I really don’t understand this Tory Government and the Department for Work and Pensions at all.
What they are doing and what they are saying makes no sense to me. One day they are telling disabled people that they are cutting our benefits and we must all go out to work and it’s good for us then, the next day, they are cutting the fund that helps us to do this.
They must know the purpose of Access to Work, they must know what it’s for. It’s a fund that helps put disabled people on a level playing field with our non-disabled colleagues. Access to Work pays for the things we need to be able to work at all such as specialist computer equipment for visually impaired people, specialist wheelchairs for mobility impaired people, sign language interpreters for hearing impaired people and support workers for people with learning difficulties. It’s not a welfare benefit. It’s a fund that we can use to help us get off welfare benefits completely. It’s something that is beneficial for everyone, disabled people and non-disabled people alike
And many disabled people rely on the funding provided through Access to Work to be able to go out to work. That is, after all, what the Government wants. Iain Duncan Smith has said so.
Does it then make any sense for the Government to cut the funding that helps disabled people to do what the Government wants?
No. As far as I am concerned it does not make any sense to cut this funding at all.
I am no mathematician and I am certainly not an economist but surely, providing some funding so more disabled people are enabled to go out to work, and then pay their taxes, is better than leaving those same disabled people languishing on welfare payments in their own homes and doing nothing. Surely the Government and the Inland Revenue makes more money for the economy from the taxes paid by working disabled people than the money it loses by providing Access to Work support for those same disabled people.
Access to Work is not for everyone though. We all know that. We all recognise that there are some disabled people who, due to the severity of their impairments, will never be able to work at all and who will always have to rely on welfare payments to live. But surely, helping the disabled people who are able to work to do so, makes sense. If nothing else, the taxes the Government receives from those disabled people who are enabled to work through Access to Work will help fund the welfare payments for the disabled people who can’t. This Government seems to want to do nothing but cut, cut cut and it’s disabled people who are paying the price.
It’s almost as if the Government wants to cut disabled people themselves.
If that’s not the case, why have they cut the Independent Living Fund which helped fund independent living for disabled people completely. Why have they cut the money disabled people receive from social security payments to the bone. Why are they looking to cut the Access to Work fund which helps disabled people to help themselves. Continually cutting everything is not always the best thing to do. Sometimes investing money in assisting people to do what you, and they, want is the more prudent move.
Give us back the Independent Living Fund, save Access to Work and stop cutting welfare payments and you may be surprised by what happens. Helping rather than hindering disabled people at every corner could be beneficial for everyone. Disabled people are not the enemy, this is not a war.
Stop trying to stop us, start investing in us and helping us. Let us do what we can to help you too. Give us a chance.