Response to the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement
Our Director of Policy Gemma Hope responds to today's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement by the Government.
“The Government’s decision to cut aid spending is concerning at a time when vulnerable communities need it the most, and we will continue to work closely with the FCDO to ensure these temporary measures do not adversely affect persons with disabilities.Gemma Hope, Leonard Cheshire Director of Policy
Leonard Cheshire Director of Policy Gemma Hope said:
“Disabled people are amongst those hardest hit by this pandemic. More measures to reduce the financial hardship many individuals and families are experiencing are urgently needed.
“We are glad to see the much-needed uplift for Universal Credit is staying put, but legacy benefits such as Employment Support Allowance need to see a similar boost to ensure that disabled people are not further financially disadvantaged. The government must also end the five week wait for Universal Credit.
“The 'Restart' programme is good news, but our 'Locked out of the Labour Market' report shows much more still needs to be done, not least a jobs guarantee for newly unemployed disabled people.
“For many, future employment will necessitate travel. Given the new National Infrastructure Strategy, we also hope the government will address the fact that based on the current rate of improvements, the rail network won’t be accessible until 2070, forty years off target.
“While we are glad social care was not forgotten, the new funding announced today relies on local taxes which will be insufficient to fill the social care funding gap. We also need the government to recognise the vital role care staff play in our society by exempting them from the pay freeze.
“The government’s decision to cut aid spending is concerning at a time when vulnerable communities need it the most, and we will continue to work closely with the FCDO to ensure these temporary measures do not adversely affect persons with disabilities.
“At a time when we are preparing to present ourselves as a ‘Global Britain’ in hosting the G7 and COP26, it is important that we do not lose sight of what we can achieve for persons with disabilities around the world. Our contribution to foreign aid plays a key role in the inclusion of persons with disabilities in overseas development programmes.”
For further information please contact Samuel Buckley via Samuel.Buckley@leonardcheshire.org.