Cuts to incapacity benefits will affect the most vulnerable, reports Josie Copson.
In the UK, 17 per cent of the population are disabled, a figure greater than that of ethnic minorities. They are an important part of society, who need to be supported with funding and care provided by the government. It is for this reason that the cuts to disability benefits have been a shock to the public.
However, when looking more closely at the finer details, this system seems to be in need of an in depth review, as 71 per cent of claims do not go through the proper checks and paperwork.
A famous example was the ‘Wagner scandal’ which emerged during the 2010 series of The X Factor. The singer was believed to be receiving £91.40 a week in incapacity benefits and had a further eligibility for housing benefits. His high-energy performances to a national audience might have suggested otherwise.
Although this is a rare example of how the disability benefits system may have been misused, many people rely on them as a major source of income. Some have felt so strongly about the situation they have staged a protest. A survey by Disability Alliance revealed 9% of respondents claimed that losing their disability benefits “may make life not worth living.”
This month disability benefits have been a major talking point within the House of Commons, which has resulted in the 3.2 million people claiming disability benefits dropping dramatically by 333,000 no longer being eligible.
It is clear that this is a very sensitive subject for many and can affect many people’s lives greatly. Hopefully recent media coverage will be able to gain more recognition and allow for more informed decisions about what needs to happen.