News the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has seen its staff more than halved is a worrying development. Problems with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) show no sign of going away and the admission by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that none of its disability strategy bodies have met in a year, is cause for concern for The British Polio Fellowship.
A UN report found the UK had not done enough to ensure the convention on disabled people’s rights is reflected in law and policy and latest developments don’t help. Just when the government was staring to address botched PIP applications that saw our members living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) facing unnecessary hardship, this comes along.
The slack is due to be picked up by the Work and Health Unit, but experience suggests such changes do not bode well. While giving the government the benefit of the doubt, we expect disability to be taken seriously, and will not stay silent if fears that our needs will be downgraded by this move are realised.
The British Polio Fellowship continues to support those who had Polio and the 120,000 in the UK who now live with PPS and need help to live independent lives. If you need our support or advice, call us now on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship