Brighton protests government cuts to disability services

By Naomi Wilcock

Disability campaigners will take to the streets of Brighton on October 22 amid growing concerns over the speed and size of proposed government cuts to disability services.


The rally will start at 11:30am on Jubilee Street, Brighton and include a variety of speakers and entertainers, such as journalist Mik Scarlet.

It has been organised by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the UK Disabled People’s Council as part of their Hardest Hit campaign.

The demonstration in Brighton is just one of many, with simultaneous protests against cuts to disability benefits taking place all over the UK, including rallies in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The campaign has already galvanised support after a high profile rally on May 11 of this year, in which around 8000 people protested against disability cuts outside Parliament.

According to the group, one of the main reasons for the protest is the coalition government’s Welfare Reform Bill, which they say will ‘significantly reduce benefits for disabled people’.

Proposed changes to the current disability benefits system under the bill include moving many of those on Incapacity Benefit onto Job Seekers Allowance, cutting Disabled Living Allowance (DLA) expenditure by 20 per cent and renaming it as Personal Independence Payment.

The government have responded to critics of the reforms by saying that the current system is not in-keeping with a 21st century welfare system and that the current DLA system is flawed due to ‘the confusing nature of the benefit and inconsistent decision making.’

The Hardest Hit campaign has asked for as much support as possible through its website: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/ and is using Facebook to help organise the protests.

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