I had to share the infographic below from learning disability charity United Response which, if you’ve not already seen it, lays bare the impact of cuts to disability living allowance (DLA), the benefit that helps people with care and mobility costs.
Compare these stark sums to Ian Duncan Smith’s much-criticised claims that the number of people claiming DLA had risen by 30% in recent years and its cost will soon soar to around £13bn a year.
Not that a war of figures is the thing here; as shocking as the total numbers below are, the persuasive argument against the cuts is the individual stories of the difference this vital benefit makes to people’s lives and what will happen if it is cut. It’s easy for politicians to bat percentages and pound signs back and forth (and fudge the facts and stats, as the Spartacus report suggested earlier this year); it is harder to ignore the personal stories of how reform will make life even more difficult for those who are already vulnerable.
As Rob, a wheelchair-user who has multiple sclerosis, commented in a blogpost on the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) website (I manage the group’s blog), DLA allows him to be more independent: “Whilst it isn’t always easy, I think you have to make the most of life. The DLA enables that life to be a better one.”
Take a look at the figures: