One of my favourite campaigning organisations, Every Disabled Child Matters, have launched a new campaign action. They are asking people to write to the Prime Minister to give some good news to families with disabled children for Christmas.
In the days before David Cameron was busy pulling hissy fits in Europe, he promised that he would “never do anything that would hurt disabled children.”
This begs the question why the Government is pushing ahead with changes to disability benefits that effectively amount to a 50% cut in help for families with disabled children. As Every Disabled Child Matters explain, currently, low income and out of work families who claim DLA on behalf of their child are entitled to a ‘disability addition’ worth £53.62 per week. Families with a child in receipt of the high rate care component of DLA also receive a ‘top up addition’ worth an additional £21 per week. Proposals under the Universal Credit will see lower benefit ‘additions’ drop by over 50%. It might not seem much but to families already struggling without support, this may push them over the edge.
The worse thing? By the Government’s own admission, this change won’t have any impact on the overall benefit bill. That’s right, the cuts are completely unnecessary.
I’m fast becoming somewhat disillusioned about the widening gap between what the Government say and do on help for deaf and other disabled children. If there’s ever a time for cynicism to be dashed, it’s just before Christmas. So fingers crossed, the Government come up with a better gift for disabled children in the UK today.