Twelve UK cities set for disabled people's protest on HARDEST HIT Day of Action
- 10.8 million disabled people in the UK
- Estimated £9 billion loss to disabled people’s income
- Over 50 organisations joining forces
- 12 UK cities
- 12 protests
- 1 day: 22nd October
- 1 message: Disabled people are the HARDEST HIT. Stop these cuts
This Saturday (22nd of October) disabled people, their families and friends will take to the streets in cities across the UK to protest against cuts to essential support for disabled people. This takes place one year on from the Comprehensive Spending Review where the Government promised to protect the most vulnerable when making cuts, and as the Welfare Reform Bill, which will significantly reduce support for disabled people, continues to go through Parliament.
The Hardest Hit campaign, organised jointly by the Disability Benefits Consortium and the UK Disabled People’s Council, brings together individuals and over 50 organisations to send a clear message to the Government: Stop these cuts.
The 11th of May 2011 saw approximately 5000 people march through central London to warn the government that public spending cuts will push disabled people into poverty and isolation. Almost six months on, the situation remains critical as disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are still being hit the hardest by cuts to the benefits and services they need to live their lives. Local authority budget squeezes have resulted in cuts to frontline services causing anxiety and poverty, and in some cases forcing disabled people to take expensive and stressful legal action. Many disabled people are living in fear of cuts to essential benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The total cuts will mean an estimated £9 billion loss to disabled people and their families’ incomes over the next four years, on top of cuts to many local care and support services .
Jaspal Dhani, CEO of the United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council, says:
“This Government has broken its promise to protect disabled people from spending cuts. The last 12 months have seen a string of cuts that have hit disabled people the hardest, from benefits changes to local authorities slashing social care budgets and axing concessionary bus passes. This Saturday will see 12 protests in 12 UK cities as disabled people, their families and friends come together to say loud and clear: Stop these cuts.”
Individual event details to date:
- Edinburgh: Meet at 11am at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens for a rally from 12-2pm.
- Cardiff: Meet at 12.30pm at Cardiff Museum for a 1pm rally and march through to town centre from 1.30pm
- Leeds: Assemble at Victoria Gardens, Headrow, from 12.30 for a march through main shopping areas. Returning to Headrow for a rally from 2 - 2.30pm
- Nottingham: Rally at Market Square from 12.30-2pm.
- Brighton: Rally at the Jubilee Square from 11.30-12.30pm. Assemble at 11am.
- Manchester: Rally between 2pm and 3pm at Albert Square, outside Manchester Town Hall
- Newcastle: Assemble at Bigg Market from 10.30am. March to Monument for rally at 11.30am. Ends at 12.30pm.
- Bristol: Assemble at College Green for a march at 12, return to College Green for rally from 1-2pm.
- Norwich: Assemble at Chapel Field Gardens (East Exit), NR2 1RS, at 11.30am, for a midday start. Return at 1pm for rally.
- London: Assemble at 11am at GLA Building on The Queens Walk for an 11.30am rally.
- Birmingham: Assemble at 12 for a rally at Victoria Square from 12.30 -1.30pm.
- Belfast: 20 October, 1.30pm, The Radison Blue Hotel, Ormean Rd. A panel debate (including MPs) with questions from the audience.
1. No cuts to services vital to disabled people.
2. The Government to ensure that changes to DLA does not make disabled people worse off.
3. The Government to ensure that ESA works by improving the assessment process.
4. The Government to ensure that the welfare system supports disabled people with the additional costs of living with an impairment.
People can support the campaign today by writing to their MP, signing up for a Hardest Hit event taking place near them on 22 October or joining our online protest. Find out more at www.hardesthit.org.uk.
Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/thehardesthit or using #HardestHit on Twitter.