The 'We are Spartacus' campaign has been doing amazing work on behalf of the disabled in the face of unnecessary government cuts. Today they've issued a new report entitled 'Emergemcy: Stop!' As it notes:
1.8 million people of working age in the UK currently receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), a non-means tested benefit which helps individuals meet the extra costs, including mobility costs, which come with disability, regardless of employment status. The Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides for the Government to cut spending on the benefit by 20% by replacing DLA with PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Once PIP has been fully implemented, in 2018, up to 428,000 fewer people will qualify for the enhanced mobility element which provides eligibility to lease cars using the Motability scheme. This will have profound social and economic effects, including on the car industry.
These people aren't shirkers as the government likes to suggest those suffering cuts are. They're disabled. That means, like it or not, for many the odds are stacked against them. in many ways. And they need their mobility. But now they won't have it. And many won't be able to work as a result. Indeed, some will be trapped in their homes because the cost of mobility will be beyond them.
Come April a lot of people are going to be saying "I didn't mean cuts to apply to them". The disabled who need mobility cars amongst the hundreds of thousands that will apply to.
And all because the government won't close the tax gap.
Now what would you do? Crack down on tax abuse or deny a disabled person a car?
Answers please to George Osborne if you will. Try sending this to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr Osborne
The campaign group 'We are Spartacus' has highlighted in a new report the fact that maybe 160,000 disabled people will lose their Motability cars as a result of changes you are introducing arising from the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
I am shocked that people who are disabled should suffer in this way and as a result be denied an equal chance with the rest of us in the UK.
You have a choice on this matter. Although you admit that the UK's tax gap is at least £32 billion you are cutting 10,000 staff at H M Revenue & Customs. Those are people who not only collect more than enough tax to cover their wages, they are people who, if they were still employed and doing useful work, would raise plenty enough money to ensure that this cut was not needed.
You have a choice Mr Osborne: you can deny the disabled their mobility or you can close the tax gap. Why are you choosing to let the tax cheats get away with their crimes and are making the disabled pay for it?
I've sent it.