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2010 National LGBT Conference
4 October 2010

Conference believes that the Government’s proposed reforms of the benefits system will have a disproportionate effect on disabled people pushing them further into poverty and notes that many disabled workers are amongst the lowest paid members of the workforce and may rely on benefits to supplement their income and ensure that they have a decent weekly living income.

Conference believes it is disgraceful that the cuts and changes to housing benefit may result in disabled people being forced to give up their homes and move into cheaper, smaller and poor quality accommodation which may be owned or managed by unscrupulous landlords and does not believe that the allowance for an additional room for a carer will be applied fairly and consistently.

Conference is appalled that the Government intends to introduce medical assessments for Disability Living Allowance claimants and renewals, further demonising Disabled people. Many disabled people rely on Disability Living Allowance to enable them to continue to work and use the additional income to help with the cost of getting to and from work and equipment they may need for work.

Conference notes that application process for Disability Living Allowance and the threshold for entitlement is already extremely difficult to satisfy without the additional burden of undergoing a medical assessment.

Conference condemns the fact that disabled people and other low paid workers who need to claim benefits are being penalised and made to pay for a deficit caused predominantly by the irresponsibility of bankers and financial institutions.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee, working with all relevant structures of the union, to:

1. Support campaigns against cuts to the benefits system that affect disabled members and other low paid workers that are consistent with UNISON’s policies;

2. Raise awareness of the attacks on benefits and the disproportionate effect such cuts and proposals will have on low paid sectors of the LGBT self organised group, in particular disabled members.