Disabled will suffer

ALREADY we see evidence that the Tory-led coalition wants to turn 2013 into the ‘Year of the Scroungers’.

Their tabloid cronies have been fed figures suggesting all claimants are work shy burdens on decent, hard-working folk. The aim is to justify a benefits blitz to finance tax cuts for the super-rich.

However, as is normal for this administration, take a closer look at the incoming Universal Credit system and nothing stacks up.

This so-called reform is meant to make the benefits system simpler and to ‘make work pay’. The opposite is true, particularly for the most vulnerable.

A new year investigation found up to half a million disabled people and their families will be worse off, including those in work.

Cuts in child disability additions and to the Severe Disability Premium will leave them struggling to pay for basic essentials of food and heating.

Among those affected will be up to 230,000 severely disabled people who don’t have an adult helping them at home. They will be between £26 and £58 a week worse off.

Around 100,000 disabled children will lose up to £28 a week and 160,000 disabled people in work risk losing £40 a week for help in their additional costs.

The driving force behind the inquiry and its forecasts is not some Left-wing hooligan like me, but Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson.

She retired from sport before last summer’s London Games, but her report shows coalition politicians were happy to bask in the reflected glory of that event – while going full steam ahead with their shabby cuts.

A key problem with Universal Credit is that it takes no account of the additional costs on disabled people.