“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to recognise the vital support that Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) provide to disabled people, and to ensure that these benefits are secured and are not removed as part of any future reform of the social care system in England.”
Typically it is difficult to understand so I thought I'd have a go at translating it, the original government response is in the black text, my translation the blue italics;
The Government understands that disability benefits provide an important means of financial support for severely disabled people who have extra costs as a result of their disabilities.
The government accepts the link between disability and extra financial costs. The government know disability benefits are one but not the only way of providing that financial support. The government are making it clear this support will only be for severely disabled people and so indicating it will become increasingly more difficult to be eligible for such support similar to the change from Incapacity Benefits to an Employment and Support Allowance.
We also know the care and support system we have at the moment is not sustainable.The government is broke. The current care and support system are expensive and seem like an
By 2026 population estimates show that there will be double the number of people aged over 5 that there are now, and that the number of people over 100 will have quadrupled. In 20 years' time, we expect over 1.7 million more adults to have a need for care and support.
The government like to use statistics to sound scary and give the impression 'something must be done' People are living longer and have more need for care and support.
We need to reform the care and support system radically to meet these future pressures. In a reformed social care and support system, which offers more support to older and disabled people, we are looking to see if bringing together the new care and support system and some disability benefits into a single system may be a better way of providing support.The government are intending to plunder the existing system of direct financial benefits to disabled people in order to fund this and be seen to be 'doing something'
However, we will only do this if we can better support the needs of older and disabled people, and we have ruled out bringing Disability Living Allowance for those under the age of 65 into the National Care Service.
The government will go ahead with their plans to remove Attendance Allowance as a financial benefit. The government have been surprised by the level of protest about Disability Living Allowance so for now want to give people the impression that it is safe.
Please note the government are stating they will not bring DLA into the National Care Service. The government are NOT stating they will keep DLA
Whatever the outcome of the consultation, we want to ensure that people receiving any of the relevant benefits at the time of reform will continue to receive the same level of cash support under our new and better care and support system.
If consultation shows that integrating some disability benefits into a simplified system is the right approach, we would want to ensure that the future care and support system retains and builds on the main advantages of the current disability benefits system.
The government intend to spend vast sums of money on consulting to get the answers they want regardless of the views or needs of the actual disabled people. These advantages will be what the government pays the consultants to decide them to be, therefore allowing the government to go ahead with their original plans.
We know that disability benefits are popular expensive because they provide a universal entitlement are not means tested which does not depend on where a person lives or subject to a post code lottery, they provide a cash budget which can be spent on the services someone wants, and people often but not always use them in ways that help them to stay independent and well for longer. The government ultimately wishes to remove the power to spend from the individual
These three aspects - a universal system that is consistent across the country, flexible methods of payment through personal budgets ie not in the form of direct financial benefits but in the form of an overall 'package' assessed by the local authority and investment in prevention the government is not entirely sure what this means, but thought it sounded good and that you wouldn't know either - will all be important components of the new system.