'Back to dark ages' fear over disabled

Government cuts to funds that help disabled people get around will take those hit "back to the dark ages", charities said yesterday.

Plans to axe the mobility part of the Disability Living

Allowance (DLA) for care home residents were announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in the autumn.

But the removal of the money is now under fire from a group of 27 organisations representing disabled people, who claim it is a myth that the benefit represents an overlap of public funds.

The Department for Work and Pensions said there may be scenarios where a resident is receiving the benefit to pay for taxis but their care home or local authority is at the same time providing them with transport. But the disability groups argue the cuts will hit about 80,000 people and yesterday submitted a report entitled Don't Limit Mobility to MPs and urged them to reconsider.

The document cites evidence from service providers and care home residents who will be affected by the change. Its authors say that none of the national service providers that were surveyed for the report currently receive a contribution from local authorities towards personal mobility costs.

Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, urged the Government to reconsider the pan to remove the mobility component of DLA.

The organisations that submitted the report include Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap, Mind and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.