By Debbie le Quesne

More worries over the Autumn Statement

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It is true that the recent Autumn Statement is proving as big a bombshell as expected and the impact on the care sector will be felt soon I’m sure.

With less money available, who will fund the provision? And my abiding question is: Will the welfare reforms be sustainable?

Columns have already been written and pressure groups are agitated about the possible long-term effects.

Many of our care providers deal with the disabled, but some of their charges suffer conditions which are not always visible. Illnesses like bi-polar disorder are unpredictable and many people who have it cannot plan for their future precisely because of that.

On a good day, would someone who suffers such a condition be deemed fit for work?

How many employers are going to tolerate someone who suffers from a hidden disability or a mental illness? Do the Atos team – the company individuals doing the reassessments – have good clinical understanding?

I admit to disliking a lout, work-shy culture, but not all who don’t work could and it’s not their fault.

I recently picked up on a comment from a Labour councilor for Hulme in Manchester.

Amina Lone was quoted: “These cuts are punishing those who have often done nothing wrong but have had the misfortune to be born with a disability that they could not control. Maybe that is Cameron’s next policy initiative: Make sure you get your genes right otherwise you are going to be stuffed when you get out in to the big bad world.“

The planned shift from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independent Payments (PIPs) will be worth keeping under close scrutiny.

Each share many similarities, for instance the inclusion of a daily living allowance and mobility component that are essential to ensure that individuals can maintain control over their own lives by taking responsibility through personal choice.

But organisations such as Disability Rights UK believe that the main driver is to cut allowance and reduce public expenditure.

Will this cut care too? Undoubtedly, with both recipients and providers losing out.

It’s estimated by the Government that some 300,000 disabled will have their benefits cut, though the move has been delayed for two years.

The domino effect on caring of austerity Britain already seems at a critical level, but I’m increasingly persuaded that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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