|Extra DWP funding announced by the Chancellor is woefully inadequate says DR UK: As part of Spending Round 2019, the Chancellor has announced £36 million extra funding for the DWP and an extra £40 million funding for discretionary housing payments in the private rented sector in England and Wales. Ken Butler, DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Advisor, has said: “DR UK welcomes extra Jobcentre advisor support in schools for young people with special educational needs and the extension of Access to Work to internships for disabled people. However, overall the extra funding for the DWP is woefully inadequate. Only [last week], new research was published highlighting that nearly half of disabled people hit by the benefits freeze have gone without essentials such as food and toiletries. Other changes to the welfare system over the past ten years have left disabled adults four times worse off financially than non-disabled adults. Radical reform to the benefits system for disabled people is urgently needed’. Read more
Care and Support Alliance responds to spending review: On 4 September 2019, the Chancellor announced funding for social care in the spending review. The main commitment is an extra £1 billion in 2020/2021 for adults and children’s services, with another £500 million via council tax precept. The Care and Support Alliance has said that the new funding will not address any of the challenges in the social care sector, and only buys a short amount of time. Read their response, as well as a comment from DR UK’s Sue Bott, here.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) launches new Legal Support Project for Transport: The project will assist individuals who have experienced discrimination while using, or attempting to use, public transport to pursue legal claims in circumstances where they might not otherwise be able to access legal support. Help will be available to fund a solicitor or barrister either where they are already representing an individual or to fund referring an individual to a solicitor for advice and representation. However, Disability Champion for Rail Sector, Stephen Brookes has said: “Legal recourse should be a final ‘all else has failed’ step. The worry is that this approach will be used by many to end up very quickly in a court case scenario, which becomes a single agenda matter, for example, ‘Smith’ vs. rail company. We wish to get to the point of companies and the industry seeing the wider picture and sorting out the policy and procedure for all disabled and older people”
Nearly half of disabled people hit by the benefits freeze can’t afford essential bills: New research from Citizens Advice shows that nearly half of disabled people hit by the benefits freeze (44%) have gone without essentials such as food and toiletries. From April 2016 there has be no increase in benefit rates ‘for people of working age’. This affects JSA, ESA, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Child Benefit. Read more