Welfare Reform Bill

Memorandum submitted by Joan Lewis (WR 06)

I wish to express most strongly, my disappointment and anger over the proposal to remove mobility allowance from residents of care homes. It is perhaps the worst example of the present government's strategy in which the most vulnerable members of our society are penalised for the excesses and mistakes of others.

The hardships and privations that will be experienced by care home residents  are already well chronicled, so I should like to make a further point.

If the more disadvantaged members of our society lose their individual freedom to go out and about, then all of us will suffer. A diverse society is a healthy one. We all  learn from one another. As a retired primary school headteacher, I encountered children  who experienced a variety of physical and /or mental disabilities, and strove to ensure that all  my pupils, regardless of their disabilities, were able to  join in the everyday life of the school. Everyone benefited from this. I myself was frequently humbled and stimulated by the children that I encountered. It would be such a cruel fate for some of these ex pupils, if our society were to reject them as adults, restricting their freedom and rights as individuals to participate in a wider society, in order to make paltry savings.

I believe that this proposal is misguided and inhumane. If it comes to pass, I shall feel sad and ashamed for this unenlightened country.

March 2011