Hardest hit: Disabled protestors march on Westminster
By Ian Dunt
Westminster was hit by thousands of disabled protestors today, in the first demonstration of its kind for a generation.
Campaigners are angry at reports that disability living allowance – a fund which pays for essential transport costs such as wheelchar repairs and taxis – might be cut.
“Disabled people feel they are the hardest hit by these reforms and really it’s got to set back disabled people’s rights by 20 or 30 years,” Jaspal Dhani, chief executive of UK Disabled People’s Council, told politics.co.uk.
“It’s going to result in the institutionalisation of many people, it’s going to push thousands into greater levels of poverty and it is a fundamental breach of disabled people’s rights.”
One disabled campaigner said: “I voted for them. I voted Conservative. I wish I hadn’t. My disability allowance might be taken away from me.”
The march, branded Hardest Hit, comes as a ComRes poll for Scope suggests that 92% of disabled people are personally concerned about the impact of spending cuts.
There were also concerns about the tests the government was employing to see if claimants were fit for work.
“We don’t trust those tests because there’s already evidence that suggests many disabled people are being wrongly assessed,” Mr Dhani said.
“People who are critically ill or terminally ill are being assessed as fit for work. So those tests are based on very much on medical perceptions, the staff are not trained adequately and its pushing people again into deprivation.”