THIS Government promised to protect the most vulnerable when making cuts, but current proposals in the Welfare Reform Bill will leave disabled people the Hardest Hit.
Last Friday, I and a number of other blind and partially-sighted people lobbied Sir Alan Beith MP as we were concerned that despite Lib Dem policy being against time-limiting contributory Employment Support Allowance (cESA), which helps someone who has just lost their sight before they can find a job, that the coalition may still force through in Parliament changes would take cESA away from people after only 12 months.
We were heartened that so many constituents of Sir Alan Beith MP in Lynemouth and Widdrington who we spoke to supported our cause, as did over a thousand disabled people themselves with their family, friends and supporters on the North East region’s Hardest Hit march in October.
I am hoping you will support the RNIB and the Hardest Hit campaign, calling on the Government to keep its promise and improve the Welfare Reform Bill to make sure disabled people do not become the easiest targets of the cuts agenda.
Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families already face challenges on a day-to-day basis, including barriers to getting into work and education and meeting the extra costs of living with a disability. Further cuts to the support disabled people depend on risks pushing us into poverty, debt and isolation.
We can all take action to defend disabled people’s rights at rnib.org.uk/campaign or write to Sir Alan Beith MP to say you, like me, wish for him to defend the Hardest Hit and side with disabled people when the Welfare Reform Bill returns to be voted on in the House of Commons.
PETE OSBORNE, RNIB