‘Paralympics welfare cuts propaganda’
Disabled activists say the government is using the games and the Paralympians’ achievements to instill the idea that the disabled people do not need the welfare support and can stand on their own.
Scottish campaigners said the government’s welfare cuts plan that will come into force next year will cut off benefits for one in three disabled people equal to some 72,000 claimants only in Scotland.
“These games are being used as propaganda to justify unconscionable cuts to disabled people’s benefits,” a disability rights campaigner John McArdle said.
According to umbrella group Inclusion Scotland, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show the welfare cuts will leave 60,000 disabled people stripped of their £20.55 to £131 weekly disability allowance for help at home while another 12,000 will lost their mobility help benefits.
The government is under fire for accepting French company Atos as a Paralympics sponsor simultaneously with handing the firm the contract for assessing which of the disability benefits claimants are not entitled to the allowance.
The Disabled People Against Cuts campaign group held a five-day protest last week against Atos’s Paralympics sponsorship.
The group said last week that Atos is responsible for brutal slashing of disability benefits for 11,000 people it is commissioned by the government to test, forcing dozens of people to suicide and leading hundreds of other disabled patients in England to their deaths after they had their benefits cut.
The British government is leading a review of benefits in an attempt to slash £18 billion off the welfare budget as part of the sweeping spending cuts to curb debts.