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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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SNP Welcome UK Government U-Turn On Mobility Cuts

Thursday, 1 December 2011

SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP has welcomed news today (Thursday) that the UK Government has abandoned plans to remove the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people in residential care.

The UK Government had planned to scrap the payments to those living in residential care but today admitted that there was insufficient evidence to support their arguments that there was a funding overlap and that claimants were getting money from two sources for the same purpose.

Parliamentary questions by Dr Whiteford – who secured cross-party support for a motion calling for the government to reverse the cut - revealed that the cut would have impacted on approximately 60,000 people living in residential care, including an estimated 8,000 users of the Motability Car Scheme.

Dr Whiteford said:

“Threatening to remove the mobility component for people in residential care was one of the most callous cuts the Tories proposed, and this u-turn is a great victory for campaigners and common sense.

“We are talking about a lifeline payment which gives people, including children at residential special schools, some independence.

“Removing this allowance would effectively have meant that some people could no longer get out and about and would have been confined to their residential care home.

“The fact remains that the Tories have targeted the most vulnerable in society with their cuts, and I hope we will be able to force further u-turns by UK Ministers – for example, on the planned cuts to the availability of crisis loans.”

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