New benefit rates bring little festive cheer to disabled Scots this Christmas
13 December 2012
New benefit rates, announced today (13th December) by the Department of Work Pensions, will be cold comfort to 500,000 disabled people who are expected to lose out on financial support altogether thanks to the UK Government.
Capability Scotland has acknowledged that the UK Government has
maintained rates for the new Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
at the same level as Disability Living Allowance which it replaces.
However, the charity says that this is of no use to almost a
quarter (23%) of current DLA claimants whom, according to the UK
Government's own predictions, will not be entitled to PIP.
According to the Department of Work and Pensions PIP is targeted
at those disabled people who face the biggest challenges to living
independently. It will include 'daily living' and 'mobility'
components with two levels of payment - enhanced and standard.
However, an impact report published by the Westminster
Government in May this year predicted that the Government will save
£2,240 million in benefit payout thanks to the transfer from DLA to
PIP. £260m of this saving will be made in Scotland.
Capability Scotland expects that it will be local authority
social work departments and the NHS who will be left to pick up the
pieces of the benefits shortfall.
Capability Scotland Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer,
said: "We welcome the fact that the UK Government has matched PIP
rates to current levels of DLA. Unfortunately this will be
of little consequence to the 500,000 disabled people who are
being left with no benefits at all thanks to PIP's strict
"The people who are most likely to lose out are those disabled
people who require a small amount of support to maintain their
independence and well being. Ironically without any financial help
these people may well see their health suffer and their support
needs escalate. The stark reality is that this will mean
additional pressure on local authorities and the NHS whose
resources are already squeezed to the max."