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Our work on Welfare reform - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Our work on Welfare reform

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
"Bedroom tax"
The Government plans to cut housing benefit to people who are living in council or social housing which has a ‘spare’ bedroom.
Those with one empty room – even if it is in use much of the time – will lose 15 per cent of their benefit while those with two will lose 25 per cent.
People who are disabled , who often have larger homes because of the need for adaptations, could be especially hard hit.
http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/n ... sU.twitter

A must read for all carers supporting a person with a disability under the age of 65.
Personal Independence Payment Frequently asked questions December 2011
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/personal-ind ... t-faqs.pdf
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/13 ... e-your-say

When you have time make yourselves a cuppa and skim through this thread. It has details of other policies relating to lone parents. carers and lone parent carers especially the stuff posted today.
Bedroom tax? Simple, knock out a wall Image
Actually the costs of home ownership are pretty complicated, and in many ways they are made more expensive by goverment itself. For example, stamp duties are a tax on downsizing or upgrading by moving home. VAT is a tax on some home improvements, not all.

Looking at the typical cycle of a house, a couple might buy a new home at age 30 and the chances are, whilst they will pay high mortgage for the first ten or fifteen years, inflation will gradually reduce this as a percentage of household income. But, after twenty or thirty years, all houses, just like older cars, need more and more spent on them to keep them fit for purpose. A house that has been neglected for forty of fifty years is sometimes cheaper to demolish and rebuild than to renovate, depending on construction type (interesting that WW2 prefabs are surviving better than 20 storey concrete tower blocks, though Glasgow is renovating and recladding some of its tower blocks so it isnt a one way street).

So my point is, just because you own your home doesnt mean you dont face very substantial refurbishment costs, and the older you get, the more of a burden these become as your income shrinks in retirement.
Carers UK welcomes clarification on vital carers' benefits entitlements

http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/2 ... titlements
It comes to something though when we have to welcome the absence of further attacks...although of course the introduction of PIP will narrow entitlement anyway.
I dont see all these changes as being all bad - there has been a very substantial overall rise in uptake of DLA in the past decade and there have been some major criticisms of DLA by disabled people and others. Our experience of applying for ESA was suprisingly pleasant, and I dont have too many concerns about PIP when it comes around, especially as it is intended to reflect the needs of people with learning disabilities better than has been the case with DLA.
The problem is that there is a generalised distrust of the present government's intentions, but governments always have a duty to try to secure best value for the public purse and balance their budgets, and anyway these reforms were started by Labour and may well end up being continued through the next government.
We can see what happens when a country gets into bad debt very clearly from the recent examples of Greece and Ireland. None of us would wish the UK to be in that position.

The objective of trying to save £2B or whatever is primarily designed to stop the steady, exponential rise in the cost of disability benefits rather than to save money per se, and when you consider that for some groups like males aged 16-19 payments have actually doubled in ten years, you can see why the beancounters are running scared. I'm concerned that e.g. helplines are being flooded by anxious carers at this stage, and wonder how much of this is due to scaremongering rather than responsible campaigning?
The rise in DLA payments in 16-19 year old males is almost certainly because of the rise in diagnosis of autism and related conditions. Despite what the DWP will tell you, DLA is almost completely conditional upon receiving a diagnosis.

That's not about people misusing the benefits system, it's about people being entitled. What's to reform there?

The government has made it clear that the intention is to cut payments by 20%: bear in mind that they are removing a whole layer of DLA entitlement.
Well said Charles, at least someone is on the ball. Image
Charles, you are correct, if you look at a breakdown of the figures it is mainly increases in claims for LD and mental illness between 1997 and May 2010 which accounts for the increase in younger people claiming DLA, 32.8% and 33.9% respectively. As for the overall increase in the number of DLA claimants, it was introduced in 1992 and it is inevitable that the numbers would increase as awareness of the benefit increased amongst sick and disabled people until it reached a peak at which point the increase in the number of new claimants reduced.

I find it quite insulting to suggest that unnecessary concern is being generated by scaremongering rather than responsible campaigning, the government's proposals are available for all to read and we not only know whether we can take sugar but we can also read Image .