Social Security: Disabled benefits `must be joined up'

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Indy Politics
THE GOVERNMENT should introduce a holistic disability policy to fight the social exclusion of the most vulnerable in the community, according to a report published today.

Ministers should take "real" steps to improve disabled people's lives, the study by the Fabian Society will argue. Pooled departmental budgets and a "joined-up" policy-making process, including the establishment of a disability select committee, would ensure an end to their disadvantages in society.

Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Social Security, is already under pressure after introducing legislation which would cut some benefits. The Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill, which is passing through the Lords, is likely to be defeated unless amendments to reverse the cuts are introduced.

A coalition of Labour, Conservative and crossbench peers is planning to time its crucial voting on the legislation to coincide with the Labour Party conference, which will maximise embarrassment for the Government. They will be helped by a large number of hereditary peers.