Yesterday’s budget was another brutal blow to for disabled people. And for those disabled people who are also public sector workers – including many UNISON members – it was a blow at least twice over.
The government’s decision to slash Personal Independence Payments (PIP) whilst giving a tax cut to those earning comfortably more than the average UK salary shows a warped sense of priorities. Those who will lose out will suffer a great deal, struggling to lead independent lives without the support that PIP provides.
Be in no doubt that disabled people have been hit – wilfully and painfully – by this budget. Hundreds of thousands are going to be hit to the tune of thousands of pounds each.
This is a cruel and targeted cut.
Unsurprisingly, the government already facing a great deal of resistance to these changes – including from within their own party. Many of you may have already heard about Graeme Ellis, who was (until yesterday) the webmaster of the Conservative Disability Group. Colin’s response to the attack on PIP and disabled people was straight and to the point.
He took down the Conservative Disability Group website.
What you may not know is that Graeme is a long standing UNISON member and activist. He’s a member of our disabled members forum and our homecare forum, as well as being active in his service group.
The public stand he has taken won’t have been done lightly. Nor, I imagine, will it have been an easy decision for him to make. But it was a decision that was brave and right. As he told the Mirror today:
“I’m appalled by what’s happened and wanted to make a very public statement. I’ve been a Conservative voter since I could vote. But as a lifelong Conservative I could no longer agree with what the government’s doing.”
When even those who have been lifelong Tories are turning their back on this government over callous decisions such as this one, it is surely time for them to rethink their attack on disabled people – and reverse this cruel cut.