23rd November 2016
The DBC is disappointed that the Chancellor has failed to use the Autumn Statement today as an opportunity to act on cross party opposition and widespread concerns from disabled people and charities to halt damaging cuts to support for disabled people.
The Government is continuing with a cut to the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the Universal Credit (UC) equivalent.
From April 2017, new claimants will face a loss of almost £30 a week. Cuts to the ‘work allowance’ – the amount of money disabled people on UC can keep before they lose benefits, are also going ahead. These changes will push disabled people further from the work place and closer to or deeper into poverty.
In addition nothing has been said on the proposals to ask local authorities to fund the support currently provided by Attendance Allowance (AA) from their business rates for future claimants. This is very worrying as it is likely to lead to reductions in the amount of support people who receive AA get.
While the Chancellor has lowered the ‘taper’ rate within UC for those in work from 65% to 63%, (meaning people in work will keep an additional 2 pence for every pound over the work allowance they earn) this will come as scant consolation for the thousands of disabled people who will be much worse off