Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It's now officially 'unsustainable' to support disabled people

Been away from my blog for a while and I had every intention when I wrote something again for it not to be about benefits. However the Government then announced its proposed changes to DLA and I felt compelled to write about benefits again! Blame them not me if you feel I've droned on about the subject!

I've had the piece published online at The Guardian so please follow the link to read my latest blog thoughts. Do let me know whether you agree with me or not!

1 comment:

  1. More patronsising twaddle I'm afraid. I used to be the Treasurer of a Registered Charity which sought to take up the mantle of running lifelong learning courses when a local university couldn't [or wouldn't..] keep running them.

    It was very hard to get off the ground with very limited funding and an ocean of rules to contend with.

    A couple of things helped. Deciding early on we simply WERE NOT going to label the students who were visually or hearing impaired 'vulnerable people' so we could tell that 'CRB' to p!$$ off.

    The other was to basically say to people, we will have to run these courses without subsidy and you will have to pay a market rate. If we then get some funding we can offer bursaries later.

    Some people were fine with this and just saved up their generous DLA so they could go on high quality courses. Others bitched about the cost and expected everything to be subsidised.

    Tough. We didn't have the money early on, and if we didn't keep a small profit to build up a reserve we would be scuppered. We couldn't run up an overdraft to pay deposits for accommodation and travel.

    This attitude that because disabled people are worth investing in, the money will just appear like manna from heaven is just nonsense. The money for worthwhile things has to come from somewhere.

    The problem is that things like the Disability Discrimination Act have helped in many areas, but because companies aren't allowed to pay differential rates we are left with unintended consequences like most blind people being out of work.

    A less dogmatic, more pragmatic view might help - as would getting rid of the 'industry' of people for whom DLA was never intended milking the system. The idea that 3 million people are on this is just asinine nonsense - it is the same mindset that says 25% of people can be 'entitled' to Grade A in their A-levels.

    I suspect the only point on which we might agree is that having worked in a start-up charity, peopled by amateurs, I do think David Cameron is p!$$!ng in the wind with his Big Society claptrap.

    But he isn't wrong to ask some searching questions about how we ended up imprisoning large sections of our society in welfare dependency. The disabled community [to use that awful word...] deserve a hell of a lot better than that.