News: Government cuts will force disabled people further into poverty


Rob, who receives DLA and will be affected by the changes.
Rob, who receives DLA and will be affected by the changes.

Proposed Government cuts mean disabled people will not have enough money for everyday essentials like food and transport, according to new evidence revealed today by charity Papworth Trust.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was introduced by the Conservatives in 1992 to help disabled people cope with extra costs they face daily, such as paying for someone to help cook a hot meal if the person can't prepare it on their own.

The Coalition Government plans to replace DLA with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It will reassess everyone who receives DLA and simultaneously reduce the total amount spent on this benefit by 20%[1].

Based on a sample of over 2,200 people from across Britain, Papworth Trust's survey shows that if payments were reduced or stopped under PIP, 86% of disabled people will have to cut back on essentials such as food or being able to get out and about.

Papworth Trust Chief Executive Adrian Bagg says: "Disabled people's daily costs are typically 25% higher than those of non-disabled people[2]. For example, not all public transport is accessible. This means that some people have to use accessible taxis to be able to leave their home, which cost significantly more than non-accessible taxis.

"We know that all parts of society are facing cuts. Our survey shows that for 5% of disabled people these cuts would have little or no effect, but given the Government is seeking a 20% reduction, this will mean real-terms cuts that further disadvantage many disabled people.

"The people who participated in this survey have many concerns about the proposed changes, but they are particularly anxious that the new PIP Assessment will be unfair. We urge the Government to learn the lessons of the Work Capability Assessment and ensure that if they make this change, the assessment will be fair and the implications clearly explained."

You can read a summary of the survey results here:
Papworth Trust DLA survey results - summary (PDF)

You can also read Papworth Trust's full response to the Government's consultation on the draft assessment criteria for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) here:
Response to DWP consultation on draft Personal Independence Payment assessment (PDF)

If you have any questions or comments about the survey, please contact Helen Sampson, Marketing Manager at Papworth Trust, by phone on 07528 361511 or by email at

Case Study: Rob

Rob, 50, is a wheelchair user from Cambridge. Rob receives around £300 per month through his Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

For Rob the additional costs he incurs from being disabled are mainly from transport. With everyday modes of transport an impossibility, he relies on a car. He is unable to drive, but his partner can. The DLA has contributed to the car's costs through the Motability scheme. He says: "The mobility payment is an absolute godsend. I wouldn't be able to afford a car otherwise. I can't get on the local buses round here with my chair, so the car is paramount to me being able to get out of the house and go anywhere."

[2] Leonard Cheshire Report: Disabled people live in poverty 2008.

Relevant Downloads

Papworth Trust DLA survey results - summary

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