Blind and partially sighted people are set to lose £30 a week in what has been described as a ‘shameful attack’ by Peter Hain MP. Changes to the benefit system due to start in April will mean that blind and partially sighted people will no longer automatically be eligible for benefits and will miss out on support to find work.
As Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Mr Hain ensured that blind and partially sighted people received the higher rate of disability living allowance for the first time.
Mr Hain said, “This is another attack on people with disabilities. The changes will make it much harder to qualify and ignores the difficulties blind people face as they search for work.”
Under the new system, which is expected to save the Government £1billion over the next five years, claimants will need to score fifteen points. The full fifteen points will be awarded if the blind person is unable to navigate around familiar surroundings without being accompanied by another person due to sensory impairment. RNIB have argued that someone with a guide dog will be able to navigate around familiar surrounding so will not be awarded the points.