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Disabled people have right to know findings of mobility benefit review

31 May 2011

It has emerged that the Department of Work and Pensions is not planning to publish the conclusions of a review into mobility benefit cuts for disabled people.

In a written response to a parliamentary question about the review of  the withdrawal of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from disabled people living in registered care, Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, stated that the Department had no plans to publish the findings of the review.

The parliamentary question was put forward by Margaret Curran, Glasgow East MP and Shadow Work and Pensions Minister. 
Responding to this development, Capability Scotland Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer, commented:

"Capability Scotland is shocked by claims that the UK Government is not planning to publish the findings of a crucial review of mobility benefit for disabled Scots.

"The Government's plan to axe the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from disabled people living in registered care is one of the most controversial proposals in the Welfare Reform Bill because of the massive impact it will have on thousands of disabled people across the UK - including 6000 people in Scotland.

"Capability welcomed the Government's decision earlier this year to reconsider withdrawing the benefit and we know many disabled people are anxiously waiting for the outcome of its review. The news that the findings are to be kept secret will come as a real blow to people who already feel victimised and undervalued by the proposed reforms.

"Research commissioned by Capability and Margaret Blackwood Housing Association and undertaken by the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research demonstrates how the removal of DLA from those in residential care will prevent disabled people in Scotland from doing everyday things that so many take for granted. Visiting family and friends, seeing the doctor or simply being able to go to a park on a nice day will be denied to thousands. As one individual who uses Capability's services puts it, these changes would result in 'a permanent state of cabin fever'.

"The fact that the Government has proposed these cuts is bad enough, but to keep the findings of the review a secret is wholly unacceptable and demonstrates a total disregard for the views and opinions of the people who will be most affected by them.

"Capability would urge the Government to honour its commitment to listening to and consulting with disabled people and make the findings of this review public."

Picture of someone in a wheelchair going into amobility vehicle

Welfare Reform Bill

The threat to the mobility component of DLA is just one of a number of proposals in the Welfare Reform Bill that Capability is concerned about.  Find out more here.