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2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
8 July 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that this Tory-led Government is savagely attacking the public sector both in the funding for services it provides to service users but also to the terms and conditions of the millions of people it employs throughout the country. Massive cuts to funding are also being faced by the third sector which provides services to many vulnerable people in our society. The private sector is also facing serious financial problems. But the bankers are ok!

The list of cuts increases by the day but Conference notes that:

– Local Authority budgets are being massively cut, with no thought for the impact this will have on our communities, employees, service users;

– The NHS is being “reformed” by the Health & Social Care Bill – significant job losses and reorganisations both impacting on our members and service users;

– It is claimed that the Welfare Reform Bill will make the Benefits system less bureaucratic and more transparent but the reforms will subject disabled people to unnecessary medicals when applying for and being reviewed for benefits ie Disability Living Allowance;

– Housing – the cap on housing benefit will affect many disabled people and the Supporting People Programme which has paid for services that enable many disabled people to continue to live independently has been severely affected.

Whilst it is recognised that the Government’s cuts agenda affects everyone, it has a disproportionate affect on disabled people who are some of the poorest in society and in particular disabled women who make up a high proportion of the public service workforce, often on a part time basis, who may be juggling work, caring responsibilities for their dependants as well as managing their own access needs in the workplace and as service users.

Vicious cuts to jobs, services and benefits will have a massive impact on the lives of disabled people who want to be part of mainstream society but the Government through its programme of defragmenting local authorities, the NHS reforms, changes to the benefits system will have such a negative impact on disabled people that they will have to struggle to maintain their existence in mainstream society.

Conference calls on the National Disabled Members’ Committee to liaise with the National Executive Council to ensure that issues affecting disabled members are featured prominently in all aspects of the Unions anti-cuts campaign.