• Like
(186) disability & the cuts (september 2011)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

(186) disability & the cuts (september 2011)



Published in News & Politics
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. Disability & the Cuts Dr Simon Duffy, Sheffield, September 2011Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 2. Who Am I? • Dr  Simon  Duffy  -­‐  Director  of  The  Centre  for   Welfare  Reform • Policy  Adviser  to  Campaign  for  a  Fair   Society  -­‐  on  a  voluntary  basis • Real  life  -­‐  Live  in  Mosborough,  Sheffield • Past  -­‐  Invented  many  of  the  ideas  (like   Individual  Budgets)  that  now  go  under  the   name  ‘Personalisation’Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 3. The Campaign for a Fair Society • Beginnings  -­‐  began  on  8th  February  2011  by   people  horrified  at  the  likely  impact  of  the   Spending  Review. • Members  -­‐  Over  1,000  individuals  and  100   organisations  are  members. • UK-­‐wide  -­‐  There  are  Scottish,  Welsh  &  English   Steering  Groups  -­‐  connected  federally  in  a  UK   group.   • Communications  -­‐  information  on  web,   twitter,  facebook  etc  -­‐   www.campaignforafairsociety.orgThursday, 20 October 11
  • 4. What’s wrong with the cuts? • Macro-­‐economics  -­‐  it  will  further  economic   depression  -­‐  maybe • Public  services  -­‐  it  is  an  attack  of  public   services  and  the  welfare  state  -­‐  maybe • Unfairness  worry  -­‐  the  cuts  target  the  very   groups  who  were  already  treated  unfairly  and   worsen  their  absolute  and  relative  positions  -­‐   YES  -­‐  definitelyThursday, 20 October 11
  • 5. To explore... • Which  groups  are  affected? • How  do  the  cuts  target  these  groups? • Why  do  the  cuts  target  these  groups? • What  should  we  advocate  for  instead? • What  should  we  do  about  it?Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 6. This is a pincer attack on the rights of disabled people. If we just focus on the 1.5 million people with the most significant disabilities - over the next four years they are likely to lose: • £4.6  billion  in  social  care  support • £4  billion  in  disability  living  allowance • Termination  of  ILF • Cuts  to  Supporting  People • Many  further  cuts  in  housing  support   • Reductions  to  other  benefits  -­‐  especially  for  those  not  in   work  -­‐  e.g.  changes  in  indexation So, more than £8 billion of the total £27 billion (>>25%) which government is saving from departmental budgets is being born by less than 3% of the population - those who are least able to bear these cuts.Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 7. The emerging realityThursday, 20 October 11
  • 8. And many other cuts will continue to fall on: • People with less severe, but still significant, disabilities • People with mental health problems • Women su ering domestic violence • People not in work • Refugees and asylum seekers We are already the most centralised welfare state in the world.Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 9. An economic crisis caused by the bursting of a bubble created by... • Bankers  who  benefited  from  bonuses • Home  owners  who  benefited  from  unsustainable   house  price  increases • Investors  who  benefited  from  unsustainable  profits  in   finance  industry • Politicians  who  benefited  from  the  illusion  of  a   booming  economy Who did not benefit from the bubble? - the poor and disabled peopleThursday, 20 October 11
  • 10. Not just cuts - but targeted cuts Protected Cut Pensions Disability bene ts Healthcare Social Care Education Social Housing £350 billion out of £500 £40 billion Universal, mainstream, for Special, marginal, ‘the poor ‘ordinary people like us’ & unfortunate’ Delivered by nationalised Delivered by complex systems with high visibility systems with low visibilityThursday, 20 October 11
  • 11. Political panderingThursday, 20 October 11
  • 12. Central control - local weakness... We are already the most centralised welfare state in the world.Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 13. Poverty & Welfare Reform 1. e poor can be very poor indeed - the poorest must live on £2,780 per year - compared to mean household income of £50,000 per year (<6%). 2. e poor pay marginal taxes of around 100% on their earnings and they pay more tax as a percentage of their income than any other group (!!) 3. Poor lose income if they live together - 25% tax on IS and have no incentive to save or invest. 4. e UK is the third most unequal society aer USA and PortugalThursday, 20 October 11
  • 14. One cheer! - recognition that tax-benefit system is flawed 1. The  recognition  that  the  poor  are  over-­‐taxed 2. That  the  benefit  system  is  unfair  and  unduly   complex 3. That  the  benefit  system  is  stigmatising 4. That  the  tax  and  benefit  systems  should  be   integratedThursday, 20 October 11
  • 15. 137  different   ways... to  give  people   not  very  much... • linked  or  not • means-­‐tested  or  not • tax  credits  or  benefits • disability  related  or   not • employment-­‐seeking   or  notThursday, 20 October 11
  • 16. Citizens  Advice  acknowledges  that  the  £1.5  billion  cost  of  fraud   in  the  benefit  system  must  be  recovered,  but  we  are  very   concerned  at  the  government’s  persistent  tendency  to  roll   fraud  and  error  figures  together.  Errors  account  for  the   remaining  £3.7  billion  of  the  £5.2  billion  figure  quoted... In  the  meantime,  the  £5  billion  cost  to  government  through   fraud  and  error  is  dwarfed  by  the  £17  billion  of  benefits  and  tax   credits  that  remain  un-­‐claimed  every  year,  because  people   don’t  know  they  are  entitled  to  claim,  or  because  the  system  is   too  complicated.  The  danger  of  making  benefits  more  difficult   to  claim  is  that  people  in  real  need  will  not  receive  the  money   they  need  to  pay  their  rent,  keep  their  families  warm,  or  feed   their  children. Teresa  Perchard  ,  Director  of  Social  Policy  at  Citizens  AdviceThursday, 20 October 11
  • 17. Government  defrauds  the  poor   at  more  than  11  times  the  rate   at  which  the  poor  defraud  the   governmentThursday, 20 October 11
  • 18. The cuts are just a symptom - there are long-standing problems to address • Weak  entitlements  -­‐  eligibility  thresholds  high  and  rising,   housing  rights  weak,  legal  rights  weak • Super-­‐taxation  for  disabled  people  -­‐  means-­‐testing,   charging • Poverty  traps  -­‐  benefit  systems  that  punish  families,  savers,   earners  and  disabled  people • Weakened  families  -­‐  support  focused  on  crises,family   control  undermined,  families  disrespected • Imprisonment  for  many  -­‐  up  to  20,000  people  with   learning  difficulties  in  prison • Pre-­‐birth  and  at-­‐birth  eugenics  -­‐  92%  abortion  rate  for   unborn  children  with  Down’s  syndrome  (UK)Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 19. Core Values Everyone  is  equal,  no  matter  their  differences   or  disabilities.  A  fair  society  sees  each  of  its   members  as  a  full  citizen  -­‐  a  unique  person   with  a  life  of  their  own.  A  fair  society  is   organised  to  support  everyone  to  live  a  full   life,  with  meaning  and  respect.Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 20. 1. Family  -­‐  we  give  families  the  support  they  need  to  look  after   each  other. 2. Citizenship  -­‐  we  are  all  of  equal  value  and  all  have  unique   and  positive  contributions  to  make. 3. Community  -­‐  we  root  support  and  services  in  local   communities. 4. Connection  -­‐  we  all  get  chances  to  make  friends  and  build   relationships. 5. Capacity  -­‐  we  help  each  other  to  be  the  best  that  we  can  be. 6. Equality  -­‐  we  all  share  the  same  basic  rights  and   entitlements. 7. Control  -­‐  we  have  the  help  we  need  to  be  in  control  of  our   own  life  and  support.Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 21. Manifesto 1. human  rights:  this  means  embracing  the  European  Convention  on  Human   Rights...  a  fundamental  redesign  of  the  obligations  of  government  at  every  level   to  secure  citizenship  for  all. 2. the  right  to  support  as  an  objective  right  established  in  law:  this  will   remove  the  dependency  of  older  and  disabled  people  on  ‘gifts’  from   professionals... 3. provide  families  and  individuals  with  early  support:  this  will  prevent  crises,   reduce  the  need  for  expensive  interventions,  and  end  the  indignity  of  severe   eligibility  thresholds. 4. put  people  back  in  control  of  their  own  lives:  this  will  enhance  personal   autonomy  and  dignity  by  restoring  people’s  right  to  control  both  their  lives  and   any  essential  support  that  they  need. 5. good  housing:  this  will  give  people  the  right  to  live  in  their  own  accessible   homes,  with  a  choice  of  the  full  range  of  different  types  of  tenure... 6. guaranteed  minimum  income  free  from  means-­‐testing:  this  will  create  the   necessary  incentives  for  people  to  work  and  make  contributions  to  civic  life... 7. end  the  current  super-­‐tax  on  older  and  disabled  people  levied  through   local  authority  charges:  this  will  end  the  indignity  of  older  people  having  to   spend  or  give  away  all  their  savings...Thursday, 20 October 11
  • 22. Action • Use  the  Law? • Connect  with  local  advocacy  groups? • Demonstrate,  complain  -­‐  make  abuse  of   human  rights  public? • Join  the  Campaign? • Develop  the  case  for  a  fairer  system?Thursday, 20 October 11