National deafblind charity Sense today (08 July) responded to the Budget.

Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy at Sense, said:

“We are pleased that the government has listened to the concerns of disabled people and announced that disability benefits are not going to be taxed and will rise in line with inflation. However, the news that the Government is planning to cut the work-related activity group (WRAG) category of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is yet another financial blow for disabled people. Many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Higher rates of unemployment among disabled people are not caused by the additional £30 they get from being on the Work Related Activity Group. We know that disabled people in this group are fighting hard to get into the workplace but continue to face huge barriers, including negative attitudes from employers, failure to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace, reduced support from Access to Work and inaccessible transport.

“The needs of deafblind people we support are often complex. Most deafblind people need support with communication, accessing information and mobility. Instead of providing an incentive to move into work, cutting this benefit will have a hugely negative impact on disabled people who are already struggling to get by.”