Charity raises concerns over welfare reform

13:09 11 September 2012

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, left, with Devon in Sight director of services Martin Pallett, resource centre manager Colin Hoskins and volunteer Janice Cackett.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, left, with Devon in Sight director of services Martin Pallett, resource centre manager Colin Hoskins and volunteer Janice Cackett.

Archant

A Topsham charity is calling on the Government to remember the needs of visually impaired people during its welfare reforms.

Devon in Sight says its service users are concerned that government plans to replace disability living allowance (DLA) with a new personal independence payment may mean that the challenges they face are not taken into account.

The charity has therefore been lobbying local MPs and the Government to try and make sure that their needs will not be forgotten.

The charity’s director of services Martin Pallett said: “We’re very concerned and worried that visually impaired people may lose out, so we have been trying to seek reassurances from the Government and been lobbying MPs and others to express our concerns about the changes.

“We want the changes to genuinely reflect the needs and issues that visually impaired people face, because we fear the new personal independence payment that’s being designed won’t reflect the issues visually impaired people face every day.”

The charity raised its concerns during a visit by Exeter MP and former Labour health minister Ben Bradshaw.

He said: “In Devon we have a growing number of elderly people who are living longer, which is great, but with that comes issues around visual impairment and living with it, and Devon in Sight seems to be doing a great job helping these people.

“I’m concerned to hear [they] are worried about the changes to DLA, and it’s something I have taken up in Parliament and will continue to do so, because it doesn’t seem right that people who have got genuine needs, because they are visually impaired or even blind, should lose support that helps them lead independent and active lives.”

In response to the charity’s concerns, East Devon Conservative MP Hugo Swire said that its users need not be concerned about the changes. He said: “As a vice president of the West of England School [for visually impaired pupils] I am acute to the needs of that sector of the community.

“The changes to DLA should not affect those genuinely in need. The changes are designed to better target help where it is genuinely needed as there is evidence of abuse which is neither fair to those in genuine need nor to the hard pressed tax payer.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

12:30

Birthday celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Exmouth branch of The Royal British Legion were held alongside the club’s annual general meeting.

Read more
10:00

An account manager who grew up in Exmouth is to run her first marathon in memory of her mum.

Read more
06:30

Workshops in comedy, stand-up, performance, acting, painting, poetry and craft are some of the events taking place as part of the 2017 Exmouth Art Trail.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:27

The death of a woman who fell from her horse at Bicton Arena was ‘a most unfortunate’ accident, an inquest has heard.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:05

Exmouth Hospital boasts a state-of-the-art prostate cancer diagnostic service thanks to the tireless fundraising of pensioner Geoff.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:51

Katie Williams takes first place in our iwitness24 photo competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

District bosses say they will not begin building on Exmouth seafront if an application is approved, despite saying it would permit them to ‘take forward development’.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Controversial plans to open a Tesco Express store in Budleigh Salterton have been revived, the supermarket giant has revealed.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:52

Budleigh Salterton residents are being urged to take part in an annual golf event to raise funds for a charitable group in the town.

Read more
Sunday, February 19, 2017

An Exmouth superstore has shown its support for the town’s RNLI volunteers with a £500 donation.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications