10 July 2009
The government is about to announce plans to scrap DLA and AA according to a report in the Guardian.
The newspaper claims that a green paper was due out in June which proposes to convert DLA and AA into means tested ‘social care grants’ which would be spent by social services. However, the incoming DWP minister Yvette Cooper wanted some breathing space before launching the controversial new proposal.
Under the plans, DLA and AA would be scrapped, with the money saved being handed over to local authorities to administer as discretionary grants to provide care for the sick and disabled. The grants would be means-tested and the local authority would decide what they could be spent on. This would be likely to be for services such as a personal assistant to help with getting out of bed, washing and dressing.
The government has claimed that any changes to DLA and AA will not affect current claimants. However, such claims will be treated with enormous scepticism by claimants who have witnessed the spin and misrepresentation which surrounded the introduction of employment and support allowance. For example, the DWP said that ESA would be paid at the same rate as incapacity benefit, but in reality it is paid at a lower rate. They also claimed that around 10% of claimants would be placed in the higher paying support group, but the real number seems likely to be less than half of that.
Benefits and Work will keep readers informed as more information becomes available.
You can read the full Guardian report here.