As part of its austerity measures, the British government is making cuts on several welfare benefits. One of the affected groups is Britain’s 10 million disable people (figures provided by the Disabled Living Foundation).
How serious is the situation in your local area?
The independent think tank Demos, has mapped out their research data in the area, which allows us to check how well (or badly) each local authority in England and Wales is coping with the budget cuts to disability services. They were ranked as very good, good, well, ok, poor, bad or very bad.
The methodology Demos used to analyse the data and produce a nationwide picture is explained here.
Testimonials compiled on the False Economy site by people affected by the government cuts try to give voice to the current crisis, but more needs to be done.
The Where’s the Benefit campaign put out a call for disabled people in the UK to join their local “Occupy” groups for a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon and raise awareness on how the welfare reform bill and its proposed cuts are affecting them. WtB also compiled, in a podcast, stories about the role the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) plays in a disabled person’s life (#myDLA hashtag on Twitter).
In our previous post, Paul Bradshaw wrote about the Department of Work and Pensions’ press release claiming disability benefits were paid “without checks”. The press release triggered several media articles, but published DWP figures were interpreted widely differently on The Daily Mail and The Telegraph. The discrepancy was unpicked on the Left Foot Forward blog.
Have you or a loved one, been affected by cuts to disability benefits? Does the Demos map inspire you to collaborate with an investigation in this area? Would you like to ask Help Me Investigate Welfare to investigate any specific issues/facts/figures? Do you know someone who is already doing that and would like to introduce us to them? Are you good with video cameras and would like to get some live interviews with disabled people joining Occupy on Sundays?
You do not need to be a journalist or researcher in order to help; we will give you guidance and tips. Leave a comment, get in touch.