A new night has fallen, has it not?
In amongst all the crazy and harmful cuts yesterday, all of which will in their different ways erode the little sinews and fibres that make Britain a relatively civilised and decent place to live in, one or two stuck out as the products either of total ignorance about the circumstances of the victims of the cuts, or less charitably as acts of simple political and moral evil.
I'm particularly thinking of the savings achieved by taking money from the disabled (as described by the Guardian):
- "Ending the mobility component of the disability living allowance (DLA) from residents in care home from October 2012. This will save £135m by 2014-15 and will affect 58,000 people claiming the DLA who receive an average of £33.40 a week."
This is just nicking money off the helpless. People in a care home are by definition probably unable to work. DLA isn't a means-tested benefit (you can get it while working), it is designed to help cover the additional costs of transport and care implicit in being disabled, the amount you get varies according to your degree of disability.
So this average £33.40 which is specifically a mobility component helps people in care homes get out in a taxi every now and again (maybe once or twice a week) to see the world outside their care home. And now they haven't got it. These are people who by definition don't have a loud voice in society to protest.
And we in the 6th richest country in the world think that "all being in it together" means getting the weakest in society to give up the tiny amount of independence the state was previously funding for them, for a paltry £135m saving.
In September I wrote about the possible cuts to disability benefits (http://lukeakehurst.blogspot.com/2010/09/sickest-person-is-one-at-no11.html) and comments were put on the post saying:
"It's disingenuous to suggest people with MS or other serious illnesses are being targeted. And it would be a disgrace if they were."
Well they are. And it is a disgrace.