So who took a 46% cut in their income in yesterday's Budget? Was it the wealthy? Nope. Politicians perhaps? Nope. Or Bankers. Wrong again. It was young people with disabilities, who are no longer entitled to the full rate of disability living allowance (DLA) until they are 25. And they get nothing until they are 18, but their parents will be entitled to claim the much lower domiciliary care allowance for a further 2 years. This will affect Smiley, who will be 16 in 2012. I was expecting that she would be entitled to DLA from next October.
For many households this cut will come as a bitter blow, but all of us with children like Smiley feel insulted that Ministers understand so little about the problems of our children. Apparently at least one Minister believes that every young person with a disability is employable. The DLA is being reduced to the same level as job-seekers allowance, now set low as this will apparently encourage young people to to take up training and employment. Are there actually training courses for teenagers like my daughter, that will achieve what 13 years of intensive schooling has failed to do? Equip her with the skills to go out and get a job? My daughter who cannot talk, walk, is only partially toilet trained and whose main ability is making people happy?
And here is Smiley tonight playing with a new balloon...Minister, again I'm asking you what job you would suggest for my daughter?