Election 2015: Conservatives set to form the next government – how might £12 billion of welfare cuts fall?

Posted on May 8, 2015

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Results so far suggest that the Conservative Party are set to win the most seats in this general election.

This means that millions of deaf and disabled people wake up this morning with big questions over some of the services many rely on.

Will changes to the Access to Work scheme, which has led to cuts in support at work for deaf BSL users, for example, continue?

Will there be further cuts to Employment and Support Allowance? Will PIP continue to be rolled out in replacement of DLA?

What of the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and many other changes that have impacted on deaf and disabled people’s lives?

More generally, what will happen to the NHS? Will further cuts mean, for example, that more areas offer just one hearing aid to deaf people, instead of two?

And how will a new Conservative government protect the interests of deaf children in areas that the National Deaf Children’s Society blogged about in the run-up to the election, like welfare, education and audiology?

The concerns written about above are based on the work of the coalition government of the last five years. The question this morning is what cuts will the Conservatives make if they govern in sole power?

The Conservatives made little mention of disability in their manifesto. However, before the election, they pledged to make £12 billion of further welfare cuts if they gained power, but refused to say where these cuts might fall.

Guardian article several days ago suggested some of these cuts might come in the form of benefit freezes, stricter ‘fit to work’ tests (and tougher limits on eligibility), and increases to the bedroom tax.

It doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to conclude that £12 billion of further welfare cuts will at least partially impact upon deaf and disabled people’s lives.

As the final results come through, and we find out whether the Conservatives govern alone or not, deaf and disabled people – and the organisations that represent us – will be looking closely to find out what the new government intend to do.

Twitter reaction:

By Charlie Swinbourne, Editor

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The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

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