Scope comments as Lords debate the Welfare Reform Bill
10 January 2012
As the House of Lords reconvene to debate and vote the Welfare Reform Bill, and just days after new research revealed the real concerns disabled people have over the reforms, Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, said:
“We’re rapidly reaching the final stages of the Welfare Reform Bill and we urge the Government to take this opportunity to reconsider its plans and not condemn disabled people and their families to a lifetime of poverty.
“The Government’s plans are in danger of backfiring on disabled people and their families if it continues to push through the Welfare Reform Bill as it currently stands.
“The changes in the Bill will hit disabled people disproportionately, making it even harder for them to live independently and contribute to their community.
"For example, we recognise that Disability Living Allowance needs reforming and we support the Government’s ambitions to create a more active and enabling benefit.
“However, the new assessment the Government plans to use is flawed because it doesn’t take into consideration all the barriers that disabled people face in daily life and it risks repeating the same mistakes it made with the Work Capability Assessment, a tick box test used to determine fitness for work.”
Notes to the Editor:
For more information please contact the Scope press office on 020 7619 7200.
Scope believes the Government’s criteria for PIP (which is to replace Disability Living Allowance) is not adequately underpinned by the social model of disability, with the assessment criteria not currently taking into account social, practical and environmental factors disabled people face.
The failure to incorporate all these drivers of costs will hinder the Government in its attempt to ensure PIP goes to those who face the greatest barriers.
In October 2011, Scope published a report into an alternative assessment for PIP. The report has been endorsed by the wider disability sector including Citizens Advice Bureau, Papworth Trust, Mencap, Mind and the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisors.