Caerphilly MP Wayne David’s blog: December 5
Government does U-turn on Disability Living Allowance
Back in March, I wrote that I had been approached by the parents of Jordan Owen of Tir-y-Berth. Jordan is blind and has cerebral palsy. At the moment, Jordan attends the excellent Trinity Fields Special School and the family are in receipt of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). When Jordan leaves the School his needs would be best served in a special residential home, probably in England. As things stand Jordan’s family would continue to receive the mobility component of DLA.
The problem which the Owens faced, however, was that the Conservative-led Government have been actively considering cutting this mobility element of DLA for people in residential care homes. This would have meant that the family could only visit Jordan at huge personal expense to themselves and that Jordan would not have the use of a specially adapted vehicle for him to be able to be taken out from the care home by his family.
The Owen family contacted me, and Jeff Cuthbert, our Assembly Member, and I visited Jordan and joined in his 18th birthday celebrations. With the assistance of the charity Sense, I and a number of other MPs in Westminster and beyond campaigned against the Government’s proposal. Last week the Government announced a U-turn. The Minister for Disabilities announced that the threatened cut would not now take place.
Naturally, the Owen family were really delighted. Jordan can now go to an appropriate residential home when he finishes in Trinity Fields and his family will be able to visit him and take him on trips on a regular basis.
Leaving aside how on earth the Government could have even thought of making such a heartless cut, the announcement this week is a victory for people who stand up and fight against unfairness. Nobody doubts that in these difficult times there have to be some public expenditure savings, but the cuts should not fall on those who are most dependent on public services and the welfare state.
All too often we hear people say “what’s the point of saying anything?”, “what’s the point of arguing against things?” Well, here is a clear example of how it is possible to argue successfully against an unfair proposal. ‘Campaigning’ does work and here is proof.
Labour MP for Caerphilly