U-turn over care home benefit payments welcomed by campaign groups

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Campaigners last night hailed a Government U-turn over the scrapping of benefit payments for disabled people living in residential care homes.

Ministers will confirm today that the mobility element of disability living allowance will be spared the welfare reform axe.

As many as 80,000 people benefit from the £51-a-week allowance but it was targeted as part of efforts to slash billions from the welfare bill.

Critics had warned that removing the payments would have robbed some of the most vulnerable people of their independence.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, welcomed the move but warned other planned cuts risked pushing disabled people and their families “over the edge”.

“Disabled people who live in care homes tell us that this support is an absolute lifeline, giving them the chance to leave their home, allowing them to visit friends and family or even attend doctor’s appointments,” he said.

“News that the Government is re-thinking its plans to scrap this payment will come as a huge relief.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said last night: “We have always been clear that we will not make any changes that stop disabled people in care homes from getting out and about.”