Katy alarmed at DLA change impact
Katy has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions outlining her concerns at the potential impact which the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will have on blind and partially sighted people. Under proposals included in the Welfare Reform Act, which Ms. Clark opposed in Parliament, DLA will be replaced in April 2013 by a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The Government have recently conducted a consultation on the criteria for the new benefit however the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have highlighted that under the current draft proposals blind and partially sighted people could fail to qualify for the higher components of the benefit and therefore see their incomes significantly reduced.
Speaking on the subject Katy said “It would be completely unacceptable if as a result of the change to PIP blind and partially sighted people saw their standard of living reduced. I have been concerned for some time that the change from DLA to PIP has simply been about saving money rather than supporting disabled people and unfortunately the most recent criteria published by the Government confirms my fears.”
“Blind and partially sighted people often require assistance when using public transport and expensive specialist equipment in the home to allow them to perform basic tasks such as cooking and using a sink which most people take for granted. I have already been contacted by a number of blind and partially sighted constituents who have outlined to me how DLA helps them live independently in their day to day lives. They are deeply troubled by the Government’s current proposals and believe if they go ahead in their current form that their quality of life will be seriously affected. I urge the Government to enter into talks with the RNIB and think again about these damaging changes.”