Launch of the Campaign for a Fair Society
On February 8 a new campaign that opposes coalition government cuts to services for disabled people and proposes positive alternatives launches with a full-page advert in The Times.
The Campaign For A Fair Society is supported by many leading activists, academics and organisations in the field of disability, and will attract the support of many thousands more.
In the government’s comprehensive spending review, announced on October 20 last year, Chancellor George Osborne insisted that those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden. In fact, the government is implementing cuts that will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in society, including people with learning disabilities and disabled children. These include:
- Reductions in local authority budgets of up to 25%, which lead to similar reductions in funding to all local authority funded care and support services.
- The closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and the loss of funding, which will affect 21,000 of the most severely disabled people in the country, and may prevent many from continuing to live independently in the community.
- Changes to Support for Mortgage Interest benefit effectively rule out shared home ownership for disabled people.
- A threat to the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in residential care, which helps meet some of the cost of things such as electric wheelchairs, mobility aids and taxis where there is no accessible public transport. Without it many people could be isolated at home.
The campaign argues that cuts to benefits and services are counter-productive and unfair:
- Counter-productive, because there is evidence that, when people have the support to lead fulfilling lives, their needs become less severe and the cost of supporting them actually reduces over time.
- Unfair, because they will prevent disabled people enjoying many of the things most of us take for granted: our own home, loving relationships, work, an income.
The campaign is not just about protest, but also about making a positive contribution. It proposes seven principles to guide decisions about policy and funding, and seeks to engage policy makers in dialogue.
The Campaign For A Fair Society is supported by:
Advance Housing and Support, Altrum, Alzheimer Scotland, Ambrey Associates, Association for Supported Living, Baroness Jane Campbell, Centre for Inclusive Futures, The Centre for Welfare Reform, Choice Support, CCPS - Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland, Generate Opportunities Ltd, ibk initiatives, Jackie Downer MBE, Enough Is Enough, The Foundation for Families, Professor the Baroness Hollins, Housing Options, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, LivesthroughFriends, Lives Unlimited, Personalisation Forum Group, Professor Jim Mansell -Tizard Centre, Paradigm, Peaks and Dales Advocacy, People First (Scotland), Wendy Perez, See Me As Me, Progress Care Housing Association (member of the Progress Housing Group), Bob Tindall, United Response, Self Direct, Skills for People, Values Into Action Scotland, Jan Walmsley Associates