Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws

January 10, 2011

Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned.

Ministers want to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new Personal Independence Payment.

The government says the changes are designed to streamline the system as well as make cuts of 20%.

Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.

The change would mean new assessment tests for claimants who would also need to have had a condition for six months.

‘Equal playing field’

Mr Charles said: “The human rights act says individuals have a right to family life, have a right to a quality of life, the whole purpose of the DLA is to put them on an equal playing field with everyone else.

“Any proposal that fails to appreciate those fundamental rights could find it is an infringement of the law.

“My view is even if its not against the letter of the law, it is against the spirit of the law.”

More information at the BBC News.



6 Responses to “Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws”

  1. kevin blumer Says:

    i think i could put it a better way he wants 20% of people to lose there money and there will be no help for them anymore why doesnt the goverment get out there and help people instaed they just love the word bigger society

  2. D Maher Says:

    It’s great to know that there is a theoretical problem with the governments plans, but what happens to people who can’t hire lawyers to sue people? There are no law centres in my area at all and the ‘Mickey Mouse’ community law service is something to avoid. Is there any sort of collective campaign against this single issue?
    D Maher

  3. Robert Says:

    Shelter has good lawyers, the CAB has it own law advice center DIAL also has advisor in law, no need to pay for a service or lawyers but lets put it another way if it cost two thousand quid to save your benefits I will beg steal or borrow to fight these people.

  4. Linda Burnip Says:

    Benefits and Work are supposed to be very good, although I haven’t used them myself. I think it costs about £18 a year to sign up as a member but they seem to help people win cases.

  5. D Maher Says:

    In reply to Robert:-

    1) I know about Shelter’s lawyers from an eviction that myself and my carer fought. They were worth it, but not free. It costed us a £130 which is obviously better than the £2000 you mention but they only deal with housing issues.

    2) The CAB does not have a law service in my area.

    3) I will try contacting DIAL again, maybe their adviser in law is more helpful than other parts of their service.

    4) I won’t borrow or steal money and my priority is a roof over my head so I may be contacting Shelter’s law service again just about that in 3 more years, when the lease for where I am living will come up again and another eviction may be attempted. I can’t do any fighting if I no base to do a fight from.

    D Maher

  6. D Maher Says:

    In reply to Linda

    Thank you for your information. I will contact ‘Benefits and Work’. Also, you said on one article that ‘If anyone wants me to post a summary of info on all changes and /or HB LHA changes I can’, could you include potential changes to long-term IB and DLA?

    Could you e-mail me it if you have time?

    Thanks again

    D Maher

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