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Are you Spartacus? Support the #spartacusreport

FMA UK welcomes the report published earlier this week about the changes to DLA proposed by the government. The “Responsible Reform” report was written and funded independently by a group of disabled people. It looks at many of the arguments offered by the government for their reforms.

It shows that much of the rise in DLA claimants over recent years has been down to better access to the benefit for those whose needs are often fluctuating and invisible. The report warns that the new PIP benefit may result in those with mental health and ‘hidden’ difficulties losing out as they are amongst the ones who often receive the lowest rates of DLA.

90% of respondents to consultations on the governments reforms were opposed to the introduction of new face to face assessments. The report reveals that reasons given included the fact that they are inappropriate and stressful for anyone who has communication difficulties or an 'invisible' condition such as fibromyalgia.

Also highlighted were concerns about:

  • the independence and knowledge of assessors carrying out these assessments
  • the costs for carrying out assessments
  • further anxiety and stress caused to people with invisible or fluctuating conditions by forcing them to attend assessments
  • how the Government conducted the consultation
  • that although a large majority of disabled people are against the planned cuts and changes, their views are being ignored
  • about potentially misleading figures when reporting on the number of DLA claimants
  • about a lack of transparency: plans for cutbacks on DLA were only made public once disabled people requested them under the freedom of information act
  • about a failure to consider fully the impact the reform will have on disabled people’s welfare

To support the report, visit the blog of one of its authors, Sue Marsh, Diary of a benefit scrounger. You can also show your support for the report by posting 'I support the #spartacusreport' on your Twitter or Facebook page.

The full report can be found at: www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/benefitsinfo/responsible_reform.pdf with a fully accesible version available here.

The government’s response to the consultation on Disability Living Allowance reform can be found at:

Boris Johnson’s response is available at: www.leftfootforward.org/images/2012/01/Mayoral-Submission.pdf

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