extra bedroom that I never asked for. It was the house allocated to me, because it was the only accessible house available at the time."

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