The surprising truth about disability benefit cuts

Tanya MarlowWho has been hardest hit by the austerity cuts? Tanya Marlow at Compassionate Britain thinks the answer may surprise you.

According to the Centre for Welfare Reform, the people who’ve been hardest hit by the Coalition Government’s cuts are those with disabilities. Disabled people have been hit by the cuts nine times more than the average person. 

What about the most severely disabled people? Has there been extra protection for the most severely disabled? After all, David Cameron promised that the cuts would be delivered with compassion and social justice, and the most severely disabled would be protected and get the most support. However, they have been hit even harder: severely disabled people have been affected by the cuts 19 times more than the average person. 

These have been cuts by stealth, under-reported in the press:

It is expensive to be disabled. Mobility assistance, carers, guides, all cost money, which is why it costs disabled people an average of £550 more per month just to eat, wash, dress, move around – in other words, live.

One third of working-age disabled people already live in poverty. This is why disability benefits are so crucial to a compassionate society, and why further cuts must be resisted by Christians who care about protecting the most vulnerable.

Tanya Marlow, an author and minister’s wife who is herself housebound and disabled by severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, decided to take action. Following the election she launched Compassionate Britain – speaking up for disabled people, which is a grassroots campaigning organisation seeking to unite Christians and others to speak up for disabled people against the cuts.

In an open letter to Conservative voters, which received more than 13,500 hits in its first 36 hours, she wrote:

“Austerity should mean that everyone tightens their belts, and yet the sharp edge of the cuts has fallen repeatedly and disproportionately onto the most vulnerable. Disabled people have been cut so deep they are collectively bleeding.”

Since its launch, hundreds of people have signed up to get involved, write to their MP, and speak up for disabled people.

“We would love it if as many Christians as possible would say with us that disabled people matter, and that, as Christians, we care about a just and compassionate society for the most vulnerable,” Marlow says. “We’re asking everyone to write even a short letter to their MP, saying that they want the government to protect disabled people from further cuts.”

Find out more about Compassionate Britain and how you can get involved in the campaign here.


5 thoughts on “The surprising truth about disability benefit cuts

  1. Pingback: The Compassionate Britain Team is Expanding |

    • There are things we can do ourselves – but that only goes so far. However, if you are happy to help me with my severely disabled son who needs constant 24/7 care, including personal care, suction, oxygen, gastro feeding, a medication regime and a good life – I would be very happy for you to work for him on minimum wage. Did I also mention a member of the household has severe mental health problems and I have 2 elderly parents. Very happy for you to give up all your time and help. Or was it a smiley face of encouragement on FB – you had in mind?

      • Sorry Helen. It was a problem of written communication. Comment was meant to mean that this government is so hard hearted that we simply cannot trust them to be anything but uncompassionate. I have great respect for carers and we simply need to try our best to compensate for the vacuum left by the state. Sorry to have caused offence.

  2. Pingback: 500 disabled people a week losing Motability | Fear and loathing in Great Britain

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