Rallies held over cuts for disabled

Demonstrations are being held across the UK today in protest against welfare cuts for disabled people.

Events will be held across the country as part of the Hardest Hit campaign, organised by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the UK Disabled People's Council (UKDPC).



Demonstrations have been organised for nine English regions and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, arranged by local disabled people's organisations and disability charities.



They will highlight cuts to local services for disabled people, but also follow the Hardest Hit rally, march and lobby in May, held in protest against the Government's Welfare Reforms, which is currently being steered through Parliament.



Demonstrations will be held today in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.



Protesters fear cuts to benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).



A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "This Government is absolutely committed to supporting disabled people and we continue to spend more than £40 billion a year on disabled people and their services.



"However, the current benefit system is not always reaching those who need it most, which is why we will be introducing the new personal independence payment to ensure people get the right levels of support.



"And our reforms are more than just changes to benefits. The Sayce review is looking at how we can use the protected budget for disability employment services more effectively, to get an extra 35,000 disabled people into work."

PA

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