Budget Criticised by Disability Charity
28 Mar 2013
Scope has hit out at last week’s budget, claiming that it has “no place for disabled people”. The chief executive of the disability charity, Richard Hawkes, claimed that social care was being under-funded, and that there was a “crisis” as disabled people struggle to make ends meet. However, the budget does see some positives for disabled people, with disability benefits to escape the spending squeeze, rising by 2.2% in line with inflation. This includes attendance allowance, which provides for carers – vital for those that need assistance to go about their daily lives. While this raise may only be in line with inflation, the growth in average earnings over the last few years has been well below inflation, so those on disability benefit may not have been hit as hard as Scope claims, particularly given the need for the government to reduce its spending deficit. The proposed £72,000 "cap" on social care costs has also been brought forward, with charity Leonard Cheshire Disability welcoming this move, although cautioning that many thousands of disabled people were missing out on basic care already. Overall, the budget`s impact on disabled people seems to have been mixed, and much ultimately depends on the circumstances of the person - with other changes, such as to taxation levels also having an effect.