Cuts for disabled shelved for a year

L to R Mayfield House managers.'Richard Heywood, Operations Manager of Mayfield Trust, Lynda Gibson Manager Gibraltar Road nursing home and Celia Mason acting manager Mayfield House
L to R Mayfield House managers.'Richard Heywood, Operations Manager of Mayfield Trust, Lynda Gibson Manager Gibraltar Road nursing home and Celia Mason acting manager Mayfield House

CAMPAIGNERS can breathe a double sigh of relief after good news reached the ears of a Halifax charity.

Controversial cuts that would have drastically reduced the benefits available to disabled adults in Calderdale have been shelved for a year in a Government U-turn.

Planned changes to the disability living allowance –which 4,600 people in Calderdale claim – will now be subject to a Government review and not come into force before 2013.

Campaigners from the Mayfield Trust said their clients would have been left isolated if the cuts had gone ahead.

Many of them received the extra mobility element of up to £48.95 to pay for travel – both leisure and to hospital appointments.

Under the Welfare Reform bill, that money would be taken away from people living in residential care homes.

Staff at the Mayfield Trust who look after adults with learning difficulties across Halifax, said they would be “devastating”.

Operations manager Richard Heywood said the charity welcomed the delay but was still concerned.

“Many of the people that will be affected are unable to speak or stand up for themselves so it is of great credit to all the disability groups and other campaigners throughout the country that have made the government rethink their strategy.

“It is vital that people with learning disabilities do not miss out on the support they need to carry out normal everyday activities,” he said.

The charity was also relieved to hear from Calderdale Council their income will remain the same this year.

But there are still worries.

Despite the cost of living rising, there has been no increase for two years. If that continues, they will find themselves struggling to pay for the vital needs of their residents.

“If this situation also applies to future years it will become increasingly hard for us to provide the level of service needed,” said Richard.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan had called the planned cuts “outrageous” and “appalling”.

l What do you think? Should the Disability Living Allowance be maintained? E-mail us yoursay@halifax courier.co.uk