Fears over welfare reform

Disabled people across the Meridian region are fearful for the future as a result of the Government's planned changes to benefits.

Latest ITV News reports

Time for a change? The welfare debate

All this week we've been looking at the Government's welfare reforms. Here our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford looks at plans to make work pay - to encourage people off benefits.

A cap on the amount any family can claim is being introduced - with £26,000 the limit.

Those with high rents and lots of children will be most affected and it's already prompting one mother of ten from Kent, Moira Pearce, to look for a job.

Christine also speaks to Bernard Harris of Southampton University and Jackie Steward of the Disability Advice & Information Network.

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Concerns disability benefits shakeup could end independence for some

by Christine Alsford

Many disabled people fear that planned changes to the welfare system will leave many of them struggling to live independently. Under the reforms, every disabled person of working age is going to be reassessed - and one in five will not qualify for help in the future.

However, the Government says that we need to tackle the welfare budget - and reduce a bill that, for some disability benefits, has grown by more than a third in a decade.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

The interviewees are: Michael Grimmett, who receives disability benefits; Gail Loynes, a disability advisor; the Paralympic athlete Sophie Christiansen; and Simon Skuse, a stroke survivor.

The report is followed by a studio discussion about the topic.

Disabled feel targeted by benefit changes

Government plans to reform benefits to save £2bn have left disabled people across the Meridian region feeling that they are being unfairly targeted.

People who receive disability living allowance say changes to the benefit will stop them living independent lives.

The Government has said it wants to cut the number of people receiving the benefit by 20 per cent.