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Taxing until the pips squeek

30 March 2015

Disability Rights UK comments on the proposal to tax DLA/PIP

We are really concerned about the BBC’s report that officials have developed options for politicians to make spending cuts that would again unfairly hit disabled people and carers. These include the proposal to tax Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment, after the election.

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32105829

DLA/PIP is not an out-of-work benefit; but it could become one, because if it is taxed it will certainly act as an incentive not to work

It makes no sense to tax DLA/PIP since the purpose of the benefit is to help cover the extra costs of disability – things like getting around, and getting support - and so create more of a level playing field between disabled people and other citizens.

It would be like taxing child benefit, with the result that parents could no longer afford childcare – thereby defeating the whole point of the benefit. Similarly, if you can’t afford to get around, then you can’t get to work or be independent in your life.

Furthermore, many disabled people already pay most, if not all, of their DLA/PIP over to local authorities if they get social care support – what we might call the ‘care tax’.  In effect what this proposal would do would be to tax a tax.

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), of which Disability Rights UK is a member, want the Government to recognise the extra costs disabled people are forced to pay and take steps to tackle this financial disadvantage in the longer term, as well as ensuring appropriate support for disabled people to work, and security for those who cannot. Read th DBC manifesto