THE BLOG
24/06/2015 10:41 BST | Updated 24/06/2016 06:59 BST

The Disabled Will Pay for Cameron's Cuts

On 30 June the Independent Living Fund will be abolished, pulling the rug from under the 18,000 people with particularly high needs who rely on it to remain in their own homes. This cruel cut will not only make it even more difficult for disabled people to participate in their communities and go to work, but could even force some into residential homes. Today the Green Party's Work and Pensions spokesperson Jonathan Bartley joins Disabled People Against Cuts to lobby parliament in a last-ditch attempt to save this vital fund. Perhaps meeting those who depend on this support face to face might persuade MPs to change their minds. But this is just one telling example of the government's attitude towards disabled people.

We don't know exactly where the government's spending axe is going to fall in July's budget but one thing already seems certain - the people that will suffer the most will be those least able to afford it.

On this, David Cameron has history.

For the last five years he has been Prime Minister of a government that has consistently attacked the disabled.

From the bedroom tax to Universal Credit, disabled people are being made to pay for the fraud and greed of the bankers.

On 30 June the Independent Living Fund will be abolished, pulling the rug from under the 18,000 people with particularly high needs who rely on it to remain in their own homes.

This cruel cut will not only make it even more difficult for disabled people to participate in their communities and go to work, but could even force some into residential homes.

Today the Green Party's Work and Pensions spokesperson Jonathan Bartley joins Disabled People Against Cuts to lobby parliament in a last-ditch attempt to save this vital fund. Perhaps meeting those who depend on this support face to face might persuade MPs to change their minds.

But this is just one telling example of the government's attitude towards disabled people.

On Monday we heard the story of Nick Gaskin from Leicestershire. Nick has primary progressive multiple sclerosis and cannot walk, talk or feed himself, yet he was sent a letter ordering him to attend an interview at a job centre. If he didn't attend the meeting, where he would be expected to discuss the possibility of going into paid work or training, he would lose his benefits.

The dignity of people like Nick - and the stress levels of their carers and families - should not be at the mercy of any government's ideology. Disabled people should be able to rely on a level of respect and compassion that prevents politicians from even contemplating taking away the funding that allows them to live fulfilling lives.

We should be giving them the benefits they need gladly, not grudgingly, as befits a humane, caring society.

The fact is that our society and its structures, such as public transport and access to facilities, fail to adequately meet the needs of disabled people. The support they receive from the government is a part recompense for this.

Only by investing in fulfilling the basic needs of disabled people, and in helping them to overcome the challenges they face every day, can we show that we value and acknowledge the contribution disabled people have to make.

The Green Party wants to build a society that works for the common good, where inequality is minimal and everyone has the opportunity to participate in their communities. We believe that in the world's sixth-richest country, no one should live in poverty.

Rather than cutting welfare, this government should be investing in areas like public transport and home insulation to make life easier for the disabled, create jobs and move our economy towards a more sustainable path.

The so-called "need" to implement huge spending cuts is nothing more than rhetoric. We must demand that our government puts the health and wellbeing of the people they represent first.