Research has recently come to light revealing that money intended to support vulnerable disabled people is instead being spent on drug addicts. The Government is currently awarding parts of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to nearly 19,000 people with drugs and alcohol addictions. The mobility section of the DLA is intended to help those who struggle to walk, but as the system is currently paper based, huge numbers of people are claiming £50 pound a week. I am concerned that this does not represent a good use of public money.
The study shown that in addition to the 19,000 addicts, 30,000 recipients receive the benefit due to asthma and an incredible 120,000 thanks to unspecified back pain. This adds up to a collective cost of nearly £435 million pounds a year, enough to dual the A11 3 times over! The total cost of DLA is currently over £12billion; as much as the entire budget of the Department of Transport.
The Government is planning to introduce a new system based on face to face assessments to ensure that only legitimate claimants are able to access this benefit. This is a positive step. Undoubtedly many of the people in these figures are legitimate claimants and the new system will continue to support them, whilst weeding out those who are seeking to take away from the support offered to the vulnerable in our society.