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Disabled grant reform proves unpopular in Wein Wales ‘bound to be unpopular’

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A Labour assembly member has said that the way the Welsh Government has changed its support for disabled people is “bound to be unpopular”.

Labour AM, Mike Hedges has questioned the logic for removing the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG).

Social care minister Huw Irranca-Davies has said the change will remove a “two-tier system.”

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However, Mr Hedges has argued that two-tier arrangements are not abnormal in the public division.

Mr Hedges said: “People have preserved rights. Why couldn’t they have kept preserved rights for those who are currently getting it and then treat new people differently?

“Preserved rights is well known. But taking things off people who’ve got used to it is bound to be unpopular.”

New data from the Welsh Government has revealed that over half of former WILG recipients have agreed to new support packages with the council.

Mr Hedges said: “54% agreed means almost half haven’t, and we don’t know how many of that 54% signed under duress.”

The Labour AM was speaking at a conference of the assembly’s petitions committee which is criticising the changes following a campaign from WILG recipient Nathan Lee Davies to reinstate the benefit.

The WILG was given to people in Wales who had received the UK-wide Independent Living Fund (ILF).

In a letter to the committee, Mr Irranca-Davies said it was difficult to see how WILG could be reinstated without creating “turmoil” for those who have already completed the transition to council support.

Welsh Labour leader elect Mark Drakeford has said he would reconsider the move if there is enough evidence which shows that people are losing out.

Tags : disabledlabourwelsh government
Carly Hacon

The author Carly Hacon

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