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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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This is a quick, personal post to express my disgust at the government's recent proposals to "reform" the Disabled Living Allowance and scrap the Independent Living Fund. While I have been extremely unhappy about the cuts, particularly to higher education, this latest batch hits a group of people who really need this support. And what does it save? The ILF costs a relatively small £359m.

To put this in perspective: the current UK defecit is £106510m. If I'm reading that data correctly, it would take 296 years of cutting this (and no further borrowing) before the defecit was cleared.

Now, I'm also not an advocate of debt, but I believe that a collective debt of a nation is better than individuals being personally harmed; that's when we're "all in it together". The impact of this cut, though, will be to people who are not a majority. The impact of this cut will be to people who are less able to get out on the streets and make their point. I want to say here that I feel we have a duty towards these less able minorities. We have a duty to make their voice heard in the same way that it was heard -- even if ignored -- for tuition fees. If we bemoan the fact that those outside of Higher Education only care for it when their children are about to enroll, we are hypocritical to stand by while other groups need our attention. We must not let our democracy become an excuse for the tyranny of the majority, nor a system where only those able to shout can make themselves heard. This is not an argument against shouting, but an argument to give our megaphones to others who might need them.

Neutrality Disclaimer: I have Rheumatoid Arthritis but receive none of the welfare measures detailed here.