The coalition government is creating a climate of fear amongst disabled people with the bedroom tax, failure to reform the Work Capability Assessment, chaos at ATOS, badly thought through changes to DLA, and the complete failure of the work programme to help disabled people into work. This is all hitting disabled people at once.
The goal of equality has been dropped from the government’s disability strategy with consequences destructive to individual lives and corrosive to communities.
Under the Tories, the proportion of disabled people living in poverty has risen for three years in a row. According to the latest figures from the House of Commons Library, working age disabled adults are 50% more likely to live in poverty than non disabled adults. Families with disabled children will lose up to £1,400 a year when Universal Credit is introduced even though David Cameron promised to protect them.
We need to learn the lessons from the previous Labor government in Australia which introduced a national disability insurance scheme to create a single integrated package of help and support for disable people, and crucially a strong package of help that will let disabled people fulfil their ambitions to work.