Out today is a report that will inflame and upset the motor industry. In these difficult times they stand to lose in excess of 50,000 car sales a year.
This is not the only loss though – the loss of jobs will also be significant, and it will be a tiny pebble that causes ripples throughout a huge and diverse industry.
So what is the cause of these job losses and sales losses? Surprisingly the answer is the Welfare Reform Bill.
Under the new WRB some 280,000 people will lose the very allowance that pays towards a suitable and adapted vehicle, that allows them to mobilise, to work, to get treatments and to have some life outside of four walls. Without these vehicles the recipients of the allowance would be housebound and unemployable.
Some would say that there is an alternative, such as public transport.
However, a few days ago Transport for All and DPAC invited MP’s to join them on public transport in London, to test this theory.
Now public transport in London is the flagship of accessible transport. Nowhere else has as many accessible buses, tubes, trains or taxis, but Londoners will assure you that the situation is dire.
If there is a limited chance of using public transport in London, then the chances of finding it in a remote area of the UK are even smaller – many places don’t even have a bus every day, let alone an accessible bus. Without these buses the recipients of the allowance will be housebound and unemployable.
Two sides of the same coin.
Of course there is the Government response of Access to Work, and the vast amount of money that will become available for taxis. Except it probably won’t be available. Access to Work is a postcode lottery – extracting help from them is almost impossible in some regions.
For someone in a rural area to get to their nearest post office of five miles away, they would firstly have to persuade a taxi company to come from the nearest town, some 10 miles away, to take them to the post office. Total round trip for the taxi 30 miles for a 10 mile fare…
Even given the London centricity of the thinking, it won’t work in London. Its stands no chance of working across the country.
Again it has fallen onto the shoulders of the disabled community to do the job of the Government and investigate the cumulative financial and social impacts of the WRB – congratulations to both ventures for undertaking this.
Embargo: 25 June 2012
New report warns car industry to lose out under welfare reform plans
A new report has highlighted the dangers to the UK’s economy following an analysis of the impact of welfare reform on the motor industry.
‘Reversing from Recovery’, published by the WeareSpartacus campaign group, analyses figures supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions and Motability, the organisation that supplies lease cars to disabled people claiming Disability Living Allowance. The report focusses on some of the impacts of the government’s plans to reform Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and its proposal to remove 280,000 disabled people from claiming the higher mobility rate of DLA, which currently qualifies them to lease a car under the Motability scheme.
The analysis estimates that, under DLA’s replacement benefit, Personal Independence Payments (PIP), there will be a 27% reduction in the number of working age disabled people, and a 17% reduction in the number of disabled people overall, qualifying for the Motability scheme.
Motability’s publication ‘Economic and social impact of the Motability Car Scheme’ (2010) identified the scheme’s contribution to the economy through employment generation and tax receipts. The new report shows that welfare reform plans will lead to a domino effect including the loss of:
· 3,583 jobs (from 21,080 jobs to 17,497 jobs in Motability-related industries)
· £342 million contribution to GDP (from around £2 billion to £1.67 billion)
· £79 million in tax receipts
· Up to £324 million contribution to GDP from disabled people’s ability to undertake paid work.
Jane Young, an independent disability consultant who co-authored the report, said:
“It’s not just disabled people who will lose out under the Government’s welfare reform plans. Changing from DLA to PIP means fewer people qualifying for Motability cars to the tune of about 31,000 fewer vehicles a year. Less demand means fewer jobs for the car manufacturing industry, a lower contribution to GDP and the exchequer, and a knock on effect on the availability of cars in the second hand market, which also contributes to the economy.”
The report also raises concerns about future investment in the UK by car manufacturers, given the demand for new cars is going to drop as the government phases in its plans.
Rob Parsons, an Open University lecturer who also contributed to the report, added:
“We must remember, of course, that part of this picture is the impact of these changes on disabled people themselves. 85% of Motability car users say the car has a positive impact on their ability to access health services, whilst more than 1 in 3 of those able to work say it maintains or improves their ability to undertake paid employment. 7% of customers’ families say it enables a family member to gain or keep a job.
“We’ll see disabled people less independent, less likely to be able to get or keep a job and more likely to close businesses or give up self-employment. Having welfare reform plans which interfere with employment prospects is nonsensical. The Government should think again.”
The report is calling on the Government to give further consideration to the wider consequences of disability benefits reform, including consulting more widely, before finalising the regulations under the Welfare Reform Act.
For more information or to obtain a copy of ‘Reversing from Recovery’, the full report or summary version, contact:
Jane Young: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07775 892344, or
Bethan Morris: email@example.com
Notes for editors:
- ‘Reversing from Recovery’, both the full report and the summary version, will be available to download fromhttp://wearespartacus.org.uk after publication (25 June 2012)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit that helps individuals meet the additional costs that come from living with a disability and is payable to people in work as well as out of work
- Details of the Government’s proposals for PIP, including projections of the number of people expected to be eligible for the enhanced mobility rate, can be found in the DWP consultation document, ‘Personal Independence Payment: Assessment thresholds and consultation’ (January 2012), available at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2012/pip.shtml
- The Motability publication, ‘Economic and social impact of the Motability Car Scheme’ (2010), is available for download athttp://www.motability.co.uk/documents/PDFs/OEReport.pdf
- The WeareSpartacus campaign group is an internet-based group of disabled and sick people from around the UK which campaigns for welfare benefits and social care services that enable disabled and sick people to live independently and with dignity.