Mark Harrison, CEO of the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People Trading as Equal Lives, has spoken out over the cuts being proposed by Norfolk County Council to adult social care, claiming they will devastate the lives of disabled people, their families and carers.

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You can’t take £189m over the next three years on top of the £140m already cut and it not have a serious impact to the quality of life for thousands of Norfolk residents. The community services overview and scrutiny committee discussed the proposed £27m cuts to adult social care and the results of the (misnamed) Norfolk Putting People First consultation.


The council and our local MPs, by imposing these cuts, are putting the needs of the bankers and the rich, who have had tax cuts, before the needs of poor and disabled people in Norfolk.


Our elected councillors are obeying the policies of the coalition government which has no electoral mandate to cut and privatise public services. 
Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberal Democrats had these policies in their manifestos.


Therefore, nobody voted for this misery. These cuts come on top of a barrage of so-called welfare reforms that have deliberately targeted disabled people in the most unfair way.


Two thirds of the people affected by the bedroom tax are disabled people. Work capability assessments, benefit cuts, council tax payments, scrapping disability living allowance (DLA) are just some of the other policies which are discriminating against us.


The councillors have rejected raising the council tax by 2pc even though the majority of people who responded to the consultation indicated they would support this if the money was ring-fenced to support vulnerable people. A 2pc rise would mitigate a significant proportion of the proposed cuts to Adult Social Care.


In the last round of cuts children’s services bore the brunt and now three years later they are having to invest because these services are failing. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this level of cuts will have the same effect on adult services.


These cuts will also be a false economy as they will shunt the costs on to the NHS as disabled people will be unable to sustain themselves in the community and will end up in hospital for want of adequate social care.


The councillors at the recent meeting received a letter from all the NHS bosses across Norfolk outlining their concerns in this area. When are any of our elected representatives going to stand up and truly put Norfolk people first?

Mark Harrison,
CEO, Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People Trading as Equal Lives,
Manor Farm Barns, Fox Road, 
Framingham Pigot.

24 comments

  • Figures: Benefit fraud is £1.2billion (which is less than half of what administrative errors cost the Dept for Work and Pensions). Tax evasion is £30 billion a year.

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    arfur

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • @morris where did you get the figure of 97 per cent . From the labour party

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    milecross

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • @harry rab . I think you will find the real total of labours job creation in local goverment was more like a million plus. These cuts to pay for labour are only the start .. The chancellor said the other day another 25 billion of new cuts are on their way

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    milecross

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • DaveG: benefits are not "given" - they are a right earned by the workers. The same people who are being victimised by this unelected Conservative government.

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    arfur

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Raising council tax is fine for the well off. However, many Norfolk people are on limited or fixed incomes. Better to see a couple of extra council tax bands at the top end of the property market.

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    The man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I think Mr Harrison is being rather selfish, there are a lot of people in need regardless of their abilities. Life is getting harder and god knows what the answer is, perhaps NCC should stop their project spending for a couple of years then services can be funded properly. It will also give them a chance to stop their back room wastage and over staffing.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • If we are not all prepared to pay a little bit more to help save vital community resources and protect services to the most vulnerable people in society it is a poor reflection on us all. The disabled people relying on the services up for the chop are at the more severe end of the spectrum where working in well paid jobs is not a realistic option in a society that still indirectly discriminates against them.

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    Jonny

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Arfur – you are totally wrong – benefits are GIVEN by the state - over generously in my opinion. Both I personally and my company, pay an obscene amount of tax supporting people that are well able to work but choose not to. Yes, of course there are some disabled people out there that cannot work but we should be encouraging all to work within their capabilities and be looking to drastically reduce benefits across the board.

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Figures: Benefit fraud is £1.2billion (which is less than half of what administrative errors cost the Dept for Work and Pensions). Tax evasion is £30 billion a year.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Please stop referring to it as "The bedroom tax", You get taxed on earnings, not something you are given. This is a reduction in benefits because you have a bedroom in a tax payer owned home that does not have anyone sleeping in it. And anybody who voted Conservative did vote for cuts in public spending as we realised that it was totally out of control under Labour and the country was a bankrupt mess. As one Labour minister said on a note to his Conservative relief, "There is no money left, HaHa" when he was kicked out

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    DaveG

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DATA (CReAM) ...fact, but what does this matter milex if u can make it up to support rac**t views?! Recent immigrants to Britain are better educated, pay more taxes and draw less state benefits than native Britons. The findings, taken from official government data, came in a heavyweight report into the fiscal consequences of immigration to the UK, published on Monday by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) at University College London. The authors of the report concluded that fears that "benefit tourists" were coming to the UK with no intention of working were "disconnected from reality". David Cameron previously suggested immigration was a "constant strain" on public services. According to the report, immigrants who arrived after 1999 in Britain, and made up a third of the overall immigrant population in the UK in 2011, were 45% less likely to receive state benefits than native Brits. They were also 3% less likely to live in social housing. They were also better educated than native Britons. In 2011, 32% of those from the European Economic Area (EEA) and 43% of those from outside of the region had a university degree, whereas for native Brits it was less than one in five (21%). Recent immigrants from the European Economic Area (EEA) contributed on average 34% more taxes than they received as transfers, while those from outside of the EEA contributed 2% more. Professor Christian Dustmann, director of CReAM and co-author of the study, said: "Immigrants who arrived since 2000 have made a very sizeable net fiscal contribution and therefore helped to reduce the fiscal burden on UK-born workers. "Our study also suggests that over the last decade or so, the UK has benefited fiscally from immigrants from EEA countries, who have put in considerably more in taxes and contributions than they received in benefits and transfers.

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    Sportswagon

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • I do not understand the Councils reluctance to raise council tax. Surely it is better all round for us to all pay a few extra pounds rather than some vulnerable groups suffering further hardship? An increase of upto 10 percent on my £100 per month bill would be neither here nor there but if a person losses a much needed service and has to pay privately for the lost service that person will pay much more, or suffer total loss of the needed support, than my monthly increase of upto £10.00. The council should speak to the government and apply to be allowed to increase council tax above the 2% they are allowed to due to the circumstances Norfolk is in.

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    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The last Labour administration doubled council tax and created 600,000 new public sector jobs,which of course have to be paid for. Would the cuts be necessary if the situation was reversed and our burgeoning public sector was severely pruned? no cuts and a reduction in council tax? there go those flying pigs again!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • For the record milex 97% of immigrants work here doing vital jobs and paying taxes to support our idle homegrown layabouts but both Labour and the Tories are too weak to tell this truth and to intelligently disprove UKIP's rubbish and your rac**t rants!

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Norfolk John - all the official government figures show you are wrong. Benefit fraud is actually a tiny percentage (compare it to tax avoidance for instance). The VAST majority of people receiving benefits are pensioners. The second largest group to receive benefits are employers like you - as your workers' wages are kept low and topped up from MY taxes. There is a smaller group of genuinely disabled people who are unable to work but are being persecuted by vile companies such as ATOS on behalf of 'our' government. I suggest if you want to pay less tax you and your mates start by giving your workers a decent living wage and pushing this unelected government to clamp down hard on the tax avoiders.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Interesting Morris, I’m not racist and I think if our successive governments are stupid enough to allow the Eastern Europeans and asylum seekers in to the UK, stretching our resources ever further, then it’s only the government of the day to blame. However, surrounded by Eastern Europeans as I am, the vast majority of those who do work, disappear ‘home’ for several months each year, and by doing so are able to claim back all the tax they have paid. This is nothing new, decades ago when King’s Lynn had a food industry, it was well-known that ‘seasonal workers’ did the same. The problem with trying to tie up everything that is going on at any moment in time with a political label, is losing sight of the bigger picture. Having a change of political party doesn’t halt the problems, as Nobbs has so effectively shown the people of Norfolk, what we need are people with morals, integrity, a sense of common decency, and a desire to serve others rather than themselves.

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    Honest John

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Only one problem with giving NCC more of our money. They will probably use it on one of their pet -white elephant- projects rather than keep public services at a reasonable level!! Therefore increase my council tax by all means BUT the government needs to put professional managers into NCC who will use our money wisely rather than squander it on pathetic schemes that have no public support at all. NDR, RAF Coltishall, King's Lynn Incinerator. I have not an ounce of confidence in either the current, so called, leader his cabinet or his officers who have proven time and time again that they are not fit for purpose.

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    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Typical milex blinded by politics and hatred....this figure comes from the Audit Commission which is a-political (eg non political)!!

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    Sportswagon

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Arfur – Did I mention benefit fraud? No I did not and that is another subject entirely. There are far too many people in this country that ‘qualify’ for benefits that are able to work and should be doing so, rather than watching daytime TV sitting on their interest free DFS sofas. If benefits were GIVEN on a sliding scale, i.e. reducing over a period of time, I wonder how many would be claiming after a couple years?

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The last Labour administration doubled council tax and created 600,000 new public sector jobs,which of course have to be paid for. Would the cuts be necessary if the situation was reversed and our burgeoning public sector was severely pruned? no cuts and a reduction in council tax? there go those flying pigs again!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • this picture is the same all over the country . Look at derby council . They are about to sack hundreds of council workers because of the cuts . Then at the same time are spending 180 thousand on helping immigrants get jobs around the derby area . How fair is that?

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    milecross

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • These people are actually SAVING the council thousands of pounds. If they were at day centres or other institutions it would cost far more than their personal budgets do. Money aside, personal budgets mean that they can spend their own money to enhance their lives rather than the council saying ... Go and sit at their day centre and play bingo. We all deserve choices.

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    samphirelover

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I'm salaried and on fixed income. I've not had a pay review for four years. However the cost of everything has increased (Petrol, Oil, Electric, Insurance etc) so I have to adjust what I have by making cutbacks to my way of life. If you don't have the money then you have to go without certain non important items. Alcohol, Cigarettes, SKY etc. Many disabled people have jobs and are paid the same as their colleagues. They also enjoy other benefits like free car tax, blue badges, free parking, motability, which many of their colleagues do not. Is this considered discrimination against the able bodied? You can't wrap all disabled up under the same banner. Some really do need help, but others do not.

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • arfur, its more like 120 billion, a mere guestimate. Because consequetive Governments of all colours and personal ego's have failed to regulate an off shore financial industry for decades, they did not want to do it, just as the current lot, so they don't really know how much has been siphoned past the exchequer.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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