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Charities fight mobility cash cuts

13 January 2011

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A group of charities that represent disabled people have urged the Government to rethink plans to axe the mobility part of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The move was announced in the comprehensive spending review, with the benefit viewed as an overlap of public funds because disabled people often receive help to pay for taxis when they are also getting transport assistance from other sources, such as care homes.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We want to tackle the discrepancies in the system to make sure DLA is fair and continues to help the people who need it most.”

However, the group of 27 charities has challenged the move and said any withdrawal of the benefit will take those affected “back to the dark ages”.

The disability groups argue the cuts will hit about 80,000 people and have submitted a report entitled Don’t Limit Mobility to MPs.

Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, said: “This report shows that the Government’s reason for cutting this funding is simply wrong.

“Care homes and local authorities don’t cover these costs, and with budgets being squeezed, how can they be expected to in the future?

“We strongly urge the Government to reconsider the proposal to remove the mobility component of DLA.

“This money helps people living in residential care get the personal support they need to get out and take part in activities they enjoy and live a fulfilled life.

“Removing this benefit will take us back to the dark ages, essentially stripping people of control over their lives and leaving them stuck in residential care homes.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011