The current economic situation has created uncertain times for disabled people in the UK. Jamie Robertson from Scope, one of the UK’s leading disability charities speaks about the effects that the cuts to Disability Living Allowance will have, and how he intends to make his voice heard by joining a large march through London on 11 May 2011 to protest against the cuts.
As a disabled person, I’ve always tried not to let my impairment get in the way of the things I’ve wanted to do in my life, and so far this philosophy seems to have worked, but like thousands of other disabled people in the UK I’m worried. I’m worried that if planned Government cuts get the “go ahead”, I may loose the independence I’ve come to value so much.
It’s the financial support I get from my Disability Living Allowance that makes my independence possible. It means I’m able to cover the extra costs of having a disability. Costs like the running repairs on my clothes brought about through crawling at home, or the expensive repairs on my wheelchair. I even have to rely on expensive pre-prepared food when my carer is not around to make sure I can still eat healthily as I am unable to cook for myself.
I don’t use my DLA to fund an extravagant lifestyle – it literally just keeps ‘the wolf from the door’ financially and without it I worry that I would find myself in poverty. It’s crucial that the government understands the true cost of being a disabled person, and isn’t swayed by popular media reports that we’re all scroungers. In fact the reverse is true. It’s my DLA which pays for my carers to get me up in the morning, and without it I’d struggle to hold down a job!
If you too are concerned by what the future holds. Join thousands of disabled people and their families in London on the 11 May 2011 for the Hardest Hit Day of Action and tell the Government that they must act now to protect the vital benefits and services on which disabled people rely.
Help ensure disabled people are not the hardest hit by the financial crisis click here and sign up to join us on the day or to find to out more information.
By Jamie Robertson