Up and down the country the most vulnerable are taking the brunt of the cuts. People with disabilities and their carers are facing a predicted £9bn welfare cut and George Osborne has recently announced a further £10bn to be cut from welfare spending.
These financial blows have been accompanied by a government-led campaign of demonization. Quarterly releases of statistics of those refused employment support allowance and media demonization of those on benefits as scroungers and cheats have led to an increase in hate crimes against the vulnerable and those with disabilities.  This is despite the actual level of fraud being as low as 0.6%. The results of this campaign can be seen both in the lack of public outcry in the face of unconscionable policy reform and in the rise of hate crimes against those with disabilities.
The local government is following this national trend in cutting care for around 200 residents who have been categorised as having “moderate” needs. Fair Access to Care services Guidance established the four- band eligibility framework in 2003. The four bands are: critical, substantial, moderate and low.
Moderate – when
- there is, or will be, an inability to carry out several personal care or domestic routines; and/or
- involvement in several aspects of work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
- several social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
- several family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.
The difference with the “low” designation is simply that the word ‘several’ is replaced by ‘one or two’.
The needs described above are important and withdrawal of support will have a substantial impact on the lives on individuals in our community. For those unable to afford or arrange support themselves how are they to carry out ‘personal care or domestic routines’? Is it right that they should be unable to participate in work or education? What about the personal relationships and general participation in the community?
In a 2008 report the Commission for Social Care Inspection found that councils that restricted care from moderate to substantial resulted in negligible savings.The consequences of making these cuts will be more than negligible both to the individuals involved and to our community.
If you agree with us and want to be part of the campaign against these changes please go to http://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=164 to sign.
 In 2005 fraudulently claimed was found to be only 0.6% of benefit expenditure. DWP: Progress in tackling benefit fraud, National Audit Office 2008
 this was later superseded but without change in eligibility criteria by Prioritising need in the context of Putting People First: A whole system approach to eligibility for social care Guidance on Eligibility Criteria for Adult Social Care, England 2010.