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Government accused of refusing to listen to disabled people about their ‘desperate financial situation’

THE government has snubbed more than a million disabled people by refusing to accept hundreds of testimonies about their “desperate financial situation” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Downing Street and the offices of the Treasury turned away their messages about being unable to afford heating, blankets, and even incontinence pads on Monday.

Direct-action group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) said the government’s refusal to extend the £20 universal credit “uplift” to disabled people who receive different benefits has left 1.65 million disabled people losing out.

The testimonies include moving personal comments such as: “I’ve only managed one meal a day and fortnightly food deliveries during lockdown.” Others simply said “no money left for food” and “confusion, frustration and distress.”

Other disabled people wanted to express how the extra £20 a week in universal credit has helped them. One said: “I could buy proper incontinence pads instead of sanitary pads which leak.”

Another said: “Could put the heating on earlier and not suffer the arthritis pain I am in because I only put the heating on after 6pm.”

A DPAC spokeswoman said: “The government often claims to protect what it calls ‘the most vulnerable’ — but once again it is precisely those who are ‘most vulnerable’ whose needs are being ignored.

“This has created a two-tier social security system, giving the distinct impression that disabled people’s suffering is of no concern to this government.”

The deliveries were organised as part of a day of action called by DPAC and supported by People Before Profit, Homes 4 All, the People’s Assembly, Unite Community and the National Education Union disabled members’ committee.

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