DLA for what?

Since the UK Government announced it proposed reforms of Disability Living Allowance, there has been 1000s of claims of what it does and does not do. Some charities would have you believe it is a gift from god and the divine right of anyone who wants it without question.

For me, the reform simply an exercise of reorganising the deck chairs on the Titanic as they do not really challenge the current issues. And it is important to understand some facts about the benefit.

Firstly, the maximum amount of benefit per year is £6500, reserved for the most ‘severely impaired’. This amount can certainly not delivery the level of independence and social inclusion by meeting the barrier costs in the way people claim. It could be argued that rather it is an insult.

Secondly, the benefit was form in 1990, probably with the same resistance as now, as a modernisation of a welfare system which has still not changed since 1948. It brought in a era where disabled people had no rights to access society and were naturally excluded from society. It was an apology for a system which failed them as citizens and simply made the housebound comfortable. Cost of living was buying the bean bag you used to watch TV all day.

Society as however changed big time and after a lot of campaigning, disabled people actually won the inclusion they fought for. The problem is while they claimed that what they wanted when they had nothing else to do, it is not really they wanted. The way they cope is by demanding the same thing on the menu, rights, and ignoring a mountain of plates piling up on their table.

I was brought up as a child to want rights and the responsibility that went with them. I have been recently realising that I am in a bit of a minority about the later. Being in a minority has never bothered me as I trust what I believe. And it is clear to me, disabled people must grow up slightly and take responsibility for the opportunities provided to them.

I believe everyone should be properly supported to become rounded human beings and active citizens who are enabled and empowered to enjoy their rights and take up their responsibilities. I do not believe DLA as an entitlement helps the inclusion of disabled people as it feeds dependency and exclusion as it focuses people on fighting for scraps as opposed to an enriched quality of life.

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