Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Comprehensive Spending Review - Live Blog Impact on Disabled People

As the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review are announced over the next few hours I'll try to put those aspects which affect disabled people into this blog as quickly as possible. Watch this space...

  • Cuts might seem less traumatic to an already frightened and vulnerable population if the ConDem government made at least a token effort to disguise their glee.  
  • Tweeted by @jonesythered "...Reform the welfare system that our country can no longer afford" - Translation: 'We're shutting down the welfare state. Bye bye!'
  • "Public services and welfare system will be put on a sustainable footing" George Osborne. Translation "Cut, cut, cut"
  • "Fairness means creating a welfare system that helps the vulnerable, supports people into work and is affordable for the working families who pay for it." George Osborne  
  •  Administrative budgets of every main government department will be cut by a third
  • 490 000 public sector jobs to go
  • Core grants to local authorities will be reduced except for fire, police and education. Why is social care not exempt?
  • Grant funding for social care increased by £1bn and a further £1bn to the NHS so that elderly people do not fall between the cracks of two systems. Begs the question does the chancellor know that adult social care applies to 18+ not just the elderly?
  • Social Housing. Current tenants will not be changed. For future tenants will be flexible length tenancy and increased rents
  • Priority given to protecting Disabled Facilities Grant
  • Osbourne "Social housing changes - New tenants will have higher rents at 80% of local rent levels. Exisiting tenants unchanged "csr10 #cuts tweeted by @HovellingHermit
  • Extra £2bn for social care by 2014/15
  • Social Housing. New Tenants to pay 80% of market rent. No detail as to how that will work with 10% reduction in Housing Benefit, currently paid for by Local Authorities or £400 per week cap affecting places like London most severely
  • An extra 150,000 affordable homes over four years? A fraction of what is needed to meet need and demand. #csr10 Tweeted by @patrickjbutler
  • "A fair government makes sure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden." George Osborne
  • "I completely understand the publics anger that the banks that were so poorly regulated over the last decade and wrought such damage to our economy should be contemplating paying such high bonuses. We have set up independant commission on banking." George Osborne
  • Our aim will be to extract the maximum sustainable financial revenues [from the banks] George Osborne
  • Police spending to fall by 4% each year. As disability hate crime does not have the same legal protection as racial hate crime will this mean even more disabled people fall victim?
  • Nor will fraud in the welfare system be tolerated anymore. We estimate £5bn is lost this year each way. We will step up our plans to combat benefit cheats
  • A civilised country provides for families, protects the most vulnerable. 
  • Guarantee of decent income in retirement has to be paid for. Lord Turner's report on pensions acknowledged more generous pensions must be paid for by increase in state pension age. 
  • State pension age for men and women will be 66 starting in 2015
  • £5bn Osborne claims is fraudulent in welfare system is disingenous at best. The figure includes official error made by DWP
  • Welfare system is there to help people of working age when they lose their job, have a disability or have children. 
  • "Last govt promised reform and flunked it. We will deliver" GO
  • Universal Credit. Guiding rule, it will always pay to work. Those who get work will be better of than those who don't.
  • UC introduced over next 2 parliaments and will go alongside new work programme we are introducing today
  • DWP will make savings to help deliver these schemes by digital uses but we will also be seeking additional £200 million savings from rest of welfare bill
  • Contributory ESA will be time limited to 1 year for those in employment group
  • Rules on Mobility and Care elements of DLA to be aligned for those in residential care
  • Tax credits, basic and 30 hour elements to be frozen
  • Introducing new cap on benefits. NO family which doesn't work will receive more in benefits than the average family in work. Those in receipt of DLA WILL be excluded from this cap
  • Universal benefits for pensioners, free eye tests, free TV licenses, winter fuel allowance will remain exactly as budgeted for by the previous govt
  • Temporary increase in cold weather payments becomes permanent increase! This applies to those on benefits such as income support if the temperature falls below 0 degrees for at least 7 consecutive days
  • Contribution based limited to a year for those in employment group but what about income based ? Means testing by stealth? @BendyGirl
  • Benefits savings help protect NHS George Osborne
  • So far information about changes to Disability Living Allowance are conspicuous in their absence.
  • Re £5bn Osborne claims is lost to fraud in benefits system. Only £1.5bn is fraud. Rest is official error. Blatant misrepresentation of fraud levels being used as an excuse to justify cuts.
  • #dla 'reforms' will probably be announced in seperate announcement - maybe when in Social Security Uprating statement announcing next year's levels @TimMullen
  • Educational Maintenance Allowance to be replaced by more targeted support



        Ben S said...

        'Flexibility' in social housing - I wonder what that is code for...

        (Hello Bendygirl - not had a chance to read you for ages - will have a catchup now - looks like you've had an... eventful summer!)

        Ben S said...

        The £5bn figure for fraud is very mis-leading, as that is fraud and error (most of which is gov error) - and in he keeps jumping from talking about the total benefit bill to talking about out-of-work benefits as if they are the same thing - very misleading.

        Jack Stone said...

        Firstly the changes to housing benefit mean that no single person will be able to claim benefit for a flat. Secondly on ESA if a married disabled person has a wife or husband working even for a few hours a week that will mean that they will lose all or nearly all there ESA. The changes are basically meant to make the allowance a means tested benefit.
        It is clear that the changes in welfare are an attack on the disabled and that the disabled come well down the list of this governments priorities.

        Derek Robinson said...

        Bendy Girl,

        You're absolutely right about Mr. Osborne misrepresenting the level of fraud. As you say, the annual figures include the amount overspent on social security owing to include fraud, claimant error and official error.

        Personally, I'm mystified about Osborne's claim that £5 billion can be saved, 'simply' by eliminating fraud. The last government's figures show that £3.1 billion was overspent during 2009/'10, as a consequence of fraud and error. Moreover, D.W.P. statistics show that a larger amount was overspent because of D.W.P. errors than as a result of fraudulent claims. (The amounts, incidentally, were £1 billion and £1.1 billion, respectively, with claimant error accounting for the remaining billion.)

        The other point Osborne et al. fail to point out is the amount of underpayments of benefits that take place each year. Again, Departmental figures show that in 2009/'10, those who were entitled to benefits were underpaid to the tune of £1.3 billion.

        Source: (See Tables 2.1 [p.9] and 2.2 [p.11])

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